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Old 10th March 2008, 09:46 PM   #1
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Default Outlets, Do we need them?

I am currently building my system, and I'm going to be hardwiring as much as I can. I am not going to be putting IEC inlets in, and I am trying to remove as many interconnect as possible. (my ASP is going in the same box as my amps).

So why should I get an outlet strip? I am going to have two outlets in the floor, both with there own dedicated circuit. So what I'm thinking is that I will just hard wire all my devices in parallel. All analog on one circuit, All digital on the other. My feeling is that no connector is as good as a soldered connection. The only outcome I can see to this is improved power, as the number of connections has been eliminated.

What are you feeling on this?

Ps. The system is pretty much permanent, so not much moving around.
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Old 11th March 2008, 06:42 AM   #2
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Anyones thoughts on this?
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Old 11th March 2008, 10:56 AM   #3
suzyj is offline suzyj  Australia-Aboriginal
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I assume you mean power outlets?

I put four IEC outlets on the back of my preamp, switched via a relay. I connect the poweramp, DVD player, TV, and set top box to them. That way when I turn off my preamp, all these devices are turned off.

My TV standby power consumption is 17W. The digital set top box uses 12W (whether it's running or on standby). The DVD player uses 10W on standby, and my power amp runs about 25W when it's on with no audio playing.

So by switching all this off with a relay in the preamp, rather than using their standby functions, I save myself some 64W of standby power (the standby consumption of the preamp is a few hundred milliwatts), or something like $80 per annum, not to mention the CO2.
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Old 11th March 2008, 12:54 PM   #4
TheMG is offline TheMG  Canada
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Depending on your local/national electrical code, it may be a code violation to hard wire such devices. There are things that are meant to be hardwired (some appliances, ceiling lights, attic fan, etc) and other things that are not.
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Old 11th March 2008, 03:53 PM   #5
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Yes,
I figured that the electrical code would be the problem, however, I'm already violating it by making the power supplies for my amps, so at this point it doesn't matter. I know that certain IEC inlets, outlet plugs, and outlets are sold at rediculous prices, but none can form as good a connection as a soldered joint. With all the recent talk of how power is really a big factor in the music, I want my power to be as clean as possible, which is why I am going to hardwire everything, minus the plugs going into the main outlet. That way if I have to move the system, I can just move the entire rack.

I'll let you all know if I run into problems doing this/kill myself.
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Old 11th March 2008, 05:57 PM   #6
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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Default Re: Outlets, Do we need them?

Quote:
Originally posted by whubbard
I am currently building my system, and I'm going to be hardwiring as much as I can. I am not going to be putting IEC inlets in, and I am trying to remove as many interconnect as possible. (my ASP is going in the same box as my amps).

So why should I get an outlet strip? I am going to have two outlets in the floor, both with there own dedicated circuit. So what I'm thinking is that I will just hard wire all my devices in parallel. All analog on one circuit, All digital on the other. My feeling is that no connector is as good as a soldered connection. The only outcome I can see to this is improved power, as the number of connections has been eliminated.

What are you feeling on this?

Ps. The system is pretty much permanent, so not much moving around.
I assume you're implying that that might make it sound better.

I don't know if it would even be noticeable or not.

But, if you do it, think about safety, first. Solder, alone, is probably not a safe method for making the connections to the mains wiring. I think that they should be bolted (or welded), so that a large fault current (think 'lightning', or a short around your pole transformer) won't instantly melt your solder connections, freeing the wiring to connect to who-knows-what, possibly causing a lethal situation, and/or equipment damage. You can probably solder them, too, just not 'only' solder them.

And please let us know if you think it makes a significant difference in the sound.
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Old 11th March 2008, 06:10 PM   #7
TheMG is offline TheMG  Canada
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Honestly I doubt you'll notice any difference between having stuff hard wired vs using IEC sockets.

I don't know where you're looking, but IEC chassis connectors can be had very cheap, about $1 each, or even free if you salvage them off old computer power supplies.

As for the cord part of it, any computer store sells them, and they do the job very well.

No need to go hard wires or go with gold plated connectors, silver shielded cords and all that money wasting nonsense, for something that isn't going to give a measurable improvement.

After all, even high-end pro audio equipment uses IEC connectors. I think the advantages of using connectors far outweighs the disadvantages (if any).
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Old 11th March 2008, 06:57 PM   #8
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The big problem with this thread is practices which are actually in violation of the electrical code are being comingled which things which are probably just a violation of your homeowner's insurance policy or a municipal bylaw. There's a big difference, and details like this should not be glossed over.

You mentioned
Quote:
I figured that the electrical code would be the problem, however, I'm already violating it by making the power supplies for my amps, so at this point it doesn't matter.
This is wrong. Just because you DIY your PS's, doesn't mean you violate the NEC. If you build it following the recommendations that most of us make on the forum, it will be compliant with the NEC. If you do not follow through with actually getting a certified inspector to slap a UL or whatever-the-US-uses sticker on it before plugging it in, then you will be violating your insurance policy and/or possibly some state law or municipal bylaw or whatever.

If you do go ahead and actually hardwire all devices with soldered connections, then you are violating the NEC. This is because the ground connection must be a mechanical connection with lockwasher, etc. This was just discussed in the Tubes forum.
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Old 11th March 2008, 07:57 PM   #9
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First off, thank you all for the information.

I really like the idea of bolting them down, it does seem a lot safer than just solder.

What I find odd is that many people are saying that the connections don't really matter, but I find this a little hard to believe, but maybe I am thinking about it wrong. It seems that almost everyone says that soldered connections are better on interconnects and the sorts, so why wouldn't this hold true for the power cables?

Many people in hi-fi today seem to be saying that clean power matters alot, so I just want to make sure I do as best as I can, as cheap as I can.

Now for the whole saftey code, I don't see how it would violate it any more then building you own power supply, as I will be plugging it into the outlet with a proper plug, it will just be like one GIANT component in a bunch of different boxes, no?

Thanks Again
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Old 11th March 2008, 10:45 PM   #10
TheMG is offline TheMG  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by whubbard
Now for the whole saftey code, I don't see how it would violate it any more then building you own power supply, as I will be plugging it into the outlet with a proper plug, it will just be like one GIANT component in a bunch of different boxes, no?

The way I understood it was that you were going to hardwire it directly to the house circuit without the use of a plug.


About the power cleanliness, the difference is going to be quite negligible compared to the dirtiness that's already on the AC line. Really there are two ways to effectively clean up the power: one would be a well designed power supply using quality parts, the other would be using a power line conditioner such as a UPS with true sinusoidal output (not the "simulated sine" or square wave ones, harmonics galore!).

Unless of course you have a VERY high powered amp and resistance in the supply line might matter.

This is all assuming that good clean connectors are used. A corroded/worn connector is of course more likely to cause some noticeable problems.
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