Cheap power strips for best sound.

We use the Tune Method to evaluate performance

Moderator: Staff

User avatar
lejonklou
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 5865
Joined: 2007-01-30 10:38
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by lejonklou »

ThomasOK wrote: 2021-05-18 17:57 OK, comparison time. This is the first of what promised to be several comparisons as I finally start wading through power strip options. Don't expect these to come fast and furious. I have caught up with my Lejonklou upgrade work (by the simple expedient of having upgraded most of the stuff out there) and finished my taxes (Nokturne Audio sales were up over 50% in 2020 compared to 2019!). However, we finally seem to have gotten past the frosts here in Michigan so I went out yesterday, bought a bunch of veggies and herbs, and planted one of three raised beds (so far with four tomato plants and a bunch of Swiss chard). I still also am putting finishing touches on a Källa newsletter for dealers that brings together most of the information about it and I have a new website to work on. (And I haven't forgotten the need to address Linn Silver vs Silver II.)

That all means that spare time for music listening is still a bit scarce but I did relax to some music this weekend and got the first comparison done. Let's see what you think.

Clip K: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j8dwfcy33u0f9 ... M.mov?dl=0
Clip C: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxfd7e4ezsgip ... M.mov?dl=0
Interesting comparison and I like the piece!

While the band feels more together on clip K, I feel that the saxophone is more expressive on C. There's also a complexity in the band's interactions that I feel is missing on K, where they're more stomping repetitively.

But I'm not sure which one I'd choose. I'm hoping for an even better option.
Charlie1
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 4127
Joined: 2007-12-11 00:30
Location: UK

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Charlie1 »

PetterS wrote: 2021-05-19 11:55 ThomasOK,
I actually preferred clip C. For me it becomes clear when the groove starts around 32s.
I had the same experience.
User avatar
Tony Tune-age
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1529
Joined: 2009-12-19 19:07
Location: United States

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Tony Tune-age wrote: 2021-05-18 18:27
ThomasOK wrote: 2021-05-18 17:57 OK, comparison time. This is the first of what promised to be several comparisons as I finally start wading through power strip options. Don't expect these to come fast and furious.

That all means that spare time for music listening is still a bit scarce but I did relax to some music this weekend and got the first comparison done. Let's see what you think.

Clip K: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j8dwfcy33u0f9 ... M.mov?dl=0
Clip C: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxfd7e4ezsgip ... M.mov?dl=0
I have listened to both of these links several times, and after a break I'll listen again. But so far, I'm leaning towards the first link as sounding better.
I have listened to each of these links again, in their entirety. Both the flute and saxophone seem to sound a little bit better in C, although not by very much. If these two links weren't heard back to back at the same time, I might not notice the difference at all.

Cheers
Tony Tune-age
User avatar
V.A.MKD
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 843
Joined: 2019-10-09 15:33
Location: Skopje / Europe
Contact:

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by V.A.MKD »

tokenbrit wrote: 2021-05-19 13:13
PetterS wrote: 2021-05-19 11:55 ThomasOK,
I loved this slightly odd excerpt. I actually preferred clip C. For me it becomes clear when the groove starts around 32s.
I can hear what you mean... I hadn't listened that far through as the tone & balance seemed better with K in the first 30s of the track - lesson learned, hopefully :)
+1, definitely ...
Music First ...
Vlado
User avatar
ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 3877
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by ThomasOK »

Well this one has had a lot of interesting replies. So now it's time to spill the beans. I want to start out with a correction on something I said earlier in this thread. The CablePro Revelation power strip does not use star connection for the ground as I thought it did. It does use star connections (one wire from the IEC connector to each duplex outlet) on the hot and neutral connections. But for ground it has a wire going to the ground connection of the first outlet only. The rest are connected to each other mechanically through the metal case. Their metal housings contact each other and there are screws holding the edges of each pair of ends to the aluminum housing. This makes the metal housings of the duplex outlets and the aluminum housing somewhat like one big buss bar, but there are multiple connection points.

