The reviewer first gives a bit of background to the core design of the Kimber cable used in the Evolution-300, noting that the same noise-reducing properties which characterise their interconnects and speaker cables applies equally to Russ Andrews’ mains cables (there is a little confusion on the reviewer's part; although the core of our mains leads is Kimber Kable, these are distinctly, and exclusively, a Russ Andrews design and build).
It's not mentioned in the review, but one of the key characteristics of the new Evolution range is the innovative placement of their earth, which, unlike previous iterations of the PowerKord, is helically wrapped around the outside of the cable with the effect of dramatically reducing induced noise (the mention of ‘wide-format woven geometry’ alluded to, refers to the previous iteration of the PowerKords).
Internal constuction of Evolution-300 showing the 16 braided live and neutral conductors and the helically-wound earth.
Of course, what really matters in the end is the performance improvements garnered as a result of the cable’s design, and here they are clearly impressed.
Switching between a number of components – “Cambridge Audio Edge NQ streamer (source) and Edge A (amplification) driving Quadral Aurum Wotan VIII speakers; other gear, including a Prism Callia DAC driving a pair of Focal Utopia headphones, was also used” – he found that “with the source, there were subtle but palpable improvements to the 'space' given to well-recorded orchestral CD rips and audiophile DSDs of 'minimal' performances (the latter, among them Blue Coast recordings of Greeninger and Kai's uncluttered Looking For A Home and the atmospheric solo violin of Emily Palen's Light in the Fracture, were particularly-revealing).”
It was with the cable plugged directly into the amplifier, though, that the biggest differences were experienced:
“the lower strings of Gorecki's Third Symphony (Polish National Radio SO! Gibbons! Pendercki, CD FLAC rip), for example, were better-defined and given more depth.”
In our tests, we usually find that the biggest improvements are achieved when upgrading the source components first and then moving onto the amp/s - that’s why we always advise starting there. The reviewer’s experience, though, reinforces the advice to always experiment, as there are undoubtedly exceptions that prove the rule, and we certainly do fine that sometimes – especially with the heavier gauge Evolution-300 and 500 PowerKords – the extra current-carrying capacity can really benefit power-hungry amps.
Summing up, he is unequivocal:
“In terms of performance, the Evolution-300 justifies its existence — Kimber's unusual geometry is evidently as valid for mains cables, as it is for links between amplifiers and 'speakers.”
Magazine: Hi-Fi World
Issue: June 2021
Verdict: 4 Globes, ‘Excellent: extremely capable’
Click here to buy Evolution-300 PowerKord
Click here to read about the Hi-Fi Choice review