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  1. #1
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    Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    NOTE: Long post follows

    I've been familiar with the claims for cable elevators improving the quality of your audio system, but this year I experienced first-hand the impact of Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and most recently, the cool little Dark Field Minis in a number of interesting ways.

    I had read Caelin's patents on the Shunyata's Dark Field suspension system some years ago, but, at the time, I remained "scientifically skeptical" about their impact, or more accurately, the magnitude of the impact they would have.

    And...I didn't know until quite recently that they're also very effective with power cords as well.

    The backstory:

    Back in 2020, when the Omega XC power cord was sent to me for product photography when their regular photographer wasn't available due to lockdown, a box of three DF-SS cable suspension elevators was included. When I inquired about why these were in the box, I was told the DF-SS elevators also provided a notable improvement when used with power cords, and set of 3 DF-SS are sold included with each Omega-class power cable. That was news to me at the time, as I had not heard about the benefits of using cable elevators for power cables. Speaker cables? Possibly yes, but PCs? 🤔

    After doing the product photography, I put the Omega XC into the system, and per recommendations, placed it on the DF-SS cable elevators, let it settle, and then listened to it for a couple weeks to provide some feedback on it's performance when powering Everest. I then shipped the Omega XC back to Shunyata.

    A week or so later, when I was back behind the main rack, fiddling with connections, I realized that I'd inadvertantly forgotten to also send the DF-SS back when I returned the Omega XC, as they were under the rack, out of sight. Not thinking twice about it, I relocated them under the R channel loudspeaker cable. Here's a picture.



    Some days later, when I fired up the stereo again, I noticed that the R speaker had increased clarity, depth, openness compared to the L speaker. Huh? What was going on? I started checking the cable connections, seating of all the tubes in the DAC, preamp, and amp, and couldn't find anything. Then, I saw that the R speaker's cables were sitting on the DF-SS cable elevators.

    Well...that was interesting. I had been using some el-cheapo 3-D printed cable elevators from eBay under the speaker cables, but with the R channel speaker cable on the DF-SS, the R speaker sounded very clearly better than the Left speaker. Doing the "orthogonal experiment", I then moved the DF-SS under the L speaker cable. Now, the L channel speaker sounded better than the R channel, and in exactly the same way: increased clarity, depth, and openness. And, the improvement was very clearly audible; it was not one of those, "Am I really hearing some subtle but real improvements? I think so...." kinda things; it was....obvious.

    And, I realized that a very good way to determine the impact of these was simply to put a set under just one channel, and then compare the two speakers, on exactly the same content and conditions, listening real-time.

    Needless to say, there is set of these now under each speaker cable.

    Cotinued in the next post.

  2. #2

    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Interesting. I remain to be convinced about cable elevators but then I have never tried them at home. Did you try and blind test just for fun? All off, all on, guess the side etc?

  3. #3
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by Howiebrou View Post
    Interesting. I remain to be convinced about cable elevators but then I have never tried them at home. Did you try and blind test just for fun? All off, all on, guess the side etc?
    If you read my post carefully, you'll note that it was, in effect, a blind test. I made a change to the system by placing the R channel speaker cable on a set of the DF-SS cable elevators when I found them sitting behind the rack. When I finally listened to the system some days later, and heard a notable audio quality improvement in the R channel; I didn't know why because I had forgotten I had placed the DF-SS units under the R channel SP. All I knew was....it very clearly sound better. It was only when I went through the system thoroughly and checked everything did I notice I had placed R SP cable on the DF-SS cable elevator. It was very easy to hear the difference when the cable elevators were only under the speaker cables for one channel. Then when I moved the cable elevators over to the other channel, I heard the improvement move to that channel.

    This is why I recommend this as an effective method to hear the improvement these cable elevators bring. Put on some evenly balanced content (e.g. symphonic classical music, etc.). Put a set of the DF-SS cable elevators under just one channel, and listen to how each channel's speaker sounds. You'll hear the difference really easily. It's not subtle.

  4. #4
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Okay...on to the next observation.

