Shunyata Grounding System

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
1,608
1,168
230
If you are picking up radio stations, I would focus on the pre-amp or phono stage/TT as possible ingress points for RF.

R
Grant
Shunyata Research

We are very confident its the phono stage. Change it out and the radio goes away. Move it around and the intensity rises and falls. The csbles don't seem to impact it, nor do the arms.
Radio is transmitted in the RF wavelengths. I'm not sure which one. I'm wondering if a ground box can help bleed the noise off.

I have looked into paints, foils, drapes etc to block RF. I don't know if its marketing or just the facts, but the companies wanting to sell you this stuff want every square inch of surface covered. Basically strip the room and lay $50k in copper foild over the entire room. Then ground all that. I know thr radio towers at this house are behind the rack. Its not my money, but I thought a copper lined curtain would be an intetesting try behind the rack. I don't know a paint would be a very effective treatment. Maybe, maybe not.
 

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
Correct. I was there.

The question I have is whether, if one has a Shunyata Everest or Triton/Typhon combo, the Altaira CGS offers a significant enough upgrade to SQ.
Yes, it does. Think of putting a turbocharger onto a Porsche 911.
 
Last edited:

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
What I have been told a couple times is that these devices don't fix problems. They don't get rid of a hum. They are best used when all the infrastructure supporting and powering the system is correct and optimum. Then you go to ground boxes for the finishing touch. Kind of like a sprinkle of fine sea salt on a meal.
They do fix problems, and it's quite a bit more than a "finishing touch".
 
Last edited:

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
Rule of thumb : assume nothing. I thought some of my components would play with Altaira. But I was surprised by which ones did and didn't, and which were most affected by how much Altaira cleaned things up for each.
You have an "unsusual" set-up, Steve, with the Spectral gear and their proprietary internal grounding implementation.

For the majority of users and systems, users will find quite an improvement with the amplification gear as well as, for example, "digital domain" components. Users with such systems will obtain greater benefit by segmenting their Altaira system by using two SG Altaira hubs rather than using a single Chassis Ground (CG) Hub. For example, one SG hub dedicated to the analog amplification components (preamp, amp, phono stage, tuner, etc) and another SG hub dedicated to the digital domain components (e.g. EtherREGEN, DAC, network bridge, streamers, etc.).
 
Last edited:

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
In this document, they say you don't have to spend money on anything more than Venom or Delta for short runs, so you don't have to break the bank -

"For most systems requiring shorter lengths of cables, the Venom and Delta models are sufficient to demonstrate the ALTAIRA’s abilities. If there are longer length cables needed for connections between ALTAIRA hubs or between the ALTAIRA hub and the power distributor the Delta, Alpha, or Sigma models are recommended as budget allows. In summary, for shorter connections, the less expensive models will do the job, but for longer lengths the larger gauge models will deliver notable system improvements."
That's pretty accurate guidance. In my experience, for runs of ≤1M, you can go with Venom. There's not much in it between Venom and Delta for lengths ≤1M. Alpha, for any component, is quite a step up above that, so if you have longer runs, or want to make an audible improvement from Venom, go with Alpha instead of Delta. The third most meaningful tier is Omega, which will take things to another level altogether. And, you can determine the influence of these ground cables of different (i.e., higher level) specification, even connecting to the GP-NR of a Shunyata power distributor.
 
Last edited:

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
Without going into too much detail I had my first experience with ALTAIRA before what was supposed to be the Ascot show, sadly cancelled at the last minute.

Myself and Brandon Lauer (now with Audio Research) spent two evenings experimenting with a range of configurations starting with the simple single ALTAIRA Chassis Hub with connections to all my Engström components and Esoteric DAC, all of which have dedicated chassis ground posts. We then added an ALTAIRA Signal Hub - daisy chained to the Chassis Hub - and connected all the pure digital devices, so Cybershaft clock, SonicTransporter and SOTM switch, using the Ground Tail adapters. Finally we ended up with 2 ALTAIRA Signal hubs with all analogue devices on one side, and the DAC joining the digital devices on the other hub. Since we added the different components in different steps we were able to A/B/A the changes, always much easier when one person makes the changes whilst the other stays in the listening position.

I used the word “experimenting” earlier since this was my first experience with the ALTAIRA system and I have a huge amount to learn. Shunyata have provided an impressive library of documents including brochures, concepts guide, system profile guide, hub decision tree… the list goes on. It’s quite overwhelming at first! The idea is to identify the grounding system architecture best suited to your audio system and then using a component continuity worksheet/methodology determine how each component in your system will be grounded, if at all.

With the single chassis ground ALTAIRA we were immediately impressed by the changes however using 2 ALTAIRA Signal Hubs and segmenting the grounds between analogue and digital devices was dramatic with jaw dropping improvements to timing and the leading edge of notes accompanied by what sounded like a further drop in the noise floor. Yes, it was dramatic and all this was in the context of a fully maxed out Shunyata setup with Everest, Omega power cables and the new to be released Omega XLR interconnects.

I can’t wait to explore this new Shunyata tech in more detail!
Very accurate report, Guillaume. I concur.
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
1,608
1,168
230
They do fix problems, and it's quite a bit more than a "finishing touch".
Are you saying, someone with a phono pre that is playing radio, can pull all the RF out of their vinyl rig and get rid of that annoyance?
 

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
Are you saying, someone with a phono pre that is playing radio, can pull all the RF out of their vinyl rig and get rid of that annoyance?
Good question, I don't know as I haven't tried it and I don't have RF on my phono stage. But it's a great experiment to try. But. I would presume so.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kennyb123

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
1,608
1,168
230
I know a couple people with the issue but don't want to start pitching a possible solution without some anecdotal evidence it may help. In that reguard.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,601
3,008
760
United States
We are very confident its the phono stage. Change it out and the radio goes away. Move it around and the intensity rises and falls. The csbles don't seem to impact it, nor do the arms.
Radio is transmitted in the RF wavelengths. I'm not sure which one. I'm wondering if a ground box can help bleed the noise off.

I have looked into paints, foils, drapes etc to block RF. I don't know if its marketing or just the facts, but the companies wanting to sell you this stuff want every square inch of surface covered. Basically strip the room and lay $50k in copper foild over the entire room. Then ground all that. I know thr radio towers at this house are behind the rack. Its not my money, but I thought a copper lined curtain would be an intetesting try behind the rack. I don't know a paint would be a very effective treatment. Maybe, maybe not.
You don't need to spend 50K. Faraday cages or equivalent can be had for a fraction of that in all sorts of sizes


 
  • Like
Reactions: Zeotrope

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
I know a couple people with the issue but don't want to start pitching a possible solution without some anecdotal evidence it may help. In that reguard.
I'm not aware of any RF with my EAR 324 phono stage, but I haven't used it in conjunction with an Altaira as of yet. What I have found is that one obtains "across the board" benefits in notably lowering of the noise floor, but more importantly, a notable increase in focus, clarity and an "organic and natural" quality to the presentation. In my own view, I'd go actually go down in the spec for the preamp (or DAC), and use those funds for a couple of Altaira SG hubs (which is the hub to use for a segmented system).
 

TommyC

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2014
35
6
238
You have an "unsusual" set-up, Steve, with the Spectral gear and their proprietary internal grounding implementation.

For the majority of users and systems, users will find quite an improvement with the amplification gear as well as, for example, "digital domain" components. Users with such systems will obtain greater benefit by segmenting their Altaira system by using two SG Altaira hubs rather than using a single Chassis Ground (CG) Hub. For example, one SG hub dedicated to the analog amplification components (preamp, amp, phono stage, tuner, etc) and another SG hub dedicated to the digital domain components (e.g. EtherREGEN, DAC, network bridge, streamers, etc.).
If I only have a DAC and an Integrated amp to ground (my music server doesn’t have an IEC ground pin, so not suitable), does segmenting analog from digital still make sense? I will then be using the Chassis hub for the integrated and Signal hub for the dac?
 

7ryder

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2015
114
67
160
If I only have a DAC and an Integrated amp to ground (my music server doesn’t have an IEC ground pin, so not suitable), does segmenting analog from digital still make sense? I will then be using the Chassis hub for the integrated and Signal hub for the dac?
The chassis hub is meant to be used to ground analog & digital products, so you'd ground your DAC and integrated on the chassis hub.

In larger systems, analog and digital sources can be separated by separate signal hubs., but that would be overkill in this situation - two signal hubs and a chassis hub will run you $9K...so get one signal hub.

Have you reviewed the documents on the Shunyata site? they show different ways to configure a system. Here's a link https://shunyata.com/altairaroadmap/
 

TommyC

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2014
35
6
238
The chassis hub is meant to be used to ground analog & digital products, so you'd ground your DAC and integrated on the chassis hub.

In larger systems, analog and digital sources can be separated by separate signal hubs., but that would be overkill in this situation - two signal hubs and a chassis hub will run you $9K...so get one signal hub.

Have you reviewed the documents on the Shunyata site? they show different ways to configure a system. Here's a link https://shunyata.com/altairaroadmap/
I read everything twice :)

My system fits Profile A. Says I can upgrade the effect by separating analog from digital.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Puma Cat

7ryder

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2015
114
67
160

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
If I only have a DAC and an Integrated amp to ground (my music server doesn’t have an IEC ground pin, so not suitable), does segmenting analog from digital still make sense? I will then be using the Chassis hub for the integrated and Signal hub for the dac?
Hey Tommy,
In a word, yes.
If you have a "segmented" system, where you want to segregate the digital componentry from the analog amplification componentry, e.g., are segregating the digital components (your DAC) apart from the "analog" components, you want to get 2 Signal hubs (not one SG hub and one CG hub): one for the integrated amp (and any other analog components), and one for the DAC. As an example, my EtherREGEN doesn't have a "ground pin" on it, but it does have a ground terminal on the chassis, and as such, it (notably) benefits from being connected to a "dedicated digital only" SG Altaira.
 
Last edited:

Puma Cat

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2011
100
153
430
The chassis hub is meant to be used to ground analog & digital products, so you'd ground your DAC and integrated on the chassis hub.

In larger systems, analog and digital sources can be separated by separate signal hubs., but that would be overkill in this situation - two signal hubs and a chassis hub will run you $9K...so get one signal hub.

Have you reviewed the documents on the Shunyata site? they show different ways to configure a system. Here's a link https://shunyata.com/altairaroadmap/
Not quite right. If you are only going to use a single Altaira for an entire system (e.g., DAC and Integrated, or DAC, preamp, and amp), then get a (single) Chassis Hub.

OTOH, If you want to segment or segragate the digital gear separately from the "analog" amplification gear (e.g. the integrated amp), get two Signal hubs, one SG hub for the digital gear, and the other SG hub for the integrated amp. For optimal performance, It's not recommended to get one Signal hub and one Chassis hub for "segmented systems." You can do it safely, of course, and you will get a benefit, but not of the same qualities of improvement as if two Signal hubs were used for the segmented system.
 

TommyC

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2014
35
6
238
Not quite right. If you are only going to use a single Altaira for an entire system (e.g., DAC and Integrated, or DAC, preamp, and amp), then get a (single) Chassis Hub.

OTOH, If you want to segment or segragate the digital gear separately from the "analog" amplification gear (e.g. the integrated amp), get two Signal hubs, one SG hub for the digital gear, and the other SG hub for the integrated amp. For optimal performance, It's not recommended to get one Signal hub and one Chassis hub for "segmented systems." You can do it safely, of course, and you will get a benefit, but not of the same qualities of improvement as if two Signal hubs were used for the segmented system.
Thank you for this information. It wasn't super clear in the document. I've attached a screenshot.

To clarify, if one already has a Chassis Hub (for analog), one can just get a Signal Hub (for digital). However, to obtain optimal performance, get 2 Signal Hubs, one for analog and one for digital. I hope I got this right!
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2022-09-21 at 7.26.53 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2022-09-21 at 7.26.53 PM.png
    845 KB · Views: 5

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
1,608
1,168
230
Why Shunyata over other ground box solutions.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing