The $147.72 "audio grade" power socket

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71 Responses to “The $147.72 "audio grade" power socket”

  1. Phrosty says:

    The reviews truly are more hilarious than this product’s absurdity.

  2. webmonkees says:

    Somewhat related trivia:

    Just the other day a friend who worked in home theatre installations explained why outlets get installed ‘upside down’ (ground socket up).

    Seems it reduces the chance that a wire or metal shaving would strike the two hot terminals on the plug and short out.

    I always thought it was just a smart-alec electrician messing with their customers.
    May still be the case.

  3. semiotix says:

    Sure, this looks like a great deal, but you have to watch for the subtle indications you’re getting a substandard product.

    First of all, there’s the suspiciously low price tag. $150? That wouldn’t pay for the deionized dusting spray for cables made by a reputable manufacturer like Pear Anjou. So how can they afford to sell you a whole audio-grade power socket for that little? Well, guess what–they can’t. I’d be surprised if there weren’t hundreds or even thousands of micro-ionic pockets in those things.

    But more than that, it’s what they don’t say. Do a Google site search for the word “danceable.” Zero hits. If a high-end audio retailer won’t promise you that their products are danceable, THEY’RE NOT DANCEABLE. Would you fly on an airline that wouldn’t go on record as saying their planes were safe? Would you eat meat your butcher wouldn’t swear was untainted?

    Besides, these things only really work with power generated from solar energy during sunspot minima. No wonder they’re trying to unload them all of a sudden at these ridiculous fire-sale prices.

  4. Deidzoeb says:

    You silly electro-geeks. Didn’t you see the star? They’re expensive because they’re endorsed by Paul Stanley, The Star Child. Buh!

  5. Jovet says:

    One of my best friends and I have laughed at this product for years. We have differing perspectives–he’s the audiophile, and I’m the electrophile. But we both agree this is the most ridiculous product ever conceived.

    Utility power coming into your home or office is rather disgusting. It is not filtered, not consistent, and has all sorts of aberrations that would make Dr. Frankenstein blush. It’s pretty much analogous to raw sewage. Who here is ready to gold-plate the inside of their sewer pipes?

    The most prominent part of these outlets is the gold plated strap. That strap part is called the mounting strap, or the ground strap. It doesn’t carry any current. It just looks nice. Until it’s installed. Then it is covered up you don’t see it at all. And it still carries no current. What a ridiculous waste of gold and your money.

    Audio Grade is an invented term and doesn’t mean a damn thing. Hospital Grade is a real term incorporated by the American National Electric Code and implies a higher, rigorous standard–the point of which is to keep critical, life-saving equipment in hospitals from being inadvertently disconnected from wall outlets.

    So it really comes down to the placebo effect, and what has already been said: A fool and his money are soon parted.

    But if you do get one of these, don’t forget the matching “audio grade” plugs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Those are 20A and have integrated surge suppressors. Well these are 20A too…Which makes me wonder: I’ve seen plenty of 20A outlets, but I’ve never seen anything with a 20A plug.

    • DOuglas3 says:

      It’s becoming harder to find 12-gauge 20A extension cords without 20A plugs.
      Since there is no actual difference in current carrying capacity between a 20A plug and a 15A plug, and the 15A plug will fit in the 20A outlet. most users have been content to use the cheaper 15A plugs — the 20A plugs have remained more expensive just because there was never much demand for them.

    • TexasP says:

      I have two environment chambers in use at work that have a 20A plug. Their heating / cooling elements can really pump out the watts…

  7. Rob Beschizza says:

    Yes, I was wondering if anyone would spot the generic brand logo stamped on the metal, but I couldn’t make it out! Leviton!

  8. jerwin says:

    Some houses have old, noisy electrical circuits that don’t deliver the amperage that audio amplifiers seem to require these days. A couple of McIntosh power amplifiers will overload a 15 amp circuit. So, the audipophile brings in an electrician to put in a extra 20 amp circuit or two. A less than fully ethical electrician might just include the outlet in his bill to assuage the doubts of his mark, and to “label” the new circuit.

  9. danlalan says:

    To be fair, buying 4 would save 7.39 dollars each, for a total savings of 29.56. Give credit where its due….

  10. Mike Estee says:

    It’s been a recent observation that Not All Variables Are Significant is abused almost as often as Causation Is Not Correlation.

    I like to tell audiophiles, “Sounds like you got a pretty poorly designed amplifier if you can hear your power cord in the signal.”

    With the power socket covered, there’s got to be a fortune in selling overpriced house wiring.

  11. muteboy says:

    That’s some audio grade horseshit right there.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have to suspect that putting an isolated ground on an a $0.97 electrical outlet would make a much bigger difference than this…what’s the point of gold plated connectors on a copper based home wiring system?

  13. Anonymous says:

    “With the power socket covered, there’s got to be a fortune in selling overpriced house wiring.”

    Indeed, I wonder how much it would cost to rewire my house with oxygen-free Pear Cable Corporation ANJOU Romex?

  14. Anonymous says:

    It took some doing but I managed to recover the reviews from my browser cache, google cache and a variety of blogs. Here they are, for your reading pleasure: http://pastehtml.com/view/091027HUP120g7.html

  15. Anonymous says:

    Odd. I only see 3 reviews, and their not bad. Am I missing something? Or do we think they purged the comments?

    • Ted8305 says:

      Yep almost all the comments at parts-express.com have been deleted. Two of the three remaining “reviews” look like astroturfing.

      The third surviving review is from a professional installer who admits to using the outlets to fleece his pockets.

  16. InsertFingerHere says:

    Manitoba Hydro is building a new generating station along the Putzwater River up north. The river is fed by melting glaciers, water so pure Jesus himself would leave a ring around the tub. A swath 1200 kilometers long is being cut through the East Side boreal forest, and neodynamium triple shielded transmission lines are being run. At the city, sub-stations are being constructed in areas that are known to have zero EMF fields. A perfect 60.00000000000hz cycle is maintained by specially trained Vietnamese technicians, and the home-run cables are powder coated with ground up Unicorn horn dust, assuring the ultimate fidelity in power delivery. Did you know a mouse farted at 1:26 into Sympathy For The Devil? Now you can hear it.

  17. 13tales says:

    I have *got* to get into this business… :P

  18. philipb says:

    I was very disturbed that I could not afford these outlets and would therefore never achieve a danceable sound out of my system. But then I discovered that just by printing high quality JPGs of these outlets (I only use HP Photosmart glossy) and taping them over my old outlets I could improve the sound immensely.

  19. Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine recently bought some monster sized speaker cables with arrows on them. According to the 25 page(!) manual, they were to show which way to connect them as apparently they were one-way cables and didn’t work as well if connected back to front.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Missed one. Here’s the updated reconstruction:
    http://pastehtml.com/view/091027yv6xZIeo.html

  21. Anonymous says:

    A couple of McIntosh power amplifiers will overload a 15 amp circuit.

    Really? 1725 watt power drain?

    • Anonymous says:

      only 1725 watts? for TWO amplifiers?
      I’ve seen, in shops for around $1300 australian, a complete sony system (muteki – 7.2 surround with a seperate amp for the subs) that has a claimed rms output of 1695W – 185W x 7 + 200W x 2
      That HAS to use more than that at the power socket, and yes its on 240v*10A standard australian sockets (2400w)

      two of them would definitely overdraw the socket if turned up loud.

  22. Anonymous says:

    You people are all cynics. It looks like a really nice outlet.

  23. bodenski says:

    >A fool and his money are soon parted…

    >danceable sound

    as for the the fools I know:
    A fool and his money are soon PARTYING!

  24. mypalmike says:

    In case anyone doesn’t know, a standard outlet costs about a buck or two at Home Depot. Even the $14 Levitons are a joke.

  25. Ian70 says:

    Those fools, I already trademarked the words “Audio” AND “Grade”, and I’ve got a patent on “The combined usage of either of the trademarked words ‘audio’ or ‘grade’ in conjunction with other words to form a phrase”. They don’t stand a chance.

  26. Ted8305 says:

    I purchased an Audio Grade power Socket for the refrigerator I use to store my Tuscan Whole Milk. Best investment ever.

    I’m also considering more Audio Grade Sockets for the washing machine, dryer and iron that I use to care for my 3 Wolf Moon tee shirts.

  27. DOuglas3 says:

    But I can’t use it in my renovation, because it is not a shuttered “tamper-resistant receptacle”. required since the ’08 code in the US and the ’09 revision in Canada. Pretty expensive for something that will make the electrician’s work fail the electrical inspection.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Gold plated is out: inefficient. Silver is actually a better conductor.
    There is a new silver-alloy that doesn’t tarnish, and offers better conductivity. This is outdated technology.

    Also, your hi-fi setup has to be ‘caged’ from EM signals, especially all the digital cell transmitters bombarding your system. These antiquated outlets have no RF shielding whatsoever, and so thousands of cellphone bleeds pour into your pristine stereo gear.

    You also have to take into account the ‘electrical memory’ syndrome. If your gear has already been exposed to blasts of noise signal, this is engrained into the surface of every copper wire. Sandblasting with a super-fine silicate is the only way to etch out the ‘tracks’.

  29. Toby says:

    “Grainger sells hospital grade outlets for $108.” Those are 20A and have integrated surge suppressors. They carry normal 15A hospital grade outlets starting at $6, but running as high as $55 or so. I use the $6 ones, personally.

  30. Eric Ragle says:

    What’s the phrase? A fool and his money are soon parted…

  31. pupdog says:

    I was ready to buy a few – I mean, it’s Blue! With a Star! – But I saw this in the description:

    “Triple wiper design increases contact area”

    Now, those triple wipers have been around a while, I put a set on my MINI, they were no better than regular wipers at about 3 times the price. I may be an audiophile, but I’m no fool…

  32. danlalan says:

    I wonder if they sell “HD” grade outlets as well…

    • octopod says:

      >I wonder if they sell “HD” grade outlets as well…

      y, for HD, def. get the week long on-site home calibration package. no sense going the half mile with quality components. sure it’s pricey, but there’s remortgage options, and it does add so much to the value of the property.

      • danlalan says:

        hmmm, good point. I wonder if I need to move my house onto a ley line to get the best performance.

        • octopod says:

          if you’re serious about these puppies, then you’re looking at building the house around them and probably installing damping for at least a few miles down into the upper mantle. tbh, an orbital habitat is probably the best place for a true audio afficionado.

          • danlalan says:

            I wonder if it would it be more cost effective to launch my own orbital audio environment or just purchase, boost and rewire the ISS when it is decommissioned.

  33. Anonymous says:

    what else am i supposed to plug my $2000 powersnake into?

  34. Suburbancowboy says:

    I owned an AV store for 4 years, and was shocked by the BS products pitched by reps to sell at my store.

    The only product I noticed a massive difference with was a high end power cable which we did a swap test on. Our amp that we used had a noticable sound and volume difference.

    My favorite item was something my sales person actually bought, and swore it made his Wiloson Watt Puppies sound better. Complete nonsense. Complete placebo effect.

    The items were called mpingo discs.
    “The Mpingo Disc is invented by the Shun Mook team. It is made from a combination of Gaboon and Mpingo Ebony, treated with a proprietary process that gives the disc a unique property to regulate the resonance of any sonic component and its transmission. Yet this is a very simple item to use. Just place one to three disc on top of your preamp, CD transport, DA converter, turntable etc, and listen for the wonderful change in your Hi fi system. When this disc is excited by any external acoustic energy, it will resonate throughout the entire audible spectrum, thus overriding unwanted harmonic distortions and at the same enriching the musical reproduction. ”

    http://www.shunmook.com/text1.htm

    /Cool Story Bro.

