Shunyata Alpha HC Power Cords compared to the Shunyata Anaconda Zitron Power Cords

May 25, 2010
497
4
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#1
Shunyata Alpha HC Power Cords compared to the Shunyata Anaconda Zitron Power Cords And The Typhon

The Summary
Since this is a bit of a Shunyata story, let me cut to the chase and say that after 5 days of being broken in on a fan and 1 week in my system, I believe that in my system the Alpha HC power cords are superior to Anaconda Zitron PC’s in every way, BUT, they are definitely different. They sound more refined, although that may be because they seem to have a lower noise floor than the already amazingly quiet Anaconda’s. The sound stage is more defined, almost laser-like. There is more information beyond the edge of the speakers, suggesting better phase coherency.

For $1250 compared to $3000, the Alpha HC is a no brainer, that is unless you want or need the warmer sound of the Anaconda. For me the Anaconda to Alpha HC sonic comparison is much like comparing an Audio Research REF 3 preamp to the REF 5 SE, with the 5 SE substantially more refined and yet a tiny bit analytic, or is just less colored.

My Shunyata Story
I have been using Shunyata Research products in my system for more than a year and have been absolutely amazed by both the magnitude and nature of the impact of power cords and power distribution products from Shunyata. Although still great value for the money, I was not as impressed by their signal products and since switching to a Spectral 260 amplifier have found them totally incompatible and thus switched all of my signal products to Spectral friendly MIT cables and speaker wire. Sadly, this is no cheap endeavor!

I have found that the Shunyata Zitron power cords and distribution products work as a system, with synergistic impact as more products are added to the system. Clearly they make the most impact where there is the greatest current flow, with one magical exception, the Typhon, but more about that later. The Alpha HC continues that tradition of the system approach.

When I first started my exploration of the world of Caelin Gabriel, Shunyata’s wizzard, all of my power cords were Zitron versions of the Anaconda, Python and Cobra, all plugged into a Triton for filtering and distribution with the Triton plugged into the wall with a 20 amp Anaconda. After an amazingly prolonged break-in that wanders all over the place, especially during the second week, when one should not listen to their system at all to avoid risk of throwing something at the speakers because it can sound that bad, things start to happen that I formerly believed “should not” happen due to power cords.

Bottom line, do not go this route unless you are willing to eventually equip your entire system with Shunyata Zitron PC’s because they are that good and it is essentially impossible to go back, kind of like trying to go back to thinking about sex before experiencing it for the first time then trying to return to the pre-sex relatedness after experiencing sex! If you add a Triton power distribution system to the mix you get at least twice the benefit, but also need to buy another cord to power the Triton, which is not cheap.

During the past year I began migrating upwards in the Shunyata reference line, replacing the Cobras (entry reference PC) with Pythons and then again with the top of the line Anaconda’s. Last summer a new player showed up, the Alpha Digital cable for components with digital power supplies. It is essentially a Cobra with a filter tuned to eliminate digital noise from the power supply in addition to the Zitron circuit.

After struggling through a very extended (1 month) and somewhat wild break-in period, these cables connected to digital components reshaped my sense of what “digital” sounds like, by making it sound analog. There is no way to anticipate this without trying it yourself. The only trade off was a slight reduction in bass definition, probably due to the lack of VTX topology used in the Python and Anaconda but not the Cobra or Alpha series.

So prior to my last change, my system was powered by a Triton connected to a dedicated circuit with a Shunyata SR-Z1 duplex and dedicated ground via 20 amp Anaconda, which had three Alpha Digital PC’s for my Meitner DAC, Oppo 103 transport, and Mac Mini music server plugged into it, plus my BAT VK32-SE tubed preamp connected to the Triton via an Anaconda, and a pair of Viper Zitron PC’s connecting my Martin Logan Montis’ to the Triton. On another dedicated circuit with a Shunyata SR-Z1 duplex and dedicated ground, my Spectral 260 was connected via an Anaconda and my twin JL F113 subwoofers were connected via Python’s.

The sound was exquisite and way beyond most systems I have heard at the twice cost of my system ($100k). In order to generate money for the addition of a Typhon and 5 new Alpha HC PC’s, I sold all of my Shunyata PC’s except the three Alpha Digitals for the digital equipment and the Viper Zitron’s for the ML’s. This meant that the Triton was taken out of the circuit because I sold the Anaconda that powered it.

