Over the past 2 – 3 years I have gone from upgrading 4 of my audio cables to greedily upgrading every single cable, including my speaker cables to the Shunyata Zitron Anaconda cables – and have been on the most wonderful musical journey since then. Then I purchased the Triton power conditioner – and that has brought another tsunami of sonic improvement. Everyday I hear new sounds emerging from familiar music, sounds that I had no idea existed within that music. So thank you for continuing to shower this acoustical bliss on us, and working tirelessly on tweaking and improving an already perfect product, especially at a time when when many other companies have simply moved on to greener pastures.
Thank you very much.
Great Falls, VA
Hi again Richard,
I agree with everything I have read about Sigma NR. It is a fabulous cable. The End.
No, seriously, I have nothing to complain about. Absolutely nothing. It sounded great direct out of the box when I plugged it in (from wall to Triton V3) and keeps sounding better and better every day now with no ”hang over” what so ever on day 4-7!
I thought Triton V3 had an eerie silence, but this is ever more eerie. I honestly didn’t recognized some songs that I have listened to for years (probably getting used to a certain degree of noise over the years) when the intro started!
If I would describe the cable with three words it would be: Silence, musicality and truth. Nothing stands out in a bad way. Nothing!
Female voices like Lana Del Rey or Tanya Donnelly (non-audiophile music for sure!) sounds so real. Scary real. For the first time in 10+ years I have started to think of new speakers. And not because it sounds bad, but because it sounds so freakin’ good! It’s FUN to listen to music now!
I wish I could write more but I don’t know what to write! I am just so happy. 17 days and 90 hours of just pure music and magic in my house. But we all know how this is going to end, the REF 5se wants a Sigma NR before Christmas….
Good luck to Caelin to beat this cable in the future! (though I’m pretty sure he WILL do it, that man is a genius!)
I will send you a note when I have tried the Delta CGC cables in a few weeks time…
All the best to all of you over there!
You were 100% right as to how the Denali had improve my whole system! I wish you and your team great success in bringing Shunyata Research to the next level.
Greetings from the tiny island of Singapore!
Dear Shunyata Research,
In the approximately four months since first learning about Shunyata Research as part of my research into speaker cables, I’ve very much come to appreciate the need for good cables throughout all of my home theater and 2-channel audio systems. Consequently, I’ve invested approximately $13,000 in power conditioning/distribution products (Denali 6000T, two MPC-12C units, two Venom Defenders, one Sigma NR power cord, three Alpha NR power cords, two Venom HC power cords, a Venom USB cable and a host of Venom HDMI cables). I’ve yet to pick up that set of speaker cables that I’d initially been interested in….I’ll likely need to wait until next year to make that purchase.
Thank you again for your products and customer service – they are very much appreciated.
Michael Z. Troy, MI
Hi! Richard, I pray this email finds you well. I’ve been wanting to write and brag on the Venom phono cables for several months. I am 61 years old and have never written to a manufacturer in my life. I research what I buy and I expect it to meet or exceed my expectations. I’ve listened to, played and recorded music all my life and consider myself to have very discerning ears. I’m not big into “gear”. I’m into music. I added a dedicated listening room to the house and am very pleased with its acoustics. My system consists of a VPI Classic and Soundsmith Zephyr feeding a Sutherland 20/20 which in turn feeds a low-wattage SET pushing a pair of high-efficiency drivers and a pair of REL subwoofers. My last component upgrade was the Sutherland which I added about 4 years ago. At the same time I bought a pair of $1000 phono cables which sounded exquisite, but were accompanied by a low-level 60 hz hum. After quite a bit a tweaking and experimenting, I determined that my system requires a fully shielded phono cable and that the phono cable must be grounded to the RCA plugs at both ends. Otherwise it will hum. I paid several hundred dollars and bought the only phono cables I could find in my price range that met the criteria. The hum was gone, but the cables lacked the detail and transparency of the $1000 cables. They weren’t bad, and I learned to live with them, but I knew they were the limiting component in my system. Fast forward 4 years. I had surgery in March and knew I was going to be down for a few weeks and would be listening to music a lot. I decided to treat myself to a system upgrade and the obvious target was the phono cables. After a couple weeks of research I concluded that the Shunyata Venoms were my best bet. You were good enough to confirm that the Venoms were fully shielded and that the shielding was designed as a conductor between the RCAs. I ordered them and they arrived a week before the surgery. My hope was that they would have some of the transparency of the $1000 cables. I was not prepared for what I heard. Right out of the box they were an incremental improvement over the old cables, but within the span of 2 or 3 LPs they were in another league. By the time they had 20 or 30 hours on them they were just as transparent as I remembered the $1000 cables to be. On excellent recordings, complex orchestral passages are fully sorted out. A dozen violins is no longer a mass of sound, but 12 violins. But there’s more. The Venoms are quiet. As quiet as I thought my system was, the silences in music were now startling. Microdynamics and macrodynamics are noticeably more dynamic. And because of the lower noise floor and improved resolution, imaging is noticeably more holistic. I am not generally a big fan of superlatives, but the Venoms, at $400, have proven to be one of the great bargains in my system, and I consider all my components to be high-value components. They represent an upgrade at least on a par with the turntable and the cartridge and the phono pre-amp at many times the price. They really are that good. I can hardly say enough about them. I just wanted to thank you for the outstanding customer service I received from you and for the remarkable Venom phono cables.
Sincerely, Ted in Texas
Hi again Richard,
I haven’t bought me a second Alpha IC yet. Sometimes things don’t go as planned… 😉
Recently I was ”forced” to buy me a pair of Alpha SP, and my GOD what a great cable this is. Way better then the (great) old Anaconda SP. Rock hard bass and magical 3D. Just love it!!
I ended up selling my Triton V1 and then I was without a Triton, and what does a Snakehead do?? Start looking for a used Triton V2, of course. But I couldn’t find anyone here in Europe, so I had to buy a V3!! 🙂
The V1 was really, really good. But the V3 is in another league. I actually didn’t think it could get much better then the V1 (feels like we have pretty good electricity here) but I was wrong. Direct out of the box I was disappointed. Bright and harsh sounding. But after a few hours in the garage with fans and lamps it sounds fantastic! This is just pure magic! Almost eerie quiet between the tracks now.
It actually sounds like my ARC REF 75 is more powerful with the V3 then with the V1. Like the amp has gone up from 75W to 150W. And when I connected my Typhon the real magic arrived!! WOW!!
Thanks to all of you!
Dear everyone at Shunyata research,
My name is David Braun, and i am a freelance concert organizer in Maribor, Slovenia, focusing mainly on contemporary jazz and world music. Music has always held a prominent role in my life, something i cannot imagine being without, perhaps it is even an obsession….
On the other hand, hi-fi systems have never been a real priority, more a necessary means to get to the music, and very often »in the way«…i am not the person who has the need to constantly fumble with its own stereo, buy and sell or let alone spend millions on “sound”. Nevertheless, over the years i have managed – finances permitting – to build up a reasonable system for which i believe that it suits me, that it gets me to the “essence of music.” By that I mean that I find listening to music over a hi-fi system “an illusion”, and am happiest when it reminds me of feelings I have while listening to live (often acoustic or semi-acoustic) music, which I do a lot, being a concert organizer. Still, my friends – your official distributors in Slovenia – have persuaded me that i should use power cables from Shunyata, something i accepted with a fair amount of skepticism.
Now i am a happy user of the Venom power-cable on every component i own, and a very happy owner of a Delta NR power cable and a Venom interconnect on my CD player. I wish I could afford a power distributor, but that is probably not within my reach.
Amazing, truly stunning and astonishing what you have achieved with these products!!! I still find it hard to believe (this is probably due to my lack of technical knowledge) how much influence the power cables have on the music that is being played – and in a way that i feel is »in line« with how i perceive music. Everything is so palpable, present in space, almost speaker-less and on the other hand suddenly sounds completely effortless and spontaneous. It reminds me of how an acoustic instrument, say a violin, would sound in a room. These products seriously help transporting the “magic” that lies in a lot of music.
I would hereby like to congratulate you on your achievements; Shunyata’s products have made me very happy and have further strengthened my love and enthusiasm for music and brought many hours of very enjoyable listening – with many more to come. Also, I would like to mention the fact that I got a very competent advice from your distributors in Slovenia, the Intek company, including technical explanations and recommendations tailor-made for my specific desires and needs.
Great service from everyone and completely overwhelming products from Shunyata! You guys seriously rock!
I just had to tell you how wonderful the Zitron pc is. I’ve been listening to a few tracks I’m familiar with after a day of letting the cable settle in my system. The pc I was using previously sounded hazy in comparison and the notes were scattered and somewhat jumbled in their space, though this wasn’t apparent till I switched to the Zitron. The Zitron is pin-point precise, neutral and lush. The background is dead quiet. I find that I can turn the volume up another 4-5 dbs from my reference volume without any glare or digital harshness. I wouldn’t call it polite because I feel it doesn’t exaggerate or add anything artificial to give it that initial “wow” factor that so many cables do. It just sounds right. I’m sure you’ve heard all this before. I do feel that while the soundstage is somewhat wider and deeper, it’s not as high or tall as what I’m previously used to. I suppose that makes more sense since all the instruments are at ground level. Maybe it’ll open up a bit more after a few days though I’m sure the pc was well broken in by the previous owner.
The only negative is that I will now have to upgrade all my PCs, so I won’t be eating out for a while :). If one cable can improve my system dramatically, I’m excited to hear what more can do. I just have to decide whether to go with the Delta NRs or to try to find Alpha HCs from my outlet to my 2 power strips. I would probably go with the Deltas for my amp and preamp since they are still in production. I would love to try the Alphas but 5 PCs are just way beyond my budget.
Thanks again for making a great product, and I’ll stay in touch to let you know how it all works out.
Just want to give feed back on the Amp-1 Venom conditioner. It’s a great product and really does a phenomenal job filtering and regulating power. It offers a black background of music to my headphones, plugged in series with an amplifier and then the AMP-1 Venom to the wall…. Ultimate clarity for natural sounds as well. It’s very pleasing and gracious to see very high end audio products offered at consumer prices for intimate sessions or smaller studios. Good quality as well.
Now that I have had some time to engage with your components, I have reached a few conclusions. I had expected some very subtle improvements in my system. I was wrong. The changes are far from subtle — especially when playing vinyl. The Venom PS8/Defender combination has been a game changer for me.
As a documentary filmmaker, a visual analogy comes to mind. It’s like switching from an LCD television monitor to an OLED one. On LCD sets, black is achieved by masking white pixels. But there are always light leaks, so the blacks look muddy. On an OLED set, black is truly the absence of light: pixels are actually turned off and hence go black.
Listening to music with the Venom PS8/Defender combination delivers the sonic equivalent of “true black”. The drop in the noise floor and the increased clarity are dramatic — the latter especially at lower listening levels. It’s like someone flipped a magic “loudness” switch — one that truly conveys the music itself rather than crudely boost the bass. By faithfully rendering the spaces in between the notes — the true blacks — I’m feeling a greater emotional connectedness to everything I’m listening to, which right now, is Thundercat’s ethereal, beautiful “A Hard Time”.
Arthur C. Clarke famously observed that “[a]ny sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” That’s how I feel about your technology. I have no idea of how it works, but I know that it works!
Hi again Richard,
I didn’t buy two Delta as you and Grant recommended. I figured that if Delta is THAT good I’ll just be dreaming of Alpha for the rest of next year and end up selling Delta with a big loss. So I ordered one Alpha instead!
I found a clever way to persuade myself to buy two cables without selling the old ones; donate 10% of the price of new cables to Amnesty International! So it’s a win-win-win situation. You get your money, Amnesty gets theirs and I, well I don’t get any money, but I get HAPPY!!
And I’m planning to get another one in time for my birthday in February. I think that would be a nice gift to myself from myself! 🙂 (and more money to Amnesty!)
I got the cable last week and it has been playing for about 85 hours now. And I don’t know what to say, I’m stunned again!
I don’t know how you do it, but every generation of cables gets better and better!!! And without the crazy prices that other US companies sell!
I thought my Python was good, but this is ridiculous! It’s ”just a CABLE”!
HOW can I get this much improvement with just a cable from my dac to my pre amp???? I think Caelin is a pure GENIUS! A master mind of cable manufacturing!!
It has revealed layers of music that (I guess) was buried in noise before. It took me max five (5) seconds to hear that it is much better than the old Python! Even my ”strange”, non-audiophile music sounds amazing with this Alpha! It has a bass to die for. And a soundstage that is way bigger then Python!
And again I don’t feel any need to upgrade my speakers (Wilson Duette), they seem to grow bigger and bigger with every cable I buy.
And it is so pure and clear in it’s sound, without sounding harsh or bright. Just sounds CLEAN and beautiful. I actually didn’t think it would be THIS good. (I will send Leif a note later so I can express myself better, I hope he translate it and sends it to you then!)
I live in the north of Sweden, about 1000 km’s north of Stockholm, and up here we are not known to smile, dance or be happy if it’s not necessary. But I sing, dance, laugh and play air guitar in my living room now! Just pure JOY with this cable!! Can’t wait to get the other one….
