Wall sockets, surge protectors and mains conditioners - opinions?

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12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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I rest my case...
When I was five or so, I came back from school and asked my mum about religion - we didn't say prayers at home and I wondered why we did at school. 'Is there a God?', I asked her. She paused, and after a few seconds said 'Well, what do you think?' I thought about it, concluded that I thought there wasn't and have lived that way ever since.

It taught me to think for myself, and to be accepting that others may think differently. That's fine - life's too short to need to be right all the time.

A few years ago, one of Mrs 12th's life-long friends died at the ludicrously early age of 39. She had never been a believer. I was surprised, in a bad way, when the person conducting the ceremony added something about 'we can imagine that ****** talked to God in her final hours' - a sort of posthumous attempt at conversion - a 'need' to be right.

I feel there are parallels to how debates play out in hifi forums, I'm afraid.

I just don't understand why those who hold certain (in both senses of the word) views feel the need to inflict them on others - as I say, life's too short.

(And a dig or insult with a smiley attached is still a dig or an insult.)
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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When I was five or so, I came back from school and asked my mum about religion - we didn't say prayers at home and I wondered why we did at school. 'Is there a God?', I asked her. She paused, and after a few seconds said 'Well, what do you think?' I thought about it, concluded that I thought there wasn't and have lived that way ever since.

It taught me to think for myself, and to be accepting that others may think differently. That's fine - life's too short to need to be right all the time.

A few years ago, one of Mrs 12th's life-long friends died at the ludicrously early age of 39. She had never been a believer. I was surprised, in a bad way, when the person conducting the ceremony added something about 'we can imagine that ****** talked to God in her final hours' - a sort of posthumous attempt at conversion - a 'need' to be right.

I feel there are parallels to how debates play out in hifi forums, I'm afraid.

I just don't understand why those who hold certain (in both senses of the word) views feel the need to inflict them on others - as I say, life's too short.

(And a dig or insult with a smiley attached is still a dig or an insult.)
A nice reply with good points ,but then again you wrote

"I bought a mains filter a long time ago, and there were small but worthwhile improvements. Well-designed ones not only protect from spikes but push the mains back towards even voltage and a perfect sine wave - as your equipment is designed to work with. As well as surge protection, a well-designed one doesn't strangle dynamics - it will have different sockets for high current devices (such as power amp) and for digital and analogue sources."

Why did you feel the need to write this?
Opinion , fact or belief.
 
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myrrhman

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2020
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I guessed this thread might elicit a variety of opinions :) - some interesting thoughts.
I'm sure the placebo effect kicks in with everyone on occasion, especially when you've spent ££ on something that you're hoping is going to improve your system. In my case though I was hoping there was no difference, so I didn't have to start messing with my electrics.
I've just done a reverse test - play familiar song without Tacima / with Tacima / without - I have to say its subtle, but with the Tacima my DAC sounds like my record deck with a small amount of fluff on the stylus by comparison, I'm missing some of the instruments part-buried in the mix.
I then tried with my cheap surge-protected spreader socket, and really couldn't tell the difference between it and plugging into the mains socket direct. So I think the culprit is the 'mains conditioning' element of the Tacima - which I'll be happy to solve with another cheap surge protector strip...although it has to be said I didn't test the strip with all the other stuff (CD, TV, Blu-ray, Satellite receiver) plugged in.
A friend once rewired the house he was refurbishing to provide a dedicated ring main circuit to his hifi - interesting this has been suggested as an upgrade, he certainly believed it was worthwhile - I used to live in a flat where the fridge switching on would cause speakers to pop, thankfully now my kitchen is on a separate fused circuit.
 

Jimboo

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Oct 29, 2019
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I am an owner of said Tacima . I bought it because when I lived on a farm there would be a ticking sound coming from the speakers , very loud and annoying. It was the electric fences surrounding me that caused the problem. Neither naim nor quad could advise me at the time as to any solution. The mains treatment did nothing. They also were not very keen on conditioners per se.
The ticking remained and nothing sorted it. Didn't effect the TV or computer though.
I kept the Tacima and surge protection is a good idea for insurance if nothing else. My present system has been used with and without it added. I didn't notice any difference.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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i dont want to "believe" they work.

if these devices do zero in terms of sound quality improvements then surely these companies would of disappeared years ago ?
OK, maybe not you, but others certainly. I've got no doubt that some others' ears have heard what yours did (no difference) yet their brains tell them otherwise - it's understandable - they've read what they think are plausible explanations as to why these things work......so they just can't accept that they wouldn't.
As for companies disappearing, you might think so....but there's one selling mains plug fuses that 'improve' the sound.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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When I was five or so, I came back from school and asked my mum about religion - we didn't say prayers at home and I wondered why we did at school. 'Is there a God?', I asked her. She paused, and after a few seconds said 'Well, what do you think?' I thought about it, concluded that I thought there wasn't and have lived that way ever since.

It taught me to think for myself, and to be accepting that others may think differently. That's fine - life's too short to need to be right all the time.

A few years ago, one of Mrs 12th's life-long friends died at the ludicrously early age of 39. She had never been a believer. I was surprised, in a bad way, when the person conducting the ceremony added something about 'we can imagine that ****** talked to God in her final hours' - a sort of posthumous attempt at conversion - a 'need' to be right.

I feel there are parallels to how debates play out in hifi forums, I'm afraid.

I just don't understand why those who hold certain (in both senses of the word) views feel the need to inflict them on others - as I say, life's too short.

(And a dig or insult with a smiley attached is still a dig or an insult.)
+1
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
435
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Why did you feel the need to write this?
Opinion , fact or belief.
My opinion, nothing more. Based upon experience though, so not just the world according to 12th. Just adding my thoughts and not rubbishing those of others.

You'll note that there is a difference to how the divisive issues like cabling and mains are dealt with. Some of us say what we think and maybe argue the toss on occasion (I have done), but try to maintain a semblance of respect (I have failed there on occasion when provoked, but I do try).

Others jump in whenever something they don't believe in with 'that's rubbish' every time the opportunity arises, which stifles discussion in these areas - it's like trying to have a chat whilst someone keeps bellowing at you through a megaphone.

I try to be respectful and sometimes fail, but some don't even try. If I were a moderator, I would intervene more than happens - though I'll add that this is not a criticism of them - just a statement that I feel slightly differently from them.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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My opinion, nothing more. Based upon experience though, so not just the world according to 12th. Just adding my thoughts and not rubbishing those of others.

You'll note that there is a difference to how the divisive issues like cabling and mains are dealt with. Some of us say what we think and maybe argue the toss on occasion (I have done), but try to maintain a semblance of respect (I have failed there on occasion when provoked, but I do try).

Others jump in whenever something they don't believe in with 'that's rubbish' every time the opportunity arises, which stifles discussion in these areas - it's like trying to have a chat whilst someone keeps bellowing at you through a megaphone.

I try to be respectful and sometimes fail, but some don't even try. If I were a moderator, I would intervene more than happens - though I'll add that this is not a criticism of them - just a statement that I feel slightly differently from them.
+1 again.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
My opinion, nothing more. Based upon experience though, so not just the world according to 12th. Just adding my thoughts and not rubbishing those of others.

You'll note that there is a difference to how the divisive issues like cabling and mains are dealt with. Some of us say what we think and maybe argue the toss on occasion (I have done), but try to maintain a semblance of respect (I have failed there on occasion when provoked, but I do try).

Others jump in whenever something they don't believe in with 'that's rubbish' every time the opportunity arises, which stifles discussion in these areas - it's like trying to have a chat whilst someone keeps bellowing at you through a megaphone.

I try to be respectful and sometimes fail, but some don't even try. If I were a moderator, I would intervene more than happens - though I'll add that this is not a criticism of them - just a statement that I feel slightly differently from them.
I must say I agree with you in general. The idea that moderators jump in more frequently is often accompanied by cries of "what did you do that for" as I have found out personally. It's a fine line to tread and, with this thread, I have watched carefully but held back to see if any of the other moderators felt it necessary to step in.
I think we all know how divisive threads like this can be and, I for one have my doubts about the need to allow them on this forum, but it's a free world to a point.
I think, with this being primarily a UK forum, it is difficult for some to comprehend that, for some parts of the world, the quality of the mains supply is not up to the standard we receive here and, for certain people, the use of 'improvers' is going to make a lot of sense and in some cases may even be necessary......... until someone develops a hifi system you can run off a 12 volt truck battery. :)
 

iMark

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May 16, 2008
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So he believes in the placebo effect and in conformation bias. So do I. But over the years I've been trying not to be influenced by snake oil salesmen. I simply don't want to believe that any digital cable (optical, coaxial, HDMI or USB) cable wil make any difference. As long as all the ones and zeroes that were sent from one device arrive at the other. A digital cable either works or doesn't.

