Sep 282013
 

As I’ve posted a couple of times recently (12, 3), that while I was writing the Acoustic Revive Chronicles Chapter 10 article for Positive Feedback Online, I was very pleasantly surprised by what a tremendous performance enhancement – both musically & sonically – the Acoustic Revive modified Oyaide R-1 AC receptacles (below) were in my reference system.

21 AR modded Oyaide R-1 top view

Ken San & Yoshi San sent me the modified R-1s to try because they really show off the performance potential that is possible using the combination of the Acoustic Revive CB-1DB receptacle base plate (right) and the CFRP-1F carbon fiber outlet plate (center).

35 Outlet Trio

That experience showed me how important high-quality AC receptacles  are to the ultimate performance of my reference system, but there was also a down side, because the Acoustic Revive modified R-1 receptacles are not available for purchase separately from Acoustic Revive, as they are only available as part of their RPT Ultimate Power Distributors.

Oyaide R-0 from Joe Cohen

I wanted to be able to recommend a high-performance AC receptacle to my audio pals, so I started to look into some other options. Mark Coles (Sablon Audio) told me that two of the most highly regarded high-performance AC receptacles in the audio underground were the Oyaide R-0 ($147 USD each), which is an unplated version of the R-1 (photo above), and the Maestro ($85 USD each, photo below), which was developed by Fernando Cruz at cruzeFIRST Audio.

Joe Cohen (The Lotus Group) and Fernando Cruz (cruzeFIRST Audio) graciously sent a set each of  the highly regarded Oyaide R-0 and Maestro AC receptacles for review. I’d like to say thanks both to Joe Cohen for sending a pair of Oyaide R-0s to use for comparison, and to Fernando Cruz for sending a pair of Maestros to use for comparison. Thanks guys!

Maestro from Fernando Cruz

In the few weeks after that review concluded, the Acoustic Revive modified Oyaide R-1 receptacles continued to break in and sound even better. Noticeably better: they really improved and got smoother, silkier, more resolving, and altogether more musical. So I decided I would first condition all of the AC receptacles for five days on the Audiodharma Cable Cooker so I could hear them at their best.

Maestro 5

Last time I reported that I had installed the Maestro AC receptacles (above) into my wall outlets and I have been using them since then. I have had mixed results with the Maestro receptacles, which I will describe in a moment.

Oyaide R-0 outlets on Cooker

The Oyaide R-0 outlets are done with their conditioning cycle (above) so it was now time to pull out the Maestros, and install the Oyaide R-0s into my outlets and give them a listen for a while too.

Below is a front view of the Maestro (left) and the Oyaide R-0 (right).

Maestro & Oyaide r-0 front

Below are side views of the Maestro (left) and Oyaide R-0 (right).

Maestro & Oyaide r-0 side

Maestro & Oyaide r-0 side 2

Below is a back view of the Maestro (left) and the Oyaide R-0 (right).

Maestro & Oyaide r-0 back

The higher quality of construction of the Oyaide R-0 compared to the Maestro is immediately obvious, and it should be at nearly twice the price. The Oyaide R-0 has a thick brass backstrap (see photo below), and the Maestro a generic thinner stamped metal backstrap.

Oyaide r-0 back strap

The Oyaide R-0’s glass filled nylon body feels much more substantial compared to the Maestro’s lightweight plastic body, and the R-0 seems more non-resonant. It is pretty clear the Oyaide R-0 is built to a much higher standard of quality than the Maestro. To be fair, the Maestro is built up from a production AC receptacle, and its high-performance internals are hidden away out of view.

Oyaide r-0 clamping mechanism

The Oyaide R-0’s clamping mechanism that holds the AC wires in place is superior to the Maestro’s. In the R-0 there is an internal clamp that holds the wires firmly in place when you tighten down the screws, and you can’t get the wires to loosen even when twisting the body around while mounting it into the wall outlet.

With the Maestro the clamping screw just presses the AC wires down against a copper plate (below). I had problems with getting the Maestro to hold the wires in place tightly enough regardless of how hard I cranked down on the screws to tighten them, and I’m a reasonably strong guy.

Maestro clamping mechanism

Moving the Maestro around to fit it into the outlet box caused the wires to move around more in the receptacle than I was comfortable with, with the AC wires ultimately coming loose, and the Maestro’s screws needing to be retightened. I was able to get the Maestro mounted into the outlet, but I was never completely comfortable with the grip it had on the wires.

r-0 with CB-1DB receptacle base plate (1)

The Oyaide R-0 mounting bracket holes aligned perfectly with the Acoustic Revive CB-1DB receptacle base plate (above), and then I installed the CFRP-1F carbon fiber outlet plate to finish it off (below).

r-0 with CB-1DB receptacle base plate and the CFRP-1F carbon fiber outlet plate

After installing the second of the two combinations of the trio of the Oyaide R-0 receptacle, the Acoustic Revive CB-1DB receptacle base plate, and the Acoustic Revive CFRP-1F carbon fiber outlet plate that provide AC power to my system, I restored the AC power at the breaker box and let my system warm up for a little listening session. I did notice too while plugging back in AC power cords that the Oyaide R-0 provided a stronger grip on the prongs than did the Maestro.

Ring Cycle Box Set

First up for a little listening was Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) from Der Ring des Nibelungen box set that I have enthused about here on Jeff’s Place. With the Maestros in the two outlets that power my Hi-Fi the sound of Götterdämmerung was uncolored, neutral, clean, and clear, but not particularly musical, and the vocals on Side 5 sounded harsher and more piercing than I’m used to hearing them, and it didn’t make for a particularly enjoyable listening experience.

With the Oyaide R-0s in place in the system, the music of Götterdämmerung took on a more natural and tonally rich timbral presentation, with a smooth, colorful, and musical presentation that I found quite appealing.

Dave Brubeck Time Out

Switching over to Dave Brubeck’s Time Out I had similar results, with horns sounding much more natural and life-like through the Oyaide R-0s than they did through the Maestros. I don’t think I need to go on in detail, just suffice it to say that the Maestro was pretty soundly outclassed by the Oyaide R-0 both musically & sonically, and certainly in the quality of construction.

But … I don’t want to dismiss the Maestro just yet, as it is clearly a high performance AC receptacle that easily outperforms a stock AC receptacle. I am told by people with ears that can hear that the Maestro can benefit significantly from more conditioning time on the Audiodharma Cable Cooker, so I’m going to give it another week and then try it again and see what happens.

The Oyaide R-0 with its impeccable quality of construction and substantial musical & sonic charms is one impressive AC receptacle. How will it compare to a further burned in Maestro or a conditioned Acoustic Revive modified R-1? Stay tuned and find out!

Thanks for stopping by!

 Posted by at 2:38 pm

  6 Responses to “Today’s Fresh Catch: The Oyaide R-0 High-Performance AC Receptacle”

  1. Good Morning Jeff,
    I’m curious if you’ve had a chance to audition the First Watt SIT amps?
    I’d like to hear what a dyed in the wool tube guy thinks about them.
    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      I sent an email to Nelson some time back asking if I might write about one of his First Watt amps, but there was zero response to my inquiry, so I assume he was not interested. I had the same experience with Cary too – zero response to my inquiry about one of their amps.

      I have been a previous customer of both these companies and found their products to be very nice overall (Cary 805C, and Pass Aleph 3, respectively), but they don’t appear to be interested in having me write about their current offerings.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff,
    The press is powerful. Even on the scale of PFB and its competitors. In the relatively small world of high end audio the struggle for market share no doubt creates a certain level of continuous paranoia and politicking in regards to the press. It’s typical but still a shame when we all just want a straightforward honest reflection of whats what.

    Everyone knows Nelson’s product is superlative, as long as they don’t their philosophical model completely they have very little to fear from you or anyone else as far as public opinion goes. Still, they have cultivated certain relationships in the press that work out for them and that’s understandable. Yoshi rolled the dice a while back with that same site allowing the Gaincard to be compared to the Gainclones and ended up saying he’d felt like he committed market suicide. Burn me once it’s your fault, burn me twice……..

    That said, I regret that you have been ignored by these companies, especially because of the SIT chip technology that mimics a triode and Nelsons minimalist single ended approach with it. I’d really like to hear your take on it.
    Your a trusted man Mr. Day and I kind of feel Dr. Gizmo blessing you as a dharma heir.

    I’m looking forward to the 91-03 article.

    Thanks,
    Mike Rubey

  3. Many thanks for your kind words, Mike, I truly appreciate it.

    It is hard for a company to resist focusing on a reviewer or reviewers who repeatably give them positive reviews like you know who. I’m not implying that Nelson (or Cary) doesn’t deserve the positive press they get, I imagine they do. But imagine is all I can do unless their amps are hooked up to my speakers! ;-)

    I try to tell it like I hear it, and sometimes I like what I hear, and sometimes not so much. A good product has nothing to fear from me.

    I’ll tell you what, I’m really digging what I’m hearing from the vintage Mac MX110Z pre and MC240 & MC30 mono amps, and nobody in the industry wants me to write about that because there’s no money to be made from it. You can take it to the bank though, these vintage Macs outperform 90% of the modern audio gear and at a fraction of the price. I paid full price too – no discounts – and I was happy to, because these vintage Macs are solid gold.

    Would the new First Watt or Cary amps be able to go toe-to-toe with these vintage amps and come out on top? It would be interesting to find out. You can probably tell by how I spent my money what my guess was!

    Keep enjoying that wonderful music my friend!

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  4. I hear you.
    When the time comes I will find a way to audition an MC225 with whatever speakers I end up buying. I actually have an old McIntosh 15w SS integrated stashed in a friends attic. I bought it for $45 at a pawn shop in Austin about 25 years ago.

    Before I commit to Tannoy I am going to find a way to hear the alnico PHY driver based crossover-less Ocellia Calliope 3.1 and the Auditorium 23 Solo-Vox. I think I may be able to create a similar experience to the Jeff Day system 1 by a simpler more direct route.

    For the time being I’m the worlds oldest nursing student with a very nice midfi (Rotel/Klipsch) and very very wonderful wife who has blessed a very large expenditure on the reasonable best when we can pull it off. It’s funny though, our Rotel/Klipsch is the nicest system among our friends and may be the nicest system in this little Kansas town where we are presently. People don’t understand how anything could be enough better to justify the cost. I’m really looking forward to blowing all of their minds.

    For those who think it’s crazy I ask them if I wanted to spend $40-50K on a boat what would they think?
    And how often would I use the boat?
    That has turned out to be a pretty useful analogy.

    Now for some Sunday morning reading of the Duelund PFB preview before I get back to studying for tomorrows 0800 exam.
    Thanks Jeff

    • Hey Mike,

      I’ve got my eye on the MC225 too – that would be a nice!

      As you listen to the other speakers keep me posted on your impressions, I’m interested in what you think of them – they look like nice designs.

      I know exactly what you mean about the investment in Hi-Fi: every single day I enjoy my Hi-Fi rig, and how many people can say that about their hobby!

      I’m listening to the MX110Z/MC30 monos combo right now (Getz/Gilberto), and its blowing my mind – such rich musicality! Not only am I hearing great music, its a real treat to have these American masterpieces in my system. It’s like having an original Monet hanging on the wall, they’re the real deal!

      Good luck on the 8AM exam!

      Cheers,

      Jeff

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