Shunyata's 2011 Python speaker cables and interconnects

vhiner -- Thu, 05/05/2011 - 19:05

I have the newest Shunyata speaker cables and interconnects, which were unveiled at CES 2011. I am eager to compare notes with someone else who is using them. To my ears, they have a more profound impact on my system than even the legendary CX line of power cords. They blow away my previous reference, the Harmonic Technology Magic Woofer speaker cables and and Magic II interconnects, which are mighty fine, btw.I keep asking myself, "How can cables do this?" I'd love to hear how they compare to other cables and in other systems. I am using them in a Thiel 3.7/Conrad-Johnson/ PerfectWave/ Classe system to amazing effect.

Jon2020 -- Thu, 05/12/2011 - 01:17

Hi vhiner,
Glad to hear that you are having a very happy time with your new cables. I haven't heard the Shunyata Python cables but I would like to share your amazement that cables make quite a lot of difference to the quality of sound coming forth from any system. Scientifically, it makes sense as good cable designs result in better transmission of the signal while reducing interference effects from the environment. Having said that, there will be naysayers all over the world who will swear that cable difference is all in the mind(or ears) and just plain snake oil. Let them be as they have long ago decided to deprive their ears of the benefits of good cabling. Simply continue to enjoy your hobby as only you know how. Cheers!  
Btw, I recently upgraded my speaker cables to the Kimber Select 6063's and ....Wow! Enough said.
Jon,
 

wdw -- Thu, 05/12/2011 - 19:58

 vhiner
May I ask in what price range these sell for.  The Shunyata web site is somewhat disjointed (suppose it's to do with the new product launch)  My next purchase will likely be from their  power cord and conditioner line but am very curious as to their signal cables?  Currently using MIT networks throughout
Cheers,
WDW 

vhiner -- Thu, 05/12/2011 - 22:36

 WDW,
The Python signal cables list as follows. $1495 for one-meter RCA interconnects and $2495 for 8-foot speaker cables. That said, I know that a number of dealers will offer pretty substantial discounts if you buy interconnects and speaker cables together. I believe the Anaconda's are about a grand more expensive but I've never heard them so I don't know how much better they might be. It's hard to imagine anything much better than the Pythons. I'd recommend that anyone interested in these cables contact Grant Samuelson at Shunyata about getting the most "bang for the buck." He's never steered me wrong and often his advice has been to spend less money.
I"ve never heard the MIT's or the Kimber 6063's  but I'd love to know how they compare to the new Shunyata's. I hope someone will order a pair for audition...I know Grant can make that happen.

staxguy -- Mon, 02/06/2012 - 19:02

Not being a cable manufacturer, I wonder if I could produce the functionally same cable for a retail price of $14.95 RCA 1 meter, or $24.95 for 8-foot speaker cables, in quantity.

That leads to the formation of a intersting business plan - one actually fun to write, and investigate - just not so fun to buy the comeptitors representative cables as comparative examples, given the hi-fi cable price structure.

Given the prices, I would expect a wireless solution, power included. :) Yay, Tesla!

As for bang-for-the-buck, I'd suggest the dollar store. ;D Recently, I purchased what I would call a decent Laser Printer for home use for $50 at a local electronics and drug store chain. They wanted however $30 for USB cables or extetenders, of quite low quality. Obviously the margins were on this and not the printer. lol At the specialty electronics component store, I found cables of at least twice the quality for 1/2 the price. At the dollar store on the closest major street to my condo, I found better cables than the $30 ones for $3, but less good than the $15 ones at the speciality store - yet still functionallly equivallent.

I've got the specialty cables between my computer and external DAC driving my headphone amplifier, and the drugs store and dollar store cables sitting in a spare box for parts.

Doing the same for $1495 interconnects or $2495 speaker cables make me think it's easy to spend $500,000 or so on cables, just to have a decent selection around the house, for re-configuration. That's about the same as enjoying a Lamborgini for a few years, so we have to really think of the value of our hobby. That's without going the extra mile and investing in $30,000+ single sets of cables, and just sticking to the standard $3000 or so mark that's prevalent, presently.

Yay, economics.

Cheers,

Staxguy

vhiner -- Mon, 02/06/2012 - 19:38

First of all....yawn. Second, no one's worrying about your cable choices. Why worry about ours? Third, you have not heard the cables, so you don't have an opinion about how they sound or their merit, which is the purpose of this thread. Either try them out and post your impressions or ask respectful questions of those who have. Pretty please...with sugar on it.

staxguy -- Tue, 02/07/2012 - 01:31

Sorry, man. I know I sound like the agnostic at Church after service, discussing the demerits of the value of prayer, and I do sincerely apologize for being quick to say something was snake-oil, when I really should have kept my miniscule thoughts to myself. I felt angry at the criticism of Magico Q5 speakers over price, and so I can easily see how the same feelings could be about Shunyata cables until I hear them in a decent system now. I do think however, that I would feel good manufacturing a similarly performing cable at 1% of the price, and that now would be a good time to investigate such an operation. Yawn, I agree. :)

What I would like to know, however, is does everyone go to the bother to have their speakers internally rewired with the same Shunyata 2011 python cable, giving themselves a decent chance, and also re-wire their amplifiers, internally, given the benefits of this cable. This is an outsider's perspective, from someone that considers $200 a fair amount to pay for two eight foot lengths of terminated speaker cable, on a $30,000 pair of speakers, driven by a pair of $15,000 monoblocks. Were I to spend $100,000 or more on speakers, then perhaps I'd be willing to go $600 on interconnects and speaker-cables, each. But that would be sucking it in. I'd want to spend less. Realistically, whatever wire was used internally on the speakers should be good enough for me.

Are there any top-rated speakers that use premium Shunyata 2011 cable, internally? How does it compare to Cardas Clear and Clear Beyond?

I use shitty Transparent Cable in my bedroom system, and my own cable in my main system. How much better is Shunyata 2011 Python than the Transparent Reference XL cable that my audio dealer would like me to choose, instead, or the Cardas Clear Beyond that I'm tempted to choose, aesthetically?

Does Shunyata also make a good balanced headphone cable for the Sennheiser 800's? The imaging on the 800's is out of sight - miles beyond what I would expect a headphone to deliver. Once I pick an amp and cable, that will be my next minor pick-me-up, practically. Very low cost for good return.

Cheers!
Staxguy

vhiner -- Tue, 02/07/2012 - 03:01

Staxguy,

No one's saying anyone's thoughts are minuscule. We're just tired of the off-topic flat earth society hecklers crashing the peaceful church picnics. I appreciate your civil response. In that spirit, I don't want you to think I'm blowing off your questions: I have no knowledge or opinions about what you are discussing so I will defer to others. Again, though, the topic here on this particular thread is not about theoretical values or hypothetical musings about why anyone does something or doesn't. Is Shunyata cable better than cheaper cables? You already know what people on this thread think based upon what they've written here. There's only one way to know if you really, actually want to know and that's to pay The Cable Company $25 for the shipping of audition cables from their library and listen for yourself. If that exceeds your level of interest, you should probably start a thread that addresses your concerns. Peace be with you.

staxguy -- Tue, 02/07/2012 - 04:43

Thank you for your beautiful reply. I enjoy shots of whisky up to $50/shot this year in the bar, before buying bottles at home to enjoy, so $25 for a loan of nice cable sounds amazingly nice... I much more enjoy sound than drink, so a perfect value. I wish my local hi-fi shops would charge a reasonable fee for in-store auditions, and I would feel good about asking them to lug-out components. I'd rather pay a couple hunded $ for an hour audition than feel obligated to buy a sub-standard component, to my taste. It's funny it doesn't work that way.

Peace be upon you, Vhiner! Regards, Staxguy

JA FANT -- Thu, 05/12/2011 - 22:50

Shunyata makes outstanding power-conditioner products. I, too, would like a shoot-out of sorts w/ some of the other cable companies.

brion -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 21:04

 I auditioned the Pythons, but only the speaker cables. 
I have to say, they're impressive cables, not because of any technology, but because their ability to clarify musical lines is genuinely great. 
For example, when piccolos/flutes/clarinets play with violins, the harmonics of the violins make it easy to lose the flutes' contribution to the music, and the "piping" sound of flutes is lessened. With the Pythons, it was extremely easy to hear the flutes double the violins and not get  "lost in the crowd." The spatial characteristics over my Andromedas and Geminis was significant: sections are clearly beside/behind each other and there's a sense of "continuousness" so the "room" never disappers simply because the violins are sitting quietly, waiting for their entrance. You still hear a living soundspace -- and this with only medium volume (76-82 db) levels. 
And I hadn't realized the Andromedas HAD any fuzz until I put them back in. It actually made it easier to see what Shunyata's accomplished with the new Python CX speaker line: better mid-to-upper bass and considerably better upper midrange and  high frequencies, so that bass notes now "blossom" around the double bass and cellos (which the Andromedas do, but with a "white-noise" type grain creating a very mild haze, but one that interferes with the ambient "spray" of instruments' harmonics).
One thing I HAD expected was that, given the lack of darkness in the CX series power cords, the speaker/interconnect line would have to be at least as great or it would've been a waste: GREAT power cord line and only a "good" interconnect/speaker cable line. I wasn't wrong: the Andromedas, while not "dark" per se, are slightly rolled off up top, and just slightly softened in the upper midrange ( while the Pythons not only have good top-end extension, but also the dynamics kick ass. Nothing more boring than a triangle strike that expands at the speed of...molasses. On the other end, the tympani strikes make the Andromeda sound "slow", not something I'd EVER have said before. I actually jumped in my seat when playing Cut 4 (the Cello Concerto by William Walton) on the RCA Living Stereo SACS Dvorak and Walton Cello Concertos. It has never sounded this clear. In fact, the whole RCA Living Stereo Line sounds clearer, now that I think about it. And it was easy to tell that this was a Lewis Layton-engineered CD. I actually played the whole CD through (something my friends would say is a real-world impossibility. 'Tisn't, but I get their point). It actually mesmerized me long enough not to hit pause and adjust a tube trap or speaker. Will wonders never cease...
Actually, I'm a bit depressed not to have kept them, but after a house fell on me and my fellow nutmeggers (Connecticut) in the form of that freaky, frightening snowstorm, having a roof without missing tiles and cracks seemed a more practical choice than listening to music under the open stars. I DID consider selling my brother, but  decided against it, since sibling-selling is frowned upon. Besides, given that he's 64, his market value is rather low.
Seriously, the cables are fantastic, and given that Shunyata's pricing on them is about the same as what the Andromedas cost 8 years ago, that's saying something. I would imagine those with higher-resolution systems than mine (like Robert Harley) will be prostate at the altar of Shunyata.
Oh, and did I mention that a cello sounds like a cello, a clarinet and a B trumpet and a C trumpet don't sound alike? If you want to hear instruments, both as groups and individuals, separated out, this'll do it!!! Shunyata has always sounded like music, along the lines of Boston Symphony Hall, but now it sounds  like a bit of the clarity of Carnegie Hall has been mixed in, so you have richness and clarity and THEN transparency on top of that!!!
I envy those with really high resolution systems who audition/buy these cables. I'm thrilled Shunyata took the equivalent of  "Occupy Wall Street" in the speaker cable industry and released a great product for a great price. I wish them the very, very best with this new line. 
(I can't even begin to THINK of listening to the Anacondas: the Pythons were thrilling enough to listen to -- but also, disheartening to have to send back.)
 
 

vhiner -- Mon, 11/14/2011 - 19:27

 Brion,
Thanks for such a thorough review of the Pythons. I've had these things for 6 months and your review is the first I've read. I understand that Mr. Harley will be publishing a review soon. I'm glad to hear how they sound in a "real world" system;-)
I agree with you about the musical "trueness" of these cables. 
I don't wanna hear the Anaconda's  because they're out of my league...but still 10 times cheaper than the most of the "flagship" cables out there. There'll be some competitive nay saying, but I suspect Mr. Harley's review will underscore the major step forward these cables represent.

Oddeophile -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 11:31

There will always be those who love controversy so we just go on our way with what we know and love. I, too, am very excited to read Mr. Harley's review. Early reports I got from somewhere (can't remember now honestly) was that he is very taken with these. No surprise to us!

brion -- Tue, 11/15/2011 - 18:47

 Vhiner:
You've had them much longer than I did. What did you notice? Since there aren't many reviews of them, and you have more experience than anyone else, post your thoughts -- and your system -- so others can benefit from your insights. Don't be shy, guy!!

vhiner -- Tue, 11/15/2011 - 19:40

 Brion,
My system is listed in the OP for this thread. My original intention was to attract feedback from others without posting "leading" or "hyperbolic" observations that might steer the discussion. I was pleased to hear that you hear what I hear . What I *can* add is that they get considerably better over about 200 hours of break in. Given how great they sound out of the box, that's just icing on the cake.
 
These cables have a greater impact on soundstage and imaging than any cables I've auditioned. Grain is greatly reduced but without sacrificing detail.  I have heard, but don't own, the upper level Nordost  line and all I will say is that these cables are in their league for a great deal less money. I'd love to know how they stack up to the flagship Synergistic cables, which I've been told are amazing as well. I think the real breakthrough is the Pythons' price point. They truly are better than cables costing many times their list price. That said, I know that $1500 interconnects and $2500 speaker cable is expensive. In my system, I got every penny of bang for my buck that I got out of purchasing my amp and preamp. The only way to appreciate what I'm talking about is to audition them for a week and then take them out of your system. If you don't miss them, consider yourself lucky. ;-)

Oddeophile -- Wed, 11/16/2011 - 18:19

Hi, Guys,
as vhiner knows, I am an newbie with regard to Shunyata having just recently in the last two months purchased 4 Anaconda CX PC's and 4 King Cobra CX PC's, and now my first XLR Anaconda IC and just yesterday received my first of the Anaconda speaker cables - a 5' custom length run for my center channel.  In January, I will be receiving the 2.5m Anaconda speaker cables, a 2-meter XLR Anaconda IC and a 1-meter RCA Anaconda IC to finish off the system.  So far, with just one Anaconda XLR in the system (between my preamp and amp) I can say I am pretty amazed what it has done and can not wait to finish this all off in two months. I placed an order for the last of the Anaconda signal cables now to ship in January to beat the price increase coming up shortly in December.  
For the first time since I bought my tube amp, a MESA Engineering BARON back in 1998, I can say that my system is what I would consider fun, again.  Shunyata has made it a joy to come home and listen to it. Hi rez BD discs are stunning as are outstanding surround with just what I have now (one Anaconda IC in the signal path as my center speaker cable just arrived yesterday) and the PC's.  I welcome being a part of the discussion and ideas, comments especially from vhiner whose the reigning king of having these in his system for many months now.
Oh, I know, vhiner - how did you break in the python speaker cables? Just over time with regular use? 

vhiner -- Wed, 11/16/2011 - 22:18

 Hey odd!. Glad to hear your speaker cables are arriving. I'm jealous of those King Cobra's! PM me about how those are breaking in and what differences you hear between those and the Anaconda CX's.
Break in on the Python signal cables had to happen with normal use because I don't like leaving my tube preamp on 24/7 and my wife won't put up with the racket in the middle of the night. My experience with the break in was that they went through several stages, bright, dull, smeared and then, at about 100 hours everything just fell into place. This has been my experience with the PC's as well...but perhaps not so variable. So Odd, what have you experienced with break in?.

Oddeophile -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 11:30

Yeah, it's me, you can't get rid of me that easily. Ha! I moved the Anaconda CX's to my source components except my DAC which I put one of the KC's on. My wall to regenerator, amp, preamp all have KC's on them. I noted it a bit more full, dynamic and resolving. In some instances somewhat startlingly better. In Galen's terminology, they are awesome cables and he is right, both the Anaconda and KC.

Looks like I have the same problem with break in. I will have to do the same with my center speaker Anaconda I just installed this morning (yippee!!!) and in January with the L/R Anaconda SC's. One day at a time and track the hours on them. I found the same thing as you recall when I was breaking in the Anaconda XLR IC a few weeks ago. Now, as brion stated, I find that cable gets out of the way and is just natural more than any other cable I have ever auditioned or heard. I am in complete agreement with everyone here on the efficacy of these new Shunyata cables. I strongly believe it is is the new active shielding design that is the huge difference. I can already hear a major difference between the Anaconda SC and my previous center speaker cable a DH Labs Q-10 Signature. No contest straight out of the box. So, in a few weeks when this finally settles in I will be very happy.

Are we all not very lucky people? Indeed!

coopersark -- Sun, 11/20/2011 - 17:11

vhiner,
I have used Shunyata's power conditioning products for years. I currently use their King Cobra CX power cords for all of my equipment - in two separate audio systems. I am also using two Triton conditioners on my main system's front end (digital line and analog line), and a Triton conditioner for my secondary system's front end components. I believe in using all of their (Shunyata's) products as part of an integral system. I also enjoy the results many other power "tweaks" such as very special in wall cabling from my dedicated audio sub panel with its dedicated earth ground. I am of the firm belief, based on my thirty five years experience in our hobby, that after having a properly designed and acoustically treated listening room, a proper electric system's delivery of clean isolated power to that listening environment is of primary importance. At the end of the day, all you are listening to in that room is electricity. When you hear a river of clean power compared to a stream of dirty power, your jaw will hit the floor in terms of what you have been missing in terms of overall detail retrieval, dynamics, density of tone, width and depth of sound stage, and overall focus of image - regardless of what brand of electronics or speakers you may be using.
That being said, it has been my experience that Shunyata's power cables and conditioners take a good 1000 hours of play time, or about six weeks of continuous draw to fully break and settle in. The overall sound becomes sweeter and more relaxed as time passes and does not seem to get any better after about 1000 hours. This may all depend on the overall resolution of your system, its power delivery and listening environment. I have a Python CX and an Anaconda CX cord that I use as spares. The higher up the line the more of those qualities that I had mentioned above become apparent - especially in the area of dynamics and detail retrieval. I hope that helps.

coopersark

vhiner -- Sun, 11/20/2011 - 19:46

Coopersark,

My experience with break in is in line with yours, but I confess that I haven't noticed major changes after 500-600 hours...which is certainly not to say they don't happen. I've had my Triton since August and waiting more than three weeks to show it off was more than I could bear. ;-) I do have a friend who burned his in with air conditioners for about six weeks. He's a more patient man than I am. The signal cables definitely took a few weeks in my system before they settled down.

coopersark -- Mon, 11/21/2011 - 18:56

500-600 hours does get you most of the way there, but as I had mentioned, it depends on the overall resolution of your system. The more resolving the more you will hear the subtleties of the break in beyond that point until you reach about 1000 hours. If you do not hear more beyond the 500-600 hours then that is fine! In either case 500 or 1000 hours, the net result is a smoother, more relaxed, dynamic, focused, and effortless energized sound! We are both fortunate to be experiencing this not so subtle improvement! If you can see your way to borrowing another Triton and separate your analogue and digital lines, you will hear yet another significant improvement! (I think more bang for the buck than upgrading your Pythons to higher model power cords in the Shunyata line.)

coopersark

vhiner -- Mon, 11/21/2011 - 19:55

Wow. I thought *I* was bitten by the Shunyata bug. I wish I had the budget for two Tritons! Any plans on checking out the new signal cables?

coopersark -- Mon, 11/21/2011 - 21:26

Vhiner - I have three Tritons!!!...Two in my main rig and one in my second rig. I have thirteen King Cobra CX's, 2 Anaconda CX's, and a Python CX. You could say that I may be the most "bitten" Shunyata customer they have! (Pun intended!) (An remember that is only a part of my electric delivery system, albeit an important part. Again second to the room, electricity is the most important component in our systems. Once you hear electricity "done right", there is no going back. You have a small taste of it with your Triton and Python.) I use Transparent Opus MMII for all my signal cabling in my main system. That cabling was built to the exact impedance of each piece of my equipment. It's sound is extremely quiet (major detail retrieval!), quite organic, and revealing, especially down to the micro level of "artistic intent". I am not only quite pleased with the results, but the synergy with the Shunyata power conditioning is absolutely amazing. I have no desire to change. I am very happy with what I currently have, and have not heard a better sounding system anywhere. Not in any dealer's showroom, not at a show, and at no one's home. The the side and back walls in my listening room basically vanish, and all that is left are the musicians and the acoustic space that they had recorded in. A time and space machine. After all the years in our hobby, I am basically "there". I have reached my final ( or very close to final) destination. I have thought about trying the Anaconda grade Shunyata IC's on my secondary system, but it is a very low priority as again, I am quite content with the sound of that system, as well. Yes, I am curious as to how good the Shunyata cables are, especially for the money. My secondary system is all Audio Research, and I know that they are using the Shunyata IC's. They must have a certain synergy with the A/R gear. Perhaps in the months ahead I will give them a trial in that system, but not my main rig, as I am very content with what I am currently using.

coopersark

vhiner -- Mon, 11/21/2011 - 21:39

You, my friend, are a very lucky man! Some people are incapable of being satisfied and spend their whole lives chasing an elusive dream. While I haven't reached "there" yet, I'm also mighty happy with what I have.

coopersark -- Mon, 11/21/2011 - 23:36

Most audio enthusiasts simply want change for change sake. The younger ones are too inexperienced to know the sound that they are seeking. That only comes with time, experience, and unfortunately expense. As well all know, trial and error is expensive, but we can only learn and grow from our mistakes. It is unfortunate that all of the audio magazines are all about reviewing new equipment. Good room acoustics and electric delivery are way more important than the latest amp or preamp that is being currently touted in the audio rags. For example, when is the last time you had read an article about proper room pressurization beyond a room treatment device, or clean power, beyond a power conditioner or power cord? These are the two fundamental requirements for a system that "dissolves the walls". Most audiophiles get to hear simply what is between their speakers - that is only 50% of the sound. The other 50% is coming from the outside of the speaker - 25% from each speaker that is near the listening room's walls. This is a major factor in spacial clues that set the sound stage. Another factor is clean power. The resultant dynamic spacial cues from that clean power are simply missing from most systems. Combine them both (room and electricity) and one is on their way to sonic nirvana without changing a single piece of a system's core electronics or loudspeakers (assuming that those speakers are the right size for the room.) Yes, I am very fortunate. We are all fortunate who are in this hobby if for one reason - we still have our hearing. Before my father had passed away he was totally deaf in one ear and had about 50% hearing left in his other ear. I do try to keep perspective!

coopersark

vhiner -- Tue, 11/22/2011 - 00:35

You are *so* right about electricity. Lest anyone think that huge sums of money are necessary to achieve improvements, consider this: Of all the audio equipment I've purchased for my parents, who are in their 70's, the $99 Venom 3 power cords are the tweaks they've commented on the most. My mom noticed how the new cord improved her HDTV picture quality and my dad was impressed with the more "realistic sound" he's now getting from his NAD receiver after we put in the Venom. Neither of them are remotely what one consider to be audiophiles or videophiles. They're only interested in "gadgets that work."

DivineTrader2012 -- Mon, 07/16/2012 - 13:39

Hi Coopersark, I was wondering if we could communicate via email. I have questions regarding your use of Cyclops on your monoblock amps. I have the same dilema regarding my JC-1 monoblocks. I want to hear of your findings. Contact me at mbrockway4421 [at] comcast [dot] net. thanks!
Mark

brion -- Wed, 11/16/2011 - 21:01

 Ah yes, Vhiner...if I only had a brain...I could read.
I know what you mean about taking them out and then not missing them. I hadn't realized their effect until I listened again to some of my CDS without them. One thing I thought was, "Where'd the bass dynamics go?!" It just has a steeper rise time in the bass, along with fullness (but not too much) and definition.
One thing I hadn't tried while I had them, due to that Nor'easter we got, was damping the ceiling at the first reflection points. Fortunately, having a rather...interesting-looking listening room (strictly for audio), I asked someone to put up a couple of pillows on the ceiling at the first reflection points. Rather eye-opening, even with "just" the Andromedas, but I'm sure the Python cables would have "unfolded" even better than they did.
By the way, V, what're your listening room dimensions? Mine are  8' (h) x 13 (w) by 20 (l). And actually, the addition on the back part is 10' high, but I think the speakers, which are in the old section, which is 8' high, only see an 8' height, so I decided to see if the pillows deflected some of the sound. It was interesting that I could hear more ambience in the presentation than before. Not everyone can do this, but being a mad scientist type, my motto is "try everything, reject nothing" (until I've tried it for myself. I call it the "Enid Lumley" approach). Works quite well.
Anyway, I hope the Shunyata CX series speaker cable and interconnects eventually get reviewed. Their musicality-without-romance presentation, combined with the pricing, is exactly what High End used to mean.  And how many manufacturers actually drop the pricing on their previous top-of-the- line by $3,000+ dollars and surpass the previous line's quality?!! Nobody...
 

Oddeophile -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 11:39

Brion, you are a very bright man! I don't doubt it for a minute reading your very descriptive and open posts. I, for one, enjoyed reading them. Besides, believe me, you are not the only one missing a brain. Mine keeps going into 1960's flashbacks (ha, ha). Seriously, as I get older now, in my mid 50's, I find it harder and harder to make it function at all reasonably properly. Most of the time, I live with brain farts (poof!).

My room is very much like yours in dimension exccept its a 9' ceiling and open on the right side down our stairs to the first floor of our townhouse which makes my image pull to the right as its more open and not reflective. Annoying to say the least but it does show me how HUGE this soundstage can be especially in width as I routinely hear solid precise images easily 6-8 feet to the right of my right speaker. The left no more than maybe a couple of feet typically due to the proximity to the wall. Nothing is indeed perfect, least of which, mine.

I do heartily agree with you that Shunyata should be applauded. They could have easily said this new active shield technology (Zitron?) is SOTA and charged $10K per pair and probably gotten away with it. As we all are, I am very happy they did not. Its bad enough as it is, but worth every penny for the entrance fee.

vhiner -- Wed, 11/16/2011 - 21:34

 Brion,
My room is definitely the weak link in my system...FAR from ideal. It's approximately 17 x 17 with an open side and the ceiling is a mere 8 feet high. The walls are 1950's plaster.  Because of WAF, I have no serious room treatment. It's a real world living room...except for all the insane wires and bulbous speakers. LOL
I doubt I'll ever have a dedicated listening room unless the economy decides to smile on teachers. ROTFL. 
I'm lucky my wife loves music.
 

Oddeophile -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 11:44

Vhiner, yes, you are a lucky man indeed. Mine prefers movies and stuff more so than music but does love light (re: small ensemble) classical and classic jazz so that is good but I get precious little time with my system for music any longer. That is a bummer. Although, I can say with the addition so far of the Shunyata PC's, one XLR Anaconda IC, my system for films has gone into the stratosphere (for me, anyway). It has a lot more of the startle factor and I am sure will continue to improve greatly with the coming additions which by the way will tap me out for a LONG time to come so that beloved tube preamp will have to wait for quite a while. I am building my last generation system I expect to afford around these cables and grow to the final answer with them. I did laugh at the insane wires and bulbous speakers note, Definitely got a bit chuckle as, "ain't it the truth"?

Marcel -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 02:45

All,
For over a year now, I am using the Anaconda CX powercords on my amps. And recently switched to the Anaconda LS cable. The latter was initiated by me wanting to get rid of the huge MIT Oracle 1.1 network boxes. Auditioning with the dealer on the highly revealing Avalon Transcendent (the speaker I also have at home), the Anaconda beat the latest MIT MA HD90 hands down (mind the price difference between the two options!). More difficult for me was the choice between my 2 year old MIT Oracle MA IC's, and the Anaconda IC's. I wanted to explore the change, because of expected synergy of using a one-brand cable system. Here the choice was less obvious, though. The MIT's tick all the audiophile boxes (resolution, neutrality, quiet background, low distortion, etc), and have no apparent weaknesses whatsoever. Let's face it, the MIT Oracle MA's are excellent cables! However, I kept returning to the Anaconda IC's for their richer, denser tone and their complete lack of any added spicing, zest or icing on the music. They just seemed more 'natural' to me. This appears to be the house sound (or lack of sound) of Shunyata, which seems to go through their entire line of products (not tried the conditioners, yet...) So in the end I choose to replace the MIT MA's for the Anaconda IC's as well.
Cheers.

