“SHUNYATA IS A SANSKRIT WORD THAT EXPRESSES AN IDEA; A PERSONIFICATION THAT IS NOT ACHIEVABLE IN THE PHYSICAL REALM. IT’S THE PERFECT STATE OF STILLNESS BEFORE THE MANIFESTATION OF CREATION. IT’S THAT STILLNESS THAT IS THE BACKDROP FOR CREATION, CREATIVITY, AND MUSIC. THE FIRST MANIFESTATION BEING SOUND AND VIBRATION. SHUNYATA IS THE PREDECESSOR TO THAT MANIFESTATION.”
– CAELIN GABRIEL
Shunyata Research are an American company based just outside of Seattle who design and manufacture a comprehensive range of world class power distributors and power cables along with some incredible signal cables as well.
Backed by multiple patents Shunyata Research products are not only found in brilliant home audio systems across the globe, but also within the world’s most critical recording, mastering, film and surgical systems. Shunyata products offer superior performance, brilliant value and craftsmanship and over the past 2 decades have established Shunyata Research as one of the most respected and lauded brands in the world.
Shunyata Research is the brainchild of former US military scientist Caelin Gabriel, whose background was in the research and design of ultra-sensitive data acquisition systems. These systems were designed to detect extremely low-level signals otherwise obscured by random noise, requiring years of intensive research into the sources and effects of signal and power-line noise interference. It was in his time stationed in Germany that Caelin discovered a love of and aptitude for HiFi and throwing parties around potluck-style systems for locals and soldiers alike would plant a seed for what would become his life’s work.
Gabriel holds more than 10 patents, with numerous additional patents-pending. These technical innovations have earned Shunyata Research product designs countless critical awards and endorsements from renowned recording studios, mastering engineers, heart surgeons and hospitals from all over the world.
Behind Shunyata Research product’s many awards, professional and medical applications lies an infrastructure of scientific research and intellectual property that exist nowhere else in its category. The vast array of patented technologies and material science within Shunyata products define and explain their superior performance.
This willingness to test, measure, and iterate against the grain has led to breakthrough technologies that defy expectation and set new standards for audio and visual reproduction.
NO HUM – NO BUZZ – NO HEAT
Shunyata Research power distributors are by design the most finely calibrated, noise isolated products of their type. They achieve this by turning their back on traditional approaches to “power conditioning” in preference of passive, patent protected designs that unlock the free flow of instantaneous current, while reducing power line and component generated noise to an unprecedented degree. Shunyata accomplish this through their discrete CCI (Component To Component) filtering system and layered approach to passive noise reduction.
Over its 20 year history, Shunyata Research has developed its own custom filters, buss systems, conductors, sockets, noise isolation chambers and breakers to maximise performance in its range of power distributors. The profound noise reduction capability within their power distributors offers a dramatic improvement to musical performance and the benefits are not subtle, lowering the noise floor is a common theme within my range of products and this is something where Shunyata Research truly excels.
Shunyata have written extensively on their technology and patents, if you would like to learn more please explore some of the links below
Dynamic Instantaneous Current Delivery
Our Core Technology Explained
Further Reading: White Papers & Videos
More on Caelin Gabriel’s Design Perspective
Shunyata Research has revolutionized the aftermarket power cable. With a science-based approach to peak-current transfer and noise reduction, Shunyata power cables have found broad applications: from the system used to remaster Dark Side of the Moon at Astoria Studios to systems used in performing delicate heart surgery at hospitals around the USA. Even the Shunyata’s entry level Venom V10 NR power cable delivers easy to hear improvements when put to use in an audio system, whether used on amplification or source components the benefit they offer is instant and obvious.
Shunyata Research’s history in power cord design is well documented. Steeped in science and measurement, every part and material within Shunyata Research power cables is custom designed and manufactured to measurably reduce noise (CCI link) and improve the efficiency of dynamic current flow to electronics (DTCD link). The results of more than two decades of R&D experience is an extensive range of high-value power cables that measurably reduce noise and improve access to instantaneous current.
Shunyata has invested extensive time and resources in creating its own range of connectors, conductors and the discrete filter systems implemented within its range of “Noise Reduction” power cables. The NR range reduces noise by around 12dB, making them popular for studio use as well the home systems.
Applications of Shunyata power cables include noise-sensitive heart-surgery systems and delicate mastering systems, such as the one used by James Guthrie to re-master Dark Side Of The Moon for the 5.1 mix on SACD. When it comes to performance-oriented power cables, Shunyata Research is in a category and proven class of design all by itself.
