Alpha and Delta NR VS Zitron and Older Line

sleeper22

New Member
Jan 28, 2018
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#1
Just curious does anyone have experience with the current model of NR power cables versus the previous lines such as Zitron and earlier. Mainly interested in the Alpha/Delta NR and how it compares?

Thanks,
Sam
 
May 10, 2013
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#2
Well, there's really not a comparison between the NR and the earlier ZiTrons, I think. The Delta NR has a lower noise floor and - although mine is new - has a "punchier" bass than either my Zi-Tron Cobra or Zi-Tron Python. And The Alpha HC has a low noise floor, but I think the Delta's is lower. I'll have to wait a week longer: I've only had mine for 4 days, so whether or not it's still breaking in, I don't know. I experimented with the power cords on the DAC, and then the amp. Given they have different power requirements, it turned out to be an apples and oranges experiment. When I had the Alpha HC on the Yggdrasil DAC, I thought it was the best combination, but I haven't put the newest cord on the Yggdrasil yet. Maybe I'll do that tonight. In fact, I will, and I'll give you my impressions next Sunday.
I'm surprised no on else has commented, but then again, I think a great many guys who have the NRs went straight to the Sigma NRs. Too rich for my blood! Maybe someone bought an Alpha NR and can comment.
 

sleeper22

New Member
Jan 28, 2018
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#3
Thanks Mcbrion and yes please report back your findings. And I can't afford a Sigma either lol. I saw where a Alpha HC popped up on Audiogon ($750) and has my interest but you seem to think the Delta NR performs better correct?
 

ken6217

New Member
Sep 28, 2017
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#4
Here's my 2 cents. I had all Alpha HC power cords and replaced them with Sigma NR power cords in my 2 channel system. Prior to that I had purchased a Delta NR power cord for my projector. So when I took the Alpha HC's out, I figured let me try that on my projector instead of the Delta NR. It was night and day difference. Let me say that again, NIGHT and DAY difference. With the Alpha HC the colors had more pop, better contrast, and a brighter cleaner image.

Alpha NR over Alpha HC, but not Delta NR over Alpha HC.
 
Sep 4, 2017
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#5
Thanks for the comments, guys. Although I see lot of favorable ink on the Sigmas, I seem to recall reading somewhere Caelin saying he considered the new Alpha NR series the sweet spot in their new lineup. Like some others here, not sure I'm prepared to pay for what's best in this instance, but but certainly interested in getting close for a lot less.
 

Indy

New Member
Dec 14, 2014
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#6
I cannot compare the Delta NR directly to the older Zitron cables. But, I replaced the Venom Digital on my Rega DAC R with a Delta NR. The Delta NR is significantly better than the already very good Venom Digital. Lower noise and simply more music and details.
 
May 10, 2013
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#7
Here's my 2 cents. I had all Alpha HC power cords and replaced them with Sigma NR power cords in my 2 channel system. Prior to that I had purchased a Delta NR power cord for my projector. So when I took the Alpha HC's out, I figured let me try that on my projector instead of the Delta NR. It was night and day difference. Let me say that again, NIGHT and DAY difference. With the Alpha HC the colors had more pop, better contrast, and a brighter cleaner image.

Alpha NR over Alpha HC, but not Delta NR over Alpha HC.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I have another Delta NR on the way and sold a ZiTron Cobra, and had to replace it with an old ESP power cord. That was pretty dismaying: Joni Mitchell's voice, all breathy and "present" with even a ZiTron Cobra, the "littlest guy on the block" in my system, compared to ZiTron Python, Alpha HCs and Sigmas, was back to a "good reproduction," but the loss of continuousness was evident, so I can't compare now.
However, I still have the Alpha HC and when I have an all-Shunyata power cord system again, I'll put the Delta back in.
I'm not surprised that video improved, but were you able to put the Delta NR into your audio system? I find video changes (of power cords) more startling than audio, so I'd do a "like-to-like" change, meaning placing the Delta NR where the Alpha HC is in an audio system. And then assess that way. I've always had trouble doing the "audio vs. video" changes.
 
