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  • Replacing receptacles

    I posted this on the Skiing Ninja's forum, but I figured that I'd post it here as well. I had read a couple of places about how useful it could be to replace the receptacles that are used with your audio and video equipment. The posts I'd read were mostly about hospital grade outlets, but I wanted to start out w/ something in between hospital grade and the <$1 ones that are currently in my 12 year old house. So, I went to ACE Hardware and got the $2.50 Leviton preferred 15 amp (since this appears to be what my house uses) receptacles and over time have put them into all of my audio systems. I must say that I'm very pleasantly surprised with such a cheap receptacle. The overall sound is more detailed and powerful in each system. There was somewhat of an improvement w/ video (Samsung 67"), though not as much as I'd have hoped for.

    But the biggest difference is w/ the subs (UFW-12 and Mini's powered woofers). As anyone who has listened to either can attest, these are not the punchiest or loudest subs. For me, I've been sorely disappointed when watching movies as most of the low end just plain sucks. But with the change of receptacles, my UFW can now hang w/ the rest of the system. I've got it in a larger room, and I can now feel the bass pulse through the room. Certainly never did that before. It's also started to excite room nodes that I didn't know where there before. And with the Mini's, the drums finally have some punch to them, and the bass is more articulate than before. And this is all at the same volumes for both the Mini's and the UFW-12.

    So, big improvement for me. Probably the most cost effective change I've made in my systems. Not quite at the same level as, say, doing the Ninja mods, but those cost at least 100x more than a different receptacle.

    As a warning, don't play w/ the electricity and receptacles in your house if you don't know exactly what you're doing. While the risk of fires and getting shocked is small, it is still possible (e.g. by using a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp line). So, get an electrician if you don't feel comfortable.
    So say we all.

  • #2
    Darn, and I replaced I my receptacles before I could do an A/B. :D
    Seriously Ed, glad you got good results and thanks for posting.

    Don

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    • #3
      Do we know why these receptacles give improved power? Do they just grab the plug better and can then deliver more current? It seems like such a small part in the chain to make much of a difference unless there is a common defect in wall sockets. I just don't know much about them other than how to use one and install one.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mep
        ...... Do they just grab the plug better and can then deliver more current? .......
        That is the common belief, just like the banana plug vs bare wire at terminals.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mep
          Do we know why these receptacles give improved power? Do they just grab the plug better and can then deliver more current? It seems like such a small part in the chain to make much of a difference unless there is a common defect in wall sockets. I just don't know much about them other than how to use one and install one.

          I believe that the tighter grip or greater surface area that is yielding the results, but I honestly don't know for sure. With the receptacle changes, as with some of the other things I've done, I figured I would give it a shot, even if I didn't believe/understand the logic of it beforehand. This time it worked out well, and I learned something about the wiring of my house in the process.
          So say we all.

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          • #6
            I called the PS Audio folks about buying one of their receptacles as they cost $50, and I was given a $50 gift card.

            Then asked about b-stock, as I'd like to get a couple, now waiting on a call back with the results.
            There's a fine line between gardening and Madness.
            -Cliff Clavin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mep
              Do we know why these receptacles give improved power? Do they just grab the plug better and can then deliver more current? It seems like such a small part in the chain to make much of a difference unless there is a common defect in wall sockets. I just don't know much about them other than how to use one and install one.
              a tighter connection is better then a lose one for sure
              just ask any electrician

              Comment


              • #8
                OK....dumb non electrician question:

                You said above that putting a 20A recepticle on a 15A line would be bad. Why? Isn't the 15 amp breaker still protecting the line?
                Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jason
                  OK....dumb non electrician question:

                  You said above that putting a 20A recepticle on a 15A line would be bad. Why? Isn't the 15 amp breaker still protecting the line?

                  I am not an electrician but according to this:
                  Overview: PS Audio introduces the Power Port, a high-end AV grade AC receptacle available in two styles (Gray or White) that can make a significant contribution to your system's performance. This is a custom built, hospital grade, 15 to 20 amp receptacle that is easy to install in your home's wall socket. Power Ports replace the sub-standard AC power connection outlets in your home and can contribute greatly to the performance and long term reliability of your AV system.

                  Hospital Grade Outlet: The Power Port is a certifiable Hospital Grade outlet. This means that the outlet's contacts insure that tension is maintained on any male plug that is inserted into the Power Port.

                  Nickel Coated With Copper Contacts: The Power Port AC receptacle features 15 separate coats of nickel and 15 separate hand polishing operations, along with high copper content contacts to achieve maximum conductivity and durability.

                  20-Amp Ready: The Power Port is 20 amp ready, but can be used in any 15 amp circuit as well. Due to the construction of the Power Port, you can run anything from a 10 amp to a 20 amp circuit and be perfectly legal and approved. You can even run a 15 amp circuit on the bottom plug and a 20 amp on the top plug or vice versa.

                  Note: Terminal Capacity - 15 Amp (14-10 AWG wire), 20 Amp (12-10 AWG wire)

                  This implies that it is allowed by code. (IMO)
                  Lance
                  _________
                  Whatever

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Putting a 20 Amp recepticle on a 15 Amp circuit isn't bad unless you want a built in fuse and it is rated at 20 amps. The fuse is then useless. Now putting a 15 amp recepticle in a 20 amp circuit could be bad.

                    While I can see a tighter grip being a good thing, at some point, like a $50 recepticle, is just silly as the wiring behind the plug and the fuse box etc. just isn't going to match your plug.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mep
                      Putting a 20 Amp recepticle on a 15 Amp circuit isn't bad unless you want a built in fuse and it is rated at 20 amps. The fuse is then useless. Now putting a 15 amp recepticle in a 20 amp circuit could be bad.
                      No.

                      NEC allows for 15A receptacles on 20A circuits, but does not allow for 20A receptacles on 15A circuits.

                      The receptacle is essentially limiting what devices you can plug into the circuit by the plug type. Allowing a 20A device to be plugged into a 15A circuit could be problematic. Allowing a 15A device to be plugged into a 20A circuit is not a problem.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kevin_Wadsworth
                        No.

                        NEC allows for 15A receptacles on 20A circuits, but does not allow for 20A receptacles on 15A circuits.

                        The receptacle is essentially limiting what devices you can plug into the circuit by the plug type. Allowing a 20A device to be plugged into a 15A circuit could be problematic. Allowing a 15A device to be plugged into a 20A circuit is not a problem.
                        Thanks, and precisely why it's not a good idea to mess around w/ this stuff if you aren't comfortable w/ what you're doing.
                        So say we all.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I stand corrected.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Power outlets

                            I'm not endorsing any of this stuff...

                            Here are some old (potentially outdated prices, etc) notes I took when I was researching power conditioners and related stuff...

                            Power Outlets - http://www.vhaudio.com/acreceptacles.html
                            - PS Audio Ultimate outlet - $99
                            - Oyaide AC wall jacks - $75-90
                            Oyaide (pronounced "Oh-yah-ee-day") is the new kid on the block, with their AC power connectors and receptacles. One look at these confirms the Japanese obsession with quality materials and workmanship. Oyaide receptacles are among the best AC receptacles on the market today, with special attention paid to the polishing and plating processes used. Oyaide AC receptacles also have a "dimple" on the neutral contact that mates perfectly with the hole you find on the neutral blade of a male AC plug. This means even more contact surface area, and a fit/finish that is more like a Swiss watch than an AC receptacle. Nice. Available in several different plated versions. http://www.vhaudio.com/acreceptacles.html
                            - Futurtech AC receptacles - $40 - $130 - http://www.vhaudio.com/acreceptacles.html
                            - Pass & Seymour AC Receptacles - $13-$34 - http://www.vhaudio.com/acreceptacles.html
                            5262-A (15A) and 5362-A (20A)- Pass and Seymour makes arguably the best entry level AC receptacle for audiophile applications. The industrial extra heavy duty "A" series have solid brass strap construction with .040" brass triple wipe power contacts, nylon body and face, and a "grip of death" we audiophiles love. I found these to sound even better than the Hubbells, Eagles, and Levitons, in my experience... Don't confuse the 5262 "A" series with the "standard" 5262 series, which has a steel pressure plate, pvc back body, and smaller terminal screws. The 5262A is considered to be among the BEST non-plated AC wall receptacles available, regardless of price. Both the 5262A and 5362A models are available in ivory and white. Available with (optional)
                            8200-MRI (15A) and 8300 MRI (20A)- This new "hospital grade" receptacle is a new item by Pass and Seymour, and was developed for use in hospital environments where there can be NO ferrous (magnetic) materials- especially areas that contain MRI machines. The main difference between the "MRI" series and the 5262A and 5362A series is this receptacle has absolutely no ferrous/magnetic material or nickel anywhere- even the rivets, mounting screws, and conductor screw terminals. Available in Ivory or White, and Deep Cryogenic treatment. is standard.


                            Power conditioning is a somewhat tired controversy (lot's of threads on various forums).
                            Like I said not endorsing any of this, just throwing it out there.
                            The notes are not my words but either pulled from ads or forums (sorry don't have all the references).

                            Mike
                            HT Gear (AVS Link)
                            Rk: MA WR-37-32
                            Pwr: 20A, Surge-X SEQ, M1500-UPS
                            Proj: JVC RS20, 128" 2.4:1 CaradaBW, ISCOIIIL, CineSlide, RadianceXE
                            Cbl: DirectTV C31/700 Genie receiver
                            Rec: 5308CI + XPA-3
                            BR: Oppo BDP-103
                            Gm: 360 Pro
                            LR/C: RS1KSig/RSC200Sig
                            S/R: RSS300/RS250MkII
                            Sub: SVS PB12-Ultra/2
                            Off: HRT MS DAC, USP-1, UPA-2, ERC-1, Ultra10, WAF-1 Ninja+No-Rez
                            Off2: Gizmo, WAF-1
                            TCA: 3x Gizmo 1.0or,5x v1.0M; 5xWAF-1

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                            • #15
                              While power conditioners is a topic that has some controversy surrounding it, I haven't come across someone who's said that they replaced the cheap receptacles in their home w/ something better and it wasn't a noticeable improvement. Now, whether there's a significant difference between the $2.50 receptacle and the $100 cryo-treated receptacle is very debatable, the concept at least seems to hold true.
                              So say we all.

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