Just to let you know I just ordered a pair of Alpha v2, should get them in a couple of weeks I hope.
The single Alpha v1 I tested was, to my ears, simply better than the alternative I tried (a pair, comparable price range) as well as my current Nordost Brahma. I truly believe that the Alphas provided a meaningful, clearly audible improvement compared to similarly priced power chords I tested in my system. I was actually surprised by the impact they made. Not sure how to describe it, but it seemed to me that music was simply more real. Classical music pieces I love were just more moving, with better separation of the voices of individual sections and instruments in orchestral pieces, while jazz musicians and singers felt closer, again giving more the illusion of listening to a live performance. My system was already fairly resolving without sounding overly analytical (Devialet 1000 coupled with my beloved Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers), but the Alphas took both transparency and musicality to a higher level. Fantastic product.
I only run “focused” testing, there are dozens of options and time is limited. But let me mention a few things that were critical in my buying experience:
1) the brand’s reputation, the reason to consider it instead of others in the first place
2) our correspondence, where I felt I was getting detailed, well articulated and honest advice, and always very quick replies
3) dealer enthusiasm and professionalism, they sell many other brands but are huge fans of Shunyata
4) testing the products in my system (first a friend’s Cyclops, now the ex demo Alpha)
Points 2) and 4) were the most important ones.
Not every company is willing or able to invest in client relationships, but this is, in my view, the best way to create not only happy and loyal customers but also “net promoters” (marketing lingo, I know).
As a side comment, I simply excluded Synergistic Research as I could not convince myself about the validity of a number of their claims. Not saying they are untrue, but people with an engineering / physics background seem to be more skeptical about certain SR products than others. On the other hand, Audioquest did not respond to my email…
Anyhow, thanks again for your time, I might bother you with more questions in the future 🙂
Best regards to you, Caelin and the rest of the team.