May 10, 2013
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#8
I cannot compare the Delta NR directly to the older Zitron cables. But, I replaced the Venom Digital on my Rega DAC R with a Delta NR. The Delta NR is significantly better than the already very good Venom Digital. Lower noise and simply more music and details.
With all due respect to the Venom line, I found a significant sonic disparity between it and it's slightly "older brother," the Cobra ZiTron. I couldn't keep the Venom cord: sent it back, so I"m not at all surprised that a Delta NR would surpass a Venom (regardless of its purpose (e.g. Venom digital vs. "regular" Delta NR) in any system. I think of Venom as a Junior High School member. Once you went up to Cobra, you were not only in High School, you jumped from 7th grade (junior high) to 10th grade (high school). Obviously with the new line, the Alpha NR (the only one I haven't purchased) would be a High School Junior student and the Sigma either a freshman - or even a sophomore - in college. But I'm sure that if I'd had - and placed - a Venom in place of that ESP cord I currently have, I'd be very satisfied, although I don't think Joni would return to the magical continuousness her voice displayed on her 'Travelogue' album. And prior to this, none of the Shunyata line displayed the continuousness it does now. It may have sounded fantastic, even magical, but in my (cheap-o) system (compared to others on here) it never displayed continuousness, something that was unique to, say, The Jadis line of components, or the ASL Hurricanes. But I haven't heard the upper, upper stuff that's out these days, so feel free to tell me I'm wrong. By 1997, after 15 years of buying SOTA components, but not feeling like I'd truly reached Nirvana, I burned out. These days, I'm happy to NOT do that. Except with Shunyata's power cords, which can advance a system quite a bit further with even just "very good" components.

I DO know that, eventually, I'll have to at least hear an Alpha. Except my local dealer is all Nordost and Transparent-bound. Their loss, given I one day took the Sigma (not even an NR) into their main showroom and unplugged their Odin power cable, put in the Sigma and only gave it 20 minutes to "settle" (so it wasn't even really ready for the comparison) and played Gimme Shelter. Merry Clayton's voice was so far superior on the (unsettled) Shunyata, it was disquieting. The dealer allows me complete access to his room, given I was once a reviewer (and a terrible piano player) , so i can just walk in and test out a newly purchased power cord - which I also end up rearrange his speaker cable and interconnects (he's very sloppy about that) so none of the cords/cables touch each other - something I hope none of you are doing. That's just aural suicide to have ANY cable touching ANY OTHER CABLE. And if you don't think it's audible, let me tell you this: it's audible on a mere 18-22K system, so it's GOT to be audible on yours. Anyway, It'll be fun to take in the Sigma along with the Delta NR and hang around a few hours to hear the difference.
 
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ken6217

New Member
Sep 28, 2017
25
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#9
I never had the Delta in my audio system. I had purchased used Alpha HC cables for all of my audio equipment. After hearing how good the sound was, I tried the Sigma line. That was a big upgrade as well. I then replaced each Alpha with a Sigma one by one. I sold a couple, kept one for the projector, and just listed the other two for sale today.
 

sleeper22

New Member
Jan 28, 2018
9
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0
#10
Some very interesting points and reviews. I had on loan recently from the Cable Company a Delta NR and was instructed to use it on my Marantz SA11-S2 CDP. My amp is a BAT VK-55 and preamp a VK-31SE. The Delta was a big improvement over my previous cable. Then curiosity got the best of me. What does the Alpha NR bring to the table so the Cable Co sent me one. In a nutshell more air, dynamics, bass and I really hear "into" the music more. However, there is more clarity but this clarity can make some music sound thin and brighter which to my ears can be fatiguing over a period of time. Don't get me wrong I do like the Alpha NR but I feel I am wanting another cable to offset its tone or clarity. Of course this is in my system so others mileage may vary. I think these NR cables are great for source components but no so much amps or that has been my findings. The Alpha didn't sound like I thought it would with my Mark Levinson 27.5 amp. The Cable Co told me different components react differently to various cables so again without trying numerous cables it is hard to know what cables will do what.
 

