The king cobra's aren't a great value any more, most actually agree that the new Python out performs any king cobra. Its also said that the python gives you about 85% of the performance of the Anaconda. So unless your getting them for next to nothing, get a python- or anaconda if you want to spend the extra.
I recently bought one Python cable, TWO King Cobras, one Black Mamba, and one Taipan.
I can definitely NOT confirm that the Python matches the King Cobra. However, I DID buy the King Cobra on Audiogon. I can tell ya, I put it into a friend's system, composed of Mirage 490 speakers (1990 vintage), Arcam Alpha 7, JVC XLZ1010 CD player, and Transparent Music Wave speaker cable.
The sound was glorious for such an inexpensive system. The Cobra will give you more than additional ambience (compares with the Python); it will give you a small sense of "here-and-now," even in an inexpensive system.
I replaced the KC with the Black Mamba and the sound was good, but not up to King Cobra standards. Even the Python, good as it is, is NOT in the same league. In fact, I would go so far as to say, buy a King Cobra, and consider it a MAJOR component, and take it with you to test your other purchases.
In the past, I would NOT have ascribed power cords the power (no pun intended) they can allow a system to advance, but that was then. And the Shunyatas are absolute killer components. No need to compare them to anything; they stand out on their own.
My experience with the Shuyata cords (I have owned all of their filled pc) mirrors Gb's view. The Python and BM are great cords at their respective price points. The KC v1 and v2 are superior in my view. If you can get a good price on those used, they are worth considering.
The Anaconda is a league up from the KC. Objectively, the Python may even give you about 85% of the performance of the Anaconda in most systems. For me, the missing 15% is simply too glaring. YMMV.
You kind of contradict yourself as you say the King Cobra V1 and V2 are better than the Python and then you say the Anaconda is better than the King Cobra but the Python is 85% as good as the Anaconda.
I guess my questin would be; Would I be better off with an Anaconda VX at $1700 or a King Cobra V2 at $900.It would be going to my CDP.Thanks
Having had the anaconda its a great cable and will add body galore and be really very good on most any cd player, however there are better/different cables at much more reasonible prices. After you see a cut-a-way section of an Anaconda you will feel like a schmuck for just spending that much on what you've got! Again they are good, but there are many other's like Elrod(who has a new top of the line cable coming out around the corner), Omega Micro, Silent source, the list could go on and on that sound better/different which you may want to consider. I find Shunyata's cables to sound dark with too much warmth- then again my amp leans towards the warm side of nuetral. Try to get an in home demo on a few different cables all at once and listen, see what you find out.
I've said it many times before powercords are a based mostly on personal prefference, so its impossible to find a "best". But it is nice to have a place to start. Do yourself a favor and get a silent source cord when you demo the anaconda- you may be very shocked by what you hear. Good luck with your voyage.
Tireguy, my stomach does a couple of flips every time I contemplate the cutaway on new power cords :-(
Anyhow, somewhat OT but since you've brought up Silent Source, can you please describe the cord : detailed vs smooth, frequency extension, neutrality, clarity, transparency, dynamic or not, etc. Maybe to keep it OnT, you could compare it to the Anaconda. Thanks.
I would like to publicly appologize to Shunyata research and all shunyata owners, having been informed of the detail involved with these cables nobody should feel like a schmuck for owning them. Despite the simple design(or what I thought was simple), its actually incredibly involved to make and produce! I would like to thank Grant at Shunyata research and Jonathan at Chambers audio for explaining exactly what I saw and how what I thought was inadequate was actually designed that way for a reason! I am not an engineer and in fact a lowly tireguy I should not pass judgement on others electrical engineering work because I don't understand what is going on. After all as I said above they do sound great! In fact the one who feels like a schmuck is me for making that statement, it was uncalled for and before you fine folks at audiogon write off shunyata you should talk to the people over there and learn what actually makes there cables sound good! Cause unlike a lot of power cord companies they know what they are talking about. When my new EMM labs digital front end shows up I'll have to give them another listen.
Ok, now about the Silent Source.....?
I guess this crazy hobby is kind of contradictory ;0
While I can imagine how a "scientific minded person" can conclude the Python is 85% as good as the Anaconda, I disagree - you can re-read my comments between the lines :) Both versions of the KCs and Anaconda are better pc in my view.
Like Tireguy said, powercords are highly subjective, based largely on personal preference, so its impossible to find a universal "best". What pleases me may not do anything for you. Just a general guideline, Shunyata's cables tend to sound a little dark, perhaps "too warm" - great if you existing system sounds a little lean or if you like a warm, mellow sound. I found other pcs a better match in systems tending to the warm side of neutral.
I guess the answer to your question, Anaconda VX at $1700 or a King Cobra V2 at $900, is to get both and audition with your own CDP in your own system. You may also want to try the Python at the same time. In some systems, the Python is good enough (remember 85% ?) and you can save the $$ for something else. Sadly, it didn't work for me.
