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PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Review

Rate this product:

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)/Dangerous

    Votes: 233 97.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 2.1%

  • Total voters
    240

paulraphael

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One of these Receptacle testers will easily and safely let you know if they have developed a fault.

You also can get a fancier version that shows voltage as well as faults plus tests GFCI outlets. Either is available at big box hardware stores as well as online.


This of course doesn't tell you how they are designed. So checking them periodically would be a good idea if you keep them.
Thanks. I've tested with one of those, and it doesn't show any faults. But I don't know if it's still able to absorb a surge, or if it could create a hazard if it tries to.

I don't know if it's significant that the light in the power switch flickers like a dying neon sign in a film-noir hotel window.

I wrote to the manufacturer and haven't heard back. Curiously, they give a lifetime warranty with these.
 

DonR

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Funny you should say it looks like a dying neon sign because that is exactly what it is, a neon lamp that begins to flicker as it slowly dies. That is not, in and of itself, a safety issue as it will simply die open but the strip will continue to operate.
 
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D

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This was "measured" back in 2002, and worsened the noise floor. Yet the very same reviewer recommends it. Audio reviewers have been lying through their teeth since the invention of the first phonograph.

If you raise the noise floor high enough you can get a "fullness" of sound. lol
 

Drakkar Noir

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interesting topic.

One question: if the recommendation is not to use snake oil audiophiles sockets, power conditioners and what not, what to use then? Something with a battery to have enough time to turn off components when a power surge occurs? I have my audio gear in my home office alongside my computer and all, so I am looking for a one-size-fits-all kind of power strip that can hopefully protect my gear as well without degrading sound quality.

Those APC Back-UPS have battery and they even have a warranty on gear up to a certain amount of $
 
OP
amirm

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If you worry about surges, the proper solution is a surge protector at the service entrance/fuse panel. Power company can also install one in the meter in US at least. Beyond that, make sure your home owner's insurance policy gives you coverage. Point of use products like this provide next to no value. I use a simple power strip with a stout, 20 amp rating.
 

Drakkar Noir

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Thank you for the info and suggestions Amirm. Between this and making sure the line is not used but he fridge or other noisy components I have some important tasks for my electrician!
 

LEFASR160

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Interesting the ground was able to go hot before it blew the fuse. I wonder what is between the front outlets and the ground on the IEC connector? My only thought beyond them just wiring it up wrong for one audiophile reason or another is that it blew some tracks off the board or there was some sort of choke that burned out before the fuse could blow and cut power to it. Definitely NFG.
was proper fuse installed ? 1A fast blow ?
I should add that I am 99% sure the safety earth pin is connected to the case on the unit. This means that the only thing keeping me from getting electric shock, was the thin layer of paint!!!
if you remove the fuse, is the ground still hot ?
 

solderdude

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if you remove the fuse, is the ground still hot ?

Unlikely when the fuse is in the L path.
The device has been returned, Amir can not do any more measurements/tests on it.
Based on the measurements it appears likely that the ground wire between the front outlet and the inlet was not making contact for whatever, unknown, reason.

While PS Audio installs and recommends a 1A fast blow fuse I would not use a fast blow fuse in the mains path. These may trip on an inrush current of an amp with decent capacitance in it.
That ' Capable of passing full 15 Amp load from a 120 Volt wall outlet' mentioned in the manual will only be for very brief moments with a 1A fast acting fuse.
 

Yah

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Unlikely when the fuse is in the L path.
The device has been returned, Amir can not do any more measurements/tests on it.
Based on the measurements it appears likely that the ground wire between the front outlet and the inlet was not making contact for whatever, unknown, reason.

While PS Audio installs and recommends a 1A fast blow fuse I would not use a fast blow fuse in the mains path. These may trip on an inrush current of an amp with decent capacitance in it.
That ' Capable of passing full 15 Amp load from a 120 Volt wall outlet' mentioned in the manual will only be for very brief moments with a 1A fast acting fusethe manual says the AC will still pass through to the outlets even if the fuse blows or is removed.
 

Yah

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I believe the manual says that AC will still pass through to the outlets even if the fuse blows.
 

Yah

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I used to own one of these ultimate outlets and the fuse blew and I didn’t know it or that the LED light was on and this lasted I think for a very long time but when I noticed the LED being lit I remove the ultimate outlet. I then tested the AC with a VOM and AC still always passed through to the outlets even though the fuse was blown or even removed. It wasn’t temporary.
 

Yah

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Unlikely when the fuse is in the L path.
The device has been returned, Amir can not do any more measurements/tests on it.
Based on the measurements it appears likely that the ground wire between the front outlet and the inlet was not making contact for whatever, unknown, reason.

