Times are changing and our son will leave our house. I therefore have the opportunity to set up a dedicated listening room in the next few weeks and move my system from the living room to it. It needs some preparation at the beginning:
- The room already has its own power circuit feeding for the two sockets in the room with a separate fuse in the fuse box in the basement. I plan to replace the standard sockets with Furutech FT-SWS NCF. I already use this socket in the living room with great success (after a long burn-in phase). However, I am unsure about the following points:
Should I replace the In-Wall power cables (e.g. with In-Wall Cable GigaWatt LC-Y EVO 3X4) or use another special cable?
Should I have the fuses in the basement replaced (currently: Hager Standard see photo Nr. 2) e.g. by Doepke DFS2 Audio and Gigawatt G16a circuit breaker?
Which In-Wall Ethernet cable would be useful, e.g. Bluejeans Cat 6a Jack-to-Jack, In-Wall Installable Cabling? So far the room is not connected to the Ethernet house wiring and to the router (with Cisco 3560 switch) in the basement. But there is an empty in Wall conduit, so retrofitting would probably be easy.
Of course, I would have all the work done by an electrician.
Further steps such as optimising the room acoustics and special equipment will come later. Now it’s first about the technical set-up. Thank you very much for your comments and tips.
The key thing with dedicated mains supplies is to run them from a small separate consumer unit by splitting the meter tails. Isolating the whole thing from the rest of your home electrics as far as possible is the real benefit.
I’d have a dedicated earth rod/plate installed. For the cost (not crazy money) you can entirely isolate the earth from household appliances. But if not possible, ensure that the earth on a dedicated circuit is not shared with other circuits enroute to the CU. It’s common for electricians in many countries to just daisy chain earth from socket to socket crossing circuit boundaries because it’s cheaper and faster and satisfies the minimum safety requirement. But from a noise perspective is awful.
Also, if you do swap out the mains cable in wall, remember that Furutech sockets only open the wire clamp to 8.2mm2, not 10mm2 as often used in the UK by enthusiasts.
Can I suggest (if you haven’t already?) that before you commit to wiring locations for the sockets/outlets, you identify where these will be best positioned within the room — as you appear to be starting from scratch?
You may find with a new environment that your 'speakers and kit need to live in different relative positions, which may not be accommodated by running 'speaker cabling differently. this is especially relevant if you are intending to use (need to?) room treatment e.g. you may need to address reflections with say 100mm deep panels behind a kit stack.
Spot on. And don’t make the mistake of putting all the plug sockets behind where you think the’t make the mistake of putting all the plug sockets behind where you think
Also Wilfred allow me to suggest ( along the lines of HL’s sensible advice) if at all possible NOT to plan to accommodate your stacks between your speakers. Great to have a dedicated space for your listening btw Enjoy Peter
Aren’t you letting him come home to visit then
Thank you @Proterra and @Neilb1906 for your concern about my family situation. My son is 27 years old and will move in with his girlfriend in a nice flat near Zurich. We have a guest room upstairs and he will always be welcome with his girlfriend.
@feeling_zen @HappyListener Thanks for your support. There are already 3 power sockets in the room at the front, in the middle and at the back on the long side. They are all connected to a separate circuit and have their own fuse in the fuse panel in the basement (see photo above no. 2). The lighting in the room is on a different circuit. This is already existing and a good initial situation. I would like to have two of the sockets replaced with Furutech sockets. This will also give me enough flexibility to basically place the Naim system on both narrow sides of the room. If necessary, new audiophile in-wall power cables could also be run in and the fuses in the basement replaced, if that makes sense and is affordable. If additional earthing is possible, that would also be an option. I will ask my electrician also, if the earth of this circuit is shared with other circuits and if we could separate them.
