Shunyata Sigma Series Speaker Cables

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Shunyata Sigma Series Speaker Cables

Shunyata Sigma Series Speaker Cables

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Shunyata Sigma Series Speaker Cables

$7,499.00 Free Shipping!

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  • Description


    MY TAKE: Simply put, Shunyata Sigma cables are the best performing cable products I have ever experienced. They offer an other-worldy level of performance that is truly extraordinary. Whether it be the Sigma power cables, interconnects, speaker cables or digital links, Sigma products can elevate even the best systems to new levels of resolution and musical involvement. For those with the means, I can't recommend a product more strongly. - Galen Carol


    “Now we come to the inevitable question: how do the Sigmas sound? The simple answer is that they sound like nothing I’ve ever heard -- nothing at all, in my experience.
    “… they remove a barrier between you and the utterly visceral, thrilling experience that is live music.
    ” – Vance Hiner, The Audio Beat

     

    As the performance vanguard in the Shunyata Research cable line-up, SIGMA SERIES cables take the term state-of-the-art to an entirely new level with the introduction of two new cutting-edge technologies.
    Sigma Series interconnects include the Transverse Axial Polarizer (TAP) that minimizes a form of micro-distortion identified as electromagnetic polarization. The Sigma Series speaker cables incorporate a proprietary device called HARP that reduces current resonances within the cable, a concept that is somewhat analogous to diffraction in room acoustics. ~ Patents Pending ~

     

    Sigma – A Convergence of Science and Art -

    Sigma Series cables showcase technological innovation and design execution that simply does not exist elsewhere — at any price. Sigma Series cables combine meaningful parts innovations with objective measurement and an artisan’s eye for construction quality. Unlike many cost-no-object cable products that have little in the way of discernible science, Sigma Series products incorporate an array of definable technologies that sets the standard for quality and performance in the cable industry.

     

    Speaker Cables

    Next to power cables, speaker cables are the most critical signal cable links in an entertainment system. This is because speaker cables must transfer the delicate music signal while also conducting very high current into a speaker that presents a dramatically varying low-impedance load. Shunyata has spared no expense in the design of its speaker cables’ ability to deliver high current while eliminating the multiple forms of micro-distortion that would otherwise obscure and distort the original music signal. Shunyata Research speaker cables start with ultra-pure OFE copper in a VTXTM ‘hollow tube’ geometry that maximizes power transfer while minimizing skin effect.


    As you go up the series ladder, more advanced technologies become available, including; patented ΞTRON® that eliminates dielectric distortion and HARP technology that reduces current resonance modal distortions. Shunyata Research uses a costly sonic welding process that bonds metals at a molecular level without the use of solder, brazing rods or any other intermediary metals. This process is superior to crimping, soldering, cold soldering and cold welding. There is no better method to join conductors to terminals, which ensures maximum power transfer and a distortion free termination. The result of these accumulated technologies is distortion-free performance rarely experienced, regardless of cost.

     

    Sigma Speaker Cables -

    Shunyata Research’s Sigma Series is quite simply our highest performing speaker cable. Exclusive HARP technology reduces current resonances with the cable. KPIPTM eliminates burn-in issues.


    Shunyata Technology – Cable Products

    Highest Purity Copper -
    Shunyata Research uses only the highest purity of copper available for the production of its wire products. OFE Alloy 101 or C10100 is the highest grade of copper with a minimum 99.99% purity and a conductivity rating of 101% IACS. OFE stands for oxygen-free electrolytic and supersedes the term OFHC (oxygen-free high conductivity). C10100 is the only grade of copper that comes with a written certification of purity. Certified by ASTM F68 C10100.

    Single Crystal Technology -
    Ohno wire, also called PCOCC was invented in 1986 by professor Atsumi Ohno of the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan. Copper wire is created by an extrusion process that pulls a rod of cold copper through a small orifice which creates multiple crystalline boundaries. By contrast, Ohno wire is made by a process using heated molds that cast a wire to form a single crystalline structure. Ohno wire is well known for its exceptionally pure, grain-free sonic qualities.