Bottom line for the three weeks after selling the cords and awaiting my new purchases, I did not listen to music because it sounded like a giant step backwards to electronic components and certainly no longer like music. It was painful, and totally unexciting

When the 5 Alpha HC’s (high current with twice the copper of plain Alpha series and special high current filter) arrived, I daisy-chained them using SR burn-in adapters and connected them to a fan for 5 days, which supposedly would achieve the majority of the burn it. I plugged the Typhon with its own Typhon AHC umbilical into a separate socket for 24 hours before inserting it in parallel with the Spectral in the same dedicated circuit with a Shunyata SR-Z1 duplex and dedicated ground.

While this thread is about the Alpha HC versus the Anaconda and not the Typhon, let me just say that even with all of the cruddy temporary PC’s in place and no Triton, just putting the Typhon in parallel in the same circuit as the Spectral 260 was incredible in 10 minutes. I got back at least 33% of what I lost with the elimination of all of the PC’s and the Triton. By the time 4 days had passed and no insertions of the new Alpha HC cords, and no Triton, I now had about 50% back of what I had lost compared to the pre-change scenario.

Now for more detail about the Alpha HC’s. After the 5 day fan break-in, they definitely were not fully broken in because after an additional week in the system, they sound completely different than one day after insertion when much of the annealing had occurred. I put them in sequentially, Spectral, BAT preamp, Triton (and then plugged the entire front end into the Triton. I put Harmonic Technology AC-10’s on the JL 113’s and then listened for the next day to try to assess the Alpha HC’s, although the Triton was resettling after being off for a month. The sound improved considerably but was still lagging behind what it replaced.

I then put the Alpha HC’s into the JL F 113’s, probably the best test of the cord since they plug directly into the wall in the same dedicated circuit with a Shunyata SR-Z1 duplex and dedicated ground that the Spectral is plugged into with the Typhon now out of the circuit. First of all, removing the Typhon from the parallel position to the Spectral can only be described by a loud S… or F…, it made that much difference—go figure. Before plugging the Typhon into the Triton on the front end, I listened to the system again, now with the JL’s under the influence of the Alpha HC and Typhon sitting on the side

Let me cut to the chase once again on the Alpha HC’s. This is the power cord for the JL F 113’s. It is that much better than the Python’s. After 5 days on the fan and a week in the system, the cords are still breaking in in the lowest bass and with regard to articulation of the attack of the bass. However, we are already deep into the best bass region I have ever had, and still more break in to go.

The Typhon
This is the device Caelin calls the single best product that Shunyata makes. He refers to its impact as “magical. All I can say is that based on having owned the majority of Shunyata’s Zitron offerings, a Triton, a Typhon, a Viper PS-8, a Defender, etc., I can absolutely agree on the best product side and without a doubt agree on the magical side.

However, I would like to add another word “puzzling”. I say puzzling because while it is hard to initially appreciate just how much difference Shunyata PC’s and Triton make to the overall sound and experience, it is somewhat understandable because the current must flow through them. However, with the Typhon, it runs in parallel and yet it has about 50% as much impact as the PC’s and Triton combined.

What is even more puzzling is that the nature of the change is very dependent on where the Typhon is inserted, front-end or back-end. While the magnitude of the change does not seem to change much, its qualitative component does drastically. The difference is so dramatic that sadly the only reasonable answer from a sound standpoint is to have a Typhon in both the front-end and back-end (please send my lunatic fringe card pdf to my email!). This is the only scenario where I prefer the idea of a stereo amp compared to mono blocks so I do not have to buy a Typhon for each amp. However, one could probably just install a 40 amp circuit, and plug in one Typhon and both mono blocks.

The best way I can describe the difference in the Typhon’s contribution at the front and rear is as follows. With the Typhon plugged into the Triton, every benefit the Triton contributes, increases, substantially. The ability to better envision the sound stage, almost as if one is able to walk around the musicians, is profound. With it on the back end, the sound stage is bigger, deeper, but not quite as defined, albeit only slightly less because the Triton does have three NIC’s, essentially the only component of the Typhon. Granted, the Triton has three 12,000 cubic mm NIC’s on each of the hot, neutral and grounds conductors, while the Typhon has only two NIC’s on the hot and neutral, each with 30,800 cubic mm’s of pixie dust. So the unavoidable conclusion is more pixie dust is better, but even a moderate amount is good.