Please say THANK YOU to Caelin and Grant and everybody else from me!
Best wishes to all of you, and Merry Christmas,
Stefan in Sweden
I believe rotating the cable 45 degrees will do the trick. The area behind my 3 stereo stands will look like the jungle when I have 1 Python and 3 or 4 Cobra’s. I will call the area the snake pit. Feel free to post my comments on your website. The staff at Sound Hounds are very exited about your products as well. I can’t wait to get the Cobra ΞTRON™ power cables and hopefully your speaker cable. I will order one every couple of months. The sound through my Simaudio Moon equipment and B & W 804 S speakers will be even more fantastic. Your work is truly bringing us all into a new age. Just maybe, the sound puzzle we have been working on all our lives is nearing completion.
I am really impressed with the promises of what Typhon can do to quieten the noise and especially the unusually not easy to tame phono amp.
My systems – Power, Pre, Phono, CD player (all hybrids) are now so quiet. Gone are the ear fatigue for high note, bass with the longest frequency waves length just sailed into the sunset. Ella, Billie, Nick Colionne, Dinah, Lightnin’ Hopkins voices sounded so clear as if they are singing live.
To sum up, adding Typhon doesn’t comes cheap, yet it can make a very worthwhile improvement to the overall sound quality!
I don’t mean to sound weird, but I feel like I’ve unlocked the door to another dimension. Nothing could have prepared me for the difference I would hear employing the TRITON and just the one ALPHA HC in my system. Scary real!! Best believe I’ll be buying more cords! Consider me a skeptic turned into a true believer!
Thanks oh so much for doing what you guys do!
All the best,
I recently purchased your PS8 with Defender power distribution and conditioning system and it has made such a positive difference in my system that I am thinking about upgrading all of my power cords and interconnects to Shunyata products. I have the following products: a Bryston B100 integrated amplifier, a Simaudio NEO 430HA headphone amplifier, a Simaudio NEO 380D DSD DAC. In your experience what will likely make the most difference in my system replacing the stock power cords or replacing the interconnects? In other words, do you have any advice on what I should start with first?
Also, I just want to say that prior to acquiring the PS8 system, you certainly could have described me as a skeptic as far as power conditioning systems are concerned, but I must say that I am a believer now. Also, just so you are aware, I received great service from Andrew Gilbert of Audio Ark in Edmonton, Alberta throughout this purchase. I had indicated to him that I had tried a Torus Power unit in my system and returned it as I did not feel it made a difference. However, Andrew suggested that I try the PS8 system and he said I would not be disappointed and he was definitely correct.
Thank you for making such a great product at a very fair price considering the performance boost it gave to my system.
I love the improvement the VENOM DEFENDER has made to my system. With high end audio price rising into the stratosphere it’s great to find cost effective products that perform.
My impressions of my newly upgraded TRITON V2 as of this writing are as follows: Newly upgraded, out of the box and now early on into the burn-in process (if any): Overall, what differences I hear is a greater amount of “truth” than that of “beauty”; there may be somewhat less warmth heard now heard from the minimalist system this TRITON (for 3 years as a V1 version and now a V2 version) is in – Simaudio 600i solid state integrated amp. and CD/SACD player with Maggies (modified MG1.6qr speakers) and all cables Shunyata CX or ΞTRON™, and with Stillpoints Ultra SS under all equipment and rack. Music now sounds more accurate – that much closer to the real thing and not so much a reproduction as with the V1 (which was so obviously better than the Talos it replaced). It is clear from even a far field listen that music (of all sorts – combo jazz, solo harp, choral, alt. rock) is more palpable; in the listening position it is very obvious.
Notes are heard as having a longer decay, and at the same time in a more airy and open 3 dimensional sense, as if some background noise has left the system, but without detracting from the actual music, and instead exposing more. Notes also stand out more in the soundstage as if emanating from a more defined place (space) now. This has given a greater height and depth to the soundstage. Even mono recordings and studio recordings have more musical information heard; I hear more separated layers of the instruments played. Dynamics are somewhat greater, although I do not listen to large massed orchestral pieces much. Sense of perspective is the same as V1 – upfront in a venue.
The change heard from V1 to V2 is such that it reminds me when I went from using all 3 power cords (to the system) – the older Shunyata Alpha Helix – to the newer (then) CX series; it is on the order of upgrading all the power cords at the same time.
In a few weeks I may have more insights as the new TRITON V2 burns in. In the meantime I am enjoying what I hear and am not feeling the need to obsess over the “newness” heard. Thanks again for helping me get the upgrade taken care of as we did.
This is all very informative and I’m pleased to know that I’m getting the best you folks have to offer.
As I think I may have mentioned previously, I’m using the KING COBRA AC cords with my power amp and the V-RAY II (and now the TRITON), AURORA balanced interconnects for both my amplifier and CD/SACD player, STRATOS IC interconnects for a McIntosh headphone amp I purchased recently and Stratos SP speaker cables for my speakers.
I don’t think I have to tell you that utilizing these products has made a huge and truly pleasurable difference within my Hi-Fi system.
I’ve been working in the Consumer Electronics industry and have been an “audiophile” for over 45 years, but Shunyata products are by far, the finest I’ve ever encountered, period!
Thanks again for your time and your help in answering my questions.
Stephen L. Ramsey
I just LOVE the sound that the Triton/Typhon combo makes now!! Really can’t believe how I could listen to my stereo before! I didn’t think my equipment could produce this kind of sonic quality. I was convinced that I had to change speakers or buy a newer cd player to achieve this sound. But my Duette HAVE grown musically now! I don’t have any plans to move up the Wilson ladder, although I know a pair of Sasha would give me better sound, but at a HIGH price. Not really worth it, cos I would still feel the urge to get better cables anyway. Better to focus on cables now!! 🙂
Very happy with the Shunyata TYPHON addition for the TRITON…..
It is great to be able to say without hesitation that the addition of the Shunyata TYPHON to my TRITON is one of the most magical moments in my four decades as a music loving soul. It’s real charmer: the TYPHON is one push forward towards audio bliss that frankly I did not see coming. For my system & taste it is a mayor step into a new level of music reproduction. All being said from a person who treasures music far above the hobby of collecting esoteric & $$$ gear.
Perhaps everyone may not feel this way because what the TYPHON does is hard to quantify w/ words, simple narrative bites & typical audiophile catchphrases.
The synergy is a real shocker: Music is in all regards simply more emotional, nuanced, clear, articulate and spatial in spades. Lush & at the same time powerful. Every recording sounds more interesting in some way & most are frankly more pleasurable to listen to. Space is the name of the game. Timing, tonalities, nuance, expression, emotion & engagement…. on & on.
If I were to remove the TYPHON from the system (which I have done for my wife) it is like viewing/hearing the musical event from behind a scrim or sheet of glass: It is for lack of a better word FLAT (er), pale, less organic & less emotionally engaging. A bit like watching someone on film take a walk on a beautiful day instead of walking & experiencing it yourself.
What the TYPHON/TRITON does:
– A picture window expands floor to ceiling and the glass is pristine….
– The air just got cleaner & cooler like a gentle passing spring front
– A stone dropped in a placid pond sending ripples to the banks
– Someone whispered from across a room but each word was clear & distinct
– The back wall of my listening room grew much deeper & the room magically expanded in all directions
– My emotional core was touched by a passage that I have known for decades but never w/ such resonance….
– Never heard that door slam before or that train pass in the distant background…..or the last, faintest, deepest rumble of thunder miles away…
– A drink of the purest cool water
– Oh… I remember what a nylon string guitar sound like in a small intimate room.
Every small detail….. The list can grow: It becomes a litany of little metaphors that hint at something that is poetic at its core. Poetic and therefore harder to describe. And poetic the TYPHON/TRITON combo is. In spades!!!
The point I want to make is that the overall effect of adding the TYPHON is something I intellectually understood but did not actually expect to be so deeply, dare I say, soulful & rewarding. This is the nicest thing I have done for my passions & myself as an audiophile/music lover in decades. Please if you can find a dealer who can let you take one of these home do so. It may turn out to be an expensive early birthday gift but ……it’s just magical.
Mark S. Smith
Hello Richard Rogers,
So the DEFENDER went into my Maestros outlet in my office system ‘just for the burn in period.’ I listened and it sounded good. I removed a Furman power conditioner from the chain and plugged my amp directly into the Maestros outlet with the DEFENDER and I was amazed how great it sounded. Everything got better!!!
After eight days of burn-in, the sound became even more refined. So I will try the DEFENDER in my main system to evaluate; however, I will have to buy another DEFENDER if I like the results. My first DEFENDER stays in my office system forever.
You folks have great customer service.
Shunyata really stands behind their products. They went above and beyond to make sure the customer is satisfied. I moved into a new home in a different part of the country. There were some electrical issues and wasn’t sure if my V-RAY was damaged. The unit was sent back for inspection. Then turnaround time for their feedback, recommendations and repair was incredibly fast. Richard also provided me with literature that was easy to understand and explain to the electrician what was required in my sound room. I would highly recommend this manufacturer not only for their products but for the high level of customer service their staff provided. Richard, I really appreciate all the time and effort you put forth in helping me correct the electrical issues that I had. You spent a lot of time with me on the phone. The quality of service you provided is rare in today’s world.
New Brunswick, Canada
I just installed one of your SR-Z1 outlets. All I can say is WOW! This is without a doubt the best Audio upgrade I have ever done. I definitely hear and see a difference, with my Audio equipment and my TV. Truly an excellent product! I highly recommend the SR-Z1 to anyone who wants to improve the performance of their electronics equipment.
Ladies & Gents:
I recently purchased a new HYDRA 6 with the VENOM HC power cord. It replaced a APC H10 power conditioner. I was expecting an improvement. I was shocked at how big of an improvement this device has made. It is not broken in yet but already there are great improvements being experienced. The bass is tighter, clearer, fuller and more detailed. Of course the soundstage is wider and deeper.
There were some cds I could not play properly especially with low bass. Now they play fine and can be enjoyed.
Even the volume level has increased. More music is being heard at all levels.
Keep up the good work.
I believe rotating the cable 45 degrees will do the trick. The area behind my 3 stereo stands will look like the jungle when I have 1 PYTHON and 3 or 4 COBRA’s. I will call the area the snake pit. Feel free to post my comments on your website. The staff at Sound Hounds are very exited about your products as well. I can’t wait get the COBRA ΞTRON™ power cables and hopefully your speaker cable. I will order one every couple of months. The sound through my Simaudio Moon equipment and B&W 804 S speakers will be even more fantastic.
Your work is truly bringing us all into a new age. Just maybe the sound puzzle we have been working on all our lives is nearing completion.
This is the most dynamic piece of equipment (and cable) I have ever purchased, it’s remarkable. It has made my theater experience explode with vibrancy — and I’m still burning it in.
Please continue engineering such fine products!
From a consumer point of view I like them because they are not mechanical. I will own the HYDRA and my cords for decades, and never worry about wear and tear, or mech. failure. Therefore it is a well justified long-term investment. Fantastic!
Thx for the reply! Hope all went well in Germany.
Also thanks for providing all these details about break-in. First six hours sounded like mud, and I was concerned. I dedicated the weekend to being a full on marathon, and last night it changed a bit.
I have a gut feeling this thing is going to blossom. A couple gunshot scenes in a movie last night had me jump off the couch thinking I truly was under fire. This is yet to EVER happen.
I’m really excited and can’t wait to see all the break-in stages.
I am a huge fan of your products, and talk to all tech fans about them. Every time I read blogs about with snake oil nay-sayers I smile and think how some people have no clue. If I were to wire up with all OEM cords, my system would be a 2009 Honda. With Shunyata products, it’s a Porsche Turbo.
I would like to let you know how things are working out with the new TRITON, TYPHON, and the ΞTRON™ Powersnakes. In one word: remarkable!!
The TRITON/TYPHON combination is simply amazing. The noise floor in my system is now vanishingly low. I am an Electrical Engineer and I have been an audiophile for more than thirty years, and to say the noise floor is vanishingly low is something I never thought I would say about any system.
Please give my warmest regards to Caelin Gabriel and everybody else at Shunyata!
Dear Grant and Caelin,
I’m a skeptic when it comes to electrical cables and audio benefits. I have a decent system made up of Bryston components with Vienna Acoustics speakers. Its sound was fairly decent to begin with. So, when my dealer recommended that I hook up a TRITON with COBRA C19 to the wall outlet and COBRA ΞTRON™’s for my amp and DAC, I was skeptical. How can a line conditioner boost that ever-elusive trait that we audiophiles call “musicality”?
