I have long been impressed with the power distribution products from Shunyata Research that I have heard in others’ systems and the ones I own. One of the things that has always impressed me about Shunyata Research is that their entry level products have a serious level of trickle down from their high end products. Over the last couple of months, thanks to member Stephen Scharf, I have been blessed with being able to borrow a number of new Shunyata power products that have been truly an amazing experience. The first was a prototype of the just released Venom PS10 power distributor. The prototype that I was able to use offered 10db of noise reduction to AC with 10 AC outlets. (The final released product has 24db of noise reduction and is significantly improved over the prototype I was able to use.) The improvement in my main system was easily discerned. Everything played came from a blacker background and it was as if a layer of haze had been lifted. To say I was impressed by the entry level power distributor from Shunyata Research would be an understatement. I haven’t heard any entry level power product that worked anywhere near as well or made nearly such an improvement.
After a couple of weeks using the PS10 prototype, Stephen brought over a Shunyata Venom V16 with Venom V10 XC (20amp IEC), and a Venom NR-V10 power cable, as well as a Shunyata Sigma USB cable, and a pair of Venom Interconnects. The Venom V16 provides greater than 24db of AC Noise suppression (compared to the 10db on the prototype I had been using) on 16 AC outlets separated into two separate zones enabling the separation between analog and digital sources.
As it’s a hassle to crawl behind my stereo rack, I opted to first tried the Venom NR-V10 (10db of AC noise reduction) power cable on my Schiit Bifrost DAC that I use in my work desktop sound system (Schiit Bifrost feeding a pair of Audio Engine A5 powered speakers). The difference in presentation was stunning and immediate. Even on a system that is less resolving as full stereo, the improvement was noticeable. After a couple of days, I swapped in the Sigma USB cable and a few days later I swapped in the Venom interconnects. Everything came from a blacker background with a substantial reduction of haze. I could listen at lower volumes and still hear all the detail I previously required a louder volume to hear. I have never considered my work system one to be that great, but suddenly I found it very hard to get work done I found myself noticing.
While I was using the Venom NR-V10 noise reducing power in my work system, I installed the Venom Series V16 in my main system (Air Tight ATM-1 amplifier, Air Tight ATC-3 Preamplifier, EAR 834P Phono Stage). When auditioning new products, I believe in making changes gradually in order to better assess what each component or tweek is doing or not doing in my system. Connecting the Venom V16 to main system provided a similar experience as I had with the Venom PS10 prototype, only more so – a lot more so. Using the Venom 16 was like having upgrades to each of my components – everything was really performing at its best with clean power. This wasn’t too unexpected, as I have heard what the Shunyata Research’s top of the line Everest does with 50db of noise reduction. Simply put, it’s like when Karl the Fog lifts from San Francisco and the skies are perfectly clear. What is impressive with the Venom V16 how much of that effect you get in the entry level products. Moreover, because the Venom V16 has 16 outlets divided into two zones, I was able to plug my television in and I could see an improved picture – something I have never seen with any other manufacturer’s product.
After using the Venom NR-V10 power cable daily in my work station system for just over a month, it was really difficult to remove it from my DAC and return to just the Nordost Blue Heaven I had been using, as the music just didn’t flow with the Nordost. Yet, I had to move the Venom NR-V10 power cable into my main system, as these products are additive. Moving the Venom NR-V10 power cable to my Air Tight pre-amp dropped the overall noise floor even further. I wish I had more of Shunyata’s Noise Reduction power cords to try simultaneously, as these products work additively. A Noise reducing power cable, such as the Venom NR-V10 (10db AC Noise Reduction) further reduces the AC line noise from the 24db noise reduction of the Venom V16 Power distributor for a total of 34db AC Noise Reduction between the two products. If I put the Venom NR-V10 on my Oppo 205, I got better picture watching BluRay movies and better lower noise floor on SACDs. If I put it on my phono stage, the noise floor was considerably lower. It’s clear to me that ideally, I’d have these cables on all my components. The only thing I haven’t really played around with yet on the Venom V16 is the Ground-Plane Noise Reduction system, but only because I have been enjoying listening to music so much that I haven’t had time to look into how to set it up.
I have long viewed the mark of a good stereo product as one that makes me want to listen to everything at once. That is to say, it makes me want to hear my entire collection all over again because the presentation is so much better that it’s like having a new collection as well as system. It has been a long time since a hi-fi product entered my home and had me running to my record collection to pull record after record to hear what new things I’d hear in old familiar recordings. The Shunyata Research Venom V16 is such a product.
In fact, I am now of the opinion that a lot of people haven’t heard what their systems are truly capable of producing musically because they are not feeding their system clean power. I now anxiously await my tax return as the Shunyata Research Venom V16 / Venom V10 XC / Hydra SSF-38 Bundle has risen substantially in my Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and my system needs this power distributor.