The Silent Snakes

Shunyata, which first made its mark with a novel line of US-made power cables named after various snakes and using a ferrite-based powder filling to absorb RF, has come out with five new serpentine products. According to sales manager Richard Colburn, the company has learned how to put more metal inside its cables, thereby increasing their gauge. The copper used is CDA-101, the only copper certified for its purity. Proprietary connectors are unplated brass, which company founder/designer Caelin Gabriel considers to sound the best.

New in the CX Series helix power cable line are the King Cobra CX (starting at $3500, and pictured here), Anaconda CX (starting at $2000), Python CX (starting at $1100), Viper CX (starting at $700, and Sidewinder CX (starting at $500). In the Aeros series signal cable line, we've got the Cirrus-IC interconnect ($3000/1m pair) and Cirrus-SP speaker cable ($3000/8' pair). The geometry has been newly tweaked in this hand-woven line. Higher up, we've got the Stratos-IC interconnect ($5000/1m pair) and Stratos-SP speaker cable ($6000/8' pair). On top are the Aurora-IC interconnect ($7500/1m) and Aurora-SP speaker cable ($15,000/8'). Everything is treated with the "Alpha Cryogenic Process."

Shunyata has also made changes to its two top-of-the-line Hydra power distribution products, the Hydra Model-8 Version II and Hydra V-Ray Version II. Both have eight Shunyata SR-Z1 outlets, output 2400 Watts unregulated, contain ZrCa-2000 noise reduction compound, and offer surge protection.

Shunyata's best offerings sounded great paired with Wilson Sophias and Audio Research electronics in the Audio Research room. "Amazing detail and nuance" I wrote in my notes after hearing things I'd never heard before on a selection by the wonderful young English soprano Kate Royal. Equally impressive was the way the system fleshed out the orchestral accompaniment. Very, very special.

Frank's picture

No rant here; I think I've run out of negative energy (maybe a good thing). But I must say, in a purely objective sense, that in this industry sector (cables and interconnects etc.) we seem to have reached a new paradigm of sorts: one can only remain competitive by raising prices. Unprecedented, in my opinion. Every new iteration to an existing product line must carry a heart stopping price tag, if only to assert its' superiority to the previous flag-bearer. Even the diamond and precious stone industry adhere to a carefully derived set of very strict standards, so the $75k diamond you just bought your wife/other carries a kind of globally recognised "imprimatur". Jason, thank you for being a stalwart in what was a rather unenviable assignment. And I mean that.

Craig's picture

I completely agree with the above statements.$7500 for a 1m meter interconnect??!!And this from a company who got its start by claiming to bring performance back to a reasonable price tag. I remember a time when they claimed that it actually bothered Caelin to sell a $2k power cable. At least he's gotten over that little conundrum.Shunyata has gotten way too big for its britches and seems to have completely abandoned any sort of accountability or reasonable logic. Anyone remember the Cable Bandits line of advertisements??Now we see it was all from the Keystone Cops of the cable business. P.S. They continue to snow the industry with this whole CDA-101 copper business. Yes, it is the only "certified" purity copper.At a whopping 4 nines purity! Because the copper industry as a whole doesnt care about anything beyond that. Which is why the audio community continues to push the limits of copper purity. Certification at this point means nothing.

Ted Clamstruck's picture

"The undisputed masters of power cord technology" - LOL! These clowns are legends in their own minds.

Petar Georgyev's picture

Agreed with the above comments on the prices. Now I just happened to hear their new Stratos IC last night. Friend of mine found it used ( already! ) for $1500 and brought it for auditioning. The thing with cables, esp that expensive is that they often give too-many details and sound analytic. At least to me. This was the first cable that I've auditioned that did all this and did not annoyed me. Excellent reproduction of Jazz and Rock music. Still need to do more auditioning for Classical. I think Shunyata has done it this time!

audiophool's picture

100,000 metres of copper cable from your wall socket to the electricity grid.Run it through a metre of this cable....must make a hell of a story!

jake the snake's picture

Im 100% in agreement with the last comment -how can 1M worth of AC cable costing thousands of dollars improve on the sound of MILES of generic unshielded copper coming from the power company? -luckily no one has told Shunyata, Transparent, Nordost, etc etc this alarming fact... change the sound? sure; improve the power? not possible, not with a cord anyway.

Audionut's picture

I always find it fascinating reading or listeningto comments made by individuals whomhave never listened to, or even been in thesame room with a particular product. Yet these individualscomment with great authority. I do agree thatsometimes it seems prices are set at what everthe market will bear. On the flip side many ofthese products perform the extraordinary.I believe in objectivety. Let your own ears decide. Theearth is not flat!

Objective's picture

"I believe in objectivety. Let your own ears decide."This quote from the previous comment perfectly sums up the audiophile idiocy.

Tim McMahon's picture

"Snakes for cables, my good boy, thats what you lack!" the snake oil dripping off the lips of the salesman as he sucks a few quarts from your wallet. Well, IS there something to this whole being an audiophile? I haven't found much as far as double blind tests go, whether or not there is an incredible difference in quality in some of this gear. I have performed a small test so far comparing some sound transfers via compression vs. lossless, WAV etc, and found there is indeed a difference, but this is compression. Now silver cords carved from mammoth tusk manufactured in a magical darkchamber in 0 grav, well.. So any ex audiophiles out there that took out a 2nd mortgage to buy a slice of audio heaven only to realize that their CD was just as clear and fleshy before all the redwine mods and starwars cable?? It would be interesting to set up a device alone that switched cables in a song midsentence to observe their "enlightened presence".. *sips wine and mastrbates on tubeamp

Axel's picture

More like Powersnakeoil cables