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Free observational audio system improvement #1 (Read 1739 times)
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Free observational audio system improvement #1
01/30/17 at 21:08:41
This is from Audio Research.

Let’s say you have your audio components plugged into various standard duplex electrical outlets in your listening room…
And not using fancy aftermarket receptacles or power conditioners…

And you are not using both sockets of the outlet where you have your power amplifier plugged in, for example.

Or you are not using both sockets of the duplex outlet where your preamplifier or front end source components are plugged in.

1. Fire your system up and play a few demanding tunes you are intimately familiar with…
2. Now turn your amplifier off and plug it into the unused socket in the same duplex outlet receptacle.
3. Turn the amp back on, waiting a couple minutes for cool down if it is a tube amp.
4. Play the same songs and observe whether the sound is more relaxed, pure and dynamic or less so.
5. Use the socket in the outlet which sounds better.
6. One of the two usually sounds noticeably better; believe it as this is a common, repeatable empirical observation and result.
7. Repeat the process with each component connected to a single-use outlet, reaping the cumulative sonic benefits of the best connection in each outlet box.

In addition, you can swap cords from components sharing the same duplex outlet, from top to bottom and bottom to top sockets, and you will likely have a sonic preference here as well.

Feel free to comment and share your results.

Happy listening from all the ears at Audio Research
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Lonely Raven
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Posts: 3564
Re: Free observational audio system improvement #1
Reply #1 - 01/31/17 at 17:18:15

It doesn't cost anything to try (thankfully), and I can imagine the construction of your typical outlet has a lot to do with that. They are made to be simply functional, and fast and inexpensive to make. So the internal  construction of the top of the outlet vs the bottom could be different. Hell, I've seen some outlets where some of it was brass internals, and some of it was steel! The socket blades (metal connections) could have different tension on them as well, causing a stronger or weaker connection between the plug and the outlet.

Add to that, just the simple point of unplugging and re-plugging the cable can rub off any oxidization between the connections. So just a little of the 'ol in-out (as they say in Clockwork Orange) could provide a better connection.

Or, instead of playing around with which cheap ass build grade outlet made by the lowest bidder sound better, spend a few bucks and run a dedicated line to (at least) a hospital grade outlet and verify your panels grounding is done correctly. Sometimes even just upgrading the panels grounding with a thicker piece of copper and making sure it's bonded correctly can improve your sound. Do the simple stuff correctly and you won't have to be listening to your outlets!
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