Is the Maestro AC outlet basically a cryo'd Cooper BR20 found at Lowes for $3.47?


Quote from an AA member regarding the Maestro AC outlet. 


Image: Cooper BR20 AC Outlet

I think it’s safe to assume the Maestro AC outlet is a Cooper brand product that’s essentially the same or similar to the Cooper BR20 Commercial Grade AC outlet available at Lowe’s for $3.47. If so, the Maestro AC outlet is nothing more than an ordinary hardware store product that’s been cryo’d and treated with a sweet smelling, sticky substance (snake oil?). Perhaps this unknown coating is what can supposedly make a $3.47 AC outlet sound superior to a Furutech or Oyaide product. Sorry for the snarky commentary, but this type of thing can affect the reputation of bonafide Audio Grade AC products. I’m sure you will fully enjoy the new Furutech GTX-D(R) AC outlet, bcowen!

See link:

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/20/202332.html

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Here is the full Tweakers Asylum thread.

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/20/202315.html

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jea48
Thanks for sharing the news on Maestro. I didn't know they were still around. I thought Maestro went out of business after there was no news/listings on Audiogon.
Looks they are still viable to me.
http://www.cruzefirstaudio.com/maestro_outlet.htm
Duster on AA generally does his research and their website does nothing to make me think this is other than a readily available mass-produced outlet without plating that they cryo, coat and somehow "break-in.
I have owned Acme, which are nothing special either, except for silver plating but the late Bob Crump (RIP) endorsed them.
On Saturday, I received a Furutech GTX-D(R) and even compared to the highly regarded (Hubbell HBL5362) Porter Port outlets I use, the Furutech outlet is built like a tank.

mitch2,
Can you please share your comparison of the Furutech vs Porter Port?
I too would like to hear Mitch's thoughts as well on the Furutech GTX-D(R) vs. the Hubbell HBL5362 Porter Ports. I have Porter Ports everywhere in my systems. I just can't picture an outlet at more than 3 times the price outperforming the Porter Ports.
I have been using Furutech for years now before they became 'force' in United States. I started with Hubbell outlets, then switched to FPX (G) and finally to GTX-D (R) on all of my wall outlets, power conditioners and FI-28(R) on my power cords. IMO, every tweak has a cumulative effects on the sound.  The overall synergy of outlets with plugs is simply outstanding.  

I was able to achieve ultra smooth vocals at higher volume, better dynamics, tighter base and excellent tonal balance with Furutech's in my rig. 

I agree it's a expensive upgrade but guys it's worth every penny. The outlets and plugs build quality is phenomenal. 

I won't be trading up to NCF for a good while. 
I just received the Furutech GTX-D(R) on Saturday and have not had time to install it yet.  After I do, I will come back and post my impressions.  I have to agree with lalitk,
The outlets and plugs build quality is phenomenal.
I use their plugs, rca and xlr connectors on cables I make and the build quality of the connectors is excellent.  The build quality of their wire is also very good as I have used their bulk IC, speaker and PC wire.  I have been very happy with the Porter Ports but I was able to purchase the  GTX-D(R) as a "new, open box" item at a very good price so I thought I would see what all the fuss is about.
I use and like the Porter Port outlets. I started to use them when Albert started up the sale years ago. For the price I think they are hard to beat. With that said, I find the Furutech GTX-D (R) outlets to sound superior in both of my systems, I use 5 of the Furutech GTX-D(R) outlets along with some Porter Port outlets. The sound is more dynamic, three dimensional, with more detail and bigger bass. The down side is the price and the "LONG" break in time. Sometimes up to 300 hours! Luckily I have and used my Audiodharma Cable Cooker to break in the outlets and I did not have to put up with the misery that so many others had to listen to during break-in. There is a lengthy discussion in the Audiogon Forum regarding the Furutech GTX-D(R) outlet and other outlets.
These might be the two Forums I was thinking of if you have the time and patients to read through it all. There really is some good information here:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/rhodium-vs-gold-ac-connectors

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/what-are-your-impressions

Best regards
I was told by someone in the industry that I trust, Maestro is just a cryo'd hospital grade outlet.  

Eventually I replaced all my Maestro outlets with Furutech GTX-D(R) and it was NO contest.   Furutech is much much superior.
I was told by someone in the industry that I trust, Maestro is just a cryo’d hospital grade outlet.

No green dot.... For the receptacle to be a hospital grade outlet it would have to have the green dot.

Looking at the picture of the Maestro outlet compared to the Cooper BR20 Commercial grade outlet they are identical. Right down to the Trade Mark found around the wall plate mounting support screw hole.


http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/20/202332.html

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 Luckily I have and used my Audiodharma Cable Cooker to break in the outlets
Great point lak.  My new GTX-D(R) will take a detour to the cable cooker before I install it.  Did you condition each plug inlet separately?

Because of the expensice I purchased them one at a time or two at a time and daisy chained a pair together.

This photo is not mine, it came from the following website: http://www.audioexcellenceaz.com/ Photo:http://www.audioexcellenceaz.com/products/audiodharma-cable-cooker-cable-conditioner/#jp-carousel-17...
That's certainly disappointing if the Cruze Audio Maestro is simply a Cooper BR20 outlet, cryoed and nothing more but.... actually, I wouldn't mind at all.  I would buy a nice stash of the Coopers and send them off for cryoing and then have several of these fine outlets for very little $$$.  I have a few of these, a few more Porter Ports, and had the Oyaide R1 and SWO-GX.  The SWO-GX was hugely outclassed by the other three sounding opaque, slow, bloated... not only nothing special but a hindrance to clarity, transparency, and pacing.  The R1 was nicely detailed with a clearly defined soundstage and excellent control but both the Maestro and the Porter were obviously less colored and more transparent.  I think the Porter may be the slightest bit more transparent but it sounds less controlled, almost a bit loose compared to the Maestro.  I have no experience with the Furutech outlets so can't comment on them but the Cooper/Cruze Audio Maestros are legitimate, higher end outlets.  Buy them from Lowe's for $3.47?  You bet I'll check into that.  I agree the mark-up and deception in audio is B.S.  but don't dismiss the Maestros.  Just my 2cents worth...

lcherepkai,

JMHO the cooper BR20 is in no way in the same league as the Cryo’d Porter Port, (Hubbell HBL5362 Extra Heavy Duty Industrial Series duplex receptacle.)

http://www.hubbell-wiring.com/press/catalog/a.pdf

Look at pages A-12 and A-13

The Hubbell retails for around $28.00


The Cooper BR20 is just a cheap garden variety spec grade commercial grade outlet. The cooper BR20 has a galvanized steel back strap for starters. That alone is bad for the SQ of audio equipment.


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Here may be an ever bigger bargain for you to try.

http://highend-electronics.com/products/synergistic-research-black-uef-duplex-receptacle


The outlet looks like it is made by Pass & Seymour.