    VTX Conductor Design -
    Shunyata Research’s exclusive VTXTM conductors are made in the shape of hollow tubes. Since current can ‘only’ travel through the outer rim on the wire, there are no skin effects or random eddy currents. VTXTM conductors are made from pure OFE C10100 or Ohno (single crystal) copper.

    KPIP Conditioning -
    KPIPTM (Kinetic Phase Inversion Process) was developed by Caelin Gabriel after years of research into the underlying causes of various effects such as burn-in, wire directionality and the effects of cryogentic treatment. He discovered that there was an underlying core principle that burn-in and cryogenics only “partially” addressed. Once the governing principle was understood it became possible to create a processing technique and machine that could virtually eliminate the need for burn-in and cryogenic treatment.

    Unique Conductor -
    ArNi® is a type of wire created by Shunyata Research designed to be the finest quality wire available for audio purposes. It begins with the highest purity of copper available – OFE C0100 or Ohno (single crystal). Then it is formed in virtual hollow tubes eliminating skin effects and eddy current distortions. In addition, the wire undergoes our proprietary KPIPTM process.

    Patented ΞTRON® -
    ΞTRON® is a technology developed by Shunyata Research that prevents dielectric absorption and re-radiation in signal transmission. It requires a special type of conductor that has two signal paths and an electric field compensation circuit that creates a cancellation signal that prevents the insulation from developing a charge. ΞTRON® cables preserve the integrity of the source signal even when using very long runs of cable. Patent US 8,912,436, Patent Ch ZL201180047344.2.

    Custom Connectors -
    Many audiophile grade connectors are made from brass or bronze. While some may get a plating of silver, gold or rhodium, the majority of the current is carried by the contact’s base-metal. CopperCONN® connectors contain pure copper contacts which has a much higher conductivity that brass. The difference in performance is clearly audible.

    TAP -
    TAP (Transverse Axial Polarizer) is a device that interacts with the electromagnetic field generated by the signal traveling along the signal cable. TAP improves the sonic performance of the cable by modifying the behavior of the electromagnetic wave that surrounds the signal cable. In effect, the TAP blocks longitudinal-oriented waves while passing transverse oriented waves. The effect in sonic terms is like using polarized sunglasses to reduce reflected sunlight. Correcting polarization micro-distortion reduces what some call sonic glare. ~ Patent Pending ~

    Precision Matching -
    Shunyata Research digital cables are produced using a Precision Matched Z (PMZ) concept. This means that tolerances of the conductor surface, dielectric extrusion, and the precision of the braided shield are held to minute variances. To achieve these tight tolerances, the extrusion and braiding machines must be run at one-quarter speed during the manufacturing process. The result is better performance through a reduction of cable-induced ‘signal jitter’. (Note: Z means impedance)PMZ) concept. This means that tolerances of the conductor surface, dielectric extrusion, and the precision of the braided shield are held to minute variances. To achieve these tight tolerances, the extrusion and braiding machines must be run at one-quarter speed during the manufacturing process. The result is better performance through a reduction of cable-induced ‘signal jitter’. (Note: Z means impedance)

    Superior Termination Techniques -
    Crimping, soldering, brazing and cold soldering are all inferior methods of joining two wires or terminals together. Sonic welding uses high energy sonic waves to literally join two metals together at a molecular level. There is no solder or intermediary metals involved in the process.

    HARP -
    HARP was discovered through Gabriel’s research into ‘current drift’ and audio frequency current resonances that occur in speaker cables. Theoretically, a speaker cable may develop current resonances in the audio band, being roughly analogous to standing waves (modals) in room acoustics. The HARP module acts as a current mode diffraction device that breaks up these resonances, improving the perceived resolution and coherency of the system.


    REVIEWS:

    The Audio Beat: “In the world of high-end audio, cable brands are a bit like religious denominations. Each has its adherents and detractors. Some people use cables as tone controls, some apply them like Band-Aids, and others are looking for a way to eliminate their influence completely. After years of experimentation, I have found myself attracted to that last camp, even though I know it’s hopelessly idealistic. The best cable is no cable sounds good on paper, but there will always be a transmission method and that method is bound to have an impact on the final sound. Even our own ears color what we hear. So, a more achievable goal would be to find a method of transmitting electronic signals that has the least possible effect on those signals.

    “Effect reduction, as I'll call it, is one of the reasons I’ve used Shunyata interconnects and speaker cables in various iterations for almost a decade. My previous reference wires were selected for their warm character, something I thought I needed for the relentlessly analytical solid-state front-end and unforgiving speakers I had at the time. Once my reference system improved a couple of notches, I began looking for cables that would begin to match the transparency of the better components. Shunyata’s Python speaker cables and interconnects were just the ticket. From there, I graduated to the company’s Zi-Tron Python cables and most recently to its Zi-Tron Anaconda models. In the process, I became a believer in the "full loom" concept of cable upgrades after several less-than-successful attempts at mixing and matching brands.

    “It has been six years since Shunyata unveiled its Zi-Tron lines, and a lot has been going on in company founder Caelin Gabriel’s Poulsbo, Washington, laboratory. In addition to incorporating innovations from its power products, several brand-new patent-pending technologies have been added to the latest flagship -- the Sigma Series cables.

    “First, these new interconnects, speaker cables and digital cables all use Shunyata’s VTX conductors, which first appeared in the company’s best Zi-Tron power cords and are made in the form of virtual hollow tubes. Shunyata says these conductors eliminate random eddy currents and skin effects that can cause signal distortion.

    “While the Sigma cables continue to be based upon Shunyata’s patented Zi-Tron circuit, which the company says "prevents dialectric absorption in signal transmission," they’ve also upgraded the speaker cables with the world’s latest and highest-grade oxygen-free electrolytic copper alloy, known as OFE Alloy 101. Further, all Sigma interconnects are made with the Ohno continuous-cast process, which does not rely on common extrusion, but instead utilizes Japanese inventor Atsumi Ohno’s method of using heated molds to cast the copper into a single crystalline structure. Shunyata believes this method results in sound that is especially pure and grain-free.

    “All Sigma cables also go through the company’s proprietary Kinetic Phase Inversion Process (KPIP), which eliminates the break-in process typical of many high-end cables. Shunyata founder Caelin Gabriel is particularly proud of this breakthrough and says that cables treated with KPIP are far more transparent, stable and free of distortion than cables that are broken in by traditional playback or other burn-in technologies, regardless of how long those methods have been applied.

    “In addition to all of these innovations, Shunyata introduces in the Sigma line three new technologies. The first involves the elimination of soldering from its speaker cables, which has been replaced by a highly specialized sonic welding process that bonds metals together at the molecular level. One sonic welding unit costs in excess of $60,000 and all Shunyata’s techs must go through an extensive training process in order to use the devices. The result, according to Gabriel, is that the sonic signature of solder is entirely eliminated. Those who are skeptical must bear in mind that equipment designers from every field of high-end audio agree that the type of solder used can have a profound impact on a component’s sound, so no solder at all should be a clear advancement.

    “Each Sigma analog interconnect and digital cable sports a Transverse Axial Polarizer (TAP), which looks a bit like the barrel of a ray gun. A gold-plated copper honeycomb disc is encased in a glass tube positioned on each cable near the upstream connection. According to Shunyata, the patent-pending TAP device modifies the electromagnetic wave field that surrounds a signal cable. Gabriel compares the TAP’s sonic effect to how a good pair of polarized sunglasses alters sunlight; by correcting wave polarization, the TAP reduces what might best be described as sonic glare by altering the angle of the electromagnetic and inductive interaction with the signal.

    “Finally, the Sigma speaker cables are equipped with another patent-pending technology called HARP. Gabriel came up with the idea for this invention while researching current drift and current resonances that occur in speaker cables. The HARP technology is contained in a rectangular module located just prior to each speaker connection and works to diffract current modes, not unlike acoustic treatments used to diffract standing waves (modals) in a listening room. Gabriel says the result is a cable that has greater coherency and is more revealing of the fine detail that can otherwise be obscured by current resonances.

     

    “Now we come to the inevitable question: how do the Sigmas sound? The simple answer is that they sound like nothing I’ve ever heard -- nothing at all, in my experience. The more complicated answer brings me dangerously close to new-age philosophy, where metaphysics overruns good sense. If I tell you they sound like no cables, you have every right to smirk and ask me, "Well, what does that sound like?" The best I can do is offer an analogy and then some specifics.

