$10 vs $100 power plug


Can anybody actually hear the difference between a $10 & a $100 power plug?
A $300 one?

For the record, I'm not saying otherwise; I'm just curious. I have a HARD time spending that kind of $$ on a plug (not to mention justifying it to my better half).
m_snow
NO and NO again ...they say they can but in reality it's a big NO..save your cash and even 10.00 bucks is over priced. You can get a good plugs by Pass & Seymour Residential Plugs for less than $7..don't fall for the hype.Them golden ear Gods can't hear any better than us normal folk....
The difference between a $10 plug and a $100 plug is $90.
A+ Jmc...!!!
It depends on how resolving your setup is to hear the difference from plugs.
Helpful hint: Don't mention it to your better half.
It depends on how resolving your setup is to hear the difference from plugs.
And also on how sensitive the particular component is to whatever differences there may be in the effects of the plugs on the electricity the component is supplied with. The more closely a component design approaches being ideal, the less sensitivity it will have to differences in those effects, if in fact there are any differences, and if in fact there are any effects.

Regards,
-- Al
Obviously, people think it makes a difference. Otherwise, why would so many businesses dedicated to custom power cord development and distribution be so successful? We can't all be wrong on this. I agree with Horchai. Your equipment configuration is critical. If you equate the $10 cord as the "supplied" cord for most equipment, then purchasing a custom power cord does have advantages. Suddenly, it's not the sacrifice component in the equipment production lifeline. I guess if I was making audiophile equipment and had to cut corners, the power cord would be an obvious choice. Just my $0.02.
It depends on how resolving your setup is to hear the difference from plugs.
Horchai

Also depends on how much time you want to spend listening for a difference in plugs.
If spending 100 bucks worries you, then don't bother.
That's not to say that you shouldn't do it.
I'm just saying that if you are looking for a BIG sound difference, you will be disappointed spending that hundred bucks.

There's lots of things to consider.

How good your system is at revealing changes and how adept your ears are to picking up on changes to your system.

Casual listeners usually don't hear any differences, or expect a Nad to be transformed into a Krell with a 100 buck plug.

I've had some nice results spending about 100 bucks for the nice copper Furutech connectors and replaced the cheap ones on a couple of non critical power cords(HT setup).
For me the improvement was worth the money.
But I didn't turn my HT into Skywalker studios.

But even spending 100 bucks on some decent entry connectors did not make me put my Annacondas up for sale.

I suggest you borrow some decent upscale power cords and try them in your system,and I mean cords, because the more you have of the better ones the more easily you start to hear what they are doing.

One cord isn't enough if you are looking for a system game changer.Replace them all with the same kind.
DIY or try store bought, but try before you do anything.

So it could cost you more than you thought it would.

But for some of us the cost is worth the improvemnt.

NASA, has for sale, surplus power cables, that were designed to connect the Saturn 5 rocket to it's Gantry. They Come complete with explosive bolts. Shipping cost is sort of high.
Cheers
Well... If you have a budget.. then the costs become some portion of you total cost.. or of the cost of your cables..
So anyone can decide rationally (?) to buy parts as a part of a total budget.
Solve the quandry of what to buy.
So if you are buying the equivalent of Acrolink at $60 a foot.. Then buying a end fitting for it wouldb e reasonable.
Buying $100 ends for Wire from Home Depot might be overkill.

As I have mentioned before, spending 10% of total system cost is a reasonable amount.
I discovered my cost to make power cables was as much as to buy Pangea cables. (back when the first came out. The price was lower...)
Anyway. folks can find a reasonable place within the range of A/C outlets and plugs to match ones needs.
For folks with big money, Sure, $100 outlets are great.
I personally use $3 duplex from Menards.. But that is just me.
I also use $15 Wattgate style Ac plugs in some of my stuff.
And the Pangea powercords where I can.
I sympathize with your angst and frustration over some audiophile product prices; on the other hand, I suspect if you look a little bit harder you can find a lot more to get all worked up about. $100 don't mean much in the scheme of things these days unless you have an iPod.

Some things worth coveting - the Koetsu Coralstone Platinum Mono cartridge, $15,000. SteinMusic Harmonizer $3995. Magic equipment rack, $50,000. Minus K 25BM-8 negative stiffness isolation stand, $2650. Quantum Clip from PWB Electronics, $850.
"I guess if I was making audiophile equipment and had to cut corners, the power cord would be an obvious choice."

I doubt high end manufacturers feel they are compromising the sound of their products with the power cords they select. Only audiophiles think this.
Rrog wrote,

"I doubt high end manufacturers feel they are compromising the sound of their products with the power cords they select."

Or they may be totally ignorant of the issue.
The difference is the spring tension and plating surface. My preference is Rhodium. The surface is expensive to implement, but hard and less scratch prone. The typical brass surface is fine the first few uses, but scratches and leaves mars in the surface. This causes micro-arcing and ultimately noise. The ideal is two mirror smooth surfaces making contact aka an airtight connection or as close as possible. How much audio improvement will there be? Who knows? The improvements are typically overstated, but this is a small part of a lot of potential tweaks which, when added up may make a significant contribution. Depends on how crummy your parts are now and dedicated lines, wire gauge etc. If you pursue doing all you can, this is a relatively cheap tweak considering other things. It is all relative. Jallen
ust to mention.. One does not want to make or break a 'powered up' gold plated connection. The gold plating will be damaged.
Even if it is only on one part. (like the plug body)
"Them golden ear Gods can't hear any better than us normal folk...."

They don't care about hearing. They care about going to the bank.
$1 plug to a $10 plug helped mine.
When I opened up the plug boxes in my room the romex was not pigtailed to each plug. It went in one side of the plug then out the other two screws on the other side. I pigtailed each plug in the circuit, them put in a hospital grade that obviously was built better and had more metal in it. I'am fortunate that my house is wired with #12 gage romex. Many tract homes are #14. Just like you cant pull 12 amps through a lamp cord, you cant pull it through a cheap ass plug with hardly any metal in it. Hey, worked for me. $100 plug? Never tried one.
-John
Skimping on the power cord? Does anyone in their right mind think that a highend audio amp/preamp many costing more then a cadilac are skimping on the power cord ...lol
FWIW, my opinion is that the best response so far is the one provided by JAllen. It provides plausible technical rationale; it provides perspective on matters of degree; and it provides perspective on predictability (or more precisely, on lack thereof). I say that as someone who approaches many controversial and/or technically inexplicable tweaks with a high degree of skepticism.

I would also note that it does NOT follow from his comments that if no difference is heard it necessarily means that the sound quality and musical resolution of the system, or the listener's hearing for that matter, are deficient. As I implied in my earlier post, the ability of a system to resolve musical detail, and its ability to resolve hardware differences, are two different things, that do not necessarily go hand-in-hand, and may even be inversely correlated in some cases. Many technical examples could be cited to illustrate that, involving variables that are dependent on the design of the specific components. In this specific context those would include noise rejection characteristics, RFI sensitivity, intermodulation effects, energy storage capacity, current draw fluctuation, sensitivity to voltage variation, and many others.

Some examples involving other contexts, that perhaps illustrate my point more clearly: Speakers having impedance characteristics that are hard to drive will be more resolving of amplifier differences than speakers having benign impedance characteristics, everything else being equal. Preamplifiers or source components having high output impedance will be more revealing of interconnect cable differences than those having low output impedance, everything else being equal. Resolution of differences between digital cables will depend on the happenstance of the relationships between cable length, signal risetimes and falltimes, cable propagation velocity, component susceptibility to ground loop-related noise, and how closely the impedances of both components and the cable match. In each case, the ability of the system to resolve hardware differences is affected by variables that have no particular relation to sound quality or musical resolution.

Regards,
-- Al
How about hard wiring? Direct bolting onto or even soldering the wires of a wall outlet or the power conditioner?
Hospital grade Hubbel plugs are sold at digikey, newark and mouser catalogues for $low-teens. Audiophile grade ones are just the same only with different price, color, design and name. Stay away from cryo'd ones. Less-likely they show any evidence of cryogenic treatment.
I was talking the actual plug, not the outlet.
Most people don't realize that the AC outlets on their prized line conditioner is put together with AC outlets that are of the .49 cent variety, and the wire attaching to it is contacting a surface the thickness of a credit card, and loose contact at that. I changed my line conditioners outlets and they too were of this variety. I have changed many home AC outlets, and you can easily see the results of a "bad connection" with the tell-tale marks of heat up the wire with the blueish discoloration, the brittle insulation which has been heated far too long, and the impending wall fire. This is the start of many house fires. Bottom line is that there are a lot of variables that are ignored, and the focus is on the "power cord" or some small part of the equation. What good is an 8 gauge cord with credit card contact on the wire inside the conditioner. It is essential to look at the whole equation. Failure to do so results in fixing things which aren't broken. Jallen
Marakanetz wrote,

"Hospital grade Hubbel plugs are sold at digikey, newark and mouser catalogues for $low-teens. Audiophile grade ones are just the same only with different price, color, design and name.

Hospital grade plugs are for hospitals. Hospital grade plugs must conform to standards for reliability and safety - but not sound. And for audiophiles, isn't that really the most important thing? By contrast, Audiophile Grade plugs use better metal conductors than stock plugs OR Hospital Grade plugs.

Marakanetz also wrote,

"Stay away from cryo'd ones. Less-likely they show any evidence of cryogenic treatment."

Why is everyone down on cryo? Cryo'd conductors are better conductors. Hel -loo!
Geoff,
I wrote for all not to be naive and positive about labels(they're just labels) that change the product price.