Russ Andrews AC-24 1000 Rega Turntable upgrade: Power Up!
3rd February 2015
If you own a Rega RP3 turntable and fancy an upgrade, you might want to take a look at this new power supply from Russ Andrews. Paul Rigby reviews the AC-24 1000
What is it with Rega? I’ve never known a company whose turntables can be tweaked, modified and upgraded in so many ways. Great for owners, though because it means that the sonic abilities of their favourite turntable improves but they never lose that essential Rega personality, the sound that attracted them in the first place.
In this case, the upgrade is a new power supply from Russ Andrews which is a rather macho item when compared to the default, dinky offering from Rega. I’m a great believer of large power supplies and see them as the heart of good sound for just about every single hi-fi component on the market.
This example features a precision rack-wound transformer. You will also find woven Kimber Kable that links the power supply to your RP3. And look, I’m rambling on about the RP3 because that was the piece of kit of I attached to this box but you can also upgrade other Rega components with the AC-24 1000 including the Fono MM and MC (these need a 2.5mm plug though, so tell Russ Andrews before you buy) and the TTPSU.
I was about to turn to jazz to start my tests but switched to a variant. Eydie Gorme and a slice of bossna nova on the album, Cuatro Vidas, with the El Trio Los Panchos. Gorme sang a soft ballad, Vereda Tropical, with a trio of voices, Spanish guitars and conga drums. I selected this LP to focus more on the mids and treble areas of the sound spectrum.
Playing this track again with the new power supply provided a sudden change in perspective and it was all down to one thing, a dramatic lowering of the noise floor. This one change affected the entire soundstage, the vocals and instruments and how the ear received them all.
Gorme’s vocal delivery is romantic, sultry and husky at the best of times but the new power supply allowed her emotive delivery to plug directly into the heart strings and more besides. I found myself blushing for half the track, such was the sexy nature of the Gorme presentation. Getting myself together and attempting to become professional about the matter in hand, I was very impressed with the percussion as produced by the congas and what sounded like heavy-weight maracas. With the new power supply, both of these minor percussive instruments had a measure of separation for the first time while subtle, plucked guitar strings were now obviously part of the mix instead of floating in and out of it. Also, in general terms, the silence that infused the track was notable for its blackness. This produced an uplifting experience in terms of overall enjoyment.
Turning to more dynamic music, I played a newly re-released Joy Division album, Substance and played the rather chaotic song, Warsaw. The reduction of the noise floor affected this track more than the Gorme performance or, rather, the improvements, because there’s plenty of musical noise in the first place, was more of a positive surprise. Hence, the lead vocal which, previously seemed to have musical noise up around his ears, pushed that noise down to his hips. That is, the vocal now had room to manoeuvre and to express itself. More than that, the cymbal splashes throughout provided a fragile reaction with a great reverb off each. Bass was also tighter and stronger in character.
The sonic improvements affected by this upgraded power supply are not subtle. The reduction in the noise floor applies dramatic enhancements to all frequencies and aspects of the sonics. Also take into account that I used a basic kettle-type cable. The addition of a better quality cable (whether that be one of Russ Andrews’ own Kimber variety or something from Tellurium Q or Black Rhodium) will increase the sound quality still further.
Would I recommend this power supply if you are looking to buy a RP3? Possibly not, as the combined upfront price allows you to take a serious look at the likes of a ProJect Experience Basic+ and almost an Avid Ingenium. For those users who already have a RP3, though, this upgraded power supply is a complete no-brainer. For just £200, you will seriously enhance your turntable. As it stands, this Russ Andrews power supply is a great edition to the RP3 user’s armoury.
RUSS ANDREWS AC-24 1000
Tel: 01539 797300
Good: low noise floor, clarity, transparency, easy to install
Rega RP3 turntable
Icon PS3 Phono amplifier
Icon MB845 Mk.II monoblocks
Aesthetix Calypso Pre-amp
Quad ESL-57 One Thing modified speakers
Vertex AQ & Atlas cables