hospital grade or commercial grade receptacles ?

What is the difference ? Is it really worth ten times the price to get hospital grade receptacles ? Why ?
Is one brand really superior to another? Is Pass &
Seymore a good brand ? Hubble better ?
I am setting up a closet to house my mid-fi gear and
will be running two dedicated 20A. lines to run the
2-channel audio and the home entertainment equipment. I
will have two double (2 duplex receptacles) on each 20A
Thank you in advance.
UHF magazine put it this way : when they put a high-end plug on their electric kettle, the water boiled 20 per cent faster.

High-grade plugs and receptacles improve the power transfer to your equipment. You have to decide whether the gain is worth it to you. I have always been able to hear the difference myself.
Hubbell and FIM are both excellent.

However, it's sonically more beneficial to go with which ever receptacle has been cryogenically treated.

The only difference between standard outlets and hospital-grade outlets is how tightly they grip the blades of the plug. High-end outlets, plugs, and power cords have no advantage - none - over standard equipment of the same capacity except that they look better and feel better. The rest is in people's minds. There are no measurable differences. Not a one. Cryogenics means nothing to power lines. Not a thing.

You've already done the right thing by running dedicated 20A lines. It might help (but only a little bit) if you keep the amps and other components on separate circuits, and only due to potential voltage sags. Some people think digital components put garbage on the power circuits, but I've never seen one measurement to prove it.

One exception might be power line filtering, if you have a problem with noise or spikes. Isolation transformers and the like can sometimes make a difference, especially for source components, but most people don't live in areas with a problem. My advice is to get a dealer to loan you the equipment for a day or two. If there's an obvious improvement, buy it. If not, save your money.

Don't waste too much money on powercord-related stuff. Save your money for better speakers, acoustical treatments, amps, and source components (probably in that order). Those are the things that make a difference. Use your head and reason, don't just read advertising and bogus magazine reviews. How could an outlet provide such a superior connection that water boiled 20% faster? That's poppycock. Put on your thinking cap.
I use Wattgate and even my wife heard the difference. So to answer your question high end plugs will improve your audio and video presentation. As for brands like any thing else you may want to experiment and determine for your self

Hope this helps
Almost all hospital grades (with the exception of the 20 amp Hubbell hospital grade sold by Albert Porter and Take Five Audio) have nickel plated contacts, which I would suggest you avoid. In that respect, you are best to stick with a spec grade receptacle. My personal preference, not having heard the non-plated Hubbell above, would be either a Hubbell 5262 or 5362. I have doubts as to whether I would be able to differentiate between those receptacles.

Different receptacles have very different sonic signatures, and cryo will make a significant difference IMO.
Contrary to the respondent a couple posts above, power cords and receptacles do make a difference. If you can, I would chase down on A'gon some of the "Porter Ports" that member Albert Porter was kind enough to make available. I have one and it did make a difference. Reasonably priced too.

Good luck,
If power receptacles make a difference (and I doubt it) you would be better off using ones designed for high current high voltage applications, like you stove or clothes dryer. These have contacts with much greater contact area, and some have a twist-to-lock feature that provides a wiping action for the contacts.
Check out PS Audio outlets, they are the best I have seen.
To those that say outlets (or power cords, or plugs) have a sonic signature... how do you believe this happens? You have many, many feet of 12-14ga Romex (or equivalent) in your house. Some of you have aluminum wires. Then you assume that the termination of all of that simple, cheap wiring at the outlet, as compared to a different termination (that can be shown to have inconsequential resistance), has a sonic signature? This is akin to astrology. I have no doubt that some people believe they hear differences, but the far and away most likely scenario is that there are no differences between outlets (that function properly within their specs), no sonic differences attributable to cryogenics, and that same reasoning can be extended to power cords with reasonable gauges for the loads involved. The difference you think you hear isn't real. It's in your head and nowhere else.

Even if you assume, just for the point of argument, that there is a difference in sonics that could happen between outlets, how would that difference survive the voltage step-down of the component's power transformer? Or the rectification to DC? Or the capacitors? Before all of those electrons hit any sort of active circuitry?

Doesn't this seem unreasonable? Did all of you sleep during high school physics? I'm assuming there's no one arguing here that even vaguely understands electrical engineering...
Another pointless battle between those who hear differences and those who don't- which has to depend, I have come to believe, not on differences of hearing but on the resolution and nature of the equipment used. In my case, Wattgates and FIM outlets sound different from one another in easily described ways, and better than stock, by far. No competition, no subtle differences, night and day stuff. In my experience, too, although not with outlets, I don't like the sound of cryo'd components: they tend, consistently, to sound more forward, with less air around images, than stock versions of the same. It's a matter of taste.
In response to Irv,

I'm not saying that physics doesn't matter. And I'm not a scientist-- although I am a professor, and therefore used to thinking skeptically, and demanding proof from myself and from my students in our work in the humanities. And heck if I know why some outlets (and power conditioners, and power cords) sound different. But the fact is, they do (at least through my Audio Research electronics, Vandersteens, and good cabling: your equipment might reveal more or fewer of these differences. Some equipment, including very, very good equipment, doesn't change much when altering peripherals). And not a little, and not subtley. You don't have to be a true believer, or a crank. This is audible, and easily audible, to people who don't care one way or the other (such as my wife). In my case, FIM outlets were too dark sounding for the associated equipment-- a phenomenon many others attest to independantly-- and Wattgates were much clearer and brighter (the same applies). As with so many other things in science, one notices the phenomenon first, and then hopes to find the the underlying mechanism that explains it. Although we try to pretend it isn't, much medical research is based upon this fact.
Here's a plausible explanation as to why power cords make a difference:

It's my understanding that standard wiring for 15 amp house circuits is 14 AWG with three conductors. Many components come with detachable cheap 18 AWG power cords with molded connectors. The 18 AWG cords can present a bottleneck between house wiring and a component's internal wiring. Whether one hears a difference with thicker wires, depends on the quality of the component's internal wiring. High quality amplifiers may use anywhere from 14 to 8 AWG internally. In that case, common sense tells me that better cables will make a noticeable difference.

BTW: Recommend you check out Pinnacle power cords made by Panamax. They have excellent specs for the money. I found them surfing the web...

Best regards,

Oh no--not again!
Hard wire is best!
Believing you hear a difference is not proof. I'm not personally a fan of using double-blind testing to figure out what makes a difference (taking such a test is so annoying I think it masks differences), but I think it is necessary to have at least a vague theory about why some change will make a difference. This is where special outlets, power cords, plugs, and the like, fail the test.

Electricity is not a mystery. Not even a little bit. Electrical behavior is not like biology. There aren't any new phenomena being observed. This has nothing to do with quantum physics, no similarity with the origins of life... electrical engineering is not a field where the fundamentals are poorly understood. I hate to break this to you, but the very existence of microchips proves that electrical behavior is understood to a very, very high level. We know how electrons behave at stupendously low current levels, very high frequencies, and with every known conductor, and this audio and AC power stuff is simplistic by comparison.

There is no known way that there can be a difference between two electrical outlets, both with similar resistance (like, effectively zero for any properly functioning outlet), sufficient to alter the current flow in any meaningful way. Forget EMI. That's microvolts compared to 110-120v from the wall. Six to eight orders of magnitude difference? The length of the current path and the amount of metal involved is small enough that any reasonable copper alloy will be nearly perfect. Even silver would only make a 5% conductance difference within the outlet, but within the total context of the mains circuit path that 5% would be inconsequential. (And it ain't 5% of volts, so that if silver is 100v copper would be 95v. It's a 5% increase in resistance, and since V=current x resistance, and current is large and the resistance of copper is so small to begin with, the overall difference is very small.)

I'm sorry guys, but what you are professing, that there are differences in sonics due to different properly functioning conductors in the mains power path, is unreasonable. Asserting there are differences because you think you hear them is not only bad science, it's just plain provably wrong. I don't care that there are companies or seemingly expert people in the industry that say there are differences, there aren't. They can't explain why those differences would occur, and electricity ain't a mystery.

