Shunyata ztron power vs cx cables...

Hi, I have a few Shunyata CX powercords (anaconda cx and king cobra cx). Has anyone done a detailed comparison? What are your thoughts as to the differences?

I did just replace my Hydra vray II with a Hydra Triton, and that was a nice improvement, in clarity, naturalness, ease and dynamics. It was one of those upgrades that once it goes in...wasn't even worth going back to compare...

Thanks in advance

I just purchased a Shunyata Cobra zitron digital cable. Fantastic improvement over the Tributaries DC it replaced. All of my other ICs, PCs and SCs are Shunyatas.

I have not done the comparisons you are seeking. My dealer is extremely impressed with Shunyata's new products. And, I find my dealer to be quite honest with high integrity.

I'm planning on giving the Cobras IC and speaker cables a try in a month.
Mike, my dealer is also...I personally am thrilled with my Triton, and it only has 75 hours or so playing time...I expect it to really improve...honestly if it doesn't I am still thrilled...

Wig, me to, I one to try one piece of their new interconnect, I am using some pricey transparent ref so only fair to compare to the Anaconda zitron..we'll see soon. Let me know what you find out...
>>I am using some pricey transparent ref so only fair to compare to the Anaconda zitron..<<

If you have the opportunity, compare it to the Cobra first. You might be surprised.
Jfrech - Great to learn you are happy with the Triton. I'm considering both the Talos and Triton. The question is whether the $2K difference between these 2 units is worth it.

I'm really interested to hear the impressions on the new Ztron line!
If you are interested in buying them, you must be patient. I've ordered a pair of Anaconda speaker cables a month ago and haven't received them yet. Can't wait to put them in my system and report my impressions ;-)
Ok. I got my Anacondas ztron SP cables. Right off the bat, they are great, although I do not find them spectacular. However, they only have 10H on them. Not sure if such thing as cable break in exists but time will tell. I had Cardas Golden Presence before and had tried Shunyata Cirrus as well before making the purchase of the Anacondas (thanks to my dealer). My first impressions are: the Anacondas are better than the Cardas on several aspects like micro details, focus, fluidity (less grainy highs). Instruments are better defined and timbres are better as well. However, they are more laid back than the Cardas and more "polite". I do think it's a good thing but when you are used to a more forward sound, it's a bit like if something was lacking. I really liked my Cardas BTW but thought I was missing on some aspects and my tests with other cables proved that.

Compared to the Cirrus, the Ztron are more refined especially in the highs. However, I miss the bass of the Cirrus. Not that the Anacondas don't have a solid bass but the Cirrus were very strong on that regard (very punchy). BTW, the Cirrus were not new so that might explain the difference. I will report back when they have more hours on them and when I have time to do more serious listening.

I bought some of the first z-tron cables more than a year ago and now have Ztron cables throughout my system as well as the Triton conditioner. I can report that clearly audible changes occur during break in for these cables and that these changes are substantial. I have yet to meet or speak with a fellow owner who does not agree.

The technology is new and reminds me of how long it takes Teflon capacitors to truly open up. I know at least five other owners who concur that 400-500 hours is what it takes before the Ztron cables are at maximum performance level. This can be achieved much more quickly by using the Isotek or Purist burn in CDs.

Once the cables are completely burnt in, I would gladly put them up against any cable at any price. For those of you who
use a digital interconnect, the new Python Ztron cable is even more impressive. I'm about 100 hours away from full burn in and would be happy to report what I hear if anyone's interested.

