Tech Tip Of The Day: Studio Power Questions – 220v?

Provided by Sweetwater.

Q: I’ve been working on designing my own mix room for quite a while.

Is it a good idea to have a 220v outlet providing power to your home studio?

Or, is there an easier way of providing good power using several 120v outlets and a distribution scheme?

Will using 220v power help eliminate studio hums?

A: There’s no real advantage to 220v power other than it generally can deliver more power in high demand applications (which most studios are not).

And, in typical household wiring it is a balanced power source.

Balanced Power has a number of potential advantages, especially for reducing ground loops, but unless your gear can run directly off of the 220v lines (which presumably isn’t the case) it isn’t going to do you much good.

Breaking standard household 220 out into separate 110-volt legs effectively unbalances it. Balanced power supply devices for use with standard 110-volt service are growing in popularity these days.

They can clean up a lot of ills in the wiring of a studio. As a general rule we recommend running your entire studio off of one central electrical outlet when possible.

This does as much as anything to minimize hum, and it’s free. Most home studios don’t draw anywhere near 20 amps of current so this is imminently doable.

If your situation is more complex than that it may be wise to seek the advice of a consultant.

Studio wiring in general is a very complex subject with many subtle variables. However, you’re in lick because there’s already a pretty good amount of information available on cable and interconnect in the ProSoundWeb Study Hall, so I’d spend some time to perusing those.

As always, we welcome input from the PSW community and would love to know your thoughts on 220v power in home studios. Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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