Power doubts in my home ring.

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Josito77, Aug 8, 2018.

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  1. Josito77

    Josito77
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    @Abacus @dannnielll: thanks for your help in understanding the UK system. I am being investigating a bit: Ring circuit - DIYWiki.
    I am not a home owner here so I can not change the wall double socket of my room to shucko as recommended by the audio consultants. My idea is connect the power schucko strip with cord included, with is German, swaping the plugs. That power strip has overvoltage and lighting protection. Would suffice having that protection plus fuse in the plug in order to have my hifi electronics secure? they will be using schucko power cords without fuses.
    I am opened a new threat because the moderator of the one where I met you both among others has locked it for good.
     
  2. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    You certainly shouldn't replace a UK 13A double socket for Schucko on a ring main, as the trip is rated at 32A, so will not protect the socket or cabling. You could connect to a spur - provided it is fitted with a suitable trip that accounts for the total cable length and it's resistance and heat loss.

    Using a power strip with a 13A fused plug however is perfectly fine. Keep the cable length to less than 2M and make sure that all the power leads are rated at 13A as a minimum.

    Just FYI, the over voltage and lightning protection in the strip is highly unlikely to do anything. To protect against over voltage, you need an Automatic Voltage Regulator - which is a physically quite large bit of kit that either regulates the output voltage or regenerates the waveform. Protecting against the hundreds of thousands of voltages and thousands of amps that lightning produces needs massive cabling and a really substantial earthing arrangement. The zener diode and "surge" protector in a typical power strip is good for a few amps at most. The first small increase in voltage will kill the protection before they can do any real good.

    I would just get a good quality components, keep the plugs and sockets clean and ensure the connections are all tight. Use crimp ferrules on all mains connections and examine everything periodically.

    UK mains tends to be very stable, so I doubt you will ever have much of an issue.
     
  3. Josito77

    Josito77
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    @noiseboy72 Thanks for your help. I have in my room two wall double sockets. One is not in use as I have a piece of furniture blocking it and is well away from where i have my hifi system. The one I am using is connected to the a Tacima power strip and them to everything I am using in the room, saving energy lamp, portable radio, charging phone, the amplifier and the laptop. The idea is to buy a schuko power strip with has the lead, 1.5m, and a schuko plug. The power strip will be connected to the second socket of the wall socket and using it only for the Hifi system.
    I am planning to swap the schuko plug to the one which came to my upgraded OFC copper UK power cord. So from the wall socket (UK) the power strip plug will be fit with a fuse but then no fuses at all in any cable connected to it (5 slots), no more than 1.5m leads in any case, to the laptop, amplifier and another electronics that in the future I could buy.

    I don't know if the cables that I have already and the one of the power strip are rated at 13amp or more.
    The specs of the power strip cable, 1.5m, are:
    9pole, low-inductance, shielded; 9.0 mm., min. bending radius 70 mm; 3.0 sqmm OFCu wire cross-section for P and N, ground wire 3.2 sqmm, screen 3.0 sqmm; halogen-free PU jacket black with golden print.

    The specs of the one connected to my ampli, 1meter :


    SIGNAL CONDUCTORS - Qty: 20 Gauge: 12AWG | 3 sq. mm

    CONDUCTOR MATERIAL - Oxygen-Free Copper

    INSULATION - Composilex 2

    PLUG CONTACTS - Silver-clad Copper Alloy


    And the cable that connects to my laptop's AC adapter, schuko, 0.9m.
    • Geometry: Helical Array
    • Metal: Semi-Solid Concentric Packing
    • Gauge: 3 x 15 AWG
    • Terminations: EU Schuko
    • Termination: C5
    • Jacket: Black/Grey Braid
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  4. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    I can't see any issue with this approach. Sounds safe and robust.
     
  5. Josito77

    Josito77
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    Thanks noiseboy72.
     
  6. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    In this matter the audio consultants are full of hot air..... As said previously, any cable coming away from the fuse box must have a current rating higher than the ratiing of the fuse upstream of it .. that is the only rule( it is incidentally ironically broken in a ring main because if a break occured anywhere in the loop, the single 16anp cable is "protected" by a 32 amp fuse).
    The specialist lightening protected over voltage etc protected strip you have purchased will typically contain a transzorb device. This is a block of a semiconductor material which breaks down at about 500 volts and absorbs the energy in excess of that ,by heating up. If the surge continues long enough an upstream fuse will trip. The good news is that they work very well, the bad news is that every event degrades them and eventually they wear out.
    So rereading your message again . The fuse or contact breaker must be the first item in your spur. If you are going to connect your German connector strip to to the UK square socket system using a standard UK plug top fitted with a standard fuse .. then that is fine.
     
