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In Reply to: RE: IEC Sockets from Gear City posted by email@example.com on March 09, 2017 at 12:23:58
It does not surprise me when the notion of a sensible price comes up when discussing a look-alike audio device that is lower-cost than what might be hoped for. It does not make any sense to pay as little as possible for something that may *look similar* to a reputable audiophile product, but sounds nothing like what a true high-performance design tends to offer. Unbranded/Generic eBay listings should be carefully considered before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
Silly me. Over the years, I have bought mid priced Ics from Cardas, Kimber and Silver Audio. They made an improvement, but nothing major until I tried TG Audio. Old Bob reeled me in with great power cords and $800 Hi Purity ICs. I bought used whenever I was able. Have a complete TG Audio Cary tube system to this day. I started to get into headphone audio a few years ago and discovered WyWires cables. I bought some headphone cables and have wired my two headphone systems with Platinum Ics, Coax and USB digital cables because like TG Audio, they do make a big difference.
I have never got why people knowingly buy fake knockoffs. There are reputable manufactures who make inexpensive connectors where you know exactly what you are buying. Marinco and Wattgate come to mind. I am sure they would sound better than a gold plated pot-metal connector made in China where they have to put nets around the "dorms" of the workers to catch them when they try to commit suicide. I suspect even hard line objectivist would agree that a connector like this would suck, due to high resistance and poor contact. If you want cheap, go cheap, but you should know what you are getting.
Obviously, I don't expect you to disagree with me, but I keep reading posts like this, speculating on the quality of a "pig in a poke". I am sure there a lots of used car salesman who would like to sell them a car.
It's often the case that inexperienced shoppers see something that looks as impressive as what they may have seen at a much higher price, then think the item must be a bargain simply based on appearance. If audiophile-quality was only based on looks, than anything goes. This is the shortfall of many inexpensive Chinese audio connectors and cables, since often enough the manufacturers seem to only pay attention to looks, which is a swindle even if a fake brand name, model, or country of origin is not labeled on the product.
As to mechanical quality and safety issues, in one case the ground prong broke-off of a cheap Chinese AC plug while I was pulling it out of an AC outlet. I had to pull the snapped-off ground prong out of the AC outlet ground slot with a pair of pliers, which was ridiculous. Before it had failed, the same AC plug was found to sound unacceptable due to a plating that looks good for plated jewelry, but had serious sonic problems that I found unacceptable, to my ear. It was an utter waste of money, but I'm sure there are buyers that don't know the difference between a well-designed, high-performance Audio Grade AC connector or AC outlet and what may seem to be a sensibly priced alternative that simply does not deliver the audiophile goods. Safety should be an aspect of a true-value product as a given, while sound quality tends to be discovered and shared by audiophiles based on direct experiences.
Making an argument that the design of an AC connector does not matter since it's just about a basic connection of electricity is the voice of inexperience. When a buyer goes so far as to accuse brands like Furutech and Oyaide as perhaps being a waste of money, it becomes a point of ignorance. I don't feel compelled to explain why it matters, since the OP seems to have already made up his mind about something he's obviously not aware of.
The thing about companies like Furutech and Oyaide, is that they tell you what the product is and the pricing is reasonable given the manufacturing difficulties. You are free to decide if it is worth the money in sonic terms. if you buy, you know what you are buying. Like you I can't understand buying cheap, dangerous eye candy where failure could not only cause you hose to burn down, but give cause for your insurance to deny the claim. However, so much of what goes on is beyond my understanding. Denial (de Nile) is not just a river one Egypt. Oh well!
I agree, Dave. As well as often difficult manufacturing aspects in order to produce an audiophile-quality device, there is a level of R&D and material costs involved in the design of a HQ audiophile product, as well as the primary sonic merits or worth of a sometimes unique or original product within the audiophile marketplace.
There is sometimes a level of intellectual reward for offering a device that delivers the goods, above and beyond the expense of production and marketing. I don't consider a premium price to be unfair or necessarily exorbitant if a certain level of financial reward is necessary in order for a cottage industry audiophile device manufacturer to pay its employees and bills, since many audiophile gear manufacturers don't have the high-sales figures of major consumer electronics marketplace brands, which tend to serve the wants/needs of a less sophisticated intention.
they appear/look safe!
legal or not legal that is the question?
I am always prepared more for things that do the job better - that's why I have costly speakers, amps, etc - but if a £5 gizmo does the same job as a £70 one, which should I choose? And which would you choose?
