Richard Gray's Power Company 400S AC line conditioner Letters part 2

Silverton's life's work

Editor: This begins to resemble one's life's work. It's dear old Jonathan Scull again, as in President Reagan's quip, "There you go again."

In the June Stereophile Scull disparages a product which, in the opinion of a large number of impartial audiophiles, is remarkably effective. Your top-tier reviewer judges otherwise, which would be all right, I suppose, were he to occupy a less influential position in this little world of ours. As matters stand, the man's sarcasms and snipes might very well obliterate an innovation deserving of celebration and support. I cannot imagine what motivated Scull's findings. If he's actually reporting on what he heard, well, one wonders...

I've four Richard Gray's Power Company line enhancers upstream from a remarkably revealing system (Wilson WATT/Puppy Six speakers, Mark Levinson No.33H mono power amplifiers and No.39 CD Processor, Nordost SPM balanced interconnects and speaker cables, and Bright Star Audio acoustic isolation devices for all components). To say it again: "revealing." If anyone requires a demonstration, for example, that cables make an audible difference, this rig does the job (footnote 1).

That said, I've found no tweak more effective than the addition of these RGPC line enhancers. The system's crisp dynamic against a field of velvet-smooth silence is the audiophile's answer to excellent sex. With regard to upticks in transparency and resolution, I've found that the RGPC operates in rather magical synergy with a line enhancer I'd been using before the RGPC's arrival (both through the good offices of Clement Perry, the publisher/editor of a webzine to which I contribute). For information about Bill Stierhout's Quantum Symphony and Quantum Symphony Pro products, try (800) 809-5480 or

In the combinations in which I use them, these four RGPC and three Quantum Symphony pieces don't come cheap. (One $600 Quantum Symphony Pro would probably be adequate in tandem with each $700 RGPC.) However, as I'm airing a grievance against Jonathan Scull, whose specialty is hyper-costly gear, I've little reason to be tentative about these recommendations.

I do most sincerely hope that this letter balances out in some small way Jonathan Scull's mischievous report.—Mike Silverton,

If a manufacturer or distributor/importer has a good product they believe in that meets our review criteria, then by all means, they shouldn't keep it a secret! But as I said, RGPC worked hard to get a review in Stereophile, and once we accept in good faith a component for review, we review it in good faith.

I choose these last words with full awareness and responsibility of their meaning. Once the review process has begun, it continues through to its conclusion. We don't pander. If a product doesn't measure up, as it were, we tell it like it is.

I went into this review with my mind open, as well as my ears. I took the RGPC device seriously. I read the company's literature. I tried to digest their claims and match them with my listening impressions. I took the time to put four units through their paces in every imaginable system configuration—my back still hurts! I did a fair amount of research and learned even more about the AC we all take so much for granted.

In the end, I doubted that the RGPC doubled or tripled the AC power available to the associated components, as claimed in the company's literature. But most importantly, I reported exactly what Iheard.

We mostly tell you about products that we enjoy auditioning. Sometimes we have to tell you about those we don't. In every case, our best efforts go into the enterprise. Make what you will of the results, but Stereophile has an obligation to tell its readers what they need to know. To kill the review, as suggested by Mr. Lyman, and quietly return the RGPC units no questions asked, would be an abrogation of that responsibility.

As always, I urge readers to use their own ears and make their own decisions.J-10


Editor: Amen to Jonathan Scull's response to his peanut gallery of detractors ("Letters," August '00, pp.12-15). I read slack-jawed those tedious complaints whimpering about his candor. I am profoundly dubious of nearly any published review. Often I wonder why such a vast majority of reviews speak so gently of products. It's as if something gracious must be said even when a product fails to satisfy a reviewer's expectations.

Simply put, my stock in Stereophile doubled upon reading J-10's review. I have nothing against Richard Gray's Power Company, but I felt that an honest and forthright opinion was being presented in its purest form; not the watered-down mumbling of a gun-shy review panel, who must endlessly placate the ire of their advertisers.

J-10 disliked the 400S. Some may like it. A review is an opinion: an educated and informed opinion, we hope, but still nothing more or less. I would guess that, if polled, Stereophile's readers would demand integrity on the part of the writers. Must we then reward that integrity by demanding censorship when we dislike the opinion offered, and by barraging a reviewer with scornful letters for presenting his objective evaluations with conviction and confidence?

It distresses me that readers would request that Stereophile whitewash its reviews. I look to this magazine to broaden my perspectives on consumer audio equipment and technologies that interest me. Without honest opinions, even when those opinions are at odds with my own, I gain nothing. And while bad news—a bad review—is not necessarily fun, if it's an honest evaluation, then I want it—intact and as is.

Please continue your excellent work, J-10 and others. And do please disregard the childish banter of certain insecure readers who become distraught when your honesty prevents you from simply being a mirror of their own opinions, and when, on occasion, you must be the bearers of bad news.—A. Payne,

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.