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Wireworld Stratus 5 review

Improved cable capacitance always makes our day

An unusual flat design can help routing and reduce noise

TechRadar Verdict

A little awkward, but effective at increasing the amount of musical information coming through a system

Pros

  • +

    Reduces system noise

Cons

  • -

    Deson't remove the need for a filter

Arriving with a batch of new Wireworld cables, this one caught our attention not least because of its novel shape. With what appears to be two flat conductors side-by-side, it is nearly an inch wide and less than a quarter as thick, and it just fits into the supplied MK mains plug. The IEC connector looks custom-made for this cable.

As usual in a mains cable, there is a third conductor (ground), which functions as a screen for both live and neutral cores separately. Each of these is a flat conductor surrounded by a rectangular screen.

Wireworld points out that this gives an unusually high capacitance from live/neutral to ground, helping to filter out RF interference. The only drawback we can see is that the cable's a bit of a so-and-so to route, but perhaps 'no pain, no gain' could be applied here.

We certainly saw the point when we tested the cable. It doesn't negate the purpose of a full-on mains filter/conditioner unit but it is one of the most effective cables we've tried in terms of lowering the apparent noise of a system and digging out more details.

Perhaps we should say it lowers the system 'grunge level'? As the actual noise floor in the absence of any audio signal is unaffected - what improves is the clarity of audio, as if some kind of modulation noise is being reduced. As sometimes happens there's a slight tonal effect too, a subtle lift in the upper bass that didn't bother us and may simply be due to more information coming through. Richard Black

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