  7. xmb

    xmb
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    If you want to convert a Schuko Euro plug to a standard BS 1363 plug I suggest you use an adapter such as this one from CPC or possibly this adapter. This avoids any need to re-wire anything!

    You can then use standard UK mains extension, with filters such as this one if you feel the need.

    PL0673806-40.jpg PL11280-40.jpg
     

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  8. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    For sure.. and available at any airport or ferry terminal , also in lots of pound shops.... . But these simple solutions are not involved enough!!.
     
  9. xmb

    xmb
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    Unlike the adapters you find in pound shops the ones I suggest are high quality, safe and suitable for earthed and double insulated Euro plugs.
     
  10. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Even the pound shop ones are fine for low power loads and limited insertions.. .. not good for toasters , hair dryers and kettles , but very little domestic hi fi equipment will exceed 1 amp total. .. the only exception being those boys with their class A kilowatt toys.. ..
     
  11. Josito77

    Josito77
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    @dannnielll Thanks for your answer. I do not understand why the guys at The audio consultants can state publicly in their web things about the UK home electric system that it could be, at least, dangerous.
    I have not purchased the German power strip yet, I am planning to buy it by the end of the month. I want to be sure that I am not making a mistake in my power set up as it is not going to be cheap. I understand that when you connect a power strip in your ring wall socket you make a spur.
    32A-Ring-Circuit-and-House-Wiring-Diagram-Lights-with-Branch-728x490.gif
    Also commenting on something you wrote in the 'locked' thread about run in period of electronics, I quote from the my amplifier' s manual:
    'running in. Just like a high-quality car, the performance of your 60iRv will improve during the first few hours of operation. The electronic components will then have reached and settled down to near-perfect specification.'
    And it is consistent with another maker this time the AQ DragonFly Red. I quote part of an email received from the customer service.
    'In order to break-in any electronic component, there must be a signal present. In other words, you must be playing music for the Dragonfly to break-in. Once it’s broken-in (after approx. 150- hours of use) you can help to keep it broken-in by leaving the computer on, although nothing has to be playing.

    If you turn off the computer and leave it switched off for 150 hours or more, the Dragonfly will require breaking-in all over again.'
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  12. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Looking at your nice diagram ,the items you call spurs are not what i would call them. In my terminology the spur will be fused before departing from the distribution board. . Looking at your diagram, the only fuse is the 32 amp ring main fuse. In my opinion that does not give adaquate protection . British standards expect to have the appropriate size fuse in the plugtop, and requires that all tge sockets have been wired correctly. Once done that is fine. French systems allow for human error and both live and neutral lines are switched off when the braker trips .
    Now regarding breaking in of electronic conponents ,lets get real. Would you not accept that if there is an effect there must be a cause? . So do electronic components change their values with time... yes most certainly. In the first few seconds of an amplifier switching on, the dc voltages need to settle into their operating values.. good amplifiers often have a relay to disconnect the speakers from these transient inrush currents. Then the components themselves heat up ,and their operating points change a little, after 10 to 15 minutes ,depending on the size of the heat sinks and thermal management things settle down.then the longer they are on, they start to wear out... the semiconductor materials start to diffuse across whatever barriers are present, in thermionic valves etc the heater material evaporates and condenses on the glass walls and the specifications change... i can list a wear mechanism for every component .everything wears But none become better with time. .. all these mechanisms are temperature dependent.
    I believe that statements requiring electronic devices to settle in is an arrogance, and what really is meant is that the ear and brain of the listener is becoming attuned.
     
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  13. xmb

    xmb
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    I have to laugh when I read the information presented on the consultants website. Apparently you need to have cables that have been musically burnt in! Also if the fuse in a BS 1363 plug can affect the audio what about all the mains cable in the walls and the fuse in the consumer unit and distribution network operator (DNO) links? Then maybe you need to dig up the road and replace the mains cable back to the local substation, followed by the ones back to the power station. I think we can assume a lot of the “improvements” heard will be a placebo effect and at best a difference but not necessarily for the better, but after spending thousands you may well feel the need to agree with the emperors new clothes!
     
