High-End Dectet tweak


#1

I was dragging my feet on building another one of these when one of my audio friends purchased the last one I built. This weekend I started feeling guilty so spent yesterday and today building myself another. Nothing hard about this but it isn’t fun either! This one retains all the OEM noise suppression and protective functions and every receptacle retains its original location in the housing. All wiring stays the same as it came from PSA. High Current and other outlet protocols remain identical to OEM placement.

The reason I do it is simple, ie; SQ and IMO the best damn outlets on the planet, period and by a huge margin! Pure Oxygen Free Copper contacts, alpha cryogenic treated with no attention to detail spared. Even the power line attaching screws have been meticulously thought out and executed. But its the way they sound that justifies their exorbitant price and keeps me coming back for them. If my old used replacement outlet storage box is any indication I’ve purchased over 40 of these since they became available. They’re used in any/every wall socket that ever might see a TV or hifi and ya gotta know the outlet this Dectet will plug into has one and a high-end Crystal Cable Ultra power cord terminated with Furutech Carbon Fiber 120V AC and IEC plugs.

The SQ these add is stunning compared to everything I’ve tried and over the years I’ve tried em all. Even more recent ones I see, hear or read about if interesting but nothing has come close to making me wanna run over to Audiogon with these.

And yes, I know I threw a 3-year warranty away with this tweak but its worth it to me SQ-wise and this is the 5th Dectet I’ve done and haven’t needed any warranty yet… kudos to PSA on that! And if something were to fail I’ll simply convert this one to totally passive and keep using it with equal success. Two of the previous ones I’ve assembled have been totally passive due to weird noise related issues before coming to me and they’re indistinguishable from the active ones in side-by-side listening sessions. My audio friends and I have done the double blind listening sessions to confirm it and nary one of us can hear or tell any difference. But making one of these passive is a lot more labor intensive than simply swapping receptacles if star wiring remains in effect as all new wiring then becomes a requirement. In fact the only reason I purchased new this time is laziness on my part and its VERY rare for these to become available used, let alone with noise issues and I hate paying full pop retail then gutting/stripping new units down to a hollow shell without so much as a functioning on/off switch. In point of fact I’ve never used the on/off switch on any of these even once other than to see if it works. Same with the internal circuit breaker. They’re essentially bullet-proof from PSA right gutta-the-box! Of the four I’ve tweaked before this one all remain working perfectly over a period of 2.5 years regardless of passive/active specification.

Upper pic shows GTX-D outlets installed in cover backside and ready to be flipped over and reattached to Dectet. Lower pic shows completely assembled Dectet with new outles installed.

http://www.vhaudio.com/furutech-gtx-d.pdf

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#2

Nice work!

Wow, over $150 each for those outlets!

Have you seen any photos of what they look like on the inside? I’d like to see what their contacts look like.

I agree that good outlets can make a difference, if they are made from good materials and have excellent contact patches.


#3

Thanks LR!

And you can find the PDF link in my post between last line of text and just above the first pic that does contain some pics tho not high-res by any stretch.

What makes these such a good buy right now is they’ve been on sale since early February. Between 26.5% and 28.5% off their regular price. For the last 4.5 years I’ve had to pay $245 a piece for these and today they’re just $175. Dealer says this sale will last “2 minutes to 2 years”, basically he has no idea. The gold plated ones are very recent compared to rhodium and they regularly sell for $215 but sale price of $155 makes em a little more palatable. Rhodium provides a more accurate, true-to-source presentation while gold is a little warmer, more laid back & tube-like. I’ve yet to try gold but have friends that use rhodium & gold GTX-D’s to fine-tune with them as they’re cheaper and more reliably consistent than jumping on the cable-go-round.

For a wall receptacle replacement I originally used the F’tech GTX outlet frame and cover but later discovered the Oyaide billet aluminum frame with Oyaide carbon faceplate to provide a more rigid platform for resonance control. I’ve done “wipe tests” with these using prussian blue and dykem red dyes and found their ‘wipe pattern’ on AC plug blades to be the best profile-match of anything out there and by a wide margin! Their grip is the strongest, most tenacious I know of and yet doesn’t gaul or scratch the soft rhodium plating. As I tried to allude to above these are not your average hospital-grade outlets… far far from it! Who wouldn’t prefer pure copper AC outlet contacts to everything else out there!?!

For those interested in jumping into this up to their ankles before jumping in to their eyeballs should try just one of these. Make it the source you plug your AC generator/regenerator, conditioner or distributor into. You’ll understand, trust me! Then you can venture out with the high end mounting frames and carbon face plates and/or replacing other outlets as budget allows. And due to current pricing nows a good time to jump!

As high-end audio grade AC receptacles go this is the real deal!


#4

After tolerating my partially tweaked Dectet for 5 weeks I missed the dynamics of the one I sold perviously to my friend. BIG mistake but I had put him off for years. After I had loaned it to him a couple times and promised him repeatedly I’d get around to making another I relented in a moment of weakness when he made me a stupid high cash offer at one of our monthly home get-together listening sessions. But even then I stalled for another couple months. I mean I knew it was good but until today after doing a complete tear-down and tweaking my latest Dectet to the same specification I sold, I didn’t realize just how good. Truth be known, its a gape-jawed, staggeringly good tweak that parallels a multi-thousand dollar upgrade. Yeah, yeah, I know… the mindless drivel of an old man who’s best times have passed.

After the balance of parts were removed that I allowed to remain in the the Dectet at the last tweak post I set about gutting it completely early yesterday morning. The remaining work was a two day, ten hours per day project. Today, as a purely passive power conditioner it has no active parts whatsoever, no transformers, no chokes which is another way of saying there is nothing that will ever break, fail, overheat, wear out or require it to be sent back to a factory for servicing. Its just 5 GTX-D F’tech 100% copper, rhodium plated outlets in a compact, utilitarian alloy extrusion with plastic end caps and two metal plates on top, an on/off switch that’s been defeated but remains in the box for aesthetic reasons that’ll power up to 10 components. But it’s likely the most over-ambitious passive power conditioner you’ll ever run across! The chassis is rather inert tho can be fitted with high-end audiophile feet at a later date if I choose tho they’re not apt to matter much. As I mentioned, inert: as if a 1" diameter 12 foot iron rod had been pounded 11 feet deep into a glacier! This chassis will pretty much neuter any vibrations coming out of the wall AC wiring, and friends, there’s LOTS of em… HVAC turning on/off, refrigerator and two freezers cycling, all those motors sending vibrations directly back into the AC grid even with a dedicated circuit. And that’s where the 6th GTX-D wall outlet with heavy alloy billet frame and carbon fiber wall outlet cover comes in; to dampen and diminish current vibration upstream of the Dectet. A massive F’tech FI-33 20A alpha solid copper rhodium plated IEC inlet replaces the OEM 15A Dectet IEC and 1/3 of a $12k Crystal Cables 6 lead 1M power cord with IEC & every outlets line/neutral terminals double-wired to enhance current draw. Crazy as butchering such a spendy, high-end cord may sound I’ve rationalized it via an incredible benefit to 10 components rather than just one when used as a simple power cord… without getting too Trekkie on ya; ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’ applies to source outlets too. All fine parts exclusively… maybe the best in many aspects, but truth is I can’t say I fully understand why it works as well as it does. It should be nothing more than just a couple high-end outlets in parallel, right? But Man!! It’s SO much more and no one’s more flummoxed than I am as to how/why.

The first thing I listen for with any new addition is dynamics. One of the best lessons I’ve learned in audio is that when dynamics are right then tone and micro detail tend to more easily follow suit. But if there’s no dynamics, the system can never approach the reference standard of live music… simply cannot happen! I “think” the reason I’m drawn to passive conditioning, but please don’t hold me to this, is that with active conditioning I sense a momentary delay and difficulty accommodating the current demanded by the music and a hint of coloration even in the highest-end conditioners. I don’t know that’s the case but instinctively suspect it… perhaps sense it is a more accurate term. Regardless, there is a difference to me going passive and it isn’t very subtle! But only when its right… no, I mean REALLY right!

