Shunyata Vs. Nordost power cables ?

Hi there,
my post re the Thor Vs. Hydra has died a death.
Hence anyone compared the mains cables ?
I know some people firmly entrenched in either camp, a few enlightened individuals who mix & match but no one unbiased to outline the differnces.
I have been a long time Shunyata user (very happily) but the new cyberlinks are revealing a lack of pace and a darkness I'd like to address.
Really enjoyed some things some Electraglides brought to the equation (with judicious matching) but a) they have no ground and b)the connectors are sad & will not grip - if they don't grip, they are not likely to pass current and won't work to best advantage (imo).
Given Nordosts undoubted build quality, I'm wondering if they could be the answer. I don't like their i/c's or speaker cables but could use some of their pace & space, if held in check by the Shunyatas.
Cheers Si
Do we know for certain the Electraglides have no grounds? Has this been confirmed with Scott Hall? If not, I'm going to ask him directly. I've had problems in the past with groundless cords creating a hum in my system, and I don't have this problem when using the Epiphany. That's why I question the veracity of the claim.

I'm testing some Shunyata cords at the moment...Anaconda Vx and Python Alpha. I've also recently been using an Epiphany cord feeding my Hydra 2. The Shunyata sound is more organic, and perhaps a bit rolled off. The Epiphany sound is clear, dynamic and extended. I'm looking forward to trying the Anaconda Vx and Epiphany in tandem on my APL source.

I experienced a lack of grip of the Epiphany EIC on the Hydra. I fixed the problen very easily by putting two thicknesses of heat shrink around the Epiphany's EIC. Works perfectly now. I agree the Electraglide connectors don't seem as beefy or "high end" as the Shunyata plugs, but whatever they are creates a terrific sound in my system.

I have compared Nordost Vishnu power cords with Shunyata Python Alphas in my system. On the Lamm M2.1s, the Vishnu was a faster sounding power cord. That's it. In every other aspect (every single one) the Shunyata was significantly better. I look forward to a comparison of Anaconda and Valhalla, but that's going to be a little ways down the road.
Hi Tvad,
I know for a fact the two Ultra Khans Rev that I have don't have grounds as I opened them up to find out and also to see if I could alter the IECs to 'grip'.
I have used the 'tape' method but I'm talking about the actual prongs inside. Even squeezing these closed makes no difference as the metal is soft and any spring in it has long since gone. To be fair these cords have seen a bit of use.
I have an Anaconda Vx, King Cobra V2 and a Taipan Vx and would tend to agree with the rolled off top and may look for another Taipan Alpha which ime, does not suffer this affliction.
Regards Si
Hi all
I wanted to ask you Simon74 to what do you have your Anaconda Vx, King Cobra V2 and a Taipan Vx connected to?
Hi Moemoney,

I have shuffled the Shunyatas around a fair bit and had lots of other Shunyatas but the present set up is
Anaconda Vx -powering Hydra (original with slug)
King Cobra V2 - powering the Pass X-250
Taipan Vx - powering either Nu-Vista CD3 or Cayin SCD-50T
Mini Khan - swapping with above
PS Audio Statement - powering my Supratek Syrah

Strange set up but (IME) the Shunyatas sometimes work really well where least expected. I prefer the KC on my source but the Taipan Vx was funded by the sale of a Taipan Alpha which used to power my amp & it don't sound good on anything other than digital source.
Never really liked the old Taipans but the Alpha was a great cable and worked really well on the Pass and surprisingly well on cd player with an Active Synergistic Research on the amp. In fact it was a fabulous combo but the lust for more always prevails - sure most folk here know that feeling !
Cheers Si
OK, I'm interested in this thread.
I'm looking for a power cord for my Amp (Accuphase) and was
considering the Nordost Brahma.
Steve01s4 could you elaborate your comparison of the Vishnu against the Python Alpha, Thanks.
More opinions are welcome.

I'd try a used Python/Taipan Alpha and save yourself the grief of listening to a new one burning in.
I think the Accuphase might sound a bit lean with Nordost.
Only my tuppence worth.
Well I have the Shunyata Anaconda Alpha coming from the wall to my Hydra 4
one Anaconda Vx going from my transport to the Hydra
one Taipan Alpha from the pre-amp to the Hydra.
And one Taipan Vx from the Hydra to my DAC.
And I just purchase a Nordost Valhalla Power cord for my Amp. About three weeks ago.

I found that placing the Anaconda Vx on the amp degraded the sound of my system Making it sound somewhat grainy.

I just purchased the Valhalla cord for the amp, but being that my listing room is under construction and has been for about 2 months it will be some time before a can give you my opinion on its sound.
Noemoney, you using a Shunyata VX on a DAC? I once A/Bed a Python alpha vs VX on an Esoteric D70 but found it to be rather grainy compared to the Alpha. You may want to try an Alpha chord on your DAC.
At the time of my audition, the audio consultant strongly suggested that in separate transport/DAC sources the VX should be used only on the transport, while the DAC should be powered by an Alpha. To my ears he was correct.
Hi me again, I have experienced the Vx's sounding grainy on most things other than digital. I always wondered about my Anaconda Vx feeding the Hydra but given the Nema connector and the expense to change to an Alpha and the fact it seems to work well?
I found a Python (older model) to be fabulous on various phono stages (even a dc powered Camelot), really nice on digital but positively lethargic on amps.
These observations may be turned on their head when using the new model Hydras.I owned an 8 and at that time found it to be slighty 'bright' and forward sounding compared to the original.
Given the changes to my system I have a horrible feeling that the 8 (6 or 4) would introduce a sparkle that's a bit lacking at the moment.
Interestingly enough I tried using a seperate Hydra 2 for digital which did nothing to my mind. However trying a Hydra 4 for digital with the original running the analogue components made an immediate & obvious improvement.
They are strange stuff and I always tell people to juggle them around and stick with the combination that suits their ears & system the best!
I spoke with Scott Hall today, and he confirmed that Electraglide cords are made without grounds intact.

Regarding Hydras, I have spoken with a handful of people who have owned various Hydras including the original Hydra 8, new Hydra 8, Hydra 4 and Hydra 2. Not one person has the same viewpoint about any of these units. One person loves the original Hydra, but dislikes the new Hydra 8 and Hydra 2. Another loves the new Hydra 8. Yet another loves the Hydra 2, but dislikes the Hydra 4. It's crazy. The same nutty audiophilia carries over to Shunyata power cords. Some folks love the Vx cords feeding Hydra conditioners, and others prefer Alpha cords feeding Hydra units. Bottom line, I don't believe anyone can draw any definitive conclusions about Shunyata Hydra conditioners or power cords by reading reviews or user comments. It really comes down to trying an assortment of these products in one's own system.
Thank you Grant. Point well taken.
Tvad & others-

I have 2 Epiphany X cords, an Anaconda Alpha and an Ultra Khan SII Rev on their way from Sanctuary of Sound this week. This silly-expensive 'kit' of cords was part of a trade-in deal for a bunch of other cables and components, so don't assume I am stinking rich (or just plain crazy!).

Anyway, the 'deployment' plan is this:

BPT 3.5 Sig line conditioner - Epiphany X
Esoteric DV-50 player - Ultra Khan SII Rev
VAC Renaissance preamp - Anaconda Alpha
Sim Audio W-5 LE amp - Epiphany X
Talon Raven C speakers - Jena Labs Valkyre spkr cables

In strategizing with Stewart @ SOS and subsequent conversations with Caelin Gabriel of Shunyata (they are next-door neighbors, and good friends), my question was this:

"What source cord and preamp cord would be good companions/contrast to the 2 Epiphany X's on the PLC and amp? Is TOO much of a good thing just too much?"

Stewart agreed, and did some experimentation for me with what he had in stock, then he consulted Caelin. Some things I already knew were confirmed - Shunyata really had no intention for the Anaconda Vx to function on anything other then digital devices. Analog is 'Alpha Land'...but, if a Vx works there in individual cases, then there is certainly no reason to change it. This has been the consistent recommendation that Grant & Caelin at Shunyata have made, especially without knowing a system's characteristics intimately or having gone thru very specific experimentation.

The surprise for me was Caelin's suggestion to use an Anaconda ALPHA on my tube preamp, rather then concentrating on the CD player with a Vx cable. Caelin indicated that in some recent trials with an assortment of cables in their labs, the Anaconda Alpha has proven itself to be unexpectedly beneficial when used on tube preamps.

In my case - I am hoping this will provide a great contrast to the 2 Epiphany X's. My only issue will be the fact that some of my PC's are deliberately very short, and one is a 20Amp'er, so moving them around to experiment on different components will be impossible.

We'll see....
Bhouser, if and when I ever get my Epiphany X cord from Scott Hall (going on two months now), I'll report too. I plan to use it to feed a Hydra 2.

I once tried the BPT 3.5 Sig and found the GFCI outlet really constricted the soundstage. When the other outlets were used, things opened up significantly. Have you any first hand experience with this?

I have Valhalla power cable on my cj prem350. It tightened up the bass and gave the music a quickness and transparency thru the mid's and lower treble. On thing that Valhalla does not seem to have is a lot of air up high in the treble.
I have found that the Valhalla mixed with some TG audio SLVR's seems to give me thye positives of both cables.
I have an original Hydra but never use it as it just thickended and slowed everything down.

If your current cables are lacking in pace and darkness, the valhalla's might be ideal. Buy s/h and if you don't like them sell them again. Nordost cables hold their value very well.

ScottH makes great cables - no doubt. But yes, he certainly has the reputation of being a bear to work with sometimes. I would only buy his cables through Stewart, cause he has serious influence with Scott and can get him motivated like nobody else I know. I don't need the headache.

Any comments on the Electraglide/Shunyata PC combo that we have cooked up? A King Cobra V2 is already used on the CD player, so I can compare it to the UK Rev.

As for the BPT - Are you saying that when you connected an amp to the GFCI outlet that it constricted, whereas the same amp on one of the other built-in outlets didn't?

That is very interesting, and the first time I have heard this. I have followed the manufacturer's recommendations about what outlet to use for which component until now, but I will certainly try some different outlet combos once all these new cables get some break-in time.

In my current house, I don't have enough outlets near my system to run the amp directly off a wall outlet, so it has to run through the BPT - be that good or bad. Yet ANOTHER reason I want to build a new house - More Outlets for 'da systeme' ;^D .
Very nice to know Caelin never intended an Anaconda Vx on anything other than digital - shame he hadn't reached that pearl of wisdom before bringing out the Anaconda Vx first and fitting lots to my knowledge with Nemas ( can something that wiggles about so much actually be called a 'connector') and selling them to power Hydras ?
Still at these prices got to keep the bucks rolling in.
Funny how advice from the manufacturers is always pretty specific BUT they always hedge their bets - whoa, were not saying it won't work for you ????
I love my Shunyatas and the more I try other cables , better the devil you know and can tune so in spite of the above rant, I'll probably just try a few Alphas in the system and once again sublimate the fact I have spent as much on conditioners/cables as components.
I still think it's money well spent as a decent foundation in power cords will make the best of any upgrades or changes.
To anyone still using the original Hydra with the 15 amp slo blow - it's a waste of time.
I had an 8 & was about to sell the original till I sourced a copper slug - the difference is night & day.
The 8 is probably a better bet in that it offers protection the original does not and the old adage - don't shoot the messenger, springs to mind, given the upgrades to my system since those events.
We buy,we try & hopefully we learn from our mistakes.
At least this forum gives us a chance to make informed,inspired or sometimes just insane decisions.
Here in Scotland, I reckon by touring every dealer in the country, I could audition about six or seven brands of power cord, only two being from the states and even these have UK mains plugs with 13 amp fuses.
My first Shunyata came connectorless (a Mojave silver) and when I looked at the the live conductor, I thought why am I paying for this gauge of silver to go thru a sliver of fuse wire that costs fractions of a pence ? How I ever squeezed it into a UK plug, I don't know but it was an utter revelation when I plugged it into my cd player.

Every time my faith dwindles(about once every 3 years), I pull out the Hydra and replace all the funny cords that makes my friends think I'm nuts with the stock cables - it is usually good for a few bars and then drives me to a bar !

As for the BPT - Are you saying that when you connected an amp to the GFCI outlet that it constricted, whereas the same amp on one of the other built-in outlets didn't?

Yes, that's what I'm saying. In my system, the difference between running an amp off the GFCI outlet and off one of the other outlets was night and day. The sound was clearly more extended and open on one of the non-GFCI outlets. Try it.
Tvad -

Thanks for the information. I will definitely try that. I know Chris Hoff's newest version of this unit - the BPT 3.5 Signature PLUS - employs a 'premium' industrial Hubbell GFCI and Cryo'ed Wattgate outlets.... maybe this is one of the reasons.

Simon -

I too had a Hydra with Mojave cord and the copper slug, and agree totally with your assessments there.

I guess we all question if we are making "Sound Decisions" with some of these purchases. You can beg application information out of the manufacturers, post Internet threads and research your butt off, and still end up feeling Buyer's Remorse when it is all said & done. This Synergy business truly is a Black Art.

That's why I applaud your occasional swap back to all stock cords - that usually seems to dramatically qualify that all this effort and expense DOES have its sonic rewards.

In fact, I have consolidated, sold or traded so much of my system lately that I have had NO choice but to dig through 'cold storage' to enlist the leftovers for temporary duty. I can tell you sincerely - it does NOT sound right now. I can't wait to get everything here that is in-transit, which should really finalize my consolidated system - Finally!
Tried a Harmonix Studio Master on my Syrah today in place of the PS.without drawing any conclusions, the difference was unbelieveable
The Syrah is obviously a very open window to power cords.
I like to think I have a lot of experience but these cords are poles apart - no winner just incrediby opposing ends of the spectrum.
Back to the drawing board !

Which "PS" cable did you replace on the Syrah with that Harmonix? What were the characteristic differences between them?

Hi Bhouser,

I had a Ultraglide Mini Khan plus on cd, PS Audio statement on pre and the
King Cobra V2 on the Pass.

Replaced PS with Harmonix and had a good and enjoyable listening session for about 7 hours before deciding :

this cord (Harmonix)does so many things better than most.
spatial relationships, micro dynamics, timbre, depth, width and possibly the most stable imaging I've heard from anything. Lovely balance and just the right amount of bloom.
Finding the 'control' lovely - it does seriously
great bass - but - there's just a slight smoothing off/sat on quality. Hiking the volume addresses this to a certain extent but listening to live recordings, they are not coming over with the dynamic range I know they have.
It's even more annoying to find something so nearly right !
Saying that, it's really unforced and very relaxing to listen to.

Not entirely happy with that I swapped to KC V2 on cd, Studio master on pre and PS on Pass.
Much more life but loosing the very tight grip and imaging.
Also think the PS rolls of the top end and have lost the incrdible extension I was getting in the bass.

I would have to say the Harmonix at least in my system is favourable over the PS, much cleaner, more air, better control but whether the same would be true on the power amp , I can't say - the Harmonix is not long enogh to make that journey!
Strange as I know the King Cobra V2 to be great on the source.
I think I'll look for another Taipan Alpha for the Pass and fund this by selling the Taipan Vx. I'm also tempted to try a Python Alpha or Anaconda Alpha on the pre.
I love to try an Anaconda Alpha to the Hydra and have the Anaconda Vx
re-terminated for the cd player but it's way too much money
unless I was certain it would be the final frontier so to speak.
I think some of the newer Ultraglides would be great cables mixed with Shunyata - they have a pace & delicacy that none of the Shunyatas can match but sound a bit thin unless there's Shunyata in the mix somewhere !

Ah well it's keeps me out of mischief !

