Audiotechnique Magazine - August 2005                                   by David Kan

Equipment Review  (Translated from Chinese )         

 

In a CryoClear cable, not only the conductors are cryogenic treated, the three prong plug and the IEC connector at both ends are also cryogenic treated as well. The Silver-2 is fitted with Furutech Audio-Grade 24k gold non-magnetic plug and connector. Before we get into the heart of the review, let us briefly examine one question.   We often talk about “fine tuning” audio equipments with cables. What exactly do we mean by that? Re-adjusting? Calibrating? If that means rectifying the deviation from a standard, then I can relax.  But if fine tuning involves moving away from neutrality in a sense that we “tweak” the sound, my worry is that we might be adding coloration, or something which weren’t there before.    Forgive me for being so hung up on words, but I do believe that the right approach to a power cable is to preserve the original sound. It should preserve, protect, and prevent the equipment from external contamination, so that it can deliver the most neutral characteristic of the equipment.   Contamination causes distortion, and audible distortion is coloration. Coloration in various forms hold us spellbound that we even refer to them fondly as “tube sound”, “vinyl sound”, or “rosin smell”.  What then is the correct sound? I’ll be just as clueless as if you ask me what the correct interpretation is. And don’t even try to think that live sound is always correct. Change the venue and listen again. However, as far as power cables are concerned, I do believe that there are some basic standard to judge whether a cable is accurate or not.  An accurate (or close to accurate) cable should serve to prevent external contaminants from causing distortion.  Its direct effects on the equipment should be kept to the minimum, taking out (distortion) more than adding in (coloration), so that the equipment can sound its true self.   Assuming in an ideal situation, any equipment should perform a full 100% of what it’s originally intended for. However, knowing that our world is never perfect and we are never careful enough or lucky enough, we can easily end up getting only 70%.  Therefore, a perfect cable should keep us away from 70% and nudge towards 100%. So much for hypothesis.  Let’s move on to see how CryoClear manage to propel music reproduction towards 100%.

 

Aside from the choice of conductor materials, the construction geometry is just as important.   Each CryoClear Silver-2 cable consists of 2 live conductors, and 2 neutral conductors, twisted together in a star quad configuration.

Cryoclear Silver-1 Power Outlet Box

 

The two 12 AWG wires, when combined, yield an effective rating of 9.5 AWG. A single 12 AWG ground wire is wound on the outer layer in opposite direction, so that the electro-magnetic repulsion will cause interference such as EMI/ RFI to cancel each other out. Shielding is only grounded up-stream (connected at plug 

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end), preventing possible antenna effect, and also eliminating AC humming noise due to ground loop between equipments. The cable is insulated with 7 layers of PTFE Teflon dielectric and reinforced with 2 EMI/RFI attenuation layers. The outer black Polyester expandable sleeve serves as a protective jacket, making the cable feel somewhat flexible, yet it’s still not advisable to bend with excessive force.

 

Let’s say the generic black power cord degrades the performance of the Audio Zone system to a low 70%, then the CryoClear Silver-2 helps to restore it to 85 or 90%. The fact that I am holding back the remaining 10 to 15% shouldn’t be interpreted as any shortcomings on CryoClear’s part. I am leaving myself a 10% margin just to be safe because I have not had the chance to compare it with other power cables.  And as I said, the world is never perfect.   Steve suggested that I should not use a power conditioner. Initially he delivered two CryoClear Silver-1 Power Outlet Boxes to me.  However, I requested him for two more Silver-2 cables, so that I have a total of five to run my entire Symphonic Line setup purely on CryoClear. Perhaps I have been too eclectic in choosing power cables for my reference system: Two Symphonic Line cables for the power amps, (the preamp cable is factory built-in and therefore not interchangeable), two Ensemble cables for the upsampler and D/A converter, one Aural Symphonic cable for the CD player. And perhaps bypassing the power conditioner does open up a thoroughfare. Now with the CryoClear Silver-2 in place, music appears to be “faster” sounding.

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In order to obtain an objective opinion on the performance of the Silver-2, I invited CryoClear Silver-2 user Richard Mak to write down his thoughts.   Richard lives in an upscale home in Toronto, a lucky man in the eyes of Hong Kong residents as he has the privilege of setting up his system in his living room, without any complaints from his wife. His living room, which measures 15’ x 21’, is of open concept design that extends to a dinning room at the back, adding another 15’ to the overall length.  The ceiling is 10 ft high.   His equipment includes: