20amp v 15amp

I'm the furthest thing from an engineer so layman's terms would be appreciated.  A friend of a friend has an Audioquest Niagara 5000 he's looking to move quickly.  The 5000 requires a 20amp power cord, which is fine; I'm happy picking one up.  My outlet is only rated for 15amps.  My question is, will I only really benefit if I replace the 15amp wall outlet with a 20amp wall outlet?


You most likely need a 20 amp breaker along with the proper gauge wire run to a 20 amp outlet.

At minimum you need a power cord with a 20-amp IEC-C19 plug end and the other end with a standard 15amp IEC male plug. See AudioQuest Monsoon Power Cable (2 meters/6.5 feet) Power cable with 20-amp IEC-C19 plug at Crutchfield As a preferred upgrade, you should have a new 20 amp dedicated circuit installed (new 20 amp breaker, 12 AWG cabling and a 20 amp outlet. This would realize the full potential of the Audioquest Niagara 5000. The new power cable would continue to be compatible with the 20 amp upgraded circuit.

If  the wall outlet is 15-amp 125V then you'll need either a 20 amp to 15 amp plug adapter or a one foot 20/15 power cord. Each are less than 10 dollars. But if you know how to replace a receptacle, then install a combo 15/20 amp 250V receptacle. Fits perfectly in the same box.

Not really, no. 

For many manufacturers the 15A and 20A outlets are identical except for the plastic face plate. They literally use the same brass behind the plastic, down to the T shaped connectors.

Fact is 15A outlets have to live with the possibility of being on a 20A circuit, so they are built with that in mind.

It's a weirdness of the NEC that they expect you to run 20A circuits to multiple 15A outlets.

Get a good 12 Gauge cable, no matter the connector on the end.

a good read: 15 AMP VS 20 AMP OUTLET

I think you should also consider the max wattage draw of your audio system.

up to 1800 watts for a 15 A


up to 2400 watts for a 20 A 


investing in a good power conditioner can help with overall system performance. I've explained it quite a few times already.