Power ports installed

All of my equipment is installed in a custom built cabinet. While it’s very attractive, it doesn’t allow access from behind. I pre-ordered a pair of M1200s. While waiting for them I got to thinking, if everything will be out, now would be the time to consider replacing the hardware store outlets with power ports. I had already run a dedicated 20 amp circuit with 10 gauge wire to the two outlets that power my audio equipment. The outlets came in and the amps are probably several weeks away so I figured I may as well install them.

I probably made the mistake of changing too many things at once so I can’t definitively point to one thing. My gear is currently plugged into two Adcom ACE-515s. One has the main system and the other all the other equipment it takes to run remote speakers in other parts of the house. The ACE-515 has three grounded outlets and the rest are ungrounded. That was fine 30 years ago. Sometime over the years as grounded cords became more common I added a power strip with 6 grounded outlets. At the time, I never gave it a thought. As I was installing the power ports I found myself wondering if the power strip was a good idea. Since I could remove it if I plugged my analog to digital converter into the ACE for the secondary system, I took the power strip out.

So I’ve made 2 changes at the same time. Unfortunately, I didn’t stop there. At the beginning of the year I got a new CD player. The old one had balance outputs. The new one only has single ended connections. I remembered the balanced cables were in my box of old audio stuff and figured I may as well try them for the pre-amp to amp connection. So I put everything back in the rack, making the connections as I worked my way out from bottom to top. It’s a couple hour process. Clearly I need to think about a way of adding drawer glides to the shelves.

With all that done I powered up the system and sat down for a listen. The difference was pretty remarkable. The trouble is I don’t know which of three things or combination made the difference I was hearing. I don’t regret it. It would have been interesting to know from an academic point of view. But that would also have been a lot of extra work and possible scratches on equipment cases. So what did I hear? The overall ease of the system has been increased. The bass is much easier to follow. Bass notes more defined instead of this low frequency back drop. Also, the background seems quieter than before. You only notice it because something that was there is gone and the quiet between notes is more defined.

So I’ll never know who much difference the power port would have made on there own. That means I can’t really give them a fair evaluation. Do I regret spending $98 on outlets? Not at all. If that was enough to make me get rid of a questionable piece of hardware in the power chain it was worth it. What a fun hobby. Can’t wait for my M1200s to show up.