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Shunyata Research Designing Silent Systems for recording, film and music

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  #11  
Old 05-19-2019, 03:17 PM
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Returning to the Bernstein-led Berlioz Symphony Fantastique after a good 100 hours of playback "cooking time" with a variety of program material on the Alpha, I hear a more expansive, more ambient-cue-rich soundstage than initially...and with it more "liquid" mids and highs. The tuba, which plays a key role in establishing the dark-side atmospherics underlying the march to the scaffold and beyond, breathes lungfuls of palpable, room-loading menace to a degree not felt--I use "felt" advisedly--pre-Alpha. (Its rendering of the Dies is particularly eerie.)

Switching gears to Andre Previn, Mundell Lowe, and Ray Brown in Uptown (Telarc, 16/44 rip), Previn's piano in "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" exhibits more "jump", indicating that there's no noise-induced time-smear to blunt attack or distort tonality. The same applies to Brown's bass and Lowe's guitar, not least in the fast-moving runs that grace this frenetic reading.
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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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  #12  
Old 05-19-2019, 05:50 PM
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Jim... Excellent detailed description of your post break-in Alpha experience.
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2019, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterlu View Post
Jim... Excellent detailed description of your post break-in Alpha experience.
Agreed.
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2019, 07:42 PM
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Thanks for the kind words, Ivan and Stephen. What I find "excellent" post-100 hours with the Alpha in place is the ease of presentation, the articulation of voice and instrument (whatever the size and composition of the performing ensemble and the scored complexity of and dynamic contrasts embedded in a given work), and the evocation of the performing space (real or artificed) that's been bequeathed to us by the recording team and its production decisions.

With respect to the latter and although not mentioned in my earlier posts, one of my listening reference points during the auditions was a number of 16/44 rips of tracks from a series of Delos classical CDs released during the late 1980s and early 1990s. During that period Delos released two demonstration sampler discs (Symphonic Sound Stage and Second Stage) with program notes written by chief engineer John Eargle. In them, Eargle describes the recording venues, related technical considerations (e.g., the dynamic range of Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 2 and how to capture it), and setups for various tracks, including in some cases diagrams showing orchestra placement. (If you've seen photos of my bedroom-system rack, the light-blue book sitting on one of its shelves is the second edition of Eargle's Sound Recording.)

Having that information proved useful in evaluating the Alpha and in its own way helped me assess how faithfully (to my ears, at least) the cable was passing the data for other performances, whatever their respective provenance and genre, including those I've mentioned 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.
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  #15  
Old 05-19-2019, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtranr View Post
Thanks for the kind words, Ivan and Stephen. What I find "excellent" post-100 hours with the Alpha in place is the ease of presentation, the articulation of voice and instrument (whatever the size and composition of the performing ensemble and the scored complexity of and dynamic contrasts embedded in a given work), and the evocation of the performing space (real or artificed) that's been bequeathed to us by the recording team and its production decisions.

With respect to the latter and although not mentioned in my earlier posts, one of my listening reference points during the auditions was a number of 16/44 rips of tracks from a series of Delos classical CDs released during the late 1980s and early 1990s. During that period Delos released two demonstration sampler discs (Symphonic Sound Stage and Second Stage) with program notes written by chief engineer John Eargle. In them, Eargle describes the recording venues, related technical considerations (e.g., the dynamic range of Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 2 and how to capture it), and setups for various tracks, including in some cases diagrams showing orchestra placement. (If you've seen photos of my bedroom-system rack, the light-blue book sitting on one of its shelves is the second edition of Eargle's Sound Recording.)

Having that information proved useful in evaluating the Alpha and in its own way helped me assess how faithfully (to my ears, at least) the cable was passing the data for other performances, whatever their respective provenance and genre, including those I've mentioned along the way.
Another great set of insights, Jim.

I'm busy with my Ethernet cable listening evaluations at the moment (presently listening to a WW Starlight Ethernet, which sounds really quite nice) but if there were two words that I would say that typifies virtually all Shunyata Research products is that they impart a really wonderful sense of "listening ease" that really allows one to be come fully engaged and immersed in listening to music.

More later! Great stuff, Jim!
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conrad-johnson CT-5 and LP70S, Michell Gyro SE MkII, SME V, Koetsu Urushi Vermilion w/ EAR324, Oppo BD-83SE, Sonore microRendu with Uptone Audio LPS-1 power supply, Shunyata Alpha USB cable, Schiit Gungnir Multibit Gen 5 USB DAC, Schiit Loki DSD DAC, Mac Mini/Roon, Dynaudio Contour S3.4 with Esotar 2 tweeters, REL R-305, Audioquest Colombia and Colorado ICs, Shunyata Venom speaker cables, Shunyata Zitron Cobra and Black Mamba CX and Venom 3 power cords, Shunyata Triton, Synergistics Research HFT acoustical tuning devices
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