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I was also sent four Aurora 5² power cables and the Matrix power strip. Wireworld's power cables are unique in that they are designed to act as power line filters via their Noise Filtering Array™. Instead of ferrous materials or parallel/series networks, Wireworld power cables "feature a complex geometric structure and composite insulation materials to maximize inductive and capacitive filtering, effectively absorbing power line noise and damping the electric resonances that other cords and power conditioners cannot tame". Additionally, low-impedance balanced shields are closely coupled to the conductors to "cancel unwanted energy". Five power cable models are offered and only differ in their conductor material as better conducting materials will provide additional improvements in sound quality. The Aurora 5² is the second from the entry-level Stratus and features silver-clad OFC conductors and molded connectors with silver-clad copper alloy contacts.

The Matrix power strip is a seven-outlet rack mountable power cord extender designed for use with Wireworld's power cords. Users can extend the benefits of Wireworld's power cables to additional components via its IEC inlet connection. For my listening tests I removed all my power conditioning equipment and connected the Matrix to the wall outlet via an Aurora and then plugged my components into the Matrix with the remaining Aurora cords. This way I was able to better determine the effects of the power cables and strip without the variable of my own line-conditioning gear.

The build quality of my review samples was excellent, with snug-fitting connectors and silver-plated copper spades that should fit any binding post. Cables were light and flexible and easy to route behind equipment. I treated all connections with DeoxIT & DeoxIT Gold prior to installation. Suggested break-in time is 100 hours, however expect gradual improvements with use. I connected all the cables and with the occasional nocturnal help of Isotek's burn-in disc, allowed everything to run in for a few weeks before listening critically.

My observations? Detailed, remarkably transparent sparkling highs and no top end roll off. Definitely not a cable line to buy if you are looking to tame a hyped-up treble range. On the other hand, the Wireworld loom did not highlight any portion of the spectrum. Neutral and balanced were the words that most often came to mind as the cables offered little by way of overt character or sonic signature. Also readily apparent was the lack of a low-level fuzzy hash or veil between notes that obscures fine details. I have long attributed this to the inherent limitations of electronics, be they mine or review samples. So I learned to tune it out. I never thought it was the wires. These observations were consistent regardless of what equipment or system I tried.

Of late, I've more or less settled on Auditorium 23 speaker cables and SilverFi interconnects as that combo generally sounds better with my current system than other cables I have on hand. However, this gets complicated when swapping in components for review. Those annoying variables raise their ugly little heads again and it can be difficult pinning down a component's sonic character. Just because I could, I did mix and match the Wireworld cables with other ones I had on hand. It was indeed a pointless nerdy exercise that left me confused and had my wife shaking her head in concern for my sanity. Moreover, that alluring quiet space between the notes and that low-level resolution I had noted with the complete Equinox loom vanished only to be replaced again with that ever so slight yet quite audible veil of electronic haze.

After considerable time listening to as wide a range of recordings as possible and swapping in various pieces of equipment, I noted a few other characteristics. The contrasts between recordings was more noticeable, specifically recording venue, miking, placement of musicians, interpretation and the unique character of various orchestras. Images were never wispy or lacking in body. Soundstage dimensionality appeared natural and not exaggerated as with other cables, which to my ears is really a sign of phase distortion.

The Equinox better realized dynamic contrasts. Like many poorly mastered digital recordings, some cables can initially seem fast, loud, and powerful, but after a spell induce listener fatigue. This is really an indication of excessive compression. Listen longer and you will hear it and tire very quickly. If a cable blows your socks off, chances are something is wrong. While I did not have one of David's comparator boxes for this review, my overall sense was that I was experiencing a close to a direct connection. Considering the rather reasonable asking price, this was quite an achievement. The Equinox 6 cables were the least wiry sounding cables I have tried to date.

Overall, the Equinox cables offered greater transparency and resolution that was free of sibilance and smearing. While revealing in the top end, they did not come across as bright or lit-up as other cables. Nor were they slow, dark or wooly in the bass. The $80 Starlight 6 digital cable was a pleasant surprise for the almost giveaway price. The Starlight offered a clean, coherent, wideband, fuzz-free, neutral and modestly full harmonic presentation and had a nice deft touch with transients and dynamics. Music was not quite as full or palpable as over other more expensive digital cables I have tried (Actinote's Forte NB for example) nor was the tonal palette as colorful but for $80, I have absolutely no qualms recommending this remarkable digital cable. In fact, I thought the Starlight handily beat the Stereovox XV2 which retails at over twice its price by sounding less clinical and brightly lit on top.

If I thought the Starlight 6 was a sweet deal, then the $189.95 Aurora 5² was an outright steal for a power cable. Heck, nobody takes a sub $200 power cable seriously these days unless it costs at least twice that. That would be a mistake. With everything wired up with Auroras regardless of what interconnects or speaker cables accompanied them, music emerged from a quieter blacker backdrop with little in the way of sibilance and hash, hence instruments and voices possessed greater, more natural clarity. I also noted a slight increase in transparency while dynamic contrasts were more pronounced. Both my wife and eldest son commented that the bass sounded better, that is more defined and more rhythmically alive than with my other power cables - except for the Audience 'e' powerChord. That was a little more open, its faster tonality leaning slightly upwards. The Aurora's tonality was richer and deeper. The various Gutwire cables I have gave music playback an even fuller, warmer and weightier sound but at the expense of dynamic contrasts and transient fidelity. Each had their strengths to depend on your preference. However, I thought the Aurora, while perhaps not as good as the other power cables in some areas, was overall the most balanced and neutral cable and worked consistently well with every component.