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Pass-Seymour-Legrand-20-Amp-125-Volt-Black-Indoor-Duplex-Wall-Tamper-Resista...


Is the back strap made from galvanized Steel on the Synergistic Black AC outlet?

It sure looks like galvanized steel. Easy to check with a magnet.

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Post removed 
Greetings  jea48:

Thank you for the input.  My response, more than anything else, was to defend the sound quality of the Maestro outlets.  The original post seems to suggests that the Maestro doesn't compete with the Oyaides  (and the Furutechs, of which I have no opinion as I have no experience with them).  I've had the R1 and the SWO -GX and the Porters as well.  For transparency and detail, just getting out of the way and letting me hear the most, the Maestro is better than the Oyaides and about the same as the Porters but has more control than the Porter.  In my system(s), the Maestros are at the top.  So, if the Coopers are the same, then surely they must be excellent outlets.  If the Coopers aren't anything special soundwise, then either they aren't the basis for the Maestros or the work that Cruze Audio did/does on the outlets is truly transformative.   The Maestros probably aren't the best sounding outlets on the market but they are fine sounding and won't break the bank like some of the others indicated.  OK, many thanks for you time.
Hey there gents. I have no input on the differences between all these outlets, as I installed the HBL5362w in my wall and in my home made power box. They sound great and I’m not about to dismantle everything for the nth time.

I did want to share, though, that the Hubble 5362 outlets in various colors can be found on Amazon for less than $10 now. I keep seeing a price quoted at $28, which was the going price 6 months ago. I was lucky to find them on Amazon for around $9. Looks like all the other sellers have adjusted their prices downwards. Yay free market capitalism!
In my experience, the Maestro, while a very good outlet, lacks the dynamic vigor it should. It seems not to have a very dynamic upper midrange/lower treble range, which gives it a "polite" sound in comparison to either Synergistic’s Tesla SE or Furutech’s GTX-D receptacles. Of those two, the Tesla is quite a bit more detailed, but then, it is a bit brash in the upper midrange/lower treble. I find that it works fine in the PS Audio Power Plant P300, but when put directly into the wall, although dazzling on vocals ( certain letters, usually the "p", "d", "t" and "s" and "k, as well as words like "kick," "can,""lost" and words that end in the letter "d" (which usually disappears in most vocals), pop out at you, as they would in real life, but with a little added sizzle), they can make classical compositions (especially Mercury Living Presence, already bright in the upper midrange/treble frequencies) sound a bit fatiguing. The Maestro - which has been called "natural" - is clear, but uninvolving on large scale music.
I got a GTX-D NCF a couple of months ago, and was please - and somewhat surprised - with the improvement over the GTX-D Rhodium outlet, which now shows itself to be a bit sterile (heard easily on chest/throat tones even on pop music, especially on female singers, but even Frank Sinatra’s voice lost some of its beauty). The newer outlet fills in that sterility, something I had missed somewhat, due to using an integrated instead of separates over the past few years. (Having finally gotten back to separates, I now have a CJ ET3SE with an EAT tube in it (expensive tube, but it’s quite good).

I’ve generally found the Furutech to be great stuff, but there is a signature sound, somewhat akin to first generation Nordost Valhalla: a slight suckout in the lower midrange/upper bass frequencies, where music has a great deal of its "power" (meaning, fullness and punch, easily heard live in say, Carnegie or Boston Symphony Halls). This is, not coincidentally, where the chest/throat tones of singers also reside. The NCF outlets are an improvement. I still have a GTX-D, but will be removing it tomorrow to put in Synergistic’s Black UEF outlet, when it arrives. What I like about Synergistic is that everything comes with a 30-day guarantee, so if you don’t like it, you can return it. It give the buyer a certain confidence that he/she will not be ’stuck’ with something they don’t like. I’m guessing here, but I imagine the improvement in the newer outlet will cure that brightness I heard. I asked what the improvements were, and was told there was less high frequency hash, more detail, more ’natural’ and better microdynamics. I’m guessing that the "hash" is the lower treble brightness instead of the highest frequencies, which allow music an ’airy’ quality. Just a hunch. For now. Other than that, I found the Synergistic to be quite good. It was hard to decide if I liked the Furutech or the Synergistic (Teslaplex SE, just to be clear) better, but the brightness was not endearing, so, just because of that, I guess the Furutech, while not as detailed, and with less ’pop’ on the consonants mentioned, came out ahead. But I sure missed the Synergistic’s vivid portrayal (somewhat similar to the Oyaide, but not the same: from cut to cut, the Synergistic would tell me about the recording venue, while the Oyaide did not). When a component changes more from cut to cut and record to record, that is an indicator of truer ’neutrality’ to me.
The Oyaide , which I had 5 years ago, initially ’wowed’ me, but eventually I realized it moved the soundstage forward on EVERY recording (RCAs should sound far back in the hall, but not with the Oyaide). The ’signature sound’ was evident on all recordings. resulting in a too-much-the-same sound on all cuts I played. I can see why someone would like it, though. It IS exciting, but it imposes itself too much. If imposition there must be, I prefer it to be less evident, and even then, only on certain genres of music (pop would suffer the least, since most pop music is overproduced and overdubbed), so the Oyaide would just bring the whole presentation ’closer’ to the listener, which will make it sound louder. It saves you the trouble of turning up the volume, too.
As for the steel strap on Synergistic outlets? Ted Denney commented once on this forum that he had seen the comments about the steel strap. The Teslaplex SE has a copper or bronze strap (I can’t remember which), and it seems unlikely, given his comment back then, that the then put a steel strap back on the newest outlet. I’ll know tomorrow, but it doesn’t seem logical to go backwards and put something that can be affected due to magnetic fluxes.

As for the steel strap on Synergistic outlets? Ted Denney commented once on this forum that he had seen the comments about the steel strap. The Teslaplex SE has a copper or bronze strap (I can’t remember which), and it seems unlikely, given his comment back then, that the then put a steel strap back on the newest outlet. I’ll know tomorrow, but it doesn’t seem logical to go backwards and put something that can be affected due to magnetic fluxes.

Just going from memory the first generation Teslaplex duplex receptacles did have a galvanized steel back strap. The second generation had a non ferrous back strap. I believe the duplex receptacles were made by Leviton.

As for the new Synergistic’s Black UEF duplex receptacle you have coming please let us know if the back strap is made from galvanized steel. A magnet will tell the tale.

Also let us know if the duplex receptacle looks like this one.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Pass-Seymour-Legrand-20-Amp-125-Volt-Black-Indoor-Duplex-Wall-Tamper-Resist...

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I’ve had the Synergistic UEF Black in the system for a week.
Let me get the questions posed out of the way.
Yes, it looks like the Pass Seymour outlet.
I did not do the magnet test: I had put it in immediately after it arrived. However, I wrote Synergistic and asked if the backstop was magnetic. Their response? It is a "magnetic alloy." So much for my theory...
Now, on to the sonics.
The first 14 hours, from the minute I played the first cut, around noon on October 27th until 2 a.m. on October 28, it showed promise of being a dazzling performer. The entire presentation was 3-D, meaning it had front-to-back depth instantly, instead of coming into it slowly. Voices (Rick James, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Mick Jagger) were extremely good in their closeness to their analogues in real life in regards to dynamics. Instruments and rhythm and timing were great: funk sounded funky and get-down-gritty. Waltzes sounded like ONE-two-three-ONE-two-three. I went to bed happy.
6 hours later. I get up, go into the room, and things have turned dismal. (Not that I didn’t expect this: I did. But still...) Voices blurred, instruments flat as a pancake, no space in between performers and zero depth. The next 24 hours, the music became shrill (it was NOT that way upon insertion). It sounded like a bunch of hissing cobras had attached themselves to the system, and instead of "ss", I got "szzzzzzzzzzzz". I finally left the room, waiting for that to pass. 24 hours later, it did, but then the system’s depth and inner detail disappeared. It sounded like it had gone from - visually - an accordion fully extended, to an accordion, fully compressed. NO depth. Voices were stiff and the overall sound dulled in the upper midrange and treble. Inflections (also called ’microdynamics’)??? What inflections?????? Everything sounded as though it played in a nearly anechoic chamber. Disconcerting, even though I knew it would change. Eventually. It was just breathtaking (and not in a good way) how much the sound had disintegrated. Incoherent. Listenable only because I’d heard it at 5 minutes after I put it in and saw its promise.
I got inventive and hooked up a space heater for a day, thinking (somewhat magically, in retrospect) that that would ’speed up’ the burn-in, but then realized how expensive that would be if left on 27/7 for weeks. And that current was current and as long as something was coming thru the outlet, that was probably good enough. (I’d had fans on the outlet via Shunyata’s PS8 strip (itself breaking in), but wasn’t sure if that would work as well. Hence the space heater over a 24 hour period a couple of days ago.
Yesterday was exactly one week at 12 noon. Still sounded good-ish, but still a bit stiff, although it was clearly improving. Listened yesterday for a few hours, stopped around 5 p.m. when a friend invited me over to dinner. Returned home at 8 p.m. and immediately went into the room to see what small changes had happened.
MERCY!!! Who switched stereos on me while I was out?!?!? Now, keep in mind, at one time I owned a Versa Dynamics 2.0 and 2.3 turntable, Goldmund Mimesis 9, Wilson WATT/Puppies (several generations of them), Convergent Audio, Jadis, Clearaudio cartridges, MIT, Transparent and Nordost stuff (which I got rid of before I left the West Coast. I say this only to indicate I’ve owned some very upper-tier equipment, so it is not easy to surpass that, given my current system is Shunyata power cords (Sigma and Alpha), an NAD C326BEE (the control amp for all experiments) Nordost Frey 2 interconnects, Nola Contenders and an old Aracm FMJ23 CD player, as well as a Rega 3. Nothing near what my old system was like. Oh, and the CJ ET3SE, which I’ve kept out of the system, because this IS a controlled experiment and the CJ would automatically advance the sonics rather dramatically.
So, the sound: Janis Joplin, singing Summertime on the Cheap Thrills lp, sounded dazzling. Her rasp, which previously, had been present, but nothing special, was suddenly magically present. The guitar solos had all the distortion and "buzziness" they should have had on other systems (except I didn’t listen much to classic rock, although I have a thousand albums, at least) of that. But even on this old CD, it was hard to pull myself away and go to bed. The system’s transparency had increased in the way it would if I’d not had the NAD as my amp, but instead put in say, a Hegel H80 amp. Along with a CJ ET5 preamp. 
I played Nina Simone, and suddenly, there’s a room around her, and the piano is lilting and lyrical, low-level detail such as the volume of a hall, is far more evident than I’d heard it even (based on memory) in my "Big" system from years ago.
Since this is only at 192 hours now, I have a ways to go (Synergistic wrote me and said, "300 hours"). But this far surpasses the Tesla SE unit and, keeping in mind that I own both the Furutech GTX-D Rhodium and the newer NCF outlets, is serious competition for the NCF. The ’fragility’ of instruments and voices has advanced far past what I heard.
It’s disturbing to think that the ac outlet has so much effect on sound. It makes me wonder what my older, ’BIG’ system would’ve sounded like if we had the kind of outlets then that we have now. Maybe it wouldn’t be necessary to have a $50k system like I had back in 1991 to achieve the immersion into the music that can be achieved now, although, of course, back then, I was less knowledgable about room acoustics, electricity and especially tube trap placement (which’ll kill your system faster than anything if you have the placement along the walls, or the orientation of the seam even remotely out of place).
I marvel that my dealer, with a room with a $100k system in it, does not approach the delicacy and fragility of my $15k system. It irritates me to hear his system, because it’s WATTS (the Alexia), ARC’s 14k preamp, Ayre monoblocks and Nordost Odin all throughout. Yet, it is so lifeless, I can barely restrain myself from barricading myself in their room, disassembling everything and putting it all back together myself. NO delicacy, although people will still think it sounds ’very clear’ and ’BIG’ (but only if you turn the volume up). It just plays music, but is not particularly engaging. I could easily read a book in their room while music was playing, something that is exceedingly unlikely to happen in this music room at home. There’s just too much being revealed in the way of the backup singers’ phrasing, infections and dynamics, placement of those singers, layering in the depth field. (Airiness is good, but not stellar at this point, but it’s an NAD amp: not known for upper frequency openers). It is hard to ’look away’ because the system is becoming highly transparent (NAD aside) and one can hear the dueling guitars in the Summertime break, as well as Patti Austin’s voice doubling itself in some songs, but backup singers in other songs, recognizable because the timbre of voices is so truthful, and the harmonic information now separates out individuals as individuals, rather than just a bunch of background singers lumped together. Can you get better? Of COURSE. For a huge amount of money. But can you be mesmerized by your modest system? If your electricity, line conditioning and room acoustics are all ace, you sure can.
Speaking of which, I played Summertime last night and measured how low the sound level could be and I could still be emotionally mesmerized by Joplin’s vocal renderings (it really is a much more breathtaking rendering of Summertime than I had previously even recognized on this disc): 60db. It was 5 a.m. and I’d woken up, and gone into the music room before I went back to bed. I intended to stay 5 minutes. I was in there for an hour.
When a system can mesmerize you at 60db, the components have become highly ’invisible’ and the music is now what’s running the show.
I’d like to hear the experiences of anyone else with this outlet. I can’t be the only one who has it. I am NOT saying it is ’IT’. I AM saying that what it does for $250 is more what I would expect from a newer and much superior preamp around 5k - or higher. Or an amp around 10k (which in old days, would be 4k).

I don’t own the outlet, however I know from using the SR Black fuses that there is a long break in process.
I’m glad you are enjoying the outlet and that it has improved the sound quality of your music.
BTW; very nice review ;-)!

Gbmcleod, 

I have used both these and their lastest incarnations. 

I found both outlet are very good,  almost a yin and yang kind of difference. 

There both do things very well but have a sound in a different polar directions. 

Simply put,  the Furutech beat the Blacks in the mid regions texture and sound much more organic.  The blacks have better frequency extremes and a drier mid region and sound more technical. 

Depending on how one's systems sounds,  choosing incorrectly the use of either of these plugs and one could be missing out sonically in an important way,  though both will sound very very good. 
Justubes, thanks for the observations. I'll have to listen to everything plugged in to the Shunyata line distributor - and all on one outlet -  to determine what's responsible for the sound I'm getting.
Do you have both of these in your system now? What type of equipment have you tested it with? I'm about to insert the tubed CJ ET3SE into the system to see how the sound changes. 

Gbmcleod, 

I havent been auditioning equipment so am not in a position to comment how these 2 outlets synergise with certain charateristic of particular brands of equipment each given there particlar sonic footprints.  

I have a teslaplex se feeding a psaudio p300(with red fuse)  which has a Ncf and black outlet. 

The black feeds my esoteric k01x and clock and the ncf feeds a bsgt qol,  w4s/sonos streamer and FMC switch(with black fuses)  and i find it just rightly balanced now although i have another black outlet and gtx to introduce. 

I have tried adding the gtx elsewhere,  but now leads to a slightly warmer,  mid centric balance which is more musically pleasing to the ear but not as extended in the extremes over the mix of outlets i am using now. 

I do however find both outlets  have a very distinct sonic footprint even when used on another power line feeding my router and internet. But dont discount both as the very best overall soynding outlets. 

I have used all incarnations of oyaide (now totally removed),  wattages and some earlier furutech outlets and used and still using all incarnations of synergistic outlets. 

Of interest is that my red fuse has intentionally been installed in the p300 in the wrong direction.  This gives a slight less upfront,  vivid and detailed presentation as the "added clarity and forward focus" sounds less relaxing and musical to me.  The black fuse in this location upstream again adds another small meaningful stepup up in clarity and detail,  again seems too much. I am thus hesistant  to replace the Teslaplex se with the black outlet upstream before the ps regenerator. 

The trick is that there is no clear winner between with the blacks and gtx/ncf or the red and black fuses and find they complement each strengths of outlets  and fuses as they have different sonic character and excels in different areas. 

The time i have spent comparing the Red and Black fuse and also had used  the SR20 many year back is that the red fuse went the way of a softer more musical presentation.  Now the black fuse has added clarity,  definition and frequency extremes,  but also a less musicall saturated tonality which i find as a slight washout sonically(but allows a better perception of depth as the details are nit upfront compwting wirh one another) and takes a step back in time towards the presentation of the SR20 fuse.  

My summary is that the black outlet will most certainly work in a warmer less upfront sounding system and the gtx in systems wanting more fullness and richer musicality in a less technical fashion.  

Again,  introducing a number of both these outlets might still be the best compromise to acheive the best sonic balance when used synergistically together in whichever mix and number in any given system where one has carefully strived to achieve a more sonically balanced presentation. 

I am unfortuantely not familiar wirh the current cj gear,  but have owned the 12monos and 14 pre years back. Then intending to upgrade to the 17 and 16 pre lead me to finding a different setup. When auditiing the cheaper 17, the gains in dynamics,  clarity was a jump improvement purely on technical aspects as the comparing the 16 again took away from this technical presentation with a new level of musicality lead me to stratch my head and seek out an overall more balanced soumding equipment that is more acceptable over a larger genres of music. 

I have gone though my share of  phases of upgrading or so called changing the setup and tweak towards a particular sonic presentation where clearly direction  of tweak or cables away made an distinct improvement and relate back where i would have solely and clearly chosen the black outlet/fuse presentation.  They have voice their tweak in a certain direction similarly and will appeal to a larger audience,  who doeant like added definity,  clarity,  tighter bass etc.  All sound great,  but there is no free lunch where one should carefully assess areas where these gains may cause detraction in other area,  much like a see saw i must say. 

Overtime,  i understood that is was purely a result of my earlier system not being balanced enough and overly skewed in 1 sonic direction and found adding certain tweaks giving tigher bass,  clarity etc to compensate for this difficiency. 
The black outlet is a $5 item and it IS magnetic,  tested and confirmed.  No special or audiophile approved strap used.  Period. 
Justubes2, that’s great how you’ve arranged units. I did the same thing in my PS Audio: however, it had the Teslaplex SE and an FIM outlet. I couldn’t get both units to fit in there: the Furutech is larger than a standard outlet. So, I could put in either a Texlaplex SE or A Furutech. I’ll have to retry it, since I also have a Power Plant P300 and see if I did something wrong the first time. The sides of the units were nearly touching in my unit.
In any case, thanks for the expository on your experience. And just to clarify, I wasn’t asking for brands: my phrasing was clumsy there. I meant it to be a query about whether or not you’d tried it with ss AND also tubes or one more than the other.
I did finally put everything on the Shunyata Venom PS8, plugged first into Synergistic and then the Furutech, but I’ll have to listen longer, since, with Shunyata, moving the power cord (or anything else) dooms immediate critical listening. I’ve found the system to settle down after around 2-3 hours, and had company, so my listening time was limited. Also, I had a Nordost Frey on the CD player, so it wasn’t a "pure setup," although I have enough Shunyata power cords to power the entire system. The only observation I had was that on the Rolling Stones Rhino release on "Gimme Shelter," Merry Clayton’s words were clearer, but the sound was slightly artificial. Now, keep in mind that the PS8 has only been my system for 8 days, so I’ll have to wait longer, but putting it on the Furutech did not make it sound better, ALTHOUGH, Mick Jagger’s voice certainly gained a veracity that was not due to dynamic intensity, but a more full representation of his voice as I’ve heard it (on say, vinyl). What I think you would call "organic." I find all this fascinating and don’t mind the experimentation at all. I’ll wait another week, when the PS8 has nearly 400 hours on it, although Shunyata says 200 hours is enough (I’ve never had the pleasure of a Shunyata cord - or anything else Shunyata - being at its best at 200 hours (speaker cable being the only other Shunyata products I’ve had). Never the interconnect, except for the first generation Aries, which benefited their power cords, which were slightly recesssive in the upper midrange, where the Aries was just slightly bright, so it made for a ...synergistic match, as do most designers when they voice units. Dave Wilson used to use Rowland to voice the WATTS, Transparent used Wilsons’ Grand Slamms for their cables, etc. Everyone is gong to have a certain voicing because they have to use another manufacturer’s preamp, amp speaker, turntable or CD player to create THEIR product, so if you know say, CJ uses Nola, or Magico speakers (or CJ’s own speaker), you can reasonably assure yourself that part of the sound of the CJ comes from the product the’ve used in its creation. Of course, some manufacturers use several different amps, preamps, etc in the creation of their product, so yet another variable is thrown into the monkey wrench works, as it were.

