| Search | Login/Register
   Home » Audio Discussions » The power AC Outlets? (3 posts, 1 page)
  Print Thread | 1st Post |  
Page 1 of 1 (3 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  It’s mad, mad, mad... electricity...  System Warm up...  Audio Discussions  Forum     1910  9441606  10-12-2006
10-31-2008 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat

Boston, MA
Posts 10,051
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 8663
Reply to: 8663
The power AC Outlets?

I have written before that Dima is at the finish line with his new power treatment invention.


BTW, Dima’s regenerator has a new name Avicenna Power Device and it is how it will be refered in future.

Anyhow, thinking about packaging the Avicenna I came across thinking about power AC receptacles that I might used with Avicenna regenerator. I do presume that AC Outlets might make difference. When a few years back I run my dedicated power lines I used some kind of premium AC Outlets that I bought from audio tweaker dealer and  I have no idea if it was good or bad. The dedicated power lines altogether sound fine and I did not experimented with AC receptacles.

Since I need a lot of AC Outlets for Avicenna Power Device (in case the Avicenna will sound right) then I begin to quest what power outlets I might use. I do not mind to pay more for better outlet, if they are actually sonically better.  If anyone have experiment with this subject then let me know your observations.

Thinking about the power AC Outlets I came across to Colin Smith’s article in Soundstage.


The readers of my blog might think:  here is the Cat bashing Soundstage’s writers again. Well, not really. Colin wrote efforted observation about what he experienced, however after I read it I got at lost even more then before I read it. Colin Smith’s observation set absolutely not point of refers to the actual amplitude of sound change in respect to anything else. I do suppose that change one receptacle to other make SOME difference in sound but according to Colin:

“… each of these outlets offered very noticeable improvement in bass definition, detail retrieval , instrumental layering, and soundstage width and depth. …managed to redefine silence, as backgrounds grew ever darker, until at the end I began to wonder if a black hole might be forming in my wall. “

Hm, so much? If according to Colin the power receptacle impact sound so much then might I presume that a plaback without premium AC receptacles has noticeable deficiencies on bass definition, detail retrieval, instrumental layering, soundstage width and depth, has no silence in background and etc, etc, etc…. Look, look - that that Marc Mickelson with his Wilson drooling was very much misstating about the sound of his Alexandria as he did not use the “special” AC receptacles!

What I am trying to say is that “noticeable improvements” that Colin Smith is trying to recognize might take palace but I think it would be worthy to relate the amplitude of those “noticeable improvements” to something else that has an objective and quantifiable value understood but others. Let say of you use Lamm ML2.0 amp then a change of input tube from Telefunken’s flat pate to ribbed plate has very distinct and very constant change. If to recognize the amplitude of that change as some kind of article of change then all ML2 users might have a point of reference if Colin say something like this:

“each of these outlets offered very noticeable improvement co-measurable with approximately 0.2  of ML2.0’s input tube change”

I also not at ease with Colin Smith’s comments about “improvement in detail retrieval”. There are details and there are details. Not all improvement in detail retrieval are good or positive, Colin says nothing about it and do not put the sonic changes with power outlets in a wider perspective.

Anyhow,  it all look confusing to me and at this point I feel like to get whatever looks sexier to me and discard any sonic recommendations. In fact my own judgment would rather be base not upon sonic but intellectual reasoning. For instance I would like my AC power outlets but be solderable and do not use screws. I have no idea why no one talks about it. Is my desire to solder the AC power outlets are not obviously preferable way to do? The 12 channels’ of Melquiades sack out of AC power outlet 1260W, it is a slightly over 10A continuously (in class A). Would it make a sense do not have a screw in power entity under this current but rather to have the wire’s joint flooded with solder?

Rgs, Romy the Cat

"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-31-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree

Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 8667
Reply to: 8663
A . few . tiny . points .

Romy wrote :

"...I would like my AC power outlets but be solderable and do not use screws. I have no idea why no one talks about it. Is my desire to solder the AC power outlets are not obviously preferable way to do? The 12 channels’ of Melquiades sack out of AC power outlet 1260W, it is a slightly over 10A continuously (in class A). Would it make a sense do not have a screw in power entity under this current but rather to have the wire’s joint flooded with solder?..."

I completely agree.

And though it is completely impractical, hard-wiring a component directly into the mains, meaning well soldered and completely free of all AC receptacles (sockets and plugs), would result in a far better connection than even the most precious, crio-treated, audiophile-approved connectors... Unless of course the connectors were packaged in a velvet-lined box!

Seriously, the point of contact of even the best AC connector is likely to be just that, a small point, or most likely two or three small points (like these . . .) per conductor, where the hard springy metal of the receptacle meets the hard metal of the conductor it receives. Even two perfectly flat conductive plates laying one on top of the other, held together under pressure, will in practice still end up passing most of the currnet via three small points.

The best non-hard-wired connector (be it for AC, interconnects, speaker wires, tube sockets, etc) would be one that maximizes the surface area and pressure acting on the contacting surfaces, themselves being made of highly conductive materials.

Something like this :


Or this :


Following this logic, the very best practical, meaning interruptible connection might be one that simply clamps down on soft, bare, multi-stranded wire.

Like this (One could build this type of connector into a large insulated terminal block...):


But lets say we go to the trouble of hard-wiring a component directly to the mains, on a dedicated circuit; now what? Are we going to bridge the internal fuse holder, the power switch/relay, and at the other end, the circuit breaker?

Fuse holders, circuit breakers, switches and relays all have the same issues mentioned above; that is they pass current via a few tiny points. One finds breakers, switches and relays having higher current carrying capacity used in audio circuits, as they should in theory have a greater contact surface area, that "lives" under greater mechanical pressure. In practice however, I don't see how such a device might escape passing current via the same few tiny points where the metal of the conductors simply meets, regardless of how precisely the mating surfaces might be machined/assembled/aligned (and they are not). Take the two perfectly flat conductive plates mentioned above, still laying one on top of the other and under pressure; in practice they will not equal the surface contact area of a similarly-sized well soldered joint. The only exception to this (that comes to mind) is the mercury switch.

Of course one should not forgo circuit protection; in which case my specs for the ultimate series of connections would call for hard-wired (soldered directly) fuses; one at the breaker box, and the other inside the component (replacing the spring-loaded fuse holder), multi-stranded bare-wire clamped at all interruptible junctions, and a murcury-type power switch.

Of course I have not done any of this; I make do with the few tiny points everywhere.


How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
10-31-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,576
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 8668
Reply to: 8667
Where to Pick Up the Gong?

Well, you can go ahead and solder your wire-to-plug connections in the high-end AC cords, etc., but it is almost certain that the whole system up to that point uses screw terminal conections at best, and insanely and (dangerously!) cheap slip/friction connectors at all outlets at worst, and outlet boxes are mostly junction boxes, as well, for all the circuits in a typical residence.  Likewise, the industry standard for simple "junctions" only is the ubiquitous twist type plastic wire connector, which does not get soldered.  This does not even begin to address mutual induction from all the wires typically jambed into shared boxes...  Likewise, stranded wire is noisier, as you might imagine, what with all the current jumping around the adjacent wires.

The best AC plugs and outlets I have found are by Onix.  They use actual OCC copper (versus brass or bronze; VERY rare) with just enough directly-sputtered gold to stay corrosion.  Of course, Onix has been discontinued by my only known source...  Once you go to brass or bronze, conductivity drops to the point where the only quantifier becomes the relative quality of the connection, eithr friction or the quasi-mechanical connection afforded by soldering dissimilar metals.  While I hope someone else doesn't buy up the last of the Onix stuff, perhaps an onslaught of hungry freaks will re-forge the Onix connection (pun intended; sorry...).

I wrestled with solder-versus-screw-down connections for my own "house" cords and finally decided to clean the ends of the SOLID 12 ga. magnet wire, coat the bare wire with "good" solder to prevent corrosion (I also always buffer the soldered stuff with alkiline flux cleaner), and then I just reefed down hard on the pretty-good screw-down-type connectors.  There is very litle relative movement between copper parts, but I cannot say the same thing for aluminum or steel, which should always be swabbed with di-electric grease to forstall arcing down the road.  The truth is, I probably would have soldered the connections, but the way they are housed in the plastic it would have melted it all into a mess.

No reason you couldn't hard-wire the cord to the component and have just the plug end as a friction fit.  Bypass fuses or breakers at your own CONSIDERABLE risk!

Believe me, if you take any care at all with you connections you will probably be doing more than the guys who put together the AC system that you are working so hard to optimise for your hi-fi.  I assure you that they were not thinking in those terms when they wired your house or apartment, etc.

However, oddly and none-the-less, there is no doubt in my mind that there are sonic benefits to be had from taking some care with AC from the wall outlet through the component, given "standard" (versus sub-standard) methods and workmanship up to the wall outlet.  I wish I could reassure you all that everyone gets "standard" construction up to the outlet!  All bets are off if you have aluminum wiring, and any aluminum, even bus bars in service boxes, is always suspect.

Best regards,
Paul S

Page 1 of 1 (3 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  It’s mad, mad, mad... electricity...  System Warm up...  Audio Discussions  Forum     1910  9441606  10-12-2006
Home Page  |  Last 24Hours  | Search  |  SiteMap  | Questions or Problems | Copyright Note
The content of all messages within the Forums Copyright © by authors of the posts