Here’s why one needs a Typhon on the back end—it makes your amp(s) and Sub’s sound better. For almost the same difference, I could have bought a 300 RS instead of my 260 amp, assuming that it will be released before I die and probably gotten at least the same kind of sound improvement, if not more, based on what I hear from Marty’s 400’s compared to my 260. The problem is that I would have to also sell my JL F113’s and buy JL Gothams because that is the type of magnitude of change that occurs on the back end through both the amp and the woofs. So using audio logic, it is a bargain to buy a second Typhon!!!
 
Last edited:

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#2
Russ

you're lucky you have a stereo amp and not monos as then you would need a total of 3 Typhons :(

I have said repeatedly that the addition of the Triton/3 Typhons to my system was probably the single most important change I have ever made to my system with such astonishing favorable results

I also agree on the sonic changes with the Shunyata power cords. For now I am staying with my Anaconda PC to the Triton and 3 Anaconda umbilicals for the Typhons as I just live the sound I have and for now I don't want to mess with a good thing
 

scouter

Member Sponsor
Oct 31, 2012
241
0
0
Wrightsville Beach, NC
#3
I just got through switching to all Shunyata Alpha cables (except for one MIT Oracle Z 111) , including the digital cable to my Ayre QB-9 DSD, and there is a big difference. I also switched from a PS Perfect Wave power supply out (for my Spectral 260) to a Cyclops. Bass is tighter, more transparency and clarity in the soundstage. Speaking of soundstage, it is WAY deeper, much wider, and it seems the micro dynamics of the music are much better. I lost a little warmth in the upper bass-lower mids, and don't really miss it in my system- it is more accurate than it was. I still have the rest of my equipment hooked into a MIT Z power supply, and am going to move to a Triton then Typhon in the upcoming months after I get a good handle on the system as it stands. I do feel, that in systems needing warmth, Shunyata may need to be balanced with some mixing and matching of cables- the solution and transparency leaves harshness in a system nowhere to hide. Thanks Steve for all the positive reports in the Shunyata stuff- without this forum, I'd still be in the MIT stuff with my Spectral gear. MIT is good, but this Shunyata stuff is great!
 
May 25, 2010
497
4
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#4
Scouter,

If you like what the Cyclops is doing consider it a very small Typhon since they are both essentially 2 NIC on the hot and neutral. The big difference is that the Cyclops is 5,800 cubic mm for each of its two NIC whereas the Typhon is 30,800 cubic mm for each of its two NIC's.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#5
I just got through switching to all Shunyata Alpha cables (except for one MIT Oracle Z 111) , including the digital cable to my Ayre QB-9 DSD, and there is a big difference. I also switched from a PS Perfect Wave power supply out (for my Spectral 260) to a Cyclops. Bass is tighter, more transparency and clarity in the soundstage. Speaking of soundstage, it is WAY deeper, much wider, and it seems the micro dynamics of the music are much better. I lost a little warmth in the upper bass-lower mids, and don't really miss it in my system- it is more accurate than it was. I still have the rest of my equipment hooked into a MIT Z power supply, and am going to move to a Triton then Typhon in the upcoming months after I get a good handle on the system as it stands. I do feel, that in systems needing warmth, Shunyata may need to be balanced with some mixing and matching of cables- the solution and transparency leaves harshness in a system nowhere to hide. Thanks Steve for all the positive reports in the Shunyata stuff- without this forum, I'd still be in the MIT stuff with my Spectral gear. MIT is good, but this Shunyata stuff is great!
Scouter

I read about it here myself and initially felt it was a few enthusiasts but when more and more members whose opinions I value had similar findings, that's when I decided to evaluate it myself and for my ears it was nothing short of astonishing
 

scouter

Member Sponsor
Oct 31, 2012
241
0
0
Wrightsville Beach, NC
#6
Russ and Steve,
Please feel free to call me Barry- feel I know you guys well enough to go by first names from reading posts on this forum. I went with the Cyclops so as to power the Spectral 260 only, and get into the Shunyata club for as little as possible to check it out. Grant told me to use the Cyclops (with a Venom for surge protection) to see what it could do for the amp. After hearing it for myself, definitely on board, and going forward from here. I was listening to a well known album while doing work at the house, and had to stop the first time I heard sounds emanating from well outside my speakers-first time I've heard that in my room. The silence and micro details are really incredible- all from a power delivery system. Really, I would have called bogus on this had I not heard it for myself. Easily equivalent to moving up the ladder on individual components.
Have anyone tried the new digital isolation unit Shunyata is touting now?
 
May 25, 2010
497
4
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#7
Barry,

I am glad that you are on the discovery train. So imagine what a Typhon would do with much larger NIC's than the Cyclops. BTW, if you are not using an Alpha HC on the 260, it is well worth investing in or at least demoing. Without a doubt it is better than the Anaconda on the amp. My dealer, Ciamara, Sanjay Patel has a wonderful demo program, but be ready to buy. His number is 917-575-4708.

Curious to hear about your explorations.
 

scouter

Member Sponsor
Oct 31, 2012
241
0
0
Wrightsville Beach, NC
#8
Barry,

I am glad that you are on the discovery train. So imagine what a Typhon would do with much larger NIC's than the Cyclops. BTW, if you are not using an Alpha HC on the 260, it is well worth investing in or at least demoing. Without a doubt it is better than the Anaconda on the amp. My dealer, Ciamara, Sanjay Patel has a wonderful demo program, but be ready to buy. His number is 917-575-4708.

Curious to hear about your explorations.
Russ,
I am using my old MIT Oracle Z111 from the Cyclops to the Amp- I have an Alpha HC feeding the Cyclops. My next purchase will be another HC Alpha from the Cyclops to the amp. An Alpha non HC is feeding the Spectral 15 pre. I'm sure you're right- aTriton/Typhon on the front end will be killer. Gotta save my pennies! Again, have you tried to new all digital power distributor- it is supposed to further isolate digital noise from the rest of the system.
 
May 25, 2010
497
4
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#9
Barry,

I have not tried the digital distributor because I am using 3 Alpha digitals into the Triton for my digital components. My next purchase will probably be another Typhon, although I have a wedding to pay for first.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,200
62
48
Far Hills, NJ
#10
I'm not sure I really want to weigh in on the Alpha HC vs Anaconda debate because I've sort of formed an opinion yet did not adhere to my own rule of substituting one variable at time to make meaningful comparisons between two components (just not enough extra Zitron PC cables laying around to do this!) . Nevertheless, my bottom line is that the jury is still out on the Alpha HC as being superior to the Anaconda. No question that the bass is superb on the Alpha HC and fully the equal of the Anaconda. Also no question that the Alpha HC is a damn good cable in all areas and a tremendous value. Caelin and company deserve kudos for the rabbit they pulled out of the hat with the Alpha HC. I doubt anyone would ever buy one and be disappointed. In fact, everyone should be elated with the savings it offers compared to Anaconda. But I can't help but think the HC is missing that almost intangible and hard to describe quality that I hear in the Anaconda and to a some lesser degree, in the Python. It's an overall "integrity" to the sound that's hard to define. Harmonics on strings and piano are the areas that this is perhaps easiest to appreciate. Whatever it is, it's there in spades with the Anaconda, but the "reach out and touch it body" of some instruments is a shade more reticent with the Alpha HC. In a nutshell, instrument timbre is fleshed out just a hair more believably with the Anaconda. I would add that I would not want to make the comparison using just any source material. It is best heard with well recorded material of modest to light complexity. What's more, it might be a hard call to make between these because the Alpha HC may offer something on its own that is remiss in the Anaconda; namely, it just might be a very tiny, tiny bit quieter as Russ has noticed and I concur. Would anyone even know if they heard my system and I didn't tell them I was using Alpha HC vs Anaconda in a selective location or two? Probably not. But I know and that's why I'm waiting for the next level reference PC from Shunyata with baited breath. One can only hope that it will have both the Zitron circuit that is in the Anaconda as well as the additional "noise reduction" circuit of the Alpha HC, while retaining the full sonic benefits of the Anaconda. In the meantime, my sense is that the Anaconda is still the one to beat.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#11
I'm not sure I really want to weigh in on the Alpha HC vs Anaconda debate because I've sort of formed an opinion yet did not adhere to my own rule of substituting one variable at time to make meaningful comparisons between two components (just not enough extra Zitron PC cables laying around to do this!) . Nevertheless, my bottom line is that the jury is still out on the Alpha HC as being superior to the Anaconda. No question that the bass is superb on the Alpha HC and fully the equal of the Anaconda. Also no question that the Alpha HC is a damn good cable in all areas and a tremendous value. Caelin and company deserve kudos for the rabbit they pulled out of the hat with the Alpha HC. I doubt anyone would ever buy one and be disappointed. In fact, everyone should be elated with the savings it offers compared to Anaconda. But I can't help but think the HC is missing that almost intangible and hard to describe quality that I hear in the Anaconda and to a some lesser degree, in the Python. It's an overall "integrity" to the sound that's hard to define. Harmonics on strings and piano are the areas that this is perhaps easiest to appreciate. Whatever it is, it's there in spades with the Anaconda, but the "reach out and touch it body" of some instruments is a shade more reticent with the Alpha HC. In a nutshell, instrument timbre is fleshed out just a hair more believably with the Anaconda. I would add that I would not want to make the comparison using just any source material. It is best heard with well recorded material of modest to light complexity. What's more, it might be a hard call to make between these because the Alpha HC may offer something on its own that is remiss in the Anaconda; namely, it just might be a very tiny, tiny bit quieter as Russ has noticed and I concur. Would anyone even know if they heard my system and I didn't tell them I was using Alpha HC vs Anaconda in a selective location or two? Probably not. But I know and that's why I'm waiting for the next level reference PC from Shunyata with baited breath. One can only hope that it will have both the Zitron circuit that is in the Anaconda as well as the additional "noise reduction" circuit of the Alpha HC, while retaining the full sonic benefits of the Anaconda. In the meantime, my sense is that the Anaconda is still the one to beat.
I do tend to agree Marty

The AHC PC is indeed superb. It's just that I have one Anaconda PC (wall to Triton) and 3 Anaconda umbilicals. I love the sound and although I have been tempted to go in that direction I just can't get too motivated because my system sounds so darn good with the Anaconda PC and umbilicals. In the interim I have a pair of AHC PC's on my amps and the bass is truly remarkable
 

Drobidoux

New Member
May 17, 2014
2
0
0
#12
Russ,

I am pretty new to the Shunyata world. I have Classe Cp-800 and 2 CA-M600, the 3 units on each a 20amp circuit. I also have a pair of 113 like you. So far I only did some test with a Hydra and alpha digital on my CP-800 and I was amazed. I intend to test the Triton.

I am not into the mode to test for ever. So to make it simple. From your experience , do I aim correctly with Alpha HC for my 113 and CA-M600 + Alpha digitals and Triton on my front end?
What kind of improvement can I expect?
Do I really need to burn in the cables and if so what is the procedures to do that?

Regards,

Daniel
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,113
16
38
Silicon Valley
#16
What other PCs in this price range have you compared them to?
Probably 10x their price range is a better comparison. I bet that would be a fun job. Cable Comparer. :)
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#18

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,200
62
48
Far Hills, NJ
#19
Amado,
This is a potentially very interesting observation. Can you please be a little more descriptive so we can understand the experiment in more detail? Simply put, what exactly did you do? What is the device that was generating the buzzing sound? I think we can all see that with the MIT cable, the buzzing sound was still there, and with the Alpha HC (only the male end was connected to AC, correct?), it disappeared. Please elaborate.
Marty
 
#20
Ok,
Let me try to explain the video but there is a language limitation, so please understand my spelling errors.

I used an ENTECH AC Analizer that can give you a percentage and sound of the noise you have in your AC.
I connected it the Analizer and when I insert the MIT cable in the AC Outlet the percentage and noise went from 102 to 99%. All passive connection, there is not connection at the other end of the cable.
Then I connected the Shunyata Alpha HC and from 102 went below 22% and the noise from the AC outlet was none.
It means that the shunyata Alpha cleans your AC and will
Help to not make dirty your AC inside the Power conditioner your currently using.
You have 2 types of dirty AC in your home , the one from the wall and the other one that each equipment produce and pollute the Power conditioner.
shunyata Rocks !!!!
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing