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Shunyata Research Designing Silent Systems for recording, film and music

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Old 05-14-2019, 08:49 PM
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Default Alpha USB Slips into the Bedroom System

Yesterday afternoon UPS Ground delivered a package containing a circular two-zipper bag. Inside the bag was background information on the company and a 1.5-meter-long Shunyata Alpha USB cable sheathed in plastic wrap that contained these warning notices:



The cable now has about 25 hours of burn-in on it. Having observed Shunyata’s explicit warning to the letter, I’ve restricted “cable cooking” to a continuous playback diet of music program, much of it large-scale dynamic orchestral. (At the moment, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic are in “repeat mode” beating the hell out of Hector Berlioz’ iterations of the “Dies Irae” in his “Symphony Fantastique” [Sony Royal Edition SBM’d 16/44 rip].)

The unpackaged cable:



The Alpha replaces a USB configuration consisting of a Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 cable, Uptone Audio ISO REGEN powered by an Uptone LPS 1.2 and connected via an Uptone USPCB A-to-B connector to the DAC. It earned its keep right out of the zippered bag, but for starters I’ll share the first impressions of Saint Mrs., who joined me in auditioning the cable after about four hours of burn-in:

"I can hear the layering of the chorus behind the principal singers more distinctly." (Program source: "Make Our Garden Grow" from the final version of Leonard Bernstein's Broadway musical "Candide", with the composer conducting on a Deutsche Grammophon 16/44 rip.)

"The voices [of Mirella Freni and Christa Ludwig] reach out further up into what sounds like a larger venue." (The duet "Scuoti quella fronda di ciliegio" from Puccini's "Madama Butterfly", Karajan conducting on a Decca 24/96 download.)

"Listen to the resonance of the guitar soundboards". (Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Sharon Isbin playing "Luiza" from the album "To Brazil With Love", 16/44 Concord rip.)

Saint Mrs. does not profess to be an audiophile. Nonetheless, her comments reflect some of the immediately noticeable improvements the Alpha—unassisted by supplementary USB regeneration or galvanic isolation—brings to the listening table. In particular, the unmasking of previously-unperceived low-level detail that imparts expanded spaciousness and greater ensemble definition and articulation. Instrument and voice alike are better defined, as is the space around them. Inner voicing and micro-rhythms are more discernible, and with them a greater sense of pace, rhythm, and timing.

All of this speaks to the “dead quiet”—achieved through the suppression of extraneous electronic noise--experienced with the Alpha. There’s just more there there even as the speakers continue their progressive disappearing act.

At 25 hours I can hear the bass beginning to divest itself of “wool” while at the same time registering greater gut-thumping impact (noted with Eiji Oue’s reading with the Minnesota Orchestra of the “Fanfare for a Common Man”-based final movement of Aaron Copland’s “Third Symphony” on a Reference Recordings 16/44 rip).

I don’t want to rush things (well, actually I do), but I’m anxious to hear what 200 hours will bring. I'll probably post some more impressions along the way.
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Living Room: Win 10 AMD A12 laptop/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio ISO REGEN powered by LPS 1.2 Ultra Cap supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; upgraded SOTA Sapphire III; Origin Live Encounter Mk3c/Ortofon 2M Black, Graham Slee Era Gold V; McIntosh MR77; Oppo BDP-83; conrad johnson Premier 17LS (6922EH); conrad-johnson MF2500; Paradigm SE-3. Wireworld Starlight 7 USB (laptop to ISO REGEN); Wireworld Eclipse 7 (UD-501 to 17LS & 17LS-to-MF2500) and Equinox 6 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP SC. PS Audio Dectet, Wireworld Electra 5/2 PCs (PR17LS, Dectet), Hubbell HBL5362 duplex outlet. GIK standard 244 and scatter-plate 244 and Monster traps.

Home Office: Win 10 PC/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio REGEN w/ LPS-1 linear power supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II passive line stage; conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; Paradigm SE-1. WW Silver Starlight 7 (laptop to REGEN); WW Eclipse 7 (Axiom II to SA250) & Equinox 6 (UD-501 to Axiom II) ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable, Shunyata Hydra PLC, Wireworld Electra 5^2 power cord from PLC to UD-501.

Bedroom:External USB 3.0 4TB HDD-->Win 10 i7 laptop/JRiver Media Center audio player. Shunyata Alpha USB cable; TEAC UD-501; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II Walker Mod passive line stage ;conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; stand-mounted Paradigm Studio 20 v.5. WW Eclipse 8 ICs and Wireworld Eclipse 8 SC; Blue Circle Thingee FX 0e PLC; upgraded-connector WW Electra 7 power cords (from wall to PLC and from PLC to UD-501); PS Audio Power Port; Stillpoints Ultra Minis under Axiom, UD-501, and SA250; GIK 244 and 224 traps, Alpha 4A panels, and DIY 4"-thick 12"x15" traps.