There are things I've purchased where I've definitely exhibited having more money than sense. For my amps I made power cords using 12/3 Carol cable and Marinco plugs and IECs. They're the right length and the plugs sure do look cool, and 12/3 looks nice and thick. Overkill, oh yeah. Difference in sound over the molded cords that came with the amps? Nope. There's 119v measured at the outlet and at the IEC end of the power cord. That's all that's important. Those big old transformers in the amp are going to change everything anyway. If you want to justify high-end power stuff because it looks cool or feels cool... I'm into it. But to argue there's a "sonic signature"? You're kidding yourselves. You might as well pray to idols for better sound.
11-12-04: Swklein
Another pointless battle between those who hear differences and those who don't- which has to depend, I have come to believe, not on differences of hearing but on the resolution and nature of the equipment used.

Hmmm... My equipment is mid-line. An ML39 feeding a Sony TA-E1, driving twin ML334's vertically biamping a pair of Legacy Focus. Pretty good resolution, though below, say, Maggie 20.1's, IMO. Still, better than a boombox.
As someone already said, ANOTHER one of these 'I can't hear it so it doesn't exist' guys.

I personally cannot hear lots of differences others can hear. That doesn't mean those differences don't exist. I believe it's the height of egotistical arrogance to believe that if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist, and some engineers are that arrogant. Reminds me of the medical practitioners of decades ago.

Obviously some claims made by designers/sellers are bogus; most aren't. ALL deserve to be viewed be investigated one by one, by anyone with ears. Just as some systems resolve more information than others, some PEOPLE can hear some differences others can't.

I believe that EVERY change makes an audible difference. It's up to each of us to determine which of those differences are significant..."audible"...and which aren't. Saying they can't exist really doesn't help.
11-12-04: Jburidan
Here's a plausible explanation as to why power cords make a difference:

It's my understanding that standard wiring for 15 amp house circuits is 14 AWG with three conductors. Many components come with detachable cheap 18 AWG power cords with molded connectors. The 18 AWG cords can present a bottleneck between house wiring and a component's internal wiring. Whether one hears a difference with thicker wires, depends on the quality of the component's internal wiring. High quality amplifiers may use anywhere from 14 to 8 AWG internally. In that case, common sense tells me that better cables will make a noticeable difference.

No difference unless the component draws enough current so that 18ga power cord heats up, increases in resistance, and therefore lowers the available voltage to the component. 18ga might not be enough for a Krell KMA-100, but for most Class AB amps you'd have to drive them really hard to make an 18ga power cord the limiter. It'll be more of a fire hazard than a hazard to bad sound quality. I'm not recommending 18ga power cords, but in reality for a 6ft length with most components there won't be a difference, except in our heads. :)
Hi everyone,

Receptacles can definitely make a difference. Hospital grade receptacles grip *tighter* for safe use in oxygen-rich environments (like hospitals where they often pump oxygen into people.) Tighter connection = better energy transfer.

Tighter is better -- if you have an electric stove, put a kettle on a burner (turned to high) and wait for it to boil. When it starts to make that pre-boiling sound, apply pressure to the top of the kettle, pushing down. The sound will get louder. By applying pressure, you improved the contact from the burner to the kettle, and you can hear the difference. Your water will boil a lot faster if you keep pressing down on the kettle.

Similar principles apply to receptacles. If this weren't the case then hifi equipment designers wouldn't need to solder anything -- they could just make sure that the ends of their wires sorta touch. Of course they don't do that because they know that the quality of the contact is important.
Maybe I'm missing something, but among all of the posts that I've read by those who report scientific data to insist that PC's and outlets don't make any difference, I don't recall anyone saying, "I've tried, XYZ $50 cord against XYZ $600-1000 cords (or outlets), and found no audible difference in the sound." Just curious, but isn't scientific theory confirmed by lab work these days?
Drobbins is right,
Tighter is better!!!! In so many things.
If you've ever plugged something into an old outlet, and had sparks shoot out,that's what a less than tight fit will do.I really feel the connections do more than the wire itself, providing the wire is a proper gage to begin with.

Let the battle continue.
Buy yourself a bunch of Porterports and use them. Nobody has ever complained/regretted buying them.
Excellent advice and information, thank you to all.
I am thinking to go with isolated hospital receptacles on
a dedicated line with 12/3 wire. I will use one of the shielded wires as the ground (rapped in green tape at the ends) so as to pick up less, if any, interference as compared to the bare ground wire. Using the Isolated H.S.
grade receptacles will finish the isolated route and offer
a secure and tight fit at the wall. Does this make sense and sound correct ? Is a seperate ground, at the breaker box, needed for the isolation process to be complete for the dedicated line ?
Please keep the info coming. We are almost there !
Saki70..There isn't any shielded conductor in common 12/3 wire used in houses. What makes you think that green tape will stop "interference" better than bare wire? (Have you tried red tape?) Why not use the bare ground wire? This conductor carries no current except for leakage resulting from a fault in the neutral (white) wire. A safety issue.

Quality outlets are desirable because the elcheapo ones wear out and the contacts get loose. If the contacts get loose, so that the plug tends to fall out, then you do have a problem.
Search the archives for posts on power by Lak and Psychicanimal. You'll find ideas that go a good way beyond what you have planned, but if isolation is important to you, you might be happy to know about them.

One key point for me was the return or neutral (white) connection. When the electrician installed my dedicated line, he ran a separate hot wire from the breaker box for it but connected the neutral to a common bus. The isolation was only partial and I had to have it redone.
Getting back to the original post, I hate hospital grade wall plugs. Their only purpose is to not spark when cords are unplugged. They are not as conductive and sound terrible. I have bags of them.

On the question of whether wall plugs sound different, I will say try them. If you hear a difference, ignore those who say you cannot. You are not delusional; they are.
What I was refering to, was the use of the insulation on
the third wire as a means of insulating against possible stray interference from outside forces, maybe not totally but of some use as compared to the bare ground. The green tape was to identify it as a ground wire should anyone else
get in there.

Please excuse my ignorance, but what did you have to have redone with the neutral wire ? What was the procedure ?
Is that the same as a seperate ground ? Did it require further equipment ?
Hospital Grade recept's have nylon faceplates for durability. They have increased plug pullout specs per UL standards - they grip like a heart attack.

Spec Grade, Commercial Grade are ad words with no standards to compare them. However, they are *all* much better than the trash "contractor" or "builder", sub $1.00, items sold unboxed at the home center. They have screw connectors instead of the trash stab-in connections. I've replaced all my switches and receptacles w/ Leviton Spec grade (FIM's on the A/V outlets). The remaining 50% of the equation is to torque the connections per mfgr. specification -- NEC and UL required. It's impossible to guess at this. And to clean the receptacle terminals prior, since they're dirty right out of the box.
Hi Saki70, the thing is just to make sure that both hot (black) and neutral (white) sides of your dedicated line are truly independent, all the way from your system outlets back to the circuit breakers at the point where the electrical service enters the house.

My dedicated line was installed at the same time as other parts of the house were rewired. The electrician set up a central bus connection for neutral on the first floor. Nothing odd there, since the breaker box is on the second floor and it made connections easier for him. But the sound system is on the first floor. He ran the sound system's hot wire directly back to the breaker, but he only ran the neutral back to the first floor bus.

The problem then was that the bus connection was shared by all the ground floor circuits, so my system line was no longer entirely independent. Any noise on the neutral wire was shared. It made having a dedicated line sort of pointless.

The electrician had assumed that the reason I wanted a dedicated line was to keep the whole 15 amps of service on that circuit available to the sound system and nothing else. He didn't understand that the most important reason for having the dedicated line was to isolate the system from noise generated by sources in the house like the refrigerator, the computers and the washing machine.

To make the isolation point even more clearly, I'll mention that when I replaced the standard 3-conductor, plastic-insulated 12 gauge wire in the dedicated line with Belden 83802 double-shielded (to cut radio-frequency noise pickup), the background noise level dropped even more. My ears liked that a lot.

I got my Belden wire from the Subaruguru (Ernie Meunier), here at Audiogon.
Boa2 was made the most helpful response to a lot of the sophomoric statements made so far. Irv, scientific theory is proven by expereince, not more theory. Just because you don't know how to measure something doesn't mean it is not true. Electricity is not nearly as simple as might be suggested. I doubt that the last one hundred years taught us everything there is to know of this science.

A scientific proof is one that is observable and repeatable. Which of those has been demonstrated here?

I think you should buy enough Porter Ports to redo your entire house. Albert needs to do some tube rolling in his Aesthetix!
Now look, frankly I wouldn't have wasted my time with this discussion, but telling someone that electrical outlets affect the "sonic signature" of a stereo system is just so much nonsense I couldn't stand it. There is no need to measure the effect of outlets on sound because they can't have the effects being described here. You are assuming that processes you are ignorant of can have effects you wish for. There are many, many things that can effect the sound of an audio system, but different properly functioning electrical outlets are not one of them. I don't think I'm going out on a limb at all by saying there will be no new science in this area. Ever.

And by the way, this discussion was not sophomoric. I asked why anyone thought an outlet could affect the sound of an audio system and I didn't get one response. All of the responses essentially said "it just does". I just hope the original poster has the common sense not to listen to this baloney.
Dude, shut up--you don't know what you're saying. Enough.

Telling apart a Venezuelan from a Puerto Rican or Cuban waitress is *much* harder unless they speak with their respective accents. BTW, I just went to this Latin American buffet in Kissimmee and the waitresses were Venezuelan...*mature* waitresses, that is. TWL, take note. Got to tell their age by their hands, gums and elbows. They seem to age well!

The Psychic has spoken.
Irv, EVERY change in equipment creates a change in the resulting sound, whether YOU can hear it. For instance, decades ago I laughed when my 'golden-eared' buddy talked about elevating speakercables from the carpet. Later in a single-blind test, my jaw dropped when I opened my eyes to see him holding the 2 cables off the ground after I had heard a substantial improvement in the sound...and I'M NOT the G-E audiophile, I'm the generally-tinned-eared audiofool (and I imagine you'd agree with at least the last part. :-) ).

EVERY change makes a difference. Most of them, most of us can't hear. But that doesn't mean there's no difference and that doesn't mean SOMEONE isn't hearing it.

But of course all of this doesn't mean that some of us at some time aren't deluding ourselves into hearing a change that doesn't really exist. That's why each of us has to be careful and methodical about these kinds of changes.
Don't read this folks, it's a rant.

Audiophilia is prime territory for quacks and snake oil salesmen. We all know it. We can all get taken in. So what?

A lot of us got taken in by the promise of the CD: perfect sound forever, they said. There were lots of reasons why. There was no argument, whether common-sense or scientific, to say why CD sound at the time of its introduction was worse, not better, than high-end analog. So we sold our LP collections for a song. Analog diehards snapped them up, at the price of being called flat-earthers.

But as an audiophile buddy of mine said, who cares? Why should "perfect sound forever" have made any of us sell off our LPs?

There are and have been plenty of other audio manias around. Balanced connections, optical digital, switch mode power supplies. I'm about to test Steve Nugent's contention that a 1.5 meter digital interconnect sounds better than one meter of the same wire. He has a technical explanation but I am going to let my ears make the decision. Hey, why not, if I have the extra cable and the connectors at hand?

I like well-built stuff. I can feel or see the difference in the construction quality of a high-grade plug, and I can hear the difference a good power cord makes. If it makes any difference to anyone, I have compared a standard 3-dollar molded cord, to a Wireworld Stratus homebuilt, to an Ernest Meunier (Subaruguru) PC13 Kit, to an Ensemble Powerflux, all on my Klyne SK-5A preamp, and I chose on the basis of the best sound I could afford.

I could hear the difference when I switched my system's AC wire and I was rather surprised. I was not fooling myself, it was not some itty bitty change. Music was clearer and more detailed, just easier to hear. I guess that some kind of interference had been eliminated, and I presume it was RF because the new cable was designed to deal with RF and I live in a high-RF neighbourhood. But I cannot tell you that I really do know why the darn wire made a difference. It just did. That matters to me, and I am willing to share my very small experience with Saki70. Who cares if there is no measurable difference between the old wire and the new?

