Friday, March 4, 2016

Moving Day Approaches: In-Wall Cable and AC Receptacles

We are officially 2 weeks away from the move. The excitement is growing, and so are the stacks of full boxes.

This was the week I chose the wiring and AC receptacles for the dedicated circuits.

Why All The Fuss?

Clean power is the foundation of your audio system. Put extremely simply, your audio components take the AC from the wall and modulate it,  reproducing the music you listen to. If the waveform is irregular or noisey your components will have to work harder to correct it. Or worse yet, they will just let the noise pass through and flow out of your loudspeakers along with the music. Not good. 

Dedicated AC is the first step...

Whenever a customer calls and inquires about a power conditioner, my first question to them is always "Do you have a dedicated line for your audio system"? If the answer is no, I strongly encourage them to start there before buying a power conditioner. Hiring an electrician to run a dedicated line for your system is usually much cheaper, and the benefits are huge. The dedicated line is quieter because it is dedicated to your audio system only. You don't have other lighting and appliances siphoning away current and injecting noise back into the circuit (at least you shouldn't). Those two factors will yield a nice improvement in detail and musicality of your system, usually for less than the cost of a decent power conditioner. 

I still recommend further power conditioning beyond the dedicated line because there will still be noise from the grid, and from other components within your audio system. But the dedicated line will always be step #1 in my advice to customers looking for cleaner power for their audio system.

Back to the house, and the project. I chose the Audience In-wall cable. It is UL rated for in-wall use, is a 10 AWG 3 conductor high purity stranded design with shielding. 
It's not cheap at $20 per foot, but the quality and the sound of the cable won me over. Yes I did listen to it. John McDonald was kind enough to have a power cord constructed of the in-wall cable sent to me for evaluation. It bested regular 10AWG romex by a mile, and I found it more neutral than the Cardas in-wall, which was nice but a bit too woolly in the bass.

I will have 2 dedicated lines running from the sub panel located in the basement where my listening room will be. They will be on the same electrical phase, and each will feed 2 Furutech GTX D NCF AC receptacles. I have used many AC receptacles over the course of my career as The Tweek Geek, and the Furutech GTX DR NCF is the best I have heard to date. Again not inexpensive, but for my purposes, worth the money.
The Furutech NCF version is different from their GTX DR rhodium version and that it makes use of Furutech's Nano-technology to obtain better performance. This is a pure copper AC receptacle like the original GTX, the difference being the copper part is manufactured with Furutech's NCF technology. 


NCF stands for Nano Conductor Formula. It is comprised of a special crystalline material that has two “active” properties. First, it generates negative ions that eliminate static and secondly, it converts thermal energy into far-infrared. Furutech then combines this remarkable crystalline material with nano-sized ceramic particles and carbon powder for their additional “Piezo Effect” damping properties. In more layman's terms NCF eliminates static, “interconverts” thermal, mechanical and electrical energy and damps vibrations. The bottom line is it is a significant improvement over the previous generation of GTX AC receptacles.


Part 1B will have photos of the actual installation, along with tips and tricks to running wire and getting the best performance out of your electrical connections. Stay tuned!