While PS Audio installs and recommends a 1A fast blow fuse I would not use a fast blow fuse in the mains path. These may trip on an inrush current of an amp with decent capacitance in it.
That ' Capable of passing full 15 Amp load from a 120 Volt wall outlet' mentioned in the manual will only be for very brief moments with a 1A fast acting fuse.
Tell me if you agree but based on my experience it appears that the fuse in this device must not be in the mains path.
 

solderdude

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Tell me if you agree but based on my experience it appears that the fuse in this device must not be in the mains path.

looks like it and explains why the device can 'pass' 15A currents.

The manual says the following about the fuse which contradicts your experience:

2. Blown Fuse LED
This LED will only illuminate when the pro-
tection fuse is blown. The Ultimate Outlet
will not pass current to components while
the LED is illuminated.


3. Fuse
The fuse is a 1 amp fast blow. It can be
removed by inserting a flat device into the
fuse holder and twisting couter-clockwise.

Note: PSA audio forgot the 'n' in 'counter'.

But... in the manual they explain what the fuse is for and basically say the opposite of what they wrote earlier in the same manual and explains why it still passes mains:

When is it necessary to replace the
fuse?
Installed in every Ultimate Outlet is a 1 amp
fast blow fuse. This fuse exists to protect
the surge protection circuit only
and will not
affect performance of the Ultimate Outlet.
If there is a surge in your power line the
internal tranzorber will fire and protect your
downstream equipment from damage. The
Ultimate Outlet also uses MOV’s as a redun-
dant form of surge protection. In the unlikely
event of a major surge or spike (i.e., a light-
ning strike) the fuse may open to protect the
tranzorber and associated surge protection
devices while maintaining the safety of the
connected equipment.

So... the fuse simply protects a specific component.
When you never noticed the fuse is blown then the protection this device offers has been disabled and you basically only have a common mode filter without protection without you knowing and believing your gear is 'protected'.
 
Last edited:

Astrozombie

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This reminds me of the story about people buying Male to Male extension cords and how people should never use a M-M extension cord. :facepalm:
 

Yah

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looks like it and explains why the device can 'pass' 15A currents.

The manual says the following about the fuse which contradicts your experience:

2. Blown Fuse LED
This LED will only illuminate when the pro-
tection fuse is blown. The Ultimate Outlet
will not pass current to components while
the LED is illuminated.


3. Fuse
The fuse is a 1 amp fast blow. It can be
removed by inserting a flat device into the
fuse holder and twisting couter-clockwise.

Note: PSA audio forgot the 'n' in 'counter'.

But... in the manual they explain what the fuse is for and basically say the opposite of what they wrote earlier in the same manual and explains why it still passes mains:

When is it necessary to replace the
fuse?
Installed in every Ultimate Outlet is a 1 amp
fast blow fuse. This fuse exists to protect
the surge protection circuit only
and will not
affect performance of the Ultimate Outlet.
If there is a surge in your power line the
internal tranzorber will fire and protect your
downstream equipment from damage. The
Ultimate Outlet also uses MOV’s as a redun-
dant form of surge protection. In the unlikely
event of a major surge or spike (i.e., a light-
ning strike) the fuse may open to protect the
tranzorber and associated surge protection
devices while maintaining the safety of the
connected equipment.

So... the fuse simply protects a specific component.
When you never noticed the fuse is blown then the protection this device offers has been disabled and you basically only have a common mode filter without protection without you knowing and believing your gear is 'protected'.
Wow!! You’re right. The manual does contradict itself. I wonder how that fuse is wired into the circuit?? Any thoughts? I have one of these units and I’m going to test it after removing the fuse. I will follow up with what I find.
 

Yah

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looks like it and explains why the device can 'pass' 15A currents.

The manual says the following about the fuse which contradicts your experience:

2. Blown Fuse LED
This LED will only illuminate when the pro-
tection fuse is blown. The Ultimate Outlet
will not pass current to components while
the LED is illuminated.


3. Fuse
The fuse is a 1 amp fast blow. It can be
removed by inserting a flat device into the
fuse holder and twisting couter-clockwise.

Note: PSA audio forgot the 'n' in 'counter'.

But... in the manual they explain what the fuse is for and basically say the opposite of what they wrote earlier in the same manual and explains why it still passes mains:

When is it necessary to replace the
fuse?
Installed in every Ultimate Outlet is a 1 amp
fast blow fuse. This fuse exists to protect
the surge protection circuit only
and will not
affect performance of the Ultimate Outlet.
If there is a surge in your power line the
internal tranzorber will fire and protect your
downstream equipment from damage. The
Ultimate Outlet also uses MOV’s as a redun-
dant form of surge protection. In the unlikely
event of a major surge or spike (i.e., a light-
ning strike) the fuse may open to protect the
tranzorber and associated surge protection
devices while maintaining the safety of the
connected equipment.

So... the fuse simply protects a specific component.
When you never noticed the fuse is blown then the protection this device offers has been disabled and you basically only have a common mode filter without protection without you knowing and believing your gear is 'protected'.
I just did some measurements. Whether the fuse is in place or removed there is continuity between the front ground and the outlet ground. There is also continuity between the front neutral and the outlet neutral but there is no continuity between the hot front terminal and The hot or line outlet. So I measured the capacitance. The capacitance with the fuse in place, between the hot incoming lead and the outlet hot lead is 66.4 nF. When the fuse is taken out the capacitance measured is 65.3 nF.
 

Yah

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2022
Messages
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Likes
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looks like it and explains why the device can 'pass' 15A currents.

The manual says the following about the fuse which contradicts your experience:

2. Blown Fuse LED
This LED will only illuminate when the pro-
tection fuse is blown. The Ultimate Outlet
will not pass current to components while
the LED is illuminated.


3. Fuse
The fuse is a 1 amp fast blow. It can be
removed by inserting a flat device into the
fuse holder and twisting couter-clockwise.

Note: PSA audio forgot the 'n' in 'counter'.

But... in the manual they explain what the fuse is for and basically say the opposite of what they wrote earlier in the same manual and explains why it still passes mains:

When is it necessary to replace the
fuse?
Installed in every Ultimate Outlet is a 1 amp
fast blow fuse. This fuse exists to protect
the surge protection circuit only
and will not
affect performance of the Ultimate Outlet.
If there is a surge in your power line the
internal tranzorber will fire and protect your
downstream equipment from damage. The
Ultimate Outlet also uses MOV’s as a redun-
dant form of surge protection. In the unlikely
event of a major surge or spike (i.e., a light-
ning strike) the fuse may open to protect the
tranzorber and associated surge protection
devices while maintaining the safety of the
connected equipment.

So... the fuse simply protects a specific component.
When you never noticed the fuse is blown then the protection this device offers has been disabled and you basically only have a common mode filter without protection without you knowing and believing your gear is 'protected'.
More information: I measured the voltage between the hot and the neutral with the fuse in place and the fuse removed. When the fuse was removed The red LED went on and there was no voltage on the outlet terminals Between hot and neutral. The ground Is continuous with the chassis. So this means that the fuse when it blows it must turn off all power to the outlets and therefore must be somehow in line with the hot outlet as you suspected from the start. This conflicts with my experience with another So-called ultimate outlet whose fuse blew but it continued to output power to the device. This is confusing to me !!
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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More information: I measured the voltage between the hot and the neutral with the fuse in place and the fuse removed. When the fuse was removed The red LED went on and there was no voltage on the outlet terminals Between hot and neutral. The ground Is continuous with the chassis. So this means that the fuse when it blows it must turn off all power to the outlets and therefore must be somehow in line with the hot outlet as you suspected from the start. This conflicts with my experience with another So-called ultimate outlet whose fuse blew but it continued to output power to the device. This is confusing to me !!
There are two versions of ultimate outlet. One with a transformer and one without. The former from what I recall had a relay in there. That may be the reason one shuts off when the fuse blows.
 

olderman

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As the owner of the tested device that started this thread, I have some details to provide. It is the "high current" version. I bought it new c.a. 2001. Roughly five years ago it suddenly ceased to pass current. Upon inspection, I discovered that a cat had peed on it, causing the IEC connector to short and burn. I replaced the connector and continued to use it up to the point when I sent it to Amir. I can even now smell the smoke that resulted from that short, and also see the black smoke stains. I believe Amir took this to be evidence of a recent event, understandably.
The ground is continuous through the device, and is connected to the case. There is NO continuity between the hot and ground. However, when powered, I also measure line voltage at the ground, so I assume there's some kind of inductive action going on. Lastly, when long ago the led lighted up, it continued to work. I replaced the blown fuse and the led turned off. None of this seemed to affect its operation.
My circuit tester indicates "hot and neutral reversed."
Hopefully this sheds some light on a confounding situation. Amir, you have my apology for putting you in danger. No one was more surprised than I.
 

olderman

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As the owner of the tested device that started this thread, I have some details to provide. It is the "high current" version. I bought it new c.a. 2001. Roughly five years ago it suddenly ceased to pass current. Upon inspection, I discovered that a cat had peed on it, causing the IEC connector to short and burn. I replaced the connector and continued to use it up to the point when I sent it to Amir. I can even now smell the smoke that resulted from that short, and also see the black smoke stains. I believe Amir took this to be evidence of a recent event, understandably.
The ground is continuous through the device, and is connected to the case. There is NO continuity between the hot and ground. However, when powered, I also measure line voltage at the ground, so I assume there's some kind of inductive action going on. Lastly, when long ago the led lighted up, it continued to work. I replaced the blown fuse and the led turned off. None of this seemed to affect its operation.
My circuit tester indicates "hot and neutral reversed."
Hopefully this sheds some light on a confounding situation. Amir, you have my apology for putting you in danger. No one was more surprised than I.
 

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