Rgds Si
Hi Guys, I just bought an original Hydra recently. Does anyone know where I could find a copper slug to replace my 15 amp slow blo fuse? Also, any suggestions for a good all-round powercord to go from wall to Hydra? Thanks! Stan
Hi Stan,
I currently have an ad running for one - the guy I was trying to get it for has given up, he can't live with the original as he says it's dead!
My sentiments till I got the slug and sold my 8 !
If I get any offers, I'll direct them to you if that's OK.
Make sure you get a couple of levels of isolation under it or it will sound crap.
I use Dharumas/butchers block/mi-rollers - it will sound shit if you sit it on the floor.
RE the wall to Hydra, I'd say a Pyhton Alpha but have never seen one witha Nema for sale. The Mojave is a blinding cord
value wise.
Simon74, Thanks! Sure, I'd be interested in a copper slug. Also, I took your advice and just got the Hydra off my wood floor. It's now sitting on a sand filled Bright Star Audio Big Rock isolation base that I wasn't using. Best wishes. Stan
Hi everyone! I just did some research regarding the copper slug for the original hydra. I talked to Shunyata Research who said that they used to supply a copper slug with the original hydra on some units and it does indeed sound better than the 15 amp slo bow fuse; however, they have no copper slugs in stock at this time. I was told the copper slug is "cryogenicly treated CDA101 copper", which is a very pure form of copper. If anyone knows of where I might find a copper slug, please let me know. I'm quite interested. Thanks! Sincerely, Stan
I've tried a few Shunyata Power Cables and have found them to be competent, yet pricey. Shunyata's Taipan Alpha barely outperform DH Lab's Power Plus AC cable on both a Bryston 3BSST amp and a Sony DVP NS999ES SACD/DVD player...yet cost many times more. And while the Python VX are an excellent cable, I have found that the Nordost Shiva will produce a greater dynamic range and coherence on the SACD/DVD player. Next month, I'll compare the Nordost Vishnu against the Python Alpha on my Bryston amp and Classe pre-amp.

I'd love to read more about Shunyata and Nordost comparisons.

Audiopur, I'm considering buying a Nordost Brahma or a Shunyata Python Alpha. More input from you is welcome.
Just waiting for your next round of Shunyata vs Nordost.
Si, I know this is way off the comparision you're asking for but... I am using new pcs from CryoParts and Locus Designs with outstanding results and for substaintually less money.
I have the origional Beast (from CryoParts) switched from the CD to the Integrated amp and now have the new Polestar (from Locus Designs) on the CD (The companies are brother & sister). The results are astounding!, very netural, fast and utterly dynamic. I will be posting a review for the new Polestar very soon and I have a review of the Beast posted already and yes, I will be drooling over both of these again
they are that good and I have tried others,thanks for letting me change from your origional question.
Any input welcome !
I have loaned out my Taipan Vx and have borrowed a Taipan Alpha to try on the power amp.
At present a Mini-Khan on cd and Harmonix cord on pre are giving very nice results - a liitle sat on but very natural.
A very different sound from the Shunyatas but I'm happy to try anything !Not through disatisfaction, just curiosity.
Python Alpha on it's way which I will try on my Supratek.
3 years on and many,many power cords later, I'm still amazed at the changes that can be made by taking 4 or 5 power cords and juggling them around on different components !
My conclusion differ from yours regarding the Python Vx and the Shiva. I found the Shiva is leaner and sounds more dynamic, but lacks body.I've found that "more dynamic" and "thinner" usually go together. I don't care for the Shiva at all.
Now I've had Python Alpha,Vx, Shiva, Vishnu and now Brahma (a brand new Brahma at that.
The Brahma has the best sense of "swing" of all of them. And it's not even broken in. It also has the best sense of space. The Shunyatas have more "power" to their sound, as in more push, but sonically, it's definitely darker than the Nordost (this is no surprise to anyone, is it?).

I had the Python Alphas on the amplifiers, but some of the "accents" of jazz music seemed diminished.Duke Ellington, for example, didn't "swing" as much with the Shunyata gear because the stop/start nature of his compositions weren't conveyed as easily. I find it harder to hear all this with digital in contrast to my vinyl setup in any case, and I always have (hey, maybe I need a $20,000 digital setup, but heck, it burns me up that, for the cost of the best digital setups, one could have two or three vinyl setups). Vinyl seems to convey the accents in jazz better than digital, to my ears. I love the Shunyata gear, and I've owned a ton of it, but, like all cables, it has strengths and weaknesses. Nothing's perfect. The "darkness" of Shunyata is pretty minor, to my ears. I would still buy a King Cobra V2 in 2 seconds if I saw one for sale. I have always thought that that power cord was exquisite, and I liked it more than the Valhalla power cord, when I had it, although the Valhalla is exceedingly low in noise, so the presentation sounds intensely "continuous" in nature. BUT, I sold it anyway. I liked what it did, but the cost!! I prefer the Brahma simply because it costs less and is a significant step up from the Vishnu. I'm just going to sell the Vishnus and replace them with Brahmas. If I could have a system of King Cobra V2s, I'd buy them, too! Sure worked for me!