Expensive Rhodium/Gold/Silver plated mains plugs/wall sockets/fuses.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Soundlabs, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Soundlabs

    Soundlabs Reference Townshend Audio Dealer. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Welling kent
    With so many joins/joints inside audio equipment, are we concentrating on the wrong areas with mega expensive various plated mains plugs, wall outlets, fuses, rca and xlr connectors ?

    It all helps right ?

    But by how much ?

    Is an equipment upgrade more beneficial ?

    Would love to hear every ones thoughts,

    I bet we all want those nice new NCF Furutech products right ?
     
  2. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    A dangerous assumption. It is pretty much the foundation for much of the audiophile industry.

    And yeah, people spending big money on fancy wall sockets and the like are probably concentrating on the wrong areas, but not for the reasons you suggest.
     
    JackG likes this.
  3. Soundlabs

    Soundlabs Reference Townshend Audio Dealer. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Welling kent
    HI interesting what you say, what do you believe are the reasons please ?
     
  4. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Because there are probably better uses for the money that will make a more audible difference, "upgrading" wall sockets and the like probably makes no audible difference in nearly every case, etc. etc. etc.
     
    VU Master, tin ears, JackG and 2 others like this.
  5. jea48

    jea48 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    High end mains power plugs and receptacle outlets are not really designed or targeted for use in the UK. That is unless you want to use aftermarket power cords with NEMA 5-15P or 5-20P plugs.

    .
     
  6. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Central PA
    Save your money on expensive cables and plugs. I would spend the money upgrading hardware equipment and room treatment. You would be better served that way.
     
    JackG, TSWisla, vwestlife and 2 others like this.
  7. Soundlabs

    Soundlabs Reference Townshend Audio Dealer. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Welling kent
    Thank you.
     
  8. OP - Let's say you just paid $20K (or whatever amount - think hypothetically) for an audio system, cabling, power conditioners etc and got everything you ever wanted --- but then were about to plug it into an ancient, low quality outlet and an old sticky breaker on the other end - would you then fork over a mere $20 to upgrade those to something like a Hubbell 5362 or another noted "good" quality outlet that some here have recommended, and another $10 to upgrade to a new breaker?

    And then would you expect your system to sound better with the new outlet / breaker, or no change?

    The question is trying to ask --- if the outlet was the only weak link would you expect upgrading it would increase your sound quality?

    Note these are questions to you - so please don't answer them with a question :) I am trying to test your own thoughts in this specific scenario to help you answer some of your original questions.......
     
    macster likes this.
  9. Soundlabs

    Soundlabs Reference Townshend Audio Dealer. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Welling kent
    HI, I do believe ones system is only as strong as the weakest link, i have experienced significant sound quality improvements upgrading equipment, but not when i changed my standard UK wall socket to a top of range Furutech Rhodium plated.
    To answer your question yes i would change to better sockets and no i do not expect to hear any difference unless the sockets i replaced were faulty in some way.
     
  10. jea48

    jea48 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    For your listening experiences in the UK you may be correct, but do you have any listening experiences for outlets and plugs used in the US and or Canada?

    Apples and Oranges.


    .
     
  11. Soundlabs

    Soundlabs Reference Townshend Audio Dealer. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Welling kent
    No experiences.
     
  12. Ahhh but you live in the UK where you probably were already 95% home with your standard wall socket! :) So fair enough

    In the US you may answer that question differently though......... but not putting words in your mouth@!!
     
  13. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    It's quite a debatable topic.

    I've upgraded my outlets and couldn't tell you for sure if it changed things or not, and debates on this kind of topic usually end up wishing you had not begun!

    On the rhodium thing, that one surely eludes me. Increasing contact resistance is not normally something one shoots for. I won't be buying Rhodium plated audio connectors for sure.
     