I should mention that I also noticed that the Synergistic did an about-face shortly after my Nov. 3 post, and that the guitars seemed a bit dull again, meaning transients as the most obvious change, and then, the image placement in the depth field collapsed slightly again. I thought perhaps the strip the microwave (in the kitchen) was plugged into wasn’t turned off (dedicated circuit or no, both here in CT and in my apartment when I lived in San Francisco, I could easily tell when the microwave was powered on. And I demonstrated in an acquaintance’s house, someone with an excellent High End system, that the microwave could reliably be identified as "on" or "off" and they heard it within a minute (I was wathcing them out of the corner of my eye and I saw them cock their heads as they realized that the sonics were noticeably different, which they confirmed after the cut finished). The microwave, by the way, was NOT on, so I couldn’t blame the change on that. I just thought "more break-in time."
So, I hear exactly what you’re saying and I agree. What I’ll have to do is try to put both an NCF AND another "Black" into the PS Audio (meaning, replace the Teslaplex SE that's in there) to see the results. I will say that, so far, although I like the Venom, I haven’t heard it - other than to move the presentation closer to my listening seat - demonstrate an unparalleled improvement over the P300, but I’m willing to wait longer. Right now, it has exactly 224 hours on it and counting. But, neither is it easily distinguishable from the P300. Yet. So, I could be hearing the "Black" outlet or it could be the Shunyata, and it’s too soon to know which, without more time.
In any case, I appreciate your extremely thorough analysis and comments and I think other will benefit from reading your post as well. Thank you.

gbmcleod,

Would you be interested in preforming another outlet test?

I will buy the P&S 20 amp duplex receptacle as shown in the Lowes link below. I will burn in the receptacle for at least 100 hours. I will then send you the duplex receptacle for you to audition in your audio system. I will pay for the outlet and shipping to you. You keep the outlet. The only thing I ask of you is to post your findings, opinions, here on this thread on how the duplex receptacle sounds compared to the Synergistic Black duplex receptacle.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Pass-Seymour-Legrand-20-Amp-125-Volt-Black-Indoor-Duplex-Wall-Tamper-Resist...

Jim

.

Gbmcleod,

The teslaplex se will not fit together with a GTX, but the narrow Black (of Non SE) which combo i was using previously could. 2 GTX or 2 Teslaplex SE's will not fit the P300 in this combination.

I especially value the cleanwave of the p300 which does clear the sound a bit, much like running a demag disc.

It's been a pleasure engaging in meaningful discussions with you and it very constructive in our tweaking quest.

My other black outlet is installed, yes, a calmer or organised sound with a tad more rigid sound, still good and does better slightly the SE it replaces.

This control of sounds appears to also limit the high frequency brilliance and any residual bloom in the mid regions and bass, though it does go deeper. Please read brilliance  that this is not glare, harshness , hardness or tinnitus effect. I may be fortunate to not have any traces of these negative artifiacts in my system now.

As from a fresh memory. this brilliance in treble and high frequencies even compared to the SE and even more so to the GTX or GTX(NCF) could be considered as a downfall, though still sound good and pleasing.

The changes introducing another black outlet and fuse does not make for a large change, it's improvements now, i would consider more a change sonically. Do not that this is 2nd black outlet including fuses.

I would not fret over leaving the SE or have any real preference over the black now.

It goes for the fuses and the red fuse can and will probably stay. Incidentally, i have intentionally compared these 2 fuse in the wrong orientation (which i prefer actually sound more musical over the hyped up sound i was getting in the "correct" position which though technically better in audiophile terms was fatiguing and less musical to me.

As with equipment, the voicing or match has now to be determined by the user and tedious comparisions of various equipment  and tweaks.

i do look forward to your further findings, so as that may provide me with a 2nd opinion with these outlets and also re-evaluate which areas may be lacking and re-optimize the combinations of outlets.

To hasten the burn-in process and settling time in the systems, i have found using the cleanwave of the p300 (Multiwave set) together with a burn in disc afther reintroducing any component does seem to normalise the sound thereafter rather quickly especially set to repeat overnight or even a shorter time frame.
Jim:
That’s intriguing, but let me think that over. I am not sure that I want to pull the outlet out, as it’s in a tight place with a bookcase in front of it. And if I decide to do it, no need for you to get the outlet: Lowe’s is nearby and it would be intriguing - if I have the time to test the outlet - to do it.
Justubes: remind me which setting is the "clean wave" as I can’t find my PS Audio owner’s manual (I know it’s online, so I’ll also look for it there). I have traditionally used the setting on PS 2 and 120. What is your preferred listening settings for normal listening?
I was just listening to Joplin again. An interesting experience, but not sure it’s a valid one, since I had to plug the power cord into the P300 on a Teslaplex SE outlet, and, of course, the NCF at the wall. I heard the "organic" nature you refer to, but tonight, I plugged the power cord directly into the SR Black again. I noticed that the throat/chest region of Joplin’s voice was more fully developed on the Black outlet, but then, that’s going directly into the wall, whereas, the other way, I have no way to put it directly into the wall: the outlet would require a 4 meter power cord (waaaay too expensive). Just listening for the emotiveness, I’d have to say going directly into the Black is preferable to going into the SE outlet on the P300. I could "place" Joplin’s voice more clearly and hear "into" the center of her pitch better with the Black. Again, not a fair "controlled" experiment, but just speaking from a "feeling" point of view, I prefer the Black to the P300/Tesla SE/GTX NCF-at-the-wall combo, w which surprised me, since the last test with the Shunyata power distributor and the P300 was a ’wash’ as far as I could tell.
I don’t find the Black to have that somewhat highlighted presence region that the SE does, and while I agree that the NCF sounded more organic, I didn’t detect that Joplin soulfulness was as pronounced as it demonstrably is with the straight-into-the-wall Black outlet. When the PS8 is fully broken in, the cord will be long enough to test both outlets, but for now, I prefer listening NOT thru the P300 for the amplifier (the CD player is still plugged into the Tesla SE outlet in the P300 and, again, the NCF at the wall. Perhaps the Tesla SE is the weak link here and influencing the sound unfairly. Don't know yet. But the amp going into the Black outlet on its own dedicated circuit,  is decidedly more soulful, and that went for the Rolling Stones, Rick James’ CD, Joplin, Nina Simone and Ella. I’d agree that there is a very slight loss of liquidity, but it (the Black) is not what I’d call ’dry-sounding’ either. But I clearly hear the organic nature of the NCF. Perhaps on something other than vocalists, it shines, but the Black seems to allow the pitch center of a mezzo-soprano (which is where Joplin and Ella both sing, although in different ranges, and Joplin, from what I read, had a wider range [3 octaves] than Ella) to sound "pure". I’m speaking purely of vocalists, though. I would say the Black is more ’exciting’ in this way, although, knowing a decent amount about Black singers (family members who sing, and church and the community), I’d say the Black outlet favors - no pun intended - Black singers, both male and female, easily as good as the NCF. Don’t know why, but the ’grittiness’ and soulfulness factor is in full swing in this genre of music. I’ll have to play some Etta James and Aretha to confirm this, but that’s how it sounds so far.
Jtubes, incidentally - and I meant to say this earlier - I also use a SR Red fuse in the P300. I bought a Black fuse, but actually didn’t like it in that application. it’s interesting we both use the Red in the P300, or at least that’s what I thought you indicated you have in there. If so, that’s pretty fascinating we both heard the SR Red as the best fuse for the P300.
And, could you clarify something? You referred to the "narrow Black" which I took to mean  Synergistic's outlet. Is that what you meant? If so, it sounds like you can put both an NCF and a UEF Black into the P300. So, is your testing with the NCF at the wall, and also installed in the P300, with a UEF Black as the second outlet? Sorry if I'm being slow here: it's late and as you can see from the 'time' post, it's late. Zzzzzzzzzzz time is approaching...

Gbmcleod,

Yes and yes, we have the similar conclusion with the fuse in the p300 (btw, mine has multive II , so there will be the cleanwave function, sort of like a degausser and helping giving details and clarity a little boost after a period of time. I also prefer the red fuse in the wrong direction in the p300 which is less hard and direct sounding, topped of with a WA quantum chip. No descernable improvements with the black (also in the wrong direction) and still dont prefer it over the red here. black at all.

The gtx-d ncf does smooth things a little more than the black and finding it has more pastel shadings, richer tones and not as revealing as the black outlet. The black does have an edge organising all the sound in the stage enabling for a better revealing of details and inflectiona of voices and intruments, not that the gtx ncf is missing any details over the black outlet.

Yes, you can fit a black outlet and gtx together in the p300 or 2 black outlets.

I did detect intially that the black has noticeably less brilliance or sparkle in the highs, and not surprised that the rhodium has likely allowed for better high frequencies typical of silver or rhodium platings. It was a bit detracting for me that the black outlet sounded more monochromatic with especially with cymbals and wonder if you also detected this.

Not surprising that now addng the black fuse in the p300 did amolerate this duller high frequencies encountered with the black oulet over the teslaplex se used for other dedicated line for my router, modem and fmc for streaming tidal. This charteristic also shows when comparing the gtx ncf directly with the black outlet at the p300 outputs.

I have 3 dedicated line used.

1. Teslaplex se wall to p300 then 1 black and 1 gtx ncf for cd, pre
2. Teslaplex se at wall feeding mono amps
3. Ps audio power port at wall to Black (most recently from the Teslaplex se) which powere the modem, router and fmc for streaming Tidal.

I dont feel the need to upgrade the other SE’s as i think they currently provide an overall balanced enough quality sound. I still have the old gtx r  but it could possibly steer towards a warmer balance i dont seem to need. Replacing the Se’s with another black could possibly steer the overall balance a little cooler than i may want based on what experience i have gained with these testing these outlets. That’s why i then tried adding another black fuse i the p300 which did not work out well. 

Currently my conclusion seems to steer to the fact the the last black outlet replacing the SE hasnt made much of a further improvement or change sonically and would be hard to tell either outlet if took a week of listening to the system.

The extra black fuse which i am not using actually makes for a more appearent change sonically which i felt was over the top by adding too much clarity along with some hardness which i dont care for or prefer.  On the objective side of evaluation tells me it is adding change and improvements, but musically feel less connected and ultimately finding the extra clarity tiring.

So it seems  the red fuse and used in the wrong direction makes for a much more enduring listening sesions for me on a wide range of different music. 




Jtubes, which direction do you have the Red dust facing in your P300? With the writing on the fuse going left to right (the way you read a sentence), or the writing going right to left? I have my P300 on Stillpoints Ultra Mini Risers, which works extremely well, although I’ve moved them around under the unit and found the sound changes. The Absolute Sound had an article on several different footers in the December 2015 issue, and the authors found that the exact placement of the footers affected the sonics considerably, which is the same as my experience, and explains why some people just think most footers "tighten up the bass" when they do so much more than that: they clarify the rhythmic patterns in classical compositions and remove "haze" from around instruments and increase liquidity.
It’s striking though, that we have the same conclusions, given that I have the NCF outlet in one dedicated circuit at the wall and the SE in the P300, whereas you have them reversed. You’d think that there’d be differences in the overall sound, but here we are with the same observations. Apparently, the P300 has a decided preference for which SR fuse delivers the most true-to-life sonics. So, others with other PS Audio regenerators (and even newer ones) can try out the Black AND the Red. I have to give props (credit) to SR for that 30 day trial. That really shows their confidence in the product, although it does make me smile that manufacturers get someone else’s $20 unit and then charge $250 for it. I can see why people are cynical, but given the only thing they’d lose with the SR products is the shipping costs, I can’t see why anyone would mouth off without simply buying and trying.

Thanks for clarifying that you can put a GTX and a Black in the P300. I’m going to give that a go at some point. I don’t use the FIM outlet unless I need more than 2 items plugged in. However, I may swap out the SE for a Black after I’m sure everything else is broken in, which won’t be for a few weeks (I like to make sure things are COMPLETELY broken in) at least. Also, I’ll be putting the Venom PS8 into the system in another week, at which point it will have 400 hours on it. I think my P300 had Multiwave I on it. I once had a P300 and upgraded from Multiwave I to Multiwave II, but even though I had great electronics, I didn’t notice a significant difference.
By the way, I also found the Black fuse, when installed in the P300 to have a (slight) hardness to the sound. I went back and forth a couple of times before I settled on the Red fuse, but now I’m happy with that.
And Jea, why not extend the same offer to Jtubes you did to me? (Sorry, tubes, not to put you on the spot: it’s just that you might have an easier time getting to the outlet than I do. I’m loathe to move my Shunyata Cobra speaker cables, THEN the record albums, THEN the bookcase itself, in order to get to the outlet. At least for the next 2 months. I want to listen for a while, and quick changes, I find, can cause me to reach incorrect conclusions about what I’m hearing. And I don’t consider my listening "subjective". I consider it observational. I consider my emotional reaction to be subjective, but I can clearly hear what a component (even a wall outlet) shaping the sound in some way, without having an emotional reaction if I’m in "detective mode" ( a former profession, which requires one to be pretty detached, but observant).
Really enjoying your input a LOT. Where are you located in the US (if you’re in the US!)? I’m in Connecticut.

Incidentally, I have NOT noticed less sparkle in the highs or a more monochromatic color. Brass sounds quite good on the Black outlet, as does a tuba, and a glockenspiel. Are your amps solid state or tubes, just out of curiosity?

gmbcleod,

The red fuse runs from the side of the p300 (SR) in the same direction of lettering on the fuse. Please note what i meant that i reversed installed based on listening, the other direction from R to S is what i feel "IS" the correct direction with slightly more focus and upfront details, but just didnt like it here. All my other fuse, i think is wiring in the correct direction offered a more solidity and focus to the sound. Strange but that was how it ended up. 

I have tried Audiopoints and SR M.I.G, thought again offering more focus, tightening of the bass etc, i now use is sideways(due to space constrants) on a 5 inch block of Massacar ebony. i havent really further experimented. I also find the most balanced sound is using sinewave at 60hz.

Position of the outlets i feel do offer possibly better synergy in the correct location, but it a bit more work than i want to do, unless i find that particular installation not at all to my liking and would be compelled to perform more test and swapping locations. I do think from the instals of these outlets is that there signature will somehow permeate though no matter where they are installed! I have pick up a reference from another forumer in the fuse thread has even installed these outlets in not audio connected location and experienced an improvement. I believe it does have some impact!

I think it would be worthwhile having a black instead of SE at the back of the p300.

I used to be a tubehead, Cj's, jadis's  but gone from tubes to solid state (not those with a typical clean, SS sound) but one i could still identify with tubes and yet have all the bass slam i could want). But that musical connection is still very much important to me.

Jea, i might add that from the early days of the Teslaplex, SR20 fuse, i am most certain that there is something from Quantum tunneling and use my audiodharma religiously because it does offer an improvement. 

What would be interesting is that does the tunneling SR does retain this character over an extended period of time, or will it revert over time to sound like that exact $3 outlet.

As proponents of cable cookers do state periodic 6 monthly recharges of 1-2 days is required as the burn in effects are not permanent.

It is of interest that i had a conversation with a designer and manufacturer of a burn-in device which was to be offered with a few thousand dollars worth of Duelund silver/copper caps in the PSU or circuit as somehow, the characteristic sonic properties of these capacitors somehow find their signature being passed on into whatever is being conditioned with their burn in equipment.
I’ve noticed that the Black’s "brilliance" is very slightly less in evidence the last 5 days or so, so that the dueling guitars in the break of "Summertime" seem to be less transiently sharp, but there’s a caveat to that: I put a Shunyata Sigma analogue power cord on the NAD (just for fun) and removed the Alpha HC power cord, which I loaned to a friend. I’ll get it back Monday and see if the transients (and a very slight increase in rhythm) return. Being me, I turned off a wall outlet in the living room (not even on the same circuit, but I CAN hear it, just as I can hear the microwave when it’s powered on) to see if it was affecting the song. From what I could tell, it was not affecting the music, but Summertime is just slightly less plaintive right now. I moved one tube trap at the door to the music room, because I found the seam orientation could make Janis’ voice recede or come forward (and this is not a matter of the "presence" region being highlighted, but more the lower and middle midrange, so the entire voice sounds as though Janis moved 3 feet closer to me). Tube traps ( I should write a book about the perils of them!) are exceedingly sensitive to movement (my room is 8’ x 13 x 20 at one point and then the ceiling - when an addition was added - goes up suddenly to 10 x 12’8" x 20. think of a backwards "L" with the bottom of the "L’ being the 8’ height then the vertical part of the "L’ representing where the addition rises to 10’. The room is a nice size, but even bumping a trap on the way out of the room (one trap, on the side wall is close enough that if I swing the door all the way open, it will hit the trap on the side wall and push it out of alignment) will cause slight changes in sound. No wonder HP, in issue 57, opined they worked, but they needed to be carefully placed and he hadn’t the time to mess with them. Even in my dealer’s large 12’ x 22 x 25’ room, I frequently go in and move the tube traps around (I have free reign to wander thru the music rooms unless clients are in there) and usually find he has them placed in less than optimal positions.
So, the Black outlet seems to have "settled" down (just in time for yesterdays’s presidential election) so that it is less brilliant. When I turn the sound down, Joplin’s voice does not project so much. The Venom PS8 will reach 340 hours on Friday around 1 p.m and then I will place it back in the system to replace the P300 with the NCF at the wall, and then later, the SR Black at the other outlet. The Black is UNQUESTIONABLY less bright in the presence range than the TeslaplexSE. I’ll try the setting you mentioned (60 Hz).
Other than that, I got nothin’. Except that I played 'The Planets', the XRCD pressing (Japanese) and it sounded good, but not mesmerizing.

My additional black outlet is settled and with tweaking room acoustics,  i use quite a fair bit but have equalised the highs that was a tad dull,  inluding a touch od silve paste walker esst,  after the addition of the 2nd black outlet.  It sound fine,  but knowing that brilliance which allows that silvery sheen to emerge which allows cymbals to take on a more realistic metallic edge is still not comparable with the T. SE and gtx r which is in the upper midrange up "presence"region, but other than that i like how it sounds in orher areas. 

This is almist exactly like 2 same photographs,  one with saturated colours in which colourful objects pops upfront and the very same photo with more neutral tones allowing you to see more deeply as if you took a step back as there are no catchy colours pushing and competing for your eyes attention. 

I going to allow myself more listening time not focussing on this to see if i still feel shortchanged after which i will then have no choice but to reintroduce the T. SE or Gtx R in to the chain. 

Possibly introducing the GtxR elsewhere or even in an unused socket might be the ticket in restoring that last bit of brilliance.  I intentionally use brilliance as opposed to terms like sharp or glary,  because it is not. 

