Review: World Power Receptacle Cryoed Hubbell 5362 Tweak

Category: Accessories

I should preface this review by saying that over the past year and a half or so I have experimented with a number of standard receptacles, including the Pass and Seymour 5262, the Arrow Hart 8200, spec grade Levitons, older hospital grade Bryants, older hospital grade Levitons that were included as "original equipment" with my line conditioner(s) and the Hubbell 8200/8300 series. Listening to receptacles is, in a nutshell, a real pain in the neck, and I discovered (although it took me some time to figure it out) that with stock/standard receptacles, you could only really make a judgment if you were running the same receptacle throughout the system; in other words, in my system I had to change out the receptacle at the wall, as well as the receptacles in my line conditioner, which was not an easy task.
Experimentation with the above units led me, finally, to the conclusion that the standard Hubbell 8200/8300 units offered the best performance from those listed above. In my opinion, the Hubbell's excelled at delivering the most "accurate" portrayal of the music; compared to the others, they were much smoother and less "distorted", with a blacker background. They were also clearly superior in terms of ambient or venue information, probably as a result of the blacker background, and particularly front to back depth information. They didn't seem to "hype" or overemphasize any part of the frequency spectrum the way the other receptacles did.

This review, however, is of the "World Power" cryoed Hubbell 5362 receptacle. First of all, I am an audio cheapskate, and the idea of a $55 receptacle seemed pretty absurd to me, but I can assure you that it no longer does.

My listening results reported here are based on replacing a stock Hubbell 8300 at the wall (no dedicated lines here unfortunately) with a cryoed 5362 from World Power/Audio Excellence. I have a basic system using an Audiolab 8000A integrated amp running off this receptacle, as well as an Inouye Line conditioner running off the same receptacle which in turn powers my analogue and digital sources. The receptacles in the line conditioner, at the time of this review, remain the Hubbell 8200's.

I have been using this receptacle for about a month now, but the impressions I am posting were evident in critical listening sessions performed about 8-10 hours after installation of the receptacle, allowing time for my gear (which I leave powered on 24 hours a day) to re-stabilize after being shut down.

The immediate first impression was of: 1) a crystalline clarity without edge or glare (many receptacles I've tried have tended to "hype" or push forward the mid range, kind of fooling you into believing there is more detail there when in fact it is just being pushed in your face, and with distortion to boot-exciting but fatiguing and not accurate-not the case with the cryoed Hubbell)
2) an even blacker and quieter background, allowing sounds to emerge out of a much more defined "space", particularly a front to back space in my system, although horizontal sound stage also increased marginally (not in my opinion a real area of strength with my system, though) and 3) a fleshing out, or blossoming of both vocal and instrumental information; everything just seems to sound more "real". With instruments, it was probably most notable with saxophone and piano-there is a fullness and "roundness" for lack of a better word with these and other instruments. CD recordings that I had previously found to be thin and "glary" seemed much less so. I find many of the more recent Verve releases to be particularly guilty of this, among them: Jimmy Smith "Damn", Ronnie Earle and the Broadcasters "The Colour of Love" and Diana Krall's
"When I Look in Your Eyes". Recordings like this, which had previously been strident seemed much less so-with female vocals like Etta James and Diana Krall, sibilance was greatly reduced if not totally removed and with male vocals like Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, there was a "chesty" almost cold-like quality that disappeared and was replaced by a real resonance in the male voice that I had never heard before-it was quite remarkable and 4) Bass performance was enhanced with bass becoming both more tuneful and extended while not "overwhelming" the rest of the presentation 5) the music became much more "transparent"-you could hear into the performance much more, and particularly with dynamic passages, my system and the music sounded much less congested and "disoriented" when the going got tough.

The really amazing thing that happened, within my system, was that instrumental and vocal images seemed to increase by about 25%, something I had not come remotely close to hearing with stock receptacles. This, obviously, results in a much more life like and real sound, and really impressed me.