Finally, I auditioned the Talos two weeks before the Triton and heard substantially more bass weight and micro detail from the Triton. That said, I think I would spend my money on more Ztron cables if I had to prioritize.
You are right Vhiner. I now have around 80H on them (no near 500H) but I'm already hearing clear improvements and much better performance from the cables than before. Bass has more impact and mid-range is opening up as well. It's now time to try Zitron Cobra AC power cords in my system. I will report my findings when both SP and AC cables are fully broken in.
Yes Vhiner I would be very interested in your opinion of the Python Ztron digital, as I've just ordered one. Also thinking of moving up from the V-Ray one, to the Triton if anyone has done that, please do tell.
>>Also thinking of moving up from the V-Ray one, to the Triton if anyone has done that, please do tell.<<

I heard a far greater increment of improvement moving from V-Ray I & II to the Triton than Hydra to V-Ray or V-Ray I to II. Try to hear one with a Zitron Anaconda feeding it from the wall.
tmsorosk, The Triton is a very very nice improvement over my former v ray ll. Even cold out of the box I preferred it...from the first note...over the next few weeks just got better. You can really hear each instrument in its own place and so much more transparent...hearing front of stage and back of stage with more clarity.

It is not subtle.

I am still using a king cobra cx, looking forward to trying a zitron anaconda soon...(jtimothya, what cord were you using before the zitron? any comments here?)


I have heard the Anaconda Zitron is a monumental leap from the King Cobra CX. I've had the King Cobra CX in my system and it's hard to fathom how it could be that much better. I'll be eager to hear what you experience.


I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you're going to hear some downright lousy phases as your Zitron speaker cables break in. They tease you with what they can do for the first 150 hours and then, as Grant at Shunyata has confirmed for me, they "collapse" for about 100 hours or so. Then they slowly rise from the ashes and finally exceed anything you've heard so far...right at about 500 hours they just blast off. If I were reading this, I'd be skeptical but I feel compelled to share the warning. The good news is that some people won't be patient and will flip these cables too soon. Keep your eyes out for some deals. You won't be sorry if you buy some at used prices. They're already a bargain considering what they do.

I still have a couple of days to go with the Python digital and will post impressions then. Break in's a bitch.
Hi Jfrech - a change for the better was immediately obvious - positively zitronic! Prev wall-to-distributor was the KC cx.
Is it the same kind of change as the vray ii to triton? lower noise, more clarity? If so...that's a big deal...
Jfrech: >>Is it the same kind of change as the vray ii to triton? lower noise, more clarity? <<

Yes, exactly. Not a difference in kind but in quality.

Vhiner: >>They tease you with what they can do for the first 150 hours...<<

And a pretty impressive tease it is.
Hi Vhiner,

You are right, I'm skeptical ;-). I trust you and Grant but I'm wondering how we could explain that from a scientific standpoint... Cables do make a difference, no question. They also change over the first few hours. Again that can be easily detected. But going back and forth from nirvana to dull over a very long period of time is somewhat... science-fiction isn't? I'm not saying that is not true and I will give them the time to settle in. However, I can't help but notice that would give ammunition to the non-believers ;-)

What are your initial impressions of the cable? From reading and listening to their videos, you should hear more detail and bass with a much faster transients. Are you finding the soundstage to be more focused?


I am actually quite enthused about finally having some more people to compare notes with, regarding this new technology. Post your impressions as you live with cables or pm me (does a'gon still allow that?) as things progress. I don't want to rouse the lurking flat earth society and start some debate over break in. I'll say this, though: several others I know report extensive break in with these cables. There appears to be a pattern to this break in...but four people is hardly an emperical study. All i know is what i hear.

As an Anaconda Zitron owner, your experience will be very interesting because it will add to the pool of shared experience. I am utterly bored with and uninterested in theoretical discussions about whether something should or should not work. I've yet to hear an explanation of break in I could follow, but my ears tell me it's real. Can't wait to hear what you experience!
Hi guys!

my initial impressions of the cable? Expensive! LOL Seriously, I had tried a Cirrus cable before and was very impressed by the way it was controlling my woofers. Bass was deep and punchy much more than with my previous cables (Cardas). So I was expecting a similar if not better signature with the Anacondas. Unfortunately, although it was clear the Ztron were very good cables when I connected them, the bass was not as good and strong as with the Cirrus. Background was not as black either. Highs were already a bit more refined though. I was told by several persons to wait for the break-in time to be complete and that is what I'm doing right now (~90H on them now). They are starting to open up and the bass is much better now than it was initially. Sound stage is still 2D at this point. Instruments/timbres are better than with my Cardas. I will continue to post my impressions as the break-in is progressing.


