Electrical outlet upgrade worth it?

I live in an apartment. I am currently working on purchasing PC's and conditioners/filters. Question is:

I do not have a dedicated circuit nor do I want to put one in at the apartment. As such, would upgrading the outlet which my audio goes into be beneficial or a waste of $$$?

I would upgrade your outlets, and if you can afford it, I'd purchase some cryogentically treated ones. When you move, take them with you. I had a great experience dealing with Alan at http://www.audioexcellenceaz.com/worldpower.htm
I would only replace corroded, or malfunctioning electrical outlets, unless I had money to burn and was not philanthropic, and/or I would buy more music. Opinions, logic, and priorities obviously vary.
Lak is correct and Alan sells an excellent product. I have no dedicated lines either. This will give you a huge bang for the $$$ improvement in your system.
Lak, Hdm

We have been here before;I remain skeptical. However, having said that, I probably should experiment as you suggest. I am currently using Pass & Seymore Hospital grade outlets with a 20 amp dedicated outlet. I believe the dedicated 20 amp circuit was an improvement (not statistically significant); not so sure the outlets make much of a difference. I paid $6.50 for the Pass & Seymore hospital grade outlets so I figured why not.
Sek, of course, AGAIN, commenting on something he most likely has no experience with! Have you ever listened to upgraded power outlets,SEK? I doubt it.
Some posters should just open their minds.They might actually learn something and benifit from others experience. Mattybumbkin asked a question to which he is hoping to get response from qualified individuals who might actally have REAL experience and not just the Nay Sayers party line. Perhaps Sek could start his own forum for people who don't want to improve their listening experience. If I am wrong, Sek,please tell me which outlets you have tried and what the results were? Which power cords have you listened to? What makes you feel qualified to comment on this matter?
I have replaced my outlets and experienced a worth while improvement. I know there are many outlets available and each has its advocates and detractors. For the relatively inexpensive cost of an upgraded outlet I would say: go for it. If it doesn't sound better, you haven't lost much. I used PS Audio outlets and I think the $50 was worth it.
Czbbel, all I can say is try it, you might like it! I still have a hard time believing that DC-10's fly and aircraft carriers float!
Mat you *could* realize a nice improvement if your system is capable. Creek integrated - I don't know? It might be up to the task but I can't really say?
My system is pretty hi-res & costly, but even with my very outdated house wiring, adding a $25 Hubbel outlet was worthwhile.
Since then I installed my own dedicated AC line - a world of improvement even with the Hubbel. A 20a industrial Leviton outlet didn't make any improvement over that, but later when I changed to the Leviton-built Wattgate 381 outlet it sounded like a $10000 component upgrade. I make that comparison because, seriously, the Wattgate 381 made about the same improvement level as did replacing my McCormack TLC preamp with a $10000 Accuphase.
Bob: If you're not sure about Matty's Creek, I'm sure that you'd find my equipment laughable, although it's set up pretty well and tweaked with lots of cheap, and some not so cheap tweaks. And the difference among the outlets, even in my set-up, is laughably obvious. FWIW, I use an Audiolab 8000A integrated (manufactured in 1986!) with a Cardas Golden Power Cord with the ground floated. My digital front end is an RCA 5223P DVD player with a Harmonic Tech adapter to a 26 guage power cord made out of 47 Labs OTA wire, a Hubbell male plug and Schurter iec. Both the RCA (had an Arcam Alpha 8SE which I sold because the RCA sounded better!) and Audiolab have been damped extensively with industrial floor tile and the RCA is plugged into an Inouye Line conditioner fed by another Cardas Golden PC (actually quite a nice conditioner) which I've changed the outlets in as well. Also have an older Gyrodec and older Elipson (now JM Labs) speakers. So Matty's gear is probably considered to be quite a step up from mine-if I were him, I'd definitely go for it. Ticks me off that I've been listening to my equipment for all these years not really hearing what it can really do. Matty: you can go to the review section here and read a review that I submitted on the cryoed World Power receptacle.
Hdm & Bob, as I’ve said before; it’s a matter of synergy!