After breaking in the TRITON and COBRA cables for about 50 hrs, I was floored. The sonic improvements that I heard were simply astonishing. Vocals and string instruments were clearer and had startling 3-D-like images in my room. The amounts of rich detail I was able to hear in choral, chamber, and pop/rock FLAC and CD recordings were enhanced significantly. Even my LPs, played on a modest Concept turntable, sounded much better, with improved soundstage all around. Reverberations, especially with string instruments, seemed to linger longer, enhancing my experience of a live-performance recording. It was like lifting a veil that masked parts of the music. The opening-up of panoramic vistas of sonic detail from the recordings was truly remarkable. How can a cleaned-up, two-dimensional electrical signal reveal such amazing detail? My listening pleasure has never been better!
I just wanted to congratulate you and your staff for the efforts you all have put into your products. I cannot fathom going back to stock cords. I may never attend another live chamber or vocal concert again (just joking)! And I look forward to further technical developments from your group.
Keep up the great work.
Pete N., PhD
Thank you Richard,
I appreciate the outstanding service. I always thought Shunyata products were some of the best out there….. your new line may be the best!
I soon will be purchasing a set of your jumpers and sometime next year a TRITON power conditioner.
What a MAJOR difference! As my HYDRA 6 burns in, it gets better and better. Cannot wait to upgrade to PYTHON’s later in 2011. I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times but THANKS for the upgrade!
Dear Caelin, Grant, and Richard,
This is a follow up comment to my previous comment that I had made about the two TRITON’s that I had installed in my main system. As I had commented, I had on order a third TRITON power conditioner for my workshop audio system.
I spend between 20 and 25 hours a week in my workshop as part of a process of earning my livelihood. This past year, I installed an audio system in my workshop consisting of basically a recent vintage Audio Research Reference tube line stage, and Audio Research CD player, and an Audio Research power amp. Speakers are Magnepans, suspended and angled from the ceiling of my work area. Power cables are Shunyata KING COBRA CX’s. I have two dedicated lines — one for the amp and one for the TRITON which powers everything else.
While my main system is for dedicated listening only, that system was put together for a “fidelity to the master tape” sound. The workshop system was put together for a “beauty of tone” sound. Listening to music on the main system is the activity in and of itself, while the secondary system is to provide some element of nourishment, stimulation, relaxation, and fun while I am working. Music is secondary to my working, but I still wanted a sound that made that music sound more accessible. This system is on all the time while I am working and as such I did not want it to be fatiguing in any way, nor did my family need excess bass traveling to other parts of our home.
Simply put, the addition of the TRITON in that secondary system increased the accessibility of the music. There is clearly a resultant denser quality of tone to the overall sound. Futher, there is an intensified the interplay of those tones, not only of total musical presentation, but of individual instrumentation as well. For example the tonal interplay of a guitar’s strings and how they resonate with the guitar’s body or a piano’s tonal interplay of hammers, strings, and sound board are now vividly more apparent. Vocalists have taken on a greater three dimensionality and focus. The sound stage is wider. There is also more information that populates that widened stage. The aggregate result is that I now find myself connecting with the music on a much more intensely emotional level similar to what I have I have regularly experienced on my main system.
The sound is now so intense that at times it is outright distracting! I find that I stop working for a moment or two and just revel in the beauty of the song being played, whether the lyric, the vocalist, or the instrumentalist. I feel the fun, joy, sadness, sorrow, longing, splendor, pulse, and whatever other emotions the performers are expressing. An emotional connection to the music is a good thing, when you get right down to it, that is what this hobby is all about! The addition of the TRITON to my workshop has tremendously enhanced how I spend 25 hours of my life every week. I listen to the secondary system for many more hours than the primary system, and as such the TRITON was not only worth every penny that I had paid for it, when put on an hourly basis will prove to be a bargain!
All my appreciation!
Dear Caelin, Grant, and Richard,
As you know, I have commented on your wonderful power conditioning products in the past. I am fortunate to have a dedicated purpose built listening room, which includes ten dedicated lines that run in close proximity from an isolated and separately earth grounded sub panel with a very high grade electric in-wall wiring that is purpose built for optimum power delivery with low noise. All power of my power cords are your KING COBRA CX series, which I have also commented on in the past.
Recently when the TRITON power conditioners became available, I had ordered two from my dealer, without an audition. This was based simply on my experience with your past power conditioning products from the HYDRA to the V-RAY to the V-RAY VII. I have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical as to any improvement, as truth tell, I was very satisfied with my two V-RAY VII conditioners. I use one conditioner for my analogue front end equipment and another for my digital equipment, as I discovered several years ago through experimentation with two of your V-RAY conditioners that isolating these on separate lines rendered an across the board improvement in sound.
While my TRITON’s were waiting to be being built, I had taken delivery on a new pair of Magico Q5 loudspeakers, which had replaced my Magico V3 loudspeakers. After a week or so of initial break in, I was shocked at the overall improvement that the new Magico’s had wrought. About a month into the loudspeaker break in period, my TRITON’s had finally arrived. I installed them and turned the system back on, not expecting to hear that much of an improvement — perhaps something along the lines of an improvement from your excellent ANACONDA CX to the KING COBRA CX. I had plans to sell one of my V-RAY VII’s and keep the other one for an auxiliary system that I enjoy in my workshop. (This auxiliary system is actually used more than my main system as it is on while I work, while my main system is for leisure time — something that I have precious little of.)
Upon listening to the system with the TRITON’s installed, my jaw nearly hit the floor! These new power conditioners were rendering an improvement to my system that was of the same magnitude as the jump from the Magico V3 to the Q5! I was in shock!!! The sound stage had widened, heretofore buried information became crystal clear, the noise floor (which I had already thought was in the basement) had dropped considerably more, the system’s dynamics and dynamic expressions of the musicians on every recording played became even more apparent, and the density of tone took on another dimension that was much closer to “live”. As the TRITON’s burned in over the next month my system’s presentation became simply more relaxed, effortless, and overall easy to listen to.
In fact, the system now sounds so good, that upon a recent visit to my sound room, my dealer had commented that it was the best sounding system that he has heard in a client’s home! He had also commented that it is a shame that more of his customers don’t bother to try Shunyatapower conditioning equipment, or power conditioning in general, as it is just not as “sexy” as a new preamp or disc player. We both know that adding Shunyata power conditioning to an existing audio system will render a bigger improvement (not difference, but real improvement) than “upgrading” that system’s components.
I was so impressed by the improvement of your new TRITON’s, that I ended up selling both of my V-RAY VII’s and ordered a TRITON to use on my workshop system! In fact I am still so impressed with your KING COBRA CX power cords, that they are used on that system as well. As I write this, I am awaiting the delivery of the TRITON for my secondary system, actually more exited than when I had ordered the TRITON’s for my main system, as I now know what is in store!!!
As a lifetime avid music lover and an audiophile with 35 years of serious listening experience, I have come to the conclusion that your power conditioning equipment is a great equalizer of the different brands of audio electronics. That is, the positive effects and improvements wrought are similar regardless of what brand of electronics they are conditioning. When Shunyata is powering “it” and conditioning “it”, the results will be clearly and demonstrably similar: Wider dynamics, greater detail retrieval, blacker silences, increased dimensionality, greater density and purity of tone, wider sound stage and more precise imaging within that sound stage. My experienced advice to those who are reading this comment — don’t change your electronics — improve the electricity that they are being fed, as without Shunyata, they are not performing anywhere near their full potential!
Listening to music, or I should say properly reproduced music, is of paramount importance to me, and probably anyone who is reading this. It is one of the true pleasures that enhances my life. Your products go a long way to increasing that pleasure and enjoyment. Keep up the good work!
Thank you for doing what you do.
At this point in my life, one of the greatest pleasures and passion I have is my audio system and the beauty of rich, clear and accurate sound.
After several upgrades this year I am curious as to how much better the beautiful sound could get?
I had researched power conditioners and have read and tried to understand what power conditioners are and how they could improve my audio system. As I compared products for a power conditioner I was impressed with the Shunyata Research information available. The research and technology in your products was to me very impressive, not to mention the excellent reviews, endorsements and awards over the years that finally assured me that Shunyata Research is producing a high quality product. I was skeptical but one has to hear it to believe and so with permission from my wife, I decided to add to my system a HYDRA MODEL-6 with a BLACK MAMBA high current CX power cord and I also improved the wall plug with a audiophile grade wall receptacle. As I get home and unpack the new items, I am extremely excited to hear what Shunyata is all about. I carefully arrange the cords and plug them into the HYDRA 6. I put on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon released on SACD. My jaw dropped! What I heard was beautiful sound.
There was an unbelievable quietness — no noise just clear sound. The dynamic range was greater, the sound was more colorful and smooth. The soundstage was also improved — with greater detail and more refined, I could now hear the drummer going from left to right on the kit, the instruments in behind were at lower levels were more evident. The difference was considerably noticeable and I am much happier as a result. An unexpected bonus was the picture quality I observed on our Samsung Ultra Slim 58″ Plasma HD TV. The picture was more detailed with brighter and more vivid color. The resolution was far better with the HYDRA in the system. I was so impressed with the HYDRA 6 I could not help but wonder how the HYDRA Talos would perform and so with permission from my wife to spend the kids university money — kidding — I upgraded to the HYDRA TALOS. I am extremely pleased with the addition of the Shunyata products — they really make a difference that you will notice.
As I continue in my pursuit to achieve the best possible quality music sound reproduction, I am thankful that Shunyata Research has helped me on to the right path.
My joy with the beautiful sound your products has helped me achieve has improved my outlook on life!
I installed the Shunyata TRITON in my system yesterday and have bee listening to it over the evening and through the day. As you recall I had the Shunyata HYDRA-8, ANACONDA/PYTHON power cabling, of which I have been extremely pleased, along with the latest ARC Reference gear and Wilson speakers. Out of the box the Triton’s physical appearance and weight is truly impressive. More importantly though, the improved effects on power conditioning were clearly audible. The imaging, the palpable presence of voices and instruments, and the dynamic shifts in music were all improved. The bass was more extended and quicker. It felt as if my Reference Anniversary had more power and speed available to it through the TRITON. The background noise is indeed quieter on the TRITON. Well, as you can tell I’m sold on the new technology and what it delivers to my system. Thank you again for all your help in assisting me in the selection of these outstanding products. Give the guys at Shunyata a high-five for this one!
Good morning gentlemen,
Just wanted to let you know that this system is sounding fabulous and these guys aren’t even broken in yet. This is day 3 so I guess in another couple of days we’ll really be smokin’. I’m sure when I put in the 2 CX’s and the re-terminated HELIX ALPHA, it’s going to be absolutely awesome. Thanks for doing such a great job in the products you make as well as the outstanding service. You guys are GREAT!
HYDRA arrived today with no issues from shipping.
1. Used the new 20A power cord you sent (Belden) and plugged the HYDRA into same outlet as before. Powered up HYDRA and no issues.
2. Turned switch off on HYDRA, and plugged in all 6 components. Flipped the switch on the HYDRA and no issues. Powered up all 6 components, no issues.
3. Played some tunes for 10-15 minutes – no issues. Powered down all 6 components.
4. Turned switch off on HYDRA and plugged in the 20A PYTHON ALPHA HELIX. Flipped the switch on the HYDRA and no issues. Powered up all 6 components, no issues.
5. Playing tunes now and no issues.
Thank you again, to you and the people at Shunyata. It has been a pleasure to deal with such a great company, and one that still provides great customer service (something that seems to be lost today in the audio world).
I just wanted to thank you for your patient listening and excellent advice on selecting power cords for my system. I ended up buying HYDRA V-RAY and two ANACONDA’s one for the amp and the other for HYDRA. Now I have the entire power distribution system from Shunyata with good combination of shielded and CX cables based on your feedback. The audio video experience has changed so dramatically that I have no words except WOW. We were planning to buy a new TV but now we feel there is no need.
Thanks again and convey my appreciation to your production team — they are the best.
Dear Caelin, Grant, and Matt,
I have been an avid audiophile for over thirty years. I have been fortunate to have the ability and means to own reference grade electronic and loudspeakers and have a purpose built, sound treated listening room outfitted with an electrical sub panel, grounding system, and more than enough dedicated electric lines.
Around 1986 I got into digital, scraping my Goldmund turntable, as I found that records, no matter how good they sounded, always contained some amount of background noise or either in the form of tick and pops, or just plain old low level rumble. The problem with digital is that it created a noise of its own — grunge back on the electric line. I have used various manufactures’ power conditioning equipment over the years, but it was not until I wired my entire system with your ANACONDA ALPHA HELIX power cables, V-RAY conditioner for the front end and HYDRA 2 for the amplification, did I realize just how damned great my digital now sounds! My listening room is library quiet — almost eerily so, as again it is an isolated room both acoustically and eclectically from the rest of my home.
This room quiet, really allows your Shunyata power conditioning equipment to make my system sound like the sonic equivalent of watching a 35MM film. Everything is simply layered bare in front of me in a 180 degree and three dimensional panoramic vista of sound that is outright scary!!! Voices and musical instruments just hang in air, and when the music gets complex, it is only complex in its composition and performance, not in its conveyance through my loudspeakers. Everything is dead quiet. The high notes sparkle and the low notes growl. Your power conditioning equipment simply makes the music easy on the ears, as the brain has so much less work to do in deciphering the music and its inherent complexities of dynamics, micro dynamics, rhythmic interaction, image placement, sound staging, harmonic nuance, cohesiveness, correctness of timber, and an overall finely delineated “wholeness”. My audio system not only has been elevated to a whole different and much higher level, but it is at a level that I have never heard from any other audio system before!
Last week a good friend came over for a visit, and we listened to the music system for several hours. He initially commented on how shockingly quiet my audio system now sounds. After further listening he commented that there was now so much more information coming through my speakers that it was now hard to process — he was hearing familiar recordings that were, in his experience, revealed with much greater fidelity and resolution. At the end of our listening session he commented — Wow! Thank you for sharing that with me! What a treat!!!
A few further thoughts — I lived with a HYDRA 8 for a couple of months before I upgraded to the V-RAY. While the HYDRA 8 was excellent, the V-RAY’s performance is a definite across the board sonic upgrade, easily that of upgrading a major component. I also tried the PYTHON HELIX power cables, and I must disagree with Robert Harley’s assessment in Issue 168 of “The Absolute Sound” magazine, where he writes that the PYTHON is 98% of the ANACONDA’s performance. From my experience the PYTHON, while a most excellent power cable (better than anything else that I have ever used before it!), does not deliver the bottom half octave of bass nor the micro dynamics of the entire audio range with the same authority of the ANACONDA power cable. Perhaps a 20% performance upgrade from the PYTHON to the ANACONDA is a more appropriate percentage relationship. In the context my system, where I am using eight Anacondas, all of those 20% performance differentials add up to a huge and stunning total performance upgrade.
In summation, I am so pleased with your top grade power conditioning equipment, that it makes all other power conditioning gear that I have employed in my audio system over the past three decades sound simply wrong. I now have a mistrust of all audio reviews that I currently read that were written by reviewers who are not using Shunyata for their power conditioning, as they are not getting a true â€œreadâ€ on the products that they are reviewing without your equipment to properly condition the power!
I want to thank you for designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing such amazing equipment that allows me to enjoy and appreciate my music collection as never before!
Thank you for your reply. I know you must get many emails. I have purchased the PYTHON ALPHA HELIX and it will arrive tomorrow. I’m so glad that I took the time to audition the HYDRA MODEL-8 and ANACONDA ALPHA HELIX. I was ready to buy an Exactpower (EP 15) and decided to try the HYDRA in my system. After listening to the HYDRA, there was not doubt. It was superior in every musically meaningful way.
Thanks again for your help. You now have another loyal customer who will spread the word.
I did my true listening of the HYDRA MODEL-6 this weekend after owning the piece for two months. For reasons beyond this email I could not listen to it before however I finally connected my system and all I can say is WOW!
Really, I did not imagine this product could make such a difference. The low end is super detailed. The midrange is clearer and the highs are absolutely delicate now. It is simply amazing. The background is so low now that it is definitely inaudiable.
…I first installed the HYDRA MODEL-2… keeping in mind your recommendation to elevate and isolate the unit.I’ve since made enough room to put the HYDRA on its feet with the help of 3 small aluminim cones. Well, you guys weren’t kidding. The detail, soundstage and bass detail improved ten fold. I am simply shocked by the improvement. I called the audio sales man that sold me these units and urged him to advise customers to pay close attention to this step. The improvement was not subtle, it was a critical optimization of your excellent product.
All of the products are in my system now. I must tell you I AM FLOORED by the differece the ANACONDA’s make over anything else I have ever had. Same goes for the HYDRA 8 the improvments are jaw dropping. I dont know why evreyone does not do this. I think now it is the most important change you make in upgrading your system. It is also the most cost effective as well. When you think that people change their amps, speakers and the like. I want to take this oppertunity to tell you I think your company is changing the way people hear music and home audio. I can tell you it has changed mine forever, and I can’t thank you enough.
KEEP UP THE FINE WORK.
Before I tell you just how excellent I found your products, let me tell you how excellent I found your customer service! I live in a remote area — it’s only 5 miles to the north to the Arctic Circle. This is a nice and highly developed small town, but it sure is no place to go shopping for High End audio. Even though in the age of the internet it is possible to get anything anywhere, it is difficult to get products home to audition them. So I am very dependent on both consumer reviews and on customer service.
Well, as far as consumer reviews go, choosing Shunyata power conditioning was a no-brainer. When Skywalker Industries, David Gilmour, Sony Recording Studios and — most important from where I stand — the Viennese Philharmonics tell you a product is excellent, I don’t expect to find out otherwise. Ordering a HYDRA 6 through the local High End service was an easy decision. But, alas, I am a difficult customer. Much as I would like to change that, I can’t. There are always a million questions I have. What cabling to use, where to place the HYDRA, should I spike it, can I burn it in plugging my refrigerator into it, is there a plug in order for my components etc. etc.
As a rule, I get decent enough replies to the first one or two questions. Then whoever is responsible for costumer service cannot be bothered anymore. Not with Shunyata! A guy named Matt went out of his way to answer each and every question in detail. On top of that, he always found the time to be really nice and personal about our communication. That is rare, and I made a note to keep this in mind when the time came to give my feedback. Thanks again, Matt! (By the way, to save Matt some future time, here are the answers to the questions above: Put the strongest (best) cable between the wall and the HYDRA. Place it on a shelve, not on the floor. Spiking enhances performance. Fridge
works great for burn in. Plug in order is not so important since the exits are clearly separated, but amp first, digital last, is the natural choice.)
So I finally bought the HYDRA 6 along with DIAMONDBACK cabling. 20AMP cable between wall and HYDRA, ordinary Dbs between HYDRA and amp/CD. First of all, the cables got here first and I was amazed! I am interested in physics, so it was clear to me, that good power cords would make a difference. But this big a difference? I never would have guessed! I got more clarity and openness in the treble along with a very deep and tightly controlled bass. On top of that, the whole sound became more dynamic without being in your face in the least. To be sure, I never had considered treble or bass or dynamics to be weaknesses of my system. I thought they were great already! I do a lot of my serious listening with headphones (two very small kids in the house). I use Sennheiser 650s through a Musical Fidelity X-Can V3. Recently I had upgraded the headphone cable, exchanging the stock cable for a Zu Mobius, which set me back 300 Euros, but was worth every cent. By way of comparison, exchanging the stock power cords on my Pathos Classic One (hybrid) amp and on my Densen 400 XS CD-player for DIAMONDBACKS made as much of a difference as the Zu Mobius. Also, I had at some point chosen my other cabling, which is by Goertz (Alphacore) to be either copper or silver, with the silver adding 1000 euros to the cost of my system. I liked the silver so much better, I was willing to spend the extra money. Again, just the DIAMONDBACKS alone made as much of a difference! They are more than worth the money. Actually, if you can only upgrade your interconnects or your power cords, I would opt for the power cords now! And they would have to be Shunyata.
So how about the whole deal, HYDRA added? Well, the most amazing additions to the quality of sound were a) an enormously widened, deepened, heightened and better structured soundstage and b) a much more integrated sound. For all I know about physics, this is beyond me. The effect on the soundstage, which is so much bigger and which every musician is clearly placed in, is far beyond anything I could have expected. Saying the sound is more integrated means, everything just seems to be part of the same performance, more than it used to. There is one musical happening taking place, as opposed to different notes forming a whole.
Again, I’ll try to compare. I chose my speakers, the Dynaudio Confidence C1 over the also excellent Dynaudio Contour 1.4, because there is that extra sparkle to the sound. Like comparing champagne to a really good white wine. This decision cost me an additional 2500 Euros. Getting the HYDRA most probably made more of a difference, at less expense! I also choose my front end, the Densen 400 XS over the 400 Plus — adding 1500 Euros to my bill. Again, the HYDRA makes as much of a difference.
No matter, what you are having or getting for a set up. Start out with a HYDRA and Shunyata cabling. It will make more of a difference (for the better) than most of the other choices you might be considering. And on top of that, you’ll get some excellent customer service!
HYDRA 6 with DIAMONDBACKS
Pathos Classic One hybrid amp
Densen 400 XS CD and 800 Tuner
Goertz silver cabling (Veracity MI2 and Triode Quartz)
Musical Fidelity X.Can V3 with Senneheiser 650s, Zu Mobius upgrade cable
After a strong recomendation from a local dealer, I took the leap of faith and invested in your product. I was impressed with the TAIPAN VX/ALPHA HYDRA MODEL-2 combination. It wasn’t till I added the TAIPAN HELIX to the mix, did I realize the full potential of this upgrade. The improvement in the micro dynamics was the first change noted. My soundstage grew ten feet. Sonically, theres a kind of “enrobing” effect, I’ve had many different power conditioners over the years, as well as upgraded power cords. With Shunyata, I’ve gone from “thinking” I hear a difference, to knowing it to be fact.
Jersey City, NJ
Matt, Words cannot discribe how incredible the HYDRA MODEL-6 and the PowerSnakes sound. I don’t know if I just happen to have the right combination of components but my sound stage is very 3 dimentional, absolutely incredible and tonal balance is perfect. Transient attacks are just explosive and precise. The low frequencies are tight deep and very solid. The high frequencies have that natural holographic harmonic resonance that you hear up close and personal as if they were live. Instruments such as cymbals actually sound as if they are a shower of sparks falling down right in front of you. Everything sounds warm, natural and very liquid, almost as if you were looking at your sound stage though a sheet of perfectly pure water. Stage positioning of instrumentation is very defined as well as delivering a very soft, precise presentation across the whole sound stage. Oh, and I forgot to mention, my system is dead quiet with no audible floor noise with the volume wide open (no music playing).
Caelin Gabriel did a fantastic job designing the HYDRA and Snakes. His electronic and electrical design principals are right on the money. The HYDRA is very simple, not bulky, non current restricting, and produces no heat or noise and has the most precise filtration points of any conditioner in the world. I have found that a direct AC line of twisted 8 gauge power wire from the electric panel with a dedicated 30 amp breaker at the top of the buss to the hubble connector in the rear of the HYDRA works extremely well. Shunyata has the best conditioning products in the world, no doubt about it.
Conditioning products used in the past:
Here are my system components:
Power Distribution : Shunyata HYDRA MODEL-6 with 5 DIAMONDBACK and 1 COPPERHEAD powersnakes
Tuner : Magnum DynaLab MD100 Phono : VPI scout with Benz Glider MCC and VPI Reference signal cable
Phono Preamp : Audio Research PH3SE
Digital : Theta Digital Data Basic with DSPro Prime II DAC connected with MIT Reference digital interconnect
Pre amplification : Spectral DMC 12
Power Amplification : Spectral DMA 90
Signal Cables : MIT AVT series1 for sources and MIT Shotgun 330 between pre and poweramp
Speaker Cables : MIT 750 HE +
Loudspeakers : Magnepan MG 2.7QR
Please feel free to use my system pictures and my review on your site.
I’ve evaluated your products and found them absolutely fantastic (TAIPAN VX, ALPHA and HYDRA MODEL-2). They smoked my Transparent PowerIsolator4 and Analysis PowerOval combo. I ordered right away 1m PYTHON VX for my cd-player (Bow Technologies Wizard 24/192), PYTHON ALPHA for my integrated (Bow Wazoo 50W no negative feedback-design, very tube sounding integrated) and two pieces of HYDRA MODEL-2’s equipped with TAIPAN ALPHA’s.
The HYRDA MODEL-8 roduces an incredibly quiet background, expansive soundstage, tight bass. It eliminated all hum from my phono stage. I never understood what people meant when they said “silence between the notes”: but now I get it. One can truly hear “into the music” and at times the notes seem to come out of space. Spooky details (that is great audio language). I like its small size and lack of external heat.
I AM IMPRESSED.
As I mentioned on the phone, I consider the new HYDRA MODEL-8 to be an almost “holy grail”, “one ring, crack of doom” type addition to my audio/video system! No kidding, the HYDRA MODEL-8 just seems to create this great synergy within my system that allows all of the components to perform their best. I’ve been pretty much telling all of my audiophile friends (and anyone else who will listen) the same! Please pass along my thanks to everyone at Shunyata for all the great power products.
I am sure I’ve passed the 100 hour break-in time for the HYDRA MODEL-8, so time for an update.
Rarely do I wax on in audio hyperbole, but I have to say the HYDRA MODEL-8 is the single most positive addition I’ve made to my audio set up in the past two years (since I purchased the VAC 70-70 Renaissance MkIIIS amp). There is greater coherence to the music, increased delicacy, and absolute quiet to the background. For me, this adds up to enhanced enjoyment of the music. I get closer to the heart and soul of the artist.
Thanks for making such a fine product.
Just a note to update you on the HYDRA MODEL-8. I am almost reluctant to tell you my reactions because, to some extent they will sound like a replay of my comments on the ANDROMEDA speaker cable and therefore you might wonder whether I overreact to each upgrade or improvement in my system. Well, I do not. Some are subtle. Some purchases are not upgrades or improvements at all. But the HYDRA MODEL-8 (and the ANDROMEDA) is not subtle, is not negative… is not a close call. It made a substantial improvement in my system — a material leap forward. And the improvement was not just in one area or component but in almost every area audiophiles use to evaluate a product. And the negatives, the drawbacks — none, nada, not yet.