    When I visited Shunyata Research along with some other folks in June, once of the objectives of the visit was to position and set up the Wilson Sasha DAWs for the Shunyata audio showroom. The system was comprised of Constellation amplification electronics: Centaur II monoblocks and Virgo III preamp. Source components were a VPI TT, a trio of DACs that were in for evaluation, and a Marantz SA-KI Ruby "Ken Ishiwata Edition" SACD/CD disk player. To keep things simple and controlled, we just started off by using the Marantz Ruby disc player as source (this is a KILLER disc player, BTW, so if you need a truly excellent disc player, give the Marantz Ruby a serious look).

    To get started and orient ourselves, first we listened to the system with the mono blocks powered straight from the wall's dedicated AC receptacles with Shunyata Omega QR PCs. An Everest power distributor (powered from a wall receptacle by an Omega XC) provided power using an Omega QR-S PCs for the preamp and the Marantz disc player. Speaker cables and ICs were Sigma V2.

    We first listened to the system with this set-up and it sounded quite good, especially given the fact we had done virtually no work in placing and and optimally positioning the speakers.

    Caelin then had us put all the power cables onto the Shunyata DF-SS cable elevators.

    Wow.

    With all the PCs off the floor and suspended on the DF-SS cable elevators, the system sounded notably more open, transparent, and focused. This improvement was not subtle. Now, mind, I had previously experienced the improviements that putting the speaker cables had brought, but had never tried using the DF-SS for power cables...even though I had been told by Shunyata that it really benefitted power cables as well as speaker cables.

    Here's a photo of the setup with most of the PCs on the DF-SS and DF-E "Minis" cable elevators (more on these in the next post).


    (note: the amp in the photo is the Constellation Centaur stereo amp used for powering the Wilson subs. It was placed shortly after this pic on it's nearby amp stand).

    Well, I had heard the improvements first-hand for myself, and what surprised me was the magnitude of the improvement from elevating the power cables off the floor made to the system. It was NOT subtle.

    Moreover, we also went through and used the Shunyata DF-E "Minis" cable elevators for additional support under longer runs of PCs and also to keep ICs and signal cables positioned away from each other and also power cables. In these applications, they are quite useful, and also very stable in the positions they were placed in, e.g. when keeping cables separated.

    Here's a pic of DF-E Minis shown separating different types of cables from one another, e.g. ICs from PCs. Even separating them a little bit makes a notable difference. You'll also note that different cable types, when they cross one another, cross at 90° angles.



    Bottom-line: if I hadn't heard the improvements (and the degree of improvement) for myself, I wouldn't have believed it.

    With that in mind, I purchased a box of the Dark Field Minis to try under my own cables at home. Next post will describe this set-up.

  5. #5
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Once I was back home, I set my PCs behind my rack up on the Dark Field Minis. Here's a pic showing them under the PCs. Some parts of the PC's that contact the floor are resting on A/V Roomservice's CVP (cable vibration protectors), which do the same thing as the Dark Field Minis, but do not elevate the cable off the floor.



    And sure enough, when I listened to my system with the PCs supported by the Dark Field Minis or the CVPs, the soundstage opened up, was more transparent with improved focus.

    In conclusion, the reason it took me so long to try these enhancements to the system was...I was skeptical that they would result in any real, practical and consistent improvement. The fact they do result in an clear and consistent improvement in audio quality was notable, and more to the point, the degree of improvement they bring was even more of a (very pleasant) surprise.

    I know some folks will still be skeptical. I get it, I was, too. But the Shunyata Dark Field Minis are inexpensive, a box of 12 only costs 100 bucks. My recommendation? Buy a box and do your own experiments. If you obtain the improvements I did, you can decide if you want to get the larger DF-SS cable elevators for longer runs and larger cables.

    Cheers.

  6. #6
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    I tried these lifters and was just not impressed. I also tried the SR versions.
    For a lot less dough the Audioquest Fog lifters worked great and actually sound better.

    IMHO that is.

    ozzy

  7. #7
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzy View Post
    I tried these lifters and was just not impressed. I also tried the SR versions.
    For a lot less dough the Audioquest Fog lifters worked great and actually sound better.
    With which speaker cables did you determine this?
    Digital: Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC
    Amp & Speakers: Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T
    Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

  8. #8
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    I have a mixture of Shunyata power cable elevators, and while I can’t comment on any audio improvement, I can say they make it easier to keep the floor clean.