How one established the material they're made from I don't know! However to carry a mains current the one inch between the end of a cable and the pin in the socket in the equipment can't be rocket science and the amplifier sound shouldn't be adversely affected as long as it conducts electricity!
An inspection of the IEC plugs I bought from this vendor a few years ago shows they're obviously not unsafe. All the metal parts are adequately secured in sturdy plastic and the screws lighten well.
Oh, your posts seem quite reasonable and I do not think that you are trolling!
They may or may not be safe, although they appear safe, but the real question you need to ask is ... "are they legal for use in your country? That is, do they have the necessary certification for use in your country, ie. BSA, CE, UL, etc?
The marketing hype on some of the Furatech models is a bit of a lark, isn't it. I wonder if the Metal/CF covers, being conductive, are actually legal, certainly blingy but legal, maybe!
IMO, connectors definitely make a difference but some of the marketing is a bit of a lark, isn't it.
Yes, although quite a lot of good quality China made stuff that is sold here in UK by UK distributors (with the CE mark) can often be bought from Hong Kong at a much lower price without this label These are not fakes but are cheaper because the manufacturers often sell direct and with a small mark-up compared with what importers, distributors and dealers in the UK (and doubtless the US) expect. They can also send this stuff with no tax. As they are low value, the UK Customs allow then in without the usual 4% duty and 20% VAT. If they are selling the item to many markets, it is unlikely they'd mark each one separately according to the address on the package.
I have no qualms about buying from China per se but I don't want rubbish. That's why I'm buying screened power cable and good quality plugs and sockets to replace the standard cables supplied with equipment.
The IEC plug I found is labelled as Made in Japan. I have no idea if this is correct (I have no reason to believe it isn't), but it is identical in every way with the one in the link below quoted by a US-based contributor here. Is that supplier (Sonar Quest) US based? If so, I presume they are selling genuine Oyaide plugs (as claimed) with the appropriate safety certificate.
The suggestion that this sort of price for an IEU plug defines it a crap, dangerous and counterfeit is rubbish. It is quite reasonable to expect a manufacturer to be able to make a safe plug that's well constructed with quality materials for £5 / $8 if he keeps his profit margin small and it can avoid the imposition of tax. We are mugs if we are happily conned into thinking we need to pay 10 or 15 times that price simply because it's aimed at the "audio" market and we accept the addition of several layers of huge percentage profit along the line.
However if this item (and the identical Sonar Quest one) is fake, I'd like to know the facts. I would be the mug if these plugs are fake and are made from crap material!
However to carry a mains current the one inch between the end of a cable and the pin in the socket in the equipment can't be rocket science and the amplifier sound shouldn't be adversely affected as long as it conducts electricity!
If that's your viewpoint on AC connectors, why not just go to Home Depot and buy any old UL listed connector for a couple bucks?
What you've linked appear to be just another branded version of the Sonar Quest plugs. Nothing wrong with them and actually a good value for the money, but a far cry from any genuine Oyaide or Furutech connector.
Cullen thought enough of the Sonar Quests to use them on my Crossover power cord. Don't sound bad to me. I'd have no problem giving them a shot if budget were an issue.
Yes the plugs I have are obviously from the same factory as the Sonar Quest ones.
When you say "but a far cry from any genuine Oyaide or Furutech connector" what exactly do you mean? Are these costly plugs any better at conveying the mains power that last inch between the cable and the equipment pin? If so, how do they allow the amplifier to achieve a noticeable improvement in sound?
I'm genuinely interested as if Furutech has some magical way of avoiding the apparent problems that cheaper IEC plugs suffer from, I'd spend the extra money on costly plugs. If however as I suspect, it's a ruse to get more gullable audio fans to believe this last inch of mains transmission is so much better done that they need to spend 10 times as much, I'll stick to £5 plugs. I'd just like to know the difference - apart from the obvious price difference of course! Thanks
PS Look down at the Sonar Quest spec. It says the brand is Oyaide!
If however as I suspect, it's a ruse to get more gullable audio fans to believe this last inch of mains transmission is so much better done that they need to spend 10 times as much...
With comments like that, you've made it obvious you're just trolling. There is plenty of information about the differences in quality connectors within this forum, and I have no interest in playing your worn out and stupid little game.
What makes you react in such a way? I'm simply asking what the "real" difference is between the £5 IEC plug that I asked about and a far more costly one.
If you don't know, then why reply in the unhelpful way you have?
If you do know, perhaps you'd enlighten me. Thanks
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