  35. Anonymous says:

    There’s a hint of logic in the idea of a power socket that could prevent the buzz in receivers from ungrounded circuits, but that actually involves not having a cheap solid state receiver

  36. k2 says:

    Just the other day a friend who worked in home theatre installations explained why outlets get installed ‘upside down’ (ground socket up).

    Some electricians do this to indicate a switched outlet.

  37. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    I use Hubbel Hospital Grade outlets. They’re rugged enough to last forever and really hold on to the plug. I bought a few boxes of surplus ones on eBay and the last time we had a power blackout I went through the house with a flashlight and changed all the worn out 1930′s era outlets. That’s worth doing. At $147/each? Not so much.
    I’m surprised to see Pants Excess selling this. They’re a great company and my first choice for a lot of my speaker building supplies.

    • Anonymous says:

      just in case you are inexperienced, never replace receptacles of a two slot design (in an old house) with a “u-ground” receptacle, (2-slots with a “D” shaped hole offset from the slots), unless a ground wire is present within the receptacle box. if you do, you are required by code to fill in the “D” shaped ground ‘hole’ with a non-removeable substance if no ground wire is attached to the receptacle. most older homes never had ground wires in with the line and neutral conductors. an ungrounded u-ground receptacle gives the impression of safety that does not exist, no ground fault protection is provided in such a case. people can and do get seriously hurt or killed in rare cases.

  38. Anonymous says:

    This stuff always makes me think of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

    “Surely your ears are acute enough to hear the difference??”

  39. ackpht says:

    The rules for selecting audio equipment are simple. For electronics, you buy the one that has the most knobs and switches, or a brand that no one has ever heard of. For speakers, you buy the biggest ones you can find.

    Alternately, you can build your own stuff and claim that it outperforms anything on the market.

  40. Anonymous says:

    These outlets are basically a variation of “hospital grade” power outlets. Hospital grade outlets are built much stronger and with higher specs than standard outlets. There is a difference in power delivery, but not a $150 difference. The outlet specs are more about contact pressure on the plugs blades than anything else.

    Grainger sells hospital grade outlets for $108.

  41. Viadd says:

    It’s cheap crap anyway. Maybe if you are recharging your Zune or listening to Top-40 AM on your boombox you won’t be able to tell the difference between this and a good power system.

    But any serious audiophile will have a full superconducting dedicated circuit (niobium of course, none of this BSCCO liquid nitrogen crap they’re peddling nowadays) wired all the way to the glacial-runoff hydro plant.

  42. concrete_d says:

    There’s a reason they call it Wattgate…

  43. Anonymous says:

    There is a sucker born every minute. The quantum thermal noise floor for Silicon is about 22-23 bits. If you have ANY silicon in your audio system “32-bit” digital is about as ridiculous but, now seems to notice that. BTW you can gain a bit or two by over-sampling etc.. but 32 bits no way.

  44. arikol says:

    I have GOT to get in on this action. Making money just CAN’T be that easy. Can it?
    I did run a computer/electronics store, and some of our (quite reputable) suppliers were trying to push crap like that on to us. I always felt a mixture of smart and stupid not taking this kind of crap. Smart in that it seems I was the only one with any physics or electronics knowledge in the area. Stupid as in “thy the hell am I not selling that crap at insane prices and making ridiculous profits from idiots”. Yet my honesty won out..

    Stupid knowledge and honesty!

  45. Halloween Jack says:

    Although it’s hard to defend a vendor that sells inherently bogus product, I can see my way around to approving of a soak-the-rich scheme that supports the store’s carrying thinner-profit-margin stuff. It would be sad, though, if you had some genuinely mentally-ill obsessive that couldn’t sleep until he had these, just because they existed, even if he couldn’t really afford them.

  46. Anonymous says:

    My favorite audiophile (audiofool?) story was in a double blind test of audiophiles, they couldn’t tell the difference between some monster type cable and using coat hangers to transmit the speaker signals.

  47. OriGuy says:

    And you want the amplifier with the volume control that goes up to eleven.

  48. Vorn says:

    …not that you generally need 32 bits of sound /anyway/ – 32 bits means that if your noise floor is at barely audible, the loudest sound representable is at a whopping 192 dB, which means it’s essentially pushing a pocket vacuum through the air, followed quickly by a doubled-up region.

    20 bits is enough to get you to the threshold of pain.

  49. nixiebunny says:

    This item needs a matching circuit breaker to complete the chain. For that matter, you could pay the power company big $$$ to install gold-plated crimps at the drop junction. Perhaps a gold-plated pole transformer too…

  50. Anonymous says:

    No different than monster HDMI cables…

  51. Anonymous says:

    My favorite BS audio accessory is the Clever Little Clock:

    http://www.sciencepunk.com/2006/11/machina-dynamicas-clever-little-clock/

  52. Antinous / Moderator says:

    This made me shoot Tuscan Whole Milk out my nose.

  53. Anonymous says:

    That’s not why 32-bit audio is used: 32-bit floating point is one of the natural word sizes of modern CPUs (it’s a standard single precision floating point; others are 64 bit double precision and 128 bit quad precision floating point). Processing at 32 bits instead of 24 bits is a lot more efficient because it means that the CPU doesn’t have to unpack a 24 bit value before doing a calculation, and then re-pack it when it’s done with it.

    BTW, because of the way that floating point works, the upper limit is actually much much higher than 192 db, because several of the bits are an exponent.

  54. hep cat says:

    Aside from this being the solid waste collected from an un-neutered male domesticated ungulate, I used to know a guy who had a recording studio and playback system that had been modified so that the whole thing ran off of DC batteries with the whole studio inside a Faraday cage.
    He lived about 4 blocks from the world trade center, so RF was a pretty big problem.
    He would say that if batteries were good enough for the phone company they were good enough for him.
    Actually until a few years ago you get Con Ed to supply DC in NYC.

  55. Steiny says:

    In between refreshing the page for more helpful customer reviews, I’m also having great fun playing “Guess Who?” with the staff appearing in the top right and bottom left corners. Who will it be next??

    Eric – Technical Advisor
    Skip – Technical Advisor
    Matt – Technical Advisor
    Lili – Customer Care
    Debbie – Customer Care
    Viktoria – Customer Care
    Beverly – Customer Care
    Donna – Marketing
    Amy – Marketing
    Brian – Marketing
    Lauren – Invoicing
    Taj – Advertising
    Tammy – Shipping
    Pat – Kitting
    Dan – Purchasing

    Hours of fun for the whole family!

  56. lakata says:

    The careful observer will notice these are actually Leviton M5362 outlets (retail price is $14.30 without volume discount) with a cheap gold plating. You could buy these and pay someone to gold plate them for you ($40-75) and it would still be cheaper.

    http://www.onestopbuy.com/leviton/M5362-I-38413.asp
    http://www.silverplater.com/pricelist.htm

    If you look really closely, you can convince yourself that the trademark “LEVITON” is present on the top metal bracket (upside down).

  57. Anonymous says:

    This is a no brainer. You put together the ‘perfect’ system and after a few hours of listening to you your ears get used to the sound and you want something better. You have an extra $150 burning a hole in your pocket and can’t find another thing in that price range to add. Go ahead, buy the outlet.

  58. Alex_M says:

    Well, with Suzanne Somers having written a new book, and all the virus/vaccine nutcases out there right now.. I guess it’s a nice diversion to see a bit of pseudoscience that’s not actually endangering anyone’s life, at least.

  59. zog says:

    why mess around with these sockets designed for pathetic non-audio grade 110V when you can move to Australia and listen to your music on far more robust for audio 240V AC power.

    see:
    http://sound.westhost.com/cables-p4.htm#power
    for some comments on this…

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