Since most homes and studios have only have a single duplex AC outlet along a wall and most A/V systems have more than two components, it becomes a requirement to have some sort of power distribution. In its simplest form this would be a common power strip. In many cases a power distributor will also include current and surge protection.
The majority of multi-outlet power distributors or active conditioners act as an entertainment systems common interface and contact point for distributed power. Due to the convergence of multiple electronics at this single junction, the crucial role of the power distributor or conditioner becomes clear. Special attention should be paid to literally every aspect of a distributor's construction. An ideal distributor will use of heavy gauge wiring, top quality outlets, connections and termination points that preserve contact integrity and current delivery. Another ideal distributor attribute would be an ability to filter not only the small amount of noise from the power grid but more importantly a means to filter the back-wave of noise generated and propagating from the system itself. Taking a simple view, a power distributor should act as nothing more than an extension of the power cord in terms of instantaneous current delivery (DTCD™). The power cords help isolate components from radiated component-to-component interference (CCI™) that surrounds electronics. The power distributor should act as a zero point for power line conducted rectifier noise and digital hash. The power cord and power distributor work symbiotically to isolate the two most damaging forms of CCI™ while maintaining the continuity of instantaneous current. Obviously, a power distributor should also have surge protection to protect from catastrophic spikes -- though these elements are more ideally placed at the electrical panel.
High-End Alternatives - The key to choosing the ideal power-distributor system lies within the concept of keeping things simple and uncomplicated. For the best performance in the context of recording or reproducing sound, choosing a distributor that optimizes DTCD™ is preferable over a design that emphasizes external noise isolation at the expense of DTCD™. Designs that use transformers, coils and baluns are inductive and by their nature impede instantaneous current delivery. This may cause a loss of phase and time coherence (PraT), losses in perceived voice and instrument weight and overall compression of dynamics. If the designers of top performing recording and playback electronics wanted another inductor in line with the primary coil of their transformer, they would have put it there. If they wanted another type of reactive device, it would already be within the design. Manufacturers of today's finest sound and recording components designed their power supplies to interface with the original AC wave-form, not one that has been processed, re-directed or impeded.
Shunyata Research pioneered the idea and implementation of Distributed Power Conditioning to solve the problems of internal and grid related power-line noise, while eliminating the complications and limitations posed by traditional “one-box” power conditioners.
What is Distributed Power Conditioning?
Distributed Power Conditioning describes Shunyata Research’s multi-point approach to noise isolation. Beginning at the first electrical connection of each component — the power cord — Shunyata’s distributed power conditioning measurably reduces noise. This is accomplished without getting in the way of instantaneous current (DTCD) or interfering with the individual components unique power conditioning elements. Following, are the three stages of Shunyata’s Distributed Power Conditioning System.
The following are the three building blocks of Shunyata’s Distributed Power Systems and what sets them apart from their competition.
1) DTCD™(Dynamic Transient Current Delivery)
Caelin Gabriel explains and demonstrates through measurement, the foundational design concept behind Shunyata Research’s electrical system products. DTCD™
The Shunyata Research DTCD™ Analyzer is the first and only power analyzer designed specifically to measure the differences between AC power cables, wires and connections. The DTCD™ Analyzer is a device that allows the measurement of transient current flow through a variety of AC power products like power conditioners and power cords. The precision-made DTCD Analyzer also provides the ability to measure differences between outlets, breakers, switches, wire and contacts.
"Shunyata Research’s proprietary DTCD™ Analyzer finally proves that power cords, power conditioners, circuit breakers, even fuses measure differently, and that perhaps these measured differences are what audio enthusiasts hear when they swap out these elements in their systems." - Michael Fremer, Stereophile, USA
Most power conditioners limit DTCD™ (dynamic transient current delivery), which impedes current delivery to a component’s power supply. This tends to degrade sonic performance in a high-end music system. Caelin Gabriel considers DTCD™ Analysis to be so vital that it is used to performance test each and every part and subassembly used in Shunyata Research’s power products.
2) CCI™ (Component-to-Component Interference)
CCI™ Concept Shunyata Research's Grant Samuelsen and Caelin Gabriel explain the nature of audio components' interference and how Shunyata Research products offer a solution. (2014)
Traditional power conditioners are designed to block noise coming in from outside the home but do not address the noise that is generated by the electronic component’s themselves. In fact, most conditioners reflect noise back into other components attached to the power conditioner. Shunyata Research calls this form of contamination CCI™ - component-to-component interference. Our research indicates that CCI™ may be one of the most significant but often overlooked aspects to power system performance. Shunyata Research uses a Distributed Power Conditioning System approach with a variety of patented and proprietary technologies to reduce both CCI™ and outside power grid noise.
3) Avoiding Conflict Many traditional “power conditioners” contain elements that are often in conflict with component’s own power supplies. This can create a power conditioning mismatch with unpredictable results. Consequently, traditional “power conditioners” are not recommended by the majority of electronics manufacturers. Shunyata products are non-reactive by design, meaning they have no elements that would conflict with whatever is designed into electronic power supplies. Shunyata products offer consistent performance no matter what combination of components they are connected to. This explains why many electronics manufacturers use Shunyata’s Distributed Power Systems in their trade show and design systems.
Following are descriptions and photo’s of the parts, materials and technologies that set Shunyata Research products apart from all others in terms of their design concept and performance. These technologies and parts were developed using calibrated measurements and the tenets of objective science cultivated during fifteen years of intensive research by Shunyata designer Caelin Gabriel. Few companies can combine the vision, understanding and investment necessary to create such a complete library of purpose-built parts and material
VTX™ Conductors - Shunyata Research’s exclusive VTX™ conductors are made in the shape of virtual tubes. The core of the conductor is completely hollow minimizing skin effects and random eddy currents. They are produced using OFE Alloy-101.
OFE ALLOY 101 Copper - Shunyata Research uses only the highest purity of copper available for the production of its wire products. OFE Alloy 101 or C10100is the highest grade of copper with a minimum 99.99% purity and a conductivity rating of 101% IACS. OFE stands for oxygen-free electrolytic and supersedes the term OFHC (oxygen-free high conductivity). C10100 is the only grade of copper that comes with a written certification of purity.
CCC - COMPUTER CONTROLLED CRYOGENICS - Shunyata Research operates its own onsite Cryogenics International computer-controlled cryogenic plant. Liquid nitrogen is used to reduce the temperature of the contents to -320 degrees Fahrenheit. The computer monitors and lowers the temperature by a single degree at a time to prevent thermal shock. Shunyata uses this process to improve the performance of wire, conductors, connectors and terminals that are used in their power products and signal cabling.
CCI™ Filter - CCI™ filters have the unique ability to reduce component generated power line noise without reducing DTCD™ (dynamic transient current delivery) or interfering with normal power supply operation. These unique filter elements prevent one component’s power line noise from contaminating the adjacent electronic components. Shunyata Research’s CCI™ filter modules consist of proprietary multi-stage filters that reduce power supply generated noise without the use of heavy transformers, coils or large capacitors. These new CCI filters were originally developed to isolate electrical noise for military, scientific and medical imaging applications. They are currently being used to great effect in Electrophysiology heart surgery. CCI interference levels can be reduced more than -60dB from 500 KHz to 10 MHz!
ZrCa™ Noise Reduction Compound - ZrCa-2000™ compound is a proprietary formulation of ferroelectric substances that absorb and dissipate high-frequency power line noise in the megahertz and gigahertz frequency ranges when placed in proximity to the power conductors or power supplies. The ZrCa-2000™ materials are crystalline materials that act on the electric field in a manner similar to the manner in which ferrite (ferrous metals) acts on the magnetic field. They both absorb high frequency noise. However, the ZrCa-2000™ compounds do so without the negative sonic side effects commonly associated with the use of ferrite in an audio system.
NIC™ Noise Reduction - NIC™ (Noise Isolation Chamber) is a proprietary Shunyata Research technology that reduces high frequency power line noise. It employs a ferroelectric substance that actually absorbs high frequency noise in the Megahertz to Gigahertz range. Shunyata Research power distributors with NICs™ reduce noise without any of the reactive negatives associated with conventional power conditioners. The latest generation NICs are more efficient and smaller in size than their previous generation.
QR/BB - The QR/BB is Shunyata Research’s latest, innovative, technology that eliminates the sense of dynamic compression often heard when an amplifier is connected through a power conditioner. Dynamics are actually improved when an amplifier is connected to DENALI power conditioners even when compared with a direct connection to a high-capacity dedicated AC line! (Patents pending)
MPDA™ Module The MPDA™ (Multi-Phase Differential Array) is a Shunyata Research designed filter array that significantly reduces power-line noise without impacting DTCD™. The MPDA™ is made with multiple, miniature surface-mount filter elements each designed to target very specific bands of power line noise without the negative side-effects associated with pi and T filters that are commonly used in conventional power conditioners. SDC Coil The Shunyata Digital Coil is a unique component designed to reduce high frequency power line noise without the negative effects of common transformers or coils. It is a dual, interleaved, hand-wound air-core design that is produced with Shunyata Research’s 12-gauge OFE Alloy-101conductors. When combined with the MPDA™ or CCI™ filters it is capable of reducing power line noise by an impressive 40db @ 1Mhz.
GEMINI Module - The GEMINI Module provides a massive 40,000 amps of surge protection, spike protection and noise reduction in a single compact module. The noise reduction circuitry is similar in design to the MPDA™ and CCI™ noise reduction modules. It also includes a LED status indicator and circuitry that monitors its operation. The module was designed to be field replaceable with only two terminal connections.
Hydraulic Electromagnetic Breaker Common power strips and conditioners use fuses or thermal breakers for over current protection because they are inexpensive. When under heavy load, these devices cause voltage drops, increased contact impedance, thermal noise, excessive heat generation and current limiting effects. Shunyata Research power distributors use a far more advanced solution called hydraulic electromagnetic breakers. They operate right up the to their maximum current rating without the current limiting and heat limitations caused by fuses and thermal breakers.
Shunyata Isolation Footer - Power distributors react very similar to amplifiers in their sensitivity to vibration. After researching many methods to dissipate floor borne vibration, Designer Caelin Gabriel developed the Shunyata Isolation Footer that possesses excellent vibration dampening characteristics. Shunyata also produces several optional SSF stainless steel feet for our power conditioners.
Chassis Dampening - Shunyata Research recognizes that vibration control is important to the overall performance of our products. Our power distributor chassis’ are made with heavy gauge steel or aluminum not plastic or thin wall sheet metal. We have developed our own accelerometer test instrument that detects extremely low levels of vibration. We use it in the development of vibration absorbing materials such as energy absorbing footers, AC outlet gaskets and chassis dampeners that measurably reduce resonant vibration within the power distributor.
SSF - Stainless Steel Feet Shunyata has designed several performanceadded options of SSF stainless steel feet for our power conditioners. The SSF-38 for VENOM power conditioners and the SSF-50 for HYDRA TRITON, TYPHON and DPC-6.
Shunyata Research’s Distributed Power Conditioning Systems provide the most diverse and efficient means of protection and noise isolation for recording, mastering, film and sound systems. Shunyata’s multi-stage noise-filtering measurably reduces noise at the components, where it matters most. Every element in the Distributed Power Conditioning System has been designed to work seamlessly with all component power supplies, without adding interference and without the degradation of instantaneous current.
DENALI Series - Noise Reduction Demonstration
This video demonstrates the profound noise reduction capabilities of the Denali Series power conditioners (2016)
Ciamara is very proud to offer the full line of Shunyata Research products and recommend them for just about every level of system. They continue to innovate and lead the field in creating power and signal audio products of the highest quality and performance. For more information or to try any of their products in your own system, please feel free to contact us in the LiveChat or submit a request here.