What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 15 Jan 2009, 4:00pm

Russ Andrews Powerlink

Tested at £112

A roaring success in many ways, but ideally we'd like something slightly less prim-sounding

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  • Smooth, detailed and refined sound


  • Can rob recordings of some attack

How much of the ongoing 'mains product' argument can we take as read? This is only a short review, so let's just say some people are more convinced of the merits of a £78 mains block than others.

Four stars should indicate that we're among the partial, but it also shows we're not fully convinced by this specific 78 quid's-worth.

On the plus side, the bigger side in this case, the Powerlink delivers greater spaciousness and detail to our reference stereo set-up.

We wouldn't characterise our test Naim/Bryston/ATC system's sound as particularly coarse ordinarily, but the Russ Andrews smoothed any rough edges, opened up the sound agreeably and liberated the finest points of Mogwai's May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door with casual efficiency.

Civilising unruly sound
The downside of this additional insight is an unwelcome gentility. The song loses some urgency, lacking the drive and attack evident without the Powerlink in place, replacing it in part with a stateliness of which we can't wholly approve.

So if you have a relatively crude, bolshy system, the Powerlink could be just the thing to introduce a note of civility into your sound. And even if your set-up is well sorted, the Russ Andrews is certain to dig up a bit more detail than you've been used to.

Whether you approve of the accompanying decorousness is another question entirely.

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