Survey - New Mains Sockets?

This is a non-scientific survey about HiFi mains sockets.

If you have ever added a mains socket for your HiFi please answer these Qs:

  1. Type, make and approximate age of the socket(s) that you got rid of.
  2. Type and make of the new socket(s) - and plugs.
  3. Effect on sound quality e.g. worse, no change, slightly better, loads better, specific effects.
  1. 40 year old generic sockets
  2. MK unswitched
  3. Loads better, but hard to isolate effects as installed radial at the same time. Then put in an additional dedicated earth, which was a massive improvement: clarity, noise floor, and ability to pick out individual instruments.
  1. no idea
  2. MK unswitched double but I can’t name the series if there’s more than one.
  3. Hard to say the effect of the socket alone as it was fitted to a new dedicated radial from a new consumer unit. The room was also swapped end to end and a doorway moved to make this work. Overall there was quite an improvement in definition and dynamics but I still had intrusive ringing on high piano notes and Russian voices breaking through on the superline, They were both later cured by a move to Fraim Lite from steel framed racks.

Since moving to France I’ve changed one socket to add an earth using the handy loop of slack in an earth wire that was passing behind the existing unearthed socket on its way to an outdoor socket on the balcony of our apartment. I didn’t run the system unearthed for comparison and I don’t remember which socket I used but it was bought at Leroy Merlin (think B&Q or Wickes) and wires were just poked into holes and held by spring pressure. I haven’t been too impressed with French electrical fittings in general but moving from a 16m squared room to one of 40 square metres did more for my system than rearranging things in the old room back in Blighty.

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  1. No name from 1981
  2. Furutech FT SWS NCF (Rhodium)
  3. Much better. Clarity, definition, PRAT. Took about 200h to get there. Highly recommended.

50 year old generic
Single MK unswitched
Cant say I noticed anything significant

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1 - no idea. 10 years old came with the house.
2 - MK unswitched.
3 - never been convinced.

@JimDog I take it this is intended to be complementary to the survey you conducted back in March, so not wanting to duplicate anything there… Do you have an analysis ofresults of that one?
Dedicated mains - Survey

  1. Original from the house kept but a new dedicated ring for the Hi-Fi installed, but house was built in 1979.
  2. Sockets were Schneider Electric, un-switched. Plugs are what is fitted to the Naim PowerLines or PowerLine Lites.
  3. Massive improvement in all areas.

I rewired my house 11 years ago with a separate (ring) circuit for the lounge which is the music room. When playing music the hifi components are normally the only items connected.

  1. No idea of original brand. They dated from circa 1970 when the house was built, with some additions over the years. Some doubles some singles. All power sockets in the house had been on the one ring main, including the kitchen sockets.
  2. Sockets are all doubles, with double pole switches. Brand IIRC is either Hager or Schneider. (Many years ago I used go for MK but went off them as prices rose to be significantly higher than others, while quality deteriorated.) Plugs variable - mostly whatever came with the various electronics, all fitted with fuses appropriate to the power draw of the item (1A, 3A, 5A, 10A or 13A).
  3. No idea about effect on sound as the changes coincided with room modification (and as it would be impossible to do A-B tests of any kind, let alone blind, any perceived difference would be uncertain).

1 .Crappy builders grade 35 years old

  1. Had two 20amp dedicated circuits run to listening room. New 20amp breakers in breaker box. New 10awg solid core copper. Oyaide R1 outlets

3.Dramatic improvement.

  1. Brand new ring main in a converted barn. Dedicated radial circuit with modified earth rods.
  2. Three pairs of MK unstitched sockets
  3. I have the ability to switch between the radial or the standard ring main. Music on the ring main sounds rather two dimensional, edgy and compressed. On the radial everything opens up and gains much more image depth/width. The micro dynamics are far more evident. Everything becomes clearer, easier to hear with less hash surrounding notes.
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I did the same - a dedicated 20 amp circuit to the quieter side of the box. Don’t spend your money on expensive receptacles.

I have a 100 amp sub panel. Expensive Outlets are worth it, if for no other reason that they stay tight.

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To each their own, but I’ve never know wiring in a receptacle to come loose.

Isolating the line makes sense, although I’m not sure the point of a 100 amp sub panel - are you running multiple lines to your stereo?

I’m sorry if I sound dismissive, but I loose patience with what seems like audionervosa to me. if a receptacle actually improves the sound of expensive HiFi then there’s something wrong with the gear. It’s up there with debate about polishing the steel balls on the Fraim.

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The Sub Panel was installed by the previous owner. I had TWO separate 20 amp dedicated lines run when we moved in. I use the Oyaide outlets because they retain their strong grip on the AC plugs prongs.

The Oyaide R1 outlets you have are really good,.I also have them…

Replaced a not so old MK unswitched with a Furutech (G?) with a pronounced SQ improvement to my ears.

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Was it better from day 1?

yes, immediate effect. Obviously normal A-B comparisons cannot be done easily here but it felt impressive, I could not quite believe it’s just a socket change, must have been a bottleneck in my system.

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If you’re going to attempt A/B comparisons I think you would need to remove the old socket, clean the terminals, and reinstall it with the correct tightness on the connections. Then test it, then change it out for the new one.
If nothing else, at least you would then be able to make more confident assertions about your expectation biased findings :woozy_face: