Benefits of Wall Socket for Amps

Hi,

I’ve seen many posts from experienced Naim owners stating amps should be plugged directly in to the mains via wall sockets, rather than power strips (audio dedicated strips or cheapo strips)

I’m now happy with my system, speaker cables, ICs etc, and starting to look at power chords and power strips. My system is built around my humble Nait 5si, which is the only Naim product.

The 5si is plugged directly in to the wall via the Power Lite supplied; should I always leave it this way, as recommended quite regularly, or into a dedicated power strip, such as the Wireworld Matrix. Also looking at the Titan Nyx.

As per the thread title; what are the benefits to Naim equipment from direct mains from wall sockets. I’m genuinely curious, as to my dullard brain this seems counter intuitive. Wouldn’t my 5si be better served with by a strip from the 2 brands mentioned above?

Thanks for reading. Please note, I’m not doubting all the experienced people on the forum, I’d just like to be educated as to why the direct wall socket use is preferred for Naim amps

Thanks very much

Regards

I honestly don’t think your 5si will care where its plugged in and you will not hear a difference anyway. I think only larger amps that draw more current benefit from these sort of changes.
I would spend the money on new music and enjoy your great 5si, which you say you are happy with.
Don’t tinker for tinkerings sake.

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Generally I would avoid a power strip if you can. It’s one less set of fused mains plug and socket connections between you and the mains spur. If you have a number of items you need to connect then better would be either to increase the number of sockets on the spur or else consider something like a Grahams Hydra. Increasing the socket count of course gives you a lot of flexibility and is likely very inexpensive.

Thats my solution. Very simple & effective - and not too expensive, either… :upside_down_face:

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I can recommend getting the Titan audio Nyx block, though not got one myself but I do use a Titan Helios mains cable into my Nait xs2 and it sounds fantastic!
Will have to try and a/b with the standard cable at some point. but too busy enjoying the music.

I have a dedicated spur from the box in the garage to my kit in the listening room. This feeds four unswitched MK double sockets giving eight 13 AMP outlets. They are all in use! Too many power supplies.
My only slight regret is the feed is a 30 and not a 45 AMP cable. Doubt if I could hear the difference.

I don’t think there is any definitive reason why you should put the amp on the wall socket or otherwise.
Perhaps the advice is because of the variation of results with a strip. Having the source and amp on a strip could do wonders for some ears and systems. The same strip could ruin the music and life in another. With a wall socket your narrowing down the possibilities of something not fulfilling its potential.
I have my source and integrated both in a double wall socket and can clearly hear a difference when changing if the source is on the facing right side and the amp on the left, and vice versa.
I recently done a full system strip down and clean. Forgetting what goes where.
After a few days I noticed a hardness that I don’t remember being there.
After a quick swap around after a few days normality is resumed.

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If you already have the Nait plugged into the wall, there is nothing to be gained from adding a power strip. If you had say three Naim boxes and one socket, it would clearly be helpful. Unswitched wall sockets are a good idea though, as is dedicated mains.

I fitted a 3 way socket to replace the std 2 way. Swapping the steel cavity box for the matching 3 way box was the biggest part of it, took an hour or so one Saturday afternoon. End result is 3 neat Powerlines hanging down in unison going off to the various PSUs.

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Thanks for all your thoughts everyone. I guess the message here is not to get too hung up about this subject, and if my system sounds good as is, leave it be and enjoy?!

I can live with that :blush:

At the moment, apart from the 5si in to the wall, my source components are running off a cheap Belkin surge protected strip I bought from Amazon as a stop gap to give me enough sockets.

My thinking is/was I’ve got this far with my humble system, and maybe to go that extra yard and start thinking about using dedicated power cords and power strips to eek out everything I could from it. This will more than likely be my last foray back in to the HiFi world, and my last system due to health issues, so I just wanted to seek advice re: the wall socket vs power strip for my amp, from you guys with far more knowledge and experience than myself, to ensure I was maximising what I have.

Thanks again, very much appreciated :pray:

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That cheap power strip may not be doing you any favours. I would try one with no surge protection and preferably not even an LED in it. That could mean going even cheaper and buying something basic, or possibly delving into the murky waters of ‘audiophile’ mains blocks.

No sure if the mains topology in UK houses is different than in (most of) mainland Europe, besides all the silly fuses, but… Running the amp from the wall and the rest from a strip seems odd to me.

Agree with Chris on cheap power strip.

I hear the difference between wall vs a cheap power board. A few times I have plugged into a power board for convenience thinking… well it’s Only an Atom, surely it can’t make much difference. It does. Clarity and dynamics. Now it stays plugged in to the wall.

Try using an audiophile fuse.

My advice would be to try and avoid the pursuit of marginal gains and in the context of your 5si, I would not worry yourself with wall sockets, powerstrips, plug in order, dedicated mains, switched/unswitched, power cords, cables etc because all of these minor gains are only appreciated in the short term whilst one is listening in earnest for an improvement. I may have a 500 series system but I can also enjoy music on a modest Bluetooth speaker. Please try to avoid audio neurotism (upgraditis/tweaking): it is better replaced with listening (enjoying) and discovering more music :relaxed:

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I disagree. I only have an Atom and I can tell that the system has lost some magic (dynamics) when not plugged into the wall. For me, I feel that paying attention to the small things like dedicated mains and good power delivery can bring gains to any system. If you think about it, the cheaper devices probably have less internal noise isolation so will probably benefit from the extra effort.

I recently moved my system to the other side of the room to test it and it sounded more open but had lost quite a lot of clarity and naturalness. Now this could have been the difference in positioning but I also realised that my dedicated mains was back on the other side. No way of knowing without moving the dedicated mains but was interesting to hear. The system is now back on the dedicated mains.

Whilst I have no experience of such, a 3 way socket with no switches or extra fuse may be even better?

Any fuse you loose… is an improvement. :slight_smile:

Trouble here is finding a matching wall mounted back box - like rocking horse ….

I use a Volex triple un-switched socket for my 3 x Naim PSUs - works a treat with my PowerLines and dedicated radial HiFi feed :eyes::sunglasses::+1:


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