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Florida 2019: The Shunyata Research Noise Reduction Experiment







One of the best things I took away from the Florida show was a little science experiment that came out of a meet-up with Grant Samuelson from Shunyata Research.  Several times in audio forums in the past, I have referred folks who want real scientific data on high-end cable performance to go visit the video and technology pages of the Shunyata Research website.  In one of the videos, Caelin Gabriel, the scientist who runs Shunyata, uses an Entech powerline “noise sniffer” to show the dramatic decrease in noise that plugging in a Denali makes on the Entech.  The reader should be aware that Entech is now out of business and authentic units are hard to come by even with some Entech ads being outright fraudulent so, please, buyer beware!  That said, Shunyata feels it’s fairly accurate at detecting broadband common mode noise.

The Entech is a neat device because it has a built-in amp and speaker so you can hear the noise being generated on the powerline.  It also has a digital readout that allows the user to set the relative noise level.  There is a gain control on the face of it so when you increase the gain, you reach a point where you hear noise and you can set that noise to a nice round number like “100” or so and use it as a baseline for the experiments.

The interesting thing was that Grant had brought in one of Shunyata’s power cords that are used for medical applications, a new and growing part of their noise reduction business.  Grant and I would test that medical AC cord right in the kitchen of the hotel suite of Suncoast Audio which also happened to be running a Denali tower.  You can read about my review of the Denali tower HERE.

So how did the Shunyata power cord perform in the test?

We started with a noise gain setting at “104.2” as you will see in the first photo.  The is the baseline for noise in the hotel suite.  The noise was quite noticeable.

Next, we plugged in the power cord and in a different outlet, the Entech “in parallel”.  Just having the Shunyata cord plugged in led to an 80-90% reduction in noise.  Things were much quieter now.  In the second photo, you see the Entech reading “14.7”.  Aha, now we are getting somewhere.

Finally, we connected the Entech in series with the Shunyata AC cord, and now, noise is almost eliminated as the Entech device reads a very low, “00.9”.  Noise was almost totally silent.

This experiment matches my experience with the Shunyata Delta power cords and the Denali tower.  Every time it was plugged in, the noise floor was super low, and the sound quality noticeably improved.  A Shunyata power cord just simply works.

Many thanks, Grant, for demonstrating the noise test “live” for me in Florida.  A convincing experiment!

P.S.  If you want to watch the video on the Denali noise reduction test, click below.







About Lee Scoggins (125 Articles)
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Lee got interested in audio listening to his Dad’s system in the late 70s and he started making cassettes from LPs. By the early 80s he got swept up in the CD wave that was launching which led to a love of discs from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. Later while working on Wall Street in the 90s, Lee started working on blues, jazz and classical sessions for Chesky Records and learned record engineering by apprenticeship. Lee was involved in the first high resolution recordings which eventually became the DVD-Audio format. Lee now does recordings of small orchestras and string quartets in the Atlanta area. Lee's current system consists of Audio Research Reference electronics and Wilson Audio speakers.

7 Comments on Florida 2019: The Shunyata Research Noise Reduction Experiment

  1. What is the meaning of 104.2, 14.7 and 00.9? Are these apples or miles or pounds? Does a value without a unit of measurement make sense?

  2. I will admit to not being much of a believer in power cords as an audio tweak, but the fact that Shunyata has a successful sister company that markets to medical centers is an impressive endorsement. If their NR power cables didn’t cost $800 each it would be fun to try them out.

    • That is a problem with the Entech, it doesn’t have any units. The sensitivity knob on the front panel basically continuously varies the units, and you have to be careful to not nudge it in between readings or you are not making a real comparison. To be really accurate, you’d want a spectrum analyzer. Since Shunyata most likely has these, not sure why they didn’t bring one along, but the Entech is certainly a lot smaller. I did find a relatively inexpensive meter with a real scale, it is cheap enough, going to buy one to play around with it. It also has a much wider bandwidth than the Entech: https://www.alphalabinc.com/product/plm/

  3. What is it measuring? Numbers but no units of measurement?
    Numerals on their own mean zilch.

    • Check out the Entech sheet, above.

      As vague as this sounds, there are several products like this on the market (6Moons reviews one here). All seem to measure “noise”, which they define as “something on the mains other than the 50Hz/60Hz sine”, a “something” they try to then quantify.

      The point? There’s mains noise and there’s draw noise. And there’s also sag. And a host of other “powerline problems”. But whatever. I think we can all take it as read that “having AM radio stations audible on the feed to our audio system” is probably a bad thing.

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