Power conditioning from the ground up


I am exploring power conditioning for my rig. I have read plenty of threads where the opinions seem to be varied.

I am looking into replacing wall receptacles, adding a power conditioner, upgrading wiring to a thicker gauge and dedicating several breakers for my set-up.  

Some questions I have:

If I had upgrade the wall receptacle but my in-wall wiring is subpar, will the wall receptable be redundant?

If you have a power conditioner but you have a cheap $1 duplex outlet, is the power conditioner redundant?

I am trying to better understand where my focus should be. In regards to what I am looking to achieve, I want the usual (blacker blacks, deeper soundfloor, wider soundstage, less grit, more details, etc.) 

Ultimately, I would like to achieve as close to a holographic image as possible to where the image is suspended or hanging in the air. Maybe the answer to query isn't power conditioning, I would like to hear your ideas for how to achieve what I am seeking within my current set-up if possible:

VPI Scout 1.1
Soundsmith Zephyr MKII (HOMI)
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum (KT120)
Zu Soul MKII
Zu cables

Thanks,

Aaron


asp307
It's best to go as far back to the source as you can. If you own a home, have an electrician run one or two dedicated lines for your audio system. Run 10 gauge Romex from the breaker box to the outlets and use good quality outlets (Furutech GTX-D). 
Take care of that first, then worry about power conditioners, et all later.

Now, if you rent, and running new lines from the breaker box is not an option, then worry more about the power conditioner. I still think that upgrading wall outlets will help, even if you can't upgrade the wiring behind it.
1+ jmcgrogan2.  Great advice.  

I live in an apartment so I can't do any major rewiring, However, the simple upgrade to a Maestro outlet brought out greater detail and clarity.  Each step makes a difference.
Thanks jmcgrogan2, are there tests my electrician should run regarding the power supplied to my home (I own so I have flexibility) before looking to upgrade? If so, what trends or metrics should I be looking for in these tests in order to assess if I am receiving clean power?

Regarding the wall receptacle, I've read several reviews ("shootouts") with Oyaide, Furutech, Hubbell, etc. and each seem to have their own characteristics and presentation. The barriers to entry on wall receptable testing is a bit daunting for me as well as time consuming. So I guess I would be looking for a well rounded wall receptacle that does a lot of things well compared to one that may specialize in certain aspects. 

Is there a significant advantage to buying one that is cryoed?


Excellent advice- guys!
I found these article very informative and interesting, 

http://image99.net/blog/files/d0a1214beb039672ed95ed07cabf69dd-22.html

http://image99.net/blog/files/af7344cfd857b845519b34ad829c12d0-3.html

nice info, lalitk. I recently added 2 10 guage , 20 amp circuits for my amp(s), and 4 12 guage 20 amp circuits for the rest of the system while renovating my living room. I figured pretty much what the articles said, start with quality outlets and wires and you can't go wrong. Still sheetrocking (5/8) so I have not checked it all out yet.
Consider an isolation transformer. Plitron makes a good one, good enough for medical equipment, and sells directly to the public. It's a spectacular deal.

Then run 10AWG Romex to good industrial grade outlets, say $15 each from an electrical supply. That's what I've done for a high end system.
If you want to see the light a grounding conditioner is a must. 
Dedicated line with Maestro.
Passive AC conditioner
Grounding conditioner plus a dedicated ground rod for system.


@asp307,
After a lot of experimentation, I settled on the Furutech GTX-D outlet. If you are looking for a good outlet that does everything right at a lower price I suggest the Avatar Acoustics After burner AC wall outlet.
Yes, cryogenically treating an outlet is a good thing IMO, and it enhances the sound, but there is a much longer break in period.
Regardless of the wiring within your walls a good AC outlet is a must and will make a difference!

Do we know (precisely) what these upgraded outlets bring to the system?
In other words, how are they different from standard grade?

Happy Listening!
Very good advise above. Start at your breaker box and work from there. A dedicated line and upgraded outlet for your integrated is primary. If you haven’t already done so, check out the 'dedicated line' thread under 'Tech Talk’  by Lowrider57.  

Jafant, to my knowledge the main advantage of industrial grade outlets is a very strong, positive contact. Think hospitals, with a string of cords hanging on one outlet.

Thanks to all for the advice. Met with my electrician yesterday. We are going to run a dedicated line (20amp) from the breaker box to two duplex upgraded outlets (still deciding on outlets) with 12 gauge Romex wire while keeping the run as isolated as possible. he feels confident this is necessary for the improvements I am seeking. Please let me know if you have a differing opinion. I asked about a 10 gauge wire and he said it's overkill. 
Many Thanks! terry9.
Keep me posted and Happy Listening! asp307
I asked about a 10 gauge wire and he said it’s overkill.

All electricians say this, at least in my experiences.
Overkill is what this hobby is all about though. ;^)

You almost have to buy the supplies for them, in fact I did. The electrician will just shake his head and look at you funny when he sees the crazy wire and outlets in your hands. He’ll tell you that anything at Home Depot would work just as well. Maybe he is right and us audiophiles are wrong.

I think electricians don’t want to use 10 gauge because 12 gauge is easier to work with, and does fulfill the code.
As for outlets, there are many good ones to choose from. I've only used outlets from PS Audio, Oyaide, and currently I am using Furutech GTX-D's just as Larry (lak). I have heard good things about the Avatar Afterburner, but I haven't heard one.

