“Venom Phono interconnects defied my expectations and solved a strange, vexing problem”

I didn’t know where to put this “review” but my experience with your Venom Phono interconnects defied my expectations and solved a strange, vexing problem I was hearing on a few select recordings. On Joe Henry’s THRUM, for instance, the vocals had a strange, boxlike quality, almost as if they had been sung into a glass jar. This odd coloration did not seem to exist for any of the other instruments on the album, just the lead vocal on that album and maybe 1 or 2 others. Because Thrum was recorded in Joe Henry’s home, I assumed the mic might have been picking up some noise or was otherwise suboptimal.

When I upgraded my speakers early in 2022 (replacing my old Thiels with Wilson Audio’s Sabrina X), I noticed that the vocal jar-sound was almost more pronounced, even after I’d upgraded almost all the cables in my system (impedance matching where possible). Last but not least I replaced the phono cable with the Shunyata Venom and was quite surprised to hear that the jar-like sound had almost vanished. How or why this could be can perhaps only be logically explained by Shunyata’s online explanation itself: surface modes traversing the cables in some cases interfere with the intended musical signal, coupling in the connectors. In my system’s case, those modes in my old phono cable(s) probably exacerbated otherwise unnoticeable issues introduced by the recording microphone during the recording process. The Shunyata Venom phono cables solved a problem I could not have imagined the source of myself…

I should say I was “surprised” because in my first career, I had been an applied physicist/electrical engineer (MSEE) at Bellcore, Tellabs, and elsewhere, and since my specific area of expertise was in nonlinear optics, I can rightly claim fairly substantial expertise in electromagnetic signal propagation. Of course, in fiber optics “cladding modes” co-propagate with the signal, but even over short distances they dissipate and, as a result, are only a problem in special circumstances. However, to hear of what was in effect an electrical signal cladding mode audibly interfering with music reproduction seemed farfetched to me when I first read of it. But now I am a believer. (And yes, I trust my ears…my parents were classical musicians here in NYC so I grew up hearing a lot of live music.)

Because of my experience with your phono cables I recently purchased my son your new Venom power conditioner (my son is doing a PhD in applied physics) and he replied that the effect on his pair of Devialets was disorienting because, he said, his ear had grown used to noise!

So keep up the good work. 


E. Anderson

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