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

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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 Nov 09, 2006 11:08 pm

After going through the whole process of upgrading the tired old molded AC Plug on my Power Amp I decided to try upgrading the molded plugs on 4 other pieces of my Audio equipment as well.

Below is a picture of the molded plug that was on my Sony CX300 Megachanger beside its new Hospital Grade Green Dot AC Plug replacement:



The new Hospital Grade plug is the $6 Leviton 8215-C Hospital Grade Plug ($7 as of 2009) I also found the exact same Leviton 8215-C AC Plug available for $15.97.

I could have chosen to go with a different more expensive brand of AC Plug, but I wanted to find out what the most basic entry level step up from a molded plug had to offer in the way of sonic improvements.

So, what effect did this new set of Hospital Grade AC Plugs have when I put them on the power cords of my Megachanger, 2 Digital Processors and Preamp?

Since the AC Power eventually becomes the Music we listen to the improved build quality and super tight fit of the new Hospital Grade AC Plugs enhanced the performance of my equipment which resulted in my being able to now hear the individual unique sonic signature of each and every instrument with a clarity that was simply impossible when I was using the stock molded plugs.

There was a new ultra tight integrity to the Harmonic Structure and the creation of lingering decay envelopes that transverse the entire soundstage instantaneously. The tonal character had become rich, lush and more full of instrumental bloom due to a substantial increase in dynamics provided by more instant access to the AC current now coming through the new Hospital Grade plugs.

One of the most welcome improvements was that the Music was more mellifulous and natural sounding than I had ever heard it before.

One thing I wanted to mention specifically about the effect that the new Hospital Grade AC Plug had on the Sony CX300 Megachanger and that was that it removed a layer of Digititus from the presentation which gave a new super smooth and relaxed feel to the Music that I have only heard on one other occasion and that was back in 2000 when I heard a Sota Turntable driving a pair of Cary SLAM 100 Tube Monoblocks. I never imagined that replacing a single molded plug on a stock captured cord on a piece of Sony equipment would have this much of a dramatic effect in my Audio system.

Another thing I discovered was that upgrading to the $6 Leviton Hospital Grade AC Plug did not automatically bring any specific measured amount of sonic improvement to each piece of equipment, but rather had varying degrees of effect on the different pieces of Audio equipment that had their power cords retrofitted with it.

I talked to my Tech today about my experience with upgrading to Hosital Grade AC Plugs and he had these 2 things to say:

1) Moving up a Hospital Grade AC Plug is likely the biggest bang for the buck upgrade you can do.

2) It takes some time for a new AC Plug to break in so the sound just keeps getting better and better and better...

Thank you for bearing with me through this long post, but of the 550+ upgrades I've done in my Audio system this $24 worth of Hospital Grade AC Plugs easily deserves its place among the top ten most effective and I plan on enjoying this "upgrade honeymoon period" that they have brought me for quite some time!

~Maxx~

2009 Flash Forward Edit-



This is the original photo that I posted at the beginning of this thread and is in fact taken from the exact same original picture that the much clearer and much more fully detailed picture I have later been able replace it with after a Computer upgrade.

I am offering the visual differences in these two pictures as a metaphor for how great an impact AC Power delivery can have on the sound quality and performance of an A/V System. Don't let the performance your expensive Audio and Video equipment continue to suffer from using the mediocre factory issue molded AC Plugs it came with simply because the manufacturer needed to meet a pricepoint. The path to releasing the true performance level of your A/V gear can start with as little as a $7 investment.



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by wilky » Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:25 am

Timely post for me, Maxx. Thanks for info. Ordered three for myself since I have found every one of your recommendations to be nothing short of 100% accurate.
I have always had one question concerning the stock ac cords on my Sony receivers. I see they have three prongs coming out of the unit itself, hence, I know one of them is the ground wire, but only two prongs on the plug. What do they do with the ground wire at the plug??? Could it be the improvement is also partly due to continuing the ground connection to the electrical grounding system in the house wiring system??? I'm no electrician, but am learning every day here at work as well as on the web site, and the one thing I have learned is that grounding is a very important part of the electrical system as a whole.
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by rb » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:41 am



Maxx a few years ago the Canadian Hi FI mag UHF did a experiment.  They took a water kettle and measured how long it took for the water to boil.  They then replaced the plug with a hospital grade unit much like you did.  When the experiment was repeated it took almost a full minute less for the same amount of water to come to a boil.
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by mykyll2727 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:02 am

I find it interesting that a $6 plug made such a big difference. My Mav 3.1 is fitted with some (to my mind) rather pricey Oyaide plugs. They make plugs with various platings that they say determine the sound. Their description of the sound of the plugs Mav used would seem consistent with their claims but I can't be sure since I haven't compared their other plugs. I'm surprised that plugs can make such a difference. I'm not saying they don't just that it surprises me. It seems that the influence may be nearly as great as cables. I'm assuming that's the justification for the prices of some. I've seen AC plugs for audio use that cost $400 ea. At that price they better make a whole lot of difference._MMMike
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by Maxxwire » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:03 am

On 2006-11-10 09:25, wilky wrote: I have always had one question concerning the stock ac cords on my Sony receivers. I see they have three prongs coming out of the unit itself, hence, I know one of them is the ground wire, but only two prongs on the plug. What do they do with the ground wire at the plug???Wilky
What do you mean by "3 prongs coming out of the unit"? I have owned 4 Sony Receivers and each of them had 2 conductor power cords coming from the equipment and were terminated with 2 prong non-grounded AC Plugs.
If a piece of Audio equipment has a 2 prong plug then it is not grounded when it is plugged in.
When my Tech connected the ground wire of my previously ungrounded Power Amp which had been using a 2 prong plug the result was a horrible ground loop hum! All I did was unplug the new Hospital Grade AC Plug and remove the ground wire from its connection then completely cut off the ground wire. I plugged the Power Amp back in and its been running perfectly since!
Replacing a 2 prong plug is pretty straight forward. All that is required is making sure that the polarity of the hot and neutral connections is exactly the same to the new plug as it was to the old plug. On modern 2 prong plugs the thin blade is hot and the wider blade is the neutral.
With 3 prong grounded plugs you must connect all 3 wires- hot, neutral and ground in exactly the same way to the new plug as to the old plug or there will be dire consequences!
I've been working with and building Audio equipment since 1966 and very early on I learned the hard way to have a great respect for AC Power and to never, never, never assume anything when dealing with it! My motto is: Check, recheck and then check again!
I tore apart each and every 3 prong plug I replaced to make absolutely and positively sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that I got the new plug wired just exactly right! And if I will continue to do the same with every one of the 3 prong plugs that I replace in the future also!
Anyone who attempts this Mod would do well to do it when they can take plenty of time to do it absolutely right the first time making sure each step of the way that there is no possibility that any kind of a mistake has been made.
Taking your time being extra careful to perform each procedure perfectly will hopefully result in a solid upgrade for your Audio system that proves to be not only economical, but highly effective at raising the sound quality of your Audio system far beyond the pricepoint of the upgrade itself!
~Maxx~

A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!
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by Maxxwire » Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:01 am






On 2006-11-10 14:02, mykyll2727 wrote: I find it interesting that a $6 plug made such a big difference. My Mav 3.1 is fitted with some (to my mind) rather pricey Oyaide plugs.

I've seen AC plugs for audio use that cost $400 ea. At that price they better make a whole lot of difference._MMMike


To be honest I have never tried using a $400 AC Plug and I hope that I never become so desperate, jaded and completely out of original creative ideas that resorting to trying one seems appealing!

What I have done though was to install 4 of the $6 Leviton plugs and what they did for the sound quality of my Audio system totally embarasses what the $6,500 worth of Shunyata Hydra PLC and its super expensive Power Cords were doing for $50,000 McIntosh Reference system that I heard them powering! Which leads me to beleive that:

This $6 Leviton Hospital Grade AC Plug has proven to offer spectacular performance compared to the overpriced brands that I've heard in Audio systems which were terrifically more expensive than mine and best of all this high performance blue collar hero of an AC Plug is affordable and available to EVERYONE! It is the EVERYONE PLUG!

I've heard more than a sufficient number uber expensive Audio systems with uber expensive PLC's and exotic power cords that don't come close to measuring up sonically to much less expensive Audio gear to know that the linear relationship of outstanding performance and pricepoint is nothing but a myth.

OTOH the bonus part of using the Leviton Hospital Grade AC Plug is that according to my Tech who has been in the business for over 30 years as these $6 Hospital Grade AC Plugs get broken in they will sound better and better and better...

~Maxx~

A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!

The quest for truly great Audio reproduction is one where a keen interest in knowledge and plenty of curiosity combined with vigorous application will take you further than mere riches ever could!

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by wilky » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:22 pm






On 2006-11-10 14:03, Maxxwire wrote:

What do you mean by "3 prongs coming out of the unit"? I have owned 4 Sony Receivers and each of them had 2 conductor power cords coming from the equipment and were terminated with 2 prong non-grounded AC Plugs.


My bad, Maxx. I had the Panamax on the brain. My Sony's don't have three prongs either and they are hard wired into the unit, not a removable cord like I was thinking.
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by Maxxwire » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:24 pm

As so many of us including my Tech have found out the stock molded plugs on most power cords don't fit nearly tight enough in any outlet to deliver an optimal amount electrical contact!

~Maxx~

A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!

The linear relationship between outstanding performance and pricepoint can be nullified thru the skillful application of knowledge.

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by maverick11359 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:36 pm

Maxx wrote:-One thing that I discovered was that if you plug a Hospital Grade Plug into a Hospital Grade Outlet they grip together so tightly that it takes an iron grip and plenty of muscle to get them apart again which is the reason why they work so well TOGETHER!

~Maxx~
--------------------------------------------------------------------
We definitley don't wont loose connections!

    The most important part of this relatively cheap upgrade to our systems ,tight Surface compression contact between conductors .If a plug isn't tight with high current  passing through it will vibrate letting air in between conductors,sparking and creating heat.The extreme end effect is High resistance burn out between contacts,melting plugs and black carboning conductors(it's how fires start).

    I believe now that every connection can influence the end quality of our systems sound.From the first connection at the Fuse/Circiutbreaker Board to the wall outlet and on to the last speaker/driver soldering joint terminal.
    I've heard different sound qualitys by changing the IEC pugs on Mav3.1 that MMMike is using to the Proto that i'm using after the power conditioners not before .I can't say if there was a difference between the wall outlet plugs in all my cases they are all super tight fittings plugging into the wall 240v outlet.

    Maxx,
          You found out the experimental way why earths/ground cables are left out off some Audio equipment the old 50hz hum cycle or in your case 60hz.

   The simple way out as you found is leave the 3 prong/pin plug with the ground/earth cable disconnected(if there is only 2 wires) only connect active/Hot and neutral/negative.Most IEC plugs are tagged identifing  L and N 
 (L stands for Load/ HOT and N stands for Neutral/negative).
    It's important to wire L & N the correct way.International colour code Is:- Brown is " L"  , Blue is " N "and Green/yellow is "G" ground

 Great post by the way Maxx!
  
   Cheers maverick  
  


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by Maxxwire » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:53 pm


On 2006-11-10 21:36, maverick11359 wrote: The most important part of this relatively cheap upgrade to our systems is tight Surface compression contact between conductors.

I believe now that every connection can influence the end quality of our systems sound. I've heard different sound qualities by changing the IEC plugs on the Mav3.1 PLC that MMMike is using to the Proto that I'm using.
Great post by the way Maxx! Cheers maverick 


Thanks for offering your extremely valuable thoughts on the subject of AC Power delivery Maverick!

These statements coming from a decades long experienced Journeyman Electrician and builder of one of the most effective PLC's on the market gives your statements plenty of hard earned weight and credibility!

~Maxx~
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