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Hospital Grade Electrical Outlets


fritzg
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I will start by saying no. At least for anyone who is spending less than the cost of a new car for their DAC.

 

I have never found a power cord or any other 110v device that did one thing to improve the sound of my system. YMMV.

 

If you have very sophisticated equipment, a very quiet listening room, have been trained to listen for something specific and can distinguish "better" from "different" objectively, then yes, new outlets and or power cords may make sense. Especially if you are worried about downloading a virus, maybe the hospital grade gear gives you a little better level of immunity. [emoji1]

 

"There are no electronics in these devices. They are just built a lot sturdier. They can't have plugs slip out or fail when an electrical device is keeping someone alive. Unless you have too much money, don't bother."

That I ask questions? I am more concerned about being stupid than looking like I might be.

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Are these worth it for audio quality? I assume one needs to use hospital grade power strips and power cords, too, right?

 

In my dedicated listening room I replaced all the 99 cent builders grade outlets with 20 amp, isolated ground Hubbel outlets. These are 15-20 dollar outlets.

The power strips are GTT Electronics medical grade with switches for each outlet. I think these are 100.00 or so power strips.

It is not easy to find these anymore. Picked up a box full of the outlets at EPO in Clear Lake for 2.99 each. The non-isolated ground models were 1.99. The GTT power strips were 20.00 on eBay. The Eupen power cords ranged from 15.00-25.00 each.

The boutique power products may be better. Real medical/lab grade products work for me. They are much heavier duty than the Home Depot stock.

Common sense should prevail here. Switching supply units on one strip and linear supplies on the other. Plus power amps and computer plugged straight into the wall.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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From Mockett: Hospital grade receptacles must meet all the requirements of general use receptacles, and they must also meet additional hospital grade requirements which include grounding reliability, assembly integrity, terminal strength, impact resistance and durability. So, hospital grade receptacles are much more durable and are constructed to accept a higher level of abuse than general use receptacles.

 

In my limited experience, you get a very solid grip on the plug with these things. Harder to plug in and harder to pull the plug out. So I believe you are getting a very solid connection. That's likely to be worthwhile as the run of the mill outlet can be marginal in this regard.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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@panelhead:

 

Ok, but did any of that actually improve the sound of what comes out of the speakers? The OP was a question of audio quality. What real value did you get for your investment?

 

What is the common sense that I should have here? I don't see any connection between making things fit together more snugly and any improvement in SQ.

That I ask questions? I am more concerned about being stupid than looking like I might be.

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I have never found a power cord or any other 110v device that did one thing to improve the sound of my system. YMMV.

My own experience with power cords is that they can make a significant difference, e.g. an aftermarket cord noticeably improved the bass slam of my power amp. As you say, YMMV. I also use Hubbell hospital grade outlets which provide a much better electrical connection, but I can't really say whether they have an audible effect.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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There you go! [emoji106] Allan, your experience was different than mine and I expect you have finer equipment. I tried a number of power cords from cheap to ridiculous and couldn't appreciate a difference.

 

One thing? I live in a condominium and I suspect I will get my bass thumped if I start slamming it. [emoji5]️

 

Maybe I'll try again.

 

 

I just looked at your profile, that's awesome gear you have.

That I ask questions? I am more concerned about being stupid than looking like I might be.

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There you go! [emoji106] Allan, your experience was different than mine and I expect you have finer equipment. I tried a number of power cords from cheap to ridiculous and couldn't appreciate a difference.

 

One thing? I live in a condominium and I suspect I will get my bass thumped if I start slamming it. [emoji5]️

 

Maybe I'll try again.

 

 

I just looked at your profile, that's awesome gear you have.

I can only relate my experience and certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that they will always provide a benefit. As you know, in audio many things are system dependent.

