Yes, it looks like Shunyata has posted info on its new Helix series. The names of the PCs remains unchanged, with the word Helix now affixed to them. A technical description of sorts has been published by Shunyata at:
The principle appears to b that counterrotating spirals of conductors cause strands to cross at 90 degree angles, minimizing inductance and capacitance. The core of the PC is apparently hollow.
I sure would like to read a comparison of a traditional Anaconda to a new Anaconda Helix.
I could swear the photo on the Shunyata website of the Anaconda cable conductor winding geometry prior to the Helix announcement looked exactly like the helix photo currently on the website. I'm sure something has changed, but they look damn close, IMO.
Don't know how does this compared to the old model ? By the way, I was just going to buy the old RED python VX power cord for my SACD player & now I saw this. Should I wait ?
Don't know what is the price & sound difference ?
I don't think its out in the market yet.
I would wait, the price you were about to pay for the Red Python Vx will probably drop in the next couple months.
I did notice this on their website, and they did a pretty bad job on the site, if I do say so myself. If you click on the Anaconda Helix link, it gives you the specs of the Anaconda, under the title of Python Helix Alpha & VX.
Pretty confusing. Maybe they just rushed to put it up there Friday afternoon, who knows?
Gee, I wonder if I can get all my King Cobras & Anacondas UPGRADED to Helix series, or put them up for sale.
I dou doubt any old series PC can be reworked to become a PC of the new series. You might have to sell and repurchase.
O.k. I had cancelled my transaction.
Anyway, I am in no hurry to get a power cord unless the offer is really good. Currently still using the stock power cord for my SACD player.
Thanks for the advise.
Jeremy, at this point there are only two things we can be reasonably comfortable forecasting:
1. The new Helix series will sound somewhat different from the old powersnakes.
2. The introduction of the new series may cause a number of current owners to sell their old wires and purchase the new corresponding Helix wires, causing an eventual slight drop in asking price for the old series on the used market.
NOTE: In point 1 I deliberately state 'different' instead of 'better'. It's not that the Helix can't be 'better' than the old series, but rather that no one has reported their preferences and observations on the Helix line one way or another.
I don't think the Helix will sound different at all. I believe it's just a marketing thing. If you read the literature about the previous Alpha/Vx series, they stated that Shunyata used a Helix winding pattern in their cables/cords. So I think it's just a matter of Shunyata placing the word 'Helix' on the heat shrink. I don't think the design changed at all.
Of course many will dump their 'old' cords to get the 'new' ones with the word Helix on the heat shrink. That's what I'm waiting for. :-)
If it had been an actual design change, they would have added a V2 or changed the name, like they did with the King Cobra to the Anaconda. I have no iside info, this is just my opinion of the situation as a long time Shunyata follower.
Guido, your NOTE was going to be my next post.
John, yours would be included too, thanks.
I'm in no hurry to dump my *old* snakes.
However, I'll be glad to take a 2K cord for 6 or 7 hundred bucks.
We'll see how this one pans out, like everything else in the audio marketland.
My initial reaction is to agree with John that the new Helix cords will not sound any different than the models they are replacing, because the new Helix cords are basically the old cords with new printing on the heatshrinks.
That's why the "old" cords are such a great value; since discounts on the Helix cords will be hard to find, one can conceivably get the same sound as the Helix cords at a better price.
Any idea does Shunyata produce their own cable or they buy from some other cable manufacturer e.g. cardas, wireworld, vdh or transparent ?
Anyway, we will have to wait & see is there really a great difference in sound.
I read from their website claim that "The Helix Series cables utilizes a complex helix design that has been granted a patent for its ability to minimize the effects of electromagnetic interference and self-induced inductance".
Allow me to answer a few questions and clear up some misunderstandings...
There are obvious _differences_ in the new HELIX line, and they are not just "re-labeled". That would be unwise, given that a number of people will compare with previous versions. Were we to just re-badge, that would destroy the credibility we have worked hard to build.
The differences in the new HELIX series lie mainly in changes to the individual gauge of the strands of wire used in the HELIX geometry. Suffice it to say that the patented geometry used is now more complex than before and that there are more wires involved, which requires a more labor-intensive hand-braiding process. Also, there have been changes at the terminations, however these are minor changes, comparatively.
The most obvious change in the line is that the _Taipan Helix_ series now use the patented HELIX geometry, previously only available in the Pythons and Anacondas. The shielded Taipan is no longer available.
The new Python HELIX should clearly outperform the previous series Anaconda, and the Taipan HELIX series should exceed the performance of the previous series Python. We'll let those interested compare and judge for themselves.
All wire used in Shunyata Research products, even in the Hydras, is our own. We import the copper as solid ingots of CDA 101 certified copper, and then send them out to be drawn into all the various wire configurations-- before the wire is sent for braiding. All wire complements are ordered in three-year lots based on sales projections. Nearing the end of the projected cycle, we must determine whether to order another three-years of the same wire, or make changes if significant, to the existing products. Because _we_ felt the improvement was obvious, the decision was made to order the new wire made.
I hope this helps clear up any questions.
My apologies for the link mix up. You are correct, I rushed the link prior to leaving for CEDIA. We'll get it fixed asap.
Samuel, thanks for the explanation. Sorry for being a jerk in my post.
Thanks for the explanation.....Samuel.
I have just heard that Shunyata has started shipping the Helix powersnakes series and that prices are largely unchanged from the old snakes.
The Taipan is an excellent cable. It really brought the detail and dynamics out. Compared to what I had previously tried with a Michael Wolff Silver Carbon power cord which was dull and smeared the midrange.
The Taipan had controlled and smooth full bass. While the Wolff cord was thinned bass and uneventful.
Good job on the Taipan desgn.
Pliddycoat1@cogeco.ca, yours is good information, but does not seem specific to the new Helix series. It may be best for you to repost it to the PC flavor thread to:
Guidocorona wrote "The principle appears to b that counterrotating spirals of conductors cause strands to cross at 90 degree angles, minimizing inductance and capacitance. The core of the PC is apparently hollow."
There used to be patents listed for both the winding geometry and the "magic dust" used in these designs on the website.
I read them both. The winding geometry description was difficult to follow and I couldn't tell in what way this layup differs from other cables that use a woven geometry such as Kimber, etc.
It is amazing what can be patented these days. I would have thought that this weave is not sufficiently different to all prior artwork of this type to merit a patent award.
I DIYed a couple of powercords many years ago and used a similar weave. It did seem to work better than the same wires just bundled together.
Soundstage has just posted a review of the Orion Helix speaker cable and Antares Helix IC. Findings are intriguing if not definitive and may give some indication of the sound of the Helix PCs. See:
In the meantime, tomorrow I may have the opportunity of comparing a Shunyata Python Helix VX with an Electraglide Epiphany. I will post my findings.
Willster, the patent for the braided geometry used by Shunyata is not Shunyata's own, but it is applied under license. This may explain some of the usage of similarly braided geometries by other companies such as Siltech.
That would not be accurate, Guidocorona. We license the Patent from Physicist Tierry Budge, formerly of Wilson and Talon Audio. The Patent license is an exclusive one, meaning we are the only company that can use it. Most braids are straightforward and machine made, and yes, they should be superior to bundled wire. Our braid _requires_ that it be hand assembled because of its complexity, and this requires training and a rather long process.
Good luck with your trial.
Thank you very much Grant for the prompt correction. In the meantime, things are on for tomorrow's comparative auditioning of Python Helix VX, Tai-Pan Helix VX, Purist Venusta, Electraglide Epiphany. . . all will be used to power a well broken in Teac Esoteric X-01. Too bad we do not have an Anaconda Helix VX in the mix!
Guido, a Purist Audio Dominus is a better apples-to-apples cord to compare to the Epiphany, in my opinion.
Hi Grant - from Shunyata - I'll be auditioning the Python Helix Vx and Taipan Helix Vx with Guido. I was wondering if you could give us some insight as to the differences between the Python Helix Vx and the Anaconda Helix Vx (which we don't have for our audition) and also your view as to the sonic differences between the Anaconda Helix Vx and the previous Anaconda Vx model. Also, we will be using an Anaconda Alpha (non Helix) on our tubed preamp as part of the audition. Thanks for any info.
TVAD, we'd love to include a Purist Dominus in the analysis, but Venusta is what we got this time around. Perhaps the next time we may be able to throw a Dominus apple into the fruit salad bowl.. . . or given the snaky nature of these beasts. . . the spaghetty salad bowl?
The differences between the two designs can be seen clearly on our web, as we have posted pictures of the internals. The Anaconda uses a dual-HELIX weave, meaning two hollow core braids are interlaced with sixteen counter-rotating conductors. The sum total is a 7 gauge aggregate design that is light-weight and easy to maneuver.
The Python is a slightly smaller, 9 gauge aggregate single core braid that is far easier to braid by hand. I am very comfortable with that cord being compared to _anything_ on the market, commercial, internet or DIY.
The Purist Dominus is a fantastic power cord-- from my experience a few years back, as are the Elrod cords--both worthy products deserving of an audition. IMO, Jim Aud and David are designers that deserve support. I'm not familiar at all with the latest e-glide products.
Follow sound procedure, no quick ins and outs, allow settling time and let the music decide.
Thanks for the reply, I am sure Guido will post the results of what we hear.
Grant S, you are one of the most gentlemanly and graceous representatives in this industry. My hat's off to you for your fairness!
Grant S., I have what I believe to be a valid question based on your comments about the Python Helix, in which you wrote:
The Python is a slightly smaller, 9 gauge aggregate single core braid that is far easier to braid by hand. I am very comfortable with that cord being compared to _anything_ on the market, commercial, internet or DIY.
Would the comparison also include pre-Helix Anaconda Alpha and Anaconda Vx cords?
Absolutely. Based on our Beta trials, the Python HELIX Series is a significant improvement over the previous Anaconda, and not in a subtle way. The HELIX Taipan, is an improvement over the previous Python, and also, significantly so.
As I said previously, we take change seriously because it represents a large investment on our part, and the update would not have been made if we thought is was in the "tweak" realm.
All that said, the proofs in the putting.
Grant S - does it follow then that the Anaconda Helix Vx and Anaconda Helix Alpha cords are significant improvements over the previous Anaconda's. If so, can you shed some feedback from the Beta trials relative to the sonic improvements that the beta testers experienced? Thanks for any input you can provide.
Electraglide Epiphany vs. Shunyata Helix Python VX on Esoteric X-01 in brief:
Epiphany: Sonically grand, Giant outwardly layered sound stage, forward, energetic fast transients, energetic treble, overlapping large instrument images. Attenuated sustained bass and mid bass Can sound chesty on bowed cello. Impressive on plucked strings and percussive music. Treble energy may sound excessive to some listeners.
Shunyata Helix Python VX: Extremely musical and controlled, Moderately large sound stage, moderately recessed and three-dimensional, realistic transients, treble to bass extended but controlled, instrument images extremely well defined with 'air' around them, significant amounts of low level instrument and hall decay. No glare. Bowd cello moderately resonant on all 4 strings. Appears to require slightly more linestage gain than Epiphany. Slightly layed back compared to Epiphany for some listeners.
We all seemed to concur that Python is overall more 'musical' than Epiphany, while Epiphany is more 'impressive'. In an ideal world we would like to experience the sheer grandness of the Epiphany combined with the musicality, controlled extension, precise and graceful imaging and sweetness of the Helix Python. Would the Anaconda Helix VX be perhaps the solution? Or perhaps the Anaconda helix Alpha, as the X-01 may perhaps not require the extra filtration provided by the VX series? More testing is required. If the choices were only the two cables tested, Babybear would prefer to live with the Epiphany, while Guido and CMO would feel happier with the Python Helix VX.
Overall system consisted of the following components/wires:
Teac Esoteric X-01, powered by both Epiphany and Python Helix VX.
VAC Ren II powered by Shunyata Anaconda Alpha (non Helix).
Theta Citadels powered by Elrod Statement 1.
Ics were all AudioQuest Sky XLR.
Speaker wire were Audio Quest Kilimanjaro biwire shot gun..
Power for all components was regenerated by Exact Power EP15A units.
Would the Anaconda Helix VX be perhaps the solution?
Or perhaps the Epiphany X??
Thanks for the review Guido.
FWIW, I'm just wrapping up an audition myself. I'm comparing a pair of Virtual Dynamics Master series power cords to a pair of Electra Glide Ultra Khan II Statement Revised/Revelation on my BAT VK-600SE amplifier.
I also found the Electra Glide's to be very quick, nimble and agile. Speed is very impressive. I heard detail that I didn't know existed.
The VD Master is much more full-bodied and musical, yet I don't feel as if I'm missing out on anything. There is a pleasant harmonic 'rightness' to the Master's that is very impressive.
Both cords are very quiet, and offer black backgrounds. As of this moment, with the music that's playing (Sonny Rollins Tenor Maddness), I favor the VD Master. I could see favoring the Electra Glide's in a different mood, or with some different music. How crazy would that be? Changing the power cords around to suit the music that's playing? I need to stop now.
I think I'll try one of the Electra Glide UK II R/R's against the Nordost Valhalla on my BAT VK-51SE this weekend just for some fun.
John, have you had a chance to audition the DCCA power cord yet? If so, what have you compared it to and what was your impression of it? Thanks
Unfortunately, no. The DCCA Extreme Reference came about 10 days ago, but was SOOO thick and stiff, that I couldn't make it fit in my system. That's the first time I've ever had a cord like that. I've dealt with many Shunyata's, Elrod's, Electra Glide's, as well as cords from BMI, Virtual Dynamics, Tara Labs, Cardas, Nordost, and many more over the years. Nothing has come even as remotely close to being as stiff as the DCCA.
Don did offer to make a custom one for me to try, without the external sheilding, but the first one was so incredibly stiff, that I decided not to take him up on his offer. He did make good on his money back guarantee, but I have no comment about his cord sonically, since I still haven't heard it. I wished I could have tried it, but I wasn't going to jump through hoops to do so. There are so many good cords out there.
I had the same experience with the stiff DCCA cords. Don originally sent me two Extreme Reference power cords, and I returned them the same day because I couldn't install them.
However, Don then offered to make me a custom cord at a specific length including a crucial 90 degree bend and exact orientation of the plug and EIC connectors. Don's customer service was extraordinary, and the resulting cord is in my system powering one of my Hydra 2 conditioners.
The custom cord also included Don's MBG, by the way.
The moral of the story with DCCA cords is...they are very, very stiff, and therefore a custom cord is probably the way to go. Don will happily fabricate a cord to your specifications.
Terrific cords akin to Elrod EPS3 Signature, IMO, and worth the extra effort.
As with all aspects of this hobby, YMMV.
I would like to add some more comments about the perceived sound staging differences between Epiphany and Python Helix VX.
CMO Babybear and I agreed that the stage of Electraglide was huge and layered in the three dimensions. It appear to start perhaps slightly forward of the speakers and extend well behind, Left to right it also seem to exceed the speakers boundaries by several feet. There was finally a great sense of height of the stage. With the Python Helix the impression was that the stage had been pushed further behind, with the perceived width and height shrunk following the rules of perspective, the width now being that of the outer sides of the speakers and the height proportionally shorter.
However, while CMO and I perceived the depth and image layering only to have shrunk proportionally, Babybear felt there was a disproportionate collapse in depth and layering, and that the Python Helix soundstage had become essentially flat and two dimensional.
It will be interesting to audition the Anaconda Helixes, as one of the differences I recall between the original Anacondas and Pythons chords in the past was the perceivable differences in size, depth and positioning of the respective sound stage.
I like your thoughts on the variation in sound between the two powercords.
I also noticed that you used an Exact Power EP15A ... why not a Hydra 8? ... I have some friends who've auditioned the 2 against each other and they greatly prefered the hydra in the system used ... just a thought on synergy, since shunyata does all cord testing with the hydras in the system.
Furthermore, Samuel brings a very good point in his posting ... let them settle in ... I can tell you from my own experience with the older anaconda vx, that even if it's fully broken in, it still needs about 1 to 2 weeks to fully settle in before it shows what it's trully capable of ... the vx is a cord that gets better and better as time goes by. Some previus owners have complained about the bass and the lack of body present in the anacondas ... that is not something I noticed in my system after I allowed it to settle in (I also use the hydra which may be a reason for my findings) ... of course now I'm curious to hear the Helix series ... Samuel is not a person that likes to throw words around in order to market his products.
