The Double Helix MK1i is a major upgrade of our entry-level Clearview Power Conditioning Strip that has been besting expensive power conditioners for 15 years. The incorporated upgrades are higher purity copper conductors, better sounding insulation, tighter field-cancelling twist construction, and our new, radically-purist maple AC plug. It includes a grounded, six outlet receptacle made of the same superb polymer used in the very best audiophile caps.
If you are using an ordinary or hospital grade power strip, replacing it with a Clearview Power Strip is likely to be one of the biggest system upgrades you can make. Since their introduction in 2000, users consistently report their system sounds far cleaner and more detailed compared to any famous-brand line conditioner, including the PS Audio, Shunyatta, Furman, MIT, Richard Grey, Chang, Tice, Power Wedge, Monster, Tripplite, Audio Prism and Furutech. Every component connected to our Strip will unleash new-found clarity and realism as layers of AC grunge are peeled away.
Optional Surge Protection
All models are available with optional surge protection. Standard surge protection technologies really degrade good sound and are too slow-responding to protect well against lightning-associated transients. We utilize a gas plasma technology that verges on inaudibility, no more than 1% to 2% loss in sound quality, and an 8 to 20 nanosecond response time--fast enough to protect well.
Design and Performance
• The new upgrades include: a) significantly better-sounding conductors with both higher purity copper and better quality dielectric coating; b) 25% tighter twist for better field cancellation and shielding; c) an all-new Mapleshade designed and fabricated AC plug with ultra-thin, hollow, unplated brass conductors that greatly reduce skin effect and a maple body yielding far lower dielectric absorption. The conductors of the Clearview AC Power Cord are identical to our speaker cable. The grounding scheme is a modified version of the Double Helix speaker cable's approach.
• The IEC connector is produced for us to our specification. The design minimizes the dielectric absorption and uses an unusually good-sounding polymer, selected after extensive comparative listening tests. The internal brass conductors are unplated and of the thinnest possible gauge for lower skin effect. The resulting IEC plug has, by a surprising margin, the best sonics we've heard.
• For even better performance, the MK2i version of our AC Cord builds on the MK1i design, adding a pair of "outrigger" ground wires that run parallel to the Double Helix twisted pair power conductors (about 6" to the left and right of the power wires). Because the outriggers reshape the power cord's field structure in such a way as to reduce interaction between the power wires, the MK2i has noticeably better dynamics, more bass weight, more warmth, and even cleaner treble than the MK1i AC Cord. We think the MK2i's modest extra cost is an excellent sonic investment.
• The recommended break-in period for standard Clearview power cords and power strips is 50-100 hours; 150-300 hours for cords and strips with PLUS Upgrade. Feel free to install and listen to our cables immediately, they'll sound really good after about an hour. But you won't hear their full potential until they have been broken in thoroughly.
• DO NOT USE ANY BREAK-IN DEVICES OF ANY KIND ON OUR WIRES!! Doing so will degrade the sound of our cables. Use only music to break in our wires, preferably music with strong transients (i.e. music with lots of percussion and/or plucked instruments).
• Novices sometimes think our wires are uninsulated because they don't see thick plastic insulation on our cables. In fact, part of the large sonic advantage of Clearview power wires is the very low dielectric (that is, insulation) mass we insist on. Our super-thin insulation design provides for low dielectric mass, low dielectric absorption to avoid interfering with good sound, and excellent protection by using two redundant layers of insulation. The first is a thin, highly durable proprietary coating directly on each power conductor, tested to over 300 volts. The second layer is a loose-fitting, thin sleeve of very low dielectric absorbtion polymer plus air dielectric; this second layer has been tested to over 250 volts.
The PLUS Option: Another Step Up
All Clearview wires are available in a PLUS version, using conductors with our new stress-relieved metallurgy. The PLUS Option yields two primary upgrades:
• Decreases brightness and grain in the high frequencies, reducing edginess in the upper treble while actually enhancing detail; this is particularly noticeable with music coming from a digital source (i.e. CD players, computers, and iPods. The metallic ring of cymbals and the breathiness of singers and flutes is better articulated and less abrasive. PLUS is especially beneficial for digital interconnects, significantly reducing listening fatigue.
• PLUS lowers the noise floor, resulting in a quieter, more blacker background and much clearer room ambience. This makes the most difference in quiet passages: sustained guitar or piano chords sustain longer and resonate more clearly as they fade into silence. Newly discovered details and nuances emerge from the silence between notes on good recordings.
For fans of well-recorded acoustic music, small group jazz, singer-songwriters or chamber music, we recommend PLUS without hesitation. Listening to typically over-processed commercial studio recordings, the improvements will be audible but more subtle.