    “Imagine for a moment that you’ve lived your life wearing surgical gloves. You’ve certainly been able to distinguish and appreciate a great deal of the objects you touch, but once the gloves are off, you discover just how much you’ve been missing. The surface of an apple looked smooth before, but then you discover that it really isn’t. Ice was cold, but nothing prepared you for just how wet and cold it is against your skin. In fact, you’re amazed to learn that ice can actually burn. This is what the Sigmas do: they remove a barrier between you and the utterly visceral, thrilling experience that is live music.

    “So, what is all of this transparency worth? While an entire loom of Sigma cables would cost more than some people’s entire systems, their price point is decidedly lower than what most competing companies are charging for their flagship wires. Still, even the folks at Shunyata are quick to point out that no one should spend this kind of money on interconnects instead of purchasing decent speakers and source equipment. They also say that their Alpha and Delta lines deliver a significant portion of the Sigma's performance for considerably less money. I’m not qualified to offer financial advice, but my experience with the Sigmas proves to me that they can elevate the performance of a very refined system to a level that equals similarly priced components I’ve auditioned. If you are pleased with your current rig and want to see just how high it can fly, auditioning the Sigmas would be a good place to start.

    “Toward the end of my listening, I wrote that the Shunyata Sigmas "open up an unrestricted channel in the signal chain, allowing my speakers to breathe in full, deep breaths of each recording." When it comes to music, it’s often a combination of many small, yet true-to-life elements that can culminate in a performance’s most magical moments. Shunyata’s Zi-Tron Sigma speaker cables, interconnects and digital cables did a remarkable job of revealing those moments from every source and format.” – Vance Hiner

    Read the full review here

     

    Absolute Sound: ""Shunyata has developed some fantastic new signal cables. Sigma carries over some features from previous designs: OCC OFE101-grade copper conductors, a virtual hollow tube wire configuration (VTX), and a passive circuit (ZiTron) that cancels out an electromagnetic field that can build up in the dielectric. Sigma adds the following, mostly proprietary new features: Kinetic Phase Inversion Process (KPIP), a treatment that essentially eliminates the need for break-in and determines a cable’s optimal signal direction, sonic welding to eliminate distortion-inducing solder; a Transverse Axial Polarizer (TAP) unit on the interconnect to filter out glare-causing longitudinal electromagnetic waves; and HARP, a unit on the speaker cable to reduce what is known in physics as “current drift.” HARP, in particular, is remarkably effective at improving overall system performance. Build-quality is excellent as is sonic performance, allowing the deployed system to sound highly resolving of fine details with a large open soundstage and focused images. Dynamic precision, overall coherence, and natural timbre are also strong points. Sigma reduces noise, glare, and apparent time smear to levels that allow more of music’s appeal to come through better than with any similarly priced cables I know of—and by a shockingly wide margin"

    "Shunyata Research has outdone itself with these new Sigma signal cables. No aspect of their performance represented a “worthy compromise” or a retrenchment of one set of sonic attributes to advance a set of others. The Sigmas are flat out fabulous across the key areas of dynamic fluidity and stability, soundstaging and imaging, resolution of detail, tonal complexity, and musical completeness. If you are in the market for cables in their price category—or even substantially higher—the Sigmas should be on your audition short list. Enthusiastically recommended".- Kirk Midtskog

    Full Review Here

    "I was able to bring a complete set of Sigma cables to my friend Lou’s house to find out if they worked as well in his system as they did in mine. The answer was yes—an unambiguous, overwhelming, yes. Within an hour or two of settling time, the Sigmas helped Lou’s system—an already really nice one—sound more lifelike. The replaced Kimber KS1136 ($3335 1m XLR) interconnect and Cardas Clear Beyond ($8170 2m) speaker cable are a good fit for this system, but the Sigmas allowed it to sound much better in every way. All music sounded more alive, more detailed, more dynamically nimble. Imaging was more focused, and the overall soundstage enlarged with a similarly improved depth layering I heard in my system. The same reduction in glare and underlying electronic noise I heard in my system I also heard in Lou’s. The qualitiy of sounding more organized as well as more vivid followed the Sigmas in both systems." - Kirk Midtskog


    Absolute Sound - Cable Product of the Year 2018

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Shunyata Sigma Series Speaker Cables

$7,499.00 Free Shipping!