NR Power Cables
All of the Shunyata power cables listed above are their cables designed to used on components, e.g. amplifiers and sources etc.
If you require a power cable to use on a Shunyata Power Conditioner (or another brand of power conditioner) you will require one of their XC cables which are designed specifically to optimise the performance of Shunyata Research power conditioners. XC cables eschew noise reduction features in favour of enhanced DTCD (dynamic transient current delivery) which is essential to maximise the performance of power conditioners.
XC Power Cables
Analogue Interconnect Cables
Shunyata’s range of analogue interconnects have hugely benefitted from years of research, testing, listening and countless customisation and refinement to get each cable in the range to perform at superb level relative to other things. Shunyata are arguably more well known for their power cables and power conditioners than they are for their interconnects, but they really are something very special and offer excellent value for money.
All Shunyata interconnects undergo their propriety KPIP (Kinetic Phase Inversion Process) which enhances performance and hugely reduces cable burn in.
The cable range starts with Venom and progresses to the new Venom X, then Delta, Alpha and Sigma
I have the new Venom X on demonstration now, with the other cables to follow in due course, as ever home demonstration and part exchange is welcome.
As with their interconnect cables Shunyata’s range loudspeaker cable are steeped in years of research and development, many hours of critical listening and countless refinements and fine tuning to get their performance right where Shunyata want to them be. Tonally they are incredible neutral and open sounding.
The Venom X is the newest model in their range of speaker cables and we keep this cable on permanent demonstration, it’s priced at £1995 for a 2.0m pair terminated with either 4mm banana plugs or spades, every additional half metre is £150.
No category of cables better expresses the profound difference Shunyata Research technology makes than its superb range of Digital cables, swiftly adopted as reference by some of the world’s most established component manufacturers and recording studios. The range of the digital cables is actually proving to be Shunyata’s most popular range in terms of numbers sold, even surpassing their power cables, which is arguably what they are best known for.
The common threads shared by all models in Shunyata’s digital cable arsenal are their ability to eliminate time smear and related signal distortions that would otherwise degrade the performance of digital playback. It’s all about purity, accuracy and being musical!
At all price points the range of Shunyata Ethernet and USB cables offer genuinely exquisite performance and go well beyond their price points and can truly unlock the best very performance from your system.
Shunyata Ethernet Cables
Shunyata USB Cables
After previewing it at the Munich High End Show in 2022 Shunyata have recently launched their dedicated grounding system, called the Altaira. To design the Altaira Shunyata called upon their 25 years experience of electrical system design from both domestic and medical applications and they have created a system which can further enhance the performance of your system, the Altaira won a product of the year award for 2022 from The Absolute Sound.
Designed to control ground plane noise the Altaira uses patented technology to reduce noise, distortion, buzzing, ground loops and by successfully lowering the noise floor they can improve performance, increasing dynamics, system articulation and levels of detail and textures in the music.
There are 2 versions of the Altaira available, a Chassis Ground and Signal Ground model, each with specific filtering to attack the noise that rides on the chassis and signal grounds of the components in your system.
There is a range of dedicated Shunyata grounding cables available with a huge choice of termination options.
Shunyata also manufacture a cable elevator or isolator which is an incredible useful device for supporting loudspeaker cables, interconnect cables and power cables when laid on the floor, they can also be effective at supporting cables in an equipment stand as well.
These isolators are called the ‘Dark Field Suspension System’ which sounds like it has come out of a science fiction film or from an over exuberant marketing department! But to be fair they serve a serious sonic purpose and if you have a good system I would be very surprised if you don’t hear what they do.
Shunyata’s original cable elevator was called the ‘Dark Field Elevator’, which had a US patent on it, this new version builds on the performance of that model with a few subtle changes. Essentially all floors vibrate to some degree and that unwanted vibrational energy can get in the way of letting your cables performing to the best of their ability.
The polymer band that sits across the top of the DF-SS has the ability to dissipate vibrational energy, preventing it from being coupled between the floor and the cable, this band can also dissipate static energy (very common on carpeted floors)
The second improvement comes from the granular compound that fills the base of the elevator. This compound dissipates vibrational energy that would otherwise couple to the cable, that may cause a subtle form of signal distortion.
The DF-SS’s effectiveness has been demonstrated with accelerometer tests that clearly show its ability to reduce floor borne vibration which is common to all listening environments.By preventing these floor borne vibrations attacking your cables you end up with subtle improvements in clarity and focus in your system.