IEC inlet surgery - is it worth the hassle?

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,684
201
63
E. England
#1
A couple of people in the hobby incl my long suffering cable guy (if you'd known me for a long time like him, you'd understand my comment LOL) are raving about replacement quality IECs to take place of crap quality ones fitted as standard, esp if all other aspects of power taken care of (in my case that means balanced power, dedicated lines, Furutech duplexes, excellent power cords, and soon wholesale fuses upgrades).
I get the argument, every stock barrier to good power is a barrier to more enjoyment, and why allow a poor IEC to be a bottleneck for quality?
The problem is that these IECs are not often a simple plug and play upgrade like cables and fuses.
First, the Furutech NCF Rhodium IECs I've been recommended are bigger than stock IECs requiring labour intensive filing away of chassis aperture to accept.
Then, there is the case of IECs that are soldered direct to electronics like my Zu sub amps.
And then the case of filtered IECs where I'm not sure what the replacement should be.
---
So would like opinions from those who've gone ahead, and others that haven't.
There certainly is near to zero chat on WBF and other forums re this.
Either it's an overrated upgrade, or an area ripe for investigation.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
#2
They do it all of the time with vintage amps. From what looks like lamp cord to whatever PC they desire. As to whether it's worth it to you? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. On the other hand, if you want some flexibility with the use of different PC's, then what are you waiting for? It has been reported that many of them respond well. YMMV.

Tom
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,684
201
63
E. England
#4
Too late! I've already stumped up for nigh on twenty audiophile fuses
 
Jun 23, 2015
75
0
6
Brisbane
#6
Spirit - you should check out bocchino audio iec chassis mount - they are next level
I have iec plugs coming and have wall plugs also - best to contact Carmine as web page is not up to date

Cheers
Phil
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,336
120
63
#7
It's definitely worth it, and it's not very difficult or time consuming to alter the hole in the chassis to accept the Furutech NCF IECs.
 
May 30, 2010
14,491
218
63
Portugal
#8
Try wiring a NCF Rhodium IEC female and male in series and introduce in the power supply chain close to the equipment. If you really feel that your audiophile life improves with it and you can not live without it go on with the surgery.

I have done it before for other reasons - equipment that had captive low quality power cables. I only regretted it when later I wanted to sell it. :( Anyway you can ask some one to build a small external adapter using a 3D printer to place the NCF Rhodium IEC externally without surgery.
 
May 30, 2010
14,491
218
63
Portugal
#9

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
2,794
56
48
Eastern WA
#10
Try wiring a NCF Rhodium IEC female and male in series and introduce in the power supply chain close to the equipment. If you really feel that your audiophile life improves with it and you can not live without it go on with the surgery.
That makes no sense. The benefits would not be fully realized, since the field extension and parasitics are the things changed by the NCF. Therefor you cannot tell unless it is installed.
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,176
5
38
BiggestLittleCity
#11
A couple of people in the hobby incl my long suffering cable guy (if you'd known me for a long time like him, you'd understand my comment LOL) are raving about replacement quality IECs to take place of crap quality ones fitted as standard, esp if all other aspects of power taken care of (in my case that means balanced power, dedicated lines, Furutech duplexes, excellent power cords, and soon wholesale fuses upgrades).
I get the argument, every stock barrier to good power is a barrier to more enjoyment, and why allow a poor IEC to be a bottleneck for quality?
The problem is that these IECs are not often a simple plug and play upgrade like cables and fuses.
First, the Furutech NCF Rhodium IECs I've been recommended are bigger than stock IECs requiring labour intensive filing away of chassis aperture to accept.
Then, there is the case of IECs that are soldered direct to electronics like my Zu sub amps.
And then the case of filtered IECs where I'm not sure what the replacement should be.
---
So would like opinions from those who've gone ahead, and others that haven't.
There certainly is near to zero chat on WBF and other forums re this.
Either it's an overrated upgrade, or an area ripe for investigation.
IMHO, a stock 3 prong IEC should be fine. A sufficient ground pathway is more important. I would not modify the casework on expensive gear.
 
May 30, 2010
14,491
218
63
Portugal
#12
That makes no sense. The benefits would not be fully realized, since the field extension and parasitics are the things changed by the NCF. Therefor you cannot tell unless it is installed.
Are you saying that the NCF makes changes deep inside the equipment?
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,336
120
63
#13
IMHO, a stock 3 prong IEC should be fine. A sufficient ground pathway is more important. I would not modify the casework on expensive gear.
Have you actually installed an NCF IEC on your gear? Those who have seem to be very happy with the improvement, it's not subtle. I don't know anyone at all who has tried NCF parts and thought they weren't amazing. A stock IEC is not fine at all after trying NCF, imo.

IEC has nothing to do with ground besides containing a pin for a ground connection, lots of things are "more important" than an IEC inlet but that's not the point. Most of us want to improve anything and everything that is worthwhile, the arguments that one thing is more important and so the other shouldn't be considered should be outlawed in all forums as it's one of the most common arguments, but it's a logical fallacy (false dichotomy) and personally I find it ridiculous. Using this logic we could say all electronics are unimportant and not worth dealing with at all, just get the cheapest you can find because the speaker has a much larger effect on the sound.

Modification on the casework is 5 min of work and very subtle. It's a non-issue as well.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,684
201
63
E. England
#14
Well, with 12 months of blood, sweat (my builders') and tears (all my own, depression then joy) into creating the room and laying down the uber pwr grid, I shouldn't hold back at this stage
I just don't see much chat on IECs surgery
Power cords, dedicated lines, sockets, fuses, all yes
But, IECs...? Not so much
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,336
120
63
#15
One thing I haven't tested directly is FI-06 vs FI-09... 06 has set-screw connections while the 09 has wire clamps like their plugs and receptacles. 09 costs about 2.5x the price. Both have copper contacts and set-screw tends to work quite well so I think 06 should be just as good but that's probably not the case as Furutech wouldn't offer the 09 if it wasn't at least a little better. 09 can also take larger wire, this might be the main difference...
 
May 30, 2010
14,491
218
63
Portugal
#16
(...)

Modification on the casework is 5 min of work and very subtle. It's a non-issue as well.
If it involves any cut or permanent change to the casework IMHO it is a serious issue. BTW, are you addressing the Furutech FI 06 NCF?
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,336
120
63
#17
If it involves any cut or permanent change to the casework IMHO it is a serious issue. BTW, are you addressing the Furutech FI 06 NCF?
Usually it needs to be slightly larger, it's not a new hole or anything. I can see how this would be more of an issue with high-$ gear though. For me, I build all my own components except for source so for me, it's a non-issue. ;)

See post above on FI-06 vs 09
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert
May 22, 2015
446
44
28
#18
I should put my hand up to being the devil on Marc's shoulder willing him to do this based on my own experiences. Some people may be sceptical about the gains however they go well beyond upgrading a wall socket / outlet to NCF from an existing audiophile model since 99% of equipment uses cheap generic iec sockets.

The NCF FI06 inlets are pretty cheap and have screw terminations, with the only wrinkle being that the chassis aperture needs to be opened up by @2mm on each side to accomodate. The chassis screw spacings are otherwise unchanged.
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,176
5
38
BiggestLittleCity
#19
Have you actually installed an NCF IEC on your gear? Those who have seem to be very happy with the improvement, it's not subtle. I don't know anyone at all who has tried NCF parts and thought they weren't amazing. A stock IEC is not fine at all after trying NCF, imo.

IEC has nothing to do with ground besides containing a pin for a ground connection, lots of things are "more important" than an IEC inlet but that's not the point. Most of us want to improve anything and everything that is worthwhile, the arguments that one thing is more important and so the other shouldn't be considered should be outlawed in all forums as it's one of the most common arguments, but it's a logical fallacy (false dichotomy) and personally I find it ridiculous. Using this logic we could say all electronics are unimportant and not worth dealing with at all, just get the cheapest you can find because the speaker has a much larger effect on the sound.

Modification on the casework is 5 min of work and very subtle. It's a non-issue as well.
Dave after my extreme grounding experiment I will never be convinced that any other metal other than copper is needed to conduct electrical current.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,684
201
63
E. England
#20
Well done Mark.
The first stage of getting help is admitting in public you have a problem LOL.
 

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