ken6217

New Member
Sep 28, 2017
25
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#11
Some very interesting points and reviews. I had on loan recently from the Cable Company a Delta NR and was instructed to use it on my Marantz SA11-S2 CDP. My amp is a BAT VK-55 and preamp a VK-31SE. The Delta was a big improvement over my previous cable. Then curiosity got the best of me. What does the Alpha NR bring to the table so the Cable Co sent me one. In a nutshell more air, dynamics, bass and I really hear "into" the music more. However, there is more clarity but this clarity can make some music sound thin and brighter which to my ears can be fatiguing over a period of time. Don't get me wrong I do like the Alpha NR but I feel I am wanting another cable to offset its tone or clarity. Of course this is in my system so others mileage may vary. I think these NR cables are great for source components but no so much amps or that has been my findings. The Alpha didn't sound like I thought it would with my Mark Levinson 27.5 amp. The Cable Co told me different components react differently to various cables so again without trying numerous cables it is hard to know what cables will do what.[/QUOTE

I haven't heard the Alpha NR but can identify with that you said when switching to it. I had tried a Sigma Digital power cord and felt the same way you did when I compared it to my Alpha HC. I sold it and purchased a Sigma NR, which was an upgrade period.

You should look around and see if you can find an Alpha HC. They are not always easy to find, but you can get it in the $600.00 range. I would bet you would be happy with that on your amp.
 
May 10, 2013
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#12
Some very interesting points and reviews. I had on loan recently from the Cable Company a Delta NR and was instructed to use it on my Marantz SA11-S2 CDP. My amp is a BAT VK-55 and preamp a VK-31SE. The Delta was a big improvement over my previous cable. Then curiosity got the best of me. What does the Alpha NR bring to the table so the Cable Co sent me one. In a nutshell more air, dynamics, bass and I really hear "into" the music more. However, there is more clarity but this clarity can make some music sound thin and brighter which to my ears can be fatiguing over a period of time. Don't get me wrong I do like the Alpha NR but I feel I am wanting another cable to offset its tone or clarity. Of course this is in my system so others mileage may vary. I think these NR cables are great for source components but no so much amps or that has been my findings. The Alpha didn't sound like I thought it would with my Mark Levinson 27.5 amp. The Cable Co told me different components react differently to various cables so again without trying numerous cables it is hard to know what cables will do what.[/QUOTE

I haven't heard the Alpha NR but can identify with that you said when switching to it. I had tried a Sigma Digital power cord and felt the same way you did when I compared it to my Alpha HC. I sold it and purchased a Sigma NR, which was an upgrade period.

You should look around and see if you can find an Alpha HC. They are not always easy to find, but you can get it in the $600.00 range. I would bet you would be happy with that on your amp.
What was your "previous cable"? You didn't mention was it was.
 

Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,453
36
48
Alpharetta, Georgia
#13
I am finishing up a review this weekend on the Denali tower and the latest Delta power cords and signal cables. I have been very happy with what I have heard so far. Good value for the money.
 

ken6217

New Member
Sep 28, 2017
25
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#14
What was your "previous cable"? You didn't mention was it was.
Do you mean previous to the Alpha? If so, it was the stock power cable. The Alpha HC was my first after market power cable.I went like 25 years with high end equipment and stock power cable until this past year. Crazy huh?

Going back to what I had said, I had the Alpha HC, then tried the Sigma Digital, and thought it sounded thin. I then tried the Sigma NR and found that to be the best. If I didn't have the money to spend, I could have been very happy staying with the Alpha HC.

Btw, I remember back in the day that Madrigal Labs (Mark Levinson) had said not to use either an after market power cord or power conditioner. I don't remember which. That "back in the day" would have been your era ML or maybe later during the 331, 332, 333 series. I don't know why they said that, or if that was a generic statement.
 
May 10, 2013
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#15
Thanks Mcbrion and yes please report back your findings. And I can't afford a Sigma either lol. I saw where a Alpha HC popped up on Audiogon ($750) and has my interest but you seem to think the Delta NR performs better correct?
Well, I can't say it outperforms it, since they're in the same system. However, the Delta NR arrived today, and I put it in the wall socket to the PS Audio regenerator, and the system suddenly (I mean instantly) had bass kick like it never did before. You would have to be dead or asleep to miss how dramatic the change was. The Alpha HC is on the integrated amp. All I CAN say is that the Alpha never delivered that kind of bass punch. As well, there is a subtle "musicalness" to the new cord. I hadn' t really noticeda lessening of it prior to now, but I notice that it is more musical-sounding with the new cord (the cord I just sold was a ZiTron Cobra, and now I have the Alpha HC there). Some music is "prettier," meaning made with acoustic instruments vs. synthesizers, but not ALL music is that way. So, if it's a coloration, then it is quite artful at imposing itself on some music and not other music (The Clash still sound harsh).
And it (the musicality) is more obvious with the Delta NR than with the Alpha HC, to my ears. It was, of course, only with the insertion of the Delta NR into the system, making all the power cords current (the Python ZiTron now being the "senior"-aged cord in my system), that I heard 1), the dramatic increase in bass weight, punch and power, as well as 2), the sense that the system now projects out towards you like Jennifer Holiday doing the climactic song in Dreamgirls: it just keeps coming at you. All I can say is, the Alpha, a very admirable cord, didn't do this. And I'm still using the NAD integrated (I keep breaking in things with it: next the Transparent coax RCA to the Yggdrasil converter), which spends a decent amount of time working, and IT was capable of delivering at least some of the bottom octave. Again, have had the Alpha HC for over a year - the bass power didn't increase.
So, consider it. Mine isn't broken in, of course, but this is what it did out of the box. And I've had Shunyata cords since 2003. The only other one that made that great an impact on me instantly was my first King Coba V2, which flat out astounded me. This Delta NR is - unbroken in - one hell of a cord. I have a Sigma and I think I was less impressed with the Sigma (can't explain that, but them's the facts) than when I hit play and the Delta went all 'WHAM!!" over my head. Try it. And if you do, give it time to break in - a week should do it (yes, the cords still need break in time, although, going by the Sigma, these cords some out REAL good and just continue to get better without the "ugh-did-I-make-a-mistake-400-hour-stormy-seas-experience" that older cords sometimes invoked in a buyer).
 
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May 10, 2013
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#16
Ken, how long did you have the Alpha?
It's interesting that the Alpha sounded thin, but then, I've not heard one. I can't imagine that the Delta would have such body (compared to a Cobra ZiTron) and then the Alpha was thin-sounding. Usually, as you go up the line, you get more body and weight. Was the cord with you for an extended period. I've been listening to my system, and it seemed - last night - a little closed down, yet I could hear instruments in the mix that clearly hadn't been easily audible before.

I considered, after my initial posting, that with the cords I now have, that the system has (obviously) reached a much higher level of functioning, but like you, when I got the Sigma, I was...underwhelmed, fine cord though it was. It really does seem to me (and my Nola 12" Thunderbolt subwoofers agree) that there is low bass making an appearance, whereas before, it simply wan't obvious. Now, at that time, I had one Nordost Frey 2 power cord in the system, along with the other Shunyata, but I wouldn't have thought that that would make a difference, especially since I could simply remove the Yggdrasil and play directly from my Arcam FMJ 23 into the integrated. And I DID have that setup for a while.The Frey 2 - a wonderful cord - did not do what the Delta does (puzzling to me, since they Frey 2 is around $2,000 new). And yet, the Delta, I would swear, did things the Frey did - but less of - such as the bass weight and power and a few other things. 'Tis a mystery.
 

ken6217

New Member
Sep 28, 2017
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#17
Ken, how long did you have the Alpha?
It's interesting that the Alpha sounded thin, but then, I've not heard one. I can't imagine that the Delta would have such body (compared to a Cobra ZiTron) and then the Alpha was thin-sounding. Usually, as you go up the line, you get more body and weight. Was the cord with you for an extended period. I've been listening to my system, and it seemed - last night - a little closed down, yet I could hear instruments in the mix that clearly hadn't been easily audible before.

