There has been many threads on this in the past, try doing a search. I believe folks are tossed up between the Leviton and Hubbel, some swear by their Hubbel some swear by their Leviton. I personally use Leviton but would like to try the Jena Labs Cryo-Hubbel outlets.
Buy commercial grade. Same contacts as hospital grade. Price about $4. at Home Depot. Yes their is hype out there.
All electrical Outlets are manufactured by Arrow Hart, Schurter, Hubbell, Leviton, Eagle, Pass and Seymour, or other large electrical manufacturers.
$200.00 for one of these ( regardless of what is done to it ) is absurd.
I saw an entire case of "Audiophile" AC outlets sitting in the floor of another manufacturers facility last year. When I ask if he had bought them to install in his system, he replied, "No, I' me just getting the plating and cryo treatment done for them so they can resell 'em."
We are talking about outlets purchased for $3.00 to 5.00. (Maximum). Add $2.50 for plating and $12.00 A POUND for cryo treatment. Do you think this makes it a good value?
The new 20 amp slim line Hubbell is the best I have tried. It has huge contact area with a strong grip, and features unplated copper in the contact areas, including the back strap. It is constructed about three times the mass and strength of a typical outlet.
Cost is $15.00 from your local Hubbell dealer, and available in gray, ivory, black or orange. All are marked with the identifying dot that means it passes "special ground" specifications.
No question that cryo treatment improves the Hubbell, AND every other brand of outlet. I personally started with the best and then got the cryo treatment done myself
As for the Arrow Hart 8200 Killerpiglet, there is nothing wrong with this outlet at all. In my opinion, better than the ones I saw in the floor at my friends. You are definitely in the best bang for the buck category right now. If you want to go crazy, cryo what you have or do a set of Hubbell and forget about the high price spread.
In my modest system, I've compared some older orange isolated ground Levitons and Bryants, the Pass and Seymour 5262, the Arrow Hart 8200 and the Hubbell 8300 (the P&S is and industrial grade plug-the Arrow and Hubbell hospital grade). In my system I prefer the Arrow Hart and have replaced all the receptacles (at the wall and line coniditioner) that the system draws from. As Albert says, the Hubbell 8300's are built very solidly, but I actually prefer the AH 8200. If you were to try something else, you might want to try the ACME outlet over at Audioasylum for $25 to $35 (depending on cryo or no cryo I think) with one outlet to see if you get an improvement. Lots of hype on that one being great-I'd be curious to see if it was significantly better than your Arrow Harts, but I think you've got a pretty good receptacle in those.
Good outlets ARE important, but I agree with Albert and Hdm above re going "overboard". I personally use Hubbell audio grade from the Cable Co. @ 2/$25., Leviton hospital grade, and I have 2 Acme w/o cryo treating. The Acme's initially cause a significant brightness in the mids and low treble (they are a Pass & Seymour that has been silver plated), but that goes away in 2-3 weeks. I tried them 'cuz it's a local company (to me), and the guy offers your money back after 30 days if you're not satisfied-- I have been satisfied. Cheers. Craig.
On the "Audioasylum" site under cables... find a lot of talk on how the "orange" Levitons gradually make your system sound terrible. I too put one in my wall and gradually the sound went to hell. I couldn't figure out what was wrong.. But realized the the only thing it COULD be was the outlet! I changed it and the sound went back to "normal". Then on the Audioasylum site others confirmed my experience.
I broke the one I had in my wall apart and it was all oily inside... ??? ... I do NOT understand why the Orange Levitons go bad , but can testify that in fact they DO!
Elizabeth: I may have been one of those poster's. It took me quite some time to figure out what had gone "sour" in the the system (with the outlet being the very last thing that was checked). The sound gradually degraded over a period of 60-90 days with a recessed midrange being the most noticable aspect. I broke the outlet in with my old Kirby vacuum (huge motor on this one) which may have accelerated the process. Had I not seen the other posts @ AA (as you did), I probably would have tried another Leviton (thinking the one in use to be defective).
........a mistake re my above post. I've used Pass & Seymour hospital grade (not Leviton) with success. They are very well constructed and have good grip. I'm surprised to hear of the apparent problem with the Leviton(s) though as I've mostly heard good things about them. Craig
I know that some specific Pass & Seymour's are highly respected over at the AA cable forum. Can't remember the specific part numbers, but a search would turn them up.
As to Albert's comment's, if you break most of this stuff down to the bare essentials, most of it is "absurd" in terms of price. Other than that, can you give us a specific part number for the Hubbell's if you've still got a box lying around? I'm sure that others would be interested in that also. Sean
Another thought Killerpiglet, as long as you are getting new lines put in, some cable companies have wiring you can purchase, instead of the cheapo stuff the electician is installing. I would do this if I was wiring anew again.
Sean: The most desired stock P&S outlet is the 5242 (the least expensive model:-). It is also the hardest to find though. I have been using the 5252 which has more "silver colored" metal on the backside and which is considered not to be as good because of this. Still a nice sounding outlet (some six months later) with an exceedingly strong grip. I would recommend the P&S's for general use as well (behind heavy furniture and such) so that lamp plugs, etc., stay where they belong and do not create a safety issue.
Brianmgrarcom, I'm planning on getting the cable myslef. I agree, might as well do it right.
Don't be so quick to say that Dekay! You may change your mind shortly......
Killerpiglet, here is a link to an example of what I was talking of, just for reference.
My brother works on commercial job sites. At the site he is working, they are using 20 amp Hubbel outlets; he is able to bring two home for me. Is there any numbers, etc., I should look for to verify they are what I want?
He did say they said CR-20 on them, if that means aything.
Not sure which Hubbles work best, you may want to look in Audioasylum. I've seen especif models discussed there.
They should, I think, at least say 'Hospital Grade' on the box.