I actually purchased the HYDRA MODEL-8 to provide me with surge protection rather than for an improvement. All my components plugged directly into the wall. My reasoning in buying the unit was that if it provided me with protection against electrical surges and did no harm, the cost would be justified. Additionally, I listen almost exclusively to vinyl and did not think the improvements I had read about would be as noticeable with records as with digital. Finally, another piece of equipment I had added for the turntable had resulted in overall improvements but they were subtle. So I thought my vinyl playback had reached a plateau with my current system. In short, I was neither looking for, nor expecting, dramatic improvements — if any appreciable improvements — from the HYDRA MODEL-8. I just wanted protection without the drawbacks I had read about with other products.
My expectations disappeared by the end of the first piece I played. The improvements in my system were stunning. First, the noise. Wait, there was no noise. A *slight* hum that I had always heard (with 3 different phono sections) with the phono gain turned up and no music playing was gone. The system was quiet. And better yet, the quiet translated into blackness during playback. What I mean by this is that small details were readily distinguishable and sounds and instruments had their own place, both in space and in the recording. The details brought the instruments more to life than I had ever heard. There was a richness and fullness to the sounds that made the instruments sound more like they do in a music hall or club rather than in my listening room. The string and wood of the violins were more there. And the saxophone? Well, sometime ago, I had heard Paul Desmond’s sax in Take Five (Dave Brubeck) on a different system and under conditions that made that sax sound like nothing I had ever heard. It moved me. In setting up my home system, I had always used that cut in making adjustments and as a measure. With the HYDRA MODEL-8, I heard that sax and thought — for the first time — that the sound was what I had heard that day sometime ago and had been looking for ever since.
On a classical piece that I have played over 100 times, there is an organ playing low notes. I was surprised when I heard the opening passage and realized that all this time what I thought was a single note was actually two notes. And the bass is punchier, deeper and tighter.
I could go on. The instruments are more clearly layered and placed on the soundstage, for example. My conclusion: the HYDRA MODEL-8 doesn’t make music but it allows my components to perform closer to their maximum potential than any product I have owned.
I’ve had the ANACONDA VX and HYDRA in my system for a few weeks, so now is a good time to offer my observations. First, some history. Before this, I had the KING COBRA II feeding a Sony SCD-1 and the BLACK MAMBA on a Bryston 14B ST. Speakers are Harbeth Monitor 40s. All powercords were hooked to a high quality outlet fed by an original KING COBRA. I first tried Shunyata products three years ago. I was utterly smitten by what the KING COBRA did in freeing musical reproduction from congestion; allow musical expression to flow, and allowing instrumental images to leap out in a more solid fashion. In particular, I appreciated the way it took digital playback so much closer to analogue standards (especially SACDs) in the way it deals with digital A/C noise problems. Thus, when the ANACONDA VX was introduced, I could not imagine how much better it could be than the KING COBRA. I supposed that might only be room for subtle changes, since the KING COBRA already effected such a drastic improvement. My dealer offered a home demo I had nothing to lose.
However, I had a great deal to gain. Replacing the KING COBRA II with the ANACONDA VX brought music reproduction to a new level of realism. I could allude to improved dynamics, imaging or detail, but these terms seem irrelevant with the ANACONDA VX, so radical was the enhanced presence of the instruments and the greater revelation of the intentions musicians were expressing. Adding the new HYDRA MODEL-8 to this setup brought performance to even more elevated level of sonic clarity and a reduction of that buffer zone presented by reproductive means between the original event and the listener. The new HYDRA is even more neutral and colouration-free than the older model which I had auditioned in my system.
The musical presentation is so entrancing that one simply wants to enjoy the music without desiring to categorize or quantify the effect. Thoughts of Stardust, certified copper purity, dielectric quality, dyes etc. simply slip away from one’s mind, as they should. These design issues are for Caelin Gabriel to deal with. The Shunyata customers’ job is simply to partake in greater enjoyment of music.
The SCD-1 has recently been upgraded to the magnificently fluid, uncolored, responsive and analogue-sounding Krell SACD Standard (which sets new standard for SACD playback.) Powered by Shunyata, the new generation of SACD players perform at their best to deliver vinyl standards of playback from silver discs, and way beyond that even! I dare say that Shunyata IS the equalizing factor between digital and analogue.
The Shunyata philosophy is 100% in line with my goal of seeking neutral, transparent and colouration-free reproduction. I can’t imagine how these products can get substantially better, but trust Shunyata to relentlessly lead the way in breaking new ground, and to surprise us in days to come with what is yet possible from musical reproduction.
K. Tang, PhD Asst. Prof. in Musicology/Composition
I recently compared a few power-line units, including HYDRA, Richard Grey and Audio Magic. I am very surprised how much difference there is in the sound of each unit. It (HYDRA) is the same kind of difference when I up-graded components, may be more. I definitely prefer the HYDRA. Sometimes I record CDs professionally. My angle is much higher sound quality, which the HYDRA is part of.
I bought the GUARDIAN 4-HT thru hifi at the soundstation and love it. Works great with my headphone amp — it’s a maxed out home reference and it sounds better with a DIAMONDBACK power cable and 4HT.
But when I plugged in my 31″ RCA and Direct TV receiver — a dramatic improvement in picture quality.
WOW! Its less fuzzy and colors more vibrant was using monster hts 2000 before.
The Shunyata HYDRA is a work of art. The looks alone are amazing, and craftsmanship is superb. Sonically, HYDRA is out of this world. After the first HYDRA was set up in my system, WOW, what a improvement, so much so that I am about to order my second HYDRA. The power cords such as the PYTHON will soon be throughout my entire system. Thanks SHUNYATA for making such a GREAT PRODUCT.
Just competed Burn-In Week.
All I can tell you, Richard, is that I am, well, astounded.
The system is transformed.
You probably have […]’s order for two more Sigmas (HC) for my amps
Although I can’t imagine what more these cords will do?
Thank you and everyone you work with for such wonderful (but expensive) gifts.
For years I had been using two or three so called “Giant Killer” power cables for my Wadia, (read cheap) thinking they should be “good enough”. Recently I bought the Black Mamba CX almost as a lark. Well, Richard, my first adventure in Shunyataland has been a real eye and ear opener! Did not realize just how much I had been missing, or how good the rest of my system really was. No audiophile verbiage needed, this Black Mamba CX just destroyed the Elcheapo power cables in all audible areas. I’m sure this is no surprise to you, but to me it has been a revelation. Thanks to this one power cable I now have an entirely “new” CD library to enjoy.
Today I received a Alpha HC power cord to be used with my Devialet D250 amplifier. I previously house a pair of Anaconda Speaker cables connecting the Devialet with my Magico Q3. This combination sounds fantastic in my opinion! I Listening to a wide selection of music – ZZ Top, Apex Twins, Opera, grand scale symphonic orchestral music, small jazz trios just to mention some – pretty much all kinds of music – and nowadays I am listening with a broad smile on my face. Both amplifier and speakers are very neutral and in combination with the Shunyata cable system, it all result in a convincing musical experience that forces me to play album after album. Thank you for manufacturing such great cables!
Björn W. Gothenburg
It’s now been about three weeks since I got my PS8 bundle. It’s been a great addition to my system. You can now add me to the list of people that believe power cables can, and do make a difference.
The amount of improvement/clarity to my system make this a bargain given how much I paid for this bundle. There’s no doubt that the next thing I buy for my system will be three more venom cables!
I just wanted to thank you for all you have done for those of us who enjoy listening to music.
Over the past year I was introduced to Shunyata Research through Music Direct. I acquired COBRA ΞTRON™ Power Cords to improve power delivery and the VENOM DEFENDER, DARKFIELD CABLE ELEVATOR’s and MINI’s to minimize EMI. I was so impressed by the dramatic effect these additions had in my system. The sound quality was transformed. It now resembles that of a live performance. There is such beauty in the highly resolved music I am hearing.
Thanks to you and your company for developing such advanced technology as “ΞTRON®” and for manufacturing so many value products. I feel privileged to have benefitted from your hard work.
Dear Caelin, Grant, and Richard,
I had replaced the KING COBRA CX that I was using on my Spectral 4000SL CD player. I was initially underwhelmed by the ALPHA’s lack of bottom end weight and majesty. Then I let the cable burn and settle in by putting the player on repeat for a couple hundred hours. Then came the sonic transformation of a level of an improved magnitude that blew me away! Up until now, my experience is that your power conditioning “boxes” offered more “bang for the buck” than your power cables. Not that your cables aren’t most excellent, which they are (I have plenty of em!), but that a $5000 TRITON or TYPHON box offered more value than a $3,000 ANACONDA wire. Not any more! In fact, if I had to (reluctantly) relinquish, say one of my TYPHON’s or my ALPHA DIGITAL cable, the TYPHON would be the one to go!
The ALPHA DIGITAL cable is a game changer. This may be the most important product that you have ever introduced to the market! The improvements, not differences, but improvements that I hear, in the context of my reference audio system are many. I will try my best to describe some of them. The soundstage is now much more clarified with an increased sense of imaging placement. Digital glare is tremendously reduced, and with that reduction of glare comes and increased sense of richness and density of timber of both instruments and voices. The sense of increased richness of harmonics and overtones of the instruments on the soundstage has been vastly improved. A guitar sounds more like a live guitar with the warm woody resonance of the soundboard with the interplay of the vibrating strings and their overtones on the harmonics. On piano recordings, I swoon at the hearing the sound of the individual mallets striking the strings and that instrument’s resonance. The piano’s sound and positioning on the stage is much better focused than ever before. Removing the glare from the human voice makes it sound, well, that much more human! Voices now seem to hang in space better than ever before, with every word more intelligible, particularly the ending of words. For example, lets say the vocalist sings the word “last”. Before the ALPHA, the word would sound closer to “lass” (with some digital “spit”), and now sounds like “lasT” (and that enunciated “T” fades off into space). Vocals are SO much easier to follow! The ALPHA also allows the dynamics (macro and micro) of the recording to come though as never before, as I am now hearing each performer’s individual contribution to the collective performance in the rhythm of the tune much more easy to discern. Combine all that I have mentioned and the increased sense of RPT and overall musicality in the sound of my system have gone WAY UP over the price of the ALPHA cable, which is less that a third of the price of the KING COBRA CX that it replaces! In fact if you had marketed this cable for the same price as that KING COBRA, it would have still been a fantastic value. Yes, it’s that good.
You have embarked on a new frontier with the ALPHA DIGITAL that in one fell swoop, has allowed us to hear the improvements that the designers of digital equipment and the designers of their internal componentry have worked to improve in over the past generation. Using an Alpha Digital cable is like taking digital’s sound ahead of where it currently resides into the future by a decade! It is that big of a deal!
With awe and appreciation for what you do…
I just received the PYTHON ordered from you by Sound Hounds in Victoria, BC. It is a bit hard to install unless I twist the cable so it will lie in a reasonable position and still hook up from my Oyaide outlet to my PS Audio Premier regenerator. How much can it be twisted to make the connections line up. Sound Hounds say just don’t kink it and twist as needed. I just want be sure as it is far more money than I have ever spent on a cable. I replaced a new VENOM HC with it. The VENOM was a great improvement. My wife and I are still trying to describe the difference the PYTHON has made. We installed it last night. We can feel much greater sound pressure at about 70 db. We have a concrete carpeted floor but the leather couch cushions were vibrating with Jack Johnson at 70 or so db. The Venom HC did not do that but improved the sound immensely. We have only listened for 45 minutes so we will see as burn-in continues. I think the PYTHON will improve the openness, soundstage and add dimensions and detail when compared to the awesome Venom HC. We are planning to use COBRA ΞTRON® for our other power cords and Shunyata speaker wire. I love what you are doing. Bringing great products to the market that a person can justify buying. I have spent most of my life trying to get vinyl and cd’s to sound good without going broke. I can finally say at 61 years old I am almost there.
Ladies & Gents:
I recently purchased a new HYDRA 6 with the VENOM HC power cord. It replaced a APC H10 power conditioner. I was expecting an improvement. I was shocked at how big of an improvement this device has made. It is not broken in yet but already there are great improvements being experienced. The bass is tighter, clearer, fuller and more detailed. Of course the soundstage is wider and deeper. There were some cds I could not play properly especially with low bass. Now they play fine and can be enjoyed. Even the volume level has increased. More music is being heard at all levels. Keep up the good work.
I would like to let you know how things are working out with the new TRITON, TYPHON, and the ΞTRON™ powersnakes.
In one word: remarkable!!
The TRITON/TYPHON combination is simply amazing. The noise floor in my system is now vanishingly low. I am an Electrical Engineer and I have been an audiophile for more than thirty years, and to say the noise floor is vanishingly low is something I never thought I would say about any system.
Please give my warmest regards to Caelin Gabriel and everybody else at Shunyata!
