Audio Research equipment is generally highly revealing of power cord changes. Transparent cords tend to be dark; in my limited experience of having an SP16 in my system on trial it's also somewhat rolled off and "tubey", at least in comparison to other Audio Research pres. I'd try a better matched cord. I've found that BMI cords work really well... you might want to find a used Shark on Audiogon and see what you think (there are a couple available now at prices that are steals)-- it's my own best match to my SP9 MK III and its tonal qualities should complment the SP16 well.
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