Go Back   Forums @ The Digital Fix > Gadgets and Gizmos > Home Entertainment Hardware forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-01-2006, 19:15   #1
Radiohead
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geek
 
Radiohead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Button Moon
Posts: 24,884
Thanks: 37
Thanked 194 Times in 134 Posts
If this isn't just a £30 kettle lead, I'll eat my hat

My new year resolution is to have more Johnny Ball home science experiment moments. Which brings me on to reader David Stafford. "Today, I received a catalogue from a UK hi fi company called Russ Andrews," he begins. You can find their web site at www.russandrews.com. On the front page is a power cable that costs £29.95. "If anyone buys this," he says, "they will need their heads examined."

The American philosopher George Gale identifies two types of science: "cookbook science", which works out, perhaps by trial and error, whether something does work; and "explanatory science", which seeks to offer explanations and mechanisms for the observed generalisations of the cookbook stuff.

The "YellO Power" is indeed a 30 quid power cable, of the type that you might colloquially identify as a kettle lead. It's about a metre long and has a 3 pin 240v plug. This is their claim for efficacy, verbatim: "Replacing the mains cable to any of your hi-fi or home cinema components means they perform better, giving you less distortion, clearer pictures, and more musicality, so that you enjoy your music and movies even more!"

So how do they reckon it works? "The key to the success of the Russ Andrews mains cables is the unique Kimber cable weave. The woven mains cable has been proven to dramatically reduce sound-degrading radio frequency interference on the mains supply and to reject further pick up of RFI."

Let's think about how electricity gets from the national grid to that wall socket, where you plug in the kettle lead that powers your stereo. It zooms along huge cables between big pylons (at very high voltages, because higher voltages can get down long lines with less waste) and then gets turned into 240v at your local substation. Then it travels a fairly long distance from the substation to your house before it comes through the metering stuff. Then the power has got to go up the stairs, around the walls and under the floor to the socket next to your stereo. All of these voyages are fabulous opportunities for the cable to act as an antenna, and pick up radio frequencies that could present themselves as noise in the final sound coming out of your speakers. The cable might stop the last metre or so from picking up radio noise, but if radio noise really is a problem, it will probably be there already, from the huge length of preceding cables. I can't imagine how this expensive kettle lead is going to filter it out.

I'm told that Russ Andrews is away but that he will show me measured proof on his return. If I'm wrong I'll eat my hat, but I am unaware of any published evidence that an expensive power cable can make your hi-fi sound better. If I'm correct, and such evidence does not exist, then what we have here is an important gap in the research literature. More important, possibly, than both a cure for malaria and a fix for global warming. So I have a challenge: if there is somebody out there, somebody who sells power cables for £30 perhaps, or who works for a hi-fi magazine, and they reckon they can tell the difference, significantly more consistently than would be expected by chance, in a robust, double blind, randomised trial, head to head, of these expensive power leads, up against a normal cheap-o kettle lead which I shall provide, then let them come forward.

James Randi has a million dollars on offer for anyone who can demonstrate empirical evidence for their incredible claims under laboratory conditions. If you can spot the difference here, under sitting room conditions, I'm offering you the glory, the warm glow that comes from contributing empirical data to the sum of human knowledge, and a free bogus PhD in the subject of your choice, as long as I can find one cheap enough. I'm absolutely serious and I'm itching to be proved wrong. Please send your bad science to bad.science@guardian.co.uk

http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/badsc...681151,00.html

__________________
Documentary Wedding Photographer | "Hills, more hills, nothing but hills. I thought it would never end" - Rene Pottier
Radiohead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 19:39   #2
Baz
Trusted User
 
Baz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Market Weighton
Posts: 3,513
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
That site actually has a 1m component cable on sale for £789!!!

I wonder how stupid the person who buys that actually is.

Last edited by Baz; 07-01-2006 at 19:40.
Baz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 20:04   #3
Deaks
Not a movie snob!
 
Deaks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: N:51°21'/E:1°06'
Posts: 2,589
Thanks: 5
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
The same people who'll buy HD-DVD or BluRay this year?

Deaks.
Deaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 20:11   #4
AndyWilson
--------old-geek
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 11,921
Thanks: 117
Thanked 378 Times in 177 Posts
Good job they didn't see the £430 mains cable

Mind you, it is reduced from £540, so maybe it should be in the Bargain Forum?
AndyWilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 20:34   #5
Radiohead
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geek
 
Radiohead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Button Moon
Posts: 24,884
Thanks: 37
Thanked 194 Times in 134 Posts
Those prices are mental aren't they.
Radiohead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 20:46   #6
stephen
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,120
Thanks: 23
Thanked 152 Times in 127 Posts
This one makes me laugh:

http://www.russandrews.com/product.a...HSEGTZGBBDIFZO

£546 for a cable that carries a 6Mbit signal! I work in the broadcast industry any broadcasters pay about 80p/metre for a cable thats used to carry a 1500Mbit/s signal.

I'm surprised they haven't got a Russ Andrews precision haircut for optimising the frequency reponse of your ears.
stephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 20:55   #7
Guest 17522
Can barely read or tpye !
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: (sky of blue) ... (sea of green) ... (in our yellow) ... (submarine)
Posts: 4,011
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
If you think that's nuts then $800 buys you one of these

Mike.
Guest 17522 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 21:28   #8
Guest 29445
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 3,411
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Do you think all the customer testimonials are made up?

Or maybe it's just some mugs with more money than sense, who who have paid a small fortune for some fancy length of cable that doesn't really make any noticeable difference, but are too up their own arses to admit it to themselves for fear of not being a true "audiophile"?

The same sort of people who claim that they can tell the difference between a CD and an MP3 recorded at 320 kbit/s.
Guest 29445 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 22:02   #9
Guest 43811
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 902
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
I think this beats them all though:
http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

Quote:
One Large BP (pebble) on satellite TV receiver produces considerably better image density, resolution & color saturation.
Guest 43811 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 22:07   #10
Radiohead
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geek
 
Radiohead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Button Moon
Posts: 24,884
Thanks: 37
Thanked 194 Times in 134 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew1810
I think this beats them all though:
http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm
http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina19.htm

Customer comments therein

__________________
Documentary Wedding Photographer | "Hills, more hills, nothing but hills. I thought it would never end" - Rene Pottier
Radiohead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 23:48   #11
Guest 30887
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: London
Posts: 3,165
Thanks: 3
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
I know someone taken in by all this who goes on about what a difference his £50 power cables made. Rather sad really.

I find the mains extensions section even more hilarious - a Megacube at £100 that appears to be a £2 adaptor with a sticker on it, and the mains blocks look uncannily similar to ones we have in the server rooms at work!
Guest 30887 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 00:19   #12
Guest 31284
Trusted User
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 2,455
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by abarthman
Do you think all the customer testimonials are made up?

Or maybe it's just some mugs with more money than sense, who who have paid a small fortune for some fancy length of cable that doesn't really make any noticeable difference, but are too up their own arses to admit it to themselves for fear of not being a true "audiophile"?

The same sort of people who claim that they can tell the difference between a CD and an MP3 recorded at 320 kbit/s.
You should pop over to the av forums one day to see how many members there rave on about Russ Andrews products
Guest 31284 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 00:24   #13
Guest 31284
Trusted User
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 2,455
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen
I'm surprised they haven't got a Russ Andrews precision haircut for optimising the frequency reponse of your ears.
Close. They sell one of these

EDIT
Surely this is a wind up and people don't really buy this stuff. Do they?

Last edited by Malabbey; 08-01-2006 at 00:27.
Guest 31284 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 00:46   #14
stephen
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,120
Thanks: 23
Thanked 152 Times in 127 Posts
It must be a joke surely - adding an extra earth to your sockets will improve bass performance:

http://www.russandrews.com/product.a...SIRF%20%20alt=
stephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 01:47   #15
Guest 29445
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 3,411
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Truth About Interconnects and Cables

"* Power leads will rarely (if ever) have any effect on the sound, provided they are of reasonable construction and are not inducing noise into (unshielded) interconnects. The only exceptions are those that use filters of some sort, which will reduce the noise floor in areas where interference is a problem.

Some leads are of flimsy construction, and may reduce the available power for sustained loud passages, however, the difference will rarely exceed 1dB in most cases.

* Speaker cables can (and sometimes do) sound different with a given amplifier and loudspeaker combination, even where they are well designed and of reasonable gauge. Excluded are very thin or extremely silly combinations - these will always do something to the sound, rarely good.

* Interconnects might sound different, but only if they use odd construction techniques. Generally speaking, all properly (sensibly) designed and well made interconnects will sound the same - excluding noise pickup which is common with unshielded designs."


I wonder what the author of that article would think of Russ Andrews's products?
Guest 29445 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 09:26   #16
Guest 1924
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 6,413
Thanks: 6
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
I once read in a serious hi-fi magazine 20 years ago that removing one strand from 79 strand cable "makes it sound so much better"
Guest 1924 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 09:40   #17
Kryten
Administrator
 
Kryten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: In my own little world
Posts: 29,857
Thanks: 70
Thanked 219 Times in 191 Posts
A lot of cable prices are crazy, but working on the principle of 10-15% of the overall system cost to be spent on leads imagine how much the components must be to make that rule work
__________________
Forum Moderator: Mail Me
The Digital Fix | Tweals
Kryten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 10:08   #18
NicolaUK
Trusted User
 
NicolaUK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 31,142
Thanks: 358
Thanked 371 Times in 249 Posts
I looked at that site over Christmas and ran away when I saw the prices
NicolaUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 10:59   #19
tizza
cranial deficient
 
tizza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 16,801
Thanks: 570
Thanked 437 Times in 331 Posts
And everyone said I got ripped off buying a 12 quid printer cable from pc world!






I did!
tizza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2006, 13:20   #20
Guest 15513
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Falkirk
Posts: 2,234
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by tizza
And everyone said I got ripped off buying a 12 quid printer cable from pc world!






I did!
Guest 15513 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 14:22.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018 Poisonous Monkey Ltd. Part of The Digital Fix Network