Richard Gray's Power Company 400S AC line conditioner Letters

Letters in response appeared in the August and September 2000 issues of Stereophile

When the Charmin runs out

Editor: After reading Jonathan Scull's review of the Richard Gray's Power Company 400S AC line conditioner (June 2000, p.103), I am again reminded of the two things for which I utilize Stereophile. The first is the information gleaned from "Industry Update." The second is using Jonathan Scull's equipment reviews when the Charmin runs out.—Tom Hamer Memphis, TN,

With three it's heaven!

Editor: My system consists of an Audio Research VT-100 amplifier, driven directly with a Wadia 860x CD player, played through Avalon Arcus speakers. All cabling is NBS Monitor 3. I have used three Richard Gray's Power Company boxes in my system for six months now. The effect I am getting is totally opposite to the experience Jonathan Scull described in the June Stereophile. I am experiencing no grit or smearing in the midrange or treble and the bass is clean and tight. I get none of the "extra bloom" J-10 found. (If the recording has bloom, you get bloom. If it does not, you don't.)

In my system just one Richard Gray filter box was superior to anything I had used before (a Power Wedge 116 and a MIT Z-Center—both fine filter boxes). With three RGPC boxes it's heaven. Please give this product to another reviewer and do a follow-up as soon as possible. This fine product deserves a second listen.—Richard Kern,

A mistake?

Editor: Does something so obviously mean-spirited qualify as a review?

I do not own a Richard Gray's Power Company device. But I have to admit I was curious about it. When I saw that it was being reviewed in the June Stereophile, I bought the issue. The RGPC device was generating so much buzz on the 'Net, I wanted to see what you guys would have to say about it.

After reading the review, I wish you hadn't said anything at all!

I don't think I have ever read a review in Stereophile that, first, did not give me any pertinent information about it, and second, just read as a mean-spirited blast of a product...Oddly enough, I had read somewhere in your pages that you guys were very careful in the selection of units chosen for review, especially with younger companies that possibly weren't ready to be reviewed. Mistakes have been made [when you are] reviewing products from young companies, even when the review was positive. (Brian Damkroger's Ultech review comes to mind.)

So, not only do you review a young company's first product, but you blast it. At no time, in the last two years that I've been reading Stereophile, have I seen a product, that isn't the right term for it, have I seen a product annihilated.

Yes, I've see unfavorable reviews of products or statements like "In my system, this product didn't seem to work well." If Scull were to have at least said that, and owned up to the subjectivism of his system, and his standards, maybe I wouldn't feel so upset. If Scull went into definite terms of different configurations, possibly even different systems in which he used the product, maybe the bile would taste less bitter. But what he wrote was not a review. A review involves evaluating a product for its strengths and faults, neither of which were stated in definite terms.

The tone of Jonathan Scull's review was belittling from the start. After reading the first couple of lines, I could sense that he was about to bash it, but I thought "Well, maybe he's just setting up his bias to later show that his bias was blasted out of the water." Nope, the tone remained. From the opening comments to the cracks he made about the product (mean-spirited cracks I have never seen him make against any other product, mind you), it just read as a slander meant to belittle a product...

I'd like to lay all the blame on Scull for this act of journalistic vandalism, but what surprises me most about the review was that the editor didn't think of pulling it! If I, a reader, can sense the awful tone from the very beginning, how can I believe that no one working for Stereophile looked at it and thought, "Hey, J-10, this isn't really a constructive review." No one stopped it from appearing in print. No one forced a more constructive rewrite. No one thought, maybe it would be in everybody's best interest to pull this review.

As a reader, I certainly didn't feel like Scull's review added to my insight of this product. What I'm left feeling is that Stereophile has badmouthed a product, for reasons not stated to us, the readers, in a review that not in any way was an honest evaluation of product performance.

I ashamed that I paid you guys money to purchase your magazine. It's a mistake I will never make again.—Jason Lyman,

Richard Gray's Power Company
Audio Line Source LLP
2727 Prytania Street #6
New Orleans, LA 70130
(800) 880-3474

ishis's picture

With apologies to all the poor slobs who bought the Richard Gray 400s. Scull was right - these things are worthless. In fact everybody I have spoken-to who owns these things don't even know how they work or what they do!!  Absolute stupidity!

No, they aren't filters - not even close!

Yes - they choke the crap out of amplifiers!

No - they don't make a TV look better. A cheap line filter does that better.

Yes, I have tried them....and rejected them.