Amperidian, good point about settling in. The Epiphany had been on the system for a few months, while our application of the Python lasted 3 hrs from start to end. In spite of the disfavorable test conditions I do prefer the Python Helix to the Epiphany. Yet, these are both amazing chords, and Babybear preference for the Epiphany on his own system is as valid as mine for the Python. When we finally test the Anacondas, I hope to do it also on my own system, without any power conditioning. My final testing will take place in several more months, after acquiring and dutyfully breaking in a new line stage, probably an ARC Ref 3.
I had a recent opportunity to compare the original Anaconda Alpha with the new Anaconda Helix Alpha. The 6 ft long chords were used to power Babybear's Teac Esoteric X-01. To test the effect of the chords we used several SACDs of Jazz music to gage transient response and staging, as well as three CD disks of string music to gage behavior on sostenuto extension and micro dynamics throughout the spectrum: Edgar Meyer playing Bach's Suite No. 5 on double bass, Georg Piatigorsky on cello playing Dvorak's cello concerto, and Lara St. John on Bach's partita No. 3 for violin.
As some of you know, the Anaconda Alpha has been my favorite PC for c.ca 16 months, since I heard it for the first time in NYC during the summer of 2004. No longer so: it has been super seeded in my heart by the Anaconda helix Alpha. . . and the difference between the two chord was quite remarkable on all cuts. As much as I love the original Anaconda, it was still creating some residual sheen or glare on treble and mids, as well as some 3rd harmonic distortion or overpressure in the lowest register of the double bass which was perceived as a 'wolf' note.
Changing to the Helix was as if we had illuminated the instruments with a polarized light source, or if the image of the instruments was now coming to us through a polarizing filter. The residual sheen was gone, and the overpressure on some bass notes was gone as well. There was now much more the sense of being in front of actual performers in a venue with well controlled acoustics with even more subtle nuances becoming real and solid, rather than in front of a terrific recording of the same.
It is very difficult to categorize the Helix as either neutral or warm, or in between. Rather, it sounds exceedingly transparent or unburdened and it caused me to sink deeper into the armchair with the increased suspension of disbelief.
With Helix, initially we had the superficial impression that we were hearing less treble detail, yet to closer examination, this initial impression appeared to be deceptive: there was in fact plenty of treble detail, even more than with the original Anaconda, yet we were feeling at the same time that with the Helix notes were not thrown at us through an artificial overpressure. True enough instrument images with the Helix were slightly smaller and more 'solid' than with the original Anaconda, in the same way that a well focused image in a photograph looks slightly smaller and sturdier than its out-of-focus counterpart. A final analogy I can make is that of watching an aquarium filled with exotic fishes from the room it sits in: with the Helix you would have the sensation that all lighting in the room is turned off, and you would see the inside of the tank as if there were no intervening glass panes. With the original anaconda the image of the fishes would still be vivid, but it was as if moderate lighting had been turned on in the room, so that the crystal walls of the tank had suddenly become real, and because of their soft reflections of the room lighting they were somewhat inhibiting your enjoyment of the view of the marine life.
The Anaconda helix Alpha appeared to produced slightly softer transients than the original: while I call these more realistic, some may prefer the more explosive nature of transients in the original. And finally while I much prefer the completely unadorned view of the music of the Helix, so largely devoid of any sonic 'lensing' effects, I am sure that some will prefer the slightly more hifi-ish presentation of the original, or the even glittery presentations of other chords.
Thank you for the post Guidocorona, I enjoyed reading it and consequently I will look to try some helix series powercords in the future.
Thank you Amperidian, my next listening test in the -- hopefully not too distant -- future will be performed on the Shunyata Anaconda Helix Alpha versus its VX counterpart, both used to power the mighty Teac Esoteric X-01. It should be fun. . . stay tuned!
I have just posted a relatively detailed listening comparison of the Shunyata Anaconda Helix Alpha and Anaconda Helix VX on a thread entitled "A Tale Of Two. . . Anacondas (Helix)". You will find it at:
For the comparison Babybear and I connected the Anacondas to the X-01 Limited in his system.