Quite striking to me is the fact that these improvements were clearly audible replacing only the receptacle at the wall, although, clearly that is the most important one in my system. I'm looking forward to replacing the line conditioner receptacles as well to take the system to the next level. I honestly never thought I'd be recommending a $55 receptacle, but put in the context of a reasonably good mid-fi or high end system, this is a tremendous bargain in terms of what it does. Clearly, the cryo treatment is doing something very beneficial-hearing is believing. I'd rank it conservatively at giving a performance upgrade of between 50-100% of what a good (but maybe not astronomical) interconnect or power cord upgrade will give you. So for a receptacle, it's expensive, but as a component, which it should be viewed as, it is really quite cheap.

More to follow when the line conditioner units are replaced.


Product Weakness: Costly when viewed as a receptacle, but not as a component, which it should be viewed as.
Product Strengths: As above

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Audiolab 8000A with Cardas Power Cord
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): None
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Mychell Gyro/FT3/Ortofon MC 20 Super RCA 5223P CD/DVD player with Harmonic Tech adapter to 47 Labs DIY power cord
Speakers: Elipson 1313
Cables/Interconnects: 47 Labs OTA with Eichmann Bullet Plugs/Kimber 8TC with Postmaster spades
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Tom Waits/Mule Variations Leonard Cohen/Ten New Songs Etta James/Heart of a Woman Diana Krall/Only Trust Your Heart etc. Bob Dylan/Love and Theft Otis Rush/Any Place I'm Going The Brian Setzer Orchestra Jimmy Smith/Damn Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters/The Colour of Love etc., etc.
Room Size (LxWxH): 21 ft. x 14 ft. x 8 ft.
Room Comments/Treatments: none
Time Period/Length of Audition: 4 weeks
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Inouye Line Conditioner with Hubbell 8200 Stock Receptacles and Cardas Power Cord
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
In my opinion an EXCELLENT review. I can tell you put a tremendous amount of time and thought into the subject matter. I think you brought up many sophisticated topics that the average guy would not realize. A true labor of love.
Keep up the good work! You guys have helped me a great deal and I don't mind riding on your coat tails to better sound. thanks!
It sounds to me that Hdm is related to Audio Excellence in one way or the other. Great write up anyway.
Not related at all except for owning the product. I have been posting here for 3 years with a number of those posts on receptacles (all that info is available to you in member lookup, by the way). Thanks for the compliment on the review.
Why is it that if you realy find a product to be truly exceptional and tell others your findings with a thoughtful and careful, positive review, that then, somehow you must be a shill for the company that makes the product. Sometimes there ARE exceptional products that DESERVE a rave review. Myself I admire Hdm's work in this area and find that it is helping me realize my goals of improved sound quality. Thanks Blake! Thanks to Lak as well, who has been of great help in this area. Good work!
Thanks for the informative and comprehensive comparison. Knowing the cryoed 5326 outperformed 8200/8300, have you ever wondered about the performance of cryoed 8200/8300 would be. If you need many cryoed receptacles (i.e. replacing all on the line conditior outlets), it may be cheaper to get your own receptacles and send it for a three-day cryo session. I will most likely do that myself.
Hchi: This review was submitted in July of '02, and about 3 months ago I did a direct comparison of a cryoed 5362 to a cryoed 8300 in my system. My system configuration has changed since the review listed above in that I now use two Inouye conditioners in my system, one feeding front end components and the other strictly for my integrated amplifier. For the comparison of the two receptacles, the conditioner dedicated for the amp was outfitted with one 5362 and one 8300, both cryoed and fully burned in.