The tone from this unit is so amazingly organic, real with astonishing micro detail. Its noise floor is not black, inky or impossibly monochromatic… but more like a moonless night, absent of discernible noise floor. It allows music to reach right down through you to your toes. Songs like Diana Krall’s Why Should I Care can actually make me well-up in a good listening session. Same with Buddy Holley’s True Love Ways. Leonard Cohen’s A Thousand Kisses Deep ain’t too shabby either! And that should be what this neurosis/madness we call audiophilia is all about.

I genuinely wish I could share this with you guys as I’m not prone to flights of whimsy, fantasy or euphoria but after 50 years in this hobby this is really very, very special accomplishment for me… even if I can’t fully understand how/why it works. I had to be without it for 5 weeks to fully appreciate and come to grips with how much it adds. All my friends knew but I just thought they were being kind/gracious and one of them exceedingly generous. That generosity should’ve been my first clue! I can be so hapless at times. This Dectet will require a bit of prying my cold, dead fingers from around!


#5

quoting from above: Yeah, yeah, I know… the mindless drivel of an old man who’s best times have passed.


Response:

yeah, probably not ! you could always test the market by offering to do these Dectet tweaks and on-selling…

… to which I might add, may I request the first option to buy if you do one ? (I don’t know whether I can afford said “correct” price).


Also, I noticed elsewhere that you commented on Yale, dusting off a DS DAC… what’s the chance or feasibility of using the DS and Devialet together. The Devialet for the low-end SAM and passing out a digital signal for the DAC to convert to Analog, using the Devialet as a digital crossover.

Not sure how to handle phase difference (between the high & low) that might be introduced, or whether there are issues in providing differently powered amplifiers (Devialet on the Low Freq), or whether it is even possible to hook this gear up together in this way.

— with the paucity of direct comparison available thus far, and the impending inability to even hear a BHK, I’m still thinking of heading back to Devialet, for a number of reasons. If the BHK become audible, then a compatible move could still be made for the High Frequency reproduction.


#6

GM-

No promises but I’ll agree to your right of first refusal if I do another. I only have enough Crystal Cables power cord to do one more and am not likely to buy another ‘sacrificial’ power cord as today they’re $16k if I can’t find a used one!!

I previously considered integrating the Devialet with the DS but couldn’t find a way that wasn’t a bit intimidating to me. If someone can give me a step-by-step I’m happy to comply if it fits within my comfort zone and urgency isn’t a requirement.

The below pic is the just-removed business end of the PSA Dectet. I retained the AC outlets as my existing 20-30 Hubbell, Shunyata, PSA, F’tech and Oyaide outlets isn’t enough to hold me over in the event of rapture. I’m also keeping the 14AWG ground leads from the Dectet as they are too desirable to me and one can never have enough pre-terminated ground cords in-house!

BTW this setup is from a brand new Dectet used for 5 weeks, in perfect condition and FREE to a good home. You pay shipping cost only or send a call tag (best!). CONUS shipping only! If you want me to ship it could take 2-3 weeks but I won’t ask for shipping $ until its packaged and ready-to-go. But please, no collectors… be nice and only take it if you’re a current or eminent Dectet owner.

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#7

OMG - definitely forgo your kind offer to accede my begging request for first right of refusal… 16k cables are not what I’m going to put into a power board. I really like my system, but it’s far bigger problems that need fixing first !


On the DS / Devialet integration. I’m not really sure.

The basic idea is using Devialet as the pre-amp and digital crossover, passing out a digital signal for the higher frequency component to the DS, output via a Devialet digital output (given the DS is largely input invariant, it might be o.k.).

The Devialet would be used to output the Low Frequency bass controlled SAM signal output directly, including using the in-built amplifiers in a Devialet to do the amplification work.

I think this approach could use your existing speakers / speaker cables / mono amplifiers / interconnects / DS / Digital connection / Devialet for the Hi-Freq. component.

And the existing speakers / speaker cables (second set required) / Devialet for the Low-Freq. component.

Best of both worlds, or impractical.


There’s absolutely no time requirement ! I’m just wondering whether it would be the best of both worlds.

Full disclosure: When I suggested this to my dealer, and he knows his stuff, he looked at me as though I had two heads.

Full disclosure #2: realising that someone thinks my idea is daft isn’t usually enough to dissaude me from thinking about it, not until I understand where the problem is (empirical evidence or logical reasoning).

:-)


#8

On the spare Dectet stuff, I might be an imminent owner.

Treating me as lacking knowledge on the topic, what would be the attraction of taking the guts pictured above ? Would be for spare parts ?

Thanks.


#9

It would be a spare electronic back-up in the event of an existing Dectet failure, ie; a complete electronic module replacement that’s plug-n-play. Would have a dead Dectet up & running again in 10-15 minutes with R&R of 6 screws and two ground lugs. My conservative guesstimate would be this module represents 70-75% or more of the $500 Dectet purchase price. Its the noise conditioner electronics, surge protection, circuit breaker, IEC et al.


#10

Well, that would be pretty great. But I think it is too much too ask.

I need to confirm I can obtain a US Plug connector version of the Dectet with Australian wall outlet. Since I’ve got US plug PS audio power plugs.


What is your intuition regarding making the DS / Devialet play together in the manner guessed / suggested ?


#11

The Dectet is provided with a 15A IEC outlet which is an international specification meaning; International Electrotechnical Commission so that shouldn’t be an issue for you plug-wise anywhere in the world. With that said however I can’t say that the voltages between US/AUS Dectets are the same which could be a bugaboo and why I kinda hinted at CONUS shipping only in my original post due to the potential risk of a dangerous situation with global voltages… something I’m not well-versed in.

Since my Devialet is wall-mounted half above/half below the top shelf to the rear of my 400+lb roll-top desk I’ll need to consult with a few people first then get a hand from 2 friends or my sons to help me move it 3-4" out from the wall to make the required cable connection(s). Then help to move it back afterwards. I ‘may’ be able to unplug the Devialet from the Dectet below then slide it upwards off its mounting track system and connect whatever cable(s) is/are necessary. I haven’t tried that yet but I’ve thought about using that method even before today and wondered what if? I have several projects running concurrently right now… gimme a week or so to get dug out and I’ll try to have a DS/Dev answer for you sometime next week.


#12

Understand it’s just a matter of getting the plugs right (AUST wall plug + USA Dectet plugs), since Dectet (and incidentally the other PSA plugs) are passive components (so invariant on power supply).


Had another thought, which might be a little easier. Maybe an easier first instance.

But would need to checked out w/ Devialet folk, to make it’s ‘safe’.

If you pass out the Devialet signal, including the SAM component, through the Digital Out, then the DS DAC would be able to “render” the analog conversion over the entire frequency.


No rush, and please, if you have no inclination, don’t do these things. Only if you’re interested in getting DS DAC + SAM operating together (that’s my interest, plus bi-amping, plus all the digital adjustments available in the Devialet).


#13

I’m unsure I’m understanding what you’re saying regarding the electrical US/AUS plug connections on the Dectet but if you do then that’s the important thing.

Since my speakers are homemade to a specification, ie; the Magico Q2 there’s no ‘exact’ SAM profile available for them as they use different a driver/tweeter tho similar to the Q2’s in all other respects like crossover topography, internal volume, driver size, sensitivity/efficiency and frequency range. I have tried the V1 & V2 Q2 SAM profile with them but its not an exact match tho sounds very good when reducing the V2 SAM output on FW 8.1.2 from 100% to 30%. Until/if the Devialet SAM speaker measuring team travels thru the US and stops in Denver I’ll never have an ‘exact’ SAM profile for these speakers. They’ve just finished up their China and Australia tour but no idea on when they’ll get to the US and/or if Denver, Colorado is on their list of cities.

Admittedly I’m interested in trying the Dev/DS together but zero plans of using both long-term as I LOVE the increase in real estate afforded by the Devialet. A single pizza box mounted flat on a wall takes up a L-O-T less room than a rack full of traditional hifi gear! It takes almost 4 Devialets just to match the the mass of a single DS!


#14

I am using GTX-D on my wall outlet. That’s the best a/c outlet!