I got a shipment of the new Shunyata Dark Field Elevators, Version 2. They were on the porch last night when I arrived home, and well after the 7 p.m. deadline that Fed Ex delivers (closer to 9 p.m.)
I can't say that I was expecting much when I first put one of these into my system last night. Especially after I looked at them, and thought, "Oh...plastic?!?"
That was the last time those words went through my mind after putting the very first one under one point of the speaker cable, slooooowly turning the Dark Field Version 1 on its side to remove it, so as not to "disturb" the speaker cable. (Those who have Shunyata cables will already know of what I speak. They do settle after you move them, although I'm not sure I would say 24 hours, as some say, but, on the other hand, I'm not listening for the sound of one hand clapping, either.)
Somebody with a better system than mine needs to get these babies. Vhiner, Oddeo, Lee: you guys have GOT to get these. (Screw yer budget! You'll thank me for this. You really, really will.) I initially only wanted a 6-pack (not the ab kind: the Shunyata kind) of these, but my Music Direct salesperson whined, "We're out of stock on the six-pack". To which I blithely responded, "Well, send the 12, then." Frankly, I was annoyed I had to spend $275.00 for what I was sure I wouldn't need. (It's good to be dumb sometimes: it makes you feel smart when you make the right purchase another time.) Lemme cut to the chase: betcha can't put just one of 'em in your system and sit still for more than one cut before you jump out of your listening chair and start placing them - as I did - one at a time. One at a time... initially a minute or two apart, as the system just expanded in airiness, separation, body, color, tone and inner detail. I have all 12 installed and was pretty disgusted I didn't have 18 - and my cables are all Zi-Tron Cobras (uh, except for my interconnects, made by another eminent manufacturer). After about 10 minutes, I put them in quicker.
What they do for sound, and I am not exaggerating (by the by, I had to pull out my CJ preamp because no sound came out of the system. I suspect a static charge, as this happened when I borrowed the ET-3 for audition. It played 10 minutes later) when I say they are dazzling. I had to put in my old JVC XL-Z1010 player on the variable outputs (it allows for volume adjustments via the remote), directly into the Hurricanes, thru to the speaker cables and into the Hales Revelation 3s (for which I have much more respect). Each time I put one more under a power cord, or a speaker cable, I heard a continousness to the sound that I hadn't heard since the system was in my 23 x 40 basement. In fact, I thought the system would never equal the sound in the basement since 2003, when it was put into a more modest 13 x 20 room. In some ways, it does not (the Hurricanes may be slightly dark, but they are as realistic as hell), but in the sense of sound expanding into the surrounding air, it surpasses the basement by HP's "order of magnitude" (or 2 order of magnitude. I don't know how to measure it, but I damn sure hear it without the slightest effort, and I usually struggle a little to hear improvements in my system. Not because it's that good, but because I always thought the room acoustics, even with 35 tube traps, was "off" a bit. Larger (cubic) rooms are, in my opinion, still better. Don't blame me, Alton Everest himself made that particular proclamation)).
Back to the Dark Elevators. Shunyata is on a roll. More like a cross-country streamliner, jet-powered train. Just put 2 or 3 of these under your power cords or speaker cables and tell me I'm crazy. (I won't believe you, but call me crazy, anyway. I'm in LOVE, L-U-V.) I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the RCA RCA Living Stereo CD, Khachaturian Masquearde Suite (09026-63302-2) grow in size, focus improving wildly, as I put them in, at 10 second intervals (I couldn't hold out any longer than that, honest Injun (and I'm American Indian, so I can say this: you can't. Too bad for you! LOL)) to the point where I can now pinpoint the (living) space surrounding instruments, even in the back of the stage, which, with the Hurricanes, has never, ever, EVER been the case. The sound is "dark" in the sense that the noise floor is nearly invisible (the Hales will reflect changes ahead of them, but they are not, by a loooong stretch, the quietest speakers I've had. That would have been the WATTS, back in the day), but also "light" in the sense that the sound is fluid and the sounds "float" in (again, living) air. And the triangles(!!!) are so vividly placed, that, as much as I'm sure a Magico, or TAD or any of JV's latest loves would bring the system to fool-ya life, I can live with the musicality of this system right here, right now.
Spring for the 6-pack (I'm not a shill for Music Direct: if it doesn't improve my system, it goes back. And they do complain, because if I can't hear a signifcant jump - (which means I read a magazine, so I DON'T strain) - I don't keep it) and try 'em out. And the first person who has a six-pack and doesn't want 'em, email me: if I haven't gotten another shipment, I'll buy 'em off ya.
Oh, by the way, I didn't hear any other discs. I couldn't get past re-playing the Khachaturian over and over again just like a kid on Christmas. I just wanted to hear the oboe pop out of thin air again and again and the marching drum crack retorts like it was Judgement Day and this was the last session they'd ever play. The orginals, as decent as they are, are just not in the same league. At all. Oddeo and Vhiner, please try these out. I don't mind singin' in the rain alone, but one IS the loneliest number, in this case. I need someone to babble along with me. I'm laughing as I write this, because I don't truly care if I'm alone when I babble, because it's embarrassing to do it in the presence of others. Like I'm doing now. But I'm alone. In my bedroom, typing on a screen. But alone.
I'm going to bed. I was supposed to be asleep an hour ago, but I couldn't get out of the room: I still had 3 elevators in the box, and I couldn't leave. It became too addictive to give it up. So I didn't.
Grant, I love the power cords, the speaker cable and all, but for the price, these babies should be selling out of stock really, really, fast. Even faster than the proverbial hotcakes.