Raul, My experience exactly parallels yours, but maybe in this one instance, I was there ahead of you. For many years now I have been eliminating as many slip-on or screw-in connectors as possible anywhere they occur, inside or outside the chassis'. These connectors are there for the convenience of the manufacturer, for both original assembly at the factory and for repair purposes. But hard soldering is always better. Upgrades to internal wiring are also always a more subtle but real improvement to typical stock wires. For mechanical connectors that cannot be eliminated without undue inconvenience, I had been using Cramolin, red and blue, as much as 25 years ago. These days I have been using the Caig de-oxit cleaner and then either pro-gold or Walker Audio SST Extreme silver paste. So, welcome to the club. IMO, these things are more effective than fancy expensive fuses in improving performance of any system. Actually, what good is a fancy fuse if it has a dirty contact surface and you stick into a fuseholder made of pot metal that is also dirty?
I agree,fuses and connectors degrade performance more than one would expect.For connectors and fuses I can't eliminate,I been useing Walker SST.I ordered some Extreme Audio Quick Silver Gold to try also.
Another area to look into is dirty AC power in your house wireing.I ordered some products from Alan Maher to try,not too expensive and good feedback from people who are useing his products.
Dear Lewm: Good to read thta you are one of the " believers " on a clean electrical road system.
I'm not new either on this subject I'm only " returning " to the right " road ".
Many years ago my audio system was a monolithic fashion one where evrything were hard soldered directly to the elctronics boards and speakers crossovers, even I soldered the headshell tonearm wires directly to the cartridge output pin connectors!.
That kind of extreme system connection fashion is really good on quality system performance but with a lot of inconveniences.
Btw, I agree that those fancy fuses are almost useless with out a good and clean connection, right now I soldered all the fuses on my system and this is better than only clean it.
These fancy fuses give me a good experience: before I use the HiFi fuses in my system I had a weird noise/distortion coming from one of my Velodyne susbwoofers, I try everything you could think to fix it with out success.
Well, the same day that I mount this fancy fuse in the subwoofer the noise gone for ever!, who could think that the problem comes from a fuse?, this told me the importance of electrical fuses in electronics.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear Travbrow: +++++ " Another area to look into is dirty AC power in your house wireing. " +++++
what do you mean with that?, as many people I have an electrical system dedicated line where I'm thinking to go hard-solder where connections exist.
regards and enjoy the music,
Dear friends: I was and am very busy these days testing all those mainly electrical system connections changes and hearing and testing too other audio systems.
The experiences were way learning for say the least. Now I think that my conclusions ( latter on it. ) have good foundation.
I was hearing my system and three other systems that I really know its performance. In two of them we made some changes similar to what I posted here and as we can hope the changes for the better were " imposing ", this only confirm what I heard in my system and what Lewm/Travbow here posted about.
The third system was something especial becuase here the owner just installed a two " boxes " elctrical dedicated device that looks very " pro " and fancy that he bought second hand for 5K and almost 150 kg.. Certainly after this installation electrical device his system quality improve for what I remembered.
Well, I ask him if he permit to " nude " the amplifiers power cords and connect it direct to the wall/amp instead the new electrical device, he agree and after some work time to made this hard wiring power cord/amp change we were ready to listen:
my friend was " shocked " for what he ( well we . ) heard, certainly better quality improvement than through that fancy electrical ( two boxes ) device! He was shocked not only because of the improvement but because he does not needs to invest 5K big dollars to achieve this new performance level!
My own system experiences and the other system experiences, especially the one with that fancy electrical device, told/tell me the immense and critical importance that has a clean electrical power audio system source and his " road " to supply each single audio item/link in a home audio system: a paramount difference if we make what the electrical power ask for and what the electrical power in our electronics ask for!
The improvements we can achieve to these electrical clean and road connection in a system are a lot or made higher improvement than a change of IC or speaker cables or even new electronics.
Now I learned that even in electrical power supply " less is more ": the less connections/stages where the electrical power " signal " must pass the better.
Each additional connector ( any ), transformers, additional surge protection, additional RFI filters, additional filter circuits, etc, etc where the electrical signal has to pass only makes a degradation a heavy degradation.
You don't have to believe in what I'm saying you only just try and will have a very nice surprise and maybe you can win some money after sold your fancy and expensive electrical system conditioners and fancy input/output electrical connectors.
We have to think that our amplifiers ( example. ) already comes with transformers ( that between other things filter electrical noises ), capacitors to bolck HF/FRI, electrical regulators all over the unit, surge protectors ( like fuses ) and the like so: why add more of all these single " devices " when the amplifier already has it? or can we think that all the amplifier designers are inept and that they don't take care about in deep?
Certainly not, IMHO the ones that are " inept " are some of us by ignorance: no one tell us nothing about, we only heard/read about the " necessity " to install an electrical conditioner in our system. As more expensive and weighty better!
As I said: THE LESS IS MORE ( too ) in the electrical power supply whole subject.
IMHO the best external system electrical power conditioner and fancy connectors are NO electrical power conditioners and fancy connectors.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Thank you for starting this very interesting thread. A few years ago I gave up outlets and connected my mono amps directly to my electrical panel. The improvement was very audible and details can be read on my system page. Basically, I bought two 15' runs of JPS Labs In-Wall cable and had my electrician connect one end of each cable to a separate 20 AMP circuit and the other end goes through a hole in my floor and is terminated in a Furutech IEC plug which goes into each amp. This avoids all outlets and power cords. The noise floor dropped and the sound became more dynamic and clean. I run a third 15' line to an EquiTech unit which balances the power to my front end. I use Walker SST Extreme on all connections including at the panel and I clean these once a year. I found this to be a very cost-effective improvement.
When i wrote "dirty AC" I meen RFI noise that is present in house wireing,some comes in from the main service line,some generated by apliances in your house and the audio equipment also generates it.
Dedicated lines are great,I also did that,but you can still get better sound by reducing RFI,reduceing this RFI gave me better dynamics,better 3D soundstaging,and overall cleaner sound especially in the treble response.
Check out Alan Maher's website,I have 5 of the CBF units he sells.I installed 4 at my AC service panel,and notice nice improvements.It may seem like another "snake oil tweak" but these things worked for me.
Dear Peterayer: I have the electrical power dedicated line with its circuit breakers wall panel very near to my system.
Today all the system power cords by Analysis Plus has no single connector/plus of any kind at its both ends: at one end the power cord goes directly to the breaker and at the other end goes soldered directly inside at the audio device circuit board or at the on/off switch. With this change I remove in each power cord around 12-14 " stages/filters " where the electrical signal pass with out take in count another 15-20 stages where normally the electrical signal pass through electrical conditioner devices.
So, instead 25-30 stages the electrical signal only " see " TWO. Now it can flow totally free with out changes/obstacles in his road.
The improvement is no less that amazing, it is almost as a new " audio dimension " and that is not easy to say/express in words because all audio words that we know take a new meaning that only hearing a system with these kind of changes we can really appreciate that and what we are trying to say/communicate.
Nice to see that you are already enjoying it and I think that if you take the full hard wired " road " the rewards will be worth the effort.
I think that we all know the importance of the elctrical power system audio link in the audio chain and all of us someway or the other already take it different " roads " to improve this electrical audio link.
My take here is that if we goes " radical " and make changes similar of what I did the quality performance of any current home audio system will improve at a new level that almost any one of us could dream before.
We only need some care to make the job or we can pay for an electrician could do it. The changes are not " definitive ", if we want to return or to put on sale the audio device ( amplifiers or whatever. ) then we can return/come back and leave the unit in original condition.
Anyway, I'm still not in shock but with a pretty nice exite/emotion hearing and hearing music through analog and digital sources and discovering a " new audio world ".
In other forum M. Lavigne posted about the importance of the subject and one person that I think in that forum is " very important/guru " name it Ethan diminish the subject importance. Seems to me that this persons never had the opportunity to heard a system with in deep care about. Like him maybe there are many other persons that does not give yet the importance that this audio link has.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Several years ago I read a report by someone who essentially hard-wired his entire "humble" vintage Dyna tube system, from source inputs through to the speaker drivers. (I assume this excluded the cartridge pin connections!) Their report was absolute amazement over the sonic improvements.
That is a procedure few of us would choose to follow. But as Raul is discussing, whatever we can do to minimize the number of connections for the signal to pass through, and the cleaner we can make those connections, the better we should realize the potential of any given system.
I eliminated some connections at some of my components,hardwired power cord connections,speaker wire and IC connections to my amplifiers,hardwired the power supply imbilical cord to my main preamp etc.All this elimination of connections is a big plus,and a free tweak.Better than spending lots of money on high end connectors.But all this elimination of connections still doesn't fix the RFI problem that degrades audio and video performance.The CBF units I am useing are passive devices so no extra connections are added.
Eliminating connections is one reason that I am considering a new tonearm that has one wire from cartridge pin to phono input ie. two connections. My current SME V arm wire has at least two breaks for at least four total connections. This surely can't help.
Dear Travbrow: Thank's for the link to Alan's products right now I'm in touch with him for advise.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Raul I'm happy for your discovery, no question hard wiring connections right down to treating fuses has a remarkable effect on distortions.
Remember the ads years ago for so called audio grade fuses, a .15 cent replacement part that was now gold plated with a ridiculous asking price? At first glance back then my thoughts were its just another product amoung a long line up of crap focused on the gullible.
Well well, surprise, surprise.
Dear Pryso: I have no doubt that if you/anyone can live with some of the inconveniences that comes along the source to speakers hard wired connection IMHO this is the best way to go.
The audio system quality improvement is outstanding.
I dare to say that for " feel "/hear a " sample " of the POWER and dynamics that " only " can give us a music live event we need to have this direct electrical transmission in direct fashion through all our audio system.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear friends: Well I think the whole hard wired elctrical power source connections in my audio system is finished even the audio signal from my Preamp to the Levinson amplifiers now is hard wired inside the amplifiers ( I have to perforate the Levinson's bottom plate to do it because was there where the audio signal must inn. ).
Sometime ago ( when I decide to have an electrical dedicated line for the system. ) I remember that I wanted that the cable for the system dedicated line ( from street to inside my home. ) was wired with Monster Cable in shotgun configuration for each thread due that I had a lot of meters of that cable and the electrical technician said it could works fine but when we take the measures to determine how many meters needs that electrical line the MC wire was not enough on length by three meters and the technician told me that he does not like to add/solder those additional three meters of cable because he does not like that the electrical current " jump " trhough the solder junction.
In that time and even now I can't understand for sure that " jump ", he told we need a " clean " line about with one continuous cable.
Today with my direct electrical power " road " the electrical signal has no single " jumps "/obstacles and there is no doubt for me that this makes a great difference for the better.
It is so evident the improvement in system quality performance that even when I switch on or off the amplifiers or the Phonolinepreamp the " feeling " and the " sounds " that off and on made are now way different than before ( even if before and now you can detect any " click " or sound from the audio item but exist and you know a " feeling " when you do it. It is difficult for me explain it. ), right now I " know " for sure that those electronics are really " happy " than ever with that hardwired/direct electrical power connection, the power supply transformers/caps works now in so " relaxed " way that you know is in this way.
I have no other explanation about.
What a experience!!!!!!, put me " there " like I never experienced before in any other audio system I heard anywhere.
I think worth that you " all " try it: there is no single trade-off! and the rewards ( several ones. ) are just amazing.
Btw, I use inside electronics only Kimber Kable wire either: 4TC/8TC and KCAG with Analysis Plus top of the line Power cords.
Regards and enjoy the music,
I just listened to the "new" magical cleanse in Rauls room, His system is one of my reference systems and I know it fairly well, this time the differences were not subtle, when he added the Skyline difraction panel and claimed wonderful changes it was not so dramatic as this time. What I heard that most inpressed me was a very clean midrange and the difficult high midrange was transparent, extended and integrated with the whole spectrum, this frequency is típically dificult, IMHO, for Solid state gear, it easily becomes scratchy. This time it sounded like a good tube amp: perfectly in its place sweet extended and with no signs of distortion, not that it ever had any, but this time it was really impressive, I dare to say (sinful me) even better than tubes!
Now hard wiring is not for everyone, mainly not for people changing gear often and defining their systems, But once you are clear on your speaker-amplifier selection and confident in your cables this could be a choice.
While going over some stock fuses I have, I came across Cardas Contact Conditioner in my drawer. I decided to clean/treat all fuses and connector contacts with the Cardas Contact Conditioner.
I simply cannot believe that such simple procedure can yield such big improvements in sound. Totally incredible! Everything tightened up! Overall, the sound is much more refined. It is as if over time the contacts had degraded somehow. This simple procedure has brought back everything to life.
Thanks for the tip!!!
Dear Isanchez: Good that you already experienced those great benefits.
If you go or try to be " extreme " and make an electrical power direct connection your " totally incredible " experience will convert it in a constant/everyday audio extasis/orgasm for ever!
regards and enjoy the music,