Meet Your Maker: Caelin Gabriel of Shunyata Research

AC conditioners,
AC power cords,
Power filters

Manufacturers sometimes speak in figurative terms about the ‘special sauce’ that makes their products different and better than those of their competitors. If you are at liberty to say, what’s your ‘special sauce’?

Our products’ most compelling attributes are their complete parts customization and the patented, measurable, and explainable science used to design them. If there is one “special sauce”, it would be the 18 year commitment to manufacturing products that deliver on the promise of consistently obvious performance improvement at retail pricing that does not strain the laws of credulity, even at the highest end of the performance ladder. You could point to any number of individual design attributes or perhaps one patent that is particularly relevant, but with Shunyata, it comes down to the accumulation of all the patents, pending patents, and the custom-designed parts, measurement analysis such as the peak-current (DTCD) analyser, noise-measurements, proprietary filter designs, etc. The special sauce is 18 years of parts, design, research, measurement, and simple, straightforward, no BS pricing polices.

We have two admittedly loaded questions for you. Just how close do your value-minded cables come to the performance of your flagship models? What characteristics do they have in common and what are the most noticeable differences?

Our most affordable cables must approach reference performance level in our estimation or there is little value to expending the effort, cost and more than 12 years in developing the affordable Venom range of products to represent what is the best attribute of our company. Yes, in extremely high-performance, high-resolution systems, our more expensive products are carefully designed to perform at a higher level. Because each system and listener is unique, the value equation relative to differences has to fall on the individual. Since our products have been on the market for 18 years, there have been many reviews, customers, and dealers who have weighed in on the value of our products at each price level. Even the medical industry, heart surgeons, and hospitals have weighed in on the value of Shunyata products so we always prefer to let the market determine our products’ true worth and value. If history were the guide, I would say we’ve been very successful in providing value-oriented products that come tantalizingly close to “reference” level performance in a good system. Most of our dealers and distributors offer evaluations and money-back auditions, so we are comfortable with the idea that if people take the time to listen, they will find a very high-value match for their system at any of our price points.

What do you think the next ‘great leaps forward’ in audio cable design will be? How do you think audio cables will be different five years from now?

With the proliferation of digital systems and components, Wi-Fi and more RFI and EMI surrounding system environments, cable and power systems will have to evolve so that high-frequency noise is isolated from other noise-sensitive components in the system. Shunyata is working on a number of cable and power system components now that should address the issues related to noisy environments, because it’s not the noise coming from outside the home or system that poses the greatest threat to high-resolution; rather, it’s the noise that surrounds the system itself that detracts from performance. Our designs focus on isolating component-to-component noise interference and we see that as a big part of the design evolution to come. Our research into these and other areas will continue because it’s what we do best. 

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