Now I'm really fascinated!
I did not find the Shunyatas to sound "dark," but the system on the West Coast I had placed the King Cobra into, was, as I said, an Arcam Alpha, which is more a "yang" product. In that system, it did not sound dark at all.
However, I'll try it on my Naim Nait, the Marsh A400s and the Hurricanes.
Which version is your King Cobra /
The original is more "ying" - analogue, darker, but very sexy :)
V2 has better speed and transient, but lacks the velvet tonality of the original.
The Python is a lesser pc but manages to combine a nice blend of the two KCs' character. The Anaconda Vx is much better. Then, there is teh Anaconda Alpha ...
It seems I have a couple of V2s from my copy of the Audiogon emails I have.
P.S. Gilas, do you mean the original(v1) is more "yin" or "yang"? You've combined both words into "ying" which could be either yin or yang. Which do you mean???
My apologies - typo, should read "yin".
Original version is more analogue while sacrificing some transparency, so sounds a little on the dark side.
Anaconda Vx seems to have achieved a better balance than either V1 or V2.
I spoke to Grant Samuelson on these topics about the various versions. I happen to have two K/C V-1's on my trans/dac combo and completely love the sound. I tried a K/C V-2 from a friend of mine who has an analogue front end. I still much preferred the tonal balance of the K/C V-1's in my system, Mojaves on my S.S. mono amps, Cobra on my hybrid preamp and Python w/Hydra. Most of the time, it seems, the K/C V-1 would sound more desirable with solid state gear, where the K/C V-2 would be more at home with certain tube gear,....but not always, mixing and matching takes time and patience, these cables need a good amount of settling - in time (days, weeks) to achieve their goals.
A few years back, I had the King Cobra V1 on my Sim Audio Eclipse CDP- wow- what a BIG, GLORIOUS sound that was, and yes, great tonality. Once in a while I regret not having a KC V1 around anymore, but with a trans/dac setup along with 2 digital isolation conditioners (4 power cords needed for digital alone), that would require 4 KC's- yikes $$$!!!
My system consists of an Audio Aero Capitole CD Player going directly into a Plinius Odeon amp (used in two channels) and ACapella High Violon speakers. I intend to get a Model 2 Hydra and then an Anaconda Alpha for the amp. However, I have the choice of going King Cobra V2 or Anaconda Vx for the source and wondered if anyone had tried this or listened to it via an Audio Aero player. Does it make a significant difference or shall I just settle for Pythons all around. There is little opportunity to try these in the UK, plus the difference in price makes it a choice that needs some deliberation....so any advice and opinions are welcome.
I might consider the King Cobras, not the Pythons.
I sold my King Cobras for financial reasons, but still have the Python. While I like the Python, it is not in the King Cobras class.
I can't comment on the Audio Aero player; never heard it. However, I've heard the King Cobras on both digital components and on integrated amps, and mono amps. They are superlative, and quite, quite, dynamic (which, ever since I sold them, has had me wondering why the system sounds less dynamic!). The low noise floor allows you to hear into the music in a way that the Python, good as it is, does not, so if you want a very low noise floor (and who doesn't want that?!), then go with a King Cobra.
I imagine the Anaconda is even better, but I'd think the noise floor of the King Cobra would be enough for a digital front end.
If you intend to buy the latest Hydra (I have a Model 4), and put an Anaconda on THAT, then, by all means, do. You might wish to talk to Grant at Shunyata, who will suggest the best cord coming off of the Hydra and lesser cords afterwards (Roy Gregory of HiFi Plus has stated the same thing in his review of the Nordost power cords recently). So, you might get two King Cobras if you want, or one King Cobra and one Python.
Incidentally, I've also bought the Shiva Nordost, and interestingly, it doesn't seem any more refined than the Shunyata Diamondback -- although the "leanness" typical of the Nordost designs is apparent, compared to the [Shunyata]Diamondback, which sounds fuller (not "warmer," just fuller). The Shiva gives its sense of "transparency" by making all the individual images thinner, which, to me, isn't genuine transparency.
The King Cobra, again, has enormous "presence" in the "you-are-there" sense. You could not possibly be disappointed in its abilities, unless what you want is a euphonic sound.
Thank you - I have gone with the KC V2 and in my system it appeared to do more that I liked than the Anaconda Alpha which was the other option I had at the time.
Glad to hear that you're happy with the V2 version of the King Cobra. That pleases me very much (LOL). I am seriously considering re-purchasing the King Cobra V2s. I like the dimensionality that instruments, even in the back of the soundstage, possess. In fact, one can actually hear the air BEHIND the instruments with the King Cobras, which bespeaks of the 3-D effect reaching the very back of the soundstage.
You must be very pleased with your decision.