 

I do consider myself very fortunate to have been able to put together the system that I enjoy immensely. While my current speakers produce incredible bass for stand mounted 'monitors', they can't compare to the bass that my previous speakers (Castle Winchester) produced - and my neighbour in the apartment below mine is much happier as a result. :)

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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The fact that we can have a world-wide chat in (near) real time would have been considered a miracle 50 years ago. We're all very fortunate.

That I ask questions? I am more concerned about being stupid than looking like I might be.

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The fact that we can have a world-wide chat in (near) real time would have been considered a miracle 50 years ago. We're all very fortunate.

 

You are right about that. But, getting back to hospital grade outlets, they certainly cannot hurt. But, unless you are constantly plugging and unplugging your system, standard outlets will do just fine. If any of your ordinary outlets provide a loose connection with the plugs, put new cheap ones in. You might only get 20-30 years of life out of them. The hospital ones will not improve the sound one iota, nor will $50,$100, $200 a pop, gold plated "audiophile approved" ones.

 

Best to spend your hard earned money elsewhere to improve the actual sound.

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Yes straight into the wall. Relying on the Apple switching supply to handle spikes. This with one with internal supply.

None of our other electronic devises are on dedicated surge protection. Buried residential wiring may help with this.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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In my dedicated listening room I replaced all the 99 cent builders grade outlets with 20 amp, isolated ground Hubbel outlets. These are 15-20 dollar outlets.

The power strips are GTT Electronics medical grade with switches for each outlet. I think these are 100.00 or so power strips.

It is not easy to find these anymore. Picked up a box full of the outlets at EPO in Clear Lake for 2.99 each. The non-isolated ground models were 1.99. The GTT power strips were 20.00 on eBay. The Eupen power cords ranged from 15.00-25.00 each.

The boutique power products may be better. Real medical/lab grade products work for me. They are much heavier duty than the Home Depot stock.

Common sense should prevail here. Switching supply units on one strip and linear supplies on the other. Plus power amps and computer plugged straight into the wall.

 

Just a comment about Home Depot stock. Some of their "name-brand" products, I've been told, are actually not first quality, hence the low prices. I don't know about their electrical supplies, such as Leviton duplex outlets and light switches, although they do seem cheezier than what I get at the local electrical contractor supply house, and I have been told by my plumber that, specifically, Kohler faucets sold at Home Depot, which look exactly like those from plumbing suppliers, right down to the stock numbers, are inferior quality. I have heard this from more than one person.

If I were replacing wall outlets and switches in my home, as we all have done, I would avoid the low-end builder-grade Home Depot ones, and get something of higher quality from a commercial electrical supply house.

I don't know if hospital grade or independently grounded outlets are are better for audio, but for a few dollars, I would consider them before spending hundreds of dollars on a power cord as thick as a garden hose for my DAC or amplifier, and plugging it into a 99¢ wall socket.

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I upgraded all the power cords and outlets at the same time and it was a great improvement. But all the outlets were in a large power conditioner.

 

Can you describe the improvements for us?

That I ask questions? I am more concerned about being stupid than looking like I might be.

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A good solid connection from the plug to the receptacle is what we're after. The 'better' connections use a bronze/bronze alloy material, it's reasonably tough, but it provides give while keeping the resistance of the joint low. Of course there's good and bad bronze...

 

Loose or connections that compromise generate heat and RF, of which the latter is important here. Detection can be an AM radio as detailed on this page which also discusses various other forms of electrical pollution.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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Are these worth it for audio quality? I assume one needs to use hospital grade power strips and power cords, too, right?

 

No, there is nothing "electrical" about these plugs that would influence SQ at all. They just make tighter contact than do domestic quality receptacles. "Hospital quality" means that the are very robust. They were designed to have plugs inserted and removed from them constantly and they have to be able to reliably withstand such high usage and stay tight (so that cords are not easily accidentally disconnected). Other than their build quality (which an audiophile wouldn't necessarily need unless he were constantly plugging and unplugging components to and from them all day), they have no other attributes.

George

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