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Heavy copper, Hubbell is as good as it gets... Everything else is window dressing. If you want to use a contact enhancer, that always helps.
Silver or clad outlets, just a lot of money.
Faceplate? They look nice and offer fire protection. I like nonconductive covers that offer the 2 hour protection. Conductive covers really doesn't make sense to me.. Just me though..
The reason all these little things like outlets and faceplates matter is a combination of electrical continuity, electrical field control, and vibration control. Different outlets and covers target different aspects of all of these. The ones you are using now are really just a thicker more robust version of ordinary dime a dozen outlets. Hospital grade means zero in terms of sound quality. All it means is the plug doesn’t fall out as much.
This is all by the way stuff I know by having done. I know hospital grade is a joke because I bought it and tried it. I know Synergistic Research Blue and Orange are game changers, because I have those and know just how much improvement they make.
Haven’t tried the faceplates because I am quite frankly beyond all that. The cryogenically treated 4ga wire that brings AC is hard wired directly into my conditioner. The outlets are all direct mounted in MDF routered to fit perfectly without a faceplate. There is a mix of Synergistic, Oyaide and other outlets. All are vastly better than "hospital grade" but the outlets themselves are only one small part of the story.
Because, like I said: continuity, field, vibration. Faceplates differ, some are more vibration control than field, others more field than vibration. Once you understand what is going on you may realize you could get about the same improvement with fO.q tape applied to the outlet. Or cover.
Then again some of the carbon fiber covers look pretty cool. Bling matters. Audiophiles put on airs about it being all about the sound, but you would not believe the dings I get for not having the right bling. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
Personally, if it’s worth doing then do it right, SR Orange or Blue. They use a material that addresses the other point, fields. The gray goo they put on the screw terminals, do not remove it.
SR doesn’t even have the best field control. After you try Orange, or Blue, and appreciate it and want even better, let me know. But not here. PM. I hardly ever follow up on threads like this. They all degenerate to blather in like three, two, one....
Could these outlet covers be a good middle ground?
They're a mix of stone and resin and should quell vibrations better than plastic and they're non conductive.
All the best,
See oldhvy we agree on some things. Even you have limits to how much snake oil you can stomach.
The cost is always an issue for me.. 150.00 fuses and 10K cables are wonderful. at 15.00 for the fuse and 1K mostly for materials on the cables. :-0
To be honest if someone gave me a fancy outlet, I'd use it. I'd take an SR Blue or Orange, any time. It may sound funny but that GOO really has an effect. A gallon bucket would be nice.. million dollar bucket..
Bling is good.. I like bling on a good lookin girl.. JUST BLING.
A necklace and a hat will do. :-)
I also think the "settling effect" of just plugging in a couple of times and leave it alone. In a couple of weeks, it gets close to the instant GOO effect of SR. My concoction works good enough it's just a contact enhancer.
That STUFF, GOO, has been used in the UK for 50 years. Here in harsh environments more so.. Few different types too. Wolfercoat is full of goodies. (german), just like certain Never-Seize products..
It dampens a product through contact alone... Cost 40.00 usd.
The REAL GOO, a million dollars an ounce.. NO THANKS..
Another thing to consider is if you will like any kind of plating on your outlets (or cord ends for that matter). My preference is for the Maestro which has no plating. To my ear it is more natural sounding than any type of plated outlet that I have tried.
Also, cryo treatment has it's own effect that may or may not be to your liking. Since, I am hyper sensitive to the higher frequencies and any high frequency anomalies, cryo is too hard and harsh in the upper mids and highs to my ear, but that most likely applies to only a small group of us.
"Bling is good.. I like bling on a good lookin girl.. JUST BLING."
Obviously a Randy Newman fan, "You Can Leave Your Hat On."
Bling is OK if you can afford it as long as you realize that is all it is.
From a performance standpoint any 20 amp outlet will do just fine. If you can not afford "bling" at least spend your money on something that might actually make an improvement although lately it is getting harder to tell what that actually is. If you don't want everyone to see how crude your excellent system is just hide everything. Ignorance is bliss.