Sound, No not necessarily. 12 guage is code for 20A. This topic is covered in other threads, but I suggest you call a licensed electrician.
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Use any kind of outlet you fancy. The current drawn depends on your equipment, not the outlet, and probably doesn't exceed 3 or 4 amps except for a surge at turnon. If you short out the outlet the 15 amp breaker (or fuse) will open. In other words, an outlet rated for 20 amps will not increase the current drawn through the 14 gage wire from your service entrance.
Note that on a 20amp duplex the ground pin is horizontal and on a 15amp duplex it is vertical. There are some 20amp units that accept either configuration.
And there are also some pieces of gear that use a 20a IEC inlet.
Point being that a 15amp plug will not fit into a 20a duplex or IEC receptacle.
The reason is that the committee in charge of such things wanted to make sure that consumers could not plug in an under rated power cord.
As far as what's a good 15amp duplex; there is a range from the classic Porter Port to the latest from Oyaide and Furutech. Take a look at VH Audio for an idea of what's out there.
The following Wikipedia writeup may be of interest:
Note this statement: "In new residential construction since about 1992, a 20-amp receptacle with a T-slot for the neutral blade allows either 15-ampere parallel blade plugs or 20-ampere plugs to be used."
You are correct......
If the overcurrent device, breaker, is a 15 amp then the branch circuit is a 15 amp branch circuit. Even if the branch circuit wire is #12 awg.
With that said according to NEC code, only a 15 amp receptacle can be installed on a 15 amp branch circuit.
You can install two or more 15 amp receptacles, (a duplex is two), on a 20 amp branch circuit per NEC.
Per NEC a 20 amp receptacle can only be installed on a 20 amp branch circuit.
The branch circuit breaker must be a 20 amp. And the branch circuit wire must be a minimum size of #12 awg, per NEC.
Apparently, there is no sense in upgrading to a 20A receptacle having a 15A circuit breaker on the line. Hard to imagine that my amplifier would ever draw current approaching 15A. It is rated at 120 watts per side. Maybe I fell for the hype that a 20A receptacle would improve sound, but it makes sense that the 15A breaker is the bottleneck and would trip if current approached 15A anyhow. Hope I am making sense.
Yes, I agree that it would be best to not install a 20A receptacle on a 15A line.
The alleged sonic benefits of some 20A receptacles, if they exist, would not be due to their higher current rating per se. They would be due to other less well understood and less well accepted factors, which could very conceivably be found in a similarly designed 15A receptacle as well.
Putting in a 20A receptacle would also be a code violation, as has been pointed out. The reason for that code provision, if it is not clear from the previous comments, is to prevent devices that would draw more than the 15 amp capability of the breaker and/or wiring from being plugged in.
The reason I mentioned earlier that it would be a no-no to put in a receptacle rated at less than 15A, if one exists, is of course to eliminate the possibility of the receptacle itself being required by the plugged in devices to pass more current than it is rated for, which could lead to overheating that would not be protected against by the breaker.
Finally, if it is not clear, be aware that there is no direct correlation between the 120W output rating of your amp and its ac current draw. Tube amps and pure class A solid state amps, in particular, are highly inefficient and can draw far more power from the ac line than the power that is put out to the speakers. That said, I agree that you are very unlikely to approach 15A consumption by the system with just about any 120W/channel amp.