So on to the comparison. The K clip is the stock Revelation power strip with 8 outlets, seven of them being used and the standard wiring as described above. It uses silver-plated wire with a teflon dielectric for all connections. Both the wire used and the way it was connected made me wonder if it could be bettered. So I rewired the one in the C clip. Now that I've done it I'm not sure it told me as much as I hoped as I changed both the type of wire, but also how it was wired. The wire used is the 14 gauge version of the US Volex-J power cable that is in the Lejonklou AC cable which has been the most musical we have found. I managed to get a few cables that were the same spec except 14 gauge instead of the 18 gauge in the cables Fredrik has been supplying me. This is because Fredrik has found that a heavier cable is better going to the strip with the thinner one going to the components. So I felt it should be better inside as well and used it here. But the way I wired it is more similar to the cheap power strips that use a long piece of brass for all the sockets. I used a single piece of wire for each of the three IEC contacts and just stripped off enough insulation to attach to the contact screws at the four different duplex outlets. This isn't exactly the easiest way to wire it but I had hoped it would be the optimum way. However, it does leave open the questions of how much influence the wire itself has vs. the wiring technique. Obviously more experimentation would be needed to determine that. It is possible that I will do some more rewiring tests using the CablePro, but not right now. I have three or four other cheap power strips to try and if it turns out that one or more are better than the CablePros then more experimentation with them is probably pointless.

As to the testing conditions, I tried to make them as close as possible. The Volex/CablePro has been running in with at least one thing plugged into each duplex outlet for several months. Before the clips were made I played the entire album to warm up the system. Then I unplugged the items from the Volex/CP, moved it next to the stock CP and plugged it into the second 230 Volt socket. Both units were connected to the wall with the same cable (I believe an 18" 14 gauge Longwell as Volex doesn't make a short 14 gauge cable) and the actual cable was switched along with the others. That done I unplugged the stock CP from the wall and unplugged all components from it and then plugged them all back in to clean the contacts and have a slight power down. The clip used is the second track on the album so I started playing the first track while repositioning the racks that moved while I was bending over them unplugging and plugging in things. Then I recorded clip K. After that I switched all cables to the Volex/CP including the one to the wall, started the first track while again repositioning the racks and recorded Clip C.

I would have to say that in room I overall preferred the musical qualities of clip C. I found the bass had more harmonic richness and body and seemed more in tune to me and the playing of the oboe came through more clearly as well (I thought the oboe would catch beck's attention). The drums and cymbals also had a more natural sound. From a sonic standpoint I found clip K a bit harsh and aggressive. There is a more propulsive quality to clip K but I'm not sure it actually times as well. Although I fully enjoyed listening to this album, especially on the Volex/CP, I can agree that it seems it could be even better yet so we will see how other comparisons fare.

The music is from a 1962 album by Yusef Lateef titled Eastern Sounds. It features his exploration of Middle Eastern music and the track presented here is the second track "Blues for the Orient". The first track "The Plum Blossom" was even more unusual featuring Yusef on "Chinese globular flute" or xun, a ceramic flute (originally baked clay or bone) shaped somewhat like a pear and with 9 holes and with the bass player, Ernie Farrow, on a Rabaab (somewhat similar to a sarod or lute). It is one of the albums I recently picked up shown in the photo of albums I recently posted. I rather like the album which was recorded by the famous Rudy Van Gelder. It definitely has a different quality, in the music and in some of the instruments. I picked that track as I felt it was relatively accessible and enjoyable. I'm glad many found it interesting. Eventually more comparisons will follow.
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.
tokenbrit
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1749
Joined: 2012-03-22 19:47
Location: New England

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by tokenbrit »

Thanks, Tom. Interesting tweak, and results. Did the '18" 14 gauge Longwell' bring about musical improvements over what you used before from wall outlet to CablePro? Also, how did the rewiring compare to the gauge of the original internal cables, or did you just change the type & configuration of the wire? Lastly, any soldering involved?
User avatar
markiteight
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 610
Joined: 2012-01-13 01:50
Location: Seattle, Wa. USA

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by markiteight »

I just realized I indicated the wrong letter in my vote! I preferred the second clip from the off, but for some reason I got it into my head that Thomas listed them in alphabetical order and, in a moment of sheer brilliance, I neglected to double check before posting. I just listened again and still prefer the second clip (C).