I simply plugged the amp into one receptacle, listened, and plugged it into the other. Everything is system dependent, of course, but in my system, I prefer the 5362 to the 8300. To my ear, the 5362 sounded more relaxed and natural. It was also a bit less forward-I think it is superior in terms of front to back depth info in recordings. I think that because of its relaxed nature, it also does better at PRAT than the 8300. Music seems to flow in a more realistic manner-to me it sounds (the old cliche here) more like music and less like "hi-fi". The 8300, by comparison is a little "brighter", definitely offering a more forward, kind of "front row" presentation. It moves everything a bit closer to the listener. My suspicion is that the nickel plating on the 8200/8300 is adding a very small amount of distortion, giving a different sound. That is not to say some people might not prefer the 8300; I can see a person with a very laid back system wanting to liven it up being happy with the 8300. In such a system, the 5362 might make things work. The differences are fairly subtle, but they are there. But in my system, the 5362 is the winner, offering what I consider to be a less distorted, more realistic presentation of the music.
Following the advice on this site, I have recently ordered and installed a cryoed Hubbell 5362. My findings are very similar to the great review posted here. The most noticeable improvement in my system is the bass and drum. They have much more pratt and sound, finally, realistic. I actually didn't know what to make of it at first, but the background is blacker, allowing every instrument to be heard independently and clearly instead of smearing or overlapping each other. The presentation is also more relaxed and natural. Thanks to all who have brought this to our attention. For those who haven't try this, you're missing out on what your system is capable of.
Hdm, Your comments:
The 8300, by comparison is a little "brighter," definitely offering a more forward, kind of "front row" presentation. It moves everything a bit closer to the listener. My suspicion is that the nickel plating on the 8200/8300 is adding a very small amount of distortion, giving a different sound.

I don’t disagree with your comments about nickel plating, but would like to state that it is possible to order them without Nickel. All the cryo treated outlets I ordered for members here at Audiogon were NOT plated and were deep immersion treated.
Thanks for that clarification Albert. I knew from a post that you made some time ago that your 8300's were not nickel plated (I should take this opportunity to thank you, as well, as one of your posts a few years ago led me back to a bit more experimentation with the Hubbells and, ultimately settling upon them). Most buyers should also be made aware, though, that if they are not special ordering from Hubbell or a dealer and are just purchasing an 8300 from an electrical supply house or even one of the specialty vendors doing cryo here on Audiogon or other audio sites, chances are very high that they will end up with a nickel plated receptacle.

That being said, even the nickel plated 8300 is a very smooth receptacle compared to many that I tried which were not nickel plated; as with many other things in life, generalizations are not always accurate. My gut feeling is that the Hubbells sound as good as they do as a result of the way the contacts make physical contact with the blades of the male plug. My preference though is for a non-plated receptacle with brass contacts such as the 5262/5362 or the one you are using and supplied with the special order.
Does anyone have one of the Hubbell 8300 cryo’d that does not have the nickel treatment that I can purchase or borrow, (I’ll pay shipping both ways) listen to for the purpose of evaluation? If you’ve followed some of my threads you know that I own many brands of cryo’d outlets that I use and evaluate.

One of our more famous members here at Audiogon has ordered 55 of my Porter Port outlets and in the process of doing his order, I ask for 100 to be manufactured by Hubbell.

When they return from treatment I will have 45 available for members. I plan on posting an Auction at set price of $36.00 (as I always have) and anyone wanting one may take advantage of it.
Hi Albert,
I'll look for your post. If you should think of it, when they arrive, send me an email.
Did your comparisons include the ACME silver plated outlet? I'm wondering if silver plating would have the same issues as nickel plate, or if the advantages of an unplated outlet are lost over time due to oxidation?
My comparisons did not include the Acme as I much preferred the sonic character of the stock Hubbell to the stock Pass & Seymour which the Acme is based on. In theory, the silver plating should be much better than the nickel, but I'm unsure as to the actual durability of the silver plate on the Acme. I believe Lak has compared the Acme; perhaps he can chime in.
Hello Hdm & Wdi,

I also own and use the Acme Silver Plated outlet besides many others. If you’re looking for a sound, with a touch of silver (as a good pair of silver interconnects would perform) the Acme is very good. Not too bright (after break-in) with the benefits of silver. Does not sound like nickel-plated items! I like mine and seems to be holding up very well.
Lak, the outlets have arrived and I have shipped the pre sold 55 pieces. I hope to shoot some digital images and get an ad posted here at Audiogon before the weekend is over.

You may contact me via email or wait for the ad.
Thanks Albert!
Best regards,
Dutch auctions up (Sunday night) for the PorterPorts. There are some pictures posted as well.
I have tryed them all and still like the Pass & Seymour 20A BR20-ICC the best of all. It has better inner detail, harmonics and a higher degree of realism that makes the Hubbell 8300 sound rounded and mellow in comparison. It also grips the power cord tighter.