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.