Saturday, September 23, 2017

Furutech GTX

juillet 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Homepuzz

The word “Reference” is back in the Furutech dictionary.

Always on the lookout for new stuff, I watch the manufacturers carefully.

Furutech has done it again, I would never have guessed I’d be looking at an “ordinary” wall socket and realizing they could be made better still.

Furutech AC plug rhodium

I already use Furutech FT-15A® et FT-D 20A® AC sockets and I know and like them well, especially the FT-D 20A which I consider a refererence.

But how can a “simple” AC socket possibly make so much difference?

The following photos show the GTX-D Rhodium side by side with the first-generation FT-15A®, which we presently use on the RTP-6 power box.

Furutech GTX-D (left) and FT-15A (right)

Without going into detail, let’s say we’re looking at something frankly innovative.

Just looking at the GTX (left) and the FT-15A-N1 (right), it’s easy to see that the bracket material as well as the socket body (white on one, black on the other) is twice as heavy.
The two barriers behind the screw connectors (already part of the design of the FT-D 20A ) make the connections more secure.

This GTX-D is built like a rock.

Furutech GTX-D and Furutech FTD-15

We tried several configurations. The most obvious result came when the GTX was placed behind the power conditioner.

So now there are three versions of the AC wall socket in the Furutech catalogue, and at first glance the differences lie in three points:

Positive safety system using a movable flap in front of the plug contacts
Thick, heavy-duty material
Internal clamping system.

Does that explain why, although we were very happy with the earlier reference units, the sound changed for the better with the GTX?
I can’t say for sure, I can only note what I heard.

Furutech GTX-D (bottom) et FT-15A (top)

We didn’t do any measuring to try to find out, we just trusted our ears to tell us if something was happening and if it was better or just different.

My friend Yves took on the installation.

For this test he lent us the two dedicated 10 AWG BX-cabled AC lines that feed his system.

He did his comparative listening on his own, then called me over to hear for myself.

Furutech GTX-D move to the RTP-6

It didn’t take very long for us to admit that the GTX was far superior to the FT-15A… and that’s when I began to wonder what was going on.

With our old reference socket, the FP-15A®-N1, the sound, which was already good, had a recognizable signature. At higher volume (+94 dB) certain keynotes in the high midrange stood out and voice had a slight aggressive character on a grainy background.

In all our tests, when volume rises over 90 dB certain sonic features stand out clearly.

With the GTX in place, there were no more unpleasant keynotes and voice was perfectly smooth. You would have thought we’d changed system settings, although of course we hadn’t.

Subjective dynamics improved overall.
My first reaction to this was to check that the volume setting hadn’t been changed. It was still the same, and I had to accept that this second listen was really good, much better than the first.

It was less forced at high volume but had better dynamics: more of everything but without colouration or emphasizing some frequencies more than others. Tonal balance was maintained, and that’s very important to my ears.

Attacks were cleaner, bass was tighter and more dynamic.
Along with with the better control of transients, that left us in no doubt.
We had moved to a higher level, against all expectation.

I had been skeptical, certainly, I had no idea I could improve the sound of my system even more with a simple AC socket, and yet…

Listeners who absolutely must have measurements as proof will be disappointed, I have no sound-capturing equipment besides my ears, but for everyone else: the ears worked this time, I guarantee.

Since these tests Yves has bought a Furutech GTX-D® socket and plans to get another, to separate his AC supply into two lines for improved performance.

GTX-D black one


Features of the GTX-D

Rhodium or gold-plated α (Alpha) Pure Copper Conductor (0.8mm)
Nonmagnetic stainless conductor spring system
Body material: Nylon/fiberglass with piezo ceramic and carbon damping material
Cover material: Polycarbonate
Parts anchored with nonmagnetic 2.0mm-thick stainless brace plate
Specified for wire diameters of 4mm (set screw)
Dimensions: 104.0 mm (L) x 47.2 mm (W) x 28.0 mm (H)

GTX-D (R) close up

Because the internal contact system is patented, Furutech can boast it has the best product on the market because there is no eqiuvalent.
For proof you just have to plug in a cord and unplug it.
You can feel right away it’s not an ordinary socket.
You need to insist when you plug in, and once the plug is in it’s there to stay.
The contact is firm and solid.

Back to my home

I set up my second listening test by removing one Furutech FT-15A(R)-N1 socket from my Furutech RTP-6 power bar and putting a GTX rhodium in its place, which left me two double FP-15As and one double GTX-D.
I use the .flac musique files on the NMT hard drive.
The stereo audio signal is brought to the receiver by digital coax and via HDMI for TrueHD and multichannel.
The Furutech bar is plugged into my Belkin PureAV power conditioner.

To make the comparisons simpler, I use only the Yamaha receiver, plugged into three different AC sockets:

1. An ordinary AC contractor-quality wall socket.
2. One of the Furutech FT-15A sockets in the RTP-6 power bar.
3. The Furutech GTX-D newly installed in the RTP-6.

I can easily go from one socket to another, turning the receiver off each time, then switching it right back on again, at the same volume setting, once the plug is in.

Internal contacts Furutech GTX-D (R)

Question : So, is there any audible difference in the sound with the different plugs?
Answer : Yes, without any doubt at all.

To make the test relevant to the greatest possible number of listeners, I used my HT gear for the test, i.e. an NMT Popcorn Hour C200 and a Yamaha RX-V1065 receiver.

This is the kind of equipment you find at Dumoulin in Quebec, at the FNAC in France or at Future Shop in Canada.

But before we go on we should note that the results obtained will obviously vary with the quality of the equipment used. Just to make the listening context perfectly clear: you can’t turn an ordinary horse into a purebred racer, and the sound of a Yamaha RX-V1065 will never rival that of a dedicated hi-fi amplifier.

Listening

With the first, contractor-grade socket the sound is confused. I have the impression the bass is forward and the highs laid back, the stereo image is low and lacks definition. If I bring the volume up to -20dB, the sound gets frankly aggressive, with a coloration I don’t like at all and that some would call the “Yamaha sound”, but wait until you hear what comes next before you jump to that conclusion.

With the second socket, the FP-15A, the music comes back to life, the musical message is much clearer, graininess and confusion have gone, the stereo image is higher, wider and better defined and the voice is clearly placed in the middle of the surrounding instruments. I was able to turn the volume up to -20dB in comfort, the highs were really astonishingly present and clear although there was a slight background coloration in the middle high frequencies.

With socket number 3, the GX-D, I get more dynamics and a significant reduction in noise! Bass is full, remarkably solid and powerful — I didn’t feel this foundation before. The rest of the spectrum is still there. It’s hard to express the feeling, there is no aggressiveness, nothing, not the slightest hair of disagreeable tone. I turn up the volume and… it sounds as though I have another amplifier, plain and simple.

There is a nice 3-D quality to the stereo image, so I get a clear perception of sound planes in depth, width and height. Not too shabby with a simple Yamaha receiver and an NMT!

I would say that the tonal balance is very good given the context.
No frequency band stands out to the detriment of another.
The highs are integrated into the music without unusual emphasis. Socket number 2 lets a little noise through for sure, but it also adds a very nice little something due to the more colored or at least more obvious highs. This helps to reveal more detail, or at least apparent detail.
Must be my hi-fi side taking over

This is when I start thinking very hard about all those glib judgments you hear of the sonic signature of one piece of gear or another. If you know what I’m talking about, I think it might be a good idea to test a bit more carefully before offering this kind of thing for people to take as read. But we digress…

Conclusion

I didn’t believe the distributor when he introduced the GTX-D socket to me as a major development in the Furutech range. He was right about it, though, and thank you, Simon Au.

! What may explain the amazing performance of this AC socket is its unusually solid build coupled with the “clamp” system which provides each contact point with a firm grip over its entire surface. No vibration can get through. It’s by far the best system I’ve ever seen on an AC socket.

Since we’ve never seen anything better in this kind of product, it’s only right to confer the status of “Reference 2010” on the GTX-D ® AC socket in recognition of the R&D effort of an industry leader.

Prix Ultimate Reference 2010

The editorial team is unanimous in recommending the GTX Rhodium version. Don’t forget that to get the best out of your audio or video system you’ll need to work on the electricity that comes into it.

Everything starts with electrical power. All the rest — acoustics, speaker placement, racks and shelves, cables, vibration control — come afterwards.

Three of our systems at the magazine are now equipped with the GTX-D ®. We consider this guarantees the best possible performance and the most reliable tests in the future.

i Want to get the best out of your system?

Why not start with the best right off the bat, a GTX-D ® socket? Ideally you’ll need two, one for digital gear and one for analog.

The Furutech GTX-D ® is without the shadow of a doubt the best on the market currently. With the exceptional FI-50, I think we can affirm without hesitation that it makes the couple of the year and frankly, the best connectors in the industry.

If you can afford them, these new Furutechs will make a solid base on which to build your system.

Our verdict on the GTX-D ® AC wall socket:

Points forts Strengths :

• Exceptional build quality
• High level performance, with a tonal balance second to none,
• Helps to eliminate background noise,
• Patented system,
• Introduces no coloration into the sonic message,
• Has no competition,
• Choice of either gold or rhodium contact plating.
• Makes you want to sit down and listen to music at realistic volume levels.

Points faibles Weaknesses :

• Price.
• Relative fragility of the screws,
• No competition, which makes one strong point a weak one too.

Pricing

• FT-15A(R)-N1:15A 125V duplex receptacle (Rhodium): 104,50$ + tx
• FT-D20A(R) Duplex Receptacle: 181.50$ + tx
• GTX-D(R) 20A-125V Duplex Receptacle, Cuivre plaqué Rhodium: 221.76$ +tx

Test recordings

• Metallica: Nothing Else Matters
• Avichai Cohen: Continuo
• Laurence Revey: Immortal
• Anne Bisson: Blue Mind
• George Faber: Blues.
• Oscar Peterson Trio: We Get Requests [K2HD],
• Analekta (.flac) André Laplante – Chopin_ Sonate No. 2 en si bémol mineur, op. 35 _ I. Grave – Doppio movimento
• Analekta (.flac) Ensemble Caprice – Vivaldi_ Gloria en ré majeur, RV 589 _ I. Allegro_ Gloria in excelsis Deo
• Analekta (.flac) Valérie Milot – Godefroid_ Étude de concert en mi bémol mineur
• Analekta (.flac) VIVALDI_Gloria_I_Caprice
• Analekta (.flac) BEETHOVEN_SymphonyNo7_Allegro_OF_JPTremblay
• Analekta (.flac) BACH_MagnificatBWV243_Magnificat_anima_BachChoir

My system components:

40″ Sony KDL5100 Bravia TV, (excellent value)
Stéréolith model 232 « Audiophile » in the HT setup, the brilliant creation of Walter Schupbach
Yamaha RX-V 1065 receiver
Klipsch RS-W 10 subwoofer with our own mods
Furutech Alpha pure Silver digital cables with Furutech Filament Rhodium connectors.

HDMI cables: the C200 stock cable to the Yamaha receiver and a Real Cable model from the receiver to the Sony TV.

AC power cable to the source: Silver Triton by XSymphony, FI-25 Furutech Rhodium connectors AC power cable to the RTP-6: Figaro silver/rhodium model from the Blueberry Hill Audio range (made in Canada), Furutech FI-28 Rhodium connectors

Belkin Pure AV power conditioner

inovaudio® « Art Métal » audio rack, custom model (made in Canada)

The multimedia room is 3.50m wide x 5.30m long x 2,48m high

Canadian Furutech distributor:

AUDIYO inc Associate
Manager: Simon Au
10520 Yonge Street, Unit 35B, suite 267 Richmond Hill, Ontario L4C3C7
Canadian importer: www.audiyo.com

Manufacturer’s site: www.furutech.com

French Furutech Distributor

L’AUDIODISTRIBUTION
Manager: Jean-Claude Nantois. 22, Avenue Beau Plan – 13013 Marseille
Téléphone: 04.91.06.00.23 – Fax: 04.91.06.75.25
Site web: http://www.laudiodistribution.fr

Next step: mounting the three FT-15A, FP-D 20A and GTX-D sockets in the Furutech RTP-6 power bar for a final test with both audio and video.

Article by Marc Philip, independent publisher, all rights reserved, copyright 2011, text and photos are the property of the author and the magazine, under creative commons licence.

Have a nice day and happy listening !

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