Maxgain, who would beleive what honeybees make?
So there you have it Mat. If Blake can realize improvements with his economical setup then certainly you can as well.
BTW I'm not laughing at anyone's equipment here; we all started out from typically humble beginnings, myself included. Much of my very first rig was home-made by myself as a teenager.
Hi Bob: Certainly no insult intended to you-always enjoy reading your posts. I'm perhaps a bit unusual around here in the sense that I'm just trying to pull every last bit of performance out of reasonably cheap (but not necessarily bad or bad sounding) gear. That being said, it's a bit weird to think that I have more money tied up in the power cord that feeds my line conditioner and two outlets than my digital front end. I've also listened to a couple of systems (one at the dealer and one in a private home) in the past few months that were worth, at retail, about 10X what I have invested, and, yes, they were better, but not so much better to make me want to lay down the cash, even if I had it. I can remember when Ivor Tienenbraun's "the source is most important" was very controversial. Perhaps "power" is the true source and this is just being realized now. Probably also controversial.
You obviously know nothing about me or about my experience, but you try to characterize/dismiss me and my response in a tired, empty, and rude manner. Opinions, logic, and priorities do vary, but there can be no excuse for your behavior. Please stay constructive or stay away.
Serious performance gains are available by upgrading power related components. Use of ACME Audio cryo treated outlets and exceptional power cords have TRULY enhanced my sytem performance(no placebo effect here). I have yet to try a conditioner or dedicated line, but look forward to doing so in the future. I think the ACME outlets have a trial use policy if I remember correctly. I have not tried any of the other outlets mentioned, but like everyone else appreciate all the comparitive commentary I can find. The ACME's work so well though that I do not feel the need to try the others at this time. Maybe someday. Do not be deceived, power products can make a BIG difference and are definitely worth checking out.
Upgrading the electrical outlets in your room is a must. If you are skeptical about it go to Home Depot and buy an isolated ground 20 amp outlet, orange in color, hook it up and let your ears decide.

If you like the improvement then buy the PS Audio outlets, they are hard to beat at $50.00 . There are some very expensive outlets in the market that are not worth the expenses, over $159.00 a piece.

Please be advised that must supply ground to either one of this two isolated outlets.
The 6.50 Pass and Seymour s all 99% of the ane members will ever need. The bigger dollar stuff is ego builder.
Thank you everyone for your comments. I DO believe that upgrades such as outlets, cords, etc. can (and do) make a difference.

I just wasn't sure if upgrading an outlet without a dedicated line would do anything.

Thank you.



As an Engineer I can understand how / why DC-10's fly and aricraft carriers float; although still amazed when I see it. We see it everyday it is easily proven to our visionary (eyes)and auditory (ears) senses. However, differences in sound are much more difficult to assertain given the subjectivness of short / long term hearing memory and the unreliability associated with it. This is not to say you don't hear the improvements or the lack thereof that you state. I am simply stating a scientific fact that hearing memory is extremely unreliable and subjective at best. The problem is exacerbated further given the fact that you can not directly A / B the component or outlet in this case. You must shut the equipment down change the outlet in some cases and then power everything back up and then do the comparison. What I am saying is there is a time lag between the events (comparisons) unless someone has figured a way around this. This time lag makes the event even more diffeicult to evaluate and the reults even more unreliable; scientifically and statistically speaking.

Now having said that. I am not doubting your comments or the improvements you state. And I am not looking to solicite a bunch of negative comments from any of you. You hear what you hear, all scientific mumbo / jumbo aside, and as long as you enjoy the music that is what is important.
Sek, you are the one who is not contributing to this posters question in a constructive way. I do have an excuse as I do know something about you since I have researched your postings here and they are this same kind of lame second hand mid fi drivel. If,in fact,you had listened to any of the products mentioned in this post you would be informing us of your findings, not just sniveling about the fact that I happen to have called your bluff! The point is that If you in fact do not have any evidence or experience in this matter, but just choose to spew out an uninformed opinion, it is not fair to Mattybumpkin, who may not have picked up on the fact that you are trying to undermine his effort to improve his enjoyment of listening to music. Why not open your mind Sek? If you didn't have such blatent disrespect for the posters here who have constructive findings to report you too might benefit from their efforts. I make no claim to have listened to any outlets in my system. You don't see me touting one otulet over another here, or doing as you have done and dismising the idea as worthless without any background. I am open to ideas! I will install one soon and I will carefuly and thoughtfuly read the comments of posters who's research and careful listening I respect and value. So Sek, I find it sad that you and others of your ilk are unable to contribute to this forum in a manner that is other than counterproductive. The information here is given in a very generous fashion. These people aren't forced to disclose their findings. They could keep them a secret and gloat they they are the keepers of the some sort of esoteric truth.

Sek,I looked at you system as it is listed and it seems to be very high value components that with some of the knowledge available to you here could improve in ways that would enhance your listening experience. You elude to the fact that an outlet is an expense for people with money to burn. How much have you spent on your gear now? If, say a $50 outlet let you realize a great deal more of the potential of system, would that not be a fraction of what you have arleady invested? It seems to me like that would represent a real value. I might think that the friend(perhaps he is an imaginary friend) of yours you keep mentioning in posts with the tube gear might be valuable in offering his opinion on this topic and perhaps able to install such a device if you if you don't feel comfortable doing it. Or perhaps you have no more respect for his opinion than you do for the posters here? (I read something about "braging rights in some circles",it seems like it could be a put down of your "friend", or perhaps you are just envious of his ability to be a free thinker and keep an open mind? It also implies that your good for the money NAD sounds as good as anything available at any price.)

Again, Sek, I give you a chance to redeam yourself by informing us of the outlets you have tried and why you found them to be of little value. I am here to learn and am looking forward to hearing more about your tests and your scientific method? I am only here to learn and if you can teach me something useful about this topic I will give it equil consideration. If you have no ammo on this topic come clean, and I might respect you for being honest.

I try to contribute to this forum in a constructive way and sometimes the best way I know of to do that is to directly challenge others statements. I am not in a popularity contest. I say to you Sek,Please stay constructive or stay away!

from "The Further Misadventures of Maxgain,B.S. Detector"
I heard a small improvement when going from standard residential to Hubbell 20A hospital grade. I heard no improvement swapping the Hubbel for various Leviton and Bryant industrial and commercial outlets. I heard a meaningful improvement with the PS Audio powerpoint, which I was skeptical about. At $50, I figured it was not going to improve over the Hubbell by much, but I have now bought PowerPoints for the whole system, and I'm thinking about my theater next. I have not tried the more expensive/cryo'd models.
Natalie, I must personally thank you for another highly informed and deeply insightfull post. Without your wisedom this site would be a loss.
Matty, I have a Hubble and a PS Power Port I'm not using after soothing my ego as Natalie puts it by upgrading to two WattGates. I would be happy to lend them to you if you would like to try them. E-mail me if your interested.
Matty: I've got the Pass & Seymour Natalie is so hot on and would be happy to send it your way as well (you can keep it if you want.) My refrigerator is in fact running on one, but once you try the others, that's probably where it will end up in your house as well.

Hey Natalie: which receptacles have you compared the P&S to?
Czbbcl, You do have a point about the reliability of our hearing memories to A/B outlets after lapse change over time. I'm sure I am not the only one who has this convinence of having two wall outlets on the front wall. I can A/B test outlets in the time it takes to turn on and off my gear.
In your post you bring up some excellent points (that I have thought about many times myself). I hear what you're saying; there are no hostilities on my behalf. Enjoy the music!
Hey, it's only $12 at Home Depot. That's for a hospital grade outlet. If you want to go for a fancey shmancey outlet for $50, coated, frozen, baked and touched with only gloved hands: go for it. The $12 one will give you a tight connection. That's all this deal is about. A good, snug, connection, however, is important. I haven't dared to read the other posts, so maybe this is superfluous. Remember, this outlet is just the very beginning of your electric insanity possibilities.
Tubemiser, Lak

Which outlets have you compared and then which one did you ultimately settle on.


Please do not take what I said personally, I did not mean it that way, you sound like a very nice person. This is after all a hobby that should be enjoyed with time spent listening to music not spend haggling over whose is better or who hears what. What I was aluding to is the thought process I go through every time I replace/upgrade a component. Sometimes / most times it is very difficult to ascertain whether or not the upgrade was better (improvement) or just different. The point being that, in general, different is easier to ascertain than better.

Back to the subject. I think that if one can improve ones system by merely replacing an inexpensive component like a receptical, even the expensive ones are cheap in comparision to the equipment, then by all means one should experiment. After all experimenting is fun and if it improves the system then all the better.
I'm an apartment dweller, too. About 10 years ago, I switched to Hubbell 20 amp hospital grade outlets for my Quad-63s and Quicksilver Mono amps (tube). Watta grip! The AC cords no longer semi-slipped out. And it gave the Quicksilvers a boost in sound that seemed like 50% more wattage - better bass, larger dynamics, etc.

There was no doubt at my eardrums and I never looked back.

Try it - worked for me. Turn off the juice first, before it bites you!

Czbbcl, I settle with a Tice audio grade outlet eight years ago. I'm not sure if Tice is still producing this outlet. In those days I could only A/B outlets I could afford, hospital, industrial, and spec grade outlets, I still have no regrets on the $30 I shell out for the Tice, it has a blk background and lots of layering, and at least it was more musical than a $.75 Levingtion outlet.

I see the market now is flooded with many recomended outlets. I do agree with you that it is difficult to A/B outlets, and I offer at least a suggestion/luxury of having two wall outlets available for outlet comparision.
You guys shouldn't be so hard on 'old tin ears.' NataLIE is doing the best he can. Some people just don't have the hearing to appreciate good quality products and cost effective up-grades!
I have been interested in hearing from someone who has tried both the WattaGate and the PS audio. Please fill me in on what you have found as these are the two that I have been most interested in. What is the difference that you hear between the two? The WattaGate can get to be real money if you start using many of them.
I have it a little better than the average audiophile does. When I finished my basement I had one room left over 15’ X 13’, (far from perfect but it’s all mine). Besides two regular in wall outlets behind my equipment I also installed four independent 20 amp dedicated outlets also located on the wall behind my equipment in exterior outlet boxes.
I can test different outlets very easily with very little down time. I’m still testing just for the fun of it.
In my system the Hubbell 8300 was good, the FIM 880 sounded better. The Wattgate 381 ($148) was an improvement over the two previously mentioned. The Hubbell 8300 cryogenically treated ($60) http://www.audioexcellenceaz.com/worldpower.htm sounded as good as the Wattgate 381, I could not hear a difference. With further use the Cryo treated Hubbell might sound better. I can’t tell because I’ve sent the FIM 880 and Wattgate 381 out to be cryogenically treated (-324 for 48 hours). When I get them all back and they settle in, I’ll post my findings. As others have asked me in another thread “where does the madness end"? …I don’t know, somebody help me!
Maxgain, The Hubble 8300, aprox. $20.00, the PS Audio power port $ 45.00 and the Wattgate $120.00. (These were the best prices I found new) My impressions were the Hubble and the Wattgate have very similar tonal qualities. Both have speed and bass control. Both are neural in there appearance, no discernable added sound. The Wattgate has an incredible smoothness and life like quality. It's as if the notes and images are less artificial and more liquid. Very hard to put my finger on other than the Wattgate is extremely musical. The PS Audio is a very different creature. It's very lively but etched and sterol. The entire presentation is more forward and brighter. I'm not saying it's bright, just more treble energy.
For the money the Hubble is a great outlet and will add say 10-15% to the systems capability. I'm not sure what that really means, only a point of reference. The Wattgate is far more refined and adds yet another 10-15%. If I were to put it in terms of dollars vs system cost, the Wattgate is giving me 30% more from my $5000 Plinius amp. Could I get that same 30% from $120 more expensive amp? I do not think so. I'm not sure I would receive that 30% from an $8000 amp. I love my equipment and how it sounds. With the Wattgate it simply makes the equipment I already love, better.
As for the PS Audio, I felt it changed my equipment, and I did not want it changed, just improved. If your system has faults by being a bit to warm, thick and muddy bass or needs more treble energy this may be a better outlet than the others. If you can imagine, another system dependant improvement.
I use ACME treated P&S outlets ganged in loose junction boxes, running directly to the house breaker panel on Belden 83802. The CDP has its own line, as do the pre and tuner together. A third box has a 30 amp industrial Leviton SPDT switch in it to allow remote turn-on of my Aleph 2 monos. As I did ALL this at once, I of course can't comment on what aspects are more important, but at $35/ACME, $10/switch, and $2/ft Belden, the $300 spent here resulted in a added dimension of dynamics, and perhaps a bit more resolution...not unlike some of that offered by the 24b/192k DAC modded into my EMC-1. The $300 seems a bargain.
The leftover 83802 was used to make all the PCs. Why not, eh?, following the "continuousness" argument instead of the
"last 6 feet DO matter" camp. So no $$ PCs for me. 12AWG copper in FEP at $2/ft is too appealing.
ACME's treated P&S may be the more subjective modification here, but at $100/3 I sprung for it.
Also bought a Furutech IEC used for $40. Now THAT seemed stupid! Anyone want it? Cheers.
Jadem6, have you tried cryogenically treated outlets?
If so, where do they fit in your lineup?
Judit, I have not tried anything cryogenically treated. I would love to hear some others who have tried both to see what they found. I most would like to hear about the treble.
Thank-you Lak, I had not read your Hubble Cryoed vs. Wattgate. I have now, and well written too.
Yes just do it. Hubbels are good, Acme is better. Heck the Pass and Seymour $5 outlets are good too. Anything is better than the cheapo outlets everyone has.