I am usually skeptical about any “cure-all” audio product, but I have never heard another audio technology applicable to any system with freestanding speakers that qualifies as an unambiguous improvement, rather than a subtle amelioration, or a different flavor, of limited efficacy and only in particular systems. Caelin Gabriel explained some of the “current drift” physics theory behind HARP to me, but I would only butcher his words if I attempted to summarize them—and most likely generate deriding letters from physicists in the process. Let me repeat, HARP is remarkably effective in the overall improvement of the system in which it’s implemented. Shunyata is on to something, here.
Both the TAP and HARP structures did not pose any functional problems, such as getting in the way of other cables or getting hung up shelving; nor do they cause excessive stiffness. Both the Sigma interconnect and speaker cable are more flexible and easier to use than their Anaconda predecessors.
I was able to bring a complete set of Sigma cables to my friend Lou’s house to find out if they worked as well in his system as they did in mine. The answer was yes—an unambiguous, overwhelming, yes. Within an hour or two of settling time, the Sigmas helped Lou’s system—an already really nice one—sound more lifelike. The replaced Kimber KS1136 ($3335 1m XLR) interconnect and Cardas Clear Beyond ($8170 2m) speaker cable are a good fit for this system, but the Sigmas allowed it to sound much better in every way. All music sounded more alive, more detailed, more dynamically nimble. Imaging was more focused, and the overall soundstage enlarged with a similarly improved depth layering I heard in my system. The same reduction in glare and underlying electronic noise I heard in my system I also heard in Lou’s. The qualitiy of sounding more organized as well as more vivid followed the Sigmas in both systems.
Shunyata Research has outdone itself with these new Sigma signal cables. No aspect of their performance represented a “worthy compromise” or a retrenchment of one set of sonic attributes to advance a set of others. The Sigmas are flat out fabulous across the key areas of dynamic fluidity and stability, soundstaging and imaging, resolution of detail, tonal complexity, and musical completeness. If you are in the market for cables in their price category—or even substantially higher—the Sigmas should be on your audition short list. Enthusiastically recommended.
Specs & Pricing
Interconnect (XLR or RCA): $4000 1.0m; additional length $200/0.25m
Speaker cable (spade or banana): $7500 2.0m; $8100 2.5m; additional length $300/0.25m
26273 Twelve Trees Lane
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Analog source: Basis Debut V turntable and Vector 4 tonearm, Benz-Micro LP-S MR cartridge
Digital sources: Hegel Mohican CDP, Ayre C-5xeMP universal disc player, HP Envy 15t running JRiver MC-20, Hegel HD30 DAC
Phonostage: Moon by Simaudio 610LP
Linestages: Ayre K-1xe, Hegel P30
Integrated amplifier: Hegel H360
Power amplifiers: Gamut M250i, Hegel H30
Speakers: YG Acoustics Sonja 2.2, Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature
Cables: Shunyata ZiTron Anaconda signal cables, Nordost Heimdall 2 USB, AudioQuest Coffee USB and Hawk Eye SPDIF, Shunyata Alpha SPDIF and AES/EBU, Shunyata Sigma NR power cords
Accessories: PrimeAcoustic Z-foam panels and DIY panels, Stillpoints Ultra SS