Last edited by jimtranr; 05-14-2019 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:19 PM
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Jim... Outstanding first review; it only gets better.
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Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
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MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO, FORTRESS SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G01X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) PS AUDIO P20, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000T/PS8, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Bryston/Esoteric System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, BIT-15(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO, TARGET RACK, WIREWORLD SILVER CABLES
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:52 PM
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Thanks, Ivan...not least for making it possible.
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Living Room: Win 10 AMD A12 laptop/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio ISO REGEN powered by LPS 1.2 Ultra Cap supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; upgraded SOTA Sapphire III; Origin Live Encounter Mk3c/Ortofon 2M Black, Graham Slee Era Gold V; McIntosh MR77; Oppo BDP-83; conrad johnson Premier 17LS (6922EH); conrad-johnson MF2500; Paradigm SE-3. Wireworld Starlight 7 USB (laptop to ISO REGEN); Wireworld Eclipse 7 (UD-501 to 17LS & 17LS-to-MF2500) and Equinox 6 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP SC. PS Audio Dectet, Wireworld Electra 5/2 PCs (PR17LS, Dectet), Hubbell HBL5362 duplex outlet. GIK standard 244 and scatter-plate 244 and Monster traps.

Home Office: Win 10 PC/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio REGEN w/ LPS-1 linear power supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II passive line stage; conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; Paradigm SE-1. WW Silver Starlight 7 (laptop to REGEN); WW Eclipse 7 (Axiom II to SA250) & Equinox 6 (UD-501 to Axiom II) ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable, Shunyata Hydra PLC, Wireworld Electra 5^2 power cord from PLC to UD-501.

Bedroom:External USB 3.0 4TB HDD-->Win 10 i7 laptop/JRiver Media Center audio player. Shunyata Alpha USB cable; TEAC UD-501; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II Walker Mod passive line stage ;conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; stand-mounted Paradigm Studio 20 v.5. WW Eclipse 8 ICs and Wireworld Eclipse 8 SC; Blue Circle Thingee FX 0e PLC; upgraded-connector WW Electra 7 power cords (from wall to PLC and from PLC to UD-501); PS Audio Power Port; Stillpoints Ultra Minis under Axiom, UD-501, and SA250; GIK 244 and 224 traps, Alpha 4A panels, and DIY 4"-thick 12"x15" traps.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:01 PM
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Great review!

Fully cocordant with my observations.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:35 PM
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Whatever concerns I might have had about confirmation bias based on the knock-your-socks-off assessments of the Alpha USB by two AA'ers whose ears I trust and respect were dispelled late last night at about the 31-hour mark as I listened to Emil Tchakarov conduct the Sofia Festival Orchestra and Sofia National Opera Chorus perform Alexander Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances with Choir" ("Stranger in Paradise", anyone?) from the opera "Prince Igor" (1987 Sony 16/44 rip).

The male chorus in particular really belts out its praise of Khan Konchak on this track. Which could lead to testosteronic edginess as f escalates to ff and beyond on the fortissimo scale. And has, at least to a trace degree, even with the "best" bedroom-system configuration. Until now.

The "edge" has disappeared. But there's no rounding off of vocal tone, timbre, or texture in even the loudest, shake-the-wall passages with the Alpha feeding the DAC. What I'd attributed to mike overload heaped on 1987 digital is apparently a line-noise artifact raining on the singers' let-'er-rip parade. The sung Russian is distinct and intelligible at even the loudest levels, and the timbral quality of the articulated-to-the-nines male voices as well as their three-dimensional presence had me reaching for the cable ties Ivan said I'd need for my socks.

Yeah, Stephen, WOWZA!

And that's at only 31 hours.
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Living Room: Win 10 AMD A12 laptop/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio ISO REGEN powered by LPS 1.2 Ultra Cap supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; upgraded SOTA Sapphire III; Origin Live Encounter Mk3c/Ortofon 2M Black, Graham Slee Era Gold V; McIntosh MR77; Oppo BDP-83; conrad johnson Premier 17LS (6922EH); conrad-johnson MF2500; Paradigm SE-3. Wireworld Starlight 7 USB (laptop to ISO REGEN); Wireworld Eclipse 7 (UD-501 to 17LS & 17LS-to-MF2500) and Equinox 6 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP SC. PS Audio Dectet, Wireworld Electra 5/2 PCs (PR17LS, Dectet), Hubbell HBL5362 duplex outlet. GIK standard 244 and scatter-plate 244 and Monster traps.

