KRAUTWIRE Clever

TR19.11.2011

Speaker cables

Krautwire uses preferably silver wires or hybrid constructions (silver-copper) in their cables, however, now and then it is possible to come across to a purely copper Krautwire: the Clever is one of such wires. As Krautwire is also a WBT distributor it is no surprise that the cables are terminated in WBT connectors, but you can have anything else according your wish for the cables can be custom-adapted.

Function and form

76%
Ease of use
56%
Sound
90%
Appearance

The Clever’s look is not stunning – it looks like an ordinary cable and nothing tells you it is based on the same principles like Fractal or ORG, the flagships of Krautwire. The ‘fractal’ geometry of the cable means that its conductors are braided into bundles that are, following the same pattern, braided into the final cable. The 36 conductors of the Clever are solid core OFC wires with the total cross-section area of 2x6mm2. The Krautwire uses Teflon dielectric and covers the cable with a wear-resistant outer shell.

The pair we had in the test was terminated with WBT Nextgen series bananas (type 0610); no matter how excellent the WBTs are in the electrical path I recommend checking their compatibility with the speaker and amplifier terminals – we had an issue with the Accuphase as its oversized binding posts prevented the WBTs to be connected properly. No problem, however, you can use spades instead. I like the habit of Krautwire to individually number their cables with a silver marker (the number can be found on clamps). At least it gives human touch and it also guarantees lifetime durability for which you’d receive a certificate from the producer.

Axially the Clever is quite stiff so you’ll have to be clever to zigzag the cable among other cables, an audio rack and all components to the final destination - that is terminals. The bend radius of the Clever was among the biggest in our test (70mm) and therefore the twists and turns cannot be as tight as you wish. Once the Clever sits in its place and you push the PLAY button everything is forgotten.

Bass management

Weight
57
Slam
61
Articulation
63

This review is a part of The Low and Mid-tier Speaker Cables Megatest that includes 18 different speaker cables. The pilot article is available at SPECIAL EDITION REVIEWS section of Audiodrom.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
59
Air
57
Transparency
56

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
55
Dynamics
54
Temporal resolution
50

Loreena McKennit’s Gloucester Wassail is a guaranteed recipe to check midrange fidelity and soundstaging capabilities of any cable. It became obvious that the Clever needed thorough break in. With the time its sound was improving and I am sure that the improvement was finished by the end of our test. It is not a handicap as the competing cables were in the very same position - I just want to stress out the importance of the break-in period for the Krautwire. Initially the Clever slightly accented sibilants in Gloucester Wassail, however, this drawback was completely eliminated after few days.

Spatial resolution

Holography
78
Soundstage width
78
Soundstage depth
78

The semi-circle of the singers of the wassail was a bit tighter through the Clever than through the Kimber Monocle X that drew more open arc – the very left and the very right singers were a bit further away from each other than with the Clever. It is just a nuance, I found interesting how a cable can alter our perception of a soundstage, however. The Krautwire seemed more exact and truer to my ears. It could also be because the Clever is texturally superior to the Monocle X, bringing an extra dose of chestiness to the voices. Similarly, Barbra Streisand’s vocal benefited from better textural resolution of the Clever and a tad tighter bass line. On the contrary, the Kimber provided a higher sense of ambience that enhanced my listening experience of John Williams’ symphonic score The Arrival At Naboo that was more relaxed and tension filled than with the Krautwire that was faster and more dramatic. It is difficult to choose either of the cables and I can only recommend auditioning in your system to make the choice. In our systems the Clever performed better with the Accuphase, the Monocle X proved to be a better choice with the Primare system, both the cables were equally good on the Luxman.

Price as reviewed:17 500,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Krautwire, Ing. František Kraut, Praha, tel. +420 724 076 707

Associated components

  • Sources: Primare CD32, Luxman D-05 and Accuphase DP-510
  • Amplifiers: Primare I32, Luxman L-590AX and Accuphase E-560
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Krautwire Fractal, Cardas Clear, Homegrown Audio DNA
  • Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Virgo V, Dynaudio Confidence C1 and Xavian Giulia, Chario Constellation, Xavian Preludio, Revel Ultima Studio2, B&W 805 Diamond and Atohm G 1.0
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Thor (modified), Snakeblock, Nordost Valhalla

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