brion -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 21:35

 Vhiner:
ANY posting from ANYone leads some of us folks in one direction or the other. Like the Shunyata CX power cords thread, one person's mind was on fire the whole time, in a completely unbelievable fashion. I have no doubt that reviews will eventually point out something you missed or I missed or Marcel missed. There's nothing wrong with time enlightening us. There'd be no evolving otherwise. And think of it this way: we love what we own, or we wouldn't own it (I'm speaking strictly of audio here, of course). 
I'll repeat, what Shunyata has done, nobody else has done (except for Wilson Audio, which dropped the price of the Sashas, a wise tactical move, methinks) since I've been an audiophile. The pricing of cable is off the charts, and few of us can hope to have reference-quality cables unless we're on the board of certain universities in California, or Wall Street firms. 
What's sad to think is that so many people will think that pricing HAS to be high for it to be high-caliber and, instead of doing the intelligent thing, which is to listen to it for themselves (and not at a dealer's, which, in my view, is the worst way to evaluate something, or I'd never have purchased the ASL Hurricanes, which sounded, the first time they both worked in my 23' wide basement, with insulation in between the joists in the ceiling, so phenomenal that it will sound like hyperbole to others. But I didn't even make it to the listening chair before I turned around, agog, at how no-scrim-on-the-sound they sounded, and I've had Wilsons, Versas, Valhalla that didn't stop me in my tracks like that.  It probably helped that the basement is 23' wide and the speakers were 8' from each wall. Wider rooms really do make a difference, I don't care HOW well damped they are. 
Anyway, probably not coincidentally, guess what the speaker cable and power cords were? Right. Shunyata.  (The interconnects, in all fairness, were Nordost Quattro Fils, an ironic -- but fascinatingly good -- combination. At least for the FeSi generation (first) of Shunyata's power cables, which had phenomenal dynamic thrust. They were like launching a Titan missle, the sound was so powerful.)
The point about listening in a salon  is, if I'd based my assessment of the Hurricanes on what I heard in that famous NYC salon, I would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER have bought the Hurricanes. It was only my trust in HP's ears  regarding amps (I've bought quite a few of his "joy-to-the-world!" amp choices from the mid '80s on and found his assessments right on) that made me buy them. So, when I read what people say about what they heard in a salon, I wonder: were the speakers set up perfectly? Was the cable off the floor? Did cables touch each other? Tube Traps oriented perfectly? Did the listener KNOW the characteristics of the partnering equipment? I don't. So, for me, if I can't try it in my system, I don't buy it.
There's just no way to influence people by calling in the marching band on a product. It happens way too often these days for folks to trust anyone's reviews, as seen in forums, which point out -- somewhat fairly -- how frequently something is touted as "IT" only to be replaced by "IT - Part Two" two months later. Better to just shout it out, and those who trust your hearing acuity will say, he's been on the money before; I'll check 'em/it/them out.

vhiner -- Thu, 11/17/2011 - 22:17

Brion,

Well put and no argument here. I haven't asked anyone to post on this forum and I was hoping even people with less than positive experiences with the cables might post. Just wanted to hear about others' experiences. I hope that intention came through from my posts.

brion -- Fri, 11/18/2011 - 21:47

 Yes, I'd also like to hear from those with less positive experiences. All experiences are learning experiences (if we let them be). How 'bout it guys? Anyone with differing points of view? It helps us with an ecstatic perspective to have our balloons brought down a bit to earth (a la the Heidenberg, but just a bit less flammable, if you please!)

vhiner -- Fri, 11/18/2011 - 22:19

 Please let it be those who have actually listened to the products we're discussing here. Robert Harley just quoted an audio engineer in the latest TAS as saying something to the effect of "If you haven't heard the thing you're talking about, then you HAVE no opinion." I agree.

Marcel -- Sat, 11/19/2011 - 14:08

As said in my previous posting, I compared the Anaconda IC's at length with the MIT Oracle MA IC's, and ultimately choose for the first. This was however no easy decision, as it was not simply a matter of positive or "less positive" experience. Both brands offer excellent cables, albeit with a different approach. As I said, the MIT's excelled in audiophile disciplines like "resolution, neutrality, quiet background, low distortion, etc". At least in resolution they outperform the Shunyata's. The Anaconda's in turn, in my system (!) bettered the MIT's in tonal color, density, and they excel in an absolutely natural free and uncompressed flow of music.
I can't imagine anyone comparing these cables to other cables at whatever price level, find them to be insufficient altogether. They might not be the optimal choice for your system, or you might prefer a cable that emphasizes different aspects of music reproduction. But they perform at the edge of the current state of the art of cable technology.

vhiner -- Sat, 11/19/2011 - 15:55

 Marcel,
Well said. I agree. I would also be surprised if anyone were to fail to hear the Python's strengths if they give them a week in their systems even if they still prefer something else.  
It's worth noting that some people audition audio components within one day and if they fail to be stunned in a few moments move on. I  think this is unfortunate because all audio components need a few days to settle and perform at their best. I also think rapid a/b tests are fairly misleading. My policy is to live with something for several days and then take it out of the system. If I miss it and i can afford it, it stays. I wish more dealers would provide burnt in cables for audition. The cables will still need a day to settle, but at least they'll sound like they're  supposed to. My experience is that it's the subtraction of the component that really reveals its strengths or weaknesses, not the addition. 

