The Clear Reflection range is completed (probably… there’s always dedicated phono and digital links to contend with) with the new power cord in the line. Clear Reflection is the upper-middle of the Cardas range, sitting below Clear and Clear Beyond and Clear Beyond XL, but above Cygnus, Parsec and Iridium. There’s also Sky – which sits between Cygnus and Parsec – but that currently lacks a power cord. Clear Reflection differentiates itself from other Cardas cables in its upper tiers (Sky and above) in as much it is not using the distinctive mid-pale blue outer sleeve that has defined the brand’s products for the last decade or so. Instead, Clear Reflection is sleeved in a very dark grey colour.
The addition of a power cord in the Reflection line isn’t exactly a surprise. Like the Clear Reflection signal cables, the name suggests the cable is a part of the Clear family and is a ‘reflection’ of the company’s past. In this respect, the Clear Reflection power cord calls upon much of the developments utilised in the classic Golden Reference cables. Reflection Power uses three 11.5 AWG copper conductors (similar to those used in Clear). These conductors are double shielded, and sport an end-to-end, un-choked ground. It uses the elegant Cardas 3455R power connectors (with a Furutech 13A plug in UK circles), which use copper clips and blades, with rhodium-plated silver connectors. From a connector’s point of view, this makes for a better conductive surface that is almost impossible to tarnish, while from the user’s perspective, it looks a lot better than black rubberised heat-shrink.
Clear Reflection is every inch a Cardas power cord, with all the effortless elegance, fluidity and dynamic subtlety and shading that it produces. It elicits a big soundstage backed up by lots of detail and no obvious boosts or cuts across the range. It’s also a good balance of ‘grace’, ‘space’ and ‘pace’ too; where some big and effortless sounding cables can also get a bit rhythmically wayward, Reflection is temporally honest – neither a slave to the rhythm nor paying lip-service to the beat. Most of all, it restates the notion that power cords are the foundation stone to a more coherent sound. Used in context – with Cardas Clear cables throughout – the overall sense was one of assured musical confidence.
Having tried a lot of them, there’s a very strict hierarchy in Cardas power cords. Clear Beyond is for those with “this is the stuff of legends” equipment (and Clear Beyond XL is for those powerhouse power amps in this rare group). While Clear Beyonds are for top-end audio, Reflection is for high-end audio, and Cygnus and below are for more mainstream audio electronics. In performance terms, Reflection and above are intrinsically neutral and refined windows on the musical signal, while Cygnus and below are richer sounding, to stop affordable audio from sounding too thin and forthright. Be warned, however – very best Cardas power cord will sound as best as they can even on lower consumption devices such as source components! The hierarchy is not a limiting rule at all.
Cardas Clear Reflection is so named because it’s a mirror on Cardas’ past, but it also acts like a looking glass on today’s audio. Performance levels are increasing at more affordable prices, and those products demand their own Clear grade of cables, and that is where Reflection kicks in. If you have a giant-killer system, Clear Reflection is the perfect assortment of all cables for your system, and the power cord proves that.
Price and Contact Details:
Price: £790/1.5m set; £890/2.0m set
Manufacturer: Cardas Audio
UK Distributor: Audiofreaks
Tel: +44(0)208 948 4153