    EF3802ED-D0A7-432B-80E0-5FB55AEA911F.jpeg
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    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson four shelf maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

  9. #9

    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    A number of years ago while at a local high end dealer I too questioned the efficacy of Shunyata cable lifters. At that time it was before the DFSS version. He removed them from the speaker cables and the impact was clear. Soundstage was smaller with less focus. With the lifters back under the cables, sound was restored. Crazy, but, real.

  10. #10
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Well i have also heard a clear improvement for cable lifters from another company , it was on a concrete floor and was very easy to hear how much better it was. I was then able to loan some for me to try out on my carpeted floor , and although there was an improvement it wants big enough to buy. My point here is that i think results can actually change due to cement - carpeted - or wooden floor. So some may work better than others in the setup at home due to these differences.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by FDPDK View Post
    Well i have also heard a clear improvement for cable lifters from another company , it was on a concrete floor and was very easy to hear how much better it was. I was then able to loan some for me to try out on my carpeted floor , and although there was an improvement it wants big enough to buy. My point here is that i think results can actually change due to cement - carpeted - or wooden floor. So some may work better than others in the setup at home due to these differences.
    It seems reasonable that carpeted floors, particularly wool carpets, may be prone to producing higher static field potentials than wood or cement.

  12. #12
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by gshelley View Post
    A number of years ago while at a local high end dealer I too questioned the efficacy of Shunyata cable lifters. At that time it was before the DFSS version. He removed them from the speaker cables and the impact was clear. Soundstage was smaller with less focus. With the lifters back under the cables, sound was restored. Crazy, but, real.
    It might have been these guys...they work really well, too. The Dark Field Minis are simply a smaller version.



    One of the key points is to also use them under power cables.

  13. #13

    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Yes, I believe that is the version I heard back then. I’ve been using DFSS in my system under PCs, speaker and interconnect cables. My wife kids me about it every now and then.

  14. #14
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Once I was back home, I set my PCs behind my rack up on the Dark Field Minis. Here's a pic showing them under the PCs. Some parts of the PC's that contact the floor are resting on A/V Roomservice's CVP (cable vibration protectors), which do the same thing as the Dark Field Minis, but do not elevate the cable off the floor.



    And sure enough, when I listened to my system with the PCs supported by the Dark Field Minis or the CVPs, the soundstage opened up, was more transparent with improved focus.

    In conclusion, the reason it took me so long to try these enhancements to the system was...I was skeptical that they would result in any real, practical and consistent improvement. The fact they do result in an clear and consistent improvement in audio quality was notable, and more to the point, the degree of improvement they bring was even more of a (very pleasant) surprise.

    I know some folks will still be skeptical. I get it, I was, too. But the Shunyata Dark Field Minis are inexpensive, a box of 12 only costs 100 bucks. My recommendation? Buy a box and do your own experiments. If you obtain the improvements I did, you can decide if you want to get the larger DF-SS cable elevators for longer runs and larger cables.

    Cheers.
    a box of 12 only costs 100 bucks,I want to know where I can buy it

  15. #15
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by e888lp View Post
    a box of 12 only costs 100 bucks,I want to know where I can buy it
    Looks like they've gone up to $150, but should be available from authorized Shunyata Research dealers which includes Suncoast Audio who runs this site.

  16. #16
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by e888lp View Post
    a box of 12 only costs 100 bucks,I want to know where I can buy it
    Mike can get you taken care of.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    It seems reasonable that carpeted floors, particularly wool carpets, may be prone to producing higher static field potentials than wood or cement.
    Yeah, static from my carpet when wearing damp woolen socks turns off my integrated amp whenever I touch the chassis.
    Speakers: Magico M3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso stack | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.8
    | Source: Kaleidescape Premiere (4 x 6TB) | Power: Shunyata Typhon-QR, Everest and Denali

  18. #18

    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    Yeah, static from my carpet when wearing damp woolen socks turns off my integrated amp whenever I touch the chassis.
    So why are you wearing damp socks?
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, HiFi Rose 150B DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, Parasound JC5 amp , JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

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  19. #19
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    Re: Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    So why are you wearing damp socks?
    I'd been watering my garden but I was too lazy to put my shoes back on, or go barefoot, or take my damp socks off afterwards.
    Speakers: Magico M3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso stack | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.8
    | Source: Kaleidescape Premiere (4 x 6TB) | Power: Shunyata Typhon-QR, Everest and Denali

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Shunyata's Dark Field Suspension System and Dark Field Minis

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