Power stripping

Hot on the high heels of reviewing Furutech's RD-1 and upgraded RD-2 CD/DVD degausser, here's a look at the firm's RTP-6 power distributor. As the nomenclature indicates, it's a 6-outlet (triple duplex) power strip.

Yet one glance at the RTP-6 and you'll hesitate. It's plainly not a mere power stripper seducing you in front of the local audio Emporium for a few bucks of cheap electrifying thrills. Is Furutech gallantly understating the facts then? Or do other power strips suffer the ill effects of avoiding army service - you know, be all that they can be?

For starters, this box does not shanghai so-called hospital-grade outlets from an unrelated field primarily concerned with safety. Instead, the RTP-6 is outfitted with Furutech's proprietary purpose-designed receptacles and IEC inlet. Those are engineered from-the-ground-up and with purely audiophile concerns in mind. The duplexes benefit from rhodium-plated phosphor-bronze contacts embedded in a clear polycarbonate cover atop a glass-filled high temperature Nylon body.

The Teflon-bodied IEC sports the same phosphor-bronze metallurgy. Like the firm's own connectors on the included FT-3T35 power cord and US distributor Jim Wang's Harmonic Technology Fantasy cord, these AC parts are confidence inspiring: Tighter-fitting and thus less prone to wobbling than any others I've seen or used yet.

The internal power distribution wiring is massive low gauge 6N single-crystal copper sheathed in PTFE Teflon. The compact matte silver chassis (4.4" x 9" x 2.125" WxDxH) is extremely dense and CNC-routed from a single block of specially processed aircraft-quality aluminum alloy.

This monolithic structure creates a seamless shielded cage for the innards. The massive black top plate is made of Furutech's proprietary GC-303 compound. It's billed as a specially treated alloy with specific properties said to passively absorb airborne and AC line-induced electromagnetic interference through proximity.

This GC-303 plate is mounted with an epoxy resin and further sealed to the body with four special Torx screws that would require a hollow Torx driver to remove.
Audio-grade receptacle FP-2R (rhodium-plated)

Furutech openly avoids any kind of in-line filtering devices inside the box. They claim those would inhibit dynamics and thus suppress music's energy and spark of life. All parts (fittings, screws, wiring, receptacless) undergo antimagnetic processing.

Hence, based on the raw parts employed and avoided, the RTP-6 is truly just what Furutech claims it is - a power strip. But it's safe to say that the RTP-6 benefits from top-level materials science and execution beyond any other power strip I've every laid eyes on.

Here's the tire kicker: It retails for $800.

Audio-grade IEC FI-10 (rhodium-plated)

This realization kicked off the following consideration: Could the RTP-6's purely passive approach to EMI shielding and optimized conductivity perform as well as full-bore power line conditioners with multistage filtering like my Audio Magic units?

If so, this would be a very low price in the scheme of things that include the $2,495 Shunyata Hydra (also purely passive), the $4,995 Combak Reimyo ALS-777 and $4,200 Sound Application XE-12, all units I'm familiar with in one iteration or another.

Even if it didn't perform quite on their level - plugging the RTP-6 into one outlet of an affordable line conditioner such as the $799 Audio Magic Mini Stealth would produce a total of 7 purified and surge-protected outlets for $1,599.

Following these ruminations, my review agenda proposed itself: How would the RTP-6 compare to my $1,699 Stealth? Could passive filtering hold a candle to active stages? How would single-crystal copper wiring compare to silver conductors? Leviton hospital-grade receptacles to Japanese custom creations? Plastic casings to metal ones (and remember, I would never be able to assign sonic differences to specific parts, just the component as a whole)?

The hewn-from-a-block rock-solid casing of the RTP-6
The connectors on the matching power cords