Shunyata Grounding System

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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You don't need to spend 50K. Faraday cages or equivalent can be had for a fraction of that in all sorts of sizes


I have seen this stuff. I think material, density, how its applied all matters. I have investigated foils, fabrics, paints. They can all work. Maybe great to make a copper foll liner in the rack and attach a ground box to it.

I pretty consistently believe its better to keep noise out rather than try and remove it.
 

nonesup

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Feb 16, 2017
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Taking into account that a DAC has a digital data input and an analog data output, it is not clear to me if in a segmented signal system, it should be next to the analog or digital components.
 

Puma Cat

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Feb 21, 2011
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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!
That's correct, Tommy. You'll definitely obtain significant benefits from a single Chassis hub for an "overall" setup, but by segmenting the digital domain components (which, it turns out, have a lot of noise on their ground planes) away from the "analog" amplfication components, you'll obtain even more benefits and improvements in audio quality and most notably, the quality of the presentation. While a CG hub for the analog gear and an SG hub for the digital gear will work even better than a single CG hub, optimal performance will be obtained by using two SG hubs as you've described.
 
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7ryder

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That's correct, Tommy. You'll definitely obtain significant benefits from a single Chassis hub for an "overall" setup, but by segmenting the digital domain components (which, it turns out, have a lot of noise on their ground planes) away from the "analog" amplfication components, you'll obtain even more benefits and improvements in audio quality and most notably, the quality of the presentation. While a CG hub for the analog gear and an SG hub for the digital gear will work even better than a single CG hub, optimal performance will be obtained by using two SG hubs as you've described.
So that I'm clear - the starting point is a chassis hub for digital and analog devices that can be chassis grounded or have a ground connection.

Next step up is getting an SG hub for digital devices. Next step up is an SG hub for analog devices. Is this correct?
 

Puma Cat

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So that I'm clear - the starting point is a chassis hub for digital and analog devices that can be chassis grounded or have a ground connection.

Next step up is getting an SG hub for digital devices. Next step up is an SG hub for analog devices. Is this correct?
Essentially, yes. If you're going to start out with just one Altaira for your "entire system", as a starting point, then a CG hub is the way to go. If you'll be wanting to segregate the digital components from the analog amplification components, and you have the budget to buy two Altairas, your best bet is to buy two SG hubs from the get-go. A 'segmented' system using a CG hub for the analog gear and a SG hub for the digital gear will definitely sound better than a single CG hub and, trust me, it'll be pretty dang wonderful, but won't have the full level of "refinement" and overall presentation quality obtainable by using two SG hubs.

Also, note that you can make a chassis ground connection for a digital component that does not have a dedicated ground terminal by using, for example, the RCA input jack on an unused S/PDIF input, or an unused BNC, USB, or RJ45 input. All these interfaces make a connection to "chassis ground". If you do use one of these interfaces, though, you MUST USE a specific Shunyata CGC ground cable and the appropriate tail (e.g. BNC, USB, RJ45 etc). These cables are specifically designed internally to only make a connection to chassis ground. DO NOT use a standard RCA, BNC, or USB cable, etc to make these connections. Let me repeat that: DO NOT use a standard RCA, BNC, or USB cable, etc to make these connections to an Altaira hub.

By way of example, my Lampi Baltic 3 does not have a dedicated ground terminal, so I'm using a Shunyata Venom CGC with an RCA connector on it (also as demonstrated in the video linked above).

Hope that helps.
 
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TommyC

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May 29, 2014
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Lots of good info!

If a component has no dedicated ground terminal, is it better to ground with an unused input? or output?

If a component has no IEC ground pin, do NOT ground the component, not even with an unused input
 
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GuillaumeB

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Taking into account that a DAC has a digital data input and an analog data output, it is not clear to me if in a segmented signal system, it should be next to the analog or digital components.
It wasn’t to me either which is why I A/B/A’d my DAC on both hubs. There was quite a big improvement when it was grounded on the “digital” ALTAIRA Signal hub, along with my other master clock, switch etc.
 

Puma Cat

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Feb 21, 2011
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Lots of good info!

If a component has no dedicated ground terminal, is it better to ground with an unused input? or output?
If a component has no dedicated ground terminal, it's (second) best to use a chassis fastener, e.g. a chassis screw, bolt, etc., if possible. But it's important to do the continuity test with an ohm meter to determine if that fastener actually makes a connection to chassis ground. This is because coatings on many components, e.g. paint or powder coat may prevent that connection. If that is not possible, then an unused input is the 3rd way a connection to (chassis) ground can be made. You'll have to experiment with your specific component if an unused input or output sounds best.
If a component has no IEC ground pin, do NOT ground the component, not even with an unused input
More accurately, if an AC-powered component's IEC receptacle does not have a ground pin, do NOT ground that component. Some devices, though, are powered with an external power supply providing DC power via a male DC cable to a female DC barrel jack, e.g. EtherREGEN, network bridges, streamers, and FMCs (fiber media convertors). For these devices, you can generally connect them to an Altaira. For example, an EtherREGEN (thank you, John Swenson) has a dedicated ground terminal and connecting it to an Altaira SG makes for a notable improvement. I also installed a dedicated ground terminal on the chassis of the UpTone Audio LPS-1 that powers my Sonore OpticalModule in the remote server room, and connected this to the Shunyata V16* power distributor's GP-NR terminal, and it also provided an improvement, but more subtle than the ER. But...any noise you can remove the system provides a benefit.

*–Sidebar: what made the biggest difference in the remote server room was putting the Pace router, Mac Mini Roon Core, and LPS-1/OM onto a Shunyata Venom V16 power distributor. That brought a NOTABLE improvement.
 
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MarkusBarkus

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More accurately, if an AC-powered component's IEC receptacle does not have a ground pin, do NOT ground that component.
...a refinement to this guidance: don't assume that because your component has a three-prong power cable and a three-prong IEC female outlet that your device is grounded by/at the plug/wall. Some devices use a three-prong cable, but internally, are not grounded from that IEC input fixture.
 

Puma Cat

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Feb 21, 2011
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...a refinement to this guidance: don't assume that because your component has a three-prong power cable and a three-prong IEC female outlet that your device is grounded by/at the plug/wall. Some devices use a three-prong cable, but internally, are not grounded from that IEC input fixture.
IIRC, I think Constellation components may be an example of what you're referring to, perhaps? Always double-check this with your trained and certified Altaira dealer, or as specified in the guidance from Shunyata.

In the case of the Constellation gear I have on-hand, I'm using Alpha CGCs with XLR tails on unused inputs and outputs going to a dedicated Altaira SG hub (in other words, nothing else is connected to this Altaira other than the Inspiration). Connecting to this dedicated Altaira brought a significant mprovement to an already superb-sounding integrated amp.

What's shown in this photo is the Altaira connected (dedicated) to the Inspiration integrated in the foreground, and the second SG Altaira in the background is dedicated only to the digital domain components, specifically, the EtherREGEN and the Lampizator Baltic 3 DAC.

Altaira_SJS.jpg
 
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7ryder

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Feb 1, 2015
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IIRC, I think Constellation components may be an example of what you're referring to, perhaps? Always double-check this with your trained and certified Altaira dealer, or as specified in the guidance from Shunyata.

In the case of the Constellation gear I have on-hand, I'm using Alpha CGCs with XLR tails on unused inputs and outputs going to a dedicated Altaira SG hub (in other words, nothing else is connected to this Altaira other than the Inspiration). Connecting to this dedicated Altaira brought a significant mprovement to an already superb-sounding integrated amp.

What's shown in this photo is the Altaira connected (dedicated) to the Inspiration integrated in the foreground, and the second SG Altaira in the background is dedicated only to the digital domain components, specifically, the EtherREGEN and the Lampizator Baltic 3 DAC.

View attachment 98287
Are you using a chassis hub in your system?
 

Puma Cat

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Feb 21, 2011
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Are you using a chassis hub in your system?
As shown in the photo, using two SG hubs, one for "digital domain" segment, and one for the "analog amplification" segment. Each connect to the GP-NR of Everest via separate Omega ground cables.
 
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MarkusBarkus

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...Class3 devices may have an isolated/floating ground. For example, my Luxman gear. They are obligated to provide a 3-prong power cable in the US, but the ground leg is not utilized at the wall.

In the case of Luxman, they specifically state "not" to loosen chassis screws to attempt to ground the m/c900 and other components. However, there are signal ground terminals on the amps.

I think including the training and documentation Shunyata has generated is an *excellent* approach and acknowledges the complexity that can exist with grounding strategies. Cool devices for-sure.
 

TommyC

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May 29, 2014
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As shown in the photo, using two SG hubs, one for "digital domain" segment, and one for the "analog amplification" segment. Each connect to the GP-NR of Everest via separate Omega ground cables.
Are you connecting earth from each SG to the Everest? SG (digital) to Everest and SG (analog) to Everest? This this the preferred way?
I believe in the Shunyata document, it illustrates daisy chaining SG to SG to power distributor.
 

velcro22

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Oct 7, 2020
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IIRC, I think Constellation components may be an example of what you're referring to, perhaps? Always double-check this with your trained and certified Altaira dealer, or as specified in the guidance from Shunyata.

In the case of the Constellation gear I have on-hand, I'm using Alpha CGCs with XLR tails on unused inputs and outputs going to a dedicated Altaira SG hub (in other words, nothing else is connected to this Altaira other than the Inspiration). Connecting to this dedicated Altaira brought a significant mprovement to an already superb-sounding integrated amp.

What's shown in this photo is the Altaira connected (dedicated) to the Inspiration integrated in the foreground, and the second SG Altaira in the background is dedicated only to the digital domain components, specifically, the EtherREGEN and the Lampizator Baltic 3 DAC.

View attachment 98287
Nice setup and thanks for sharing. I couldn't help but to noticed the SSF under the Altaira. Are those the 38s or 50? Did you buy then on spec or heard a difference from the included footer? Last Q, do you use spade or BN in the Altaira? Any argument for either other than the convenience?

Thanks in advance

Al
 

Puma Cat

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Feb 21, 2011
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Are you connecting earth from each SG to the Everest? SG (digital) to Everest and SG (analog) to Everest? This this the preferred way?
I believe in the Shunyata document, it illustrates daisy chaining SG to SG to power distributor.
You can do it either way, Tommy. Both are fine. In my case, I just connected each Altaira to Everest directly because the digital domain Altaira is closer to Everest on the bottom shelf of the audio rack. In my personal set-up, it just makes the cable runs less tangled.
 

Puma Cat

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Feb 21, 2011
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Nice setup and thanks for sharing. I couldn't help but to noticed the SSF under the Altaira. Are those the 38s or 50? Did you buy then on spec or heard a difference from the included footer? Last Q, do you use spade or BN in the Altaira? Any argument for either other than the convenience?

Thanks in advance

Al
Those are the SSF-38s. I don't know what you mean by buying them "on spec" - ? I use them under various components, including my preamp, and the Altairas. Of course, they come stock on the Everest. I've been using the SSF footers for a while now with the Shunyata power distributors and also under various components, and the SSFs are one of the best footers I've used. I prefer them in more applications than Stillpoints, by comparison. They make a notable difference under the Venom V16 power distributor, for example. It's also the best footer I've found for my First Sound preamp. They're Emmanuel Go of First Sound's favorite footers, too. Actually, it was Emmanuel who first recommended I try them. I just use three, arranged in a "random triangle" and without any screws attaching them under the FS main control unit chassis. I just rest the chassis on them. You can see of 'em here under the main control unit of the First Sound pre. Using them under Altaira provides increased clarity and focus. The Audi R8 LMS provides top cover "damping" :p but mostly it's there because it looks cool. That particular car raced at Bathurst in Oz.
FS-Pre-&-SSFs.jpg

On Altaira, I've found I prefer bananas to spades for connecting to Altaira's terminals. This allows the cable to make a "straight" run in to the Altaira terminals from the back, if that's clear. With a spade, there will be a bit of a "bend" in the cable when it connects as it has to go on over the "top" of the terminal, or come in from the side. If you need to connect more than one component to the same terminal on Altaira, then you'll have to use a spade for one of those connections, obviously. I use a spade on the Omega CGC that connects from Altaira's 7th terminal to Everest.
 
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kennyb123

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