The Music Room
The largest, most ambitious and purpose specific of the three listening spaces, the Music Room is designed to offer a room worthy of the most capable and extravagant systems available. As such, you might think that it would be a prima facia case for the direct elegance adopted for the primary feed in the Reading Room, but two factors militated against this: the first was the lengths of the cables involved, practical considerations making free runs an almost obligatory requirement. Even so, we could potentially still have hardwired a distribution block on-site, except for the second factor – the number of big systems that actually require more than eight sockets! With multi-box digital sources becoming evermore prevalent and the requirement to run duplicate, equivalent units within the system as an essential review function, the need to run ten or twelve power cords is actually becoming the rule rather than the exception. Finally, adopting conventional sockets would also allow us to offer representative operating conditions for the AC distribution and treatment products that are so important to and such a crucial part of those extravagant, high-end systems.
The Basic hardware and topology is the same as that employed for the Reading Room, with a dedicated DCU and Superior Mains Install cable ring running from the AC inlet across the garage area and into the barn, a distance of around eight-metres. The cable is routed down the outside of the Music Room wall before feeding directly through a large diameter channel cut through the substantial stonework, this an attempt to minimize direct acoustic energy from attacking the cable run. Once inside the listening environment, a simple wooden box was created to space the two UltraSockets off of the solid wall. The ring was then extended a further five meters (again, outside the listening space itself) to another UltraSocket at the far end of the room, beside the speakers, creating an AC supply suitable for powered or part-powered designs (sub-woofers, electrostatics or speakers with active bass) or mono-blocs if we should choose to site them at the speaker end of the room. These sets of outlets offer the only AC on this side of the room, a basic domestic ring being provided on the far side, away from signal or speaker cables, to power record cleaning machines, the LP DeMag and other such devices. Naturally, all sockets on the dedicated audio ring are in turn connected to a dedicated clean ground with a pair of horizontal and vertically disposed rods in the garden (adjacent to the well – one day, if I’m feeling brave I might try hammering a ground post straight into the bottom of the well, but there’s a significant jungle to be tamed first!).