SHUNYATA RESEARCH Python Zi-Tron

MJ16.05.2013

Power cables

The Python Zi-Tron’s performance is not a step-up, rather a leap-up level from the Cobra. My impression is that to get the taste of the real Shunyata you have to start here. Our regular readers may recollect our comparison of Furutech Powerflux and Nordost Valhalla that ended up to be a draw, yet subjectively both performed with different sets of traits. Regardless of their sonic individualism both were and still are among the best power cables available and Shunyata’s Python Zi-Tron complements them with ease.

Function and form

78%
Ease of use
83%
Sound
92%
Appearance

The pythonian Shunyata Python Zi-Tron looks alike the Cobra Zi-Tron, just thicker. Again it is very well bendable in radius and torsion-resistant so it is necessary to think before you start coiling it.
Shunyata was always synonymous for very complex geometries, called Matrix or Helix. For the latest product lines they created a wire geometry, the VTX, that would in essence function as a virtual-tube, vastly reducing the internal skin-effect distortions common among traditional solid-core or stranded wire types. Hollow, or tube-like wire is by nature extremely difficult to use because of its stiffness, but is an ideal signal and power conductor. If you wish to learn more check the Audiodrom´s review of Analysis Plus cables that discuss the skin effect vs hollow conductor theory.

Note: The Python was equipped with US to EU standard adaptor as the cable arrived in the US version.

Bass management

Weight
90
Slam
86
Articulation
86

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
86
Air
86
Transparency
83

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
88
Dynamics
88
Temporal resolution
85

Spatial resolution

Holography
90
Soundstage width
90
Soundstage depth
90

The contribution of the Python Zi-Tron was apparent yet subtle when it was inserted in the system and when asked at that time I would have been very hesitant to acknowledge its super-effect. As usual, one has to live for couple of hours or days with such an upgrade to fully appreciate it. Immediately after the Python was removed from my amp and replaced by the Cobra I missed desperately the Python. The music was stripped off, shineless, less palpable, less open, less everything. The big and sonorous strrrrrummm! morphed into a small and dry strum! That trailed off much quicker into the background silence. The energy was gone.

The Python Zi-Tron is an illuminating type of hifi – it can dig deep into the farthest corners of a studio to find the tinniest bit of information that can be brought to your ears. Its background is not ‘blacker’, in fact it is very alive with the subtlest ambient clues and microdynamic shifts that were either blended together or simply missing before. The Python does not compress, there are no audible phase errors or whatever – the music leaves loudspeakers the same way it arrived to microphones during it had been recorded.On top of that, the Python Zi-Tron’s revealing nature provided me with a deep insight into the work of a mixing engineer, the sounds generated in consoles were ruthlessly sorted from those coming from live instruments. The Python-induced transformation was easily apparent on complex orchestral music, with instruments sounding fuller and more alive. An almost tangible reduction in background hash provided clean canvas for purer timbres and more harmonic nuances, I was transported closer to the real performance. It is very rewarding for the listener to easily distiguish between left and right kettle drum in a symphonic orchestra including the variations in strokes, or absorb the sound waves generated by vibrating mass of a gong.

 

The complete text of the Shunyata Research Zi-Tron series cablesis available in SPECIAL EDITION REVIEWS section.

Price as reviewed:31 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Platan Audio, Hlohovec / Bratislava, tel. +421 905 409 802

Associated components

  • Sources: Accuphase DP-78
  • Amplifiers: Accuphase C-2410 and Accuphase A-60
  • Loudspeakers: Bowers & Wilkins 802 Diamond, KEF LS-50
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Krautwire Fractal, Cardas Clear, Audioquest Wild Blue Yonder, CrystalConnect Piccolo Diamond, Homegrown Audio DNA
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Thor (modified), Nordost Valhalla, Snakeblock, Analysis Plus Power Oval-2 and Oval Ten, Shunyata Cobra Zi-Tron.

Gallery

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