Mains extension blocks


#1

In the process of tidying my setup I’m looking now at the 6 way mains strip/lead I’m using. It’s a 13A no name from CPC… is it worth throwing a bit more money at an extension block? I see some crazy ones at hundreds of pounds but, back in the world of meer mortals, is there anything better than no-name in the sub £100 end?


#2

The wireworld matrix block has a good reputation here and many members use it, including me. I think it’s around £120.

You’ll need a separate power lead (iec) to go from the wall to the block.

Cheers

Dave


#3

Looking at that one right now… What about the MCRU silver? Anyone tried? Seems to get okay reports but you can often not believe everything you read :wink:


#4

Whatever you decide, I would recommend avoiding anything with “surge protection” built in.

Just the other day I was reminded of this. I had the laptop in the music room so I could listen to LPs while checking through all the applications for the new forum. By the afternoon, the battery was running low on the laptop, so I dug out the mains adaptor and lead, but it wouldn’t reach. I couldn’t immediately find the apple extension lead, so went to the cupboard and pulled out an old extension block and plugged it in.

I thought nothing more of it, except that the next few LPs I span were sounding a bit off. The top end was a but rough and muted and any bloom and life was suppressed. Suspecting that the stylus needed a clean, I spent 10 minutes with the A-T. No change. Weird. Then I got out my trust Technics stylus gauge to check that VTF was Ok. Spot on. Hmmm… I started to wonder whether I had worn out the stylus and needed to replace the cartridge. Damn… expensive!.

And then the penny dropped. I could see the lights on the extension lead to the computer glowing away. I went to look - there it was “surge protection” printed on the block. I unplugged it. I went back to put on one of the LPs that had earlier sounded so “off”. Wow, what a transformation, completely restored the sound. The life and bloom had returned. The rather rough and muted top end, back to silky smooth sweetness again. Amazing.


#5

I would go with the Wireworld, at this price it looks like as good as it gets. Unlike your “no-name” types that have all the sockets made from & connected up with copper/brass strips, the Wireworld has individual sockets that look to be good quality & they are star-wired with quality copper wire.
The MCRU one looks to be much the same as your no name types.


#6

Hi,
I use mains blocks as fitted to computer racks. Decent sockets, metal cased etc. The computer guys call them PDU’s Power Distribution Units if you are searching on ebay.try mains PDU.

Sizes are from 6 way to 12way and prices £15-£30 far better than DIY stores or supermarkets.

Alan


#7

Nuff said and just clicked buy :slight_smile:

Thanks for the quick advice :slight_smile:


#8

I use wireworld as well, it came with one of their cables and was pretty good, added a powerline soo much better. Try and get the best cable you can afford.


#9

I bought a smoothing mains conditioning block and it caused a nightmare with my Supernait 2. Just about everything that was plugged into it caused a massive HUM…
Removed it and replaced it with a good quality 6 way and it’s now silent.
Guess mine was £50 so maybe not the best anyway. But it was advertised in a hifi magazine
Barry


#10

Also check MusicLine, I think they have focus on earthing.
// Anders


#11

I’m using the MCRU silver, although the one with the aluminium sides which costs a little bit more. I also upgraded the fuse. It was a marked improvement for me but I was using a standard block with switch and neon, so frankly anything would probably have been better. I chose the MCRU based on good reviews and a returns policy if you didn’t like it. I didn’t send it back.


#12

I’m having great results with a Furutech e-TP66 non filtering 6 way block from their less expensive pro audio range. Comes sans mains lead so I am feeding it with a Furutech Empire (also from their pro audio range). Neither the block or lead are cheap, but are 10% the price of things in their audiophile range.

I’m not sure why, but it makes my 250dr sound like a much more powerful amp. I’ve theorised all sorts of things like the 5mm guage of the empire, the very robust locking on the sockets, the fact I moved the system to simply not need a long extension lead anymore. I really don’t know the reason to be honest.


#13

I was disappointed with all the offerings, so made my own. It was on the old forum and I can’t find my pics anymore. Just have a think and make your own. It’s not rocket science, but it can take a while to source and build the block. Mine only took about 6 months to make :joy:

And yes, I had the same findings as Richard. I had a surge block connected to my computer stuff in another room and it affected my hifi sound. I don’t have any surge blocks in the house now.


#14

I agree, its simple enough to make your own, provided you are able.
I made my own 8 way to enable it to fit inside a cabinet. I mounted MK double sockets on 12mm MDF cut to fit the location. I also added a few refinements, experimented a bit with radial (star) & ring wiring. Only thing is since the Rega & its phono stage have gone I don’t need an 8 way, but the jobs a good’n & I’m not changing anything.


#15

I have a Supra surgeprotected bar in another socket in the listeningroom to feed tv, satbox etc. Do you think that can affect my system?


#16

Only you can answer that. Yes it has the potential to do so, but if its on another power circuit it might not. Just disconnect the Supra & listen.


#17

I have both MusicLine’s simplest block called "Netzleiste " and Wireworld matrix. In my system i prefer Netzleiste. Maybe my system needs better setup, but when i use Wireworld, i experience “colder” music performance, and a touch more digital harshness.


#18

Forgive my ignorance but what exactly is a “surge block”?

Is a bog standard white extension lead that you get from places like B&Q a surge block or are those ok in this context?


#19

This is an added circuit to suppress any over voltage spikes such as you might have during a thunder storm. But I hasten to add they are not lightning strike protection.
They invariably consist of Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV), sometimes called Voltage Dependant Resistors (VDR) They are sensitive to voltage & are non-conductive at their designed working voltage, but start to conduct at a specified voltage above that.


#20

Perfect answer​:+1::grinning: