John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum

Studio Wiring
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Author:  ShopSound [ Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:39 am ]
Post subject:  Studio Wiring

Hey everyone, I'm staring the wring for my new home studio and I'm not sure what kind of wire for power i should go with, i have and an old roll of 10/2 NM-B cable but I'm just not sure if this is the best i can go with. i should also mention i don't know much about electrical wiring and building studios in general , Im just trying to do the best job i can to prevent from getting noisy static in my monitors. also i've seen on YouTube and read places saying that you should use metal outlet socket holder and not plastic. I Have a lot of plastic ones i'm just not sure if that's the way to go.
Sorry for my lack of knowledge and terms


Author:  Soundman2020 [ Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Studio Wiring

Hi Nick, and Welcome! :)

If you don't know anything about electricity, then DO NOT TRY TO WIRE THE PLACE YOURSELF! Hire a qualified electrician to do it for you. There are building code requirements that you will have to meet, and legal obligations that you will be taking on yourself if you don't do it properly. For example, if you wire your place yourself, and then an electrical fire burns it to the ground, your insurance company will NOT pay for the damages, and you will be both civilly and criminally liable. If somebody was injured or killed in the fire, you are responsible for that, criminally. If your neighbor's house is also damaged, you are responsible for paying for the repairs to his house as well. Insurance policies do not cover houses that have been modified illegally, and adding new electrical wiring to a house if you are not an electrician, would invalidate your insurance.

There's a LOT of things that you CAN do yourself when building a studio, but electrical wiring is not one of them. If you find a helpful electrician he might allow you to do some of the electrical work yourself to save money, but it would be under his supervision. He will tell you what to do, what materials to use, how to do it, and then inspect that you did it right.

Sorry to be so harsh, and "in your face", but this is important! Don't play with electricity or structural members when building your studio, and do make sure that you get all the necessary permits and inspections.

Im just trying to do the best job i can to prevent from getting noisy static in my monitors.
There's a concept in electrical installation called "star grounding". Tell your electrician that you need star grounding for your studio. Also, if you have a problem with electrical noise or static in your monitors, then that might be faulty speaker cables, or faulty connectors, rather than faulty wiring. Check your XLR cables and connectors, re-solder the joints if they don't look good (this is something you CAN do yourself), or replace them if necessary.

also i've seen on YouTube and read places saying that you should use metal outlet socket holder and not plastic.
Be VERY careful with what you find on YouTube about studio building and acoustics! If I had a dollar for every WRONG video on YouTube about studios, acoustics, sound systems, speakers, treatment, etc. then I'd be nicely rich! Do not trust YouTube. You MIGHT need metal boxes where YOU live, or it might be allowable to use plastic boxes. It all depends on your local building code, so you'd have to go to your local municipality (office or website) to get a copy of the applicable electrical code and building regulations in your area, then read through it and make sure that everything done in your studio complies with that. You'll find that it is rather technical, and complex....

- Stuart -

Author:  Speedskater [ Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Studio Wiring

My thoughts:
a] 10/2 NM-B cable (2 conductor + ground) (aka SouthWire Romex® ) is a good choice for a 20A 120V circuit.
b] for a large studio, I would run a feeder form the main breaker box to the studio, then a small breaker box in/near the studio.
c] it's good to have the lighting & appliances on one 120V leg/pole (aka phase) and the audio equipment on the other.
d] as for the ground rod connect to Planet Earth, do whatever makes the electrician and inspector happy and don't worry about it.
e] Isolated Ground receptacles are never needed with NM-B/Romex® cable.
f] Star grounds can be overdone.

Some reference papers:

a] the Middle Atlantic white paper
Power Distribution and Grounding of Audio, Video and Telecommunication Equipment White Paper ... apers.aspx

b] the Bill Whitlock seminar
An Overview of Audio System Grounding & Interfacing 9/4/2012
http://centralindianaaes.files.wordpres ... s-v1-0.pdf

c] the Jim Brown SurgeX paper
Power and Grounding For Audio and Audio/Video Systems -- A White Paper for the Real World

Author:  Gregwor [ Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Studio Wiring

i've seen on YouTube and read places saying that you should use metal outlet socket holder and not plastic.

Classic YouTube BS.

For isolated grounds you can use 12/3 or 10/3 wire with a plastic box. Put green tape on the red wire and use that for your star ground.

Like Stuart said though, if you're not experienced with electrical and don't know what the codes are, find a friend who is an electrician to help you or hire them to do the entire job.


Author:  Speedskater [ Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Studio Wiring

If you are using NM-B (Non-Metallic)(aka Romex® ) the only time you might need Isolated Ground receptacles, is if the building has metal wall framing. And then you have to use NM-B with an extra conductor. But for most situations there is no reason to do so.

Author:  Speedskater [ Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Studio Wiring

the reason for Isolated Ground receptacles is to prevent leakage, lost Neutral and Ground currents in other circuits from using your audio interconnects as a path back to their voltage source. With Non-Metallic cable or plastic conduit that path does not exist.

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