The name derives from the catgut strings traditionally used by classical musicians (which, in a peculiar twist of logic, are made from sheep intestine, and not the insides of Chairman Meow). Gutwire, however, bears no relationship to the violinist’s strings of choice, but instead is a Canadian cable and accessories brand of some distinct note. Gutwire’s cables are rare in the high-end world in that they are just good, solid high-purity copper, very well shielded using copper braid and Mylar, insulated with Teflon, hand-made and cold-welded… and those last two make the cables necessarily expensive. The great thing is this makes the cables remarkably consistent; what you get across the board is a very similar sound, just a sound capable of being used in more and more exotic systems as you climb the Gutwire ladder. This doesn’t happen so often with brands when you start with copper, go through silver-coated-copper and end up with adamantiumwrapped-kryptonite.
We can’t quite escape from the world of high-end materials science though; the top Vision speaker cables are laced with Germanium (Gutwire also made an iPhone 4/4S case that was made of Titanium and Germanium and cost a small fortune – and it made claims about Germanium releasing positive ions to help counteract the negative ionic effect of the modern world: all I know is it doesn’t fit if you use a glass protector on the read screen of the iPhone 4S).
You know the company is taking the whole thing really seriously when you discover it also has a line in vibration support, which has just been upgraded from NotePad to NotePad2. The small pads are made from a combination of polyethylene, aluminium foil and nylon cloth. They look like large versions of Black Ravioli, except they are designed to sit on top of a product, ideally in places like on top of a CD transport mechanism or an amplifier’s transformer. The pad did help quieten down the spinning disc drive of the Lyngdorf CD1’s transportmechanism slightly, but whether this was due to putting a 350g weight on the top plate of a CD player or down to its EMI and RFI absorbing properties remains to be seen. Still, it shows dedication to the cause. Naturally, I can’t determine whether the claim for the NotePad2 to degrade over time is a valid one, unless I sit on the review for another three to five years. That’s not sitting on the fence; it’s waiting for the fence to need a new coat of creosote.