Sorry I did not mean to start a debate or anything. I'm still curious about what are the technical aspects behind this behavior but I'm more interested in making sure I've enough return on my investment. I'm happy thus far but I expect reference level nothing less ;-). I agree with you for the need to share our impressions and I will ;-). I'm wondering why there's so few reviews of those cables especially in the context of a technological breakthrough. Maybe the reviewers are all busy listening to music ;-).

Thanks for the info! I should have my Cobra demo pair of IC and spkr cables next week and hoping that this groind breaking technology will be obvious initially and get better with more hours. I'm assuming that the current delivery and rise and fall times should be noticed upon install but i'm eager to see how they stack up with what I already have.

No apologies needed from you; I just didn't want to rile cable skeptics. I, too, would love to understand the science behind cable break in.

Here's my prediction: the Anacondas won't reach reference level (and I agree that no one should accept anything less from cables this pricey) until a minimum of 400 hours of playback. I was fortunate that my dealer was so confident that he gave me a three-week audition period. If I'd had to make a decision at 250 hours, my cables would've gone back to the store. Good things come to those who wait. ;-)

My system consists of Thiel CS3.7's, Perfect Wave MKII DAC and transport, Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and a Classe' Delta 2200 amplifier. Even subtle changes are easy to catch and may explain how I perceive break in.
Did somebody actually compared zitron power cables with CX? For example, does python zitron sounds better than anaconda CX? Or cobra zitron is better than python CX?

Wig: please let us know your impressions when you get them.

Vhiner: you seem to have a very good and transparent system. I have ribbon tweeters (Monitor Audio Platinum) running on Classe gear so I know what you mean by easily catching changes. How many hours have you on your Anacondas ? I will be patient with them and wait. I'm not unhappy by the way as I know what Shunyata is able to do. Indeed, my initial "disappointment" was related to the direct comparison with another of their products (used cables already broken-in).

Denon1: Along with the Anacondas I also have 2 Cobra AC cables (why break only one cable when you can break 3? ;-)). They already made a significant difference in my system but I was coming from stock cables so I cannot comment on the cx cables and compare them with the ztron.

I have Python Zitrons and they have well over 3000 hours. I'd be curious as to how they compare to the Anacondas but that would require a helluva lot of break in. LOL
hahaha you're right! Those are not cables easy to compare. I must say that I don't have any zitron IC cables in my system... yet. I'm currently using a mix of Audience AU24e and Acoustic Zen Absolute interconnects. They are great but I'm wondering if the zitron could not elevate the performance to another level. Before verifying this, I need to complete the break-in of the speaker and AC cables. I also need to get a few more pay checks as well LOL
Allow me to jump in, if I may here guys and add to the fun. Vhiner and I know each other very well. We've discussed the cables for some time and collaborate quite a bit.

I have King Cobra and Anaconda CX AC cables throughout and all Anaconda ZTron signal/speaker cables along with the Python XLR digital cable. Both Vhiner and I have the same digital front end.

My Anaconda ZTron signal/speaker cables now have well over 800 hrs on them. They sound magnificent in all reference aspects and are easily the finest signal cables I have yet heard in my system and I have had many over the 40+ years in this crazy hobby.

You will find they take a minimum (MINIMUM) of 500 hrs to get to about 95% of their final settle in. Vhiner and I both know at least one other fellow Shunyata user who has stated that Shunyata can take up to 1,000 hrs to be finally fully settled in. By the way my Anaconda ZTron's have sounded past the 500 hr mark I have no doubt he is correct. As they have aged they become sweeter, if you will, and more refined in a micro sense. Up to the 500 hr region you will find they will drive you nuts closing in, muffling, then opening up for a very short time giving you hints of their greatness, then muffling/closing back in, etc., until they finally settle. When they do, Robert Harley was right on with his TAS review - they are SOTA in sound. Yes, others may have strenghts here or there, but as others I have seen in this thread have heard during their break in process, they begin to hear pieces of what they truly can possess. They are, in a word, magical, in your system once they settle.

The main difference, besides a slight difference in wire gauge for the Anaconda ZTron signal cables vs. the Python, is they Anaconda does not have a second, typical shield around them. Yes, they have the ZTron circuit shield which is not a normal grounded at one end shield, only. According to Shunyata, that makes them more open on the top end and extended. However, supposedly, it makes them somewhat more environment dependent due to the fact they could pick up external noise. So far, in my system, I have not heard any sort of noise, hum, RFI, EFI or any other artifact entering my system through these cables. They are dead quiet and possess the lowest noise floor of any cable I have ever used, period (once they are fully broken in). Their "startle factor", speed, dynamic expression, pacing, etc. are exquisite, sounding so naturally alive and real, it is uncanny.

The point Vhiner makes, and I want to concur is that you have to be patient. VERY patient. Your patience and virtue will be well rewarded once they are all settled in.

Like Vhiner, I have no idea nor explanation why they Ztron cables take so long to finally sing, but they do. Frankly, I don't care why, just that it does which my ears and emotional connection to the musical expression easily were able to ascertain. Prior to the 500'ish mark, I could not easily connect with them. Now, its a joy beyond measure each time I sit down and spin a disc.

The interesting thing, too, is that the Python XLR ZTron digital cable took exactly the same turn of events. Odd, that a digital cable would make that difference. But, oh, boy, did it ever and once it passed the 600 hr level it just blew my mind.

I hope my experience can help shed some light and give those in the process right now breaking their cables in a bit of emotional stability while they go through this process. You are not alone, but please, make sure you go through it and not give up or you risk losing the best thing you could have added to your system.

Hang in there guys, its worth its weight in platinum.


How does the new Ztron Cobra AC power cable compare to the older CX series, especially the Python CX? I have the Python CX right now and it sounds pretty darn good as the main power cable for an Aesthetix IO. I need a good cable to power an Isotek 8 way power isolation strip which will power some other components besides the Aesthetix IO.

Thanks in advance,

I couldn't agree more with you. It's that emotional connection that makes these cables special...most musical wire I've ever encountered.


This is what I've heard others say, so take this with a large grain of salt:

The Cobra Zitrons best the Python CX in all respects, but don't beat the Anaconda CX. . Some even prefer the Anaconda CX. The Python Zitron is said to be incrementally better than the Anaconda CX. However, the Anaconda Zitron is supposed to be utterly amazing...far better than the King Cobra CX...which I find hard to believe.

Again, this is what I've heard second hand. YMMV.

Thanks for the detailed post of your impressions! I may have to find an alternate mean of breaking in my Cobra IC because I have a tube integrated amp and tube CD player but possibly could put in some cheap 6SN7 in my player and run that 24/7 with my tube amp off when not listening

Thank you for the update. After reading some preliminary reports out in the "field" from a few other forums and your update, I am led to believe that the new Zitron Cobra is a much better performing cable than the previous Python cables. Now, the question is where to purchase these newer products. I found only one web site so far. Any suggestions?
Thank you Oddeophile for your detailed description and welcome to the discussion. Your experience is aligned with what Vhiner has been sharing with us. It's good to know the cables will improve over time. I'm in a phase where they are not sounding excellent (I have ~110H on them). Highs/medium are thin and the presentation is flat (no 3D). As you said I need to be patient :-).

Anyone of you using a power conditioner in addition to your AC cables? For my part, I'm using a Torus AVR15.

I have not heard the ZTron AC cables, but from what I have read here and there the ZTron adds a very fast transient "jump factor" to the sound and at least one person felt they exceeded the CX series.

For me, it does not matter. I love the combination CX King Cobra/Anaconda AC cables throughout my system coupled with the ZTron Anaconda signal/speaker cables and Python ZTron XLR digital cable.

I have noted, also, on Audiogon that nobody seems to be selling their CX AC cables so that tells me something.

Frankly, I adore my CX AC cables and plan on having them stay with me for a very long time.



Yeah, that is the tough part of dealing with these cables with tubes. Of course, you could procure a Cable Cooker but that is not very inexpensive, either.

