Stereophile

AudioQuest Niagara 3000

It stands to reason that any audiophile system would benefit from improved AC power. The rooms in most older homes are equipped with a single duplex receptacle on each wall, maybe two per wall in homes employing more modern construction practices. Behind the wall you’re likely to find standard 14-gauge Romex, passing through via receptacles that typically sell for about a buck each. The electrical work meets local code, but audiophiles aren’t involved in setting local electrical codes.

Another, newer problem is the proliferation of cheap electronic devices. Computers, computer components, and other electrical stuff is mostly powered by noisy switching power supplies; that noise can find its way back into electrical circuits. So can high-frequency hash coming from wireless routers. And ubiquitous power supplies, which charge their capacitors only above a certain voltage, cause those precious sinewaves to be lopped off at the peaks.

Audiophile-level systems require power for amplifiers, line and phono preamplifiers, multiple digital and analog sources, ancillary equipment, and perhaps a powered subwoofer or two. Sure, most electrical circuits are designed to filter noise and reject powerline distortions—but still, do you really want to connect all that gloriousness to a length of Romex of questionable origin, terminated with a 50-cent builder-grade receptacle, besieged with noise from inside and out? Exotic

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