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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I really liked the recent post about here on HTS about Auro 3D and found this example of a stellar Auro 3D HT.
http://mrgcustom.com/press/Electronic House Jan 2016 Issue - MRG Theater.pdf

When I read the author/designers philosophy the proverbial "light bulb" went off. He states in the article that the secret to a great system is three things, a great room (check), great components (check) and great power (interesting). He was able to articulate something I have found through experimentation. Everything starts from the point you plug in right? Now I know I don't trust the reservoir and the pipes that bring water to my tap so I filter it. Why not do the same thing for your power? What are your thoughts? In my system I started at the wall socket and made an upgrade, then a power conditioner and finally power cables. I find that each step provided better SQ as well as a big improvement in the picture quality from my PJ. My power conditioner has a display that reads what the voltage is coming from the wall and it varies a lot from 120V.
 

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Re: Power- The Wall Socket

So, I took for granted that you plug something in and it works right? Pretty basic stuff. But then I thought was this socket made with the highest quality for audio gear in mind or the cheapest materials the manufacturer could get away with and still get a UL rating. Hmmmm, let's find out. I don't see the point of spending $$ on a power cord for one component when you can possibly impact the entire system starting from where you plug in. The cost of admission is generally less than $200 for this type of upgrade. I know it has made a noticeable improvement for me. I can't see the point of spending $$$ on room treatments and components without at least attempting to address POWER:yikes:

Keep in mind all of these products generally come with a 30 day audition so no like=no pay.

Here is a review of a socket made by MIT:

http://6moons.com/audioreviews/mit/duplex.html

The First Impression Music socket:

http://www.gcaudio.com/products/reviews/infofim.html

PS Audio socket

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/15/159342.html

and Mapleshade

http://shop.mapleshadestore.com/Ultra-Minimalist-AC-Outlets/products/259/
 

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The analogy to the water supply is pretty good, actually, but I would put it this way. The water quality coming in to my house varies, much like the power coming in from the a.c. service. I drink water mostly from the refrigerator, which has a filter in it. This is analogous to listening to your equipment which has filters in all of the power supplies. I can put a water filter on the line coming into the house, and according to the manufacturer, my water should taste better. Most people who put in those filters will find that the water tastes better, even on the filtered supplies like the refrigerator. Is it real or is it that the vendor set the expectation and the customer just believes it to taste better?

The answer is going to be different and have different meanings for many different people. Some may insist on testing the water to see if there is a difference with a blind test. Some will think that is silly and it is obvious that the water tastes better.

My perspective is that I want to understand what might be happening that is real and might be meaningful. So with respect to power cords, outlets, and power conditioners, I have always done a lot of investigating. I have never tested current limitations, however, so I can't do much more than speculate on those. I can say that power conditioners can eliminate line noise and change ground patterns. I have never been able to measure effects of power conditioners that were not filtered by the power supplies already, however, other than ground related noise, which can make its way around the already existing filtering.

Having conducted quite a few blind and ABX tests, I agree with the difficulties mentioned in the articles linked with conducting these tests. It is not easy and the issues are not trivial if you really try to be consistent and get it right.

The bottom line for most people is that spending a lot of money on power cords and outlets is not likely to make much difference unless one believes it will, and that may be enough for many. Most of the rest of us are better off investing in other stuff. Power conditioners can be useful, if one has noise issues that are affected by them, but the reality is that most people do not, at least not issues that cannot be mitigated with good system design and grounding practices. The protection one gets from them can usually be obtained much less expensively. Again, however, if one believes it will improve the sound, that may be enough to justify the cost and assure results.
 

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