Deciphering Shunyata chronological history for upgrade paths


Shunyata cables have represented great technology and quality to me as I survey the marketplace. My first and subsequent purchases of the Diamondback & Venom level cables brought pleasing results to my system in staging, imaging and punch.
As I have read other A'goners experiments w/ "source level" power cords it intrigued me to do my own research. In considering a new or used cable purchase, the myriad of improvements and layers added to each manufacturer-or's product lines in this space, I was lost in names and misunderstanding of what has transpired in the Shunyata family of cables chronologically to make a good purchase decision.

Having good experience in calling Shunyata support to identify product distinctions in power purification, I reached out again and received a call from Richard R regarding my question of how to compare the new name sequences (hierarchy) versus the old. Richard was happy to comply and I am sharing this with the community in hopes to provide orientation for others like me deciding on upgrade paths.  Shared w/Richards blessing.
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"Richard Rogers with Shunyata here:  Cables below are from least to best performance.

There's basically three eras the older snake named cables and the newer Greek named cables.
- Oldest: Venom ->Taipan -> Cobra -> Python ->Anaconda -> King cobra

- Then newer: Venom -> Viper -> Alpha ->Sigma

- Then newest:  Venom -> Delta -> Alpha ->Sigma

Now, through the time we had different designations and version of these. I broke those down below:

- Original series was just the snake named cable with no suffix

- Then came the Alpha Helix series (snakes) and VX series.
   The VX was for digital components whereas Helix was universal for all components

- Then came the CX series (snakes)

- Then came the Zitron series (snakes)

Then came the Greek series (Alpha digital, Alpha analog, Alpha HC, Sigma digital, Sigma analog and Sigma HC)

Now the current series is just the Venom 14, Venom HC, Delta NR, Alpha NR and Sigma NR. The NR version is a universal noise reducing cable that can be used on any and all components and the best we've ever built. "
Previewtrombonist
I've enjoyed various Shunyata cables through the years and am currently using a Delta NR power cord on my amp and it's definitely a keeper. The dynamics and soundstaging are better than I've heard from anything else especially when you consider the price. BTW, they have a Delta EF and a Alpha EF without the noise reduction CCI circuit.
Thanks for the input baxman

nice to know.

were any comparisions made to previous itterations?
I have older Diamondback and Venom models and am looking to upgrade .. I will post my thoughts hopefully soon
Wow great job i don't know about most of these cables however i have the first Shunyata cable with the angel dust filling and on Digital nothing bets it in my cd player.Good luck.
The only direct comparisons I made were to the diamondback, the rest were from memory.




I wonder if any one can tell me how sidewinder fit into the spectrum?  I have a Hydra 4 and looking for a power cord from the power outlet on the wall.  Thank you very much!
What about Mamba - wasn’t that an original snake?


Either try buying something used, or borrow some from the Cable Co.

I’ve been out of the loop for too long now to really recommend anything current.

I will say this however…. Which ever power cord feeds the power line conditioner its voice or influence will be conveyed into the rest of the gear attached to that conditioner.

Its user preffs and or system needs at that point and from that point onward.

What fascinated me about the Shunyata Taipan helix alpha was how pronounced it articulated tone and or timbers of notes. There was more wood in the woodwinds, more brass in the brass and it elevated the bandwidth top to bottom where some power cords don’t’ truly address the entire sonic spectrum. Never did it present an analytical or strident demonstration.

Bass always seems lagging with many ICs & PCs. If exstension is improved with some wires, the sound can get bleached out and become more about the leading edge than the decay.

I also used various VooDoo and Elrod power cords for various items or passive PLCs. Nirvana and Dynamic Research also got into the mix. Not sure but I don’t think Dynamic research is around any more. Very stiff, very hard cables to work with too. Good values though.

I found putting the better PCs on the front and back ends worked best. Sources and amps. Preamp? Not so much of a change there so having a cord that doesn’t negatively affect anything is what I’d do there.

One other thing about former Shunyata Pcs was as you moved up the food chain the entire presentation was elevated. Sound stage grew. Depth grew. Again, the bandwidth was well addressed and appeared more dynamic..

Shunyata said the NR cords do not affect dynamics at all. It was mentioned too if one had the money to buy just one Sigma, it could be better to buy two Alphas instead.

"Davidhe19audio", I posed the question to Richard and here is his reply that  kind of addresses yours & "pops" questions...

" The Sidewinder was first a CX series cable that had a short production life due to its stiffness. Due to this stiffness, it was re-designed and became the Black Mamba CX.
We then had a Sidewinder VTX which proved to be more popular then the previous CX series Sidewinder and had a life span of about 3 years.
The Sidewinder models were both one level above the Venom HC and although designed for sources primarily, they will still function sufficiently on amplifiers or power conditioners like the Hydra 4."
BTW, just recently purchased a Python Alpha Cx 15a and initially it seems to have made a nice sonic improvement.

Although I have said the Venom/Diamondbacks were clearly evident compared to my "stock power cords", I will go back and do some A-B-ing as I also changed a source piece, so I want to hone in on the differences.

Can hear the beautiful pipes of Bryan Duncan in the background now (for the curious  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Bryan+Duncan+Love+You+with+My+Life&&view=detail&mid... ) Just enjoying having everything back together in time for Labor day weekend tunes right now!
@Trombonist Thank you very much for your information.  It is very helpful.
I'm debating between getting the Denali power conditioner or new power cords.  I even have a debate about which power cord to get. Is there a significant difference between Sigma and Alpha power cords? Does the Alpha offer more value for the money?

@ricred1 > I'm debating between getting the Denali power conditioner or new power cords. I even have a debate about which power cord to get. Is there a significant difference between Sigma and Alpha power cords? Does the Alpha offer more value for the money?

  I’d say look at some other PLCs that are contending as exceptionally well received and reviewed like possibly the CORT 1200 & 1800 models.

2017 Core Power Technologies EquiCore 1200 & 1800 review
http://www.audiophilia.com/reviews/2017/6/4/core-power-technologies-equicore-1800-power-conditioner
$2,000 with power cord

Power line conditioners are at times, great spots to affix a PC with noise reduction features. True that IF the noise reduction does not come at the expense of detail reduction or glazing over and leading edge performance dampning, which the VX versions were guilty of regularly. The helix versions seemed to better address actual ‘noise reduction’ without so much of the ‘VX’ ill effects.

RE Alpha value
It would sure seem from what Richard of Shunyata Res said to me, getting two Alphas would be the wisdom if only one Sigma could be swung financially, given the Sigs are twice the costs of a single Alpha.

With only four main entries on the latest SR PC lineup, the Alpha has to be some sort of mix between the performance of the former Taipan & Python cords, and the Sig more like the older Anaconda and or King cobra versions.

It was said the Sigma had a new tech in its build not previously instituted into any other model, ie., HARP.

It would sure be interesting to see the diffs from an Alpha and a Sigma on a source or amp. Just as exciting would be finding out if any for sure diffs were indeed to be realized between the NR versions and the non NR versions somewhere in the system.

If you wait too long reading this and trying to figure it out ....Shunyata will already have come out with a new line that will make your current cable obsolete and you will take a big financial hit. Don't worry as the audio writers will tell you that this '' new '' line of theirs is their absolute best .....for now. Great company, great cables and best of all, great marketing as they change their cables as often as I change my .........you know     
Right, garebear. Shunyata, the Audio Research of power cord companies! The great thing is can get a couple-years old model for less than half it's new price.