I am not going to say I heard a difference with good power receptacles. All I know about them is that I have dollar ones at my cottage and they are a hazard. Plugs fall out of them. The fridge shuts down while I'm away for 2 weeks and I have to clean up the mess when I get back. Wobbly connections mean lights flicker on and off and the stereo spits. I have got to replace all of them. I am mad at the guy who used them.

Just on principle, I use good AC plugs in my sound system. That is common sense. I am taking care of something I value. It doesn't cost a whole lot to do it. I suppose one day I could try a cheap plug, or a different plug, and listen for a different sonic signature, but right now I just don't want to bother.

UHF magazine boils their water faster these days. I don't suppose it's any cheaper--I don't think any unused watts get thrown in the trash--but they get their coffee 20 per cent quicker in the morning. It's worth it to them.

Oh heck , maybe I got the number wrong. Maybe it's only 10 per cent quicker.

But who cares?
I second Psychicanimal about Irvrobinson. He would not know science if it bit him, yet he pretends to be authoritative.
Feel free to choose your own line of reasoning, but the only truth I answer to in audio is the one informed by my own two ears.

And that is my final answer, Regis.
Irv, at the risk of boring you senile, I will relate my own expereince. I stopped reading Stereophile, and more or less dropped off the Audiophile wagon when they started talking about Powercords improving the sound of a system. I bought into the whole speaker wire and interconnect making a difference, but now they had crossed the line between reason and nonsense!

Many years later I received an offer to subscribe to Stereophile again for about $12. I thought, at that price even if they were still crazy, I could justify the expense by finding one or two good articles over the course of the year.

I was surprised to hear that years later they were still going on about PCs. I was still skeptical, but I marched down to my local HiFi supplier and bought a cheap Transparent Audio PC. It was $100 which at the time was a fair precentage of my entire Stereo investment. I placed the cord on my pre-amp and fired everything up.

I was fully prepared to yell "Ha, I told you lying idiots that this was all foolishness and you are stupid if you think anyone in their right mind will fall for this!" loud enough that the guys at Stereophile would hear me all the way from Wisconsin.

That was not to be my expereince. The cord made the pre-amp, and dare I say it, the whole system sound better. I have since replaced all my PCs with a DIY recipe, but along the way I bought a couple of PS Audio (if I were in the market again I would get Porter Ports) outlets. I was again skeptical, but the difference was audible.

If there anyone who should not have heard a difference it would be the adject skeptic. How do you explain my expereince?
Ivr writes:
Now look, frankly I wouldn't have wasted my time with this discussion, but telling someone that electrical outlets affect the "sonic signature" of a stereo system is just so much nonsense I couldn't stand it. There is no need to measure the effect of outlets on sound because they can't have the effects being described here.
If that is one's experience, then it's not nonsense. I changed outlets three times and could hear the difference each time. I could also hear changes as these receptacles broke in a bit - and sometimes they took a while.

You are predisposed into thinking that outlets can't make a difference. I can understand that, as I found it hard to believe myself. But, gee, it's simple and cheap to try with something like a Pass and Seymour 5242.

Even if there were no sonic benefit from one outlet over another, the act of cutting off the existing Romex, stripping it to expose fresh copper, having new contacts that press tighter on the blades of the power cord plug and so on is all good stuff, and could be expected to have an effect.

Nrchy, I can't explain it other than you wanted to hear a difference. Aftermarket power cords, cables, outlets, and other stuff, does look and feel good. Look at Audioquest cables. Perhaps the greatest snake-oil per dollar of any high-end product, yet they are physically very, very nice stuff. Electrically, total BS. But I can see where someone could allow themselves to think they made a difference just because they are so cool looking.

My point is only that power-related stuff is outside of the signal path. It can't make the differences some people think they do, as compared to properly functioning alternatives. There's no more voltage going down the wire, noise isolation makes no difference, and the contact resistance is no lower than what they sell at Home Depot. They can't make more power or cleaner power. If you want that there's AC regeneration (like in some Levinson amps) or Varacs and other power line filtering / voltage leveling components. But even those only keep the power clean and steady, they aren't in the signal path.