brion -- Mon, 11/21/2011 - 20:54

 Vhiner:
I believe that was Ivor Tiefenbrun, the founder of Linn, who said that. And he's right, but you wouldn't know it from the way opinions are presented as empirical on sites.  While one can't blame a person for preferring certain components to complement their system, it's not the same as acknowledging the "rightness" of one component while still saying, in essence, "If-I-have-to-live-with-THIS-system-I-have-now-I'm-going-to-stick-with-component-x."
Someone once wrote me to ask  'didn't I find the Hurricane amps "smeared"'? I was aghast, because the Hurricanes are NOT smeared amps, period. I have an Odyssey Khartago, and I do not find it considerably  'faster' than the Hurricanes. I do find it much more lightweight (midbass lightness) in its presentation and a bit recessed. And a component that can reveal "triple-tonguing" on brass instruments is NOT  "smeared."
In any case, this is about the Shunyata. I absolutely agree with Vhiner that the Shunyata cables MUST settle. An hour or two is usually good enough, I think, but overnight IS better. They, more than any other cables I've had, demonstrate that trait. Perhaps the helix braiding geometry lends itself to  that effect, but it's there.
And I also agree with Marcel that one of Shunyata's great strength's is tonal density, which makes me wonder if the "richer" (more tonally saturated as in real life, not as in Technicolor) components, by virtue of their tonality, have a whit less resolution than "whiter" (less tonally saturated, as in say, Nordost, up to the Odin line [I haven't heard them, so I can't say, although I do have Valhalla and Tyr] components. Simply reading reviews for years, it is clear that resolution is tied to tonal saturation. As I've said before, if you have 200 women built like Kate Moss in a room, it's easy to "see around" them, whereas if you 200 women built like Eva Mendez, not so easy to see around them, but the view that you do have is glorious.  It seems that MIT, for example, always had the most ungodly beautiful brass sound of any cable I've had, bar none (including Shunyata). This was the older, Shotgun line, by the way, circa 1987. Shunyata's density resembles MIT (interesting that  Marcel found them so close: I'd imagine they both excel at tonal beauty without overdoing it).
We'll see how long it takes others to come around.

Marcel -- Tue, 12/06/2011 - 14:40

I saw somewhere that Robert Harley had the signal cables of Shunyata in his system at home. Would his review or findings be available already somewhere?

brion -- Wed, 12/07/2011 - 23:28

 Unlikely. Until a review appears, The Editor in Chief never blogs. He and AHC share that in common. When he's done and it's a review, it will then appear in the magazine, but not before.
Frankly, I wondered whose comment it was in issue 217 that intoned that we not be fooled by the "less-than-stratospheric price" of the new cables from Shunyata. It intones that they "compete with ....and exceed...the performance of the world's best cables, regardless of price."
Since the good Dr. Harley is the only one on TAS who uses Shunyata, I think it would be sensible to conclude this is his writing.

Steffo -- Wed, 12/07/2011 - 10:58

 The review of Anaconda interconnect and speaker cables will appear in the February issue. (and as free downloadable PDF cable Buyer's Guide on December 8!)

brion -- Fri, 12/09/2011 - 00:27

 Well, chalk up a correct deduction on my part: RH did review the Anacondas. The pricing on the Pythons didn't seem right, unless Shunyata raised the price within the last month. who knows, maybe they did. 
In any case, it was nice, but...well, I guess I was disappointed. Mostly generalities, with no specific references to pieces of music, although he did pronounce them "midrange and treble" oriented. (And I thought the bass was one of its strengths, but I don't have his speaker arrays, so maybe I'm wrong).
This may have been a summarized version of the review: it wasn't all that long.

brion -- Fri, 12/09/2011 - 00:52

 I read it once more after saving it on my desktop. Again, I hope this is not the entire review. For something that competes at the 'highest levels' with other cables, it doesn't really do Shunyata justice as an in-depth review.  What do you guys think? I was hoping to be exhilarated -- somewhat, at the very least. I came away thinking, if I was reading this and had no idea of what Shunyata had produced, I'd think, ''another good cable, but nothing special"  and continue on down the list. I wonder about the Buyers Guides, as they are so compressed, there's no "juice" to them. It's like slurping down a "low-fat milkshake"...not much to engage the taste buds. They seem to just use pull quotes and paragraphs from the reviews without shedding any new light on the product. Maybe I expect too much, but it IS, after all, The Absolute Sound, not 'the abbreviated sound'.

Bah, Humbug! Merry Christmas, ladies, gents...and others...

brion -- Sun, 01/01/2012 - 05:20

 So, guys, did any of you read the review? Does this look like the entire review to you as it will appear in TAS, or do you think it's abbreviated?  I still can't tell. I wouldn't expect a HiFi Guide to Cables to provide complete reviews, but perhaps I'm mistaken and this is the entire review.
After looking at the final paragraphs, I'm somewhat more elated for Shunyata (I believe in their products strongly), but would really like to see a more in-depth review of the cables. I suppose I'm looking for a different type review, a la Jonathan Valin, who mentions every little thing, but this is more a function of my rah-rah attitude towards Shunyata than anything else. I want them to become wildly successful, like Nordost -- except cheaper!! Wouldn't it be a kick if  their cables are running alongside Nordosts' Odin line (although I suspect the Odin line could possibly be more "true to the source" in the sense of  sounding as though it was a live mike feed, the way it sounds over radio broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoons (try listening to that to get a feel for what a live mike feed sounds like! It's quite realistic and I was using an NAD tuner. I swoon to think of what it might be on a majestic tuner!). But if you can't get to the concert hall, the Met's saturday afternoon broadcasts (1:30 est) will certain remind us of what music sounds like live. Much more live than most stereo systems, no matter how good.
Back to Shunayta: I hope some other magazines review their cables. It seems their signal cables get short shrift in the audio press; people seem more inclined just to review the power cords! I think Shunyata as capable of greatness as Nordost, although the approaches are different enough that I suspect Nordosts' upper midrange/lower treble region might breathe the "fire of life" a bit more, as, from the Nordost cables I have, that region seems to be their forte. Nonetheless, I'm confident in Shunyata's inventor, Mr. Caelin. We'll see.

