Advise on best path to take

DappaD

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Mar 19, 2021
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Hi All, This is my first post and straight away I’m after some advise

Heres my story sofar, so you get an idea of where my dilema is.

I have a Meridain 818v3, which some of you in the US may/may not be familiar but it is a fairly high end Streamer/DAC/pre-amp that i use 99% of the time for streaming direct to a pair of active Meridian DSP8000SE speakers. So it’s a fairly simple system in regards to component count just the 3 ’Boxes’....albeit the speakers contain 5x amps, 10speakers, digital crossovers and DACs......so not straight forward in selecting the best cable to use.

A couple of years ago, i got the upgrade itch and decided to see what advancements power cables had made.

I was using some LAT International Power cables and power strip that I bought from the US many years ago.(i’m UK based).These held their own against some cables costing 5x the price back in 2000.

I started this upgrade path by getting a home demo of the latest Nordhost cables Frey2 and Tyr2.

To my surprise the circa £200($276) L.A.T cables sounded a lot better than a full loom of the Frey2......and they are circa £1600 ($2200) each.

So this at least confirmed I wasn’t going to be swayed by expectation bias and could rely on my ears.

I then listened to a full loom of the Tyr2. Unfortunately these did sound better but a full loom of these would cost £11,000($15,000). I would say the gain to me was worth maybe £2000.....but not £11,000 going on component upgrade cost/benefits I’d previously made.

After reading some great reviews about Shunyata cables and distributors and reading their philosophy on their website, I thought I’d dip my toe in the water and was able to buy a used UK6 for a reasonable cost to see if the reviews held up.

Plugging speakers and Streamer using my Cheap LAT cables into the UK6 made an immediate Impression and by far exceeded the full loom of Nordost Tyr2 that were 14x the price of what I bought the UK6 for.

If this was Shunyatas entry level power distributor i then wondered what their cables could do?

Such was the degree of improvement with the UK6, I wasn’t expecting much of a again with a cable upgrade......that’s how it usually goes when you get to a certain level of equipment......small gains.

I bought a DeltaNR v1 on the premise I could return it if I didn’t like it. plugging this from wall to UK6 made another quite noticeable step up in sound quality throughout but most noticeably a much lower noise floor, which In turn made the space between notes, vocalists and instruments more realistic. For reference, this single cable into the Uk6 using my LAT cables gave a better overall sound than the full loom of Nordstrom Tyr2 also using the UK6. Maybe not quite as detailed, but a much lower noise floor and a more natural/realistic sound. This then obviously led me to wanting to hear what the Alpha and Sigma NR v1 could do.

I borrowed 1x Alpha and 1xSigma as a first step on the cable front to go from wall to UK6. Well, the Alpha gave another quite noticeable step up in performance in all aspects over the Delta....but most noticeably this dropped the noise floor even further.....blimey how Low can my speakers go...... I’d never heard them sound like this before.
Then came the Sigma.......this wasn’t as big of a step in performance from Delta to Alpha but yet again dropped the noise floor a little more and there were more subtle differences in the presentation......more realistic.

This posed my first dilema. I could get 2x Alphas for similar price of 1x Sigma. I decided to return the delta and go for 2x Alphas for each speaker, as I heard bigger gains swapping cables on a single speaker vs the single Sigma lifting all components.....I felt this slightly limited the speakers ability.

Shorty after the purchase of the Alphas, I was able to get a used Sigma Digital for a good price. I was initially using this from UK6 into 818v3 as it’s specifically designed for digital components. As I’m using my pre-amp/DAC/ Streamer mainly just for streaming purposes I thought this is where it would fit best so I then used one of my LAT cables from wall to UK6.
i have been playing around with different combinations and found that using the Sigma Digital from wall to UK6 and LAT from UK6 gave different results.....and it’s hard to decide what sounds best as there is a trade off depending upon placement of Sigma Digital. Lower noise floor if used from wall to UK6 but more detail if used from UK6 to 818.

Its during these listening experiments with cable placement, that I also found that rather than plugging the 2x AlphaNRv1 on each speaker into the UK6, there was a wider and also more front to back soundstage if I plugged them directly into the wall....which raised a few questions.

So, after all that, this leads me to my main questions

Im trying to understand if have I reached the limits of the UK6 with my speakers? They are rated at 925W per channel and imagine can draw a lot of current at peak DTCD.

I have the option to go direct from wall for both speakers as I have sockets on either side of the room and I can also go direct from wall to 818 if that would be better.

I have tried basic cables on speakers and then used 1x Alpha + 1x Sigma Digital + Uk6 into 818.....again this highlights a compromise as AlphaNR is better than Sigma Digital in some aspects (detail and mid bass control) but Sigma Digital is better than AlphaNR (for lower noise floor)....but not as controlling in the mid bass( which was quite surprising going on the difference in gauge).

without going Triton/Denali route......not yet anyway

I think my options are as follow:

1) Use a single Alpha/(ideally SigmaNR) direct from wall to 818v3 rather than my current LAT/ UK6/Sigma digital combination, that way I could sell Sigma Digital and UK6 to put towards the new cable. Keep my speakers and Alpha NR plugged direct to the wall outlets.

Or

2) Is the limitation I found of the UK6 for the speakers, due to the fact I’m missing that final Shunyata cable?.........so would an ’additional‘ Shunyata cable maybe Alpha/Sigam Ef or XC from wall to UK6 then plug Speakers with AlphaNR back into UK6 (hopefully maintaining the extra soundstage I’m getting with them direct to wall) and use Sigma Digital from UK6 into 818.

I will obviously be demoing any cables at home but some advice from those whom have already maybe gone through a similar learning curve might help guide me on the initial path to trial.

Many Thanks

Darren
 

DappaD

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Mar 19, 2021
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To simplify the above post, are my Meridian Speakers(920VA max per channel), too much for the UK6 to handle? Experience so far, using a Sigma Digital from wall to UK6 suggests so.
 

DappaD

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Mar 19, 2021
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What’s on the other side of your wall sockets?
On one side it’s the cavity wall and the other side a bathroom......so nothing else is drawing current locally.
I currently have each speaker using an AlphaNR (v1) plugged into its own socket. If I plug them into the UK6 then I lose some soundstage width and also some forward presentation.
 

Blackmorec

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Feb 1, 2019
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If it were my room I’d first look into the possibility of installing a new consumer unit and running a couple of dedicated radials from it Into the room. A sufficiently heavy wire gauge would give you a lot more instantaneous current and that’s what a good hi-fi system requires.
 
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DappaD

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Mar 19, 2021
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If it were my room I’d first look into the possibility of installing a new consumer unit and running a couple of dedicated radials from it Into the room. A sufficiently heavy wire gauge would give you a lot more instantaneous current and that’s what a good hi-fi system
 

DappaD

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Mar 19, 2021
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To get from my consumer into to my music room (2x floors up) would entail an awful lot of work......and I don’t want to run power cables on the outside of the house.
It already has its own ringmain......specific for that room. I have sockets on either side for each speaker and my DAC/Streamer, so only 3x ‘boxes’ effectively.

Speakers are fine when connected direct to wall. They were fine going into UK6......until I upgraded their cables to the AlphaNR....this then highlighted the potential limits of the UK6.

It’s more a question about the UK6......is it just not up to the job?
 

DappaD

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Mar 19, 2021
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After some more listening at a higher volume than I normally use, this really highlighted the best cable path for my streamer........and that is also direct from Wall......as with my powered speakers.

Even on a streamer, that doesn’t draw much current, I was surprised that the gauge of the cable could make such a difference.

Using the UK6 with a non-Shunyata along with the Sigma Digital from wall into uk or from uk6 into streamer using other cable from wall, really limited the depth and control of bass quite noticeably.

Its been an interesting learning curve and surprising as to the difference a little extra volume can really make a product shine through and show it’s real potential........or show the limits of another. DTCD is also applicable for sources and not just for big power Amps as I first thought.

I just need to find out now if a Sigma NR is going to make much of a difference compared to my Sigma digital, direct from the wall.
 
Last edited:

Crashem

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Dec 22, 2015
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Dappa,

Are the speakers on their own circuit and not sharing with other devices? Assuming that is true, the advice I have heard from Shunyata is to plug amplifiers directly into the wall using their NR cables. Given your speakers are basically amplifers, I assume the same would be true of your speakers. If not on own circuit, I have heard that you should plug them into the Shunyata power distributors. However, I believe this later advice was based on having an Everest or Denali or some power conditioner with the QR/BB tech (this tech is designed to deliver higher instantaneous current that amplifiers need).

Another piece of advice is that the V2 versions of the power cables are a step above the v1 versions. EG. An alphaV2 > SigmaV1
One thing you could do is to email or call Shunyata and ask which cable has higher DTDC rating.

I would also consider demoing/getting a XC cable to go from the UK6 to the wall. Cheapest example of this would be the Venom v10 XC (which I assume would be the perfect match for your UK6). It is possible that the NR or your LAT cables were restricting DTDC to the UK6 and not that the UK6 was the issue. If not easy to demo, then email Shunyata and ask if the Venom v10 XC or the Alpha v1 would lease restrict the UK6.

Hope that helps.
 

DappaD

New Member
Mar 19, 2021
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Dappa,

Are the speakers on their own circuit and not sharing with other devices? Assuming that is true, the advice I have heard from Shunyata is to plug amplifiers directly into the wall using their NR cables. Given your speakers are basically amplifers, I assume the same would be true of your speakers. If not on own circuit, I have heard that you should plug them into the Shunyata power distributors. However, I believe this later advice was based on having an Everest or Denali or some power conditioner with the QR/BB tech (this tech is designed to deliver higher instantaneous current that amplifiers need).

Another piece of advice is that the V2 versions of the power cables are a step above the v1 versions. EG. An alphaV2 > SigmaV1
One thing you could do is to email or call Shunyata and ask which cable has higher DTDC rating.

I would also consider demoing/getting a XC cable to go from the UK6 to the wall. Cheapest example of this would be the Venom v10 XC (which I assume would be the perfect match for your UK6). It is possible that the NR or your LAT cables were restricting DTDC to the UK6 and not that the UK6 was the issue. If not easy to demo, then email Shunyata and ask if the Venom v10 XC or the Alpha v1 would lease restrict the UK6.

Hope that helps.
Hi Crashem,
Thanks for your detailed reply.
My Speakers are on a circuit specific to the room but not individual to each speaker(unfortunately) but using separate sockets on opposite sides of the room.
I found a big difference going direct from speakers to the wall using the Alpha NR v1 compared to via UK6.
As you mention, I really need to try an XC Version (ideally the bigger gauge Sigma) into the UK6, to get the most from it. This could then be re-purposed into a Denali/Everest when funds permit.
On that note, I have read that both these devices can deliver more current than the actual wall socket can, so I probably owe it to myself to get one of these on demo.
There is also the option of upgrading to V2 as you mention. I decided to go for 2x Alpha NR v1 instead of 1xSigma NR v1(similar cost). In hind sight, I probably should have held out for the sigmas for each speaker as I think the extra gauge would have helped.

I may take your advise and reach out to Shunyata direct to get some direction as to the best path to take.
So many options but not enough funds to indulge at the moment but I think I have learnt to hold out and go for at least Sigma cables or ideally sigma/ Denali combination.
My system is still sounding fantastic with the current Shunyata cables, so it’s not like there is a problem……only a first would one
 

Crashem

Well-Known Member
Dec 22, 2015
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I have a feeling the venom v10 xc should be enough for the UK6 but Shunyata should be able to verify. Or maybe be able to demo? While the venom is “cheap”, the downside would be that it would not scale if you decided to upgrade the UK6 ever.

As for my point about v2 vs. v1, the alpha v2 should outperform the sigma v1. just something to take into consideration when deciding which cable to buy etc.
 
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Addicted to hifi

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Hi Crashem,
Thanks for your detailed reply.
My Speakers are on a circuit specific to the room but not individual to each speaker(unfortunately) but using separate sockets on opposite sides of the room.
I found a big difference going direct from speakers to the wall using the Alpha NR v1 compared to via UK6.
As you mention, I really need to try an XC Version (ideally the bigger gauge Sigma) into the UK6, to get the most from it. This could then be re-purposed into a Denali/Everest when funds permit.
On that note, I have read that both these devices can deliver more current than the actual wall socket can, so I probably owe it to myself to get one of these on demo.
There is also the option of upgrading to V2 as you mention. I decided to go for 2x Alpha NR v1 instead of 1xSigma NR v1(similar cost). In hind sight, I probably should have held out for the sigmas for each speaker as I think the extra gauge would have helped.

I may take your advise and reach out to Shunyata direct to get some direction as to the best path to take.
So many options but not enough funds to indulge at the moment but I think I have learnt to hold out and go for at least Sigma cables or ideally sigma/ Denali combination.
My system is still sounding fantastic with the current Shunyata cables, so it’s not like there is a problem……only a first would one
Welcome dappaD TO WBF.
 

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