[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/viewtopic.php on line 35: Use of undefined constant topic - assumed 'topic' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4777: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3912)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4779: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3912)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4780: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3912)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4781: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3912)
Agoraquest • View topic - The AC Plug Thread / The Benefits of Upgrading to Hospital Grade AC Plugs!

        Advanced search
It is currently Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:45 pm
Please Login or Register to take advantage of all of our forum benefits.

View topic - The AC Plug Thread / The Benefits of Upgrading to Hospital Grade AC Plugs!

The AC Plug Thread / The Benefits of Upgrading to Hospital Grade AC Plugs!

This forum addresses questions on installation, configuration and troubleshooting you might encounter with your Sony Amp/Receiver/Speakers/Connections/Cables.

Moderator: jttar

by Maxxwire » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:00 am

Image

Back when I first got my Sony DB930 Receiver 14 years ago I was initially using standard issue black and red RCA terminated OEM Analog interconnects and its original power cord with its nickel bladed ac plug to access power from a Monster HTS 2000 line filter and its performance was alright at best being not that much different from the Sony DE925 Receiver which it had replaced.  

In an effort to find out what sonic possibilities might be ahead for my very well reviewed newly acquired factory stock Sony DB930 Receiver I would walk 5 blocks up the street to my friend's Audio Shop where a new crop of used High End Audio equipment would come in each week. The variety of equipment which I was able to audition included some of the truly great designs from some of the most talented names in High End Audio equipment manufacturing from around the world. I had spent the previous 20 years exclusively running Sony Receivers beginning with my 1980 Sony STR V55 Receiver. By the year 2000 found myself in the midst some of the very finest and best sounding Audio equipment ever made and struggling to figure out how my 1999 Sony DB 930 could possibly ever fit into the picture. After a few hundred auditions I began to realize that there were indeed no absolutes concerning performance when based solely on brand name or price-point when it comes to the capability of any piece of Audio equipment to produce excellent sound quality that...

Image

Time went by listening to all of this great Audio gear and in the back of my mind I couldn't help but wondering how the performance of my DB930 Receiver could eventually stack up in relation to this world of High End Audio equipment which I had discovered. Although I was somewhat confused about this at first I was also encompassed by the kinds of tools which could enable me to coax the highest level of performance and sound quality from my humble yet well built $600 Sony DB930 Receiver. Fortunately my friend who owns the Audio Shop has a very liberal lending policy and so I was able to take advantage of it and I was able to audition the DB930 with an array of high quality Power Cables and Line Conditioners as well as many outstanding Analog and Digital interconnects in my acoustically tuned listening room.

As a result I discovered that not only did some of these improvements work better than others, but that many times when I returned to the Audio Shop I found that my DB930 had incrementally closed the sound quality gap with the High End gear. I wondered how that could be and I eventually realized that the High End Audio equipment which I had been auditioning had consistently been using whatever low quality Power Cables and interconnects were handy for the demonstrations. I would not have picked up on this constraint on the sound quality of this well designed and equally well built Audio equipment if it had not been for the substantial improvements in the sound quality of the DB930 relative to consistent restraint that the low quality Power Cables, Interconnects combined with the equally poor quality AC Power it was using placed on the performance of this very expensive Audio equipment.

I learned some very interesting things in regard to upgrading my Audio System and one of the more important realizations was that the more expensive AC Power Delivery equipment which I auditioned did not always perform better than the more moderately priced gear. A good example is the VansEvers Model 12 Reference Line Conditioner that I decided to buy for $65 which easily outperformed the much more expensive $700 Transparent Ultra Power Bank which I auditioned by a 10-1 margin and eventually brought the performance of the DB930 alive in a way that far surpassed the sound quality of any of the High End gear that I auditioned which was powered with AC Power straight from the wall outlet.  

I also discovered that I could take an inexpensive Power Cable that had an otherwise very capable conductor which the manufacturer had chosen to terminate with poor quality AC and IEC Plugs in order to keep its price-point low and then re-terminate it with Pure Copper Plugs which are of a much higher quality than most of the seriously more expensive commercial AC Power Cables which are routinely terminated with Hospital Grade AC Plugs as is the .

Image

As an example of this process of creating a high performance AC Power Cable from an inexpensive one I purchased a used Synergistic Research Alpha A/C Coupler which features 12 AWG Silver Clad Conductors (pictured above) from the Audio Shop for $40 which was about 20% of its original cost. After removing the original poor quality OEM AC and IEC Plugs I replaced them with high quality IACS 100% conductivity Furutech FI-25 Pure Copper Bladed AC and IEC Plugs which greatly improved the cable's ability to interface the source of AC Power with the Audio equipment with a very low resistance connections thus enhancing the performance capabilities of the equipment. A few months later after the DB 930's level of magnitude performance increase using the Furutech FI-28 Rhodium Plated Pure Copper AC Plug I upgraded the Alpha A/C Coupler to a set of FI-28 AC and IEC Plugs which is an example of just how simple and easy upgrades can be when using highly versatile DIY Cables. 

Image

The benefits of these Power Cable and AC Power Delivery upgrades in terms of all around performance combined with the low cost of their DIY reconstruction upgrades make them an affordable approach to releasing the potential performance especially that of modestly priced Audio gear and transforming it into a high performance Giant Killer relative to the much greater cost of the many 100's of pieces of High End Audio equipment which I have auditioned over the years that routinely turn in comparatively tired performances precipitated by their use of poor quality cabling and unconditioned AC Power which served to pull their performance and sound quality down to a much lower level relative to that of my DB930 which utilizes economical high quality filtered and conditioned AC Power by way of its one and only modification and that being its highly efficient Single Crystal Power Cable and Pure Copper AC Plug...

Image

After several years of upgrading my Audio equipment with increasingly higher quality Interconnects, Speaker Cables and AC Power Cables as well as improving the level of AC Power quality there has been an improvement in performance and sound quality levels which now far exceeded the relatively tired performances which the much more expensive and better built Audiophile Grade equipment should have been able to turn in. These listening experiences which spanned more than a decade the results of which were consistently repeated themselves throughout 100's of auditions I can only conclude that the poor quality interconnects, speaker cables, AC Power Cables and AC Power which this otherwise distinguished Audio equipment was using during the auditions were the source of their tired efforts compared to the much better sounding and more energetic performance of my Sony DB930 Receiver with the benefit of it's upgraded Power Cable and enhanced AC Power Delivery Network.

