PS Audio’s Power Port is a high-end AV grade AC receptacle that will make a significant contribution to your system’s performance.
It is intended to replace the cheap brass receptacles found in nearly every home in any country.
Home builders tend to place the lowest cost AC receptacles in the homes they build.
Sure they meet minimum safety requirements and are fine for toasters, hair dryers and washing machines but less than optimal when it comes to getting clean well connected AC to our high-end audio and video systems.
It takes only a few minutes to replace your home’s receptacles with these long lasting, nickel plated and hand-polished high-end outlets and the improvements they bring are both audible and visible.
Why we need a better receptacle
At the heart of everything we do with AC power is the interface between our equipment and our power sources; the AC receptacle.
Most every home in the US and Canada has a 15 amp duplex NEMA socket in the wall. Some have 20 amp versions, most have 15 amp varieties, but all are basically the same.
The quality of home receptacles is pretty grim.
These receptacles are constructed out of low-grade brass with very little care as evidenced in their purchase price of under $1.00. They are very poorly built, have poor grip, lower surface area and tend to build up oxidation "barnacles" on the untreated brass, which hampers connectivity.
What this means to a high-end audio or video system isn’t good.
Poor connectivity and loss of surface area from the contacts interacting with airborne pollution spells audible degradation for audio systems and increased visible noise for video systems.
Consider what your system is being powered with
You spent a great deal of time, money and personal effort building a great sounding music or home theater setup and in all likelihood, you’re feeding it less than great power. Does that make sense?
Perhaps an even better question is why do AC receptacles matter? Why do you need to consider the importance of this single connection that provides 100% of the power that your system consumes?
Everything we see and hear in our AV systems starts out as raw AC power. The unrestricted quality of that power has a great deal to do with the performance quality of our systems. Garbage in, garbage out. So it is important for us to build a solid AC foundation from which everything else feeds off of.
At the heart of this AC power foundation is the interface between our equipment and our power sources; the AC receptacle.
What makes this a Power Port?
To build a Power Port we start with the most important element in any receptacle: the contacts. To build a high performance AC receptacle there are multiple requirements for contacts including, a solid grip, high purity base materials, superior conducting surface materials and a smooth polished surface.
Many AC receptacles have a loose and flimsy grip when you insert the male plug. This grip can get worse over time because the type of materials cheap receptacles use can develop micro-fractures at the hinge point. A Power Port’s contacts have a strong grip that holds up over time because of the high purity amalgam of copper and spring tension metals plus the fact the contact itself is cast rather than stamped.
High purity base materials
Off-the-shelf AC receptacles are made from either low grade brass or stamped steel. Brass is a combination of low grade copper and zinc and steel comes in many grades, but the type used in these receptacles is the lowest possible.
Copper is expensive and zinc is inexpensive. The tendency over the years is to increase the amount of zinc and lower the amount of copper in AC receptacles. From a conductivity standpoint the reduced copper content coupled with the increased zinc is not a good idea.
The Power Port contacts are cast from the highest purity non-ferrous material available: pure OFC copper and beryllium to maintain excellent grip. By keeping the pure copper content as high as possible, the base materials found in a Power Port are the finest made.
Superior conducting surface materials
The OFC copper contacts of the Power Port are plated with a high phosphor electroless nickel coating. Electroless nickel plating is the preferred method for coating an electrical conducting surface because it is free from flux-density and power supply issues. Electroless provides an even deposit regardless of the shape of the connector, which results in a smoother conducting surface area.
Polishing is the final step
Once the electroless nickel plating has been added to the OFC copper connectors, each Power Port goes through a final step before insertion into the body of the receptacle. Each contact is hand polished to improve the surface smoothness and hence an increase in surface area and better conductivity.
The Power Port’s body
The main body of the Power Port is a UL approved polycarbonate material while the front cover of the Power Port is a glass fiber filled high temperature nylon, both excellent dielectrics.
Installing the Power Port
So what’s involved in outfitting your room with Power Ports? Not much. They are incredibly easy to install, and come with complete instructions. They can accept wiring as large as 10 gauge and as small as 24 gauge. The top and bottom receptacles can be separated to run dedicated lines to each if desired.
To install a Power Port takes about 10 minutes. Turn off the power to the outlet. Remove the cover plate. Remove the two screws affixing the existing receptacle and pull the receptacle out from the box. Using a Phillips screwdriver, simply disconnect the wires from the existing plug and place them on the Power Port. Reverse the removal procedure and you are done.
Not only will the Power Port ensure that your system will always be provided with as much power as your listening habits require, but it will also give you peace of mind that your AC wall plug is no longer the weak-link in your power chain.
Why not start with the perfect AC foundation when you want to build your dream system? Remember, garbage in, garbage out. Make sure there’s no garbage on your AC line and that you’re connected for life.