Fighting one's own false perceptions is sometimes the toughest battle.
Metralla, outlets are not in the signal path. There is no way anyone I know of can explain how something outside of the signal path could have the effects you and others describe. It smacks of quantum entanglement, but that ain't at work here. :) Electricity is not a mystery. Not even a little bit.
Jeffreybehr, this is simply not the case. You can wish it into your perceptions, but you can't wish it into reality. How can you tell the difference between what you hear and what you think you hear? I've got pretty good hearing, but I've been fooled before into thinking there are differences that really aren't there. Some things are physically impossible.
Tbg... excuse me? I wouldn't know science if it bit me? And you're arguing that something outside of the signal path, that has no measurable differences whatsoever compared to another fully functioning device of the same type, can have subtle effects on things like soundstaging? Give me a break! That's like being called unscientific by a palm reader.
Tobias... run the test yourself man. Jeez. Go for it. Report your results. 20% faster would require a 20% increase in power transfer. Maybe UHF was testing against a 30AWG power cord.
Psychic... I don't have to shut up. If you can't take the heat go away. Buy another $99 outlet or something. Throw pixie dust on your speakers. Paint your CD edges green. Take a pill. Get a shrink. Tell the moderator to throw me off. Maybe he or she can explain to me how an outlet changes soundstage.
"Trust your ears"?

Have you never experienced an optical illusion? What makes you think that the sense of hearing is not subject to being fooled. I do believe that people (well some of them) hear various sonic effects when wires are changed, or the like. It's just that I believe that these sensations, which may be very real, stem from psychological factors. If they were real changes in the electrical signals going to the speakers, they could be measured, and they would have a technically identified cause.
Robin, the basic activity of science is *observation*. In this case, *hearing*. Shut up and listen to the music. Nobody has to explain you nothing. For years scientists thought Liebig's law of the minumum held. Not so in aquatic ecosystems. When I go to the field I *observe* first, then use my instruments and analyze the data. That's how it works.

For the record, I am a scientist, a beta tester for a few small audio companies and a keen observer of women's phenotipe makeups.

With psychic power, primal intensity and boogie factor,
Irvrobinson, this palm reader would call you a flat earther, who totally ignore all the observations that suggest the earth is round. Given what you say I would again say you are not and would not know the scientific method if it bit you.

It is you, sir, who have psyched yourself into not believing your ears. Enjoy your Radio Shack system.
It's startling that with a dash of theorical science in hand, the self-proclaimed experts of power are also signing their own degrees in psychology.

So you think it's bogus, snake-oil, a waste of money. So what? Go ahead and use a piece of yarn for an interconnect. Who cares? You think people are idiots for deluding themselves with the belief that one cable sounds better than another? What skin is it off your back? A simple 'Good for you' would be enough. Just what is the point of beating someone else into the ground over an issue that has already been settled for you?
Psychicanimal, stop telling me to shut up. Observation must be tempered by understanding, or you don't know what you're looking at. In this case, the very notion that something outside of the signal path can have such subtle effects on the signal path is a long stretch at best. When that something outside of the signal path, that has no active circuitry, and has identical measured specs to something you claim is inferior, that's snake-oil, pure and simple. That's lousy science. Circuitry ain't like aquatic systems because you can't observe it, you have to measure it. And for the record, it does not appear you know anything about electronics.
Boa2, this discussion started out, for me, to see if I could keep the original poster from being taken in by you snake-oil salespeople. After that I was simply surprised by the fervor of the counterattack, and the discussion became fun. I'm being told to shut up, go away, and I'm being rather humorously insulted.

By the way, you are confusing my contention that *power cables* and outlets can't affect the sound (as compared to properly functioning and spec'd alternatives) with a blanket statement that all cables can't affect the sound of a system. Interconnects and speaker cables can provably affect a system's sound, though usually if they are incorrectly engineered. If you use 22AWG or smaller speaker cables, interconnects with overly high capacitance, or numerous other situations I can think of off the top of my head, there will likely be audible artifacts. This is because THESE CABLES ARE IN THE AUDIO SIGNAL PATH. See how that works?

On the other hand you would be correct if you assume I don't think there are audible differences between two cables - of any sort - with the same specifications.