Image
Attachments
Furutech FI-28 AC&IEC_.jpg
Furutech FI-28 AC&IEC_.jpg (224.11 KiB) Viewed 9018 times
Furutech FI-25_.jpg
Furutech FI-25_.jpg (214.79 KiB) Viewed 9018 times
Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:00 pm

Image

Not long after I had finished upgrading the AC power cables of the equipment in my Audio System using Leviton 8215-C Hospital Grade AC Plugs which greatly enhanced the performance of my moderately priced Audio equipment as well as making significant improvements in it's sound quality I became convinced that this type of upgrade was truly effective using these inexpensive entry level Hospital Grade replacement plugs. It was after this confirmation of the enormous potential AC Plug upgrades have to improve the performance of my Audio equipment that decided to bump things up a notch and test out the possible impact that entry level 100% IACS conductivity Pure Copper Bladed AC Plugs might have over 28% IACS conductivity Brass Bladed Hospital Grade plugs. The AC Plugs I chose to use were the modestly priced Furutech FI-11M(G) and Fi-11 IEC (G) Pure Copper AC Plugs which are featured in the graphic above.

One of the more interesting experiments involving upgrading one of my power cables which had existing Brass Bladed AC and IEC plugs involved the used power cable shown below which I purchased for $20 at the local Audio Shop some years earlier. After a considerable amount of investigation and comparison I was able to identify it by the combination of its rather unique type of AC Plug and its outer sheathing material which I discovered is also used by a particular cable maker on this class of power cable which led me to the conclusion that this power cable is most likely a $200 TG Audio power cable...

Image

...Removing the original AC and IEC Plug quite surprisingly revealed this power cable's 8 Copper conductors and single ground wire all of which were silver clad...

Image

This power cable's design features 8 X 18 AWG conductors with 4 of them used for the delivery of current and the other 4 conductors for the neutral plus an additional single ground wire. Although 18 AWG wire may seem inadequate for a power cable each of the sets of 4 conductors combine into a total of a 12 AWG conductor in that when combining 2 conductors of the same size it increases their combined effective size by 3 AWG. In this case each pair of 18 AWG wires combine to equal 15 AWG where (18 AWG + 18 AWG) = 15 AWG and then two of those pairs combine to be the equivalent of 12 AWG where (15 AWG + 15 AWG = 12 AWG) both for the conductor and the neutral which each use 4 X 18 AWG wires each,

Image

Upon opening up and inspecting the original IEC plug of this power cable we can see another drawback to using mass produced power cables in that it is evident that this IEC plug was terminated quickly by flowing low content silver solder over the conductors and the brass parts of the plug. The DIY power cable terminations under consideration here are done quite differently.  

Re-terminating a power cord like this requires nothing more than a wire cutter/stripping tool and a screwdriver. To connect the power cable to the new Pure Copper AC and IEC Plugs the wires for each pole are first twisted together and then pressure connected between the upper and lower plates of the positive, neutral and ground connections on each AC and IEC plug. Personally I prefer to use an electric drill and bit for termination in order to create a virtually gas tight connection between the conductors and the plug, but great care must be taken not to back the screws out too far lest they rise up through the top plate and jam before the wires are inserted.

Image

Over the years I have also experienced many positive improvements when upgrading the captured power cables of my Audio equipment from Brass Bladed Hospital Grade Plugs to entry level Pure Copper Plugs and this is a description of how my Sony DB 930 Receiver reacted to it's first Pure Copper AC Plug upgrade...


On 2011-03-16 03:00, Maxxwire wrote:
The DB 930 does respond very well to AC Plug and Outlet upgrades! I upgraded my DB 930's power cord with a Leviton Hospital Grade plug and Leviton Hospital Grade outlet to use and it provided the first very noticeable improvement in sound quality from an AC Power delivery upgrade for my DB 930.

Not long after that very positive experience the DB 930 inherited a Furutech FI-11 Pure Copper AC Plug. The result was an even larger improvement in sound quality than there was from upgrading to the Hospital Grade Plug as a result of the DB 930 having its new Pure Copper AC Plug.

I earnestly recommend using Pure Copper Connectors on power cables in order to elicit the true level of performance that your Audio equipment was designed to deliver. The efficient delivery of the AC Power that your Audio equipment uses to recreate and then amplify the Audio Signal is extremely important and tight fitting Pure Copper Connectors help to provide a lower path of resistance for the the AC Power that eventually becomes every note of Music that you hear from your speakers. The Furutech FI-11M(G) and IEC(G) Plugs are tight fitting entry level Pure Copper Connectors, they are relatively economical and they will deliver a much higher level of performance than either the kind of ubiquitous molded and crimp connected OEM Nickel bladed plugs that most Audio equipment comes from the factory with or Hospital Grade AC and IEC plugs.


  
Attachments
Crump 9 Wire_165__.jpg
Crump 9 Wire_165__.jpg (183.38 KiB) Viewed 9009 times
Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:00 pm

  


The term "future-proof" refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the distant future; that the item does not become obsolete. (Quote from Wikipedia)

Over the years I have built 3 very different Audio Systems one of which was Solid State Analog another Vacuum Tube Analog and the most recent Fully Digital. As radically different as the equipment which makes up these 3 Audio Systems are they nevertheless all share one critical set of components and cabling in common and that is the AC Power Delivery Network that I began building over a decade ago.

For all of those years as I went step by step through the process of locating the best equipment and cabling that I could acquire for that AC Power Delivery Network I didn't fully realize the pragmatic implications of its Future-Proof qualities until one day when I plugged my Sony DB930 Receiver which recently had its original power cord upgraded with a Furutech FI-28 Rhodium Plated Pure Copper AC Plug into the Reference Grade Line Conditioner that the Vacuum Tube Power Amp in my then Reference Vacuum Tube Audio System had been using for 9 years and instantly the sound quality of the Solid State DB930 improved by an order of magnitude. This became my first major insight into the Inter-System transferable Future-Proof qualities of a high quality AC Power Delivery Network.

Another example in what was to become a subset of the Audio System's AC Power Delivery Network is the Future-Proof nature the TG Audio power cable that I have used in many assignments over the last 12 years which I demonstrated the initial re-termination of in my last post. It had originally been designed for an assignment where the transmission transparency level of Furutech FI-11M (G) and IEC (G) Pure Copper AC Plugs were qualified for the intended use, but about 6 months later I found myself in need of an AC Power Cable with much more transparent transmission capabilities to connect to a second Brick Wall Surge Filter which serves the Video and Computer equipment along with a Digital version of the VansEvers Model 12 Reference Line Conditioner which I have had since 2003 and has been re-purposed in order to power my 42" LED IPS HD Video Display. It only took a few minutes of my time to upgrade the TG Audio power cable to this new and much higher level assignment by re-terminating it once again only this time with the Furutech FI-28 Rhodium Plated Pure Copper AC and IEC Plugs which have become the high standard in my A/V System...

  

Back in 2003 when I began to building the AC Power Delivery Network for my Vacuum Tube Audio equipment which uses amplification that is based on 1930's era Ultra-Linear Output Transformer Coupling technology which along with the pre-amplification uses Tubes made in the 1960's. I did the best job I could of providing the most transparent method of delivering AC Power to the equipment. As I said, I was totally shocked when my 1999 Sony DB930 Solid State Receiver responded with a much larger improvement in sound quality than the Vacuum Tube equipment which the AC Power Delivery Network for which it was designed. Nevertheless that was not by any means the only dynamic display of the Future-Proof qualities of the AC Power Network in that my Wadia Full Digital 'Chip' Amp with its commensurate quality Furutech FI-28 terminated OCC Copper Power Cord now uses the exact same Plug'n Play AC Power Network and it has responded with a stellar sonic performance that is by far the best that I have ever heard in my acoustically treated listening room.     

The many years of gradual and continued investment which I have made in my A/V System's AC Power Delivery Network continues to pay dividends in terms of providing excellent quality AC Power to each and every generation of Audio equipment that has used it as a source of power.

Even though Music formats continue to evolve to ever higher resolutions that require more advanced playback equipment with ever more sophisticated circuit topologies the one fact that remains constant is that Alternating Current will continue to be needed to power those future generations of highly advanced equipment and it is this certainty that makes the AC Power Delivery Network Future-Proof...  
       


  
Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:00 pm

  

The other day I began thinking about all of the trade-ups I had made along the way and all of the improvements which had resulted in the quality of the outlets, cabling and equipment in my Audio System's AC Power Delivery Network and how these upgrades were very similar to playing a hand of poker with unrestricted number of discards and draws with the goal of improving the effectiveness of the overall AC Power Delivery 'Hand'.

When it comes to AC Power Delivery we all start with the hand which we are originally dealt and 20 years ago in my initial 'Hand' was a set up that at the time represented the full extent of my knowledge concerning good quality AC Power Delivery which was simply the need for surge protection and therefore consisted of a $10 6-outlet power strip in a plastic housing that had about 1,600 joules of Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) enabled surge protection that had an 18 AWG power cord which I used to power all of my A/V equipment at that time. It wasn't long until I discarded that original power strip and replaced it with a slightly better $20 power strip that had a metal housing and as I remember had 2,400 joules of MOV based surge protection along with a 14 AWG power cord that was terminated with a molded AC Plug which had the same kind of nickel blades as the discarded power strip.

A few years later I got my Sony STR DB930 Receiver which according to early reports at the Audio Review website in the spring of 1999 had been blowing the ES Class Receivers off of the racks during in store demonstrations. I soon realized that having this new more capable Receiver would up the ante on the quality of the AC Power Delivery Network required to enable it to perform at the levels which Sony had designed it to. My first effort was to discard the power strip that I was using to power my Sony Receivers by reusing it elsewhere and get a $200 12 outlet Mon$ter HTS 2000 power filter in hopes of it providing cleaner AC Power for my new DB930 Receiver and its associated gear. I found it extremely hard to tell if the DB 930 sounded any better after this latest power strip discard and draw because it was the only change made in an Audio System filled with weak links.

Fortunately enough I found out that my friend who owned the local Audio Shop had a device made by Audio Prism called a Noise Sniffer Power Line Analyzer which measures the EMI and RFI of AC Power and gives an audible repression of how much of that grunge exists. I had to wait until it was returned to the Audio Shop as the Noise Sniffer was being used to set up the AC Power Delivery Network at the Oregon Symphony's new recording facility. Once I obtained use of the Noise Sniffer I measured the AC Power output of the HTS 2000's outlets. The results were quite unexpected in that although the lower amperage outputs were quite noisy the high current outlet which the DB930 used was rampant with sound quality degrading EMI and RFI contamination! Knowing the compromised performance that my DB930 must have been giving while using such inferior quality AC Power from the HTS 2000 prompted me to immediately start searching for a replacement so that I could discard it from primary use in my Audio System.

After doing a series of comparisons between different AC Power Delivery options using the Noise Sniffer I decided on getting an 8 outlet Panamax 1000 which looked very good in the Audio System's AC Power Delivery Hand and it remained the hub of the AC Power Network for several years until I added an Amp/Preamp combination to the main Audio System and shifted the DB 930 to A/V duty although still using the Panamax 1000 along with the new equipment. After adding this new Preamp and Power Amp it was time to focus in on finding commensurate higher performance Line Conditioning to provide it and the I2S interfaced Digital front end with high quality AC Power. After about 6 month of searching I was fortunate enough to find a pair of slightly used VansEvers Model 12 Reference Line Conditioners which feature Transient Impedance Contouring. I used the Digital VansEvers Reference Line Conditioner to supply AC Power Delivery to the Digital front end + Preamp using a MOV-less power strip custom built by Mike VansEvers with 6 Hospital Grade Outlets that I found online for $75. The Analog VansEvers Line Conditioner to provide a single line of AC Power to the Power Amp.    

  

The addition of the VansEvers Analog and Digital model Line Conditioners with their high quality Spirinol Oil capacitors has made such a significant improvement to the AC Power Delivery Network 'Hand' by raising the performance and sound quality of the Audio System to unprecedented heights that they have earned a permanent place in the AC Power Delivery Network.





Eventually I was able to improve the AC Power Delivery 'Hand' by discarding the VanEvers MOV-less power strip and moving it to AC Power duties in the Video System by replacing it with a used extension link that I paid $100 for which featured 4 $50 Hubble Phosphor Bronze Hospital Grade duplex outlets of which 2 of the duplex outlets are switchable to being actively EMI filtered...

  

I compared the performance and sound quality of the $7 Leviton Hospital Grade Duplex outlets in the VansEvers power strip to the $50 Hubbles in the extension link and I found no audible difference between them. On the other hand when engaged the EMI Filter on the extension link proved to be extremely effective by bringing generous amounts of clarity to the sound of the Audio System making it an extraordinarily valuable addition to the AC Power Delivery 'Hand' in that it took over powering the Digital front end and Preamp with its EMI Filtered AC Power where they would have otherwise each been sharing the EMI they produced and cross contaminating the other equipment with it which occurs even in a star wired power strip.

After having split up the Audio System's AC Power Delivery Network into 2 branches I connected each of the VansEvers Line Conditioners to a MOV-less Brick Wall Series Mode Surge Filter which has an unlimited surge protection rating...




Starting 20 years ago with nothing more than a $10 power strip to both power and protect my Audio equipment I had spent well over a decade discarding and replacing equipment and eventually found myself with a much more capable set of equipment in the Audio System's AC Power Delivery Network 'Hand' and the sound quality of the Audio equipment benefited tremendously. The equipment was in place, but there were still a lot more substitutions to be made in terms of the Outlets, Plugs and Power Cables with which serve as the connections in the now improved AC Power Delivery Network 'Hand' in order to optimize the quality of it's ability to power the equipment in the Audio System in a way which will allow it to give the ultimate performance that it was designed for which I will address in the next part of this series...


       
Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:00 pm

  

Part 1- The Significance Of The Initial Connection... The Wall Outlet

The AC Power that the equipment in our Audio Systems uses has made a long journey before it reaches the wall outlet where the equipment draws power. It is at this precise point where by far the greatest amount of degradation in the quality of the AC Power over its journey thus far has the opportunity to begin because it is no longer just traveling along the 14 AWG solid core wire that runs from the service panel to the wall outlet. Beginning at the wall outlet AC Power encounters the first in a series of connections between the outlets and the plugs of the power cables within the AC Power Delivery Network. It is these connections which have the potential to exact far more damage to the quality and integrity of the AC Power than existed on its journey from the service panel to the wall outlet. It is this point of entry at the wall outlet that we first become able to gain control over how much the existing quality of the AC Power is either preserved or further degraded.

I didn't have a practical knowledge of how great the influence a wall outlet can have over the sound quality of an entire Audio System until I found myself having to use what was a very poor quality wall outlet to begin with which had degraded over time...  




This is the kind of zip and clip wall outlet that housing contractors like to use because they are both inexpensive and quick to install because they do not use screws to secure each of the conductors and the ground wire. Pictured above is the duplex wall outlet that I removed from the wall of my listening room in the 30 year old house that I had moved to. After I got my Audio System set up at the new place I was shocked at how 'sour' the Music sounded coming from my Vacuum Tube Audio System which had sounded so 'sweet' before. The leading edge of the Musical notes had also become noticeably distorted which concerned me greatly because I had never heard any kind of sonic aberration like this from either my Solid State or Vacuum Tube Audio Systems.

Since everything in the Audio System's equipment, setup and it's AC Power Delivery Network were exactly the same as they were before this left the wall outlet highly suspect as the source of the devastating degradation in sound quality. After removing the original  zip and clip outlet I found the corrosion that had built up around the 14 AWG copper conductors and that to me confirmed that it was most likely to be the source of the 'sour' and distorted sound of my Audio System, but I would have to replace it in order to know for sure.

As I began searching for a replacement for the poor quality wall outlet which had evidently ruined the sound quality of my Audio System single socketedly. I became determined not to settle for a direct replacement, but rather to find the most competent duplex wall outlet that I could afford so that I would not have to go through this process again.



My choice for the replacement outlet was the Furutech GTX-D shown above. I chose the GTX-D duplex outlet for its Pure Copper conductors and its revolutionary dampening material coated stainless steel conductor spring system which for the first time ever made it possible to use Pure Copper conductors with an ultra tight grip in an outlet. As it turned out after installing the GTX-D my Vacuum Tube Audio System not only lost the sour and distorted sound that it had taken on using the original outlet, but it sounded better than ever by way of the iron grip which the gold plated Pure Copper connectors of the Furutech GTX-D now had on the AC Plug that it was using to draw its AC Power.

After the GTX-D was installed I once had to remove an AC Plug from the Furutech GTX-D which was not the simple one or even 2 handed task that I had become used to in the past. Removing an AC Plug from the GTX-D required a foot on the wall on either side of the outlet, a firm 2 handed grip on the plug and plenty of back muscle to extricate the AC Plug from the iron grip of the GTX-D AC Outlet. Accompanying this extraordinarily tight grip that the GTX-D has on the AC Plug is a thick carbon fiber covered aluminum faceplate which dampens vibrations from the Music which is playing.

Being forced to deal with the sonic heartbreak of having to run my otherwise great sounding Audio System from a poor quality outlet which had corroded over time taught me just how important and influential the Wall Outlet is in providing the high quality AC Power that an Audio System needs to give its best performance. Although this case is an extreme one it does show that the Wall Outlet has a profound influence over the quality of the AC Power which passes through it at this initial connection to the Audio System..

Through this experience I discovered that if the AC Power is tainted at the Wall Outlet not even the use of high quality Power Cables, effective AC line filtering and high quality AC Line conditioning can rectify the damage that has been done to the supply of AC Power.



Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:00 pm

  

Part 2- The Significance of the Material Composition, Build Quality and Design Integrity of the Electrical Connectors in an Audio System...     

It has been pointed out by Caelin Gabriel that the power cable is connected to and in fact part of the Audio equipment's power supply which sits between the hot and neutral power conductors where the AC power oscillates back and forth at a 50/60 Hz rate. This is confirmation that the true nexus of the AC Power grid resides within the Audio equipment's power supply and not some far-off distant location. Knowing this about how the equipment uses AC Power and that the use of this power use is initiated within the power supply of the Audio equipment itself makes it evident that the AC Power does not pour into the component from some remote location thus establishing the Audio equipment's power cable as not the last 6 feet, but rather the first 6 feet of the AC Power Grid from the perspective of the Audio equipment.

The goal of establishing highly efficient AC Power delivery for this most important first few feet of Power Cable with which the Audio equipment sees the AC Power Grid with can be accomplished by finding ways to provide electrical connections by way of using AC Plugs and Outlets which exact the least amount of damage to the quality level of the AC Power which is used by the Audio equipment.

This veritable truth as it applies to the importance of using AC Plugs with improved design and build quality in order to do Less Damage to the AC Power first became unquestionably clear to me during my first round of AC Plug upgrades back in 2006. I was in the process of upgrading the brass bladed molded AC Plug of the $350 MIT Z-Cord 2 Dual Filtered Power Cord which was and still is being used with the external power supply of one of the I2S interfaced Digital Processors in the Digital front end of my Vacuum Tube Audio System. I was curious as to what the build quality inside one of these OEM molded plugs was like and so I cut away the part of the plug where the conductors are terminated which revealed the corroding brass crimp connection shown in this photo...  



Its not that AC Plug upgrades have the capability to make the AC Power any better, but they can have the design and build quality to make their effect on the AC Power transmission Less Damaging than the plugs that they replace
which use lower quality crimp connection designs which can allow the corrosion of the contacts and also have a poor fit with the outlet which has the potential to cause arcing the combination of which can result in poor electrical transmission. Replacing these kinds of crimp connected molded plugs with higher quality AC Plugs which have much more efficient compression wire terminations and better contact with the outlet do not by definition enhance (Def. to raise to a higher degree; magnify) the quality of the transmission of AC Power which the equipment uses to create the Music Signal, but more accurately upgrading to higher quality AC Plugs with a better build quality and an improved Design Integrity allows the establishment of an improved electrical connection between the power cable's conductors and the outlet which in turn does Less Damage to the transfer of AC Power between the plug and outlet and is subsequently heard as an improvement in sound quality.



Shown above is a picture that I took of the conductor termination ports of the Leviton 8215-C Hospital Grade AC Plug that I used on the power cables of my Audio equipment in the first round of AC Plug upgrades over 7 years ago which replaced the crimp connected nickel bladed existing plugs on my Sony and other Audio equipment. Replacing the nickel bladed crimp connected AC plugs with these inexpensive yet higher quality Hospital Grade AC Plugs with their improved mechanical integrity resulted in Less Damage to the AC Power Delivery which was manifest by way of sonic improvements which were both immediate easily audible in that they were doing Less Damage to the AC Power transmission than the plugs that they replaced.

I was very pleased with the results of these AC Plug upgrades and having become familiar with Doug Blackburn's 1997 Article in which he explains how the AC Power becomes the Audio Signal within the equipment I started doing research into the availability of an AC Plug made with higher IACS conducting materials as well as an improved mechanical integrity which would do Even Less Damage to the AC Power which my Audio equipment uses.

My search led me to the Furutech line because they were the only manufacturer producing Pure Copper Bladed AC Plugs as well as an extensive line of OCC Single Crystal Copper Cables and Findings. I first experimented using the Furutech FI-11M (G) with good success, but I soon moved up to re-terminating the OEM power cable of my Sony DB930 Receiver as well as the LAT AC-2 and VansEvers power cables of my Vacuum Tube Power Amp and Tube/FET Preamp respectfully as well as both of my Brick Wall Surge Filters with the higher quality Furutech FI-25M (G) Pure Copper bladed AC Plug...

  

The reasons that I decided to go with the Furutech FI-25 AC Plug was not just because of its 100% IACS Pure Copper Conductors, EMI eliminating Ground Jumper System and vibration resistant Polycarbonate Shell, but also for its very practical design configuration. I call your attention to the yellow arrows in the photo above which point out the slightly upward angle that the ground blade has in relation to the hot and neutral blades of the plug. What this configuration accomplishes is to give the Furutech FI-25 an extremely tight fit when inserted into an outlet.

I have mentioned before about the Furutech GTX-D Pure Copper Outlet having such a tight grip that I have had to place a foot on either side of it and pull with both hands gripping the AC Plug to extricate it from the Outlet, well that AC Plug was a Furutech FI-25 with its ultra tight grip made possible by its blade configuration.

I had been very happy with the results of using the Furutech FI-25 Pure Copper Plugs both within the AC Power Delivery Network and terminating the power cables of my Audio equipment in that the Audio System sounds much better when using them than when using the Furutech FI-11 AC Plugs which they replaced due to the fact that the FI-25's improved material composition and build quality allows them to be capable of doing Less Damage to the AC Power in that very important first few feet of power cable which the Audio equipment uses to interface with the electrical grid.

The lessons that I had previously learned from the AC Plug upgrades which I had done in my Audio System which had employed the Leviton 8215-C Hospital Grade Plug, Furutech FI-11 and Furutech FI-25 Pure Copper Plugs indicated that each improvement in materials composition, improved build quality and design integrity led to a much better sound quality indicating that with with each
set of AC Plug upgrades Less and Less Damage was being done to the AC Power.

For some time I had been wanting to try the Furutech FI-28 AC Plug with its Pure Copper Rhodium plated conductors, Floating Field Damper System and Nylon/fiberglass body which incorporates carbon particles that absorb vibration and resonance which had been introduced in 2009. I decided that it might be a good candidate for the termination the power cables in my Vacuum Tube Audio System. It would take a total of 9 AC and IEC Plugs to re-terminate the 6 power cables of the equipment and I was reluctant to spend that much money on an untested AC Plug even if it did look good on paper. My solution was to buy just one FI-28M Rhodium Plated AC Plugs and evaluate its performance by using it to terminate the power cable of my Sony DB930 Receiver which was already using an FI-25 on it's power cable.



I plugged the DB930's OEM power cable with its new Furutech FI-28 AC Plug into the VansEvers Reference 12 Line Conditioner that the Vacuum Tube Power Amp had been using for over 5 years, started the DB930 and then heard it give the most extraordinary and remarkably intense improvement in sound quality than I had ever heard result from any of the AC Power Delivery improvements I had done up to that point!

  

Seen above is the Furutech FP A3 OCC Single Crystal Power Cable which was straight-wired into the power supply of the DB930
2 months later and then terminated with the same FI-28 AC Plug which had been on the DB930's OEM power cable when it had originally outperformed my Vacuum Tube Separates by such a wide margin.

All of this began as an experiment designed to benefit the upgrading of my 40X as expensive and at the time much better sounding Vacuum Tube gear. As it turned out the combination of this OCC Copper power cable with the existing Pure Copper AC Plug brought an improvement to the sound quality of the DB930 that was double the previous improvement that the FI-28 Pure Copper AC Plug had on it's own. This combination did so much Less Damage to the AC Power Delivery that the DB930 Integrated Receiver permanently replaced my 9 piece $25,000 Vacuum Tube Audio Separates as my Reference Audio playback system!  





Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:00 pm

  

So far in the last 2 posts of this 3 part series the importance of using high quality Outlets and AC Plugs in an Audio System's AC Power Delivery Network has been highlighted and in this post these 2 essential elements will be tied together by the use of an equally important high quality AC Power Conductor.

I was completely astonished when I first heard the astounding sonic impact that the use of the Furutech GTX-D Pure Copper Outlet along with termination of my Sony DB930's original power cable with a Furutech FI-28M Rhodium Plated Pure Copper AC Plug while receiving AC Power from the Reference Quality Line Conditioner had on this inexpensive and yet well built Receiver while it was still using its original 18 AWG OF Copper power cable...



The picture above shows the DB930's quick assembly clip in power cable that was installed at the factory after it had been removed to make way for an AC Power Conductor upgrade. There were a vast number of high quality replacement power cables to chose from, but I decided on using a 2 meter length of the 3 X 11AWG Furutech Alpha Series FP A3 OCC Single Crystal Copper Power Cable...




I had to make yet another decision as to how to connect the new power cable to the power supply of the DB930. One choice would have been to install an IEC inlet, but after discussing the options with my Tech I decided to have the OCC Copper power cord straight-wired into the power supply of the DB930. Besides the more direct path that the AC Power travels another benefit was that the straight-wire option is more cost effective in that it only requires 1 high quality AC Plug and eliminates the need for an additional high quality IEC Plug. During the upgrade the hot and return leads of the replacement power cord were routed in a way that completely bypass the factory clip in assembly and were soldered from the bottom side of the circuit board for added stability...



When I first listened to my DB930 Receiver with it's new high quality Power Cable I was once again both astonished and astounded by this second round of sound quality improvements which were equal in magnitude to the enhancements that the Furutech FI-28 Pure Copper AC Plug had brought while using the DB930's OEM power cable. This was brought about as the newly installed OCC Single Crystal Copper Power Cable which replaced the original 15,000 Crystal Boundary/ meter OFC power cable moved out of the way and let the AC Power pass without any of the Cross Crystal Distortion which is inherent to OFC power cables which have conductors that have 1,000's of Cross Crystal Boundaries from having been cold drawn to size as opposed to OCC Single Crystal Copper Conductors which are Hot Mold Cast and do not need to be drawn to size.

In all of the power cable upgrades I've done to my Audio equipment over the years involving much more expensive Vacuum Tube and Full Digital Audio equipment this Power Cable upgrade on my inexpensive Sony DB930 Receiver has by far yielded the most dramatic improvements in sound quality and I therefore consider it the most successful in terms of ameliorating the deficiencies in performance of an OEM power cable and allowing the Audio equipment to perform as it was originally designed to.  

This was my first experience with using an OCC Single Crystal Copper Power Cable to replace a factory installed OEM power cable and although the results were truly spectacular after doing other similar upgrades using Single Crystal Copper Power Cable in retrospect I have come to realize that I could have replaced the DB930's original18 AWG OFC power cable with a 14 AWG Furutech FP-3TS20 OCC Copper power cable and in doing so saved $130 on the project and it still would have yielded the same kind of stunning results.



The new and improved electrical path through the Audio System's AC Power Delivery Network beginning with effortlessly passing through a high quality Pure Copper Outlet and conducted through an OCC Single Crystal Copper Power Cable terminated with Pure Copper AC Plugs
powering the Audio equipment very effectively replaces using the original low quality outlet and power cables. With the original inexpensive and inefficient wall outlet which the housing contractors provide along with the poor quality OFC power cord and nickel bladed molded ac plug that the Audio equipment manufacturers use to save on production costs now superseded by high quality replacements which have a higher 100%IACS conductance and conductors which have no Cross Crystal Distortion the damage which the low quality original parts were inflicting on the AC Power which severely compromised the performance and sound quality of the Audio equipment ceases and for the first time the Audio equipment is able to access a much purer form of low distortion AC Power which it can then use to more accurately create and modulate the Music Signal into the Music which we hear from the speakers.    




Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:00 pm



When I started using a stand alone Digital front end with my DB930 Receiver back in 2000 I was faced with the task of finding the best S/PDIF Digital Coax cable to interface the Player with the Digital processors. I started out with an OF Copper cable, upgraded to a silver plated coax cable and finally ended up discovering that an Illuminations D-60 5N Silver cable was by far the best. During that time I had a discussion concerning the performance of different Digital Coax cable conductors with Dan Wright of Modwright Instruments one afternoon when I was over at his house. Dan told me that he had the same experience and that he felt that 5N Silver conductors were the best when it came to using Digital Coax Cables.

Taking it to the Next Levels of Purity...

My first experience beyond using cold drawn OF and OFHC Copper cable and cold drawn Silver cables was when I started using a Hot Mold Continuous Cast conductor cable was when I upgraded the Power Cable of my my Sony DB930 and discovered the extremely positive effect that using an OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) Single Crystal Copper Power Cable made on its performance and sound quality. This led me to continue on the OCC Single Crystal Copper cabling upgrades after I got my full Digital Wadia 151 Power DAC which uses a similar type of PWM Digital amplification as did the excellent sounding Sony Digital Receivers of 10 years ago. The 15 AWG Furutech FP 3TS20 OCC Single Crystal Copper Power Cable and S-14 OCC Single Crystal Copper Speaker Cable shown below are now being used by the Wadia 151 with the bonus that the speaker cable can also be used by the DB930...



