Richard Gray's Power Company Model 1200s Line Enhancer
|Richard Gray's Power Company Model 1200s Line Enhancer|
|15 December 2000|
The power of two RGPC 400S' wired in parallel, 12 Hubbell outlets, 20 amp systems
100-130 VAC 50/60 (220-240 available) 20amp IEC connector w/detachable 12 guage power cord with standard 3 prong A/C plug
Width - 17.25" (448.50mm) w/rack mount kit 19" (494,50mm)
Height w/rubber feet - 5.28" (137.30mm)
Height wo/rubber feet - 4.36" (120.40mm)
Depth - 9.50" (247.00mm)
Net 43.60lbs (19.78 kg) Weight shipping 50lbs (922.70kg)
Essentially, the Richard Gray's Power Company 1200S line enhancer consists of a pair of RGPC 400S's in one package. Rather than the 400S's four female receptacles, the 1200S offers six per side. It also differs from the 400S in its power-cord requirement: the 1200S calls for a 20-amp female IEC, thus rendering power cords with 15-amp female IEC's inapplicable. Of course the 1200S comes with its own appropriately terminated power cord. More about this in a moment.
The 1200S is a handsome device, with its sculpted, 3/8th-inch-thick black faceplate at the center of which sits Audio Source's optionally illuminated power-station logo. (The on-off switch is in the rear.)
I wasn't expecting to receive a 1200S. I had my six RGPC 400S's comfortably nestled in the trench behind the platform upon which my Levinson No. 33H amps, No. 39 CD player, and Ortho Spectrum Analogue Reconstructor sit, and the system was sounding good. I reacted to the 1200S's arrival with a tepid very nice, but what on earth do I need it for? I share a small loft with a fastidious interior designer. Milady and your reporter survived a massive (self-inflicted) renovation, and where things now go, as a matter of esthetics, is yet more critical than heretofore. Further, the space the sound system occupies isn't exactly prairie-wide. Or deep. However, an audiophile's curiosity prevailed. Scant inches to spare, I shifted the Bright Star Audio Air Mass, Big Rock and Little Rock assemblage on which the CD player and Analogue Reconstructor sit to the platform's front edge and positioned the 1200S directly behind, thereby masking its manly good looks.
That question again: What on earth do I need this for? After a short spell of listening, the answer would appear to be, For yet better sound. Yes, yes, we subjectivists are an impressionable, excitable lot, but I am intimately familiar with this system and the room in which it operates, and I do most sincerely believe the improvements the 1200S brings to be real -- not I-can-even-hear-the-difference-in-the-shower sensational; subtle, rather. Remember, the 1200S has been added to a mix consisting already of six RGPC 400S's.
And then there's that power-cord. When I applied Acoustic Zen Technologies' Krakatoa power cords to the original six, I heard a difference that gladdened my days. Nothing subtle about it at all. I was keen to know whether the 1200S would also profit from a power-cord substitution. I requested of AZ a Krakatoa with a 20-amp female IEC, it arrived soon after, and the answer is yes. Remember that game we played as little kids? You needed to request permission to move. "May I?" "Yes, you may." Something along those lines. The giant steps I earlier took. Baby steps now. In terms of power conditioning, I'd pretty much climbed to the top of Parnassus ante 1200S.
My experience of designer power cords is limited to API, XLO, Harmonic Technology (including HT's super-whoopee Magic), and Acoustic Zen. By contrast, my colleague Jim Merod's experience in this department is vast. In Jim's opinion, the Krakatoa is the best he's come across. I can only add to Jim's good opinion the impression that the Krakatoa and RGPC work together magically well. Which means what, exactly?
There is no easy answer. We have to remind ourselves, I think, that in evaluating an addition like the 1200S, it joins an assemblage to which it contributes something unique. But so then does the Ortho Spectrum Analogue Reconstructor, as do Bill Stierhout's weird-science Quantum Symphony and Quantum Symphony Pro podlets, as do Acoustic Zen's interconnects, speaker cables and power cords, as do Bright Star Audio's Big Rocks, Air Mass and Little Rock, indeed, as does the room with its wonderful high ceiling and many irregular surfaces. Not to neglect the 1200S's six RGPC 400S predecessors. A system consists of the sum of its parts enclosed by an environment. As obvious as that may seem, we tend to forget.
So what are the 1200S's distinctions? Sonics now are much as they were, yet subtly superior. Only two of the 1200S's dozen receptacles are occupied: the big RGPC is dedicated for now to the Levinson No.39 CD player and the Analogue Reconstructor. (My Levinson 33H monos now have their own 400S daisy-chain threesome, which they no longer share with the CD player and Analogue Reconstructor.) Among the CDs I played for this evaluation is an old, guilty-pleasure favorite on John Zorn's Tzadik label, TZ 7004, Arnold Drayblatt / Animal Magnetism. Dreyblatt's seven-strong ensemble, The Orchestra of Excited Strings, consists of a number of zing-ping-twangy devices and percussion. I play this disc as an antidote to the vapors. It's also proved effective against the fantods, droops and heebie-jeebies. This is rhythmically bracing, high-energy stuff, as well as a workout for any good rig. I acquired Animal Magnetism several system-iterations ago. It always came across as the superbly dynamic, beautifully recorded thing it is, yet yesterday's experience was something quite special. I'd never heard it so exquisitely detailed, even when the going was rock-slide raucous. I've always been impressed by the WATT / Puppy Sixes' low end. Yesterday I was awed.
Perhaps you agree that an equipment commentary's most tiresome aspect is the accounting of recordings the writer played in arriving at his impressions. I'll spare you. I've been listening to a number of things for the next issue of LaFolia.com and played quite a few of them over the past few days with the 1200S in place. As I say, subtle but there.
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