The near field high frequency noise issue is, in my experience, the key to getting things right. I installed the TRITON/TYPHON and the new ΞTRON™ cables where a V-RAY and some lesser quality cables had previously been installed. Prior to installing the TRITON/TYPHON, I had heard some peculiar low level intermittent noises, but I could not determine what was causing of these noises. At first, I thought I had some tubes going bad in my Audio Research Ref 40 linestage or in my Audio Research PH3SE Phono Stage. Replacing the tubes did not help. I tried other things, but I could not get rid of that noise. After upgrading the V-RAY to the TRITON/TYPHON, the noise floor of the system dropped enough that I could clearly tell what the intermittent problem was: it was RF interference from the local AM radio station. By turning the Gain all the way up, and putting my ear to the speaker, I could hear the radio station. I traced the problem down to some grounding and shielding issues in the phono cables. The problem went away, and the system sounds remarkably better. The key issue here is that until after installing the TRITON/TYPHON, I could not trace down the problem.
I have very good, “clean” AC power coming into my listening room. I live out in the country. I have my own step-down “pole pig” transformer at my ranch. I do not have to share the output of this transformer with anybody else. The main power panel for the entire Ranch is next to the listening room, and I have four dedicated AC lines, two on each side of the incoming power.
I have degrees in Electrical Engineering and a career of experience working in the Aerospace industry. I spent most of my career working on major spacecraft and related systems. Getting the noise floor of the system to an acceptably low level is of fundamental importance in satellite communications. The stereo rig I have assembled here is one of the quietest systems I have ever created. Your products have really made a difference! I wish your products had been available to us when we were testing spacecraft. You could have helped us a lot!
I had been burning in the HYDRA HC and HYDRA-α MODEL-4 for a few days as you suggested and did a lot of careful listening yesterday. The sound was good right out of the box but really did get better over the next couple days. I am very happy with the sound! I didn’t need to go back and forth with the old stuff to be able to tell if there was an improvement. The improvement in transient attack was most immediately obvious and makes everything sound way more lifelike. I was a little startled a few times by the realism. Also, the system just sounds bigger and more powerful overall. I can’t quite explain it, maybe more dynamic, but again much more like real life. I also compared it to a PS Audio Power Plant Premier and I couldn’t believe how much smaller and less involving everything sounded through the power plant. I guess it makes sense that running the AC through all that extra circuitry could do more harm than good.
The only small complaint I have is that the HYDRA HC cord is really stiff to be connected to a light component like the HYDRA-α MODEL-4. I was able to eventually get the cord to conform to the shape it needed to and now everything is staying in place.
Thanks for trickling down your technology to make such high quality products at a more affordable level.
Greetings to Caelin and Richard,
My name is Thomas Cicatelli, but my “Stage Name” is Tommie Chick. First, let me say to Caelin that I wish I could speak to you to personally say “thanks” for what you and your research team have done for me. I am a musician within a three piece band who writes, sings and plays the guitar. My bass player and drummer complete my band. We play Blues standards and originals of mine. I have been playing guitar for 45 years and have settled on a tone that I consider to be the “Holy Grail”.
With the help of your many hours of toil and sweat and assistance from Mark at Music Direct I was able to be put in contact with Richard at Shunyata. Let me explain what is happening. I play guitar as an extension of my voice and I am very cognizant of the fact that the tone I achieve on my instrument is also an expression of myself. Through many years and hundreds of hours, I have strained at this search for my tone. As a result, my equipment has gone through several changes over the years. But, during the summer of 2011, my search led me in a new direction.
In the beginning I made a decision to change all my equipment. I sold all my guitars, amps and effects. The only thing I kept the same were my custom made Van den haul cables, picks and strings. I decided on a Heritage H150 as my main guitar and an amp made in Italy as my only go to instrument. Both the guitar and the amp had things change on them before they were ready. But I noticed a problem when playing my tube amp that was plugged into a Furman Power Factor Pro. I spoke to Mark at Music Direct and I started to think about what needed to be changed.
After reading the information on your website, I started to understand what was wrong with my sound. It was then that I spoke to Richard. At first I told him that I wanted to speak to Caelin. Let me say that I know now why that was not going to take place. I made the decision to purchase the COPPERHEAD power cable and here is what has happened to my sound and guitartone:
A MAJOR MIRACLE HAS TAKEN PLACE!
In an even more dramatic way then when I switched guitar cords. The COPPERHEAD is the best piece of equipment I have. My tone is phenomenal. I am able to say because of three things: 1. My Bass player, a friend for 40 years, told me after our 2 hours of rehearsing that my tone was the best he had ever heard. 2. My recording engineer and fellow musician(guitar,harp and violin are his instruments) looked at everything I was using and could not believe the sound, sustain and harmonics I was able to achieve. 3. My WIFE! she said that my sound was very pleasant and a lot more musical then before. Here is what the COPPERHEAD has done for my sound/tone: I can take the black 10ft. power cable and make a dog leash out of it. I am positve that it changed my tone dramatically because I a/b both cables and the COPPERHEAD destroyed the other one totally. My amp after more than 2 hours of use was NOT even the least bit warm. It was cool to my touch.
This means that the tubes will last longer because they will not have to be pushed harder. Internal components like filter caps etc. will not have to be changed as quickly. Lastly, the speaker will sound better as it ages because it does not have to be over worked all the time.
My guitar sound was now MUCH better. Chords were full, single notes were clear as a bell, my sustain was more pronounced, string harmonics and tube overtones and gain was smooth. My effects worked better and changes to the controls made a big difference. By this I mean it did not matter if I changed the controls on the amp, the guitar or my overdrive effect. All of these changes were heard and made an impact on my sound. Well, this is my review of what the Shunyata Research COPPERHEAD power cable did for me. I am a big fan and an endorser of this great piece of equipment.
Now, when I leave, I take: my guitar, my amp, my overdrive pedal, my cables, picks and last but really first, I make sure that my amp has the COPPERHEAD attached.
Tommie Chick, aka Thomas Cicatelli
My name is Tom and I am a user of Shunyata Products. I use the SR-Z1 hi-end outlet and the COPPERHEAD power cable. Here is the result of my many years of trying to achieve the best possible tone that I can from my musicial equipment. As a guitarist, my main concern is noise from my tube amp and good and bad tone variations from this amp when plugging in to play through it from day to day. In the past, some days things sound status-quo and then other days there are noises and other tones that make playing, practicing and recording very difficult for me.
Then I discovered the power cable and the outlet made by the tech guys at Shunyata Research. From the first time I plugged the amp into the outlet using the COPPERHEAD there was a direct improvement to the sound of my equipment.
First, my amp was quiet. After playing for a few hours I noticed that the amp remained cool to my touch.
Second, my tone was phenomenal sounding. Every note was true and rich. There was no extra distortion coming through the amp. No unwanted noise of any type, just pure true tone. When I added over-drive from the amp or one of my pedals, I was able to achieve pure overtones and richer harmonics than I ever had before this time.
Third, when I did some rehearsing and sound testing at my friends studio, he could not believe how this new set up recorded. I am now able to just set my guitar, amp and any pedal the way I want. This will save me a lot of time by not having to set controls each time. If I want a certain sound, all that I have to do is set all the controls. The next time, if I want the same sound, I just set the controls the same as before.
Now I am no longer just killing studio time trying to get that sound I got yesterday. Now when I am playing, all I have to do is concentrate on the music without any worrying about the tone. I now have complete confidence in my sound, the tone and how other peoples ears will hear what I am playing. Finally, the two guys that record me had nothing but the highest praise for the SR-Z1 outlet and the COPPERHEAD power cable. My friend Tim has a spot on his second floor that I love to record from. He told me that after he heard my set up, he would have no trouble recording me either playing quiet or over the top. Tim said it will be easy now and there will be no restrictions recording my sound. He went so far as to say that the Shunyata gear has made it easy and less complicated to record my sound at its best.
Another friend John did some recording in his studio of me. He said that my new equipment made the sound that was coming from my amp better. The tone, the sound of the over-tones, the harmonic structure of the notes and the purity and transparency coming from the speaker resulted in a great recording sound that will playback well on CD time after time.
I hope that this can fully explain my deep and sincere gratitude to Richard and all the people at Shunyata Research. I, and my tone, are forever in your debt.
Tommie Chick, aka Thomas Cicatelli
My Journey with Shunyata, Part 2
Around the beginning of 2011, the new Shunyata VENOM-3 entered the market, and given my experiences with the DIAMONDBACK PLATINUM, and given the VENOM-3’s incredible price, I was quite interested to try one out, and ordered one for use on my phono stage. Again, I was simply astonished at the improvement and performance that this “entry-level” power cord brings to the customer. For the price, I simply could not believe the level of performance. While both cords exhibited the same set of improvements described in Part 1, what was really intriguing that the VENOM-3 imparted a different quality to the the musical presentation than the DIAMONDBACK PLATINUM. Where the DIAMONDBACK PLATINUM was crisp, clean, and neutral, the VENOM-3 was rich, slightly warm, layered, and textured. I absolutely LOVED it, and it stayed as the power cord for my phono stage, as it’s qualities blended beautifully with an analogue turntable source. I recently bought a used power cord from a friend from another manufacturer, figuring one can never have enough good power cords around. This particular cord is made by a justifiably well-respected manufacturer who makes fine products, and sells new for about $500. I recently did a comparison between this $500 cord and the VENOM-3 when my audio friend was over. We started the demo with the $500 cord, and then put in the VENOM-3. My friend immediately commented, “Wow! The VENOM-3 is more transparent and WAY better than the first cord. I don’t even want to listen to that other cord anymore.” We were both in agreement, and what was really astonishing was that, on the whole, the VENOM-3 absolutely slaughtered this $500 power cord. My friend has been so impressed with the VENOM-3 that just last week he installed four Shunyata VENOM-3 throughout his system and to say he is very, very pleased with the improvements it has brought to his system would be an understatement. Or, as he put it, “I cannot overstate the improvements the VENOM-3’s have made to my system.
In my experience, the VENOM-3 represents an absolutely astonishing level of performance for it’s price, and has to be one of the best value propositions in all of audio. It clearly deserved the awards it won from the professional magazines in 2011, and in my opinion, was one of the outstanding audio products of 2011. It outperforms aftermarket power cords costing 4-5 times as much, and one has to move up to the Shunyata BLACK MAMBA CX/HC CX level of premium cords to actually obtain a notable improvement in performance. I’ll be commenting on my experiences with the BLACK MAMBA CX, HC, CX and HYDRA series of power distributors in Part 3 of my “Journey with Shunyata”. Stay tuned.
You probably already know how good your products are, but just in case…
I just put a TAIPAN HELIX ALPHA power cord onto my CJ CT-5 preamp and wow. It replaced a Custom Power Company Eleven which I always figured was ok. I already had a 20 amp TAIPAN HELIX ALPHA and HYDRA 8 as well as HYDRA 2 with a Shunyata COPPERHEAD for my CJ Premier 12’s. Linn LP12 / Ekos/Lingo/Akiva cartridge. Naim UnitiServe / Enightened Audio DSP-7000 (I know – ancient). Meadowlark Blue Heron speakers.
The TAIPAN on the CT-5 has been remarkable. These things are hard to describe, so I’ll do my best: The music is suddenly much more palpable. The soundstage had always been behind the speakers and now it’s at the plane of the speakers. Everything is clearer making all the instruments sound better. Records that were always a bit dull sounding on my system suddenly sound alive (eg… Allman’s Eat a Peach). No negatives to top end, bass or rhythm/ pacing.
It’s hard to believe that a power cord could make such a difference in a system, but it has. Best upgrade ever!
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for taking the time to talk the other day. As I mentioned in my conversation, I currently own the Shunyata ZR-1 and the SIDEWINDER VTX power cable (on the Oppo) and both have made a tremendous difference to the sound quality of my system (Pioneer SVX54, Oppo BDP83se, B&W 805, JL Audio Phantom, Cardas Neutral reference interconnects and speaker wire). The key, as you had pointed out with the power cable (and I have tried out 2 other lower models from Shunyata), is the burn-in time. This has made a huge difference.
I would recommend the Shunyata line to anyone wanting a great deal. A small investment in Shunyata can bring you a enormous difference in sound quality clarity, enhanced sound stage and more true to life experience without busting the bank. In these tough economic times its great to see an American company put out quality product.
My cables (ANACONDA speaker cables, COBRA XLR IC’s, 4 COBRA power cords) have been in my all Gamut system about a month. Time is very scarce these past weeks and no letup in sight but I feel I owe you a quick report after all your valuable assistance. I’ll expand on this later.
The stereo is transformed. Everyone who has heard it is as dumbstruck as I am over the improvement. All my system issues prior to purchase of the Shunyata cables gradually resolved as the cables burned in. Lack of bass, being overly bright, distortion, lack of dynamics, uneven frequency response, uninspiring timing, difficulty with speaker placement — all gone.
Acknowledging I have not heard dozens of other high end systems but have heard at least a few very high end systems, I personally have never heard a better sounding stereo when CD is the source.
My only complaint is that the cables did not fix the skip in my CD player or make my girlfriend any easier to comprehend.
Remember me? I always like to keep you guys informed of my opinion of your products. I just received today from Music Direct the above named [BLACK MAMBA] Power Cord. I’m using it from my Magnum Dynalab FM tuner to the TALOS. Right out of the box…BEAUTIFUL. I’ve never heard my FM sound so great…I listen to a local classical music station and you would think I have a CD playing. Your company is the king of power conditioning which is why I have your power cords throughout my entire system. Kindly pass this E-mail on to Grant as I’m sure he would appreciate my comments.
Hi. I recently purchased your VENOM-3 Power Cord (15amp) and love it. I’ll be darned, a power cord really does make a difference. Maybe it’s all in my head, but if so, I like the way you hypnotized me!
Dear Caelin and Grant,
I have recently upgraded all of the power cables in my audio system from your Shunyata ANACONDA ALPHA HELIX to your KING COBRA CX. After an extensive “break in” of several weeks, I can emphatically state that the new KING COBRA CX’s are unequivocally better sounding. They have turned a nightly routine into a nightly EVENT! In addition to an unimaginably quieter and blacker background, they have brought forth a whole new layer of new found resolution of spatial and dynamic realism that must be heard to be believed! There are literally vistas of new and musically relevant information on each and every recording that I have played. Sometimes this new found resolution is outright startling!
I have been a music lover for most of my life and an audiophile for thirty five years. I have refined my tastes for what sounds best to my tastes, and have long since exited the “preamp of the month club”, with the purchase of my current electronics (All Mark Levinson Reference) about a decade ago. I purchased that equipment, because I liked how it sounded, I liked how it looks, and I liked the interfacing of the components. I still love what I have and nothing has convinced, nor persuaded me to change my electronics. Most “high end” audio electronics are built to military standards and with proper care will perform for decades. Your KING COBRA CX power cables along with my two V-RAY II’s have allowed my equipment to perform at a much higher level than ever before. It sounds like the already overbuilt power supplies of my electronics were just rebuilt and tripled in their size and at the same time the circuit boards designed to pass more information! I now hear resolution down to the room noise and musicians breathing, instrumental overtones sound more of a piece and simply more “real”, voices more “human”, and dynamics much more alive and vibrant — truly amazing!
These KING COBRA CX cables are expensive, no doubt and for the same money I could have traded in or sold my Levinson electronics and purchased new equipment, but I chose not to do that, as again, I had left the electronics merry-go-round some years ago. I firmly believe that the purity and the amount of power that audio electronics have, the better that they will perform. While I have top notch signal cable, I think that if the electronics are not performing at their fullest potential, then the signal that they are transferring from component to component will be seriously compromised. Power is as key as a properly designed listening room, if one wants to achieve state of the art sound reproduction.
The overall “sonic picture” that I have currently achieved (pun intended!) must not only be heard to be believed, but also warps time, as when I leave the sound room for the evening what seemed like minutes was hours!
Thank you for designing and manufacturing your amazing products! I look forward to continuing the journey with you as you develop even better sounding power products in the future!
I just wanted to thank you for your patient listening and excellent advice on selecting power cords for my system. I ended up buying HYDRA V-RAY and two ANACONDA’s, one for the amp and the other for HYDRA. Now I have the entire power distribution system from Shunyata with good combination of shielded and CX cables based on your feedback. The audio video experience has changed so dramatically that I have no words except WOW. We were planning to buy a new TV but now we feel there is no need.
Thanks again and convey my appreciation to your production team — they are the best.
Los Angeles, CA
You might recall that several weeks ago I sent you two SIDEWINDER CX’s to be converted to BLACK MAMBA’s. Since that time they have come in and have been in my system. I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for this service and to say that these BLACK MAMBA’s are simply glorious. I appreciate yours and your company’s attention to customer service and your staff (Cassandra) was just wonderful and extremely professional.
Your newest products have been amazing in my system. Thank you for the PYTHON CX.
I finally have about 110 hrs on the cords. Clearly I haven’t been able to listen as much as I would like. The sound did get a little worse by about 24 hrs and then gradually improved. Then, around 85 hrs the sound really opened up. It was so much more resolved and airy but also with better bass definition. The rhythm seems just unstoppable. All the little timing cues are now more apparent. What’s more, a significant grainy veil has been lifted that I didn’t even know was there. It initially sounded a little soft, but then I realized this was lack of grain and harshness in the high frequencies. I definitely wasn’t expecting that much change after so many hours. Now I think the sound isn’t changing so much, but who knows? It could break in more I suppose.
Next, I’m going to plug the Vandersteen subs into the HYDRA 4 to see if that makes a difference.
To Whom It May Concern:
Having owned and used a Shunyata VENOM power cord and then used Acrolink 4023 PC’s for the last year I’m convinced that power cords make a big difference in sound over stock cords. I don’t understand why or how but that does not matter. When I received the TAIPAN’s I cooked them on a cable cooker for several hours before listening. After hooking them up, what I noticed was a big improvement in the sound stage. I could hear better placement of instruments, studio room size/acoustics, placement of vocals, and that feeling that you are right there in front of BB King, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Clearance Brown. Truly, a remarkable experience.
I have done evaluations on tubes, prototype interconnects and PC’s for Ron at Cryoset and auditioned many other brands of cables. It normally takes a lot to impress me but I’m very impressed with the Helix technology and quality of these cables. I’m glad the price was such that I could justify the risk of buying a product that I had not auditioned.
So you know, I’ve had the DARK FIELD’s in my system for five days now. Three under the PYTHON, three under the TAIPAN, the rest separating/lifting the interconnect (Alpha-Core Sapphire) and the speaker cable (Alphacore Boa).
There is no question they make a difference and that it’s positive aross the board. More separation betwen voices and instruments, a broader, deeper soundstage, improved timbres, I could go on. Listening more holistically, the speakers basically vanish even better than before, and it’s just much easier to forget it’s a stereo I’m listening to.
All in all, clear improvements that are worth the price.
Unbelievable… how a $99.00 power cord can improve a system’s sound so much!
Just before I plug my ANACONDA, I was auditionning the Acoustic Zen Tsunami feeding my Simaudio Moon P 8. So I replaced that cable with my ANACONDA. The difference was truly great. Next, I tried the Tsunami with my Moon W 8. The sound was not very good. My wife complained about the hight frequency. The sound was harsh and the singer was short on his legs. She asked me to plug the Tsunami directly to the HYDRA MODEL-6. Just before I did that, it was plugged in the wall’s outlet (VENOM Silver outlet). The differences were instantaneous. The singer was now taller. The harmonics amazing! The same cable with a totally new sound’s signature.
I recently borrowed some power cords from Chad at Alternative Audio. I had the DIAMONDBACK, COPPERHEAD, TAIPAN, and PYTHON for home evaluation. I could not believe the difference that the PYTHON’s made while being attached to my Bluenote Stibbert and Edge G3 with a Copperhead to my Anthony Gallo SA. It made music sound like music and humiliated my existing 3 Crystal Standard power cords. My question for you now is what is the best place to start with Shunyata speaker cables and interconnects?
Take the entire book of known terms people use to try to describe the changes to their system and those words would not be enough to describe the improvements I have witnessed with the simple upgrades. Really that is how I feel because there is so much that has changed and all for the much much better I must say. I am supremely pleased with what these power cords and speaker cables have done for me and I look forward to several more ANACONDA’s finding a home in my simple system. Thank you to all at Shunyata Research for making such great products!
Marcel (Pete) St. Pierre
After a strong recomendation from a local dealer, I took the leap of faith and invested in your product. I was impressed with the TAIPAN VX / ALPHA and HYDRA MODEL-2 combination. It wasn’t till I added the TAIPAN HELIX to the mix, did I realize the full potential of this upgrade. The improvement in the micro dynamics was the first change noted. My sound stage grew ten feet. Sonically, theres a kind of “enrobing” effect, I’ve had many different power conditioners over the years, as well as upgraded power cords. With Shunyata, I’ve gone from “thinking” I hear a difference, to knowing it to be fact.
Jersey City, NJ
As you know, I have personally evaluated your Power Conditioning HYDRA system with your PowerSnake cables. I was very impressed with the results.
Your system is part of my equipment setup. Especially, with my 2 track tape machines. The sound with your system was definitely more transparent and clearer than the test without any conditioning. I would highly recommend your product to any professional audio/video facility.
Vado Meller, Senior Mastering Engineer
New York, NY
I recently upgraded my system this year [Rotel 1075 amp; Pioneer Elite VSX-55 TXi (using it as a pre/pro — liked it better than the Rotel 1068); Pioneer Elite DV47Ai; Definitive Technology 7002s (main) 2005 (centre) and BPX rears] and wanted a good power conditioner. After reading the many positive reviews on your HYDRA MODEL-8, I tried one out. I originally thought it would be overkill for my otherwise modest system, but after adding it about 2 months ago I was amazed at the improvement that it made to my system. It stayed notwithstanding the fact that it is aimed at audiophile systems. The descriptions of it in the various reviews were pretty accurate as they reflect my experience. It had as big a positive impact as did adding the separate amp.
What caused me to take the time to drop you this note, however, was the addition today of two DIAMONDBACK’s to the system (to the amp and the DVD player). They replaced the stock cords that came with the amp and the DVD player. Out of the box, they were amazing. “Wow” describes my reaction from the first song I listened to. I find it hard to believe that power cords can have such a profound impact, but they most definitely did. I take a company’s advertising claims of their products with a large grain of salt, but if anything, you underplay the impact of these wonderful cords. For the money, I expected a significant impact from the HYDRA MODEL-8 and it delivered. However, and again for the money, the DIAMONDBACK’s are an exceptional value as they delivered far more than what I expected. The review in 6 Moons very accurately describes their impact. Goodness only knows what they’ll be like once they’re broken in.
So, I just wanted to say thank you for 2 wonderful products.
If you’re interested, I purchased them from your dealer in Dundas, Ontario, Mike Occie @ Alternative Audio.
I just got the cables back, and they look great. You guys definitely went beyond the call of duty — adding the new shrinkwraps and reterminating both cables. Not to mention the fact that I bought the cables used. I really appreciate it, and look forward to more great cables from Shunyata.
I recently traded in my PS Audio cords for Shunyata cords and not only blew myself away, but my local shop in Eugene, OR as well. Thanks!
After running the amp for the last 6 hrs, the difference was obvious from the start (my roommate could hear big improvements sitting in the adjacent dinning room). I’ve died and gone to audio heaven! Unbelievable is all I can say, Shunyata was made for tubes! 3D is an understatement here, and talk about clean sound. Sounds like a whole different system! I’m listening to everything all over again in a more real-like soundstage with articulation and low level information that I didn’t know was there. All my CD’s sound completely different… And I really understand the PaceSetter name. You were right, I found my self tapping my foot to the music, the attack on each note was quick, and clean, and… real.
Having both the TAIPAN ALPHA and PYTHON ALPHA in my system (along with a HYDRA MODEL-8) I can tell you that I have not experienced such a predictable, consistent and reproducible result from any product-line in my experience. When I add a Shunyata product I have a reasonable idea how it will perform in the context of the system before it is inserted. This makes it much easier to achieve the sonic qualities one values most, kind of like haute cuisine; knowing how ingredients interact as well as the science of food chemistry makes one a superior chef.
Please extend my appreciation to all involved in their production.
I never in my wildest dreams could imagine what in the world a $700 or even worse a $1200 power cord could make in a system. Its like I am hearing the system for the very first time. It and they (PowerSnakes) are great! I will definatley order another for the preamp. Thanks Shunyata!
(Product: BLACK MAMBA, COBRA)
Dear fellow audiophiles,
After over a month of having the VENOM PS8, ALPHA HC 20 amp, ALPHA HC 15 amp and VENOM HC in my system, I am compelled to share some of my thoughts and observations. Without question, these components have raised my humble system to a level that I never thought possible. I will avoid the usual audiophile speak in describing my listening experience as these terms are so over used and subjective. Your cables and power components have by far had the greatest impact on my system. In a world of so much hype, your products are true and honest and allow an audio system to blossom. I now hear details like I have never heard before. I thought I knew what my system sounded like until I added Shunyata products. Up to this point I was hearing a lie, but now the truth has been revealed. In this regard I would highly recommend any Shunyata product to anyone that is serious about their audio system. Thank you for creating such wonderful products.
Darrell M. Chappelle
Stunning sonic, speed, an dynamics improvements in my audio system with your PaceSetter and Noise Reduction powercables. Very pleased with the value of my investment.
I recently replaced all of my PS Audio power cords with Shunyata cords, and sold my Richard Gray Power Center in order to run the HYDRA MODEL-4. Wow. I’d always thought that adding clarity involved sacrificing musicality, particularly with rock recordings. No more. The Shunyata gear, across the board, broadened the soundstage, deepened and distinguished the images, and lowered the noise floor, and that translated into remarkable gains in musicality. And just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I carted the cords off to some other systems, only to find the same kind of improvements. For example, vocal harmonies, whether two part, five part, or spread across double choirs, now arrive like real voices in dialogue with one another. Similarly, saxaphone choruses, even without harmonies, now greet me less as a wall than as distinct instruments playing together. And with orchestral, performances, well, it’s like hearing them for the first time — conversations within conversations, laid out and palpably present. And yet, with all this added detail, I’ve never encountered added grain or edginess. In fact, quite the reverse. My system sounds significantly more relaxed and natural. In a favorite rock recording, Sparklehorse’s *It’s A Wonderful Life,* once abrasive bells now ring true with a startling degree of three-dimensionality. And on the low end, acoustic bass notes, plucked or bowed, unfold with melodic precision and decay with ambient details I hadn’t heard before. I was happy as a clam with my previous cords and line conditioner, but I had no idea what my system was capable of until I added the Shunyata gear. Now I’m even happier than a clam.
Thanks Richard, this is all very informative and I’m pleased to know that I’m getting the best you folks have to offer.
As I think I may have mentioned previously, I’m using the King Cobra AC cords with my power amp and the V-Ray II (and now the Triton), Aurora balanced interconnects for both my amplifier and CD/SACD player, Stratos IC interconnects for a McIntosh headphone amp I purchased recently and Stratos SP speaker cables for my speakers.
I don’t think I have to tell you that utilizing these products has made a huge and truly pleasurable difference within my Hi-Fi system.
I’ve been working in the Consumer Electronics industry and have been an “audiophile” for over 45 years, but Shunyata products are by far, the finest I’ve ever encountered, period!
Stephen L. Ramsey
I’ve now had this phenomenal Anaconda Digital cable in my system for 300 hours (as of tonight). To say I am completely blown away is an understatement.
I thought the ΞTRON® PYTHON DIGITAL XLR was the cats meow. Wrong, dead wrong! As you said to me a few weeks ago, the difference is NOT subtle. Boy were you right! Amazingly “analog” to say the least. Not only that, it sounds “right” as in musicians, vocals, etc. all being “right” as in live musicians in your room.
Images have blossomed to life sized events. Small recorded venues sound like you are in the room with the audience. At times, the naturally recorded ambience envelops you as if you were in a surround 7.1 setup. Blows my mind. To say I am just shocked is the best word, I guess.
This is truly amazing. What Caelin has wrought with this can only be described as “game changer”. Wow.
Many thanks for getting this beast out to me quickly upon completion of construction. Man, I am bowled over. Digital does not sound like digital. Even RBCD sounds gorgeously airy on material where it should be there. It is uncanny in its ability to pull out everything that’s there I thought already was with the PYTHON.
I can’t say enough superlatives other than to say, as per above, it just sounds “right”.
Anyone who thinks all digital cables are the same, sending 1’s and 0’s up the line is flat out deaf if they can’t hear this. My many thanks for Caelen’s genius.
I just wanted to thank you for all you have done for those of us who enjoy listening to music.
Over the past year I was introduced to Shunyata Research through Music Direct. I acquired ΞTRON® COBRA Power Cords to improve power delivery and the VENOM DEFENDER, DARKFIELD CABLE ELEVATOR’s and MINI’s to minimize EMI. I was so impressed by the dramatic effect these additions had in my system. The sound quality was transformed. It now resembles that of a live performance. There is such beauty in the highly resolved music I am hearing.
Thanks to you and your company for developing such advanced technology as “ΞTRON® ” and for manufacturing so many value products. I feel privileged to have benefitted from your hard work.
I believe rotating the cable 45 degrees will do the trick. The area behind my 3 stereo stands will look like the jungle when I have 1 PYTHON and 3 or 4 COBRA’s. I will call the area the snake pit. Feel free to post my comments on your website. The staff at Sound Hounds are very exited about your products as well. I can’t wait to get the COBRA ΞTRON® power cables and hopefully your speaker cable. I will order one every couple of months. The sound through my Simaudio Moon equipment and B&W 804 S speakers will be even more fantastic.
Your work is truly bringing us all into a new age. Just maybe the sound puzzle we have been working on all our lives is nearing completion.
I just received the PYTHON ordered from you by Sound Hounds in Victoria, BC. It is a bit hard to install unless I twist the cable so it will lie in a reasonable position and still hook up from my Oyaide outlet to my PS Audio Premier regenerator. How much can it be twisted to make the connections line up. Sound Hounds say just don’t kink it and twist as needed. I just want be sure as it is far more money than I have ever spent on a cable. I replaced a new VENOM HC with it. The VENOM was a great improvement. My wife and I are still trying to describe the difference the PYTHON has made. We installed it last night. We can feel much greater sound pressure at about 70 db. We have a concrete carpeted floor but the leather couch cushions were vibrating with Jack Johnson at 70 or so db. The VENOM HC did not do that but improved the sound immensely. We have only listened for 45 minutes so we will see as burn-in continues. I think the PYTHON will improve the openness, soundstage and add dimensions and detail when compared to the awesome VENOM HC. We are planning to use COBRA ΞTRON® for our other power cords and Shunyata speaker wire. I love what you are doing. Bringing great products to the market that a person can justify buying. I have spent most of my life trying to get vinyl and cd’s to sound good without going broke. I can finally say at 61 years old I am almost there.
I just connected the PYTHON ΞTRON® DIGITAL cable after about 200 hours of break in. I am usually pleased with a new component if there is some incremental revelation of new information. I have to say that with this cable in my pro studio monitoring system, a whole new LEVEL of information became apparent. Fantastic product.
Thank you Richard, I appreciate the outstanding service. I always thought Shunyata was some of the best out there….. your new line may be the best! I soon will be purchasing a set of your jumpers and sometime next year a TRITON power conditioner.
You spoke with me a couple of weeks ago concerning the peculiar break-in characteristics of the COBRA interconnects. Just letting you know that I had a chance to listen this weekend since talking. It wasn’t so much of a more-this-and-that thing as much as it was a reflexive response. I sat leaning forward anticipating the audiophile thrill ride and when the music started playing I just leaned back into the sofa and experienced it. The music just flowed with a naturalness that made me forget all the usual expectations one is accustomed to looking for when trying new gear. Yes, the clarity was remarkable as well. Drums sound more insistent and present. Horns, especially trumpet, now had more body and “horn”. Rather than wincing and running for the volume on loud passages, those horns had a buttery warmth that somehow escaped me previously. Piano is always such a difficult instrument to get just right. While there is such wide variability to miking and production from one recording to the next, you just know it when you got it right. I swear, I could almost hear the felt on the hammers striking the strings. And what is even more remarkable is that I am hearing this from a $250 Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/preamp! I sure don’t feel the need to go out shopping as soon as I thought looking for a “better DAC” right now.
I look forward to seeing what a set of ΞTRON® speaker cables could do. Thanks for the ride…
Remember when I waxed so poetic after I installed my PYTHON ΞTRON® IC’s and SC’s? Well, I’ve run out of adjectives for this new XLR digital cable. Holy Moley. Slap me silly and call me Susan. I really don’t know what to say. A friend of mine who owns one has been crazy about it, but I was still skeptical that it could be *this* good. Ok, I’ll try to convey what I hear after about 100 hours.
The PYTHON digital cable has converted my digital transport and dac into a world-class analog rig. This is the most natural, realistic, organic sound I’ve ever heard from a digital device. The timbre is true, the pacing is musical and the soundstage is three-dimensional. Good Redbook recordings sound like 24/96 masters and some high resolution recordings can sound truly live. DAC’s now have the equivalent of a top-of-the-line Dynavector arm and stylus.
These impressions were made AFTER I upgraded my Perfect Wave DAC to the the new MKII digital board, which is world-class, btw. This cable kills my custom made Harmonic Tech HDMI cable into the DAC’s I2S input…which theoreitcally should not be possible. The I2S connection has been preferred by every reviewer of this DAC. Two other PWD owners who have bought the PYTHON concur with me as to it’s revoultionary sound, so I KNOW it’s not in my head.
If people knew how good this PYTHON sounds, they’d think twice about spending big bucks on a USB cable. Are you guys gonna try one of those?
Please tell Caelin how much I appreciate his work. He hit this one way out into the bay.
Thanks you for your help and consideration.
Any company, manufacturer, etc.etc. is only as good…as viable…as secure in its’ standing…as the quality of the “customer service” provided to its’ customers.
Shunyata’s products are among the very best available…
Shunyata’s customer service is without peer.
I was a bit skeptical as I waited for my new PYTHON signal cables. I’ve tried a number of high end cables and, while they have all had a very distinct impact on my system, I would not judge any as equal to a component or speaker upgrade. So, I was completely unprepared for what I have experienced over the last week. I’ve replaced speakers, preamps, DACs, transports and power cords. All of these changes helped but none of them have so transformed my listening experience as these Powersnake cables.
If I were reading this, I would be skeptical of such a bold statement. Let me clarify; the PYTHON interconnects and speaker cables have brought me closer to the essence of the recorded music than I ever thought possible. Guitars sound more like guitars; the pace, rhythm and timing are just right; the soundstage is now a three-dimensional space in and out of which performers move as never before; I am constantly pulled back into the music by instruments I’ve never noticed in recordings or qualities in the performance that I had never appreciated. This is true of every single recording I have played since hooking up the cables.
For the first time in my many years of listening, my system sounds like MUSIC. I couldn’t ask for more.
St. Louis, MO
I just wanted to thank you for a truly eye opening experience with the Shunyata AURORA interconnects and speaker cables.
I had just upgraded my DAC from a Stello DA220 MK II to the Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC. This change produced some effects that seemed paradoxical and unexpected. Compared to the Stello the Alpha DAC is much more analog like while simultaneously retaining the deep level of resolution I have come to enjoy through the Stello. Strangely the result this had on sound of my current set up was a softer less focused picture with an overall decrease is dynamics and immediacy.
First I replaced my reference level VH Audio Symmetry silver interconnects with the AURORA interconnects. This change produced a larger sound stage with greater immediacy and dynamic contrasts. I was not prepared for what was to happen next. When I replaced my Cardas Golden Reference speaker cables with the Shunyata AURORA speaker cables, there was a giant leap forward in all aspects of the sound. The sound took on an effortless hugely open expansiveness which was larger than I had ever heard on my system previously. The background was relieved of what I can only describe as a layer of grain that I had not really noticed until it was gone. This lack of grain allowed me to see deeper into the mix as never before. The system also gained a level of top to bottom phase coherence which revealed shimmering ethereal highs as well as subterranean lows in both the macro and micro domains. The tonal balance was also a significant beneficiary of the incredible phase coherence of the AURORA cables. Gone were any hints of phase induced harshness or listener fatigue. The soundstage also benefitted through greater structural integrity and palpability. There was an obvious synergistic benefit to using the AURORA Speaker cable in conjunction with the AURORA interconnects.
In order to sort out what changes I was hearing were attributable to the AURORAs and which were related to switch to the Berkeley Audio I put the Stello DAC back in. The Berkeley Audio’s contribution was immediately announced by the relative lack of harmonic richness and warmth. The sound also lost the fatigue free quality at higher listening levels. The AURORAs can be ruthlessly revealing of lesser quality components. These observations should be viewed within the context of component compatibility and synergy.
In fairness to the Stello and my other reference cables, I must say that I have used these products for the last 3 years with great musical satisfaction. They have endowed my system with all of the most sought after qualities that make listening to music enjoyable. This is no small achievement when listening to Avantgarde Trios which expose the smallest flaws in downstream components. This to me simply points to the importance of the synergy that various cables can provide to different combinations of components.
This experience has demonstrated to me what kinds of colorations and modulations my reference cables were imbuing on my system as a whole. Inserting the Shunyata AURORA Cables offered a clear window from which to better judge the essential qualities and shortcomings of the downstream components.
It may be of interest to note that on my system with either DAC or cables I preferred the sound with the Audiopax Model 5 preamp in place versus listening to the Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC playing straight into the amplifiers. The direct feed produced a sound that was very accurate but to my ears not as musical as when played through the preamp. The Preamp added more harmonic texture and sense of communion between the instruments that was otherwise missing. These attributes help me to immerse myself in the music and not be distracted by what I perceive to be artifacts of the HIFI reproduction process.
Avantgarde Trios: (Main Speakers)
Avantgarde Basshorns: (Sub-Woofers)
Audiopax Model 88 MK II Mono blocks: (Amplifiers)
Audiopax Model 5: (Pre-Amplifier)
Stello DA220 MK II (DAC)
Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC (DAC)
Qsonix 100 (Music Server)
Joshua J. Wright
A big THANK YOU to all the people at Shunyata!
I have sent my Shunyata ARIES S (bought second hand) for repair to you. The former owner had done some bad soldering. The repair was done under warranty (yes, for a long discontinued product). And it was returned to me in a bright new Shunyata box with the best care (sealed and cushioned).
The repair (resoldering the XLR-contacts) was excellent done and the communication (with Cassandra) through Email was spot on and pleasant.
Thank you all, for the great aftersale service.
Greatings from Holland, Land of Amsterdam, wooden shoes, tullips and a very satisfied owner of an ARIES S.