Oddeophile -- Mon, 01/09/2012 - 17:00

Eagerly awaiting my shipment of the Anaconda XLR/RCA cables and speaker cables set to arrive on Wednesday.  Just received my Feb copy of TAS with the RH review in it. I am excited to install and break in as soon as possible.  I do have one 1-meter XLR Anaconda in my preamp - amp connection now and noted a distinct improvement in clarity, precision and dynamic stability/clarity/speed.
On a side note, looks like Shunyata has discontinued the CX power cables.  Anaconda's, the last of their CX kind, are in the closeout section of Music Direct, Shunyata has no more stock on the Python CX and Anaconda CX and the last of the King Cobra CX cables have special pricing on some dealer websites. 
From what I am to gather, Shunyata will probably be displaying their new range of PC's at CES starting tomorrow with a new PC line incorporating the same ZiTron active shielding technology as is found in the signal cables.  I am not sure to what degree improvement on the AC side this will provide but am purely speculating it most likely will improve transient speed on dynamic peaks and perhaps another degree of purity.  How much over the current CX line is anyone's guess.   
Having said that, I am VERY happy and contented with my Anaconda and King Cobra PC's.  With the introduction of the Anaconda signal cables in my system I am looking forward to many years of musical enjoyment. 
Odd

brion -- Sun, 02/05/2012 - 13:42

 Oddeo:
You might want to put a Cobra power cord on whatever you're using for a line conditoner. Just be sitting down before you hit "play" on the Cd player or turntable. 
The ZiTron Cobra puts so much "jump" into the system (mine is plugged into the Quantum Q-Base unit I bought 2 years ago) that it seems to be puttitng "jump" into the CX Python power cords on the amps, and besides that, has cleared up the back of the soundstage, so that the bass drum sounds like there's more distance between it and the instruments that are more upstage. Impressive. considering this particular power cord (I've had two ZiTron Cobras on the CD player and preamp for almost a month now) is less than 24 hours old. I got it yesterday around 5:30 p.m. and played it a little, and then put a fan on it. 
When I listened to it today, I was pretty surprised at how much it had improved since midnight last night (and it's around 1:30PM EST). The most noticeable thing is the sense of  "continuousness" as in the-way-music-sounds-in-real-life from front to rear of the soundstage. And what's stranger is that the upper midrange/lower treble (where the ambience is) is quite a bit more open in such a short period of time.
As much of a Shunyata fan as I am, I was a bit skeptical when I saw Vhiners opening post about the ZiTrons being better than even the CX stuff (sorry, Vhiner, you know how it is: we audiophiles DO exaggerate things a bit, and I didn't have the setup I do now), but now, with 3 ZiTron Cobras, I would say that it's going to be easier to hear the improvements with the ZiTron power cables in place. Even though I heard what you heard, I can tell more improvements with the Cobra power cables (especially now that I have one on the power outlet) than I did before.

Oddeophile -- Mon, 02/06/2012 - 11:12

Hi, Brion,
Well, I am pretty tapped out. I am awaiting delivery of my Python ZiTron XLR digital cable and will go from there.  I have King Cobra CX PC's on the wall to conditioner position now and KC's on my preamp, amp and DAC.  The remainder are all Anaconda CX's. 
Strangely, this weekend I noticed my ZiTron Anaconda's seemed to take a step back sonically to a closed in, dark and more diffused sound. They have maybe 230 hrs time on time on them and I am wondering now if I did not punch enough juice through them during the first 200 hrs or so to fully break them in. Certainly, they seem to still be going through the schizo period.  For short bursts of time they cleared up to purity and then went back again into obscurity.  Funny. 
Since I recently dropped about $27,000 in cabling in the past several months, I would say my cable additions are on the mend for quite a while.  Any considerations for ZiTron Cobra's or Anaconda's will have to wait for some time to come.  I do love my KC/Anaconda CX sound with the ZiTron signal cables when all is "right" with the ZiTron's. 
I am anxious to get this all settled so I can give the Python ZiTron XLR digital cable a fair shot A-B with my I2S HDMI connected DAC/transport. 
Keep the thoughts and posts coming guys.  There is a lot always to further and explore.
Best,
Odd

brion -- Mon, 02/06/2012 - 15:12

 Oddeo:
Have you moved the cable at all, or the supports under any equipment?
Much as I love my Sort Kones, I realize that if the amp slides to the side (aluminum bottom the the Hurricanes, and the Sort Kones are smooth on top, too, so no traction there!) even a little bit, I can lose some airiness. 
It IS strange that the Anacondas would take a step backward, though. I'd check to see if two cable are touching or something electrical is touching some signal cable. I've seen it happen!

Oddeophile -- Mon, 02/06/2012 - 16:15

Brion,
Indeed. I will be behind the rack on Wednesday evening and take a look when I install the Python XLR digital cable. It is a pain to get behind there. Not much room to work with and unless I am careful, I will knock something out of what for sure.  The interesting part is, since I had been breaking in the newer cables over the past two weeks, my center channel that I have had an Anaconda ZiTron on for some time now received an additional 200+ hrs of time on it. I had noticed a similar situation with it post 200+ hrs originally where it started to get a bit diffuse and unintelligible on dialogue. Now, with about 500 hrs or so on that cable it is as open, detailed and spacious as can be. I suspect that the newer cables may be at that point in my system. As I mentioned, I had been breaking them in with very moderate volumes to say the least (due to my S/O's concerns with neighbors since we leave early in the A.M. for work and her fears of bothering them).  I may just have to spend about 2 more weeks with the same process and hope she doesn't remove my head. 
I definitely appreciate the thought on the component movement issue, however. I have Aurios Pro isolation bearings with the tungsten carbide coupling bearing on them between the Aurios and components and it takes a whiff of air to move them at all, as well, causing about another hour of the balancing act to occur and get them well centered. 
Best,
Odd

coopersark -- Mon, 02/06/2012 - 20:04

Right on Vhiner! I recently ordered a couple of the new Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron power cables to replace my King Cobra CX cables that feed the two Tritons that are on separate circuits for  my front end. (One for analogue the other for digital.) I am most anxious to hear the improvements. If they are significant, I will start the long process of selling the rest my King Cobra CX's (I use them on all my electric connections on two separate audio systems) and replacing them with the Anaconda ZiTrons. If the "jump" is similar to that of previous generations of Shunya power cables, I may be in for a real treat! If you want, I will report the results. I should have them within several week's time but it will take another several weeks for them to start to break in, so please be patient!
 

coopersark

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