I lust after the Audio Research Reference 5 SE, but alas, will not enter my system until a long time. The Shunyata's set me back a lot for a long time.


The main sources are Music Direct and the Cable Company. I use Galen Carol Audio. Galen's a straight shooter. I'm sure others have their favorites.
I think like all components of the audio chain they are system dependent and more importantly listener preferences.

I've compared the Cobra ztron with the Python cx and the Anaconda cx with the Python ztron. I preferred the cx combination. In my system the Cobra was indeed faster, livelier, but lost body and bass. Soundstage narrowed and presentation became forward. The difference of the cobra with Python cx is very evident from the start. Comparing Python ztron to the Anaconda cx I found the ztron to sound bigger, more bass and body but slower. Bass is not as tight as Anaconda but soundstage wider and deeper. Overall slightly darker sounding. I heard more details with the Anaconda.

I say system dependent because I use cx all the way from source to amps so that may have contributed to the presentation I heard. If I compared the all cx system with an all ztron system perhaps my findings will be different.

Which ones are better? Who knows. Only you can decide what kind of presentation you like.
If you guys want to burn in your power cables just buy one of the adapter cables Shunyata sells and hook it up to your refrigerator for 24/7 high current cable break-in. Or this for way less $:

Thanks for sharing what you've experienced. I assume these were broken in loaner cables (?) I have heard from a few others about how the Cobra Zitrons are very fast but lack bass weight compared to CX Anaconda. I was particularly interested in your impression of the Python Zitron PC on that model has been scarce. I'm anxious to hear from someone who has listened to a broken in Anaconda Zitron PC.

I'll be posting some observations about the new Python Zitron XLR digital cable in a few days.

Yes, your assumption is correct. Both Cobra and Python ztrons have been broken in substantially and given time to settle. I've compared the Cobra ztron against the Python cx but not the Anaconda cx. I've compared the Python ztron against the Anaconda cx. The Python ztron made the presentation darker, and a little slower but made the soundstage wider and deeper. To some that could be a welcome tradeoff but I prefered the Anaconda cx's presentation. I'd welcome the wider and deeper soundstage though if the change in presentation was not obvious.
I would agree with the assessments everything is system dependent, for certain. In my system that uses 5 King Cobra CX and 5 Anaconda CX PC's along with the Anaconda ZTron signal/speaker cables and Python Ztron XLR digital cable the system synergy is striking.

When my HT blu-ray surround is engaged the imaging precision is striking with unbounded image size, height, width and depth in all dimensions along with superb dynamics and low level data retreival. I am continually shocked at sonic revelations that just appear out of nowhere, many with the knock-your-socks-off startle factor. I can not tell you how many times lately both my wife and I practically jump off the couch.

On my two channel digital which both vhiner and I have the same equipment, I am now enjoying SOTA digital reproduction with the Python XLR ZTron digital cable and Anaconda ZTron signal cables with the King Cobra CX PC's on my Perfect Wave transport and Perfect Wave MK II DAC. I have never heard air like I hear in the finest digital recordings, including red book CD that I never knew existed, or could exist with what was thought to be red book digital least significant bit size @ 16 bits data. The air between, around and above, behind, etc. images can be quite surprising.

The lesson is, that I would agree with Hkmatch23 that system dependency is like with all other components something one must try cables with to determine synergy along with one's own personal preferences. With the all CX PC's I do find immense image size, openness, and precision along with superb bass weight, speed and tonality combined with the ZTron signal/speaker cables.

Everyone's personal mileage will vary.

thanks a lot for sharing your valuable experience.
Of caurse it is all system dependant, but dealers now advising on ztron cables claiming that they are better (in their prcie range) than CX line. It Looks like is not always the case.
After hearing all the good things about the Cirrus cord I thought it would be worth a try. Well what a disappointment , mostly in the mids, not even close to some of the Shunyata stuff I've heard. Back to the drawing board.
The ztrons might be better compared to the cx line in terms of measurement using the DTCD but it does not mean the sound will be better (in your system). Only you can decide that.

There's also a possibility that the true potential of the ztrons were impeded by the rest of the system using the cx line. Perhaps a better comparison should have been an all cx line against an all ztron line. Unfortunately there weren't enough ztron power cords to go around to make that comparison possible.

If possible the best thing is to try both lines. If you prefer the cx line in your system then you are in luck since they are probably going to go down in price.

I think you're absolutely right about cables. While it isn't always economically feasable, creating a "loom" can yield great rewards. Mixing and matching can result in some happy accidents, but I have found that creating a consistent network of wire is a worthy ideal.

I'm sure you've also found that rapid a/b comparisons of cables and other components is like chasing a vapor trail. The best way to assess cables is to live with them for at least a week and then return to one's original wire. If the switch back makes a person long for the new cables, they work.

Because I cannot afford a system-wide Zitron power cord upgrade, I plan on trying out the new Anaconda on my amplifier and then on my Triton to the wall, the idea being that those are the two most critical power cord positions within a system. I could be wrong, so feel free to weigh in if you've discovered a better approach.

Sometimes there are instances where the moment you try a new component you immediately know something is not right. Listening longer will only lengthen the uneasiness. Of course one must be familiar with the recording to know something is amiss. While there are instances where it takes time for you to realize that you prefer the new component over the old one and vice versa.
The key word will always be "preference".

The best way for you to know which component benefits the most is to try it yourself. However, you will need at least 2 Anacondas if your amp uses a c19 inlet. While I have read that the source should have the biggest effect, in my system it was not the case. The biggest preferable effect came from changing the preamp powercord.

It's true that theory and practice often collide. I have also found, especially with Shunyata's PC's, that it takes a while for my ears and brains to adjust to something substantially different. After many years of pursuing components that would "wow" me, I am now far more interested in components that disappear, allowing me to move ever closer to the music. I find Shunyata wire to be particularly good at that.
+1. I agree with vhiner. Shunyata is superb at the illusion closer to the live original event than any cable I have ever used.
Hi guys,

I had the chance to purchase an already broken in Hydra Talos conditioner last week. This last w-e, I spent some time testing various setup combinations of my 2 conditioners in my system (I already had a Torus Power conditioner). The first thing I did is to plug the Talos into the Torus and plug everything else in the Talos. The bottom end was superb with lots of good and well-defined bass. Soundstage was huge but unfortunately, the highs were not that good. Lean, lots of sibilance, less body on the instruments, etc. Only good recordings were good to listen to, the rest being barely listenable.

Then I plugged the Talos in the wall plug directly (skipping the Torus). That fixed the issue with the highs but although the bass was good and well defined, it lacked the punch I'm used to with the Torus. To give you an analogy, it was like if I had gone from a solid state to a tube amp (a bit extreme as an example but I'm sure you understand what I mean). Bottom line less impact than with the previous setup. However, I did notice more fluidity in the music, the "live" aspect you guys are reporting was there. Much better than with my Torus only. Torus is hi-fi music, Talos is like being at the show if I can use that comparison. Since I was not coming from a situation where no conditioner was used, I did not notice much improvement with the Talos regarding a blacker background and more micro details, etc. It was more moving closer to the presentation, as if you had been moving from the 15th row to the first row at a show. Dynamic changes were more "effortless". Classical music involving orchestras greatly benefitted from that.

Still, my brain (and my chest ;-)) were always telling me that something was missing at the bottom end of the spectrum. What I did is to unplug my subwoofer and plugged it back into the Torus. Voilà! Much better.

It's hard to explain but it seems that the Talos does a better job at filtering the noise and removing itself from the music path while the "power" part is still better delivered by the Torus. Might be explained by the fact the torus can provide more instantaneous current than the Hydra. However, I thought that by chaining the 2 conditioners, I could have a dead silent system but it seems this combination is not good. I don't know why. Perhaps, too much of a good thing. I'll continue my exploration and report the results. Stay tuned.
Interesting as the comparison between the Torus and the Talos might be, it really doesn't belong in this thread - note the title. Why don't you start a new thread, so people who are interested can go to it directly?