It's apparent given my experience swapping in the Integrity's wiring and Thomas' experience with the Volex 14ga that rewiring the Revelation is a benefit. I'm now even more curious to hear what the 18ga Volex wire can do.
User avatar
V.A.MKD
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 843
Joined: 2019-10-09 15:33
Location: Skopje / Europe
Contact:

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by V.A.MKD »

Thank you Tom, great work.
Results are interesting ...
If not a big issue, can you make new clips with some other music, Grieg / piano or female vocal ... not becouse this one is not good, but to see if results will be the same or ...
In my second post I put +1 on tokenbrit post, on the base of first 30 sec of clips where I find oboe more musical and I can easily understand the idea of composer / player, that have to be the same as well later 30+ sec, but ...
You know what I mean ... :-)
Music First ...
Vlado
User avatar
PetterS
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 52
Joined: 2017-06-03 15:11
Location: Luleå, Sweden

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by PetterS »

Indeed great work ThomasOK. For me, the biggest revelation is that such small differences in power supply are audible through smartphone recordings of a well tuned HIFI-setup.
Primare Np5 & NP30, Genki, Boazu, Ninka w. Poly. st., ICs: Linn Si & bl incl. dig, tt TD46,
donuk
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 400
Joined: 2010-02-21 13:25

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by donuk »

This is worth a punt if you are in the UK.

- the code is too long to work by a direct link but look this up on e bay:
google alpine BLA113WP

Thightens things up. No neon to have to destroy. Have put my digital boxes all together. An improvement.

Donuk beautiful downtown York
donuk
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 400
Joined: 2010-02-21 13:25

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by donuk »

Further to the above - I will just comment without starting a new thread on fuses — that simply as a matter of safety I replaced the 13 Amp fuse on the 3 socket power strip above with an old 5 amp fuse from my tool box.

I did this simply for safety reasons. If anything draws about a kilowatt, then bang.

What I did not expect was for the five amp fuse to sound noticeably better!!!

Please choose one of the following explanations: (perhaps depending on what forum you are on)
1) I am mad, it cannot possibly sound any different. The extra resistance is negligible. [has a hint of Pink Fish perhaps].
2) I have by chance got the new fuse in the correct direction, before it was simply pointing the wrong way.
3) I have discovered a new superfuse and ought to sell if for $2,000.
4) Unplugging and plugging in the power strip has cleaned the contacts.
5) The mains is now better so no absolute test is possible
6) I did not tunedem it so I am erroneously enjoying the improved sound. If I listened properly it might be much the same.
7) I may have inadvertently pinned back a corner of a curtain during the process [cf Peter Belt]

I am sure our moderators would not allow any serious replies. Another thread another time perhaps.


Have a good evening

Donuk beautiful downtown York
beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2510
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by beck »

donuk wrote: 2021-05-23 19:39

What I did not expect was for the five amp fuse to sound noticeably better!!!

Please choose one of the following explanations: (perhaps depending on what forum you are on)
1) I am mad, it cannot possibly sound any different. The extra resistance is negligible. [has a hint of Pink Fish perhaps].
2) I have by chance got the new fuse in the correct direction, before it was simply pointing the wrong way.
3) I have discovered a new superfuse and ought to sell if for $2,000.
4) Unplugging and plugging in the power strip has cleaned the contacts.
5) The mains is now better so no absolute test is possible
6) I did not tunedem it so I am erroneously enjoying the improved sound. If I listened properly it might be much the same.
7) I may have inadvertently pinned back a corner of a curtain during the process [cf Peter Belt]
:-)
Playing cd’s..........
User avatar
ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 3877
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by ThomasOK »

tokenbrit wrote: 2021-05-23 02:11 Thanks, Tom. Interesting tweak, and results. Did the '18" 14 gauge Longwell' bring about musical improvements over what you used before from wall outlet to CablePro? Also, how did the rewiring compare to the gauge of the original internal cables, or did you just change the type & configuration of the wire? Lastly, any soldering involved?
I believe the 14 gauge Longwell made an improvement, but that's a pair of clips for another day - there will be many before the testing is over. There was indeed soldering involved as the wires were soldered to the IEC AC inlet. I obviously wasn't quite thorough enough to mention in the explanation post that they were soldered at 677°F with Lejonklou solder. To the outlets, however, it was just stripped wire wrapped around the screws and tightened down. I honestly don't remember now if I used a specific torque but I didn't test multiple torques. They were also, of course, wired in the proper direction. A quick check on the Internets shows that the gauge of the original cables was 12, so a little thicker.
markiteight wrote: 2021-05-23 02:41 It's apparent given my experience swapping in the Integrity's wiring and Thomas' experience with the Volex 14ga that rewiring the Revelation is a benefit. I'm now even more curious to hear what the 18ga Volex wire can do.
18 gauge would be interesting. Coming up with some wire to do it might be a problem. Plus, as I mentioned, more testing with the Revelations will wait until I make sure they aren't blown away by one of these cheap outlet strips.
V.A.MKD wrote: 2021-05-23 07:02 If not a big issue, can you make new clips with some other music, Grieg / piano or female vocal ... not because this one is not good, but to see if results will be the same or ...
I do plan to put another set of clips with some different music as time allows. This weekend was mostly spent in more work getting my garden in and I go home to an Entity to upgrade tonight. Also the problems Brexit has apparently caused have lead to UK Lejonklou owners contacting me about upgrading their equipment. So I may be doing more upgrades than I originally thought. If there were just 36 hours in a day I could probably get everything done!
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.
User avatar
ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 3877
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by ThomasOK »

donuk wrote: 2021-05-23 19:39 Further to the above - I will just comment without starting a new thread on fuses — that simply as a matter of safety I replaced the 13 Amp fuse on the 3 socket power strip above with an old 5 amp fuse from my tool box.

I did this simply for safety reasons. If anything draws about a kilowatt, then bang.

What I did not expect was for the five amp fuse to sound noticeably better!!!

Please choose one of the following explanations: (perhaps depending on what forum you are on)
1) I am mad, it cannot possibly sound any different. The extra resistance is negligible. [has a hint of Pink Fish perhaps].
2) I have by chance got the new fuse in the correct direction, before it was simply pointing the wrong way.
3) I have discovered a new superfuse and ought to sell if for $2,000.
4) Unplugging and plugging in the power strip has cleaned the contacts.
5) The mains is now better so no absolute test is possible
6) I did not tunedem it so I am erroneously enjoying the improved sound. If I listened properly it might be much the same.
7) I may have inadvertently pinned back a corner of a curtain during the process [cf Peter Belt]

I am sure our moderators would not allow any serious replies. Another thread another time perhaps.


Have a good evening

Donuk beautiful downtown York
Without getting into anything point by point, I will say that fuses do indeed sound different, as unlikely as it seems. They are also directional. I will note that the upgrade of a Slipsik to a 7 includes a new fuse that has been chosen, from among fuses of the same value and brand, for best musical quality. It is to be installed in the proper direction. I believe Fredrik found a way to measure electrical differences that were musically important and thereby pick the best ones. As with most other things Hi-Fi, the expensive super-fuses are likely not as musical as properly chosen inexpensive ones.

PS. Unplugging and plugging in AC plugs at least a couple of times a year does indeed improve the music, which is why I did it before switching the outlet strips. So does unplugging and replugging the fuse... :-)
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.
User avatar
ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 3877
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by ThomasOK »

OK, I have had some private conversations with Xit8 about whether to try the Lejonklou 18 gauge cables inside a Revelation strip as he has one or two also. He was thinking it would be a good idea to compare the 14 gauge and 18 gauge directly first to see which is better. I am putting the reply I made here so you can all see my thinking and discuss if you wish.

There's the rub. Fredrik has done thickness comparisons and has found that 18ga (or the metric equivalent) in the two meter length is the most musical for power cables to the components but that 14ga in a short length is more musical going from the wall to the outlet strip. So how do you compare 18ga vs. 14ga without the application biasing the result one way or the other? I went with the 14ga inside the strip since it matches what is the best cable coming into the strip and is still one wire delivering power to many outlets, as opposed to the cables delivering power to one component. That was my logic, but who knows if it works.

But my idea is that, since I like the strip with the Volex-J better I might want to try different wiring techniques. One easy idea would be to wire the ground as it was originally, just going to the first duplex outlet and letting the mechanical connections carry it from there. It occurs to me that multiple ground paths might not be the best idea. Then would star wiring be better than the single wire to four duplex outlets setup I did? There could be a number of ways to experiment here.

However, at present I want to compare the cheap power strips before I do more experimentation on my Revelations. After all, if one of them is vastly better than the Volex-J Revelation it could save me a lot of time and hassle!
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.
User avatar
markiteight
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 610
Joined: 2012-01-13 01:50
Location: Seattle, Wa. USA

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by markiteight »

It just occurred to me that comparing 14ga to 18ga wire inside a power strip is likely a very bad idea. Fortunately this dim bulb appeared over my head before any experiments occurred! Even with the very short lengths involved, and even if the current demands of the components plugged into the strip are within the internal wires' limits, it wouldn't take much at all to exceed those limits. Who cares how much closer you are to the music when your entire vinyl collection is now a puddle of molten plastic because the house is on fire? I think it may be prudent to stick with heavier wire and experiment with different wiring techniques.
Fred11
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 69
Joined: 2019-07-10 08:03

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Fred11 »

Great thread, this. The forum is so nice with sudden discoveries of great discussions like this.
I have a question: Would a three-way Koppla be the most musical if you do not want to modify and you only need two sockets (Källa-Boazu)?
Regards
F
Defender
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1176
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:35

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Defender »

difficult to say - I think the only way is to find out by yourself.
The current king of powerstrips is the Clas Ohlson 6way but also that one changed and still changes over time.
The power plug has changed and the cable too - I recently bought one in Norway (no I didnt convinced my family to make holidays in Norway just to be able to buy a power strip there) as Clas Ohlson closed his business in Germany but it now has a different cable - out of all the 10-15 available power strips in this shop only one had the cable direction with text. The staff already looked strange at me when I checked every of the 15 for cable direction only to find out when I opened the package in the car that the cable brand has changed.
Fred11
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 69
Joined: 2019-07-10 08:03

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Fred11 »

Thank you, Defender. Since I live in Norway it looks like I should try out both Ikea and CO👍
F
Fred11
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 69
Joined: 2019-07-10 08:03

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Fred11 »

Arjen
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 276
Joined: 2021-06-10 13:23
Location: NL and Friesland

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Arjen »

Fred11 wrote: 2022-06-19 20:24 Is this the one: https://www.clasohlson.com/no/Grenuttak ... /p/36-8904
Pity they don’t send it to Holland or probably whatever country outside Norway. A year ago I clalled them and asked for it, but they don’t deliver that client friendly service.
Defender
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1176
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:35

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Defender »

yes thats the one - was much cheaper when I bought it in Germany but for the performance it is still a bargain.
However as I said the cable has changed so that might has an influence on performance for better or worst.
Fred11
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 69
Joined: 2019-07-10 08:03

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Fred11 »

Thank you. I’ll head straight to CO: )
Defender
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1176
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:35

Re: Cheap power strips for best sound.

Post by Defender »

I x-checked the one I bought 3 years ago
32-7216 HX-6N
B/N: 18081134408
Cable NINGBO QUIANHONG

the on I bought 2weeks ago
36-8904 HX-6N
B/N: 21051213023
Cable NINGBO HONGYI TECHNOLOGY
Post Reply