Thank you Peter for pointing this out. I have already seen in the System Pics thread that many have their system on the side and not between the speakers. What should be the advantage? The aesthetics, less resonance? I only have a small system with 3 boxes at maximum. May be I will buy a fraim with 3 levels or a sideboard. And with the placement on the side, I would need new speaker cables (mine are only 2.5 metres long). And aren’t long cables rather disadvantageous (keep it short and simple)?
Hi Wilfred, nothing to do with aesthetics but purely the fact that speakers need air around them in all dimensions to produce a good soundstage and improved linearity. So as you implied, it has got to do with reflections and to some extent potentially obstruction of low frequency airflow ( bit like how I would imagine having a fart in a wetsuit) ATB Peter
Hi @Wilfried – sounds an exciting project. It’s interesting to me that you appear to have a wiring ring for mains (off one breaker), and not radial spurs from the consumer box (CU). The former is how general house wiring is done in the UK, with multiple rings – but for hi-fi, the better solution can be to run a radial from the CU, which feeds a mains block for the kit (you’ve probably read about this on other threads) – with dedicated earthing (as may be allowed).
Apologies if I’m telling you things you’ve already planned-out, but things to avoid here are:
1- putting kit stacks at sound reflection points – although this can work, as room treatment isn’t pure science it seems!
2- ditto in locating kit where treatment panels may be needed
3- obviously (and without knowing the size of room?), ensuring where the kit stack(s?) is optimally located (and it may not be where you first think?), there is power close-by, without the need to consider expensive cable changes.
…and if your room is broadly square, optimal 'speaker and kit positioning can be challenging.
Thankyou Peter for putting that in a way i could understand😂
You are very welcome Gazza, I’d hate for you to miss out! Best Peter
Thank you very much for the detailed advice. I had assumed that a separate circuit to the sockets in my new room already provides good insulation from other devices (e.g. household appliances, solar system, lamps, etc.). A completely new dedicated mains circuit seems like a pretty big expense. Existing empty conduits in the wall could probably not be used then. But I will ask my electrician about it.
My room measures 5.05 metres X 3.45 metres, so 17.45 square metres - rather small. I plan to place the speakers on a narrow side. Then, with a distance of 2 metres between the speakers, there will “only” be a distance of about 0.5 metres between the speakers and the walls. If I place the speakers on the long side, a near-field situation is created with a distance of 1 metre between the speakers and the rear wall. I have also seen such solutions, but have no experience with them. I have the opportunity to test everything.
And room acoustics measures are also important, but again another topic. The first step is the electrical installations and the Ethernet cabling
Hi Wilfried, same experience here. My son moved out last summer after I had finished converting the attic to a living room with connected bathroom for him. Now it is my room where I enjoy a fantastic view while listening to my Focal Utopia driven by a Naim Uniti Atom HE. Enjoy!
If it is a dedicated space I guess you are free to position your speakers and listening position where ever you like. A great opportunity to optimize everything. Your room is a very similar size to mine although mine is a little asymmetrical. It will be interesting following your journey.
Yes, there are several options. In the drei photos you can see 3 scenarios.
A) Speakers and system on the narrow side by the window. Here the furniture would be easier. And I could use the existing power socket (marked door side right) and existing speaker cables.
B) Speakers on the long side. In this case, however, an additional socket would be needed to the right of the window in the middle. This would require an additional cable to be laid in the wall. Or a long hifi power cable would have to be laid in the room.
C) Speakers on the long side (turned 180 degrees). Existing power sockets can be used here. However, other speaker cables would be needed to bypass the door entrance.
Very good work Wilfred
Personally I would try and avoid windows on 1st reflection points ie both side walls and back wall. Glass on the front wall (speaker wall) is not bad providing speakers are about a metre or more away, however absorption will be necessary on the back wall to prevent the glass area forming a second reflection (albeit long). Fun and games Best Peter
PS. In a room the shown size I would definitely fire the long way enabling distance as mentioned above also respect of getting your listening chair 3 feet or so away from wall behind due to low frequency pressurisation issues