Comparison of Cardas Clear & Beyond Speaker Cable to Shunyata Sigma or Alpha Cable

  1. Has anyone had the luxury of a comparison of the Cardas Clear Beyond speaker cables to either the Shunyata Sigma or Alpha speaker cable. If so, what difference in sonics was noticed.
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Here is some further context... The OP is using Cardas Clear Beyond speaker wires to feed a pair of Rowland M925 mono amps into his Vienna Die Muzik speakers.

What audible changes might he experience if he replaced the Cardas Clear Beyond wires with a pair of Shunyata Sigma or Shunyat Alpha speaker cables?

Regards, GUido


Hi @guidocorona

Is this not very similar to your system as well?

Hello @mikey8811, sorry for the delay... You are right, Sam (the OP) and I have similar systems...
* For amps, For example, we both enjoy Rowland M925 monos, although I also have in the system a pair of the rather amazing Rowland M535 bridged amps, which I alternate with M925.
* Both the OP and I have Vienna Die Muzik speakers.
In my case, I feed them through Cardas Clear Reflection speaker whires, which appear to be two level below Sam's Clear Beyond. Eventually, I might upgrade analog signal wires to Clear Beyond, so to evaluate the audible enhancements.
* Sam and I both use Cardas Clear Beyond XL power cords on most components.
* Without detailing all system differences, one more difference is in our analog XLR ICS... While Sam has the top of the line Clear Beyond XLRS, Clear Reflection XLR are my ICs from the Rowland Aeris DAC to my amps.... Yep, I have no preamp at this time. 

As I might have already mentioned elsewhere, although Clear Reflection is two levels below from Clear Beyond,  my system has reached a performance level previously unattained. This is not only a matter of simple resolution, and of all the typical enumeration of audible parameters that we audiophiles like to list.... This cardas loom and the luminous synergy it creates with my components is giving me a sense of musical completion, a sense of "having come home", a level of immersive joy, which I had never experienced before with admittedly excellent looms from other brands.

Yet, I realize that I might have heard nothing yet compared to what I might experience if I upgraded analog ICs and speaker wires to Clear Beyond... Truth is that the magic of my system has made me, well... Lazy to upgrade analog cabling to the next level up the spectacular Cardas pantheon... Or to any other brand, for all it matters.

This does not imply that I deem Sam's current quest to be without merit... I have had the fortune of trying earlier series of Shunyata wires, and found them to be much of my liking. Hence I am looking forward to hearing about Sam's experiments.

Regards, Guido

Just as a reminder, my system consists of
* Esoteric X-01 Ltd powered by XL, connected via Cardas Clear digital coax to...
* Rowland Aeris DAC + Rowland PSU (Power Storage Unit, based on ultracapacitors ) fed by XL and connected via Cardas Clear Reflection XLRs to either of the following...
* Pair of Rowland M925 monoblocks powered by XL,
* or Pair of bridged Rowland M535 amplifiers powered by xl...
* A pair of Cardas Clear Reflection connect the active amplifier pair to Vienna Die Muzik speakers.
I am using three dedicated 20A AC circuits.... One for X-01 and PSU; one for the amplifier connected to the left speaker; one for the amplifier connected to the right speaker.
Saluti, Guido

@guidocorona What's your recommendation for a power cord that is fuller sounding than the Clear Beyond but otherwise similar?
I am not using the XL but have Clear Beyond throughout. I kind of miss the fullness that the Golden Reference gives but I found the highs on that slightly hard compared to the Clear Beyond which was excellent all round except I felt it could do with a midrange bump.

I am tempted to try the XL on my power amp if I can afford it but I understand that it is slightly leaner sounding than the Clear Beyond.
Hello @Mikey8811, I have not tried Clear Beyond cables... But per several posts at:

it appears that well broken in Clear Beyond XL (probably 400 to 500 hours of operation) power cords add resolution and spatiality, without resulting in an etched sound... XL having larger gage and larger filters than the original Clear Beyond, bass in XL might be more authoritative, which might be perceived as "richness"... Worth trying out.

You might also try to "salt" your system by replacing Clear Beyond in just one position with a Clear Reflection analog IC or Clear Reflection speaker wires.... The Clear Reflection series addresses the tone concept of lovers of the original Clear Golden Reference wires, who yearn for Golden Ref's warmth, but, with hindsight, find the old series to have a little bit of an intermodulative (hard) treble, and a slight limitation in extension.

An other option might be to adopt a length of speaker wires or ICs from an older series of Shunyata, such as ZTron or even Helix... Particularly with Helix, you might experience a warmer presentation, but probably to the detriment of some ultimate detail.
On the other hand, I might be totally off the mark in suggesting a cabling change.... the cause of your leanness might be elsewhere.... Lest we hijack this thread on a tangent, why don't you PM me, so we continue this sidebar discussion offline.

Saluti, Guido

@mikey8811 I have used both Cardas Clear Beyond and Clear Beyond XL PCs on Rowland M925s. In my system (which is a full Cardas Clear Beyond or Beyond XL loom) I wouldn't characterize the XL PCs as "thinner" than the Clear Beyond PCs. Instead, I would say that the XLs take some bloom out of the bass--which to me is a positive development--and provide some additional clarity and detail. However, I will note that there is not a large difference between the Cardas Clear Beyond and Beyond XL PCs. The jump in the Cardas line is substantial between Clear and Clear Beyond (IMO). Between Clear Beyond and Beyond XL, not so much. Having said that I just replaced my Clear Beyond PC with a Beyond XL on my Rowland PSU, so I hear a difference I like, but it is a matter of smaller degrees than at other points on the Cardas line. Could you get the midrange bump you are after with the XLs? Always possible because these things seem to be system dependent.
@guidocorona I sent you a PM.
@astewart8944 , yes, I did hear that the jump up from CB to CB XL was not large and so am hesitant to pay the premium which is pretty hefty.

For my tastes I think I inevitably prefer bass bloom to clarity, so the CB XL may not work for me either.
Sounds like Cardas needs to make a Clear Reflection Power haha.
Having said that I just replaced my Clear Beyond PC with a Beyond XL on my Rowland PSU, so I hear a difference I like
@astewart8944 This brings up an interesting topic.....have you determined that power cords influence the new PSU?
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All, it strikes me that we are really getting OT.... We should keep this thread on topic to compare Clear Beyond XL PCs with Shunyata Sigma and Alpha PCS.

Like you AStewart and TDimmler am interested in a PC discussion for the Rowland Power Storage Unit (PSU).... TDimmler, how about you start a thread dedicated to the topic?

Saluti, G.

Hello Guido:

The original thread which I set up was  in regard to a comparison of sonic differences between Shunyata Alpha or Sigma speaker cables to Cardas Clear  Beyond speaker cables. Not power cables, however that is of interest as well.

OP--I haven't compared Shunyata Sigma or Alpha speaker cables to Cardas Clear or Clear Beyond speaker cables. Sorry, I'm no help there--