Upgrading power system

Since I already have components and speakers that I love, I try to make an improvement every year with something or another. Last year I bought Magnarisers for My Maggie 3.7's.  Nice improvement. Immediate difference.  The year before was power cables and conditioner, all Shunyata.  And I always wondered why there was little if any improvement.  A couple audiophiles said to replace the wall outlet. So I thought about it for years before buying a JPS labs audiophile hospital grade outlet.  After removing the original outlet, I compared them. No comparison at all, the JPS weighed almost twice as much and the metal was better quality as well. The JPS was 2o amps and the original  was 15. Would I hear the difference?  It took all of one minute.  Best $150 I ever spent.  I was skeptical until I heard the difference, mostly clearer and more pronounced highs and well defined low end.  Anybody else have this experience?


Hate to say it but your Shunyata may be doing more harm that good. Most power conditioners do. I highly recommend PS Audio. One thing they understand better than practically anyone else is getting power to your amp.

Wall outlets are a good thing to do but you will almost never hear a difference.  If you do, you probably had one more drink this evening.

My outlet swap worked great, I bought a Pangea outlet for $99 and immediate upgrade, congrats on being open to experimenting. 

I used the Shunyata Everest 8000 and some of their best NR cables and this was the greatest improvement to date.  My conditioner/cable cost was up there with speaker cost..etc.  It was hard to spend the money and I suspect that only Denali or Everest will do and cables are important.  Everest six independent lines and Denali three.

Thanks, people.  I was thinking that the dedicated 20 amp line was getting pinched by the 15 am outlet.  My power is pretty clean out in suburbia and an A/B test told me the Shunyata conditioner has very little if any effect [for me].

I have never tried Shunyaya, I use a Black Lion Audio PG2, great features and great SQ for a good price.

So here’s my $.02. I have 15 amp circuits, and I’m running a low power tube amp and 98 db speakers, so I’m not needing massive current like some. I replaced my 2 outlets with 20 amp Hubbell medical grade outlets. Yeah I know 20’s on a 15 circuit , oh no 😮. But I’m in control of what gets used, so no worries. I then added a Richard Gray power conditioner and I run Morrow level 4 power cords. I MIGHT of had a slight improvement with the outlets and the conditioner. A few weeks later I replaced the original Gray provided cable ( it’s pretty beefy ) with a Shunyata Venom HC 20 amp cable. This made a significant improvement! FWIW , my subs are directly into the outlet and I tried the amp directly into the outlet and prefer it through the conditioner. So my experience is that the “ Pinch Point “ was the between the conditioner and the outlet. I’d love to have an electrician install 20 amp dedicated lines , but under my current ( pun intended ) circumstances it won’t happen. Thanks for sharing and happy listening, Mike B. 


You probably know this, but I’ll state it for those that aren’t familiar with Shunyata.

Part of the Shunyata clean power is to use NR (noise reduction) cables. They are usually $100 or so more expensive. These supposedly stop electrical noise from the equipment from contaminating other equipment plugged into the circuit.

@vonhelmholtz   I do understand the concept.  I really bought the Venom so I could plug in all my stuff into the dedicated line.  It did not increase performance or hinder it either.  The improvement in SQ came with the new 20 amp outlet.  Speaking of noise in the line, for those who  grew up in the 60,s, remember you couldn't watch TV or play records when Mom was vaccuuming?  Now THAT was noise.  Vaccuums motors were not double insulated then.

Consider adding an Add Powr Symphony or Symphony Pro particularly near your digital power supplies. You‘ll be very pleasantly surprised

The downside to choosing a physics major in college is that you can never watch and action movie again without noticing all the things that happen that violate the laws of physics.  Keep these observations to yourself.  Because soon your family will refuse to watch movies with you.  DAMHIK.

The upside to choosing a physics major is college is that you don't believe in black magic.  So a black box that does things that aren't supported by physics doesn't interest you.

I bring this up because there is significant discussion in this thread about these appliances that the consumer certainly can't be capabile of understanding, but trust us, they remove noise.  

Noise isn't like chunks that can be removed with cheese cloth.  Once you have noise in your power, the best thing you can do is rectify it and invert it with a super high quality inverter.

And for those of you that think their suburban power is clean, mine runs about 4-5% thd.



Once you have noise in your power, the best thing you can do is rectify it and invert it with a super high quality inverter.

What about balanced power conditioning? The hot and neutral are inverted 180° from each other and the ground is separately filtered.

Power outlets made an improvement in my system.  I went with the AQ Edisons.  I have 2 friends running shunyata outlets who have told me it made as much of an improvement as going from the stock PC to a good aftermarket one.  I have to say I agree.  Excellent ROI.

  @lowrider57 . It was not my intention, it just worked out that way. I wanted better outlets and I’m cost driven. I found 2 gold plated, 20 amp Hubbell's online for way below cost. I installed them and used Ivory covers to mostly hide the bright Orange color. I then added a Richard Gray conditioner. I tried this with my amp into the wall as well as through the conditioner. I run my subs directly to the wall. I gained little if any SQ improvement with the Gray and the outlets. The Gray has a 20 amp IEC and I have 4-5 brands of power cords around. Unfortunately they’re all 15 amp rated. I wanted to upgrade the stock Gray cord as everything else is upgraded. I purchased a 15/20 adapter and tried my various power cords, Morrow, Anti-Cables, Acoustic Zen and the heavy Pangea. This resulted in little if any improvement. About 2 weeks later, I saw the Shunyata Venom HC on sale at Music Direct and noted their return policy. So I tried one and had a major improvement. In retrospect i had little if any direction and was just trying stuff. Lowrider I appreciate you asking and I’ve appreciated your input over the years. I like trying stuff just to see if it works. And I appreciate people that will just experiment and be open minded in doing so. Many times here people are dismissive and condescending to others. Another random thought I’ll contribute to this thread. With all the changes I experimented with I’ll ask others , have you put fresh breakers on your panel? I have a 40 year old house and those breakers get weak and spongy. I noticed on the the high current one for my pool it was pitted from poor contact with the bus bar. Regards , Mike B. 


Thanks for the kind words, Mike. I get it now, it's all Richard Gray's fault. I was going to suggest that if the AC line from your audio to the service panel is 12/2 Romex, you could install a 20A breaker. But in light of the condition of your breakers you could use a new panel. At the very least, have a licensed electrician inspect your mains and replace the breakers if the panel is up to code. 


I had all new electrical installed two years ago due to corrosion on the meter and outside line.


Power conditioner?

Great reading skills!

I went with a Japanese outlet direct.

I read pretty well.  There suggestions for everything from power conditioners to harmonic resonators, to fancy outlets,  to magic boxes in this thread.  I think some require you to wear a copper bracelet on your left ankle while listening.  I wasn't responding to you specifically @fuzztone I do tend to use the term "power conditioner" to refer to a wide array of widgets.

Out in the sticks we have world class poor dirty power.

I had a Furman IT-Reference 15i and it was a sound dampener. Amp/system sounded considerably better when Amp was plugged into the wall. Replaced that with a AudioQuest Niagara 7000 (before the price went crazy) and sound was not affected verses the wall.

I have found investing in linear PSU's also to be noticeable too.



How about a 4 wire 20 amp dedicated circuit I did one common ground ,one a insulated isolated ground on its own busbar, big improvement 

every connector in my Audio Chain including power chords and all connections in equipment either WBT, or Furutech ,it took me over a year all gold over  high purity copper. I very substantial improvement ,most equipment comes with gold over cheap brass conductors ,and $3 IEC inputs  I useOnly Furutech ,and Synergistics

research purple fuses which I only use 2 As big or bigger then the dedicated 4 wire 20 amp circuit. Copper is 3 x better conductor then brass and far less resistance.


The improvement in SQ came with the new 20 amp outlet. Speaking of noise in the line, for those  who grew up in the 60,s, remember you couldn’t watch TV or play records when Mom was vaccuuming? Now THAT was noise. Vaccuums motors were not double insulated then.

Your old receptacle was probably in poor shape and just replacing with a new one of similar quality would have given similar results. The "boutique" receptacles are no better than Spec-grade receptacles that cost $5 instead of $0.50 ... As for electrical noise caused by old appliances in the old days, it had nothing to do with lack of "double-insulation". Those old motors were "universal" motors, which had a fluctuating electrical arcs from the brushes to the commutator rings, and no electrical noise suppression (i.e. capacitors and ferrites) to squelch that electrical noise. Nowadays, the vacuum cleaners and other appliances run brushless motors, and always have noise suppression to prevent interference with audio gear and TVs.

Quite a hodge-podge of suggestions, results. 


Did anyone comment on the Balanced Power Transformer question?


Two people mentioned that they had high thd% in their ac lines.

Others have world class dirt poor power.

I would like to measure mine.

Please tell me how to get this instrument?



The fact that you're using a 20 amp rated outlet will make no difference on a 15 amp circuit. You could use a 30 amp rated or 50 amp rated (I'm stretching here) and it would make no difference. The difference is in the quality of the outlet. You could take the same design in a 15 amp rated outlet and achieve the same result as your 20 amp. What matter is the circuit breaker in the box. You're only going to be able to draw 15 amps from that circuit no matter what the outlet rating. I just wanted to make sure that was clear.

That would be basic electrical knowledge, reading these forms shows there’s a great lack of that. So it’s back to magic beans and ankle bracelets Lol 

@boxcarman I currenly run my amp with the fuse jumpered.  The fuse is a tremendous limitation on power.  So I've been idly looking for a good circuit breaker in the sub 1A range that could be put in it's place and haven't found one.  I think there is a niche business available there but I've not too many irons in the fire to pursue it.

@boxcarman I presume your wiring from the main panel is 12/2 to your outlets?

I would have preferred better wording and checking some of your details. 'It weighted twice as much' Are you saying it is maid of lead or...?
It is 20 AMP. NO it is rated for a 20 amp circuit but it can not provide any more amperage than the circuit it is connected to.
I am a big fan of good power dist. but it needs to be presented on the Up & Up.
My DIY setup is Rated at 20 amps including the built in breaker but that should NEVERE be tripped as the circuit breaker in my breaker box is a 15 amp. This is all overhead and never should come into play. I can only guess that the reason you saw some improvement was from the metal on metal connection you achieved from the new sockets plated connections and that is a good thing and good plating should provide an elimination to corrosion, which provides for a continued performance upgrade.
What most people would see improvement here is what has already been stated many time's. 20 or more amp wiring and breakers in the house circuit itself.

I would have to guess that there is heavier gauge metal in the signal path of the outlet itself. The fuse in the breaker box is 20 amp rated and that is the only fuse in the power line.  I need to feed a 250 wpc amp and a 1000 watt sub, and source components from this line.  Somebody running less than that might not notice as much of an improvement.

Hi guys. I don’t mean to interrupt the conversation, but I might be interested in poking my head in it for a moment or two. For decades I have read about how many audiophiles have wanted to establish dedicated large gauge wired circuits with hundred dollar wall outlets, or power conditioning, to provide every milliamp of power available from their AC service to their speaker amps. I’m all for that, as I do the same. I get that. What I have a hard time understanding is that, IMO, it’s most times already there, without spending thousands of dollars on power conditioning and heavy gauge wiring. As I continue on, feel free to tell me what I’m missing here, and I’ll try to understand.

I think I know a little about AC for audio, so let me try to convey my thoughts here. First off, I hope everyone here is familiar with in-rush current. For those that aren’t, this is a momentary need for a large amount of current when an inductive device turns ON (for example, a refrigerator, dehumidifier, or air conditioner, etc.). Many times these in-rush values are in the 30-40 amp range, being pulled from non-dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuits (ie, there are other electrical devices on the same circuits). When this in-rush current takes place, not only are these spikes ignored by typical home circuit breakers, but the in-rush amps are almost always delivered on typical 15 and 20 amp wiring and circuits. If the wiring or circuit breaker wasn’t able to momentarily deliver this high current, your refrigerator, dehumidifier or air conditioner wouldn’t turn ON. IMO, momentary peak amplifier current draw could also be considered in-rush current.

I have an ammeter that is able to measure in-rush current (many ammeters aren’t capable of that). Since the conversation is revolving around improving home wiring for audio systems, I think this is the first time I ever placed my ammeter (set for measuring in-rush current) on my main audio system amplifier AC feed, while playing the passage of cannons on Telarc’s Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture CD (where they warn you that speaker damage can occur if you’re not careful when playing that passage in the song).

The ammeter was clamped on to the AC feed that provides power to my three Crown Com Tech 400 Amplifiers (which are rated at 220 watts per ch. into 8 ohms). This particular system (I have a few in my house) is a tri-amped system, with an active 3-way crossover. The ammeter was only attached to the amplifier power feed. The circuit for these amplifiers is a dedicated one, with a 10 AWG 15’ cable running from the circuit breaker box, connected to a 15 amp circuit breaker in the load center. The 10 AWG terminates (with correctly torqued AlumiConn wire connectors/nuts) to a Tripp Lite Isobar Ultra surge protector. To soften the in-rush to the amplifiers during turn-on, I also employ a 10 amp rated variable autotransformer (fed from the Tripp Lite Isobar Ultra).

So what I found was that when I initially turn ON the power switch on the autotransformer (without applying power to the power amps), an in-rush of 10. 3 amps occurred (that value is not always consistent, depending upon how recently the autotransormer was powered up, as it stores energy for a short period of time). After clearing that figure, I applied 120 volts to the amplifiers. As all three amplifiers sensed this voltage, they turned ON. The total in-rush current of these three amplifiers turning ON was 15.32 amps. Clearing the ammeter reading, I then played the cannons passage on the Telarc CD. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard this CD (Telarc 80041), but when the LP came out (I have that too), it was monumental, as it was one of the few recordings that was able to record these extremely loud cannons, and transfer it to vinyl (later to CD). If my amplifiers were ever going to draw peak power, it would definitely be while playing these cannons. So with my speakers blaring, the peak power consumed by all 3 amplifiers during this passage was only 1.85 amps. I admit, I expected a value that was going to be higher, for the amount of bass that my 15" bass drivers produced.

So from my POV, your home circuits are already able to deliver lots of peak amperage when needed. Improving on that I get, but I’m not sure there really is a need for some, when peak power is probably already there when needed.

Recording of October 1979: The Telarc 1812 Overture

BTW, after dealing with lightning strikes at radio stations for years, I have seen damage done from hundreds if not thousands of amps from lighting strikes discharged through 24 AWG telephone wires. And in that case, I'm pretty sure the wires were not current limiting from the damage sustained (as I mentioned in another post), as they didn't even vaporize. 

I went gonzo with AC improvements.

Now thinking about the Stromtank and selling my Shunyata Triton/Typhon and PS Audio P12. Those are plugged into a dedicated outlet in the wall which uses Oyaide duplexes and 50’ of special Oyaide cable. Tried the P12 into the wall but it is way better to the Shunyata then that into the wall. All in retail that is $38K wt power cords. Improvements-major.

I want to grab an Add Powr unit myself. The more I read on these things the more I commit to buying one. I don't understand the workings of it but everyone who has one swear by them. 

@brunomarcs , you will be very happy with an ADD POWR unit. You can start entry level, audition, and send it back if it doesn't work out. I want to add the ethernet switch next. 

I’m just starting out in this hobby and have a question that may have already been addressed. Trying to keep electrical connections as simple and direct as possible, why not hardwire the power conditioner’s (or amp etc) quality power cord directly to the romex in the wall electrical box?  This would reduce it to  one connection, eliminate the wall receptacle outlet and male power plug.  Any downsides or flawed logic here?  Thanks

eliminate the wall receptacle outlet and male power plug. Any downsides or flawed logic here?

Nope. Non whatsoever. Makes perfect sense. But most audiophiles are not (licensed) electricians, and therefore capable of performing this task. Could they hire an electrician to do it? Sure! The plugs are mainly there for convenience sake.

I have been closely watching Stromtank, off grid power supply. I believe you can find some reviews is Absolute Sound and Stereophile.


I use a Shunyata venom PS8 power strip with a Shunyata power cord and a Venom Defender Stand Alone plug in Power Conditioner. Later I added a Cardas AC Receptacle, and had the same results as you boxcarman. A definite improvement in transparency.

While I concur with the benefit of the higher quality and the tighter grip of hospital grade receptacles, most of the benefits spoken of here are results of clean, tight, new connections rather than over rated circuits and large gauge wire.

Running my i,200W microwave (rated to pull up to 10A) through a 20, 30 or 50A circuit, even with a cable the size of a fire hose, would not heat a cup of water any faster than it does through the 15A circuit it was designed for and an amplifier pulling considerably less amps, isn’t going to sound any better either.

As pointed out by dpop, the amount of current pulled by a power amp and all related equipment (even on demanding passages) is quite minimal.

Some of the suggestions I’ve seen on this forum regarding electrical circuits and grounding are off base and in some cases not even permissible to code....Jim,