  14. Spyro

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    If you don’t like the sound of a burnt in cable, I have found you can swap the plug and IEC connector and un-burn it in. Compared to cryogenically treated cables that I found produced a very cool and sibilant soundstage, burnt in cables do sound very warm and laid back to me
    Of course with mains power cables, burn in is a must. With my house being built in 1974 the older ring main creates far superior stereo imaging and bolder tv images compared to my mates gear plugged into his 2017 build.
     
  15. Josito77

    Josito77
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    @xmb. Thanks, I am going to buy and use the adaptor Brennenstuhl 1508533, only for using it temporarily until I buy a UK plug/fuse of better quality. Maybe the Furutech FI-UK-N1 (G) with the additional T13A fuse(not included in the plug).
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  16. Josito77

    Josito77
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    @dannnielll. Well the diagram is not mine. I understand now what spur mean. The distribution board is well away from my room and this is not my house so I am not going to spend money and asking for permission to my landlady.
    Regarding to breaking in... well I will not go further. I have my own opinion due to my experience apart from what many manufacturers and Hifi reviewers say in the matter and they disagree with your point. The only thing I am going to comment is how quickly your ears/brain get accustomed to the new improved changes when you make a worthwhile upgrade.
     
  17. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Seriously? Please don't waste your money. This https://www.screwfix.com/p/13a-tough-plug-black/68744 will sound exactly the same and give you £88 to spend on music! Please bear in mind that the rest of the electrical supply is copper cabling, gold plated connectors have no effect on transmission of mains frequency electrical power and the socket will be brass in any case.

    The important bit is to ensure all connections are tight and that the cable is terminated properly. Use crimped ferrules to ensure you get the lowest possibly resistance joint and that's all you need to do. You will hear no difference whatsoever.

    Some of the stuff published in HiFi magazines is pure fiction. I was reading an article the other day where the reviewer suggested all the ferrofluid had leaked out of some speakers he was testing. As this is impossible - the fluid sticks to the magnet and cannot just leak out, I can only think this was a useful way of filling some column inches. I am not suggesting that analogue signal cables don't influence sound - we know and can measure that they do, but mains cables have only an effect if there is a fault in them.
     
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  18. Spyro

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    If you really want to splash out then approx. £4 buys you an MK646 safety plug with round screw down clamp terminals that contact a huge amount of cable area without damaging the strands.
     
  19. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Mk are one of the better brands. Most people will not realise that there are real differences between the specifications for even simple products like plugs and fittings. . The key difference is the number of insertions plugtops can make before the contacts either lose springyness or corrosion. We had a number of our college electronics labs kitted out with MK brand in 1976 and some 60%were still operational when we refurbished in 2010. Now these labs were in use 35 weeks per year and kit .. scopes, meters , test sets would have been plugged in and out regularly at 2 hour intervals... slightly more wear and tear than the standard domestic scene.
     
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  20. Josito77

    Josito77
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    What about the MS HD Power products, company based in Hong Kong? I could get the wall socket and the UK gold fuse.
    MS HD POWER.
    Search Results
    I have got already the plug of the UK OFC copper lead... not to dissimilar to MK or the screwfix mentioned above but would like to upgrade to something with 'audiophile' features, recognising that for many people it is a controversial area.

    I do not spent money on music, I use YouTube and the BBC iplayer radio mainly. I do not have got a smartphone, costly girlfriend, I do not drink, smoke, drugs. I haven't go a car, I do not pay money for any streaming subscriptions (BBC TV licence included in the rent). Only I pay for Skype, £2.40 PCM. I cook for myself and I made a lovely coffee every morning avoiding the coffee shops rip-off. Then I save money for my hobby/luxuries (basically sound) so in this context to expend a bit for improving the system, every a few months, is something that I can afford.
     
  21. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    Maybe the money you intend to spend on mains electrical equipment would be better spent on improving the quality of the source media?
     
  22. Josito77

    Josito77
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    @dogfonos. Yes indeed, but this year is a 'power' affaire. Probably, then, the speakers would be next step. I am very happy with the source: Laptop + AQ red DAC. Improving it would mean maybe the Mutec MC 3+USB + Chord Qtest.
     
  23. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    I was thinking more of the quality of your source media files. For instance, are the quality of the source media files sufficiently high to justify spending moderate sums on mains electrical gear? (i.e. equipment that may give no discernible improvement in audio quality)

    Whatever you choose to do, even if it doesn't make sense to me, I wish you success in your upgrade endeavours.
     
  24. Khazul

    Khazul
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    As an owner of a dragonfly red - I can say that is BS.
    It sounds the same now as it did the day I got it compared to other DACs I have.

    Call me a cynic, but comments like this for modern solid state electronics seem to have more to do with pushing a decision to keep past a store's return window than anything that someone will hear (or even measure?).

    As it happens, I think its a perfectly decent little DAC with a useful headphone amp. I'm not sure why they feel the need to claim break in needed or whatever unless just to preserve some BS mystery...
     
  25. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Unless you are listening to really high quality sources - 24bit uncompressed files, you really won’t notice any improvement in quality by changing the mains lead. Subscribe to a premium streaming or download service and sit back and enjoy high quality music.
     
  26. Khazul

    Khazul
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    I might suggest you would need to be listening to 32 bit files at 768K sample rate to hear anything - assuming your hearing could resolve such. I have tried feeding my DAC with 32bit/768k (it supports it apparently) - cant say it was worth making all the connected computer hardware cook ;)
     
  27. dannnielll

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    ... I could say you are obstinate, but that's not my call. I could say penny wise pound foolish,.. but then again that might include me also.
    I do get your point about the coffee.. one of my worst purchases was an nesspresso coffee machine. I can no longer justify going into a coffee shop and paying 3 euro for a cup when I can do just as well at 30 cents at home.
    But let's get real again. .. music quality starts at the source ,and at present that means in order... front row seat at a concert, SACD, Blu-ray, DVD audio, .level pegging CD and DVD video, High Res streaming and downloads, vinyl, FM and satellite radio channels ,premium streaming channels, free streaming channels , YouTube and similar.., low grade MP3 , am radio, cassette tape s. now purists might beg to differ,with this exact order but the sequence is not far out... I am not going to go to war with anyone on this . In time, streaming or downloading has the potential to exceed any of the other formats, but not yet.... Iplayer etc are lumped in somewhere in medium level MP3 ..
    If you record your CDs onto the harddrive in your laptop and then play them back via your dragon fly, you have potentially a very good source. You can indulge in buying excellent condition music in cd format ,from charity shops for peanuts. If you really need current artists ,then CDs are about 15 quid a pop...or 5 cups of coffee.
    Having a good system and using YouTube as your primary source, is like having a state of the art kitchen ,and only reheating McDonald's burgers, or a cheap frozen pizza.. fine when you are hungry and need a quick fix.
     
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  28. Khazul

    Khazul
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    While I mostly agree wit your post, I think it is also true that to an extent a good system improves everything you put through it, for eg, a 128Kbit mp3 pop track will still sound better through a good amp that can exert good control of the speakers compared to a crappy system of apparent similar frequency range. My caveat is eventually you get to the point where a good system may reveal too many source flaws whereas a poor system may not.

    I personally *usually* prefer to listen to the stereo sound from a youtube vid through my amp than through my AVR, but there comes a point when sounds horrible either way and you just want it turned down ;)
     
  29. Spyro

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    Practically all copper cable is 99,9% pure due to the electrolytic refining process and further smelting/drawing/annealing under an inert nitrogen atmosphere of less than 5ppm maximum remaining oxygen content. That 0.1% remaining in the copper is all impurities not just oxygen. The difference between 99.9% pure copper and extra refined 99,999% is generally measured at less than 1% in conductance.

    Gold has a lower conductance than copper. So by putting that fuse in series with the copper wire to and from the plug, you are still not matching the copper for performance. Then there is the issue of the brass, (copper/zinc alloy), for the plug pins and internal contacts. If you really want to improve over copper you need to go to silver for everything.;) It won't make one jot of difference on a 240v AC mains supply, to the power getting through to the hi-fi component. Clean contacts, no loose connections and at the right surface pressure as dannnielll eluded to are probably the most critical.
     
  30. Josito77

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    @dogfonos. Yes indeed... One thing about I am not buying a better DAC.. yet is because the BBC is not streaming in FLAC audio. Last year due to the R3 Proms season, they trialled it but this year nope and it has not been implemented yet across the platform at all.
    Radio 3 Concert Sound
    I am now listening this
    Audiophile Female Voices - High End Sound Test...

    and sounds lovely. Youtube has fairly quality sound if you find them. I have Flac 24bits songs downloaded purchased and I can not find any difference.

    The upgrade path goes into different phases. The power upgrade is like the foundations of a house... first thing. Then speakers will come possibly second... but they are around 1000 to 2000 pounds... so the power looks more affordable at this point. My Kef Q standmounts sound better that never by doing petty upgrades to the amplifier: upgraded lead and fuse; ethernet cable, instead Wifi, and laptop's AC adapter new power cable. Finally, the AQ JitterBug. So far so good.
     

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