Home Office: Win 10 PC/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio REGEN w/ LPS-1 linear power supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II passive line stage; conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; Paradigm SE-1. WW Silver Starlight 7 (laptop to REGEN); WW Eclipse 7 (Axiom II to SA250) & Equinox 6 (UD-501 to Axiom II) ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable, Shunyata Hydra PLC, Wireworld Electra 5^2 power cord from PLC to UD-501.

Bedroom:External USB 3.0 4TB HDD-->Win 10 i7 laptop/JRiver Media Center audio player. Shunyata Alpha USB cable; TEAC UD-501; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II Walker Mod passive line stage ;conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; stand-mounted Paradigm Studio 20 v.5. WW Eclipse 8 ICs and Wireworld Eclipse 8 SC; Blue Circle Thingee FX 0e PLC; upgraded-connector WW Electra 7 power cords (from wall to PLC and from PLC to UD-501); PS Audio Power Port; Stillpoints Ultra Minis under Axiom, UD-501, and SA250; GIK 244 and 224 traps, Alpha 4A panels, and DIY 4"-thick 12"x15" traps.

Last edited by jimtranr; 05-15-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:14 PM
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Jim... I am extremely pleased to know you are enjoying this new Gem. Thanks for sharing all of your listening impressions too!

Cant wait to see how many Awards Shunyata will garner with these ground breaking cables.
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MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
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MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO, FORTRESS SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G01X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) PS AUDIO P20, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000T/PS8, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Bryston/Esoteric System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, BIT-15(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO, TARGET RACK, WIREWORLD SILVER CABLES
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:27 PM
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Default At 90 hours...

Spent the early part of the morning listening to Bela Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra (Bernstein, NY Philharmonic, Columbia/Sony SBM'd 16/44 rip), Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony #5 (Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Soundmirror/Reference Recordings, 24/192), and Zoltan Kodaly's Hary Janos suite (Szell, Cleveland Orchestra, Columbia/Sony, 24/192 remaster). All three works feature densely-scored passages and occasionally explosive tuttis that can wreak congestive havoc on a listener's ears.

There was none of that here this morning, and what I heard is easily the best presentation of each work on the bedroom system to date. I was struck in particular by image focus, solidity, and ensemble coherence in the passages where things could get messy (but never did). The instruments seem to have more space in which to "work the room"--more precisely, the air around them in their respective performance venues. Their sonorities are spot-on, with the highs at once filigree-detailed and airy, the mids corporeally present (and "breathy" as hell where appropriate), and the bass full-throated and tautly defined to a degree I'd not experienced before with this system. The "reach in and touch someone" factor has bumped up several degrees.

As Yoda might say, clam-happy I am.
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Living Room: Win 10 AMD A12 laptop/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio ISO REGEN powered by LPS 1.2 Ultra Cap supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; upgraded SOTA Sapphire III; Origin Live Encounter Mk3c/Ortofon 2M Black, Graham Slee Era Gold V; McIntosh MR77; Oppo BDP-83; conrad johnson Premier 17LS (6922EH); conrad-johnson MF2500; Paradigm SE-3. Wireworld Starlight 7 USB (laptop to ISO REGEN); Wireworld Eclipse 7 (UD-501 to 17LS & 17LS-to-MF2500) and Equinox 6 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP SC. PS Audio Dectet, Wireworld Electra 5/2 PCs (PR17LS, Dectet), Hubbell HBL5362 duplex outlet. GIK standard 244 and scatter-plate 244 and Monster traps.

Home Office: Win 10 PC/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio REGEN w/ LPS-1 linear power supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II passive line stage; conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; Paradigm SE-1. WW Silver Starlight 7 (laptop to REGEN); WW Eclipse 7 (Axiom II to SA250) & Equinox 6 (UD-501 to Axiom II) ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable, Shunyata Hydra PLC, Wireworld Electra 5^2 power cord from PLC to UD-501.

Bedroom:External USB 3.0 4TB HDD-->Win 10 i7 laptop/JRiver Media Center audio player. Shunyata Alpha USB cable; TEAC UD-501; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II Walker Mod passive line stage ;conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; stand-mounted Paradigm Studio 20 v.5. WW Eclipse 8 ICs and Wireworld Eclipse 8 SC; Blue Circle Thingee FX 0e PLC; upgraded-connector WW Electra 7 power cords (from wall to PLC and from PLC to UD-501); PS Audio Power Port; Stillpoints Ultra Minis under Axiom, UD-501, and SA250; GIK 244 and 224 traps, Alpha 4A panels, and DIY 4"-thick 12"x15" traps.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterlu View Post
Jim... I am extremely pleased to know you are enjoying this new Gem. Thanks for sharing all of your listening impressions too!