It's hard to choose someones outlets for them, same as trying to make a cable suggestion. The PS Audio was pretty good, the Oyaide a bit more musical, and the Furutech a bit more resolving.
Which will work best for you will depend on your gear/room and personal listening tastes.
asp307, I would go with 10awg wire.  This is one of the upgrades you won't be doing again anytime soon.  And it's not as easy as swaping an outlet or component. 

I am using Furutech's GTX-D (R) and echo jmcgrogan2 last post.  I would try couple of different outlets and decide for yourself what sounds best your ears. 

Happy Listening! 
If I may, I would like to introduce yet another angle to this power discussion. Does anyone use balanced power such as a BPT or an Equitech device? I would be curious to hear replies.
I can share my experience with balanced power having used an Equitech 10WQ in my last system. This is a big (385lb!) built in conditioner that while providing good power was a pain in use. I found the system to be unreliable constantly triggering its GFCI circuits whenever other household appliances went on and off. On the end Equitech advised me to bypass all the GFCIs which I did but that involves popping the hood and reqwiring the circuits. In addition having a built in balanced conditioner will affect the resale of your property as most buyers will not accept non standard outlets, and ripping one of these things out during a sale is not easy

My current installation uses a Torus WM 75 which has the benefit of balanced power at the input while normal phase power on the outlets. In my opinion this is an ideal setup and the Torus conditioners are pretty good value, robust and very reliable

rest of my setup is SR quantum tunneled Romex in the walls (which had to be stripped of its outer sheath to meet Oregon code) to SR outlets and Oyaide WPC covers. I also installed Environmental Potentials ground filter and surge protector on the front end. Obviously it's hard to do a before and after on a setup like this but I can safely say my system has never sounded better and I'm certain that the input power is not a limitation
@lalitk  - Regarding gauge, why do you recommmend I run 10 awg instead of 12 awg. My amp is 100w, the run is less than 100 ft. and I do not plan on upgrading to an amp with more power. In fact, my speakers are about 98 db so the 100w I have now is a bit much. 

@jmcgrogan2 - that's hilarious. In fact, when discussing wall receptacles with my electrician he said you can go overboard and buy a $16-$17 wall receptacle...So yes, I will be supplying these for him. 
asp307, go with 12awg. I didn't realize you are only running a 100W amp.  Sounds like you have a 2ch setup.  

I am running 5 amps plus a sub in my HT setup. 3 of those amps are monoblocks and draw upto 1650 watts :)

Is it important to invest in carbon wall plate covers? If so, why? Does it make that much of a difference?
@lalitk - Thanks, yes this is only for a 2ch setup. I will most likely introduce an external phono stage and possibly a network player (further down the road) but nothing beyond that. 

On another note, I will be purchasing a new TV and the electrician is going to do this work as well (adding outlets, fishing through walls, etc. Is it important to upgrade the wall receptacles for a 4K tv? Will it make a significant impact?
I would recommend a decent wall outlet regardless whether you're connecting your TV directly to wall or through a line conditioner.

I don't know if you're using a line conditioner at this time. If not, once you're done with this installation, look into Audience or Shunyata Research line conditioners.  I currently own three Audience aR6-TSSOX line conditioners and I can't imagine living a day without them.  

You probably don't need 3 but one of those will elevate your system performance to a new level.  

Keep us posted. 

 
Just installed a Furutech GTX-D duplex (about $245) in my wall replacing a synergistic teslaplex... Sound had the immediate improvement as when I upgraded all my cables.Though to a lesser degree. But still quite remarkable. Next step I disconnected my conditioner and went straight into the duplex with my integrated and source. Sounded better than with the conditioner. I tried different combinations and cables and came to the conclusion that the new duplex was the improvement..
Hope this was helpful.
rippet,

"went straight into the duplex"  That's interesting.  May I know what conditioner you are (were) using? Do you have a dedicated circuit for your room? 



@asp307 , if you are looking for an inexpensive outlet for your video needs, AudiogoN member albertporter sells his Porter Ports on this site.
Basic Hubbell outlets that are cryo-treated. Priced at $41 each, hard to beat for the price.
@jmcgrogan2 - thanks for the rec, I will contact him. What are your thoughts on wall plate covers? I am leaning toward the Oyaide R1 for outlets on my 2ch set-up but I can't spend $405 for the quad duplex wall cover...I just can't get there. Do you use the Furutech composite wall cover and will it fit other brands of outlets or have you found another solution with regards to an outlet cover?


I am using the Furutech 104 Carbon Fiber Plate covers. I think they would work with other outlets, but to be sure you should talk to Chris VenHaus at VH Audio.

http://www.vhaudio.com/
Dedicated circuit with the biggest wire you can afford. Had some left over electric stove wire which was as big as my baby finger. 12Gauge with my system will dim the lights but with this giant wire not even a flicker. I have yet to change the wall plate but it couldn't hurt.I run the big wire to a 20 amp breaker sub box and from there 10 gauge.
Forget conditioners (unless you are experiencing real problems with the current into your home) & get a quality cryo treated pure silver distribution block powered by a quality cryo treated cable. 

I've used numerous conditioners then went down the above route & it was a complete transformation. Huge improvements across the entire range with all of the superlatives! 
So i've order several Furutech GTX-D (R) and they will be here Friday. I see that Furutech makes a stainless outlet cover. What is the difference between this and a stainless outlet cover from Home Depot? Will the Furutech GTX-D (R) fit a standard wall outlet cover? I do not want to spend the money on the carbon fiber outlet covers and wall plates. Any recommendations are welcome and as always I appreciate the feedback.