This cable was originally sold way back in the 90s. Now it’s back. Paul Rigby reviews the Russ Andrews YellO mains cable
Featuring Kimber’s woven cable design, YellO Power was one of Russ Andrews’ biggest selling cables back in the 90s. The company brought it back to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
YellO has eight high purity copper conductors – four live and four neutral – insulated with PVC. Protected by a flexible braided sheathing, it is available with UK, Euro (Schuko) and USA mains plugs.
I hooked the YellO to my Leema Essentials CD player and turned, initially, to a dynamic piece of electronica from Kreidler via their new album, European Song. This piece of music features strong bass plus multiple secondary percussion and synth effects that hug the base of the mix.
The first thing I noticed was the quiet elements of the music, not the big bass-ridden synth centre stage. That is, there were two minor synth effects on the far left and right channels. Both were far to the extremities of the soundstage, providing a large, rather epic canvas from which the music emerged.
Compared to some of its similarly priced contemporaries, the YellO has a slightly softer initial presentation in terms of bass strikes. This is not, as you might think, a lack of transient attack or sheer power but a low noise effect that merely displays the organic bass characteristics to the full. The lower frequencies maintain their weight and solidity but add, relative to the price, a welcome tonal accuracy.
I was pleased with the instrumental separation that followed the inherent low noise approach to the design which enabled me to find subtle synth, drum and guitar elements in and around the packed and very busy central stereo image.
Because of the YellO’s enhanced precision, there was no bass bloom, midrange smearing or any lack of control in terms of frequency discipline. This is a streamlined and quietly efficient.
Attaching the cable to my Icon Audio PS3 phono amplifier, spinning the Gene Clark vinyl, The Lost Studio Sessions 1964-1982 and playing the track, The Way I Am – one man and his guitar – I was impressed by the restrained nature of the Clark delivery which can be rather bright via some cable designs, especially during the crescendos. There was no lack of edge to his emotional delivery, though, no softening of his vocal attack. Complimenting the voice was the guitar which had a melliferous tone during the strumming, the metallic strings almost ringing softly as a group.
Finally, I turned to Philip Glass and Violin Concerto No.1, Movement I. The violin solo was easily discernible. It’s fine detail never swamped by the often rising lower frequencies behind it. Equally the instrumental separation added air and space and enabled the ear to easily pick up the tiny ringing sound of a triangle within the mix while the bass frequencies from the massed strings provided a grand and rather epic wall of sound that provided its own complicated mass of detail, giving the ear plenty to do and explore.
This budget power cable performs with distinction. Within its own price point, the YellO offers a calming, concise and detailed appraisal of music. The basis of which is the lowering of noise. This one achievement allows much of the above to happen at all. A first class cable.
RUSS ANDREWS YELLO POWER CABLE
Price: [from] £60 per metre
Tel: 01539 797300
GOOD: smooth mids, characterful bass, wide soundstage, transparency
Rega RP3 turntable
Trichord Dino phonostage
Leema Essentials CD player
Rega Brio-R amplifier
Q Acoustics 3020 speakers
Black Rhodium Libra power cable
Other cables via Vertex AQ, Tellurium Q & Atlas