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  1. #1

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    Default Review: Shunyata Zytron Alpha Digital power cord

    Shunyata has introduced a new type of power cord, the Zytron Alpha Digital, that in addition to providing the usual Shunyata goodness to power also acts a filter to noise generated by digital gear. It is designed for digital file players, DACs, and CD players.

    "As the name implies, the Alpha Digital power cord was developed by Caelin Gabriel to target and measurably reduce the extreme high-frequency noise generated by all types of digital electronics, whether in audio or video applications. The noise reducing property of the Alpha Digital is so significant that this can be objectively measured using a Power Analyzer. More importantly, even a brief evaluation will yield an unmistakable, dramatic improvement in sound or video."

    http://www.shunyata.com/Content/prod...lDigAlpha.html

    Two weeks ago I received a Zytron Alpha for my Bryston BDP-1 digital file player (a single purpose Linux based computer). Since at the same time I also purchased a Shunyata Cyclops power conditioner for my amps, along with an Anaconda power cable for the Cyclops, I installed the Alpha on my Blueray player. I wanted to evaluate the Cyclop's effect on my amps without having another variable in the equation. Last night I was comfortable enough with the two-channel sound to move the Alpha onto the Bryston in the two-channel system.

    Anyway, the only thing I can say here is WOW! This power cable is freaking, fracking, f**king awesome! I cannot believe the improvement I am hearing. I literally stayed up last night until 10 AM this morning listening to this cable. Previously, I had a Zytron Cobra on the Bryston, and it is no slouch, but the Alpha far exceeds it.

    I have to steal a phrase used in a review of the Bryston BDA-2 DAC where the reviewer stated the BDA-2 removed a 'digital haze' from the music, a haze that wasn't apparent until it was gone. While I also noticed that when I upgraded to the BDA-2, I have to say this Alpha cable takes that a step further. I spent hours last night listening to rock songs ripped from CDs of varying recording quality, and without exception they all sounded better. A lot better. There is a greatly reduced glare, and I am able to crank these tunes while not experiencing fatigue from listening at these high levels. Currently, I am in classical mode, and the instruments are just coming out of a deep, silent background. It's just amazing.

    I do have to admit I am a bit disappointed in that this once again points out that everything can be improved. I am at a pretty good level at this time with cabling and power, and really could not imagine it being much better. Wrong. This one cable has made an incredible positive improvement. So much so that I am going to order another for the DAC, and maybe the Blueray player.

    I admit I do sound like a broken record when it comes to praising Shunyata, but that is only because their gear works. I have never felt buyers remorse after spending money on their products since every one has been a step up. While it is possible other cable vendors might accidentally stumble onto a working product, I will continue putting my money into a company that uses science and solid engineering in their design, and has no problem with explaining how their cables work. There is no voodoo here, just solid engineering. From the low cost Venom and into the more expensive cables, each cable, and power conditioner, I have purchased has been amazing.

    Two thumbs up for the Zytron Alpha Digital power cord.
    Last edited by BlueFox; 10-19-2013 at 09:23 PM.

  2. #2

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    U sure u don't work for shunyata?
    "Everything I ever did in my life worthwhile I caught hell for"

  3. #3

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    By now I feel like I own the company.

  4. #4

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    Geez all these power cord reviews...almost makes me wanna hack my 3490 for a IEC connector...ugh lol
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  5. #5

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    Thanks for the review.

    Did you start hearing improvements immediately or after some break in time? What is the recommended break in time?

    A moderator (Ken Swauger always responds promptly) can move this thread to the digital forum and delete the duplicate thread already there.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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  6. #6

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    Since the Alpha had been on my Blueray player for two weeks, it had some experience with the wiring so as soon as I turned the BDP-1 on I heard the improvement. It even burned in, and after 30 minutes sounded more solid. I am listening to it now, and music seems even better than last night.

  7. #7

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    Follow up.

    The Alpha Digital on the file player just continues to impress with its improvements. However, I am getting used to it, and need a new fix. Thursday I got that fix in the form of another Alpha for the DAC. Tonight (Saturday) it is settling in, and bringing the sound quality up a notch. While not as blatantly obvious as the Alpha on the file player, this Alpha is working well.

    Currently I am listening to Patricia Barber. Her CDs all seem to be well recorded with a wide dynamic range, inaudible distortion, and low noise. Along with those attributes, her band, her voice, and her lyrics, all combine for great CDs. Anyway, with the Alpha on the DAC there is a little less haze, minute details are either heard for the first time, or just become more apparent on most CDs. The improvement doesn't jump out as with the first Alpha, but, as both it and I get used to each other, the sound is improving. The detail, nuances, texture of the music are all improved.

    This Alpha is staying, and now I need to buy one for the Blueray player. Both of these cables started on the BRP, and it obviously changed the picture.

  8. #8

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    Nice bro, glad you like 'em.

    Curious as I am, I thought they had laws out there in Cali about staying up past 10 o'clock.

  9. #9

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    .... I thought they had laws out there in Cali about staying up past 10 o'clock.
    Not yet. Plus, Batkid will help fight evil wherever it occurs.

  10. #10

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    Let me add a follow up to the follow up I posted last weekend.

    The Alpha Digital has been on my DAC for two weeks now, and another Alpha Digital has been on my file player about 4-6 weeks (it sure is easy to lose track of time). Anyway, both pieces of gear are on 24 hours a day, and it appears the Alpha on the DAC has reached, or come very close to, it's potential.

    The music from these two devices is coming from a black hole of silence, with pin point precision in location of instruments and voices within the soundstage. Also, whether due to the absence of noise, or better reproduction, I am hearing background details I have not noticed before. It is as if somebody down the street is playing music outside, and I hear that under my music, but when I stop the music, it stops. So, it is coming from my system. So far this has been with string quartets chamber music playing at moderate (70+db range) level. Rock also sounds much better, but at a higher level it isn't going to expose any low level details. It is just more listenable at higher SPLs with little fatigue.

    Anyway, the point here is that if anyone is debating whether or not to buy this power cord then my enthusiastic recommendation is do it. At $1K, this is a bargain for the incredible increase in fidelity that results. I really feel sorry for those who spent $100K for a dCS Vivaldi stack.

  11. #11

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    Come on man the DCS stack is like the Iphone 6 for rich people...go out and get it ....be the first
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  12. #12

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    Okay. You talked me into it. I will take out a reverse mortgage and buy two, one for the stereo and one for the HT/surround system.

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