As for the p300,  1hz below adda a tad more warm,  maybe bit much sometimes and 61hz shows more dynamic contrast and tightness,  but also less presence and a whitish tonality accross the board. 
Jtubes, I'm finally satisfied my SR Black has broken in completely. 
I'm pleased with the unit, but less euphoric about it for perhaps the same reason you mentioned: the treble. It's very good and clear, but it was most "brilliant" on the first day, which was also when the sound had the most 'physical' representation. As time went on, the sound receded just a little, so one moved from row 6 to row 10. I would correlate this to your comment about the shimmer and metallic edge of a cymbal, and I agree it is not as refined as the Tesla SE, which overdoes it in the same regions that the Black does an about face and backs off a bit in the upper midrange and treble.
Another thing I noticed when playing some Frank Sinatra CDs (My September Years (Capitol) and a couple of others ( long after the initial post about the unit). Sinatra's voice sounded not as 'voluptuous' in the way that it had in the past. So I connected the Sigma power cord to the PS Audio (into a Tesla SE outlet, such irony), an thru an Alpha HC power cord into the Furutech GTX NCF outlet (instead of using the amp on the UEF Black outlet. The improvement in his vocal tones was clear, but at the expense of a sense of clarity and transparency. And the highs, while not of the super airy variety, still is quite, quite good. Of course, perhaps using an amplifier with an airy quality might reveal the shortcoming to be in the NAD, but given that I've used it before with other outlets, the colorations of the amp are clear enough for me to decide that the outlet, as good as it is, is only an equal and worthy alternate to the  Furutech NCF. I could even see preferring the Black with a component that is warm in the upper bass/lower midrange, although I would just like Sinastra's voice to be as I know it has sounded for many, many years. On female vocals, the Black is excellent and even some older 50s  r&B artists with a falsetto (Jackie Wilson, Little Richard, as examples).

As far as the older Furutech generation, however, The Black is clearly superior, to the GTX- Rhodium outlet I have.
Gbm,

I am not looking for the perfect outlet nor really find the "One" that promises to be the last in outlets.

I merely try my best to find the strengths and weaknesses in the outlet.

I agree and find the black still a very good outlet, but knowing the upper midrange doesnt come alive, without comparisons it actually will sound very good and most will feel nothing ever was lacking.

I did'nt have a choice but to reintroduce the GTX (non-ncf)  connected to the p300 and as with my previous conclusion and what your impressions mirrors, sound a not as clear, open overall and slightly warmer than i would like. This certainly would suit a dull system or one that needs more upfront clarity. The black would be e best bet on a tube or warmer system even better.

However, the areas which the black lacks, the GTX shines.

The GTX however remains in my distributor but now connected a non audio chain equipment (Telos Q Noise Reducer), in doing so, it has reintroduced that slight bit of upper midrange onwards brilliance and presence back in the system while not sounding a bit fuller or warm , which is also not my preference. Just for example, if the black was a 5 on the warmness scale, the GTX would be a 7.5 to 8 where my preference would be a 6.5 on this scale.

To highlight, the Furutech's are pure copper, you will get a purer, clear, organic and warmer sound which are traits of copper over brass, period. The brass contacts of the black outlet will never provide sonically what a pure copper plated connectors bring sonically to the table.

I also find that the SE is still a good outlet overall and and has many good qualities which might also be easier to fit into the majority of systems over the black outlet, which may sway too much leaning out the sound.

The black outlet does sound thinner and on certain few recordings, bass weight can also seem to vanish.

Moving away slightly from this topic, i did also purchase a NCF inlet, but it is slightly wider than the standard iec inlet and was not installed as enlarging the casing is required. As NCF is made of nano crystalline and carbon in the mix and affect emf, it now sits between the heads of 2 cables come out from the p300. Holy, it affects the sound using it this way, it adds a wholesome organic and further delicate smoothness to the sound, this complements what the black outlet does'nt provide in it's sonic presentation.

Strangely used, but the inlet stays sitting there between the 2 connectors!

There is something to further experiment with the NCF mixture, it is actually very potent sonically, with or without the copper rhodium contacts.
Justubes,

is the NCF outlet the best one you've tried so far?

Allan
Allan,

If you read the sonic traits i have listed, i would call all 3 outlets i use together, NCF, Black and SE all top contenders.

They each sound different and i would call any worst or better, top notch sound from each but due to their different sonic traits and presentations, each could synergise better that the other in any given system.

I would list it as:

1)NCF - most detailed, organic, rich, full, with best high frequencies tad leaning towards a warmer, calmer mid-centric presentation. Bass does not go as low as the black.

2)Black - Very detailed, more laid back, quiet organised sound at an expense of finer and more present HF information, less midrange energy but deepest bass of the lot. Think of it as a NCF but subtracting from the fuller midrange (and leanng out this region) so as to stretch and kneading this region down toward the low regions of the frequencies.

3)Detailed, overall most balanced but less high end brilliance, micro detail and organic sound than the NCF. Not as organised and distant presentation as the black so you get more midrange energy but can be a little harder sounding and a notch below than the other 2 contenders. There seems to be less of a sonic trait bias of the lot. 
Justube,

thanks for your reply!  this will definitely help me to make my purchase decision.  I think I'll go with the NCF according to your analysis.

Allan

Sent back the Synergistic and got another NCF. I like the Tesla SE more than the Black, which is disappointing, as it is the first Synergistic product I've ever returned. I can see how someone would like the unit, but it is much too subtractive - in my experience - to allow me to sustain a sense of disbelief that I'm listening to a re-creation of recorded music. I'm a big fan of their fuses, but this outlet is not truly a step forward for them, although it is "good enough" if you don't listen to vocals closely, as well as orchestral music. For pop, and perhaps some rock, it will satisfy.

Post removed 
Thank for the update.

I am glad my ears are not failing me and no other users had this impression on what i was hearing or impressions.

Though system dependent, these characteristics do somehow manifest in any systems, especially given the experience and similar outlets we have used before provides a good base.

The NCF has an uncanny naturalness that imparts to the sound, if overdone or used incorrectly, can start sounding somewhat very slightly mellow and less attack when required, yet retain a superb organic rightness over ANY outlet i have used before.

I attribute this to the NCF composition, there is a uber NCF wall plate now which i am certain can have a HUGH impact sonically towards this all natural sound.

So please i am not looking forward to a $399 Purple outlet in future! The Tesla was their best effort at a reasonable price too. A well combined use of different outlets will gain the best results! 
I agree that the Tesla SE was their best outlet. And I don’t think it was due to my system, although I do think that if someone’s system has been built to achieve a ’pleasing’ result, then the outlets we employ will also slant the sound.
That the Black has the sonic signature we both hear - given we have different systems - is, I think, a matter of careful observation. I used different setups (as a matter of course), with the only set item being the speakers, which have a lift in the upper midrange. If the Black was neutral, the "lift" would have been evident. That it was not is indicative of there being less upper midrange/lower treble. And the dynamics in that region just did not ’jump’ as they did in the Tesla (even if it overdid it a little). It is less organic than the NCF. Clearly so.

The NCF unit I placed in the system last Friday is, hourly, still going thru its breaking in, which is easily heard at lower volumes, which I do simply to see if lyrics are clearer, especially the letters "d", which, at the end of a word, will be ’swallowed up’ as though someone was talking with a mouth full of food. Even only a week into burn in, I find myself listening to music, not focusing on the sound, which I could not quite do with the Black unit. I think your use of the word ’organic’ is excellent verbiage. I know there is a market for the Black unit, and I am sure it will do well for those who prefer a more ’pleasant’ sound (and nothing wrong with that).