I considered, after my initial posting, that with the cords I now have, that the system has (obviously) reached a much higher level of functioning, but like you, when I got the Sigma, I was...underwhelmed, fine cord though it was. It really does seem to me (and my Nola 12" Thunderbolt subwoofers agree) that there is low bass making an appearance, whereas before, it simply wan't obvious. Now, at that time, I had one Nordost Frey 2 power cord in the system, along with the other Shunyata, but I wouldn't have thought that that would make a difference, especially since I could simply remove the Yggdrasil and play directly from my Arcam FMJ 23 into the integrated. And I DID have that setup for a while.The Frey 2 - a wonderful cord - did not do what the Delta does (puzzling to me, since they Frey 2 is around $2,000 new). And yet, the Delta, I would swear, did things the Frey did - but less of - such as the bass weight and power and a few other things. 'Tis a mystery.
I might have made it confusing the way I explained it. The Alpha wasn't thin. I felt the Sigma Digital did. Note that the Sigma NR was better than all.

I had the Alpha's in my system for a couple of months. Of course there was no need to replace them other than the hobby addiction. :)

The Delta I never had in my main system. I had it in my home theater along with PS8 and Defender. Honestly I thought my system sounded better with the stock power cords. The dynamics were killed using those items. I sent them back to where I purchased them.

I then placed one of my extra Alpha HC power cables on my projector and the video was amazing.

Of course every system is different as are ones tastes. So as the saying goes, YMMV.
 
May 10, 2013
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#18
^^^ Yes, I found the Sigma NR much more to my liking than the Sigma Analogue, despite Shunyata's statements that it was not to necessary to move from Sigma to NR. I have a feeling the NR series displays both more musicality, effortless and more dynamic energy. And the bass still strikes me as more noticeable on the NR than the original Sigma. It just "kicks" more. The definition is the same, though.

Whereas the original Sigma was "rounded Off" in the bass frequencies, the newer (Sigma cable) is. I was therefore surrpised that the junior member - the Delta - has such kick. I have since observed the "kick" is less "thundering," so it may have been the cord's initial bass frequencies being "new" and "unbroken in" and not having had time to relax. I don't know which to be the case as the Delta is still too new (only 60 hours).
I suppose I'll have to borrow an Alpha to see if the absence of the ZiTron technology in the Delta cord is "aces" in the Alpha. I might find that I'd rather have paid $800 more and gotten a Alpha zitron than the Delta, but the Delta is quite, quite good. And again, it has the "musicality" thing going on. Musicality is hard to notice. It's like hearing Mariah Carey sing and marveling at her voice - until Whitney Houston came on right after her, and you were struck by the sheer "beauty" of her voice. It sounds more mellifluous, and you hadn't even noticed it, so "right" did Carey's voice sound. But it IS musical and I think that has not been quite as obvious in preceding generations. A lovely bonus.
 
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May 10, 2013
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#20
Interesting developments so far, but lopsided, so I will ask Shunyata's knowledge on this.
The Delta sounds great - after 6 days of break in - but not as "real" as the Cobra ZiTron. Should this be the case?

Now, for the lopsided factor (which MUST be considered). My dac's RCA-based S/PDIF is a Transparent High Performance cable, which is newer than the Delta (35 hours old for the Transparent vs 146 hours on the Shunyata).

What I'd like to know is: how long should the (non ZiTron) Delta take to break in? I suspect, based on website information, it's not the several-hundred-hour break-in I had with previous generations, and I CAN hear the improvements myself. That said, is the Delta - a non-ZiTron cable - subject to the "old laws" of break in or the "done-in-8-days-or-so" break-in period for the NR cables? And should it sound superior to a Cobra ZiTron power cord (besides the improvement in bass, I mean)?
 

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