Some years ago I made up a linear powerblock using six single MK sockets. I’ve been very happy with it, especially when it saw off a challenge from a Musicworks block that was very much flavour of the month at the time. I know how my system responds to plug order on it from extensive testing.
When I moved to France I just put a French plug on its cable and kept using my UK Powerlines.
I’m arranging a demo of a second 555ps and even if I can order it with a UK Powerline I’m going to run out of sockets if I want to keep mono and stereo record decks as well, which I do.
This could be the time to go completely continental and build or buy a new power block with eight sockets, alternatively I can try and pick up a couple more MKs next time I’m over in the UK, assuming they’re still available and any good.
I know there are a few others who have made the move over the channel, maybe even a retired Naim staff member or two. Is there an advantage to unfused Euro plugs over decoupled Naim UK plugs or vice versa? Are fancy hifi plugs and sockets worth considering or is there a good consumer grade alternative like MKs were in the UK? Preferably that lock in polarity but I can alway mark that.
I’m pretty content with a linear block as I can optimise plug order on it to my satisfaction but most fittings I’ve seen seem to be push in and spring locked and not easily chain-able rather than a screw down with room for a couple of thickish wires.
I don’t think anyone has the answer; you would need to make a side-by-side comparison, which seems difficult. However, I suspect the UK plug is better as it was entirely designed by Naim. The plug on the EU Powerline is just a very good Furutech. I own five of them.
I’ve fitted a few MK sockets over the last few years and the quality is poor compared to what it used to be. They are made in Malaysia, not particularly sturdy, and I have rejected about 50% of then with basic manufacturing defects.
Furutech Mains products are excellent
Interesting that you just mentioned Furutech. I’m thinking of auditioning one of the power distribution offering
I tend to feel that the lack of a fuse is a benefit that far outweighs the Naim UK airplug. You go to all this trouble to have low resistance wiring; a solid connection between your component and the consumer unit… and stick a fuse in there.
On top of that, out of UK, US, and EU plugs, the Schuko, while not perfect, is probably the best of the three. Has the direct fuseless connection benefit of the US plugs and the secure high contact supported receptacle of the UK. best of both worlds.
FWIW (not much), I use Furutech sockets on 4 dedicated outlets dotted around the house. Though I intentionally opted for standard gold plate as opposed to rhodium contacts. More of a common connector on audio cable plugs; still quite oxidisation resistant; a lot cheaper; and less marmite - that is to say there have been as many people who didn’t get on with the rhodium sockets as who did, and many reported a painful burn-in period. It’s a brand I trust. Naim use Furutech. They have a long standing pro-audio/studio presence. And if I’m honest, I prefer their studio cables over their audiophile cables despite the fact they are just a fraction of the cost.
Please report back on that. I see there are 3 8 way offerings but I have reservations about all of them. I suspect you might need fewer sockets however.
I am working through a similar scenario, aiming to move from a legacy UK set up with Powerlines and a Musicworks block to a Shucko set up. I have both UK and Schuko Powerlines and have compared them, albeit the UK versions via the block and Schuko direct to the wall. The wall outlet is Furutech NCF (R).
I would say I slightly prefer the Schuko set up under normal circumstances. However, lifting the cable from the floor and running it across the bottom shelf of a rack, to maximise the decoupling effect, I might slightly prefer the UK version. Any differences are subtle and I could not say, hand on heart, that it wasn’t in my head.
I should clarify that I have not compared changing the full set of Powerlines - my set up required 3 uk Powerlines to be connected at all times, I was only able to compare swapping a 4th. Changing “en masse” might produce a more noticeable result.
I decided to get rid of all fuses and as many connections as possible and try the basic Sean Jacobs power block. That made a significant difference and I would say I prefer 80% of what it does but am less happy with the other 20%. Being a net gain, I plan to experiment with the connectors, which I believe are nickel plated on the basic block. I had a gold Furutech Schuko and now have that at the wall, which improved things but not enough. That said, it was enough to let me hear that the connectors do make a difference so I would like to try a Furutech Rhodium Schuko (which worked well on the Powerlines) and am considering options for the IECs. For the cost of the SJ block, there is a lot of scope to experiment in this way and still spend a lot less than I would on a decent Schuko block and the additional EU Powerlines (or other) I would need.
I haven’t ruled out a Schuko power block and individual cables but if I can rectify a couple of specific issues in my current set up, I doubt I will go that far.
I believe the Furutech plugs used by Naim are rhodium plated so it would make sense to use matching sockets, which are around €50 each, though there seems to be some variation in price among dealers in France. I’m intending to replace the plugs on my existing powerlines rather than replace the the entire cables but will wait and see what turns up in the box with the ps so I can order the same plugs, assuming the demo does in fact lead to a second ps, that remains to be seen.
It’s not a like-for-like comparison but based on my limited experience I tend to agree with this. I don’t have much experience with costly high end mains cables which come in UK plugs but comparing some cheap cords with UK plugs to costly mains cables mostly with factory terminated US plugs, the latter sound considerably different, more lively, dynamic and real.
FWIW I find mains cables with UK plugs to sound almost the same, about 2 or 3 of them all cheap.
Is an export PowerLine inferior to a UK PowerLine since it benefits from only one Naim connector, the IEC?
All I can say is that the UK plugs available to us were degrading the performance of the PowerLine and this directed us towards designing our own UK mains plug. The plug we have designed is a big step up from the rest. The plugs we have found for the PowerLine versions for the non-UK markets were selected in listening tests from the well-designed ones available. The selected plugs made the rest-of-world PowerLine leads perform at a similar level to the UK version. It is so difficult to do a fair and unbiased comparison so I wouldn’t be able to say whether the UK or non-UK versions of the PowerLine was better and of course in the end, the customer can’t choose. I would like to think the UK plug is at least slightly better after we have spent so much time and effort on the design, although the big benefit you have in Europe is the lack of fuse directly in the mains plug.
From the parallel Furutech thread running at the moment I’ve now got the idea to change my wall socket and maybe the existing French DIY shop (Legrand) plug to Furutech in the first instance and try and gauge its effect with the UK powerstrip, as that’s a known. I’ll just have to do without the mono turntable until I decide on and/or build a new power strip.