Article by WL Low
Here’s another follow up post that I should’ve done earlier but never got around to, until now that is. In my posting of the Shunyata Venom Defender MPDA Noise Reduction unit, dated 13th March 2015 that I liked the review unit so much and kept it with the intention to further explore it’s capabilities when married to a 2nd unit of Venom Defender plus the accompanying Shunyata Venom PS8 power strip. Meaning the full Shunyata Venom system utilised in my effort to combat whatever residual noise floor apparent in my audio system.
Now many of our hard core readers are aware that I used a Torus Power RM8A AVR, balanced transformer as the first line of defence to combat in coming mains noise. My next line of defence consist of a Sine SA-6 power strip with an Enacom AC Noise Eliminator, which is a passive capacitor of some sort. The Shunyata Venom system is meant to replace the Sine SA-6 and the Enacom AC Noise Eliminator.
I slotted the Shunyata Venom PS8 power strip, which is an 8 NEMA 5(US style) mains outlet receptacle unit with a full on 20amp IEC input for maximum power transfer with thick heavy gauge bus bars connecting the outlets internally, all wrapped in a very shiny polished stainless steel, trapezoidal shaped enclosure for stability so that connecting heavy gauge power cords would not cause the PS8 to topple on its side, since it’s wider at the bottom portion of the chassis. The Venom Defender needs no further introduction as it is well spoken for on the earlier review. The full Shunyata shebang is used to power my digital and analogue front end with phono stage and pre-amp in tow.
With the new Shunyata PS8 power strip replacing the Sine SA-6, and having all my front end power cords plugged in to it, there’s space for two Venom Defenders. I tried the result with one Defender, and was greeted with the most stunning, noise free audio performance ever, without any music being played. No white hash or tweeter hiss audible. Playing music, I was greeted by a warm fuzzy feeling of an ol’friend, like some one I’ve know for a long, long while(obviously as I have been using the Venom Defender with the Sine SA-6 for a long time now). Only this time, the mid range gain more body, more density and female vocals sweeter than before. On the imaging side, I felt the outlines tend to be more well rounded and organic as in real life, rather than the paper pop up like thinness of modern 3D TV effect with glasses. I started to insert the second Venom Defender in to the system, and while the noise floor reduced so very slightly, the imaging edges of the said vocal now got sharper and more relief like effect. Not only that every musical imaging becomes more hyper focused, more intense in it’s own space. The result may be surreal and some may like that, but I found it too distracting for my liking. It kinda made my feel tired after listening to just a few songs. I wanna relax and emotionally connect with my music, not hyper analysis every note of it.
I know this may sound like too much of a good thing, but that’s the whole idea about the Shunyata Venom system. It allows you to stiffen your imaging qualities and go all the way with 2 Defenders if your system is on the soft side or one can go half way like me and get a well balanced sound just as well. Neither is wrong, and when push comes to shove, your music preferences and system synergy plays major role on how far should one decide to go with the Shunyata. In the end, one thing is for sure, however far one chooses to go, your noise floor will be greatly reduced, bringing out more music and more enjoyment.
Removing the second Venom Defender is my preferred choice, and now that I am in an adventurous mood, might as well try the combo with Enacom Noise Eliminator(now modified with Furutech F-11M(Cu) NEMA 5 plug). I found the sound have a nice balance of warmth and incisiveness that make music listening enjoyable again. Now I played around with the positions of the 6 power cords, Venom Defender and Enacom. Each position combo I tried shifts the sound ever so slightly and that I ended up with the positions of the above combo, as pictured above. From left, 20 amp IEC input, Enacom Noise Eliminator, Bryston BDP-1 DAC(Vermouth Red Velvet), followed by Bryston BDP-1 and Pioneer LX-50 DVD player used as CD transport(2 black Magnet power cords). This is followed by Kuzma Stabi SD 12 turn table(PS Audio Xstream Plus), Pass Labs X-Ono phono stage and lastly X.2 pre-amp(both using PS Audio Xstream Statement SC).
The Shunyata Venom power strip and Defender offers a unique way to tweak the system sound and at the same time, bring down system noise floor effectively, at a considerably affordable price. At time of writing, the Shunyata Venom PS8 cost RM$4200.00/unit and the Venom Defender cost RM$980/pc. I bought the Shunyata Venom PS8 power strip to accompany the one Venom Defender(bought earlier) as my second line of defence against power mains borne noise, making it’s way in to the front end(which I consider most delicate in terms of mains noise filtration) of my system. I am glad to keep them in my system.
Shunyata is sold by CMY Audio & Visual, contact John at 03-21439406.
Article by WL Low