For many years, the gold standard for USB cables was the WireWorld Platinum Starlight 7. Numerous audiophiles praised it and bought it.
Now, there is a cable that can surpass it in sonic performance and it is the Shunyata Alpha USB cable. It used to be the second-best USB cable in Shunyata’s range with the Sigma being the top cable. In December last year, Shunyata launched the Omega USB cable which is now its flagship model.
In various audiophile discussion sites there have been reports of owners of WireWorld Platinum Starlight 7 (and the Audioquest Diamond, which is also said to be very good) switching to the Shunyata Alpha USB cable.
In the previous post, I said that the lower model, the Delta USB cable, had bested my Furutech USB cable which I had used as reference for many years. Well, to make a long story short the Alpha USB cable bested the Delta USB cable.
The sonic signature is similar — relaxed, smooth, spacious, detailed and clear. However, the separation improves and the individual images are better defined.
But this improvement comes at a price, of course. The Shunyata Alpha USB cable retails at RM5,500.
The Alpha USB cable essentially uses the same technologies featured in the Delta USB cable such as:
SR-USB — These are USB connectors made by Shunyata from high conductivity gold-plated copper assuring minimal signal junction impedance, a large head shell which accepts thick wires and an exceptional strain-relief system that ensures long-term reliability even with heavy usage.
PMZ — Precision Matched Impedance cable geometry which means that tolerances of the conductor surface, dielectric extrusion, and the precision of the braided shield are held to minute variances. The result is better performance through a reduction of cable-induced signal jitter.
ArNi wire was designed by Shunyata Research to be the finest quality wire available. It begins with the highest purity of copper and silver metals available, including Ohno (single crystal), PCOCC silver and OFE C0101 conductors. It features fluorocarbon dielectrics which significantly reduces transient energy storage and release which affects phase noise performance.
Kinetic Phase Inversion Processing — Four days of continuous KPIP processing dramatically reduces the sonic ups and downs associated with burn-in, delivering a relaxed and natural presentation.
The Shunyata Alpha USB cable is a bit stiff, but the excellent sound quality more than makes up for that bit of inconvenience.
Shunyata products are available at all CMY Audio & Visual outlets.