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Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Dave B » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:51 pm

... over their £1250 kettle lead by the ASA.

http://asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2011/1/Russ-Andrews-Accessories-Ltd/TF_ADJ_49597.aspx

Turns out that a grand-plus bit of electric string, plug and socket _doesn't_ make your hifi sound much better after all. Who'da thunk..?

:bouncy:
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Zukan » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:02 pm

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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby InactiveX » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:04 pm

Dammit Dave, why couldn't you have posted one hour earlier?

I'd just payed out £2495 for a pair of those U-shaped metal thingies that go in the back of your hi-fi.

If only I'd known sooner about this charlatan. :madas:
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Good stuff. More of the same please ASA!
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby grab » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:32 pm

Someone else reads El Reg then? ;) Yeah, this couldn't happen to a more deserving person.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:25 pm

Just read through all that ASA report and it seems very fair, particularly with regard to the lack of any common mode improvement, and the fact that the quoted measurements were done with 50 ohm source and load impedances, which in no way represents what you’d find in a typical mains supply and PSU.

It’s not quite that it doesn’t make your hi-fi sound better after all, but that no proof has yet been provided :beamup:


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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Dave Rowles » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:43 pm

I think that if you buy expensive cables, there's a certain amount of perception improvement that your brain makes up.

However, I don't imagine for a second that it costs that much to make the cable, and while they may have spent a bit on development, they probably would make it back quicker selling more of them for less money...and probably wouldn't get slapped by the ASA as well.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:51 pm

There are also plenty of hand-plaited DIY designs out there that offer similar distributed capacitance to cancel out any differential more RD interference.

Not quite as slick-looking as a machine-plaited one, but probably nearly as effective.


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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Steve Hill » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:46 pm

I wonder how many hi-fi journals who make a living reviewing this crap will print the story?
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby grab » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:02 pm

It’s not quite that it doesn’t make your hi-fi sound better after all, but that no proof has yet been provided


I.E. the same reason that patent offices now ask for a working prototype when someone tries to patent a perpetual-motion machine... :smirk:
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby jellyjim » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:26 pm

The sad thing is it probably won't effect sales!
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby narcoman » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:51 pm

he doesn't sell anything - just to one or two suckers. So i wouldn't worry too much.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby vinyl_junkie » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:55 pm

That's great but I want the dude who sells them room resonators under investigation even more hahah
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby David O' Connell » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:02 pm

I think it's only fair to point out that Russ Andrews was pulled up for one item. I have bought the occasional product from his company and yes they actually did make my Hi Fi sound better. And before anyone tells me, no it didn't just make it sound different. It was definitly better. Many of his products are well made to a high standard. The law of diminishing returns does kick in of course at some point and some people are crazy to pay the money for some of his very high end stuff. But I think it's important to be fair. It's not always snake oil.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby onesecondglance » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:34 pm

... buuuuuuuut most of the time it is.

reading the ASA report brought a big smile to my face. made a rubbish day at the office a lot happier. :D
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby forumuser695516 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:36 pm

David O' Connell wrote:I think it's only fair to point out that Russ Andrews was pulled up for one item. I have bought the occasional product from his company and yes they actually did make my Hi Fi sound better. And before anyone tells me, no it didn't just make it sound different. It was definitly better. Many of his products are well made to a high standard. The law of diminishing returns does kick in of course at some point and some people are crazy to pay the money for some of his very high end stuff. But I think it's important to be fair. It's not always snake oil.

So it was you that bought those green CD pens..
;)

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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby David O' Connell » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:16 pm

~Paul wrote:[

So it was you that bought those green CD pens..
;)

Paul

They were green actually. But thats beside the point. Hands up all those who have actually tried a mains lead or mains block or some other useful item and compared them to the bog standard ones. I would very much like everyone to at least check out this link read and comment again.
http://www.russandrews.com/viewindex.asp?article_id=astoria&src=blog
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:41 pm

David O' Connell wrote:I would very much like everyone to at least check out this link read and comment again.
http://www.russandrews.com/viewindex.asp?article_id=astoria&src=blog

I probably shouldn't say this but I'm afraid that Andy Jackson has always seemed a little gullible as far as these tweaks are concerned. If I see that he's endorsed something then I know that it probably isn't worth buying.

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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby forumuser695516 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:15 pm

David O' Connell wrote:
They were green actually.


Umm, yes, thats what I said :headbang:

David O' Connell wrote:
Hands up all those who have actually tried a mains lead or mains block or some other useful item and compared them to the bog standard ones. I would very much like everyone to at least check out this link read and comment again.




In which case, by replacing your mains cable/s, you are not even doing half the job.. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, right? So chop chop and rip your entire house apart, replace all the wiring and junctions behind the wall and under the floors and fit a new gold plated fuse box while you are at it. Because if an IEC cable makes a difference, then so does all that other kit too. In fact, the 200 odd miles of high voltage supply cables going from your house/studio to various substations and the power station also make a difference. Perhaps Russ Andrews will go the whole hog and offer a quality upgrade solution for that too?

Back here on earth though.. I've been to some well respected musicians studios and big commercial studios here & there, and not one of them used any of that stuff. Not that I peered behind every rack mind. But im sure Id have noticed the comedy cables around the place if they were there..
As much as I like and respect Pink Floyd/Gilmour. And as much as im sure AJ is a great engineer, that article still reeks of absolute (sponsored) BS.

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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby David O' Connell » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:30 pm

I think most quality studios pay attention to their mains supply in some way. If you use bell wire for your mains it will affect things. I hold no brief for Russ Andrews especially but I think it's important to be fair. It's easy to jump on the snake oil bandwagon. We all agree that a good microphone cable helps us to get the best from a microphone. There are I'm sure plenty of cheap crap cables out there. Does that make the manufactures of the good ones suspect. Is monster cable crap because it claims basically what Russ Andrews claims that attention to detail in manufacture and components makes a difference. Russ Andrews is in the business of making money and I agree many of his products are over hyped to fool the gullible. But I still think that his original basic products are very good.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Tui » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:48 pm

Steve Hill wrote:I wonder how many hi-fi journals who make a living reviewing this crap will print the story?


I'm so losing respect for journalists, not only those that write about audio and hi-fi, but in general. Politics, economics, film, art, music, even science... 80-90% of the stuff published today is utter rubbish. Many journalists seem to do little more than copy/paste some nonsense they don't understand, but read someplace else.

A fellow musician, a double bass player, recently went back to the States to make some money. He writes articles on medical drugs for large pharmaceutical companies. He explained to me that he hasn't got a clue what he's writing about - he simply takes a few existing papers and articles and re-writes them. He said that it doesn't matter that he's no expert, but he got the job because he knows how to write. He said he gets paid handsomely.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Dave B » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:39 pm

Yes, I'm a fellow El Reg reader ... ;)

This caused much merriment at work especially with those of us that have recently bought hdmi leads... supposedly and independent study has now shown that there is no difference between the expensive (many hundreds of pounds - really) and the 99p versions....
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby narcoman » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:13 am

David O' Connell wrote:I think most quality studios pay attention to their mains supply in some way. If you use bell wire for your mains it will affect things. I hold no brief for Russ Andrews especially but I think it's important to be fair. It's easy to jump on the snake oil bandwagon. We all agree that a good microphone cable helps us to get the best from a microphone. There are I'm sure plenty of cheap crap cables out there. Does that make the manufactures of the good ones suspect. Is monster cable crap because it claims basically what Russ Andrews claims that attention to detail in manufacture and components makes a difference. Russ Andrews is in the business of making money and I agree many of his products are over hyped to fool the gullible. But I still think that his original basic products are very good.

Attention to detail is one thin g- but attention detail doesn't cost that much. And yes - there is NO difference between a £10 IEC cable and ANY other more expensive type.

Cheap cable crap out because of bad connects or very low quality materials. You don't need to spend a lot to get excellent top drawer quality in connectors or cables. My speakers cables are quite pricey - but not the stupid monies that that darn website offers!! hoho
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Steve Hill » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:59 am

David O' Connell wrote: I would very much like everyone to at least check out this link read and comment again.
http://www.russandrews.com/viewindex.asp?article_id=astoria&src=blog

I've had an album mastered at Andy Jackson's place. I've also had one done at Abbey Road.

Both do a good job.

There's no evidence whatsoever (in my mind) that a shedload of solid silver Kimber cables and Russ Andrews kettle leads contributed one iota to the finished product or made it in any way "better" than the Abbey Road offering.

I did gently raise the snake oil conversation with Andy who swears that in an A-B comparison at Dave Gilmour's studio he was personally convinced that there was an audible difference. But I'm not sure there's ever been an album made, by anybody, where any such difference is not going to be completely buried by all the other compromises.

In short, Abbey Road is "good enough" for 99.9999% of mortals. If I had £5 million to spend, I'd still spend it on upgrading everything else first, before I considered buying a single Russ Andrews product.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby The Red Bladder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:01 am

David O' Connell wrote:I think most quality studios pay attention to their mains supply in some way. If you use bell wire for your mains it will affect things. I hold no brief for Russ Andrews especially but I think it's important to be fair. It's easy to jump on the snake oil bandwagon. We all agree that a good microphone cable helps us to get the best from a microphone. There are I'm sure plenty of cheap crap cables out there. Does that make the manufactures of the good ones suspect. Is monster cable crap because it claims basically what Russ Andrews claims that attention to detail in manufacture and components makes a difference. Russ Andrews is in the business of making money and I agree many of his products are over hyped to fool the gullible. But I still think that his original basic products are very good.


1. Nobody uses bell wire as a mains lead.

2. Monster is every bit as guilty of selling snake oil.

3. Anybody who sells speaker cable with directional arrows on it is a charlatan.

4. I have tested various types of mains conditioners, inc. the RA 'Sniffer' for a general article for another magazine and they made things marginally worse for some types of budget equipment, as they interfere with the earthing. Non of these boxes improve good equipment with adequate PSUs with a good and solid earth connection.

5. The Gilmour article reflects a common phenomenon - people have raggle-taggle installations with poor earthing. Along comes a snake oiler and offers them cable with magic Spong-Connectors. In installing this crap, they sort out the earthing and hey-presto! Noise levels improve, as if by magic!

6. We are far from agreed that "good microphone cable helps us to get the best from a microphone" - as long as the cable is up to the task of allowing what goes in at one end to come out of the other, it is OK. Cable is totally passive and buying magic cable is, to quote Shakespeare, 'fool's errand.'

7. There used to be a great deal of sub-standard cable knocking about and being sold as suitable for professional audio, this was up to the 80s and is just no longer the case. Companies like Klotz, Bespeco and a whole host of others, sell good quality cable in 100m rolls at low prices and these perform every bit as well as the esoteric nonsense cables.

8. All these cables will deal with frequencies up to RF and nearly all hi-fis cap their ins and outs and internal connections at 20kHz anyway. Also, nearly all microphones do the same - a fact that the hi-fi buffs who twitch over 96kHz systems conveniently forget!
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby grab » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:47 am

they sort out the earthing and hey-presto! Noise levels improve, as if by magic!


That was my problem with the linked article too. It's not an A-B comparison. And the engineering decisions made are pretty dodgy too. Like those magic mains filters - anyone halfway competent at things electrical would say b*ll*cks to that and install a double-conversion sine-wave UPS in a cupboard somewhere instead.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Zukan » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:52 am

Dave B wrote:Yes, I'm a fellow El Reg reader ... ;)

This caused much merriment at work especially with those of us that have recently bought hdmi leads... supposedly and independent study has now shown that there is no difference between the expensive (many hundreds of pounds - really) and the 99p versions....

Yep, bought 4 really good shielded DHMI cables from Amazon at £2.30 each. Work perfectly.

I went to the Sony Centre to check out the new B3E 40 " jobbie and the manager there did a Russ on me (BTW, this is now designated as a new word) and tried to convince me that the £24.99 HDMI cables he had did a better job. I asked him to eplain the physics to me; he couldn't. I asked him to show me using a cheaper comparable; he couldn't.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby InactiveX » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:22 am

Zukan wrote:I went to the Sony Centre to check out the new B3E 40 " jobbie and the manager there did a Russ on me (BTW, this is now designated as a new word)...


It's an excellent word. As with so many slang nouns, you could make it a verb as well, eg. "I only went into PC World for a cheap power supply, but the spod in there was russing with me something bad".
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Zukan » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:46 am

Yeah, I like that one.

Ok, so it's confirmed then.
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Re: Russ Andrews get slapped wrists ...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:49 am

I agree completely with the Bladder on these points:

The Red Bladder wrote:1. Nobody uses bell wire as a mains lead.

2. Monster is every bit as guilty of selling snake oil.

3. Anybody who sells speaker cable with directional arrows on it is a charlatan.

4. I have tested various types of mains conditioners, inc. the RA 'Sniffer' for a general article for another magazine and they made things marginally worse for some types of budget equipment, as they interfere with the earthing. Non of these boxes improve good equipment with adequate PSUs with a good and solid earth connection.

5. The Gilmour article reflects a common phenomenon - people have raggle-taggle installations with poor earthing. Along comes a snake oiler and offers them cable with magic Spong-Connectors. In installing this crap, they sort out the earthing and hey-presto! Noise levels improve, as if by magic!

6. We are far from agreed that "good microphone cable helps us to get the best from a microphone" - as long as the cable is up to the task of allowing what goes in at one end to come out of the other, it is OK. Cable is totally passive and buying magic cable is, to quote Shakespeare, 'fool's errand.'

7. There used to be a great deal of sub-standard cable knocking about and being sold as suitable for professional audio, this was up to the 80s and is just no longer the case. Companies like Klotz, Bespeco and a whole host of others, sell good quality cable in 100m rolls at low prices and these perform every bit as well as the esoteric nonsense cables.

8. All these cables will deal with frequencies up to RF and nearly all hi-fis cap their ins and outs and internal connections at 20kHz anyway. Also, nearly all microphones do the same - a fact that the hi-fi buffs who twitch over 96kHz systems conveniently forget!

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