With analogue video cables however I did notice differences between cheap and expensive Scart cables. Not so sure about RCA and speaker cables. I did buy some rather expensive Ixos cables around 20 years ago and I still use them. Especially the RCA cables are probably better shielded than the cables that came in the boxes. They feel very substantial and they're only 50cm because everyone always told us that an analogue cable should be as short as possible to avoid signal degradation.

I firmly believe that confirmation bias kicks in when it comes to digital cables. People that have paid for a very expensive USB cable simply WANT to hear a difference with a bog standard printer cable because otherwise they will think they've been conned. And nobody wants to admit they've been conned so they keep on talking about the differences/improvements they hear after buying their fancy digital cables.

I've told this before but probably my best ever buy was a digital coax audio cable for 50p in the sales at a John Lewis.
 
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Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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My opinion, nothing more. Based upon experience though, so not just the world according to 12th. Just adding my thoughts and not rubbishing those of others.

You'll note that there is a difference to how the divisive issues like cabling and mains are dealt with. Some of us say what we think and maybe argue the toss on occasion (I have done), but try to maintain a semblance of respect (I have failed there on occasion when provoked, but I do try).

Others jump in whenever something they don't believe in with 'that's rubbish' every time the opportunity arises, which stifles discussion in these areas - it's like trying to have a chat whilst someone keeps bellowing at you through a megaphone.

I try to be respectful and sometimes fail, but some don't even try. If I were a moderator, I would intervene more than happens - though I'll add that this is not a criticism of them - just a statement that I feel slightly differently from them.
Yes, I think the cries of rubbish from my own view is that the age old debates about improvers for want of a better term is that there is the myth and belief which is a fact and proven for some. They can hear it therefore it is there and it is real for them.
I cannot hear it and therefore for me it doesn't exist.
Discussion will naturally be somewhat stifled.
I think if you investigate many of these products and purchase them you are already half way there to believe that they do what they do. If you can, being given the opportunity to demo them or a no quibble return policy then where's the harm?
You take things very personally fella and your megaphone analogy and moderator intervention are not valid or necessary.
The written word is lacking tone , expression and is often misunderstood. As someone once said "So difficult it is to show the various meanings and imperfections of words when we have nothing else but words to do it with."
 

myrrhman

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2020
30
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I am an owner of said Tacima . I bought it because when I lived on a farm there would be a ticking sound coming from the speakers , very loud and annoying. It was the electric fences surrounding me that caused the problem. Neither naim nor quad could advise me at the time as to any solution. The mains treatment did nothing. They also were not very keen on conditioners per se.
The ticking remained and nothing sorted it. Didn't effect the TV or computer though.
I kept the Tacima and surge protection is a good idea for insurance if nothing else. My present system has been used with and without it added. I didn't notice any difference.
I had a problem with my TV in the early days of Freeview - I got a regularly spaced interference with the picture, which I worked out was related to the rotational speed of the new wind farm...the electricity company paid for a satellite dish installation!
I hadn't noticed any effect of the Tacima either until yesterday, so I don't want to encourage everyone to ditch them - I still haven't worked out if its actually down to having a lot of other electrical stuff plugged into it (although that is rather the point of the product...). I'm certainly not going to risk plugging my amp directly into the wall socket, we do get occasional power cuts here - its a rural area, I've come home after thunderstorms to find the mains switch has been tripped.
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
435
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There's nothing personal in wanting people to treat each other (not me in particular) with more respect than they do, Jim. The other matters are, as stated, merely my opinion. And whilst I agree entirely about what you say about the lack of tone, it follows that there is all the more reason to use words with care lest we come across in ways we don't intend.

But I think we're going around in circles here, which isn't productive for anyone. We disagree about a few points - that's healthy, and I see no point in trying to 'win'.
 
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Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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You interpret posts on here very differently to me. Robust discussion is how I view the forum in general.
Funny really, these discussions always start with a what do you think question rather than someone saying I own this and it works scenario.
The OP (agitator ;) ) very rarely has any experience and is asking for a friend .
The civility level is high compared to most forums and opinions are expressed as you would expect in a forum.
The last thing I would want on here is when you are in a closed group where it is just a circle jerk of believers for who a difference of beliefs is an offence.
 
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