Power Strip Question - PLEASE HELP

I need to power my audio system and various electronics from a single duplex outlet. Although this is less than ideal, I need some advice on how to avoid degrading sound quality.

Essentially, I want to buy 2 power strips for the duplex outlet. The first will be used exclusively for my audio system, while the second will be used exclusively for other electronics. Here is the breakdown:

1) Wiremold L10320 Power Strip (9 outlets, 6 foot cord):
- Naim Nait 5i-2 integrated amplifier
- Naim Nait 5i-2 cd player
- Pro-Ject Tube Box II phono pre-amplifier
- Pro-Ject Debut II TT (weak link, I know)

2) XYZ Power Strip:
- Alarm clock
- Phone charger
- External HD
- Laptop computer

My main concern is with the second power strip. I'm worried that these common electronics, being powered on the same line, might degrade the sound quality of my audio system.

Is there any way to limit the interference of these electronics, thus preserving sound quality? For instance, would a power strip with a surge protector limit the interference that these electronics may produce?

If possible, I would like some recommendations for power strips from Allied Electronics, since I will be buying the Wiremold from them (http://www.alliedelec.com/).

I don't have any strict requirements, but I would prefer an inexpensive unit (<$10, if possible) with a short cord.

Thank you so much for the help!
That's a lot of stuff for one duplex receptical and lots of opportunity for noises.I suggest you find a way to seperate the non-audio stuff.A surge protector will not do what you are looking for.Also,IMHO,using cheap power strips is asking for more noise.You have some nice equipment,don't minimize it by using cheap fixes.Good luck.
I'm aware that this setup is less than ideal. However, only one duplex outlet is accessible, so I will have to make due at the moment.

If it matters, only a select number of electronics will be operational on the second power strip at a given time. For instance, I may have the external HD and phone charger plugged in, with neither of them turned on. Would this help reduce the interference?

I don't mind spending a bit more if it will improve sound quality, but the second power strip should not be more than $30, as that's what I'll be paying for the Wiremold.

Please keep the suggestions coming!
I'm not sure that it will make much diference concerning the quaility of the powerstrips under those conditions. I would go for a good quality strip with some filtering for protection even though it will compromise the sound significantly. You have some excellent equipment.

One other thought, you could go to Home Depot and purchase some 10 to 12 gauge heavy duty stranded wire in the bulk wire display. It is very flexible and you can build a very high quaility extension cord, (go to a an electrical supply shop and ask for their best connectors) and then run this cord from another circuit in your home or apartment to your equipment. This stuff is very flexible, looks nice, will turn corners easily, and doesn't look to bad if layed along the perimeter of your room. Then you could add the powerstrip.
Good luck!
Interesting suggestion, but my DIY skills peaked at the age of 10 when I built a birdhouse. I seriously doubt I would be able to better that performance.

Anyway, I want to understand why these particular conditions are so poor. Is it the electrical demand of my audio equipment, or the multitude of consumer electronics? Hypothetically speaking, if I were to remove/relocate everything except for the audio components, would the Wiremold power strip be sufficient to allow my system to 'sing'?

One alternative would be to use an extension cord on a different outlet, and run that extension cord along the perimeter of the room. This would allow me to power the consumer electronics from a different duplex outlet that is obstructed by furniture.

I should probably mention that my current accommodations are temporary, which is why I have to deal with such poor listening conditions. I'm not at liberty to re-arrange furniture either. Grrr!

Finally, for shits and giggles, this is the system I'm aiming for:
- Naim Nait 5i-2 integrated amp
- Naim Nait 5i-2 CD player
- Pro-Ject Tube Box II phono pre-amp
- Clearaudio Emotion CMB (currently have Pro-Ject Debut II)
- Harbeth P3-ESR
- Naim speaker cables
- Custom interconnect

I already have a name for the system, too! I like to call it 'The Early Analytic'. I settled on this for two reasons. First, this will be my first proper two-channel system. Second, I was writing a paper on Frege (German) and Russell (British) at the time I was planning it. So, what do you think? Catchy, or do I just have too much time on my hands?

And yes, please get back to me about the power strips (haha)!
Consider an APC Power Conditioner H-10 as a low cost option for the audio side of your system.
I've been told multiple times to avoid power conditioners/surge protectors for audio equipment as they will degrade sound quality.

Is there some place where I can get an objective analysis? Perhaps an well respected article, or something of that sort? It's difficult to separate truth from fiction on these forums.

I don't mean to suggest that you're wrong, I just need some verification.
While I'm hardly an expert on this topic, it seems to me you are looking for options to deal with a less than ideal situation. Compromises might well be needed. I attempted to provide a multi-outlet solution for consideration. The H-10 is inexpensive. See how things sound powered up in various ways. I'd recommend plugging your amp directly into one of the wall receptacles Run the H-10 off the 2nd receptacle. Plug your other audio components into the H-10, directly. Run a power strip out of the H-10 for your low current- draw, non-audio components.

Other solutions are possible - like hiring an electrician to run new power cable from your fuse box to newly installed receptacles.
Indeed, but certain compromises are better than others. Why do you suggest running a second power strip from the first?

The Wiremold is strictly a power distributor, so there is no circuit breaker, filter, or anything of that sort. As a result, the component plugged into the first receptacle will receive the cleanest power. Would this achieve the same result that you're alluding to?

Again, I will state my two remaining questions:

1) If the non-audio electronics are plugged into a separate power strip, but are not operational (i.e. off), will they still cause interference and degrade the sound quality of my system?

2) If I use an extension cord running from a different duplex outlet to power my non-audio electronics, will this resolve the issue?

If I'm not at liberty to reorganize furniture, then hiring an electrician to rewire the room is definitely not an option. Remember, I'm trying to make due with what I have. Thanks again.
You need a power conditioner with multiple duplexes that isolates the digital duplexes from the analog ones and does not alter the sound much. Like this:


I have a Chang Lightspeed conditioner similar to this one on my HT equipment and it does not limit current, does a great job with isolation, and has no detrimental effect on sonics.

I had and sold a $3500 Furman IT-Reference 20i power conditioner on my HT (the Chang did a better job for me on music) and currently use a $5k Synergistic Research Powercell 10SE in my two channel system, so I am no rookie with power conditioners. The Chang will do the job for you and it will not hurt your sound.

I really doubt you will find a better solution any where near your budget.
J,Sgr stated in his post to run the non-audio stuff off an extention cord from another circuit.I agree with him in your situation.This is an easy way to seperate the non-audio stuff.Just make sure it's a different circuit and not just another receptacle on the same circuit.You also need to see what else is on the circuit you intend to use for the audio equipment.Stuff like fluorescent lamps put lots of noise on the lines.As far as power conditioners degrading the sound,you'll just have to try one and decide for yourself.You will get lots of conflicting opinions.Some folks love them,some can't stand them.
Jferreir, don't sweat it too much. Try a couple of power strips and see if you get too much noise, or not.

I'm in a similar situation and use a Brickwall surge protector that feeds two power strips. One power strip is a BPT, and is used for my audio gear. The other strip is used for my plasma TV, cablebox, and blu-ray player.

I don't have any issues with noise. However my PCs and ICs are fairly well shielded, and I have been careful orienting my cords and cables. I will admit I had some noise issues with the plasma TV, but careful cable orientation eliminated that problem.

I tried a power conditioner but did not care for how it degraded the sound.

I don't think the little devices you are hooking up on the other strip will be excessively noisy.

My suggestion is try some decent quality, inexpensive strips first, and see what happens. You can always use them somewhere else in the house.

However, I do suggest you consider having some surge protection.
Oh, I forgot to add that the Brickwall surge protector is fairly sonically neutral. I did snip off the captive brass power plug and replaced it with a better plug. This resulted in a little bit better sonics.
Believe it or not, and I deem this could not happen in your current setup, but the sound of your system would be greatly enhanced by running a direct line from your circuit breaker for each of your components. You might be surprised what a differnce this would make. Your integrated amp would really love the current a direct line and reward you with better bass and dynamics, along with a sweeter treble, flushed out midrange, enhanced imaging, etc. Your digital gear puts a lot of trash into the line also and should ideally have a circuit all to itself.

