Go to Audio Asylum and do a search in the "Tweaks/DIY" forum. Lots of discussion on this topic. I ordered Acme silver plated outlets based on my reading.
I do not understand the value of a silver plated, cryoed, or whatever, outlet. The most important thing at this end stage of the electric coming out of the wall, and the beginning stage of the electrice going to your system is the connection. Tight/ snug. That's it. I know there's a million threads on this. Remember, though, if you hear a difference:there is... I don't, so there isn't...warren
All the wall outlet mfg's that you mention should be better than standard as should be the hospital grade outlets you now have.
One recommendation would be to seperate your preamp from the digital source. Digital has a way of injecting much AC noise back into the line and hence it is transfered to the pre.
If your amp are not drawing large amounts of current, perhaps you could try sharing the amps on one dedicated line and put your preamp on the other dedicated line. Even if they do draw large amounts of current, it would be an interesting experiment. You should only lose the macro-dynamics or dynamic headroom with such a move.
It would be interesting to know the results. I'm guessing this change should provide you better results than upgrading from a hospital grade outlet to another.
I second the PS Audio Power Ports. I feel they are better, construction wise, than the Pass & Seymour hospital grades they replaced. Do they sound better---maybe who knows---- but they are better built and I figured for the money I have in my system...... why not. I have a dedicated 20 amp circuit with 10 gauge romex. I have not heard the cryo'ed outlets so I can not comment on them. You might want to do a search on this subject as there are a lot of varied opinions.
Barrelchief, I think for the most part the outlets that are called “Audiophile outlets” have been altered in one fashion or another to be an improvement over the hospital grade. Some outlets are even produced with slightly tighter tolerances to make the contact points tighter.
In some instances they are gold plated or silver plated. I believe the plating process, same as the various materials used in production such as copper, brass, mixtures etc gives different variations to the end product, (the sound).
When the outlets are cryogenically treated in the correct fashion (as many but not all of them are) it usually leads to additional enhancement in the ears of the beholder, that can actually be heard with a revealing system and some experience. Many but certainly not all of the Audio level outlets are given different names but they boil down to a variety of Hubbell’s, or other major brands. For example the Acme Silver plated cryo’d outlet is a Pass & Seymour (older fashion with only screws to wrap the wire around) that has been carefully disassembled silver plated put back together and then cryo’d. I'm currently am doing a demo with the Acme at the present time. It seems very pleasant; the question is what sound does the listener prefer?
I do agree with Zikhmark & Chuck on the PS Audio units. They are a high quality, no nonsense piece. They are isolated ground as oposed to some "high end" units that cost about $300.00 a piece, which aren't. Isolating the ground will lower the noise, the nickel plating will fight
corrotion in the contacts. At $50.00 you won't find a better outlet, not in this price range.
The cryo'd 8300 Hubbells I am experimenting with are not finished breaking in and I can already say that at least in my system there is NO question, No maybe, No who knows, about the fact that they sound better. So much better in fact,that it is like buying new upgraded electronics and the burn in is not even complete. These are not a matter of, well gee I think I heard something, maybe. It is a transformation of the way the equiptment functions, alowing is potential to be realized. It made a bigger improvement in my system than changing the power cord on my CD player, which was a very noticeable improvement, and not just different. The conclusion I have to draw at this point is that the real difference between other members findings who are not sure if they hear an improvment or not but like the higher contact pressure and the construction and my experience with drasticly improved sound is the cryo treatment(which as Lak mentioned, needs to be done properly, no silly dry ice sort of bologna). A good cryo treated Hubbell is available already burned in for only $10 more than the PS Audio which seems well liked here,but does not, judging from the prior postsers results, offer the same performance gains I am hearing from the cryo'd units. Cryo seems to be the key at least at this price point in much improved sound quality, given that the construction is roughly equivilent. Other members have reported sonic improvement that rival $10000 electronics upgrades using the $150 Wattgate. Other members have found the cryo'd Hubbell = to the Wattgate. I understand that the Furutech is a great outlet as well which may be in the same leagur with the Wattgate or beyond. I have yet to hear the results from cryo treating a Wattgate. I have no doubt that the outlets I installed are the best investment, dollar vs. performance, that I have made on my system.
Chuck, I do undertand your position.
I didn't know what to expect myself from this outlet upgrade. I was conservative about my expectations and was not sure that the results that others were reporting would translate to my system. First of all I was reading reports from Albert Porter, who's opinion I find very credible, as well as Larry, another AGoner aka,Lak who have both done more experimentation in this area than I. I was unsure that the reports of vastly improved sound would happen in my system. Comparing Albert's system to mine is like comparing a laser beam to a red colored Christmas light! Secondly, I don't even have special dedicated lines yet. I repalaced cheap spec grade Levitons that were in good condition, using the existing wireing.
I am very happy that I took a position of, why not, it can't hurt?
I can't tell you all of WHY this worked so well. I can tell you that the results are VERY easy to hear and it took my system to a new level for a tiny fraction of the cost of new electronics or huge exotic new power cords! I am as you may be able to tell very excited about this change. I would still be excited by a change this dramatic if it had cost $500 to $1000. This is damn near free in comparison.
I will write only a couple more posts about this upgrade(I won't even call this a tweek, as it is much more than that!)on this forum. I just feel that this is what this forum should be about. If we share good information on how to make improvements that are this much fun with the rest of the Goners we can all get more enjoyment from this persuit.
I am very much a BELIEVER now.
I don't find what Maxgain is saying hard to believe; it is essentially the same experience as mine. The difference between a stock and properly cryoed Hubbell (mine were treated by Alan Kafton at Audioexcellence/World Power) is the difference between night and day. I have said this before and will say it again: testing/listening to receptacles is problematic in the least because, to get a real idea of what the receptacle is doing, you should replace EVERY receptacle in your system, including line conditioner units, to hear the real character of the receptacle. Plugging a Monster conditioner into an upgraded outlet at the wall and then plugging the majority of your components into the cheap outlets in the Monster (or other line conditioner) is going to give you an idea, but only a small idea of what the upgraded receptacle is doing. It is not easy, but I have replaced 3 receptacles at a time each time I've compared different units. Personally, I could never justify buying the PS Audio, as it is simply a Hubbell 8300 (which I have used and is available for around $20, or $15 for an 8200-which is the same except for not accepting a 20 amp plug) with extra nickel plating, and there are many who feel that the nickel plating, or more of it, would be detrimental, not positive to sound quality.
In any event, when replacing 3 receptacles at a time, there was no problem in identifying fairly large sonic differences between, for example, the Pass and Seymour 5262's, the Arrow Hart 8200 and the Hubbell 8200/8300's. There were pretty substantial differences. There was a "quantum leap" difference moving from the stock Hubbell 8200/8300's to the cryoed World Power Hubbell 5362's that I am currently using, and, yes, I would describe it as being the equivalent of a component upgrade. In fact, I have done component upgrades in my modest system which have not resulted in the positive impact that replacing receptacles has had.
There is no doubt in my mind that ANYONE could hear it and would agree with me, particularly if they have a system that draws from 2 or 3 receptacles and replace them all at once. The phrase "blown away" gets thrown around too much in these forums, but in this case it applies. For under $200 for an average system, you will be "blown away" by what that $200 can do.
I just wanted to add that I am using two of the outlets. One of which has my amp amd powered sub plugged directly into it and the other has my pre amp, CD player, and Turntable plugged into it running through a cheap Monster conditioner. I am not sure their is room for these Hubbells in the Monster but beleive me I have already thought about it! My point is that even thought I am using the Monster and it's cheap outlets on the front end, I am still as Hdm puts it "blown away"! I cant wait to try one on an NAD or other budget audiophile based, sort of basic, entry level system to hear what it can do there.
I will let you know Sek. I am pretty confident that from the results I have gotten so far that it will be an improvement on just about any system! It may be a while but when I get around to it I will put one in for my Wifes NAD,Naim,Ls3/5a BBC monitor system and on both of my Video set ups. My Nephew has an NAD 512 CD and Nad 310 integrated with Sound Dynamics RTS-3's and I am sure he would be into trying one on his rig. Could be interesting!
Barrelchief: For the World Power outlets, go to:
There is a choice of two receptacles: the 5362 or the 8300.
Both are subjected to a very intensive cryo process and, following that, burned in on a cable cooker to reduce burn-in time to about 3-4 days. They are excellent.
FWIW, Audiogon member LAK (he'll probably post this just as I am), feels that these receptacles are superior to the FIM (non-cryoed), but has also had the FIM cryoed and feels that it approaches or possibly equals the performance of the World Power units after cryo, albeit at a higher cost (initial cost of FIM plus cost of cryo).
Also FWIW, for others with budget gear, I use the World Power receptacles in a set-up that includes an Audiolab 8000A integrated plugged directly into a World Power at the wall, Elipson 1313 speakers, an Inouye Line conditioner with World Power receptacles, and source components (an older Michell Gyrodec and and RCA 5223P DVD/CD player) plugged into the line conditioner.
I submitted a review to Audiogon on these receptacles about 6 months ago when I started using them that can be seen here in the review section. I believe I posted it under tweaks.
The cryoed Hubbell 5262 that Virtual Dynamics is doing has every right to be an excellent receptacle, although I haven't heard one. It is simply a 15 amp version of the Hubbell 5362-the only difference is that the 5362 will accept a 20 amp plug. Other than that, the 5362 and 5262 are built to exactly the same standard and are identical.
The Hubbell 8300 has a different face material and its contacts are nickel plated; apparently the nickel plating will give the receptacle a slightly more forward presentation. Some will say that the nickel contributes a "brightness".
The other question relates to the actual cryo treatment. The World Power receptacle is subjected to a longer than usual cryo treatment; whether this translates into better performance, I can't say because, once again, I haven't heard the VD receptacle. The VD receptacle also offers some form of contact enhancing treatment from what I remember, and the World Power comes "burned in" to substantially reduce your "burn in" period.
Like everything else in life, you pay your money, you take your chances!