Cant wait to see how many Awards Shunyata will garner with these ground breaking cables.
Ha ha! They're going to clean house! LOL.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtranr View Post
Spent the early part of the morning listening to Bela Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra (Bernstein, NY Philharmonic, Columbia/Sony SBM'd 16/44 rip), Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony #5 (Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Soundmirror/Reference Recordings, 24/192), and Zoltan Kodaly's Hary Janos suite (Szell, Cleveland Orchestra, Columbia/Sony, 24/192 remaster). All three works feature densely-scored passages and occasionally explosive tuttis that can wreak congestive havoc on a listener's ears.

There was none of that here this morning, and what I heard is easily the best presentation of each work on the bedroom system to date. I was struck in particular by image focus, solidity, and ensemble coherence in the passages where things could get messy (but never did). The instruments seem to have more space in which to "work the room"--more precisely, the air around them in their respective performance venues. Their sonorities are spot-on, with the highs at once filigree-detailed and airy, the mids corporeally present (and "breathy" as hell where appropriate), and the bass full-throated and tautly defined to a degree I'd not experienced before with this system. The "reach in and touch someone" factor has bumped up several degrees.

As Yoda might say, clam-happy I am.
Jim,
I have to say your taste and knowledge in classical music is both examplary and extraordinary...really a superb range of content you've been evaluating. You have impeccable taste in classical music as well.

While I've focused most of my listening on jazz with the Shunyata Alpha (as I have much more jazz digital content than I do really good classical content), I have to say that all the attributes that you've described so eloquently and accurately above are EXACTLY what I've experienced with the Shunyata Alpha USB.

In particular, your comment:
"The instruments seem to have more space in which to "work the room"--more precisely, the air around them in their respective performance venues. Their sonorities are spot-on, with the highs at once filigree-detailed and airy, the mids corporeally present (and "breathy" as hell where appropriate), and the bass full-throated and tautly defined to a degree I'd not experienced before with this system." really sums up very nicely the remarkable quality and the extremely natural verisimilitude this cable provides.

Most of all, this cable provides and really delivers an incredibly engaging and beguiling listening experience. You forget about gear, and most importantly, that you're evaluating a cable, and just get lost in the experience of the music.

Another wonderful set of impressions and analysis. I'm SO glad you decided to go this route with this wonderful USB cable.
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  #10  
Old 05-17-2019, 02:51 PM
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jimtranr jimtranr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
Jim,
I'm SO glad you decided to go this route with this wonderful USB cable.
Well, it's your fault.

Thank you for your kind words, Stephen. I'm really impressed with what the Alpha has brought to the listening table. As good as the prior USB configuration was (and both the living-room and home-office systems are now benefiting from the resulting hand-me-downs), this one's a whole new grand-slam-scale ball game.

Thanks for the "push".
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Living Room: Win 10 AMD A12 laptop/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio ISO REGEN powered by LPS 1.2 Ultra Cap supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; upgraded SOTA Sapphire III; Origin Live Encounter Mk3c/Ortofon 2M Black, Graham Slee Era Gold V; McIntosh MR77; Oppo BDP-83; conrad johnson Premier 17LS (6922EH); conrad-johnson MF2500; Paradigm SE-3. Wireworld Starlight 7 USB (laptop to ISO REGEN); Wireworld Eclipse 7 (UD-501 to 17LS & 17LS-to-MF2500) and Equinox 6 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP SC. PS Audio Dectet, Wireworld Electra 5/2 PCs (PR17LS, Dectet), Hubbell HBL5362 duplex outlet. GIK standard 244 and scatter-plate 244 and Monster traps.

Home Office: Win 10 PC/JRiver Media Center 25 audio player; Uptone Audio REGEN w/ LPS-1 linear power supply; TEAC UD-501 DAC; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II passive line stage; conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; Paradigm SE-1. WW Silver Starlight 7 (laptop to REGEN); WW Eclipse 7 (Axiom II to SA250) & Equinox 6 (UD-501 to Axiom II) ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable, Shunyata Hydra PLC, Wireworld Electra 5^2 power cord from PLC to UD-501.

Bedroom:External USB 3.0 4TB HDD-->Win 10 i7 laptop/JRiver Media Center audio player. Shunyata Alpha USB cable; TEAC UD-501; Luminous Audio Technology Axiom Mk. II Walker Mod passive line stage ;conrad-johnson Sonographe SA250; stand-mounted Paradigm Studio 20 v.5. WW Eclipse 8 ICs and Wireworld Eclipse 8 SC; Blue Circle Thingee FX 0e PLC; upgraded-connector WW Electra 7 power cords (from wall to PLC and from PLC to UD-501); PS Audio Power Port; Stillpoints Ultra Minis under Axiom, UD-501, and SA250; GIK 244 and 224 traps, Alpha 4A panels, and DIY 4"-thick 12"x15" traps.
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