For now, though, I would budget more money towards a power enhancer. You could go with the Shunyata as outlined above, or purchase a used PS Audio PowerPlant Premier which would regenerate the power, protect your system from spikes, and give you a separate outlet and regenerated electtrical plug that is isolated from interfering with all your other gear. I believe you'd be able to plug all your gear into this one unit. To me, this would be one of your best options, and the one I'd try. You can purchase a used one on Audiogon for around $1150.00 and try it. If you tell any differnce you should be able to sell it easily as they seem to be in demand.
To upgrade this, build a power cable like I mentioned earlier. It is really not that difficult and does not require a large amount of tools. You would need a wire stripper, wirecutters suitable to cutting through this heavy cable, and a scewdriver. You could purchase an electrical book at the same time which should give you all the info you'd need. Surely someone at the hardware store could help you also.
The other option would be to purchase the heaviest extention cord one could purhase at Lowe's or Home Depot. You'd want at least 12 guage if possible. Use it to run all of your other components and use the PowerPlant Premier from the outlet by your system.
You might want to go to the PS Audio website and read about their various Power Plants.

Hope this helps.
Thank you for the suggestion, but the PS Audio PowerPlant Premier is, oh, about $1120 USD more than the Wiremold L1032. That is way, way beyond my means.

I have $100 CDN max. No exceptions. If I'm going to spend that kind of money (which I don't have), I'd rather upgrade my $250 turntable. Please keep in mind that I'm already over budget. At this phase of my 'audio project', power distribution is a minor tweak and nothing else.

Now, what's up with surge protection? Everyone on the Naim forum seems to be of a different opinion. I seriously can't get a straight answer. Can someone please explain the science behind it all in idiot-proof terms? Thanks!
The one topic I have not seen discussed here is the circuit that this one plug/outlet is on. What else does it power? Is it possible to dedicate it and make it a 20amp circuit. I think I would make my first investment there. An electricion can tell you if it possible to run 12ga. wire and add another circuit for the balance of the shared outlets/lighting. This is just MHO.
Furman makes a very good $150 eight outlet power strip which would seem to accommodate your needs. They may push you towards two different strips or say that isolation between the pieces/outlets is adequate.
Jferreir, there are basically two surge control technologies - MOV and non-MOV. You can read up on the methods on the Brickwall or SurgeX web sites. Some claim that MOVs will degrade the sound. MOVs are used in many power control units like those from Monster and Belkin.

I've found that the outlets in a strip or conditioner can have a large impact on the sonics. I think the main reason the Wiremold is often recommended is that it has decent brass outlets. In general I find that I prefer the sound of good brass outlets to those that are nickel plated.

You might wish to note that Naim generally recommends no power conditioning, and advises the use of power strips with high copper brass outlets. For your non-audio use power strip the outlet quality probably isn't very important.

Since you're on a limited budget, I'd suggest you go ahead and get the Wiremold L10320 for your audio gear, and another strip like those from Tripp Lite for non-audio use.

Try it and see how it sounds. Later on you could always try to borrow a fancier power conditioner to gauge its effectiveness. If you're worried about surges just unplug the Wiremold when you are not listening.
If he can't move furniture, what makes you think the owner of the place will let him hire an electrician to rewire the house? And what electrician will run new cables for less than $100?
I would say if it sounds OK, leave it alone. Try a conditioner from a retailer that will let you return it if it doesn't improve anything. Maybe BestBuy or some local shop, or try one of the mail-order houses. Check their return policy first. You will probably end up paying shipping at least one way if you return it.
Buy a power strip that has an on/off switch and plug all non audio stuff in it. When listening to music, turn it off. Then, experiment with various combinations of strips and splitters for the best sound. I would start out with the digital stuff on something with a filter and the analogue items in the other socket without filtering.

I'm not exactly sure about this but I think you can have battery supplies made to power your cd player, pre and phono. I have always been given good reasonable advice from Chris Hoff at BPT (http://www.b-p-t.com). He could tell you about battery power supply possibilities among other solutions.
I recently had a similar problem. My system is on a dedicated line. I was running non-audio gear--TV, DVD player and equipment lamp--from a separate socket on a separate line. This stuff plugged into a switched mass-market power strip. The power strip's cord was back of my rack, running past my audio AC cabling. When I unplugged the strip, the music sounded clearer and livelier.

I had to find a way to keep the ancillary gear's power bar from affecting my audio. What I did was use some leftover parts to make up an outlet box. I used Belden 12-gauge shielded cable, about $20 worth, a $10 hospital-grade Leviton outlet and a metal outlet box.

Maybe a plastic box would be better, but the plugged-or-unplugged sound test, using this box, shows no appreciable difference. My conclusion is that it is the shielding on the cable to the box that really makes the difference. An unshielded AC cable running past my audio gear's power cords has an audible effect. This is true even if I run the wires so they all cross at right angles.

Jferreir, if you were nearby I could lend you this wonder wire and you could try it out. You could run an extension cord to a separate outlet for this if you wanted, but it might not make much difference if the separate outlet weren't on a separate circuit. Anyway the point is moot because you're probably not nearby. I'm in Montreal myself.

So my point is that shielded wire to the outlet is a Good Thing, and you can do it within your budget.

I have one more point. A shielded wire to your outlet strip will keep interference downstream of the socket to a minimum. However If you want to keep ancillary gear on the same outlet as your music system from affecting your audio by feeding grunge back into the *upstream* AC, you need to isolate something. Either the audio gear or the ancillary gear.

The ancillary gear isn't picky about isolation quality and it doesn't draw much power, so given your budget I would isolate that. You should be able to find an isolation transformer ( 120V in, 120V out ) rated at about 500 VA on eBay at a price that keeps the whole project within budget. Plug the tranny into the wall, plug your new power bar into that and I think you will solve the problem.

Note that isolating the audio gear would do the same thing and it would very probably improve the system's sound a lot into the bargain. However you'd need a really big transformer, more than your budget allows at this point.
1) If the non-audio electronics are plugged into a separate power strip, but are not operational (i.e. off), will they still cause interference and degrade the sound quality of my system?

2) If I use an extension cord running from a different duplex outlet to power my non-audio electronics, will this resolve the issue?

The answers are yes, and possibly.

Have you evaluated all the elements that are on the same circuit as the outlet you are using? It's easy to test. Just turn of the breaker switch that controls that outlet and see how many other outlets and light switches are affected. If other outlets are affected whatever is plugged into those outlets could cause noise pollution on the circuit. Ditto if there are dimmer or high noise light switches controlled by this circuit.

If you do the extension cord tweak, and it seems to be your best option as far as I can tell based on your budget, you need to make sure you select an outlet that is as isolated as possible. In my scenario I have my gear plugged into two outlets on the same circuit, none of which has any light switches controlled by it and the unused outlets on the circuit have nothing plugged into them.
Here is an interesting link to someone knowledgeable about the extension cord tweak. Outside of building your own cord, you may want to look into this further:

Honest1 - missed the OP's later post about temporary housing and landlord restrictions.
Jferreir - My thought was to leave one duplex receptacle available for your amp (i.e., plug it directly into wall). Plugging a strip for non-audio devices into the H-10 would take advantage of any isolation the H-10 provided.
Dlcockrum is right. You need a conditioner with duplexes which are separate from each other. A perfect choice would be a PS Audio Quintet. Plug your components into each separate power duplex. Plug your non audio stuff into a power strip and plug that into the other wall socket. Also, please don't dismiss conditioners out of hand. The PS Audio one is excellent as are others. Experiment! You can achieve a cost effective solution!
The PS Audio would be the best. Just plug everything into the wall listen, have fun, and forget all the stress this is causing you. Life is too short!
Ditto what Sgr said. FWIW, I've got lots of stuff going into the same outlet via $15 True Value surge protector strips, though most of the stuff is rarely playing at the same time. Everything is dead quiet and crystal clear.
Well, after much consideration and conflicting advice, I've decided on the following...

I will purchase the Wiremold L10320 for use with my audio system. This specific power strip has no additional performance limiting features and it's recommended by Naim. Although a power transformer would be ideal, performance-wise, it's simply not practical given my budget.

I will have to experiment with my non-audio gear to see which setup sounds best. I've simply accepted the fact that with a budget of less than $100, some compromises in SQ will have to be made. That said, my audio system isn't even assembled yet - still waiting on the Harbeth P3ESRs - so I need to keep things in perspective. Besides, I'm sure the quality of my TT will be more of a limiting factor, SQ wise, than will the quality of my power source.

Either way, thank you for the multitude of suggestions!
Don't ever discount the quaility of your power source. This can do amazing things for your system. In fact, until you do this, (If you become disappointed in the way your new system sounds!) don't be in a hurry to upgrade component as you've not heard what they can give.
Congratulations on your new system. You've made excellent choices for your budget. There is a lot of time to live and learn about getting the best from your hifi!