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Clarus Cables and Power Conditioners: Full Product Review

At The Source AV, we discuss home audio & video, personal audio, home theater, home automation and speak with some of the movers and shakers in the music and HiFi industry. 

Today, we take a look at one of the many fantastic audio brands we carry at TSAV. Clarus’s Audiophile Collection of Speaker Cables, Interconnects, and power conditioners!

They were designed and engineered by celebrated cable designer Jay Victor.

Clarus cables incorporate several proprietary and patent-pending technologies using only the finest metallurgy and materials. All cables are handmade and individually insulated in multiple gauges.

According to Clarus, they utilize the world’s purest oxygen-free copper by Ohno Continuous Casting. This copper has low electrical resistance, with impurity-free construction ensuring the cables in a passionate audio connoisseurs’ system are never the weak point.

Clarus’s cable designs incorporate three distinctly different conductor types, which are each individually insulated; solid heavy-gauge conductors, flat conductors, and spiral-ribbon conductors with a non-conductive core. 

One of the secret sauces to the design of Clarus Cables is the size of each conductor and its physical relationship to the other conductors, which according to Clarus, dramatically improves the clarity, transparency, and sound stage performance.

The Flagship Clarus Crimson Line of Cables and Power Cords utilizes a multi-gauge design that uses three different-shaped conductor types, each individually insulated, using precision-formulated polyethylene insulation, which provides low loss. Included with all the Crimson series cables are beautifully CNC-Machined gold plated connectors.

I used several Crimson cables from the heavy, superbly constructed High Current Power cords, Speaker Cables, XLR interconnects, and a USB cable in my system at home. To say I was impressed with the build quality and construction of the Crimson line of cables would be an understatement.

I utilized a pair of Crimson 10ft speaker cables connected to the current reference integrated speaker amplifier demo unit I have on loan from our TSAV showroom, the Chord CPM 3350, and out to my current reference Sonus faber Olympica Nova V’s.

I ran a pair of Crimson XLR cables out from my Chord TT2 into the Chord integrated amplifier and utilized a Crimson USB cable to connect my Chord 2yu/2go streaming modules into the USB port of my TT2 for streaming ROON.

This setup was easily the best I have heard from any integrated solid-state stereo amplifier in my room with the Nova V’s. 

The weight alone of the power cables is significantly heavier than several headphone amplifiers and DACS I have auditioned over the years. Due to the thickness of the Power Cables and speaker wires, the Crimson cables at first were quite stiff. However, this reduced some overtime as I used them in my system, connecting to different components and moving them around.

The Clarus Aqua line of cables provides the same unique performance features as the Crimson line of products with slightly smaller wire gauges. This made working with the speaker cables easier for me as they have more bend and flexibility.

I usually hide speaker cables and interconnects, wrapping them up and keeping them out of sight. However, the Clarus cables are so well made and esthetically pleasing compared to most cables I have used over the years that I never felt the need to hide them.

Other than the smaller gauge wires, the Aqua line uses all the same high-quality conductors, individual insulation, CNC machined gold-plated connectors and are also built by hand. I used High Current Aqua Power cables for my Marantz 40n, the Marantz Model 30 I had on loan from our TSAV showroom, and a pair of 10ft Aqua speaker cables.

I also used a couple of XLR interconnects for my current reference tube amplifier, the ARC I/50 integrated along with a Crimson Power cable to deliver high current to the high current design of the Audio Research I/50.

Speaking of power! Let’s talk a little about the power conditioners from Clarus. Clarus takes a different approach to power conditioning than some other manufacturers. In most audio communities, it is well known that AC power coming into most homes can cause unwanted noise in an audio system.

Some companies create power conditioners that aim to clean up this AC noise from polluting our audio systems. Unfortunately, some of those designs choke input current, limiting peak performance for power amps.

Clarus has determined through extensive listening and testing that some filter designs used for analog conditioning components will help to remove noise from the AC supply but also, at the same time, degrade some of the components' signal output.

To avoid this, Clarus implements three different and unique AC filter ensemble designs for its new line of Power Conditioners; one for Analog components, one for Digital components, and one for High Current amplifiers.

The flagship of the power conditioning lineup is the Concerto. Using high-performance hospital-grade outlets engineered according to Clarus with advanced materials ensures electrical contact reliability over time.

Each duplex outlet is isolated to prohibit interaction between adjacent outlets. All of the outlet banks of the Concerto are explicitly labeled with the appropriate component type that will provide the highest level of filtering.

The Concerto has 2 High Current outputs with a massive 30 amp Clarus-Core filter to deliver full power without restricting dynamics to high current equipment like power amplifiers, receivers, and powered subwoofers. Also included are two outlets labeled Analog and four outlets for Digital audio products such as DACs, Streamers and CD players.

Clarus incorporates other important design elements into the Concerto: Clarus C-Core Technology is used in all the analog and high current filters. Allowing for significantly reduced audible noise when voltage and current are applied to the core.

Clarus also uses vibration control by using vibration dampening material to prevent low-frequency AC signals from passing through the copper windings of an inductive filter, preventing mechanical vibration.

Over/Under voltage protection on the Concerto provides an audible alarm and auto shut-down when voltage drops below 90VAC or above 135VAC, protecting the audio components in your system. The Alarm does have an on/off switch on the back of the Concerto if you wish to turn it off.

According to Clarus, The Concerto protects from surges of electricity using Thermal Metal Oxide Varistors. The Concerto's front panel protection fault LED lights up when the surge suppression circuit is compromised, and the unit will shut down for safety. Also, ground and polarity LEDs, when lit, indicate that the power cord and outlet the Concerto is connected to is in phase and properly grounded.

Last but not least, the Concerto includes cable support for Clarus's heavy high current power cords. This feature is more important than you would think, as the cords have so much weight and girth that they can come loose from some components when unsupported.

Also, in Clarus’s power conditioner lineup, the SEXTET Power Block uses some of the same technology and design features found in the Concerto in a smaller package. Including six high-performance hospital-grade outlets, two high current, two digital, and two analog outlets that include Clarus Core common-mode filters.

The top panel of the SEXTET displays ground and polarity LEDs to indicate when the power cord and outlet that the SEXTET is connected to are in phase and properly grounded. The SEXTET also protects from surges using Thermal Metal Oxide Varistors. If the surge protection circuit is compromised, the front panel protection fault LED will illuminate, and the unit will shut down for safety.

Lastly, the smallest power conditioner in the current Clarus lineup is the Duet Power Block. The Duet was optimally designed for monoblock amplifiers and powered subwoofers. The Duet again includes the same technology discussed in the SEXTET with two High Current outlets and a Large 30 amp Clarus-Core filter to deliver full power without restricting dynamics to high current equipment.

You might be thinking, “how did the Clarus cables and power conditioners improve the sound quality in my listening room?” I could share my sound impressions with you, and 50% of you would believe me, and the other half wouldn’t.

I know this as I started my high-end audio/video journey back in 2000 and have had the great opportunity to help build and discuss HiFi systems for many years. I will say this: if you have a strong heart to pump the blood for your body, but you have clogged arteries and poor blood flow, your body will not function properly.

If you don’t have a well-functioning liver and kidneys, your body will suffer. In my opinion, an audio system is no different. Power conditioners that clean the AC power and protect the audio system components are extremely important.

The power chords or major arteries that deliver the electricity and current to your components are also critical. Lastly, the interconnects and speaker cables are your audio system's veins and smaller arteries.

Nine times out of ten, I recommend building out your system by choosing your speakers, amplification, source components such as DACs, Turntables, or CD players, and installing room treatment first and foremost, as these parts of an audio system will have the most significant effect on the quality of sound in most cases.

Power cords, speaker cables, and component interconnects should not be an afterthought though, especially if your chosen components are of a high current design. In addition, many of the homes I have been in over the years have bad RFI, dirty electricity, and other factors that can contribute to not achieving the best quality of sound.

So please don’t take my word for it. Instead, TSAV Jason has given me the green light to allow any of you interested in the Clarus line of products the opportunity to have a 30-day in-home demo to see how the cables and conditioners work in your environment with your components.

All you have to do is give Wayne a call orsend us a message so we can call to process the order for you. If you decide they are not suitable for you, give us a call to set up a Return Authorization, pay the return shipping, and if the products are undamaged, in like-new condition with all the original packaging and accessories, you can receive a full refund minus shipping.

For those of you new to the channel, we have a giveaway we are currently doing for a McIntosh MB20 Bluetooth transceiver which I will link in the description below. All of us from TSAV hope you enjoyed this video discussing Clarus speaker cables, interconnects, and power conditioners.

If you are in the greater Los Angeles region or just looking to make a trip to see and hear Clarus products, our TSAV 10,000 Sqft showroom and headphone bar have one of the largest selections of personal audio, 2 Channel Stereo, and Home Cinema products to see and hear in the country.

Thank you for your continued support! Until next time friends, always remember, let the music be your guide!

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