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AC power cable


Price (when reviewed): €595/6 feet (ca. 1.8 m)

tel.: 888.554.2494


Provided for test by: HEM ELECTRONICS

able” companies arise and disappear, although speaker manufacturers used to be the most changeable group in our industry. This resulted from quite low “entry” costs – it was enough to have a design, transducers, crossovers and self-made housings in order to have a ready-made product. With time, leisure DIY activity almost ceased, while the specialist industry made such a big technological leap that self-made experiments became much more difficult than before.

At the moment, cables are the fastest changing element in the audio industry, but for a different reason. Virtually everyone could make speakers – it was enough to have minimum knowledge, a little money and patience. When it comes to cables, the role of “lone DIY wolves” has been taken over by large companies that buy ready-made cables from specialist companies (most often based in China, Taiwan and Japan), add specially designed connectors to them – and the product is ready. These manufacturers use their subcontractors’ knowledge as a basis, leaving marketing activity to themselves. This is one of the possible ways.

However, you can go further and choose one ready-made design from among the available set that you like the most and change it according to your needs. The highest level of such a modification consists in designing such a cable by yourself and commissioning a specialist to manufacture it. This is what the American CLARUS company does.

| Gordon J. Gow Technologies, Inc.

Clarus is one of two brands owned by the Gordon J. Gow Technologies company based in Orlando, Florida, while the other one is TRIBUTARIES. Clarus offers cables for the consumer audio market, while Tributaries offers custom solutions to companies installing audio and audio/video systems. Gordon J. Gow Technologies is owned by Joe Perfito.


Gordon Gow (on the left) and Frank McIntosh – a photo from the 1970s. Source: McIntosh Lab.

The name of the Gordon J. Gow Technologies company is meaningful. Gordon J. Gow (1919-1989) was one of the most important characters in the McIntosh company. He was its vice-president from the very beginning (i.e. since 1949) and president from 1977 to 1989 when he passed away. He created the Unity Coupled Transformer design that constitutes the basis for all McIntosh amplifiers. In order to commemorate him, as a tribute, the McIntosh company launched the limited tube amplifier model MC275 Commemorative Edition in 1993. And there is a direct connection between Gordon J. Gow and the Clarus company co-owner, Mr Joe Perfito.

There’s a double Ariadne’s thread connecting Gordon J. Gow and Joe Perfito. On the one hand, it is professional, as Mr Perfito worked directly for Gow at McIntosh from 1975-1989, and was the head of sales at McIntosh Labs between 1982 and 1989, while on the other hand it is personal – Pam Gow, Gordon’s wife, is Mr Perfito’s sister. The company originated in 1991. During one of his journeys to Japan, Joe was shown old McIntosh Audio Cables, manufactured for the Japanese Distributor in Switzerland and sold solely in Japan. The cables were perfectly made and became a huge success in that country.

After coming back to the States, he made a suggestion to the McIntosh board that similar connector cables could be made in the USA. However, conservative engineers declined the proposal, as they were afraid to enter the dubious field of cables – it was still the time when little was known both of their construction and the physics behind, which made a lot of expensive cables a simple cheat. McIntosh did not want to have anything in common with that.

Joe’s mentor, Mr Gordon J. Gow, died suddenly in 1989 and the McIntosh company was sold to the Japanese car electronics manufacturer, Clarion Company. Joe Perfito left it in January 1990 and set up the Gordon J. Gow Technologies, Inc. company in April 1991, together with his sister (widow of Gordon) and his friend Jeff Boccaccio. The company’s name is a kind of a tribute to the deceased brother-in-law, boss and friend.

| Crimson Power

The first products manufactured by the company were inexpensive cables sold under the Tributaries brand. In 2013, the company started offering more expensive and technologically advanced cables for which the Clarus brand was established. Two cable series are sold under the brand – a more expensive Crimson series and a less expensive Aqua series. An external company, Orbital Development LLC owned by Jay Victor, was commissioned to design the former. All Clarus Crimson cables are based on his technologies. Analog RCA and XLR interconnects are offered as part of the series – an unbalanced mono subwoofer cable, digital S/PDIF, AES/EBU and USB cables, single and bi-wire speaker cables, as well as the AC power cable discussed here.

These are cables which incorporate conductors of different diameters in one bunch – Vermöuth Audio cables have a similar design, e.g. the Reference Power Cord. Each of the conductors is individually insulated. The conductor material is Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting (PCOCC), while the dielectric is pure polyethylene (PE).

As you can see, it is a complex design, but it can also sometimes be found in the products of other manufacturers using factories located in China or Taiwan – Clarus cables are made in China. However, the Crimson Power project is attributable to Jay Victor. As we can read in company materials, these are designs created from scratch in the USA, the cables are manufactured only for Clarus – i.e. these are not commonly available models and a lot of patented technologies are used in their production. Let us add that the cables are assembled in a Clarus factory in the USA.

It is because, as in the case of any other serious project, connectors constitute an important part of the cable system also here. The Clarus company has chosen two types of connectors – the Schuko connector has a rigid plastic housing and gold-plated pins, while the IEC connector is much more solid, as its body is made of aluminum, while its pins are also gold-plated. It appears that only the cable version intended for the American market incorporates metal pins. Let me add that the cable is thick but quite flexible and it is also available in a version with the IEC 20A connector.


During the test, the cable supplied power to two devices: the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition player and the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge file player. In the SACD player, it was compared to my reference power cable – the Siltech Triple Crown, while in the file player – to the excellent Japanese 聖 Hijiri SM2R “Sound Matter”. Both of these cables cost many times more than the Crimson model, so they were a good point of reference. The test consisted in an A/B comparison, A and B known, with the use of short 2-minute samples from a given album.

Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion)

  • Art Blakey, Moanin’, Blue Note/Tidal, MQA Studio 24/192 (1958/2014)
  • Art Pepper, Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Contemporary Records/JVC VICJ-42524, K2 CD (1957/2006)
  • Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Darkroom | Interscope Records/Tidal, FLAC 16/44,1 (2019)
  • Chet Baker, It could happen to you, Riverside/ZYX Music OJC20 303-2, „Original Jazz Classics”, Super Bit Mapping CD (1958/1987)
  • Gary Burton, Crystal Silence, ECM/Tidal, MQA Studio 24/96 (1973/2017)
  • George Michael, Faith: Special Edition, Epic/Sony Music753202, 2 x CD + DVD (1987/2010)
  • Imagine Dragins, Origins, Interscope Records/Tidal, MQA 24/44,1 (2018)
  • Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here, EMI Records/Analogue Productions PRF25, SACD (1975/2016)
  • Santana, Africa Speaks, Concord Records/Tidal, MQA 24/96 (2019)

The American cable neither hides anything, nor covers up its tracks – it is possible to determine its character quite quickly. So, I believe that you will also, without any problem, be able to confirm its usefulness in your systems. As I have listened to dozens of cables made of PCOCC, I am sure that its advantages can also be heard in this case – as well as its drawbacks. However, when it comes to such a well-made product that costs so little, the latter are of less importance, leaving us with what is coolest in PCOCC.

The main advantage is smoothness. With Clarus, music flows gently, delicately and nicely, as if there were no obstacles in the electrons’ path, as if they were carried in a litter on their journey, without stumbling over stones on their way. This is anthropomorphism, but not without a reason – while listening, one really gets the impression that all sharp edges had been erased from the musical message, and then the burrs were removed and polished.

Let us take George Michael’s Faith album as an example, one of my favorite albums from the 1980s. It was remastered in 2010 and released in a beautiful box with bonus tracks and another DVD. The problem is that the sound of the remastered version is simply bad. Signal was highly compressed and then the extremities of the range were boosted. As a result, we get contoured sound with a strong attack, weak fill and lost softness of the midrange.

One can hear these problems with the Crimson Power cable – it does not harmonize everything. However, it is less annoying than with the reference cables. Even very warm cables, such as Supra, are unable to help the Faith album, but Clarus managed to do it. It was not done by making the sound warmer, as it is barely indicated, but by smoothing out the edges, as if the sound was improved already after the album had been read. Expensive cables do it by improving differentiation without rounding, while the Crimson cable rounded the sound, sacrificing only a bit of differentiation.

This is one issue. Another one is connected with space. Clarus cables widen and broaden it if the given sound engineer wanted to emphasize these elements and the quality of the recording is high. On the other hand, if the sound is in the listening axis and signal is compressed, sound of the instruments is brought closer to us and shown at a short distance from one another.

An example of the first group of recordings is the excellent, perfectly engineered album with outstanding music: Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section from the year 1957. This is a recording of an iconic man, Roy DuNann, made in a way characteristic for those times, i.e. with instruments set strongly to the right and left – the leader’s saxophone on the left, and the percussion and double bass on the right.

The tested cable widened the base, made it deeper and added some kind of lightness to the whole thing. It is not a cable that would strongly go down the scale. Its sound is rather pastel, but in this case it is not about tone color, but about space. The lightness that I am talking about made the musical message take on panache and freshness, and it all flew. There was breath and excellent dynamics in the whole thing, and one could not feel the artificiality of the musical message anymore.

When it comes to sound planes that are shown close to us, sound will be a little compacted and everything will be closer to us. It was like this with George Michael’s album and then with the beautiful version of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here album in the SACD version and the Analogue Productions remaster. When the Welcome to the Machine track began, the musical message with the Clarus cable was full, dense and close to us. The guitars entering right afterwards – in one and then in the other channel – were warmed and placed a little closer. They were not as large as with the expensive reference cables, but they were not made especially smaller, either.

It is because, as always, there is some compromise involved. It is interesting that in the case of cables from the given price range compromise is usually larger and interferes more with the structure of sound itself. The Clarus cable modifies sound – there is no doubt about it. However, it does it in a more general manner and, if I can put it this way, maintains the DNA of the musical message. This is pure sound – although sweet and “golden”, as one might say. Yes, the best parallel to reflect these changes would be moving on to use a CD with a golden base.

With this cable, bass is a little smoothed and there is no pursuit of accurate focus in it. Both the double bass on Art Pepper’s album, as well as the electronic music and bass on Pink Floyd’s album had a nice tone color, a lot of energy and the proportion between them and the rest of the range was very good. The sound was a little lifted, but negligibly. It is not a cable that will help you discipline the bottom of the range. Although it does nothing indecent in itself, its attack is a little softened, because of which it does not dictate terms to the whole system.

| Conclusions

From among the cables that I know, it is not one characterized by the highest resolution. Neither is it a cable that would have its tonal balance set low. However, its sound surprises us with smoothness, pastel colors, space and dynamics – it is simply really natural. At the same time, it is a pure, perfectly balanced musical message. The cable is excellently made and costs really little, considering both the technologies it incorporates and its sound. I liked it so much that it will now become one of my reference cables within this price range. The RED Fingerprint award is quite a necessity here.


Reference system 2018

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

  • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|


Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC