The Double Helix MK1i AC Power Cord with <i>PLUS</i> is a major upgrade of our original MK1 design that has been besting conventionally designed $2000 audiophile power cords since it was introduced in 2000. The upgrades incorporated in the MK1i are higher purity copper conductors, better sounding insulation, tighter field-cancelling twist construction, and our new, radically-purist maple AC plug. Compared head-to-head with the MK1, the improvements of the MK1i are easy to discern. Connect the MK1i to an amp, music source, or power conditioner and everything sounds obviously cleaner and more transparent. Power your HD display, cable/satelite DVR, or blu-ray player with the MK1i and images on-screen are crisper and more detailed, colors brighten and blacks grain depth. The <i>PLUS</i> version yields smoother treble, more low level detail, and quieter noise floor relative to the standard Double Helix MK1i<br>
If you are already using our Double Helix Speaker Cables, expect our AC Cords to roughly double that upgrade when connected to amps, preamps, power conditions and home theater receivers. Results are equally impressive for turntables, DACs, computers and all other digital sources. Each time you upgrade a component in your signal path with a Double Helix Power Cord, you peel away another layer of AC grunge that unleashes new-found clarity and realism from your favorite music and films.
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 strip 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 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 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 breathiness of singers and flutes, the metallic ring of cymbals 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.