Did you pre burn-in the Porter ports first before connecting them to the new dedicated branch circuit?
What you described is how a system will sound if the receptacles are new and not burned in.
Agreed. The initial 100 hours can be really difficult to listen to. Expect a break-in time on any new power cord type component. Even the 10awg romex will need to break-in. My experience indicates true break-in requires at least 250 hours. If you system is generally laid-back, it can become listenable after about 100 hours, but stronger systems can require longer break-in on A/C power elements.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in. I suspected that everything needed much more time to burn in, but I guess I just needed some reassurance. Any recommendations on how to do burn in besides running my rig 24/7? I've heard running fans works plugged into the outlets, and also that outlets should be burned in via a refrigerator. Any other options that could work?
Agree with the need for break in. One thing to check and I speak here from personal experience, check that the ground is tight on that new line. When our house was built, I had the electricians run 10 gauge Romex to my listening room. After some time had passed and things should have been sounding pretty good, I opened up the 200 amp service and found several loose, and I mean loose grounds. Correcting that made a huge difference, especially dynamically.
I am interested to hear how things go as your line has run-in time.
Um, one reason why I usually suggest against such great wiring is you are closer to the noise in the rest of your house and outside of the house as well. A little impedance in the wiring may actually reduce noise.
I feel it’s better to run a 220V line to a step-down transformer, and feed your audio equipment from that. Commercial step-down transformers are relatively inexpensive, and electrician installed.
I would suggest a Furman conditioner with LiFT or Equitech like balanced power conditioner as ways you can solve the problem now relatively inexpensively.
I honestly don't know about using a refrigerator or freezer for break-in. It's true that the compressor motors draw a lot of current, but they don't run all the time. You will only get a small trickle from the computer based controller in the frig. It's probably better just to leave your amplifier on - as it will draw a certain amount of current idle (the A23 is biased somewhat into Class A, so I'm going to guess at somewhere between 100-200 watt current draw -- the Emotiva XPA-1L set at Class A mode 30 watts will draw about 160 or so watts from the wall idle).
I'm encouraged with responses.
I did not burn in the Porter Ports prior to installation.
I'm currently running fans on two of the outlets and I have kept the Parasound A23 on day and night.
At this point it's probably just a matter of patience.
I will update again in a week or so and share impressions. Hopefully there will be some improvements!
I would suggest trying a Synergistic Research Black A/C wall outlet with your new circuit. I found it to give me more detail and yet at the same time be less fatiguing. They will be fun to compare to the Porter outlets. They are sold with a 30 day return policy.
You can also improve your system's performance by using a Jim Hagerman FryCorder. This device conditions the wire in the wall all the way back to the power company's transformer. It works.
The outlet looks like it is made by Pass & Seymour.
Is the back strap made from galvanized Steel on the Synergistic Black AC outlet?
It sure looks like galvanized steel.
I enjoy getting laughed at, so here goes.
Let's look at one wire, the 'hot' wire of one outlet. This is a brand new piece of copper, it's nice and shiny. You may have cleaned it before inserting it into the Porter. It looks beautiful. There is a point where the wire is in contact with the receptacle. This is called an 'air tight seal'. There is no oxidization at that exact point. But what about right beside it?.
In your head, enlarge that point. Enlarge it to the point that you envision a Tesla Coil. Now imagine our electricity is 10,000 volts. What do you see?........ Lightning?...... tiny arcs?. Drop this down to 120V, and you simply get smaller arcs, but they're still there. They're immeasurable, but we can hear them.
At other forums, I've tried to introduce the concept of 'micro-arcing', and got laughed at.
The act of 'burning in' simply give the wire time to oxidize. Copper oxide does not conduct electricity. So, over time, this micro-arcing decreases.
Here we go: go to the hardware store, electrical section, and buy some electrical paste. It comes in a tiny tube. It's black and messy. And right now some of you are laughing. It's uggggglyyyyyyyy. Who in their right mind would install brand new dedicated lines, and then smear them with this crap?. Me!. That's experiment #1.
Let's look at brand new multistrand wired power cords. Is there micro-arcing between the actual strands in the wire?.
Experiment #2: you have Romex left over. You can get male receptacles at the same hardware store. You will need to order iec plugs. Build some power cords, remembering to smear the paste at all contact points.
I did not comment on selection of the Porter Ports - they are cryod Hubbell hospital outlets. Let's let lincnabby burn them in first. The Hubbell outlets are brass and in my experience, brass elements tend to be on the sterile side and have a little bit of shouty effect in the highs. Some people have NOT had any problem with these. The Synergistic Black outlets are really expensive at $250. They might be good. The cheapest good outlets I have used are the Furutech FPX-Cu and are more affordable at $70 (phosphor bronze conductors - which are around 90% copper).
Not from my experience. Of course it may depend on the audio equipment the receptacle is feeding.
From my experience the Hubbell Extra Heavy Duty Industrial Series HBL5262 (15 amp) and 5362 (20 amp) duplex receptacle is slightly on the warm side of neutral.
See page A-12
As for the Hubbell duplex receptacle Albert Porter uses for his Porter Port, I remember reading in the past, he pays Hubbell to mix parts of hospital grade and HBL5262/5362 Extra Heavy Duty to build his outlets. I am not sure if he continued the practice or not. Special order can be expensive.
I have not been able to find an ad on Agon of Albert’s Porter Ports to check what the outlets are now.
Albert Porter’s old style cryo’d Porter Ports were the old stock Hubbell slim/Compact 8300H Hospital Grade 20 amp duplex receptacle. Back strap is non plated brass as well as the contacts, non plated brass. The sound was pretty much neutral. Hubbell no longer makes the 8200H/8300H hospital grade duplex receptacle in non plated contact and back strap.
Example of the old stock slim/Compact HBL8300H Hospital Grade duplex receptacle:
Here is another older, I believe, Hubbell catalog.
I just checked the Agon Classified ads and found Albert Porter has just recently listed his Porter Ports again.
Quote from ad:
jea482,152 posts09-28-2016 12:21amI THINK you're correct.
Thanks again for feedback fellas.
I've used Porter Ports before and like their sound once broken in. I don't have the budget for the expensive outlets, and really doubt the extra coin is worth it.
And FYI, Albert has his own website, "Porterhouse Audio." besides his ads here on A'gon.
And I should mention that I used a silver paste/grease on all of the ends of the Romex 10awg line. Recommended by a forum I read. I used it quite sparingly. I had also considered cryo treating the entire spool of Romex at a local cryo treatment place here in Tucson, but resisted getting that crazy.
Finally, for everyone's further knowledge, I only ran one (1) dedicated line, as the run is about 100 linear feet from my breaker box. Some might consider this a cardinal sin, but I used 10awg jumper wire and linked two of the Porter Port duplexes together inside one 4 gang plastic box.
Perhaps this was less than ideal for SQ?
And to finish everything off I installed nylon faceplates instead of standard plastic per Albert Porter's recommendation. I'm okay with that versus the $250 carbon fiber plates some hucksters sell to us audiophools. I love my tunes, but still trying to hang onto some semblance of sanity!
I'm really enjoying all of the advice and suggestions, and for the record, the edginess of the sound has dissipated and the veil is beginning to lift somewhat... this after another 60 hours of the Parasound amp and fans running continually on the new outlets.
I'll update again in another week or so, but I'm feeling confident the ultimate end result will be worth the trouble of installing the new line.
cousinbillyl has it right on the money.
One of my colleagues in our audio design consortium has a Ph.D in EE. His specialization/day job is designing and implementing VERY high current (gigaWatt) systems built for challenging environments (where among other things) they use that electrical paste to eliminate both environmental moisture-caused and electrolytic corrosion. Tip: He recommends the electrical paste connecting all ends of one's AC system to the outlets. How dry is your basement? Is the moisture that of distilled water or does it have base or acid components? Is the temperature the same from season to season?
Scientific facts: As soon as you get different metals "fused" together and pass a current through them, e.g., a copper power cable and its connection into an outlet of dubious make-up (gold plating over copper) one begins electrolytic corrosion. In fact, when you put different metals together in a harsh environment (say in a car's exhaust system where the hangers are a different metal than the attachment on the pipe - that's why they use "rubber" hangers - which have their own problems!) You get corrosion without an applied current passing through them. Next, the copper, eg, at the panel immediately begins corroding in the atmosphere due to moisture. (That is why you see so many interconnects that have silver coated copper or use silver solder. Silver oxide remains conductive whilst copper oxide becomes a sort of a diode!) One can measure these effects over time or accelerate it in a harsher environment as a critical experiment. So what about the AC connections? How do you ameliorate this problem? EP is a good first start. Hint: one can do better than ROMEX and still stay in code.
EP has other applications in an audio system but that goes beyond the scope of this discussion. But why not try making up some power cables using cousinbillyl's recipe? All of this is fun and you have little to loose except perhaps not acquiring expensive snake oil or going down long, blind roads trying to fix something that can't be. Another hint: remember Cranoline Sound Restorer from Monster? Do they still make the stuff?
For our group, we'd rather start with scientific facts i.e., necessary but not sufficient conditions, getting things right and then go on to "tweaks." Please don't bring up the Julian Hirsch argument or the old bromide "it measures great but it sounds lousy" as a counterargument.
Do your homework on Contact Paste before you go to the hardware store and buy something off the shelf. Not all contact pastes are created equal. Some goes on smooth and greasy but after the passage of time will dry hard as a rock! Try cleaning that out of a female contact like a wall receptacle or female fuse clips, ect.
The third time you listen to a good recording you hear more than the first time. After becoming familiar with a piece of music I enjoy it more.
Now as for burning in an AC receptacle, through experimentation, a person can prove the receptacle burns in over time when a sufficient load is connected to the receptacle.
Have YOU ever actually experimented with burn-in of electrical outlets? Or are you just voicing your opinion?
Hello again everyone!
After roughly a month of burn-in time, my "nearly perfect" sound is back and I dare say a bit improved with the new dedicated line.
Bass definitely has more slam and texture, background noise was quiet before, but is now completely non-existent. The top-end is very clean, airy and, yet all of the grating fatiguing edge I initially heard has gone away, (thank God!), and definition of horns, cymbals, violins, is smoother, cleaner, and more lifelike, The critical midrange is about the same, though playing with various IC's I can most definitely hear the differences more easily and distinctly. With my Silnote Morpheus ICs connected to the MHDT DAC, vocals are very realistic, yet sweet at the same time-e.g Norah Jones. The soundstage depth, width, and sense of three dimensional space have all noticeably improved too.
Overall, I would say every aspect of my listening experience has been improved. Did my neurons burn-in somewhat too... maybe? But all I know is that at first I could hardly bear listening due to the new Romex and Porter Ports, and now I can hardly bear to stop listening to my tunes. For around $250 in materials and about 5 hours labor, I'd say it was a worthwhile experiment with happy results.
And as some above have suggested, the burn-in may not yet be fully completed. Perhaps I'll update again sometime around Thanksgiving to see if further changes have occurred.
As always YMMV, but I'm now a dedicated line convert.
Skeptics have a right to their opinion, but as for me the proof is all in the ear of the beholder!
What a great thread - I'm just reading this for the first time.
There is a wealth of really good information here - and most if not all of it I would agree with. I would love to see you try one of our EQUI=CORE Balanced AC Power Sources on your Front End. From what I can see here one of our E=C 150's and perhaps an IEC Strip like a Wireworld Matrix 2 would really be a nice thing to try. Your Dedicated Line is wonderful - but utilizing Balanced AC Power to your front end can lower noise (further) and really produce a Blacker and more "at ease" sound-stage.
Of course I'm biased - but I would not be against allowing you to try one of our units and see if I'm not right...
I don't see anything on your Web Site that says the output of your 60/120Vac balanced power system equipment is GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected. Question, is it GFCI protected?
Is your power equipment Listed, safety tested by any recognized third party testing laboratory, such as UL or CSA?
Our Hubbell Outlets are not GFCI - we do have a fast acting Circuit Breaker in place - works well.
At the receptacle/s is there a difference of potential, voltage, from either Hot contact to the "U" shaped safety equipment ground contact of 60Vac?
If yes, I believe, that meets the definition of a separately derived 60/120Vac grounded Technical Power System.
While I certainly do appreciate your question and your desire to learn more about our product I never want to take the position of "that's an internal issue"... I can share with you that we in fact do put our real Balanced Power and without writing a term paper here perhaps you might enjoy a 10 minute conversation with John Levreault our Lead Designer of this product. John has been around almost 50 years in this industry and is responsible for some of the best analog and digital designs around. I could surely ask him to phone you up and discuss our topology which is Balanced.
My e-mail is email@example.com
My ask is that if we do this - you then offer your report as such here. Good it would come from you and not from me.
I could simply answer your question - but as you've asked... this might be a nice exercise...
This info may be of interest. It was printed in 2007 but it still holds true today.
NEC has moved pretty rapidly since 2002 in regards to electrical safety in residential occupancies. I had thought for 2017 NEC would require all 120V 15 and 20 amp branch circuits, that supply lighting and receptacle outlets, would require combination AFCI/GFCI protection in residential occupancies. From what I have read NEC did not. They did expand where AFCI protection is required.