Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Review: Shunyata Sigma Phono Cable

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Review: Shunyata Sigma Phono Cable

    Review: Shunyata Research Sigma Phono Cable at Positive Feedback

    I've tried a few: over the years: what came with a Sumiko MMT tonearm, FMS Blue II, an Audioquest who's name I canna remember, SME circa '96, Silver Breeze, Tri-Planar, Crystal Cable. Eight months ago I was on the verge of buying an Odin 2 phono cable. Then this opportunity came along.
    Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

  • #2
    Tim,

    Thanks for sharing the write-up.

    Regarding the write-up:

    Did it briefly give you pause that 4.1-meters of unused/un-terminated Kuzma 4Point wire/phono cable was hanging off the cartridge?

    How did you end up attaching your phono cable ground?

    How did the Shunyata portray vocals?

    BTW: Did you play Paul Simon?

    Dre
    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day to play analog.
    - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
    - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day for live music.
    **************************************************

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dre_J View Post
      Tim,

      Thanks for sharing the write-up.

      Regarding the write-up:

      Did it briefly give you pause that 4.1-meters of unused/un-terminated Kuzma 4Point wire/phono cable was hanging off the cartridge?

      How did you end up attaching your phono cable ground?

      How did the Shunyata portray vocals?

      BTW: Did you play Paul Simon?

      Dre
      You are welcome. Thanks for reading my article.

      Did it briefly give you pause that 4.1-meters of unused/un-terminated Kuzma 4Point wire/phono cable was hanging off the cartridge?
      Not quite sure of the question; please say more about what you're getting at?

      How did you end up attaching your phono cable ground?
      That was covered in the section labeled "Configuration and Use".
      "A separate ground wire wrapped in dielectric attaches internally to the [4Point] 'arm and winds around the outside of that [Kuzma] sheath. ... There was no attachment point for the substantial lug of the Sigma's separate ground wire on either the 4Point or its termination box, so I attached the native 4Point ground wire to the grounding post on my Audio Research Reference Phono 10 phonostage."

      How did the Shunyata portray vocals?
      Click image for larger version  Name:	49119.jpg Views:	1 Size:	88.9 KB ID:	88392

      Quite well - as well as other pitches, timbres and frequencies. I'll copy you a bit straight from the Sigma portion of my listening notes for
      "Frühling" in Strauss' "Four Last Songs" w/ Szell and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (ES) solo soprano:
      ES integrated well w/ orchestra, as if an instrument reciting poetry.
      A wee bit of coolnes to the gorgeous tonal purity from Schwarzkopf, her voice reflecting the sad sweetness of the lyrics without over emotionalizing. Easy to hear the occasional very soft vibrato she adds. Strong voice, not chirpy. Her voice has power on demand from her chest when she wants it. ES articulate - how she backs off at the close of phrases and when she powers up. She has the ability to glide into a phrase with out perceptible start - this is breath control. Amazing control of her voice. Spans two octaves middle C to upper B.


      BTW: Did you play Paul Simon?
      Yes, the original Graceland. Again, copied from the Sigma portion my listening notes:
      Homeless - a bit more character from individual voices [Ladysmith Black Mombassa] - better separation within their blended harmony. - small tonal variations from of tongue, mouth clucks, vibrato. a bit more dimensionality [vs Crystal Cable]
      Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tima

        Not quite sure of the question; please say more about what you're getting at?
        That should have been written as 2.1 meters (your length description; not 4.1 meters) of the dedicated run of 4Point L&R signal cable that wasn't connected to the Phonostage while running the Shunyata phono cable connected to the terminal block. (Two runs of phono cable per channel connected the the same cartridge when one phono cable set that can't be removed is not terminated at the RCA connection.)

        Originally posted by tima
        That was covered in the section labeled "Configuration and Use".
        "A separate ground wire wrapped in dielectric attaches internally to the [4Point] 'arm and winds around the outside of that [Kuzma] sheath. ... There was no attachment point for the substantial lug of the Sigma's separate ground wire on either the 4Point or its termination box, so I attached the native 4Point ground wire to the grounding post on my Audio Research Reference Phono 10 phonostage."
        Yes, I read that part an saw it was your configuration during the evaluation period. I was asking to find out if you had looked into or found a different solution to be able to use the Shunyata ground cable if you were keeping it.

        Dre
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day to play analog.
        - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
        - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day for live music.
        **************************************************

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dre_J View Post
          ... I was asking to find out if you had looked into or found a different solution to be able to use the Shunyata ground cable if you were keeping it.
          Dre
          I studied the arm and termination box looking for a way to attach the Sigma's ground wire and saw no obvious way to do that outside a kludge or modifying the 'arm or box. I have no interest in modifying either. The Sigma ground wire is moderately heavy with substantial spade lugs, probably requiring strain relief on an improvised connection. Then again, given the native ground wire attached to the tonearm I did not put much priority on attaching another.

          Do you see merit in pursuing that further?

          Originally posted by Dre_J View Post
          That should have been written as 2.1 meters (your length description; not 4.1 meters) of the dedicated run of 4Point L&R signal cable that wasn't connected to the Phonostage while running the Shunyata phono cable connected to the terminal block. (Two runs of phono cable per channel connected the the same cartridge when one phono cable set that can't be removed is not terminated at the RCA connection.)
          Dre
          I was more interested in your question about "giving me pause" that the arm was bi-wired without connecting one cable. I thought about it. As far as I know adopting that configuration had no audible downside, but I had no option to try the Sigma phono without the continuous Crystal Cable run to listen if there was a difference.

          On the other hand, the situation you identify obtains with the default Kuzma configuration alone. With the termination box attached in addition to the continuous run, there is still unused/un-terminated Kuzma 4Point wire/phono cable hanging off the cartridge, though the length of cable is shorter. I did not take pause over that. Are there potential issues with such a configuration? You've probably seen a lot more phono cables than I.

          Are you thinking of the potential impact on the unterminated wire portion by EMI/RFI .... or something else? Is there a reason such a configuration should be avoided, or certain considerations taken when using such? Thanks for any contributions to this topic.

          Tim
          Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tima

            I studied the arm and termination box looking for a way to attach the Sigma's ground wire and saw no obvious way to do that outside a kludge or modifying the 'arm or box. I have no interest in modifying either. The Sigma ground wire is moderately heavy with substantial spade lugs, probably requiring strain relief on an improvised connection. Then again, given the native ground wire attached to the tonearm I did not put much priority on attaching another.

            Do you see merit in pursuing that further?
            No. I don't see any reason to look further into it if there is no noticeable noise or signal degradation issue.

            Originally posted by tima

            I was more interested in your question about "giving me pause" that the arm was bi-wired without connecting one cable. I thought about it. As far as I know adopting that configuration had no audible downside, but I had no option to try the Sigma phono without the continuous Crystal Cable run to listen if there was a difference.

            On the other hand, the situation you identify obtains with the default Kuzma configuration alone. With the termination box attached in addition to the continuous run, there is still unused/un-terminated Kuzma 4Point wire/phono cable hanging off the cartridge, though the length of cable is shorter. I did not take pause over that. Are there potential issues with such a configuration? You've probably seen a lot more phono cables than I.
            Usually, I've noticed noise related issues tend to pop-up when the phono cable is unshielded and/or the phonostage grounding scheme doesn't support that configuration. In your case, it doesn't seem to be of concern.

            Originally posted by tima
            Are you thinking of the potential impact on the unterminated wire portion by EMI/RFI .... or something else? Is there a reason such a configuration should be avoided, or certain considerations taken when using such? Thanks for any contributions to this topic.

            Tim
            Yes, I was thinking from that perspective. In addition to the combo that causes the issues mentioned above, location to local RF/EMI sources (Wi-Fi devices, local oscillators in tuners, power supplies, stray AC EMI), or Broadcast (commercial AM/FM radio, television, Shortwave/HAM radio, etc.) towers in the vicinity can be big contributors. In most cases of the latter, I've observed it tends to be unique to the geographical location --which tends to require more aggressive shielding/isolation from those sources.


            Dre
            Last edited by Dre_J; 05-23-2018, 05:43 PM. Reason: and/or
            **************************************************
            Every day is a good day to play analog.
            - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
            - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
            **************************************************
            Every day is a good day for live music.
            **************************************************

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for that follow-up, Dre. Caelin Gabriel told me he recently (5-6 yrs?) began shielding his cables. I read claims that unshielded cables can be 'more transparent' but I've never explored that specifically and understand there can be tradeoffs. As you point out, issues can often be dependent on location and/or other equipment nearby.

              The one issue I had and have not resolved was connecting both Crystal and Sigma inputs to my ARC phono stage at the same time; that configuration introduced a bit of hum - similar to what you might hear in the absence of proper grounding. Connecting either alone using the default ground wire worked fine. I spent a day trying different approaches to grounding and concluded that probably wasn't the issue. Eventually I will write to ARC to learn what they say. Fortunately the phono amp was positioned such that swapping cables was not that great an inconvenience.
              Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

              Comment


              • #8
                Not that I have a solution for you but did the slight hum manifest itself on both inputs when you switched from one wire to the other? or was it only apparent on one wire of the two connected pairs?

                **************************************************
                Every day is a good day to play analog.
                - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
                - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
                **************************************************
                Every day is a good day for live music.
                **************************************************

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dre_J View Post
                  Not that I have a solution for you but did the slight hum manifest itself on both inputs when you switched from one wire to the other? or was it only apparent on one wire of the two connected pairs?
                  The noise seemed independent of which input had which wire as long as both cables were plugged-in; neither input was silent.
                  Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Fuuga, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi

                  Comment


                  • Dre_J
                    Dre_J commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks for the follow-up.
                Working...
                X