Gutwire has recently changed its top power cord range. While its Clef and Cube range remains unchanged, its SP series quietly morphed into the SV range, and three of the top four models – the SV-12, SV-16, and SV-22 – are tested here.
They share a lot of commonalities. Each conductor of all three cables is screened and finished individually, then braided and held in place thanks to a large gold-coloured brick toward the centre of the power cord, which likely also helps keep resonance at bay. This leads to a large outer diameter cable and maybe ergonomically difficult where equipment is compactly housed, but there will be a more compact version of the SV Series available whereby all the braided conductors are housed in a single sleeve making it more acceptable for UK audio system applications. Although fully electrically earthed, the IEC end of each cable has a flying lead with a crocodile clip for additional grounding, something for which Gutwire advocates strongly. SV-series uses Gutwire’s new ‘101% IACS’ 16AWG solid-core copper conductors throughout, and the number in the name of each cable denotes exactly how many such conductors are deployed: 12 conductors in SV-12, 16 in SV-16, and so on. Air is used as an insulator and a selection of rare earth compounds are employed to absorb RFI and EMI, in a more esoteric, more long-lasting version of a ferrite ring.
In case of emergencies, it’s always good to have a trio of cables that you could redeploy as formidable martial arts weapons, and these heavyweights from Gutwire certainly fit the bill, although their performance is anything but a heavyweight in sonic terms. They are fast, dynamic, and don’t constrain the system in any way. They are extraordinarily good at resolving high-frequency detail and soundstaging without exaggeration or any kind of forward ‘push’ to the sound, while the bass is cleaner and tauter, controlled, and deep without being overpowering or unbalanced. In other words, this is a more mature sound for someone who wants to hear music as music rather than just a modulated collection of impressive hi-fi noises.
I had considered moving these cables out into separate reviews because they are so good, but I realised another aspect of them stands out: they are extremely consistent. The same ability to resolve high-frequency detail, create a walk-in soundstage, and produce a clean, controlled bass applies to all three cables, and they just suit different parts of a system. SV-12 is perfect for smaller sources like DACs or phono stages and the like; SV-16 is ideal for integrated amps, or the more demanding valve preamps out there, and SV-22 can drive practically every power amp I’ve ever used. There is an SV-28, too, but I think that’s just designed for powering time machines shaped like a Delorean. Of the three, I’d go with the SV-16 thanks to its Streep-like versatility. I used SV-16 in a range of products and nothing stuck out as disliking Gutwire, although used with the power supply of a turntable seemed to have the least effect.
I have really fallen for the SV power cords from Gutwire. They do everything right by my reckoning. OK, if you define good audio by aggressive leading-edge detail and attack, these cables – in fact, the Gutwire line in its entirety – is not for you. But if you think life’s too short to be attacked by your music, give SV-16 and its brothers a try. You’ll be unimpressed in all the right ways!
Price and Contact Details
SV-12 Power Cord: 6 ft (1.85m) £1,700; extra length £160 per ft
SV-16 Power Cord: 6 ft (1.85m) £1,990; extra length £190 per ft
SV-22 Power Cord: 6 ft (1.85m) £3,990; extra length £390 per ft
Manufactured by: Gutwire
Distributed by: Epicurean Audio
Tel: +44(0)780 556 7630