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Description


MY TAKE: Simply put, Shunyata Sigma cables are the best performing cable products I have ever experienced. They offer an other-worldy level of performance that is truly extraordinary. Whether it be the Sigma power cables, interconnects, speaker cables or digital links, Sigma products can elevate even the best systems to new levels of resolution and musical involvement. For those with the means, I can't recommend a product more strongly. - Galen Carol


“Now we come to the inevitable question: how do the Sigmas sound? The simple answer is that they sound like nothing I’ve ever heard -- nothing at all, in my experience.
“… they remove a barrier between you and the utterly visceral, thrilling experience that is live music.
” – Vance Hiner, The Audio Beat

 

As the performance vanguard in the Shunyata Research cable line-up, SIGMA SERIES cables take the term state-of-the-art to an entirely new level with the introduction of two new cutting-edge technologies.
Sigma Series interconnects include the Transverse Axial Polarizer (TAP) that minimizes a form of micro-distortion identified as electromagnetic polarization. The Sigma Series speaker cables incorporate a proprietary device called HARP that reduces current resonances within the cable, a concept that is somewhat analogous to diffraction in room acoustics. ~ Patents Pending ~

 

Sigma – A Convergence of Science and Art -

Sigma Series cables showcase technological innovation and design execution that simply does not exist elsewhere — at any price. Sigma Series cables combine meaningful parts innovations with objective measurement and an artisan’s eye for construction quality. Unlike many cost-no-object cable products that have little in the way of discernible science, Sigma Series products incorporate an array of definable technologies that sets the standard for quality and performance in the cable industry.

 

Speaker Cables

Next to power cables, speaker cables are the most critical signal cable links in an entertainment system. This is because speaker cables must transfer the delicate music signal while also conducting very high current into a speaker that presents a dramatically varying low-impedance load. Shunyata has spared no expense in the design of its speaker cables’ ability to deliver high current while eliminating the multiple forms of micro-distortion that would otherwise obscure and distort the original music signal. Shunyata Research speaker cables start with ultra-pure OFE copper in a VTXTM ‘hollow tube’ geometry that maximizes power transfer while minimizing skin effect.


As you go up the series ladder, more advanced technologies become available, including; patented ΞTRON® that eliminates dielectric distortion and HARP technology that reduces current resonance modal distortions. Shunyata Research uses a costly sonic welding process that bonds metals at a molecular level without the use of solder, brazing rods or any other intermediary metals. This process is superior to crimping, soldering, cold soldering and cold welding. There is no better method to join conductors to terminals, which ensures maximum power transfer and a distortion free termination. The result of these accumulated technologies is distortion-free performance rarely experienced, regardless of cost.

 

Sigma Speaker Cables -

Shunyata Research’s Sigma Series is quite simply our highest performing speaker cable. Exclusive HARP technology reduces current resonances with the cable. KPIPTM eliminates burn-in issues.


Shunyata Technology – Cable Products

Highest Purity Copper -
Shunyata Research uses only the highest purity of copper available for the production of its wire products. OFE Alloy 101 or C10100 is the highest grade of copper with a minimum 99.99% purity and a conductivity rating of 101% IACS. OFE stands for oxygen-free electrolytic and supersedes the term OFHC (oxygen-free high conductivity). C10100 is the only grade of copper that comes with a written certification of purity. Certified by ASTM F68 C10100.

Single Crystal Technology -
Ohno wire, also called PCOCC was invented in 1986 by professor Atsumi Ohno of the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan. Copper wire is created by an extrusion process that pulls a rod of cold copper through a small orifice which creates multiple crystalline boundaries. By contrast, Ohno wire is made by a process using heated molds that cast a wire to form a single crystalline structure. Ohno wire is well known for its exceptionally pure, grain-free sonic qualities.

VTX Conductor Design -
Shunyata Research’s exclusive VTXTM conductors are made in the shape of hollow tubes. Since current can ‘only’ travel through the outer rim on the wire, there are no skin effects or random eddy currents. VTXTM conductors are made from pure OFE C10100 or Ohno (single crystal) copper.

KPIP Conditioning -
KPIPTM (Kinetic Phase Inversion Process) was developed by Caelin Gabriel after years of research into the underlying causes of various effects such as burn-in, wire directionality and the effects of cryogentic treatment. He discovered that there was an underlying core principle that burn-in and cryogenics only “partially” addressed. Once the governing principle was understood it became possible to create a processing technique and machine that could virtually eliminate the need for burn-in and cryogenic treatment.

Unique Conductor -
ArNi® is a type of wire created by Shunyata Research designed to be the finest quality wire available for audio purposes. It begins with the highest purity of copper available – OFE C0100 or Ohno (single crystal). Then it is formed in virtual hollow tubes eliminating skin effects and eddy current distortions. In addition, the wire undergoes our proprietary KPIPTM process.

Patented ΞTRON® -
ΞTRON® is a technology developed by Shunyata Research that prevents dielectric absorption and re-radiation in signal transmission. It requires a special type of conductor that has two signal paths and an electric field compensation circuit that creates a cancellation signal that prevents the insulation from developing a charge. ΞTRON® cables preserve the integrity of the source signal even when using very long runs of cable. Patent US 8,912,436, Patent Ch ZL201180047344.2.

Custom Connectors -
Many audiophile grade connectors are made from brass or bronze. While some may get a plating of silver, gold or rhodium, the majority of the current is carried by the contact’s base-metal. CopperCONN® connectors contain pure copper contacts which has a much higher conductivity that brass. The difference in performance is clearly audible.

TAP -
TAP (Transverse Axial Polarizer) is a device that interacts with the electromagnetic field generated by the signal traveling along the signal cable. TAP improves the sonic performance of the cable by modifying the behavior of the electromagnetic wave that surrounds the signal cable. In effect, the TAP blocks longitudinal-oriented waves while passing transverse oriented waves. The effect in sonic terms is like using polarized sunglasses to reduce reflected sunlight. Correcting polarization micro-distortion reduces what some call sonic glare. ~ Patent Pending ~

Precision Matching -
Shunyata Research digital cables are produced using a Precision Matched Z (PMZ) concept. This means that tolerances of the conductor surface, dielectric extrusion, and the precision of the braided shield are held to minute variances. To achieve these tight tolerances, the extrusion and braiding machines must be run at one-quarter speed during the manufacturing process. The result is better performance through a reduction of cable-induced ‘signal jitter’. (Note: Z means impedance)PMZ) concept. This means that tolerances of the conductor surface, dielectric extrusion, and the precision of the braided shield are held to minute variances. To achieve these tight tolerances, the extrusion and braiding machines must be run at one-quarter speed during the manufacturing process. The result is better performance through a reduction of cable-induced ‘signal jitter’. (Note: Z means impedance)

Superior Termination Techniques -
Crimping, soldering, brazing and cold soldering are all inferior methods of joining two wires or terminals together. Sonic welding uses high energy sonic waves to literally join two metals together at a molecular level. There is no solder or intermediary metals involved in the process.

HARP -
HARP was discovered through Gabriel’s research into ‘current drift’ and audio frequency current resonances that occur in speaker cables. Theoretically, a speaker cable may develop current resonances in the audio band, being roughly analogous to standing waves (modals) in room acoustics. The HARP module acts as a current mode diffraction device that breaks up these resonances, improving the perceived resolution and coherency of the system.


REVIEWS:

The Audio Beat: “In the world of high-end audio, cable brands are a bit like religious denominations. Each has its adherents and detractors. Some people use cables as tone controls, some apply them like Band-Aids, and others are looking for a way to eliminate their influence completely. After years of experimentation, I have found myself attracted to that last camp, even though I know it’s hopelessly idealistic. The best cable is no cable sounds good on paper, but there will always be a transmission method and that method is bound to have an impact on the final sound. Even our own ears color what we hear. So, a more achievable goal would be to find a method of transmitting electronic signals that has the least possible effect on those signals.

“Effect reduction, as I'll call it, is one of the reasons I’ve used Shunyata interconnects and speaker cables in various iterations for almost a decade. My previous reference wires were selected for their warm character, something I thought I needed for the relentlessly analytical solid-state front-end and unforgiving speakers I had at the time. Once my reference system improved a couple of notches, I began looking for cables that would begin to match the transparency of the better components. Shunyata’s Python speaker cables and interconnects were just the ticket. From there, I graduated to the company’s Zi-Tron Python cables and most recently to its Zi-Tron Anaconda models. In the process, I became a believer in the "full loom" concept of cable upgrades after several less-than-successful attempts at mixing and matching brands.

“It has been six years since Shunyata unveiled its Zi-Tron lines, and a lot has been going on in company founder Caelin Gabriel’s Poulsbo, Washington, laboratory. In addition to incorporating innovations from its power products, several brand-new patent-pending technologies have been added to the latest flagship -- the Sigma Series cables.

“First, these new interconnects, speaker cables and digital cables all use Shunyata’s VTX conductors, which first appeared in the company’s best Zi-Tron power cords and are made in the form of virtual hollow tubes. Shunyata says these conductors eliminate random eddy currents and skin effects that can cause signal distortion.

“While the Sigma cables continue to be based upon Shunyata’s patented Zi-Tron circuit, which the company says "prevents dialectric absorption in signal transmission," they’ve also upgraded the speaker cables with the world’s latest and highest-grade oxygen-free electrolytic copper alloy, known as OFE Alloy 101. Further, all Sigma interconnects are made with the Ohno continuous-cast process, which does not rely on common extrusion, but instead utilizes Japanese inventor Atsumi Ohno’s method of using heated molds to cast the copper into a single crystalline structure. Shunyata believes this method results in sound that is especially pure and grain-free.

“All Sigma cables also go through the company’s proprietary Kinetic Phase Inversion Process (KPIP), which eliminates the break-in process typical of many high-end cables. Shunyata founder Caelin Gabriel is particularly proud of this breakthrough and says that cables treated with KPIP are far more transparent, stable and free of distortion than cables that are broken in by traditional playback or other burn-in technologies, regardless of how long those methods have been applied.

“In addition to all of these innovations, Shunyata introduces in the Sigma line three new technologies. The first involves the elimination of soldering from its speaker cables, which has been replaced by a highly specialized sonic welding process that bonds metals together at the molecular level. One sonic welding unit costs in excess of $60,000 and all Shunyata’s techs must go through an extensive training process in order to use the devices. The result, according to Gabriel, is that the sonic signature of solder is entirely eliminated. Those who are skeptical must bear in mind that equipment designers from every field of high-end audio agree that the type of solder used can have a profound impact on a component’s sound, so no solder at all should be a clear advancement.

“Each Sigma analog interconnect and digital cable sports a Transverse Axial Polarizer (TAP), which looks a bit like the barrel of a ray gun. A gold-plated copper honeycomb disc is encased in a glass tube positioned on each cable near the upstream connection. According to Shunyata, the patent-pending TAP device modifies the electromagnetic wave field that surrounds a signal cable. Gabriel compares the TAP’s sonic effect to how a good pair of polarized sunglasses alters sunlight; by correcting wave polarization, the TAP reduces what might best be described as sonic glare by altering the angle of the electromagnetic and inductive interaction with the signal.

“Finally, the Sigma speaker cables are equipped with another patent-pending technology called HARP. Gabriel came up with the idea for this invention while researching current drift and current resonances that occur in speaker cables. The HARP technology is contained in a rectangular module located just prior to each speaker connection and works to diffract current modes, not unlike acoustic treatments used to diffract standing waves (modals) in a listening room. Gabriel says the result is a cable that has greater coherency and is more revealing of the fine detail that can otherwise be obscured by current resonances.

 

“Now we come to the inevitable question: how do the Sigmas sound? The simple answer is that they sound like nothing I’ve ever heard -- nothing at all, in my experience. The more complicated answer brings me dangerously close to new-age philosophy, where metaphysics overruns good sense. If I tell you they sound like no cables, you have every right to smirk and ask me, "Well, what does that sound like?" The best I can do is offer an analogy and then some specifics.

“Imagine for a moment that you’ve lived your life wearing surgical gloves. You’ve certainly been able to distinguish and appreciate a great deal of the objects you touch, but once the gloves are off, you discover just how much you’ve been missing. The surface of an apple looked smooth before, but then you discover that it really isn’t. Ice was cold, but nothing prepared you for just how wet and cold it is against your skin. In fact, you’re amazed to learn that ice can actually burn. This is what the Sigmas do: they remove a barrier between you and the utterly visceral, thrilling experience that is live music.

“So, what is all of this transparency worth? While an entire loom of Sigma cables would cost more than some people’s entire systems, their price point is decidedly lower than what most competing companies are charging for their flagship wires. Still, even the folks at Shunyata are quick to point out that no one should spend this kind of money on interconnects instead of purchasing decent speakers and source equipment. They also say that their Alpha and Delta lines deliver a significant portion of the Sigma's performance for considerably less money. I’m not qualified to offer financial advice, but my experience with the Sigmas proves to me that they can elevate the performance of a very refined system to a level that equals similarly priced components I’ve auditioned. If you are pleased with your current rig and want to see just how high it can fly, auditioning the Sigmas would be a good place to start.

“Toward the end of my listening, I wrote that the Shunyata Sigmas "open up an unrestricted channel in the signal chain, allowing my speakers to breathe in full, deep breaths of each recording." When it comes to music, it’s often a combination of many small, yet true-to-life elements that can culminate in a performance’s most magical moments. Shunyata’s Zi-Tron Sigma speaker cables, interconnects and digital cables did a remarkable job of revealing those moments from every source and format.” – Vance Hiner

Read the full review here

 

Absolute Sound: ""Shunyata has developed some fantastic new signal cables. Sigma carries over some features from previous designs: OCC OFE101-grade copper conductors, a virtual hollow tube wire configuration (VTX), and a passive circuit (ZiTron) that cancels out an electromagnetic field that can build up in the dielectric. Sigma adds the following, mostly proprietary new features: Kinetic Phase Inversion Process (KPIP), a treatment that essentially eliminates the need for break-in and determines a cable’s optimal signal direction, sonic welding to eliminate distortion-inducing solder; a Transverse Axial Polarizer (TAP) unit on the interconnect to filter out glare-causing longitudinal electromagnetic waves; and HARP, a unit on the speaker cable to reduce what is known in physics as “current drift.” HARP, in particular, is remarkably effective at improving overall system performance. Build-quality is excellent as is sonic performance, allowing the deployed system to sound highly resolving of fine details with a large open soundstage and focused images. Dynamic precision, overall coherence, and natural timbre are also strong points. Sigma reduces noise, glare, and apparent time smear to levels that allow more of music’s appeal to come through better than with any similarly priced cables I know of—and by a shockingly wide margin"

"Shunyata Research has outdone itself with these new Sigma signal cables. No aspect of their performance represented a “worthy compromise” or a retrenchment of one set of sonic attributes to advance a set of others. The Sigmas are flat out fabulous across the key areas of dynamic fluidity and stability, soundstaging and imaging, resolution of detail, tonal complexity, and musical completeness. If you are in the market for cables in their price category—or even substantially higher—the Sigmas should be on your audition short list. Enthusiastically recommended".- Kirk Midtskog

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"I was able to bring a complete set of Sigma cables to my friend Lou’s house to find out if they worked as well in his system as they did in mine. The answer was yes—an unambiguous, overwhelming, yes. Within an hour or two of settling time, the Sigmas helped Lou’s system—an already really nice one—sound more lifelike. The replaced Kimber KS1136 ($3335 1m XLR) interconnect and Cardas Clear Beyond ($8170 2m) speaker cable are a good fit for this system, but the Sigmas allowed it to sound much better in every way. All music sounded more alive, more detailed, more dynamically nimble. Imaging was more focused, and the overall soundstage enlarged with a similarly improved depth layering I heard in my system. The same reduction in glare and underlying electronic noise I heard in my system I also heard in Lou’s. The qualitiy of sounding more organized as well as more vivid followed the Sigmas in both systems." - Kirk Midtskog


Absolute Sound - Cable Product of the Year 2018