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PS Audio Ultimate Outlet Review

Rate this product:

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

    Votes: 245 96.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

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

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 2.0%

  • Total voters
    253

AndreaT

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It appears a woodscrew might be in the J-box.
Well, what I see is exposed, possibly live, hot black wire (if wired correctly), a design for a public far from idiot proof as the exposed box invites children to use it as a step shelf causing the pull of the box from the wall, wrong choice of anchoring it to the wood wall with screws when nuts and bolts of appropriate size and strength might have offered a better implementation. It pains to see how my (too many) tax dollars are put to work to have these crappy and dangerous outlets in our Commonwealth. Maybe I will spend time and money to report it to the authorities in the vain hope that a bureaucrat sipping soda will understand the grave danger for the public.
 

pseudoid

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PS audio could have saved some money by not providing the fuse assembly and the fault indicator LED ckt.
There may still be a paper-clip stashed inside the fuse holder ;)
 

Ageve

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Amir when receiving it for review: ;)

bombpanther.jpeg
 
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garbz

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Keep your money as you would lose it. The sparks flew inside when I earthed the safety ground. That was a ton of current. The pin was fully energized prior to incident.
Well shit I'll eat some humble pie then. I'm at a loss though. I already had the lowest opinion of PS Audio... now what do I do? Rescale expectations of everything else in my life just so I can put them lower. :eek::eek::eek:
 

JimFarrell29

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Mmm. I'm no PS Audio fanboy. I don't own any of their gear, but I have to wonder at the point of testing a 20 year old piece of kit, of uncertain provenance, which is no longer available to purchase new, except to perhaps feed the desire of some folks to scoff at products from certain manufacturers.
 

Trell

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Mmm. I'm no PS Audio fanboy. I don't own any of their gear, but I have to wonder at the point of testing a 20 year old piece of kit, of uncertain provenance, which is no longer available to purchase new, except to perhaps feed the desire of some folks to scoff at products from certain manufacturers.

Why study history? Just a waste of time, right?
 

dtaylo1066

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The MOVs probably started to fail before. Without thermal fuses, they will gradually degrade and get hotter and hotter as they work to absorb transients. This will be an even bigger issue if there are no class X2 capacitors to help them out. When MOVs first started appearing in surge protectors, they had a nasty habit of burning down houses without the thermal fuses as the damage is cumulative and continues until it pops. A standard mains fuse will not provide protection.

So you are saying in this case, literally, that over time MOV = POS.

I am no EE, just a layman DIYer with liberal arts degrees who loves audio and its electronics, but I have never understood why one needs a power conditioner if one purchases or builds an audio device that has its own internal, high-quality power supply, from transformation to rectification to filterning. And if that internal supply is ****** and creates noise, a conditioner is not going to help make it any less ******. It's not like a good power supply is that expensive to build. Ugh.
 
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amirm

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Mmm. I'm no PS Audio fanboy. I don't own any of their gear, but I have to wonder at the point of testing a 20 year old piece of kit, of uncertain provenance, which is no longer available to purchase new, except to perhaps feed the desire of some folks to scoff at products from certain manufacturers.
It is another data point to complete a larger picture.
 

DonR

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So you are saying in this case, literally, that over time MOV = POS.

I am no EE, just a layman DIYer with liberal arts degrees who loves audio and its electronics, but I have never understood why one needs a power conditioner if one purchases or builds an audio device that has its own internal, high-quality power supply, from transformation to rectification to filterning. And if that internal supply is ****** and creates noise, a conditioner is not going to help make it any less ******. It's not like a good power supply is that expensive to build. Ugh.
MOVs are perishable but they have an indeterminate use-by date that is affected by time-in-use and power quality.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Mmm. I'm no PS Audio fanboy. I don't own any of their gear, but I have to wonder at the point of testing a 20 year old piece of kit, of uncertain provenance, which is no longer available to purchase new, except to perhaps feed the desire of some folks to scoff at products from certain manufacturers.
On your accusation at the end, I don't seek out these products. Members offer them. This unit came on the heels of the last PS audio product I tested. It has been here for nearly four months waiting to be tested! When I test some products, it reminds people to send me the units they have. Chord DACs followed this pattern recently where I received four of them to test.

So no, there is no scheme here to go after any company. Members are deciding what I test.

As to age, I test older products as well as new. Not very often but occasionally I do.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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It would unless the device is connected to a socket that has no safety ground. In that case the enclosure has mains on it.

IME most of these MOV actually short when doing their job (and is what they are supposed to do) unless a too high current has passed through it in which case they explode and the circuit is open.
When the fuse is directly connected to the input it should have blown. Often the MOVs are mounted before the device fuse and designers rely on the mains fuse to blow.
I would assume Amir would have plugged it into a grounded socket FWIW. But yeah no ground no protection, and Blumlein 88 is correct that it will show mains voltage even if they are good if there is no ground at the wall.
 
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Cars-N-Cans

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So you are saying in this case, literally, that over time MOV = POS.

I am no EE, just a layman DIYer with liberal arts degrees who loves audio and its electronics, but I have never understood why one needs a power conditioner if one purchases or builds an audio device that has its own internal, high-quality power supply, from transformation to rectification to filterning. And if that internal supply is ****** and creates noise, a conditioner is not going to help make it any less ******. It's not like a good power supply is that expensive to build. Ugh.
They degrade with use over time. There are better things like heavy-duty TVS and the like, but no matter what, additional protections are needed since they can be tasked with absorbing very large transients. I use MOVs in the stuff I build, but ensure they have some protection. So far I have yet to ever have one fail. Still I'm leery of using surge protectors for more than 10 years, and its good practice IMO to chuck the surge protector and replace it with a similar good one every so often so the MOVs inside the equipment power supplies (yes, they have them as well) don't have to absorb the transients themselves, esp. with sealed PSUs that cant be opened. The surge protector will do most of the dirty work instead.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Don't forget, Amir saw a bunch of smoking components inside...

An ELCB/RCD/GFCI will trip if it's bad, but nobody wants to count on those few mA before trip to save you...
In the US we usually don't have any GFCI protecting the outlets or back at the panel unless its a wet location (e.g. bathroom, kitchen, etc.) so the usual method currently is to use thermal fuses attached to each MOV to cut power to them (and the outlets) if they start to fail. Here I'm assume there is just the fuse, which I'm sure is set to trip at many amps. By that point, the MOVs will simply just explode.
 

diaolodoro

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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!!!
Now I understand why PS audio is serious about their product finishing. Without it they'd have no more customers left.
 

DonR

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They degrade with use over time. There are better things like heavy-duty TVS and the like, but no matter what, additional protections are needed since they can be tasked with absorbing very large transients. I use MOVs in the stuff I build, but ensure they have some protection. So far I have yet to ever have one fail. Still I'm leery of using surge protectors for more than 10 years, and its good practice IMO to chuck the surge protector and replace it with a similar good one every so often so the MOVs inside the equipment power supplies (yes, they have them as well) don't have to absorb the transients themselves, esp. with sealed PSUs that cant be opened. The surge protector will do most of the dirty work instead.
I see every two years being tossed around as a replacement time and I think that is way too short for modern quality surge protectors even in the worst environment, a decade seems more reasonable. The sad thing is it's only pennies in parts to replace a MOV. So very wasteful.
 

solderdude

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I would assume Amir would have plugged it into a grounded socket FWIW. But yeah no ground no protection, and Blumlein 88 is correct that it will show mains voltage even if they are good if there is no ground at the wall.

Either the ground wire of the outlets has come loose or the inlet was not connected to safety ground (cable used without ground lead or socket used without safety ground). These are the only conditions (IMO) that can result in the enclosure and ground pin of the outlet having full voltage on it.
Also when the device was 'modified' by the owner to have 'ground lift' this too could lead to these findings.

When the ground outlet wire would be connected to mains directly a huge current would have been there destroying the internal fuse or the one in the mains as current would have been diverted to safety ground.

The meter provides a very high resistive load so even some uA leakage could make the meter show mains voltage so either ohm measurements or loaded measurements could have been done, but only when safety ground was not connected. If it were there would have been no voltage on the safety ground pin.

Its all weird. This device is actually nothing more than a common mode filter (common mode rejection for HF only) and this was not tested, only differential mode. It also has some MOVs which can fail but safety ground should never fail.

For me there is no doubt Amir measured the voltage. Also smoke coming out is not weird when one also measures a voltage from ground pin to actual safety ground.
I would have looked a bit further, done some basic ohm measurements and had a look to see what was going on exactly.
This can not be returned to the owner this way unless repaired/checked.

I see no useful purpose for this device though other than placebo when it comes to audio.
 

Swtoby

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Either the ground wire of the outlets has come loose or the inlet was not connected to safety ground (cable used without ground lead or socket used without safety ground). These are the only conditions (IMO) that can result in the enclosure and ground pin of the outlet having full voltage on it.
Also when the device was 'modified' by the owner to have 'ground lift' this too could lead to these findings.

When the ground outlet wire would be connected to mains directly a huge current would have been there destroying the internal fuse or the one in the mains as current would have been diverted to safety ground.

The meter provides a very high resistive load so even some uA leakage could make the meter show mains voltage so either ohm measurements or loaded measurements could have been done, but only when safety ground was not connected. If it were there would have been no voltage on the safety ground pin.

Its all weird. This device is actually nothing more than a common mode filter (common mode rejection for HF only) and this was not tested, only differential mode. It also has some MOVs which can fail but safety ground should never fail.

For me there is no doubt Amir measured the voltage. Also smoke coming out is not weird when one also measures a voltage from ground pin to actual safety ground.
I would have looked a bit further, done some basic ohm measurements and had a look to see what was going on exactly.
This can not be returned to the owner this way unless repaired/checked.

I see no useful purpose for this device though other than placebo when it comes to audio.
If this unit was "modified" by the owner that indicates to me the product as originally designed by PS Audio wasn't under review here and it seems Amir's conclusion wasn't fair or objective to the manufacturer.
 
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