I took the inexpensive route and went with a Leviton 5262-W duplex outlet, which is a copy of the more expensive Hubbell 5262-W outlet. FWIW, the Shunyata SR-Z1 is a Hubbell outlet that's been cryoed.
No change in sound with the upgraded outlet, but it really does grip the plug. When you consider all the cheap connections and circuit breakers in the service entrance (panel), it's hard to justify spending a lot of money on wall outlets.
High end outlets are a worthy improvement. I have Oyaide, and Synergistic Blue, and they are both a big improvement over standard code outlets. Hospital grade is a joke, don't bother. Will merely grip better, that is all.
It seems to me however that outlets are not worth the money until after you've already made improvements to power cords and power conditioner. That is because the expense of just one outlet is a pretty decent percentage of the cost of a conditioner or power cord. The conditioner handles several components. The outlet only two. So usually it would be conditioner first, then the outlet everything plugs into. Unless of course the wall outlet is total loose crap, in which case its probably worth the money just to not have to keep pushing it back in all the time.
But this business of what to do and in what order is really small potatoes. Bottom line, yes, a good high end outlet is a worthy of doing.
I use the Pangea wall duplex for my Audioquest Powerquest 2. This is specifically for my TV, Cable box, and router. It is quite sufficient. For the real deal, I use an Audioquest NRG Edison Duplex that is terminated to a dedicated 20 amp line. Connected to that is an Audioquest Niagara 3000 for my entire 2-channel system. It works exceptionally well and was a significant step up from the standard 15 amp line with a standard wall outlet. The difference is remarkable.
If you are going to have a power conditioner than you absolutely should change the wall duplex to at least a respectable grade unit. Even without a power condition there is still plenty of benefit by having a respectable grade wall outlet. I find the Audioquest NRG Edison Duplex to be the best value, considering the materials and the build quality. There are more expensive, but I don't believe they are necessarily any better for delivery of current. You will increase the capacity of your system every time you increase the quality of ancillary components (and yes, I do believe that AC delivery is a component of an audio system). The more you do for your system the better it will be able to deliver its capacity. This applies to all applications, such as vibration management/control. But that is an entirely different subject. Regarding AC, I stick to my above statement.
Audioquest nrg Edison grips like a gorilla...got my AQ niagara 1200 plugged into one, and my furman pst-8 into the other. The circuit is an independent 20 amp from panel with 12/2 romex. Power chords include an AQ Thunder, and several AQ nrg X3’s.
Hello pgaulke! Any big hardware store will have tamper resistant (kids can't get shocked), very heavy duty 20 amp duplex outlets (Pass & Seymore - LeGrande; they are black nylon faces - hospital grade are yellow and not as good) and blue plastic, "new work," boxes (cut off the mounting tabs) that accommodate three duplex outlets. Put 'em together with a heavy duty three conductor power cord (Home depot orange extension cords used for power tools at construction sites - cut off the female end) and a heavy duty three prog plug (if you didn't use the construction site extension cord) and you will have at least 85% of the $500 and up fancy power outlet gadgets. The black outlets grip so tightly that you will have a hard time putting in the cords from your audio gear. You can get shielded power cord in bulk from Belden. DIY gives you lots of unspent $$ for music, gear, and concert tickets. Keep smiling.
I’ve tried 4 different audiophile ac outlets and find them a very worthy upgrade although which you’ll prefer will be dictated by your preference(s) in sound. Below is what I heard with each. I installed them in a PS Audio P600 and then tried the Porter Ports and Cruze Audio Maestro in the wall as well.
Oyaide SWO: compared to the orange outlet that came with the P600, the SWO was warmer and slightly more detailed. I felt the bass was too prominent and loose though and would go with stock over the SWO. Compared to the Oyaide R1, Porter Port, and Cruze Audio Maestro the SWO was the least detailed, rolled off on top, opaque, and sloppy sounding all around. I sold it shortly afterwards.
Oyaide R1: this is a rather good outlet. The detail is there is spades. Imaging is also much better, both in outlines and depth. PRAT also improves quite obviously. The R1 really invigorates the sound. The only negative of the R1 is that the Porter Port and the Maestro are both noticeably more transparent (in my systems).
Porter Port: way better than the Oyaide SWO and preferable to the R1 and it does a better job of getting out of the way. The R1 has better control and "sounds" better doing all the audiophile things except the Porter is purer. I could easily see how some would prefer the R1 but I’m big into hearing more into the sounds and the Porter allows that more than the R1
Cruze Audio Maestro: this is my favorite outlet combining the sound of the R1 and the Porter. It has almost as much control as the R1 and almost the transparency of the Porter but beats out both by not having any real shortcomings. I keep 2 of these and 2 of the Porters in my PS Audio P600 and had another in the wall until I became a renter and got a little lazy about those kinds of upgrades.
comparing the Porter and the Maestro I find the Porter has a slight advantage in transparency though it sounds a bit loose, that is the bass and dynamics are slightly subdued in comparison.
As a ex- summer electrician, I can tell you the simplest thing to do is to use any 110v outlet device, but remove the push in wires and bend them to tighten them with onto the device with the screws. If you have aluminum wiring (Mostly in houses built in the 1970's and 1980's, use some car battery terminal lube on the base and screw.
I have used first PS Audio wall receptacles first and then Furutech GTX D NCF to feed my entire 2 channel stereo system. Everytime I upgraded my wall receptacles I experienced a big improvement in the sonic performance of my entire system. Furutech was much more expensive than the PS Audio unit but it took my entire system performance to a different tier all together. I felt like I am having a virtual power conditioner in my system with the Furutech units. Improvements came throughout the entire frequency domain. However what possibly helped this upgrade is another foundation work in the AC power domain. I had installed two dedicated 10 guage circuits before replacing the wall receptacles. With these two changes I don't feel any compelling reason to look for a power conditioner in my system. Thanks.
A friend and myself did a shootout plugging my amp into a double ( ! ) cryro'd hospital grade , a lower grade Pangea , a P.S. Audio PPC and an Audioquest NRG Edison which was the winner . We to our ears we defiantly heard differences . So depending on your budget , I sure that there are others that would equal and maybe surpass the Audioquest but at least you have information from multiple forum responders to try an outlet upgrade . Good Luck
Installing a 20A or 30A dedicated line may be as beneficial as an audiophile duplex. Highly recommended if you have easy access to route the cable. If you drill the holes and pull the cable yourself, as well as supply your audiophile duplex and the correct circuit breaker for your brand of breaker box, an electrician should be able to complete the job in less than an hour. Or you can study YouTubes and do it yourself. Your local codes may allow for installation of a gang box directly on the floor (rather than in the wall) which makes the job easier and you may find upward facing outlets much easier to use than horizontal ones.
I've gotten better results with the Synergistic Blue and Black outlets over the Shunyata cryo and the PS Audio Power Port outlets. I'm tempted to try their Orange outlets (the Orange fuses are great), but in my setup, getting to my two dedicated outlets is a real PITA...
I have 2 20amp cheap outlets and older oyaide and furutech gtx-d (R). Each step up is worthwhile. I'm considering SR Orange outlet in hopes of gaining a little more mid-upper bass energy and clarity. Can anyone comment on their relative EQ compared to furutech rhodium? Has anyone compared maestro to SR blue or orange?