Shunyata Grounding System

stevebythebay

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Well, I did everything as described and would be at the conclusion based on the documents those two components are no candidates for connecting to the Altaira. Having said that, I noticed that Caelin doesnt go Into the Details in his Suncoast Audio interview on how to treat components like Constellation, Soulution, CH Precision. So I was wondering what PumaCats measurements are with his Constellation amp. I was also wondering about the 1 ohm threshold, because eg the chassis in both my components have hugh/„infinite“ resistance values (= no Connection) whereas the supposed signal grounds only 25/100 ohms. For example I ground my REL sub via the RCA input of my Bryston amp, so does this mean thats still a feasible ground Connection.
Have you engaged your dealer yet? If not, I'm going to bet if Grant does reply he'll probably send you that way as there are no detailed and absolute answers to many of your questions as yet. The variance between chassis and signal ground measurements can also vary a bit. The guidelines in the document seem clear to me, however. Given that your REL sub has an IEC ground, I would expect that in checking its RCA or other input connection for suitability with Altaira is all that's required. I cannot speak to how you're using the Bryston amp as a "ground" for the REL as I'm unfamiliar with it.
 

Puma Cat

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I'll just echo what Steve, 7Ryder, and Zeotrope have said.

And add, if in doubt, work with a trained and certified dealer.

Here's what I'm doing: I'm using Alpha XLR and Venom RCA CGC's to connect to unused XLR or RCA interfaces from my Constellation Inspiration integrated amp to a dedicated Altaira SG hub. NOTHING else is connected to this specific Altaira. My Lumin P1 is connected to it's own dedicated Altaira (the Lumin P1 is f**king amazing, BTW).

As Caelin uses an Argo integrated amp in his product development lab, and connects it to Altaira in the same manner, I figure I'm good to go. Actually, if I were to hazard a guess, Caelin uses TWO SG Altairas for his Argo, one for each channel, as all the Constellation gear is fully dual-mono internally.
 

kayhikski

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Mar 23, 2023
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When I connected up my main system (First Sound dual-mono preamp and Conrad-Johnson LP70S tube stereo amp), and powered up the LP70S the other night, I noticed it a "buzz/hum" in the right channel, which, after disconnecting literally everything in the system save for just the LP70S amp connected to speakers, I simply could not eliminate. My guess is a tube in the LP70S has gone bad, which seems to be more frequent with tubes these days. :sigh: Now, I have to troubleshoot that...urg.

Anyhoo, given that, last night I set up my little Amp Camp amps (aka "ACAs") that Nelson Pass designed, and I built a couple years ago, and connected them to my First Sound dual-mono preamp. I built a pair of these ACAs in 2020 while recovering from my hip replacement op, and I run two of them as as bridged monos. They were always quite impressive-sounding, even though they're only 15 Wpc of pure Class A power. But, then, they're designed by Nelson, so ya guys know what that means...:):cool:

They sounded as good as I remembered on their own, but quite frankly, I was blown away when I added my segmented Altaira system (one SG hub specificially for the "digital stack" DAC and ER), and one SG hub for the analog amplification components (specifically preamp and amp) to the ACA-powered system.

Here's a pic of the ACAs and the Altaira(s). The SG Altaira on top of the ACAs is resting on two HRS Nimbus Spacers and Couplers and is the "analog amplification segment", and is connected to the chassis ground terminals of the preamp's main control unit and it's external dual mono power supplies (3 in total). The Amp Camp amps are also connected to this "analog amplification" Altaira using Venom RCA CGCs connected to unused RCA inputs on each each ACA monoblock. The SG Altaira at the back of the photo is dedicated solely to the digital stack, and is connected to the Holo May KTE DAC's unused S/PDIF input and EtherREGEN's ground terminal. Each Altaira is connected at it's 7th terminal using Omega CGCs to separate ground terminals on the Everest power distributor.



Using this this system with the Altairas stripped out so much noise, hash, grunge, and grain from the presentation that it completely transformed the quality and performance of the system powered by these little amps (little yes, but designed by a genius. :D). The Altaira system also improved the clarity, imaging, added more air as Ivan observed, and the dynamics and "slam" really improved. Most importantly, the system sounds much more natural, "organic". and involving.

It's always interesting that one often don't realize how much noise is really in a system until it's been removed. And once you hear the system with all that noise, hash, and grunge removed, you can't "go back." It literally does not sound like the same system.

Just remarkable.
Hello there, just looking at potentially adding an Altaira to my setup (already have Venom CGS from my EtherREGEN to my Denali 6000s v2. QN - I have a Holo Audio May KTE but I can't seem to get a low resistance reading anywhere. Do you get <1 Ohm to the S/PDIF? Thanks, James
 

Puma Cat

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Hello there, just looking at potentially adding an Altaira to my setup (already have Venom CGS from my EtherREGEN to my Denali 6000s v2. QN - I have a Holo Audio May KTE but I can't seem to get a low resistance reading anywhere. Do you get <1 Ohm to the S/PDIF? Thanks, James
The "outer" barrel of the May COAX-1 connector makes a connection to ground, so if you get a ground cable with a RCA connector tail or termination, you can use that. Alternatively, you can use an unused RCA or XLR output (whichever interface you are not using to connect to your preamp)and connect a ground cable from those to an Altaira. IIRC, the Holo May DAC is dual-mono, so you should connect a ground cable from each unused channel (both L and R) to a terminal on Altaira. When I had the May DAC in my system, though, I was just using one of the COAX inputs, and it worked fine.
 
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kayhikski

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The "outer" barrel of the May COAX-1 connector makes a connection to ground, so if you get a ground cable with a RCA connector tail or termination, you can use that. Alternatively, you can use an unused RCA or XLR output (whichever interface you are not using to connect to your preamp)and connect a ground cable from those to an Altaira. IIRC, the Holo May DAC is dual-mono, so you should connect a ground cable from each unused channel (both L and R) to a terminal on Altaira. When I had the May DAC in my system, though, I was just using one of the COAX inputs, and it worked fine.

Thanks very much. I am unable to get a low Ohm reading from anywhere on my KTE May to the Ground Pin on the IEC receptacle . I had no issues with all my other gear .. S/PDIF on my Holo Audio Red was sub 1 Ohm and for most other gear I can use a chassis screw, which I think is preferred in any case .... but not the May. Strange ......
 

Zeotrope

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You really do need a <1 ohm connection to use the Altaira for its intended benefit. That said, Shunyata has told me to try it anyway to see if it improves or degrades, or does nothing to the sound (e.g., a phono ground which is not connected to AC ground). Just know that if there is no direct connection to AC ground you likely will have no benefit, so I wouldn’t get the Altaira hub if this is the only intended connection type.
 
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kayhikski

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You really do need a <1 ohm connection to use the Altaira for its intended benefit. That said, Shunyata has told me to try it anyway to see if it improves or degrades, or does nothing to the sound (e.g., a phono ground which is not connected to AC ground). Just know that if there is no direct connection to AC ground you likely will have no benefit, so I wouldn’t get the Altaira hub if this is the only intended connection type.

Hi there - thanks very much, My plan is to start with my preamp, analog crossover and monoblock amps on a chassis hub and then to potentially add in digital components with a signal ground hub.
 

Zeotrope

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Hi there - thanks very much, My plan is to start with my preamp, analog crossover and monoblock amps on a chassis hub and then to potentially add in digital components with a signal ground hub.

Great! Let us know how it goes.

Note that if you only intend to connect one type of component (Digital or Analog) to a single hub, the best hub to use is a Signal Hub. Ground Hubs are best if you intend to combine digital and analog components. For all analogue, get a Signal Hub. You can confirm with Richard at Shunyata, as I did. The way Shunyata labels the hubs is not very clear unfortunately.
 

kayhikski

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Great! Let us know how it goes.

Note that if you only intend to connect one type of component (Digital or Analog) to a single hub, the best hub to use is a Signal Hub. Ground Hubs are best if you intend to combine digital and analog components. For all analogue, get a Signal Hub. You can confirm with Richard at Shunyata, as I did. The way Shunyata labels the hubs is not very clear unfortunately.
Hi, Yes I re-read the Hub Selection Guide and you are right.

Seems like if you start with a Chassis Hub and want to segment digital and analog later on, then leaving the analog components on the Chassis Hub and adding a Signal Hub for the digital components works pretty well too.

I’ll do some more reading and thinking and then call Richard with a list of questions!

Thanks!
 
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Puma Cat

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Hi, Yes I re-read the Hub Selection Guide and you are right.

Seems like if you start with a Chassis Hub and want to segment digital and analog later on, then leaving the analog components on the Chassis Hub and adding a Signal Hub for the digital components works pretty well too.
That's correct.
 

kayhikski

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Mar 23, 2023
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Great! Let us know how it goes.

Note that if you only intend to connect one type of component (Digital or Analog) to a single hub, the best hub to use is a Signal Hub. Ground Hubs are best if you intend to combine digital and analog components. For all analogue, get a Signal Hub. You can confirm with Richard at Shunyata, as I did. The way Shunyata labels the hubs is not very clear unfortunately.

Testing now with a Signal Hub and a bunch of Alpha cables on loan from thecableco.com.

The thing that had me confused with the naming is that I was thinking that chassis connections belong on a chassis hub and a signal hub is only for signal connections. Not true.

Richard told me that a chassis connection is almost always preferred to a signal one (and cheaper!) but if you have a dual mono component, then go with signal connections, one for each channel.

At this point I have digital and analog devices connected on the signal hub. There’s very little difference between the two hub types apparently, so this is fine for testing.

What I am doing, as I could only borrow one hub, is to double up connections (banana + spade) on each terminal. I have digital devices doubled up on 2 terminals and I have the analog connections on the other 4. I confirmed first that it was ok to do this.

Even with the limitations imposed by using only one (testing) hub and doubling up connections, I am hearing the benefits. I can hear deeper in to the music. My goal is going to be to purchase two hubs, one for digital and one for analog.

Another thing I did clarify is that if I have to cheap out on some cables, it is better to do that on the analog connections and go with the better cables for the digital gear. E.g alpha for digital and venom or delta for analog.
 

Puma Cat

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IIRC, the guidance is that if one is going to use a single Altaira for the entire system, to go with the CG Altaira Hub. If you're going to "segment" the system, e.g. one segment for the "digital componentry" and one for the "analog application" componentry, and you're going to purchase 2 Altaira at the "same time", then to go with the SG Altaira Hub(s) for this configuration. Same would apply for a fully dual-mono set-up, for example, if one had a dual-mono DAC, dual-mono preamp, monoblocks or dual-mono amps in a single chassis (e.g. Constellation and others, etc.), then use 1 SG Altaira for each channel, L and R.

Folks that start off with just a single CG hub for their entire system can always add an SG hub for say, the digital stack later on, and still use the CG hub for main amplification componentry. There's a number of configurations possible, and again, best to read the extensive guidance from Shunyata for the respective applications.
 

Zeotrope

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I have 3 Hubs in my system, all Signal. I have a dual mono amp (DarTZeel 108) connected to a single hub. While optimal to use two hubs, it’s totally fine to connect both channels to a single hub — but use 2 ground cables!
There’s also a fairly significant break-in time for the cables and hubs: 100-125 hours, according to Richard. Don’t expect it to sound great for the first 100 hours or so!
 

stevebythebay

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Oct 21, 2012
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Has anyone used the altira with the msb discrete? Dual power supplies model.

Thankyou
Have not, but the best way to find out how it may work is to contact a Shunyata dealer. They can pursue your question with Shunyata directly.
 
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Puma Cat

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I have 3 Hubs in my system, all Signal. I have a dual mono amp (DarTZeel 108) connected to a single hub. While optimal to use two hubs, it’s totally fine to connect both channels to a single hub — but use 2 ground cables!
I agree, and that is effectively what I'm doing with my Constellation Inspiration integrated. Good points.
There’s also a fairly significant break-in time for the cables and hubs: 100-125 hours, according to Richard. Don’t expect it to sound great for the first 100 hours or so!
Yup...
 

barbz127

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Jun 4, 2022
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Altira acquired... Plan is to go straight to the alpha cables because I'd rather not buy something twice.

Until then is there any suggestions on what wire to use as temporary ground wires?

Thankyou
 

Puma Cat

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Feb 20, 2011
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SF East Bay Area
Altira acquired... Plan is to go straight to the alpha cables because I'd rather not buy something twice.

Until then is there any suggestions on what wire to use as temporary ground wires?

Thankyou
Yep, Alpha is really good place to be for connecting components to Altaira. If you're going to make some temporary ground cables, just get some quality copper wire, e.g. 12 AWG, and connect some suitable terminations. I used Cardas solder to solder on some spades when I made some home-made ground cables.
 
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Macattack

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Solid wire Stephen?
 

nonesup

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If you segment a system, where you would connect a DAC, to the Altaira SGC where they are connected is the Server, the Switch and the Router or the Altaira SGC where the amplifier and preamplifier are connected.
 

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