  14. LOL yeah I've read some of those threads, even started one myself :hide: --- but in my case, the outlet was the weak link and I did notice an improvement because of that. (It was a cheapy) I went into to it a skeptic, and when I thought I heard a difference, I was even surprised enough to employ other ears in the house for some blind A/B testing and near 100% identified the new outlet as "better sounding"

    I was shocked (pun intended)
     
  15. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Don't knock it 'till you try it. In my journey I have upgraded every component and have set the room up with the most ideal main listening position along with treatments. I listen just about everyday and typically get 1-2 hours in at a time so I'm very familiar with the sound and when changes are made. Each piece of the puzzle has done something to the sound, blacker backgrounds, less sibilants, more dynamics, wider soundstage, etc.

    An outlet upgrade made a difference as well. I'm not sure if it would've had a noticeable impact had I made the change early on with gear that couldn't pass along an incredibly clean, quiet signal? Meaning, as my gear got better/quieter and my noise floor kept lowering, an upgraded outlet helped make a quiet background even blacker.
     
  16. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Until I see some solid evidence that it makes an audible difference, like actual blind testing, I see no reason to try it. Why would I waste the money/time/effort on it?
     
  17. You're trying to convince the wrong person --- he was quick to comment on my Hubbell thread too with a skeptical comment --- kind of an MO thing.........

    But I bet he's never tried it as you alluded to. And you clearly won't convince him too from what I have seen...... guess its not worth the $15 to keep an open mind and finally convince himself.

    EDIT: I see the response above after I typed mine --- see?
     
  18. Can you share specifically / precisely what solid evidence you are looking for? Clearly the myriad of colleagues on the board is not solid evidence for you, and that is fine, but if that doesn't do it, what are you hoping for that will break that $20 from your wallet and 10 minutes of your time to install? ( and then return it if you are still skeptical)

    I noted in my thread that I did blind testing with other members of the family --- or is that not "actual" (not sure what actual means)
     
  19. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Apparently there is no need, happy listening!
     
  20. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Not all audiophiles and music lovers have the same auditory discernment ability. Some can hear subtle differences in a cable or outlet change, some can't, probably due to the unique capabilities of each person's auditory system. Like hearing and understanding a person talking to you in a noisy room full of other talkers, some have a facility to do better in such environments than others.
     
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  21. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    It's pretty simple really. Just actual blind testing like Harman does with its speakers (as one example). I don't understand why this is such a contentious thing. If they do make a difference, blind testing results would be the best piece of marketing for companies that sell them. If the difference they make is purely placebo effect, though, that's fine too! Just call a spade a spade though. For me (and many others), the problem is when people try to extrapolate from their own subjective experience and claim that the same effect will be experienced by others. Or even worse, when companies who sell this stuff try to make it seem like the products will impact the sound without any hard evidence to back that up.

    I don't know off hand the thread you're referring to. If you can provide a link I'd certainly like to check it out.
     
    jbmcb likes this.
  22. That is so true......... and something that many of us forget, thanks for reminding.......... me included.
     
    Otlset likes this.
  23. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Assuming for the sake of discussion this is true, then if a person isn't one of those "golden ear" audiophiles then that would just be all the more reason for them to not waste money on something that can only be discernible to the "golden ear" audiophiles.
     
  24. It's not contentious, it's just that I"ve noticed you have come out multiple times as a skeptic on the topic --- and stated those times that it was the evidence / proof you needed - and I was really trying to understand what that specifically entailed.

    It's one of those things if you are waiting for hard graphs and emperical data, or scientific studies, or even a "sanctioned" blind test you could believe you might not ever get what you want. ALso, depending on your setup, outlets, where you live etc you may NOT hear a difference too...... plus what Otlset alluded to above is also a possibility.

    But it would be fairly cheap and easy to sponsor your OWN blind test - no? :) Then coming back and saying "I tried it and it did nothing" would carry more weight than "I hear you all saying it's better but I don't.............."
     
  25. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    I, like everyone else, have limited time on this planet. Why would I want to spend some of it doing that? Why is the onus on me and not the sellers of this stuff? They're already making claims about the sonic effect of the products, so shouldn't they bear the burden to back up those claims?

    Edit: Also, I disagree that blind testing wall outlets would be cheap and easy for me. I've never messed with a wall socket in my life, for one thing.
     
    timind likes this.

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