I was intent on providing a full set of OCC Single Crystal Copper cabling for my new full Digital Audio System and so I purchased a Furutech G2 USB Cable which uses a Silver Plated OCC Single Crystal Copper conductor to connect the Laptop PC to the USB-S/PDIF Converter which provides the Digital Amp as well as the DB930 with an S/PDIF bitstream over Optical Glass Toslink or electrical Coax Digital...  



At the time I got the OCC Single Crystal Copper USB Cable I had been using a $550 Revelations Audio Lab 99.999% Pure Silver Dual Conduit USB Cable for almost 2 years and I was very happy with the way it enhanced the sound quality of my DB930 which was using S/PDIF Digital Audio that originally came from the Laptop PC. Right from the beginning this $130 Hot Mold Cast SPOCC Single Crystal Copper USB Cable sounded so much better than the 4X expensive cold drawn 5N Silver Cable that I quickly sold it without reservation.

It wasn't long until I began wondering if a OCC Single Crystal Silver Cable might sound even better than the OCC Copper Cable did, but after doing some research at the time the least expensive well built OCC Silver Cable was selling for $700/ 1 meter so I had to put the idea on the back burner until I could find a much more affordable Hot Mold Cast OCC Silver USB Cable to experiment with.




For the next few months I would from time to time do a check to see if an affordable OCC Silver USB Cable had become available and my eventually my efforts were rewarded when I discovered the Moon Audio Silver Dragon UPOCC 99.99998% Pure Silver USB Cable with prices starting at an almost unbelievable $130! I jumped at the the chance to be able to own a 1 meter length of this Ultra Pure Silver USB Cable at 75% off the price of the only other decent OCC Silver USB Cables that I had seen for the comparative bargain of $180.

My experience has always been that Silver conductor Digital cables with Teflon Dielectric like took a long time to break in and give their ultimate level of performance and although the UPOCC Silver Dragon was certainly no exception to this basic rule it did so in a very unique fashion. I ran a Music signal through the Silver Dragon 24 hours a day and each evening I would have a comparative listening session to evaluate the changes in the Musical presentation of the Audio System. I was both surprised and astounded when I heard an additional set of improvements in a completely new area of sound quality during each and every evening listening session. I have never heard anything like this during any of the Silver cable break-ins that I had done in the past which routinely consisted of a long and protracted set of gradual improvements which took place over several 100's of hours.

The UPOCC Single Crystal Conductor Silver Dragon had accomplished its daily revealing of the details in the Music by getting out of the way and passing the Digital Music Signal with an increased amount of transparency each and every day. By the end of one week of continuous use the Silver Dragon had become so much more transparent that I was hearing things in the Music that I had no idea were even there before!

As I said it used to be that cold drawn OF Copper cable was outperformed by Silver Clad cable and that cold drawn 5N Silver was the best for a Digital cable, but since then I have found that hot mold cast OCC Copper cable offers a far better performance than 5N Silver cable and in this most recent experiment I have confirmed that hot mold cast 99.99998% Pure UPOCC Single Crystal Silver conductor Digital cable offers a vast improvement in both sound quality and performance even over its amazing sounding OCC Single Crystal Copper predecessor and the Silver Dragon still has a long way to go before it reaches its full level of transparency.


Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:00 pm



After having spent well over 20 years collecting and spinning Vinyl I decided to sell my Rega P3 Turntable not because its Analog playback didn't sound great, but because I could only manage to find 3 records that sounded truly excellent when played back on it. I then used the proceeds of the sale to continue upgrading the equipment and cabling in my stand alone separates Digital front end...  

  

The Digital front end as seen in the picture above featured a pair of Audio Alchemy I2S Bus interfaced Digital Processors which have 35 picoseconds of jitter output. Each of them has their own well built Dedicated Linear Power Supply and they are interfaced with a 5 conductor I2S interconnect which carries the S/PDIF Master Clock, Word Clock, Bit Clock, Emphasis Flag and Ground each on a separate wire for ultra low jitter Digital signal transfer. It took a few years of incrementally upgrading from the original OFC cables to silver plated OFC versions which performed better, but eventually I was able to acquire a complete set of very high quality Revelation Audio Labs cables which consisted of 5N Silver I2S interconnect cable and a 5N Silver power cable for each of the Digital processors with the help of Dan Wright of ModWright Instruments who was able to help me obtain them at a more affordable price. I was also fortunate to be able to find a used 5N Silver Illuminations D-60 Digital coax cable to connect their Digital output Audio Alchemy Digital processors to the Theta DAC.  

With the addition of each of the 5N Silver signal and DC voltage power cables that I was able to acquire for the Digital front end the sound quality of the Audio System improved very noticeably compared to when using the OFC and Silver Plated versions of these cables and over time I became convinced that when t came to Digital signal and DC power cables that 5N Silver cables were by far the best ones to use. I carried that opinion through the transition from using a Sony Megachanger together with the Audio Alchemy/Theta DAC to using a computer as the Digital transport playing Digital Music files that were then converted into S/PDIF format using an inexpensive USB-S/PDIF Converter and then D/A converted and played back using the 24/96 input of my Sony DB930 Receiver.

The DB930 Receiver sounded so much better in this configuration that I decided to invest in a Revelation Audio Labs 5N Silver Reference Dual Conduit USB Cable to connect the laptop computer to the USB-S/PDIF Converter. As it was with the 5N Silver cabling in my traditional Digital front end so the new 5N Silver USB cable made a dramatic improvement in the sound quality of the Audio System as compared with the performance of the OFC conductor USB cables that I had used before it.

I continued to hold the conviction that 5N Silver Digital signal and power cables were capable of delivering the highest levels of performance and sound quality as I had experienced with both my conventional and computer based Digital Audio front ends for the next 2 years until along came my first experience with a 7N OCC Single Crystal Digital signal cable. I had already discovered that the 7N OCC Silver power cable that supplies DC power to the new High Performance USB-S/PDIF Converter did a far better job than the OCC Copper power cable that it replaced as described on the 12-18-2012 post of the 45th page of the AC Plugs Thread and I now had my first chance to find out how a 7N Silver signal cable could perform compared to the well made 5N Silver cable that I had become familiar with.

As I described in my last post the Silver Dragon 7N Pure OCC Single Crystal Silver USB Cable easily outperformed its RAL 5N Silver counterpart as well as demonstrating a far greater level of transparency...
  

On 2014-03-01 00:00, Maxxwire wrote:
The UPOCC Single Crystal Conductor Silver Dragon had accomplished its daily revealing of the details in the Music by getting out of the way and passing the Digital Music Signal with an increased amount of transparency each and every day. By the end of one week of continuous use the Silver Dragon had become so much more transparent that I was hearing things in the Music that I had no idea were even there before!


This led to my questioning as to whether or not a 7N OCC Single Crystal Silver Digital Coax Cable might outperform the 5N Silver Illuminations D-60 Coax cable which I've been using in my Digital front ends for over a decade and is currently in use with my DAC/Headphone Amp. So far I have practical evidence that a 7N OCC Silver Coax cable could bring an improvement and so I've been looking around for one. The first 7N OCC Silver Coax cable I found was selling for $1,500, but as I continued my search I found a well made 7N OCC Silver Digital Coax cable for $400/1 meter and so the search continues and hopefully I can find a high quality well built 7N OCC Silver Coax cable for about half of that price that will hopefully be an improvement on the 5N Silver Illuminations D-60 which has been the reference coax cable in my Digital front ends for all of these years...    





Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

by Maxxwire » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:00 pm

       



As I found myself in need of an OCC Single Crystal Silver Electrical Digital Coax cable which would be be used to export S/PDIF Digital Audio from my Audio System's primary stand alone Digital to Digital Processor to the new 32/192 DAC/Headphone Amp my primary concern was how this electrical signal connection might effect the quality of the supply of AC Power which would be shared with the other components in the Audio System. As it is now set up the only Digital signal connection to the dual differential DAC/Headphone Amp is over a 15 Mbps capable Lifatec Optical Glass Toslink Cable which completely isolates the piece from any possibility of a ground loop being created when being connected to another piece of Audio equipment which could risk the establishment of multiple return paths to earth ground for currents that have differing impedance values which phenomenon can be introduced through the shield of a single ended Digital coax cable connecting them.

One of the primary drawbacks in using a single ended Electrical Digital Coax cable for Digital signal transmission instead of having the Digital Music signal ride the light over an ungrounded Optical Glass Toslink cable is that Digital Coax can carry DC leakage over its shield which in turn can cause the formation of a ground loop between the two connected pieces of equipment which in turn creates an antenna effect which serves to couple Electromagnetic Interference to the Audio System.

Since the most problematic type of Digital Audio connections come from the use of single ended unbalanced S/PDIF coaxial cables they should ideally use transformer coupled outputs so that when connected to an electrical S/PDIF input of another piece of Digital Audio equipment it would provide Galvanic Isolation so that no ground loop would be created as a result of connecting the two pieces of Audio equipment with an electrical Digital cable which has a grounded shielded. Unfortunately this is an area of build quality where corners get cut during the design and production of the majority of Digital Audio equipment. During the inspection of the RCA type S/PDIF Digital inputs and outputs on the circuit boards of both of the pieces of equipment which the prospective OCC Silver Electrical Digital Coax cable would connect to I discovered that neither of them were equipped with transformer coupling and so the task of finding an external source of Galvanic Isolation for my Digital Audio equipment began...



As I continued my search for a method which could be used to prevent the addition of a new Electrical Digital Coax cable from potentially harming the sound quality of my Audio System I discovered that the preferred method for providing Galvanic Isolation for sensitive laboratory instruments, medical equipment and Audio gear is using an Isolation Transformer on the AC Power line which both filters out the DC current that causes Ground Loops as well decouples or "floats" the neutral leg of it's secondary winding with respect to the earth ground thus accomplishing complete Galvanic Isolation for the electronically sensitive equipment.

This put me in a position that I have rarely experienced during the years that I have spent building my different Audio Systems in that rather than having to allocate an additional piece of equipment to provide Galvanic Isolation for my Audio System I was fortunate enough to already have been using my Tice Micro Block* Isolation Transformer which is comprised of a single 14 pound laminated transformer for the purpose of protecting the equipment in my main Audio System from the AC hash that the Switch Mode Power Supplies in my computers dump back into the supply of AC Power which the Audio equipment also uses. The results of this new research revealed that my Tice Micro Block* Isolation Transformer is also serving to provide the important benefits of Galvanic Isolation needed to prevent the EMI coupling antenna effects associated with Ground Loops which can created between two different pieces of equipment in an Audio System which have different ground potentials which can be caused by the equipment using AC Power from different wall outlets and have been interfaced with unbalanced single ended Digital or Analog cables each of which carry a ground reference in their shielding.

  

The Tice Microblock* is a 1-1 Isolation Transformer similar to the one shown in the diagram above and works very effectively at providing Galvanic Isolation to sensitive Audio equipment through use of its isolated primary and secondary windings which are only connected by induction with no potential existing between the neutral leg of the AC Power at the secondary output windings and earth ground which effectively "lifts" the ground on the Audio equipment thus establishing Galvanic Isolation for the Audio equipment.

Now that I more clearly understand the Galvanic Isolation capabilities of the $625 Tice Microblock* which I bought in used condition for $75 it will allow me to install a UPOCC Single Crystal Silver Electrical Digital Coax cable between the Silver Dragon UPOCC Silver USB Cable connected 24/192 Digital Processor and the new 32/192 capable DAC/Headphone Amp with the confidence that there will be no degradation in sound quality due to the EMI coupling antenna effects caused by the creation of a ground loop.

Just to make sure that I would have an accurate audible reference with which to evaluate the success of Galvanic Isolation preventing the formation of a ground loop between these two pieces of Digital Audio equipment after they have been interfaced by the UPOCC Single Crystal Silver Electrical Digital S/PDIF coaxial cable I decided to create a baseline for the noise level which currently exists in my Audio System by turning the volume up to the maximum level and listening at the speaker for even the slightest sound and the noisefloor was below any sound which I could detect.

* Please note: The classic George Tice designed Microblock Isolation Transformer which I am using has been modified from it's original 250 watt maximum current draw to its present 625 watt capability.


Image

Image

User avatar
Maxxwire
Sony Adept
Sony Adept
 
Posts: 26223
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon - USA

PreviousNext

Return to Amp/Receiver/Speakers/Connections/Cables