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Krakow Sonic Society

Meeting #117:
Denali D6000S vs Denali D6000T vs Triton v3


The role of pure power in audio systems is more important today than ever before. We are able to recognize more problems because we are better at dealing with them. One of the companies that excel in this area is the American SHUNYATA RESEARCH.


Audio devices must be supplied with the purest possible power – that is obvious. The cleaner the power, the better the sound - it also does not require a comment. However, when we explore the topic further, things get complicated.

here are at least a few ways (in general terms) to deliver pure power. The most important dividing lines may be described as: "battery supply ↔ mains supply" and "passive filtration ↔ active filtration". Each of these ways to improve the quality of the supply voltage has its advantages, but also disadvantages, and therefore its supporters and opponents.

We write about representatives of each of these "approaches" to the elimination of interference from the power grid from time to time. As examples of manufacturers utilizing battery power supply I may give you Bakoon and elinsAudio Manufacture; almost all the other brands, however, prefer a mains power supply (when I say "mains" I mean in this case the AC power grid).

The second of these approaches is more balanced, although it also has its "heavier", or richer in examples, side. It is possible to filter the supply voltage in a passive or active way. "Active" is a serious group, though less numerous. Serious because it requires a lot of knowledge and financial outlay. Its most important representatives include the American company PS Audio and the Japanese Accuphase; this type of conditioner is also offered by the Polish Ancient Audio.

Devices of this type generate the supply voltage and delivering an ultra-pure sine wave with the voltage and frequency required in a given country; PS Audio offers a choice of a sinusoid frequency, or even a combination of several different ones. Their advantage is the almost complete cut-off from the power grid, and the disadvantage - and an important one - is the limited efficiency.

| Shunyata Research – a few facts

Shunyata Research offers another type of conditioners - passive ones. Describing the "active" group, I wrote about a lot of knowledge and effort such products require, but actually the same applies to the "passive" group. The difference is that it is easier to make an inexpensive passive conditioner than an active one, and only at a certain price level both the knowledge and the investment needed for it are comparable in both cases.

A passive conditioner is one in which the reduction of distortion of the AC supply voltage takes place without regeneration of the sinusoid, only with the use of passive elements, such as: capacitors, resistors, inductors, coils and others. In Shunyata conditioners, some of these elements can be found, but two other factors are much more important: mechanical design and piezoelectric and ferromagnetic materials plus certain minerals. In which it reminds a different specialist, the Japanese company Acoustic Revive, whose power distributor I've been using for years.

Shunyata Research offers a dozen different conditioners – they call them "Power Distributors". At the top the lineup there is the Hydra series, which includes models: Denali D6000 and Triton. The Denali model is available in two versions - D6000S and D6000T, and Triton is currently available in it's third version (v3; review HERE, review of v1 version HERE).

The Denali "S" from Denali "T" differs only in a few details - these conditioners have a different mechanical structure, and the "S" version the current for high-current sockets runs via quite a long cable. They both, however, are significantly different from technologically older top model Triton v3. The "T" model has a form of a pyramid and it features a much better mechanical structure, including high-quality feet; the path for voltage delivered to high-current sockets is very short.

Both Denali feature six power outlets, two of which are intended for high-current devices, i.e. amplifiers, and four for low-current devices, i.e. preamplifiers and signal sources. The latter are filtered in passive circuits using electronic components. An important property of these conditioners is the insulation of the power outlets also from each other, so that the devices connected to them do not interfere with each other.

Also, the latest version of Triton offers CCI (Component-to-Component Interference) noise reduction, but it differs significantly from the Denali series. First of all, all power sockets are treated in exactly the same way in this conditioner, i.e. all are high current. This means that there are no passive filters composed of electronic components, and the filtration is carried out only by reducing the distortions (vibrations) of mechanical origin and the presence of ferromagnetic materials and minerals. To this end, long tubes with a company name NIC (Noise Isolation Chamber) are used, and the power cable pass through them.


The 117th meeting of the Krakow Sonic Society was conceived as something of a "research laboratory session". Elimination of power grid distortions is still an unexplored area, at least when it comes to audio. Industry (in general) uses advanced solutions, supported by appropriate measurements and analyzes. It's different in audio. Why? Well, because in audio there are factors that are not important for industrial use. Want proof - Just hear it for yourself ... (more in the column titled Magic of a system: VERICTUM).

And that was the goal of this meeting – to try to get some answers. First, we wanted to check how the sound would change after replacing the Denali D6000T conditioner with the Denali D6000S. The differences between these models are, from a traditional point of view negligible, because they are difficult if not impossible to measure. Nevertheless, they are some. We were also interested in how the sound would change after replacing the Denali D6000T with the Triton v3. This change is interesting because the Denali series is newer, more technologically advanced (passive filtering for low-current outputs), and Triton v3 offers only filtration, which in Polish language takes on additional meaning – NIC (in Polish it means: NOTHING; ed.).


The listening session included comparing the three conditioners in question. We started with the Denali D6000T (PLN 27,790), because it is part of Janusz, our host's, system from which we switched to the D6000S (PLN 22,910). We listened to five tracks. In the second part, we switched D6000S to Triton v3 (PLN 43,880). All of them were placed on the Acoustic Revive RST-38H anti-vibration platform and were connected to electric outlet via Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 AC power cable.

The session was attended by: Jarek Orszański - Audiofast, Polish distributor of Shunyata Research products, Jarek Waszczyszyn, owner of Ancient Audio and a member of the Krakow Sonic Society and other members of it: Rysiek B, Janusz (our host), Rysiek S., Marcin, Tomek, Bartosz Pacuła (who also runs NEWS section for "High Fidelity") and yours truly.

Recordings used during our session:

  • Chet Baker & Art Pepper, The Route, Pacific Jazz/Capitol/Capitol-EMI Music CDP 7 92931 2, CD (1989)
  • Diana Krall, Wallflower, Verve/Universal Music LLC UCCV-9577, „Deluxe Edition”, SHM-CD + DVD (2015);
  • Dvořak, Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 „From The New World”, Decca/Esoteric ESSD-90105, „MasterSound Works”, SACD/CD (1982/2006)
  • Szymon Zychowicz, Lalilu, Luna Music LUNCD437, CD (2018)
  • The Oscar Peterson Trio, We Get Request, Verve/Analogue Productions CVRJ 8606 SA, SACD/CD (1964/2011)

Japanese issues available at

| PART I: Denali D6000T vs Denali D6000S

Rysiek S. | I have not been here for a long time and I that's probably why I perceived this first listening session very emotionally, i.e. a comparison of two versions of Dworzak. Then we listened to other tracks and let me say that this is not the type of music I listen to every day. Not all of them sound just as good as I'm used to – sometimes there was a glassy piano, sometimes an ugly double bass. At the beginning I was wondering if there was or wasn't a difference and at first I wasn't really sure – in some cases I thought that Denali Twas better, and a moment later that there was no difference.

I hesitated until the album, brought by Tomek, or Lalilu by Szymon Zychowicz, because the difference with it was immediately clear. I have a strange feeling that the "S" emits some subcutaneous life. It is a bit less resolving and more conglomerated sound, but it features some kind of "energy factor". Something is happening there. But, I have no doubt that I prefer the "T" version.

Rysiek B. | These are two different devices for me.

Kilku na raz | Sure, these are two different devices, there is no denying it…

Rysiek B. | I meant sonically, of course, and if you let me finish, I will explain why. The first impression is that the "S" version does something like all the recordings were more compressed than with the "T" version. As if there was a tube somewhere is the system - it has some sensuality in it, it adds some warmth and musicality to each recording. And it lowers the whole sound balance.

Sound is warmer, but less resolving, there is less tonal differentiation. It seems to me that the choice would be a matter of taste rather than a performance. But the differences are very clear and – let me repeat that – these are two very different devices. I am aware of the limitations of the "S" version, but for me it was more musical and calmer - it was also more balanced.

Wojciech Pacuła | And in this particular system which one did you like more?

Rysiek B. | It depended on the track. Because Esoteric with Dvorzak, that you brought, was more energetic and emotional with Denali T. It was more energetic, lively, full of colors. And that's exactly what the high-end is all about. But if you look at it in terms of musicality, then Denali S was better.

Janusz | Could you explain what „musicality” means, what kind of category is that?

Rysiek B. | For me a presentation is musical when it engages me, when it makes me sing and/or dance, when I tap me feet, when I move to the rhythm, and so on.

Janusz | Gentlemen, but lets not make a basic mistake and let us not use it in differentiating, meaning in the objective process, a subjective criterion. I wasn't engaged with "S", my leg was tapping the rhythm.

Rysiek B. | Janusz, but all these musicians, all those devices have their timing… and…

Janusz | Wait a minute, it seems you don't really know what you're talking about…

Rysiek B. | …either you feel it and react to it, or you can't hear it because it is blurred in time domain… Either the presentation is musical or it's not, what is difficult to understand?

Janusz | It's all true, but listen – I know it is difficult to describe something objectively, but in this case it is obvious that what you're describing is subjective, because I didn't feel it..

Rysiek B. | I can't help you to feel it if you can't…

Marcin | Let me say something - I absolutely disagree with Rysiek. In my opinion, or how I perceived it, the "S" sounded better in most tracks. In some cases the difference was not big, but it was always in favor of the "T" version. In my opinion, the "S" sounded more dynamic and the center of gravity was set higher. With it I could hear more small details in drums, cymbals. It sounded as if it there was more details. The "T" version gave a kind of "frame" around the sounds - music flowed, it was beautiful. Whereas "S" gave music a kick. This is, in my opinion, the biggest difference, and if it additionally allows you to save some money, then ...

Rysiek S. | In your opinion the dynamics and more details offered by the „S” outweighed the qualities of the „T”?

Marcin | Yes, I like the „S” better.

Jarek Orszański | But remember also about macro- and micro-dynamics, we could hear a difference in these aspects too, right?

Marcin | OK - when we listened to the Człowiek track from Tomek's album, all the vocals had a larger range with "S", there was something happening in the track and it had a larger scale.

Bartosz Pacuła | Briefly - I liked the standing conditioner, meaning "T". For me, the rule was that the worse the recording, the bigger the differences. That is why the biggest differences came from Tomek's album. There is no doubt – the "S" was, in comparison to the vertical "T", too shrill.

Tomek | I would like to take this opportunity to disagree with Marcin and agree a little with Rysiek B. and Bartek :) I liked the "T" more. But when I listened to Szymon Zychowicz, I thought to myself that Janusz's system should be more versatile and should be more tolerant for the mediocre recordings – meaning ones like the above mentioned ... Listening was just exhausting with the "S" conditioner.

But then we switched to "T" and everything softened, it stopped being irritating. Suddenly, it was possible to listen to this CD in a balanced way. I would choose this standing conditioner for this system. But I have to say that both Shunyatas are very good devices.

Jarek Waszczyszyn | I say this as a listener, not a designer – this experiment is really interesting, because from what I know about "S" and "T",these two devices are very similar in design. A word of caution for all designers – that is a proof of how important are even small elements, how much difference they can make. The first impression is that the lying conditioner, or th e"S", sounded shrill. This may create the impression of high dynamics, but that's not true. During the listening session I looked at our feet and with the “T” conditioner they all "tapped” - and that's where I understand what Rysiek talked about. With the "S" – nothing happened, there was a total lack of action. There is something to the claim that music with Denali "S" was less engaging.

Tomek | Speak for yourself, Rysiek B. claimed differently.

Jarek Waszczyszyn | OK., I speak for myself and three other guys I watched during presentation.

Jarek Orszański | I liked the conditioner "T" more with certain recordings, and in the "S" with others, so I must agree in part with all who spoke before me :) Each of you said something and I agree with that. The Denali S presentation is more lively, more "live". But often these are elements that may better stay hidden. And the "T" does kind of "hocus pocus" with music, so whatever you play with it, it always sounds well. But there is also less of something with it.

And it's not about tonal richness. With the "S" there is more treble, so it seems that it is more resolving, and it is not. For this reason, it also seems that Denali S is more dynamic in the macro scale, and it is not. However, at the micro level, both conditioners are, for me, equal. Generally, it's a matter of taste, although - I must say - I liked the "T" more with most recordings.

Janusz | It will be difficult for me to talk about it, because Denali T is mine ... But I will try ... The word "shrill" has a pejorative meaning. But it is difficult to use any other term – from the place where I sat the Denali S conditioner sounded shrill, even though it was not so clearly a bad thing. Maybe it was due to the fact that - and here I agree with Jarek – its tonal balance is higher. And for me, ever since I have this new player (Ayon Audio CD-35 High Fidelity Edition - WP), anything with tonal balance set "higher" is unacceptable. I am just physically unable to accept it.

For others it may be expressive, vivid presentation, but for me it is just shrill. I am so used to this "my" naturalness associated with the sound “set” low, that even if something sounds spectacular at times – just as Denali S did - it is unnatural for me. It was particularly clear when we listened to the track from Tomek's album. It was a badly recorded voice and I could not listen to it with Denali S.

Wojciech Pacuła | We did not talk about it with Janusz before, but I totally agree with him. That is why I completely disagree with Marcin and I am equally opposed to Rysiek B's opinion.

Janusz | Good, they obviously don't know what they are talking about…

Tomek | Wait a minute, these two guys disagreed with each other, so how can you disagree with both of them?

Wojciech Pacuła | OK, let me explain. I do not agree with Rysiek because with Denali S sound gets bright and the tonal balance shifts up, I have no doubt about it. We probably hear it the same way, but we interpret it differently, or maybe we describe the same phenomena differently. The lowest bass is not as powerful as with Denali T. The whole tonal balance goes up. I disagree with Marcin on the other hand, because I liked everything about how Denali T affected the sound.

Note please, that I am not saying that I didn't like Denali S - it's a great device that does what it does very efficiently. It just seems to me that it is a matter of the system, i.e. the context in which a given conditioner appears. It is highly probable that the "S" model in a many systems will be a better match. Because it will be able to present more, extract more details, strengthen the energy of the sound. It will be a better choice there than Denali T. It delivers “bigger” sound, with more momentum.

I did not notice any “sweetening” of the sound, but maybe because I did not focus on it. The "S", however, had a smaller so-called "fun factor" for me. Everything sounded more boring with it, less intense. Not that it was boring in itself, after all the "S" sounds in a very exciting way. But the comparison with "T" showed that it does it in a somewhat forced way.

In both cases we are dealing with a very high level, which was very clear with Tomek's album. I must say that I liked the recording ...

Jarek Orszański | Exactly, I like it too, and I took photo of the cover :)

Wojciech Pacuła | I do not think that it is so badly recorded and that the vocals are particularly badly recorded. Yes, it's not the best possible job, but that's how they record vocals nowadays, that's how they sound like when Pro Tools is used. But for this type of production the recording sounds very interesting in my opinion. But it is also hard, bright, sharp, without depth. The first time we listened to it with Denali T, I really liked it. I thought I knew what this arrangement was about. And with the "S" I lacked depth and richness. And without depth this track becomes rather unremarkable.

What I really liked about Denali S was how vibrant the sound was with it. Yes, sometimes it got shrill and tiring, and I would not want to have such presentation at my home. Same as Janusz, I am looking for something different in my system - lower, darker, deeper, richer. Maybe because me and Janusz both have the same players ... Anyway, the fact that Denali S wasn't as good as the T here was first of all a matter of matching to the particular system, and not quite the problem of the conditioner itself. Although, if I am to be 100% honest, I must say that objectively Denali T is simply a better device of these two.

Jarek Orszański | To summarize this part of our meeting, let me say, that it seems to me that all of us spoke about exactly the same things, only every bit differently. As if we discussed colors and argued actually about shades not colors themselves, because we all “see” the same colors just slightly differently.

Marcin | Not quite, Wojtek just said he would like to use the „T” in his system, I would definitely pick the „S”, so the differences are more significant then you claim.

Wojciech Pacuła | Yes, there are differences but they seem to originate in our preferences not in actually different opinions about these devices.

Jarek Waszczyszyn | OK, we should move on…

| PART II: Denali D6000T/D6000S vs Triton v3

Janusz | Let's be honest – we should stop beating around the bush – Triton v3 is simply the best, end of story…

Wojciech Pacuła | OK., it might be the right moment for you to explain what you mean when using „beating around the bush” – we have been hearing you using this term for 15 years, today it seems we have a „linguistic” evening, so please explain.

Janusz | „Beating around the bush” for me means to muddy water, to talk about lots of unimportant things because you want to avoid talking about what is really important. For me it is the same. It's like walking in circles – you can't get anywhere in this way. The (Polish) expression “pieprzyć w bambus” was invented by us, students of English language in college. We even consulted with Americans and this is the closest thing to the English idiom “beat around th bush”.

Wojciech Pacuła | Nobody says though, that you're wrong, only that it seems each of us understood it differently. I, for example, understood it as „quit the BS””.

Janusz | No, no – for me it has no vulgar connotations, it's an emotionally indifferent cry :)

Tomek | Finally, we know…

Wojciech Pacuła | Lets get back to our comparison – Janusz, all you said was „stop beating around the bush” - would you like to elaborate?

Janusz | Sure - Triton v3 is “my kind of sound”, that's what I'm looking for. There is a huge performance gap between it and both previous conditioners, and now it's even more obvious that Denali S “sounds” bright. But the surprising thing is that it's absolutely the same type of performance as one of Denali T, not the "S". In every aspect, even when it comes to the "vividness" we talked about concerning the Denali S. The Denali T seemed “subdued” in comparison, and Triton goes even further in this direction. And you can clearly hear how good it is.

If I graded Denali T with "very good", then Triton would have to be "excellent", the "T" showed the direction, and Triton shows us how it really looks like when the goal is reached. It was clearer, again, when we listened to Tomek's recording.

Rysiek S. | I like Triton so much that if I was the owner of this system, I would just keep it. This is the same aesthetics as the "T", but it also has something like "umpf" in the sound - there is both in it, some hyaluronic acid, and some testosterone. It was clear when we listened to Tomek's album, but I heard it better on Peterson's album. Previously, the piano seemed glassy to me, the double bass was emphasized, etc. And now I was suddenly impressed - what a beautiful recording and how well they did it. I love it!

Rysiek B. | I feel strange about it, but I have to agree with the previous speakers. It seems to me that Triton offers the best qualities of both conditioners we had listened to earlier. From the "T" model, ie vertical, the following were selected: purity, clarity, tonal differentiation, while musicality, warmth, tube-like sound - was taken from the "S" or horizontal model. In my opinion, our host has a problem, because this is clearly the best model here... I regret that I can not afford to take it home and compare it to my Hydra 8. It's a wonderful device!

Marcin | I have to agree to everything that has been already said…

Inni | Boring…

Marcin | Well, I can not help it. As for the tonal balance Triton ranks among the other two, because it seems that its set bit higher than with the vertical "T". But, in my opinion, it does not results from brightening of the sound, but from even better resolution. In the "S" the balance was artificially raised, there was no better resolution. As for the bass, Triton extends even lower than "T" and this is the best device from these three. I would say that it has the best features of the cheapest one, some of the vertical one and it adds something extra to all these, like, for example, better resolution.

Rysiek B. | We agree for the first time since... I can't even remember when :)

Marcin | Yes, we should take a note of today's date…

Bartosz Pacuła | There is nothing to talk about - Triton was simply much better because it presented real music. But I can not agree with Rysiek and Marcin in the sense, that in my opinion it does not combine the best qualities of both Denals, because it is completely different – it “sounded” like the vertical one, only better. The only recording I did not like with it was the Tomek's album, because it sounded bad with all conditioners, and for some reason with the Triton it sounded the worst, as if this device was able to present all its shortcomings in the best way.

Rysiek S. | And don't you think that everything sounded more powerful with Triton, louder and that's why the Lalilu, brought by Tomek, sounded so badly?

Bartosz Pacuła | Yes, exactly – but there was more of everything and that's why it got even more tiring. And the element, that Tomek particularly waited for, meaning the Fender piano, sounded worst. Triton is the best!

Tomek | Triton rulez! It is simply the best! I think that my album sounded best with Triton, I do not know what you are talking about ... It eased the symptoms that were unpleasant with Denali T, or bluntness, and at the same time showed liveliness and power. I could finally enjoy this music with it. It was for the first time that it was clear there was Fender's piano, not some samples or something else - we will have to check it again later. It is an uncompromising, versatile device that will work in any system.

Jarek Waszczyszyn | A great device! The real pleasure for me was listening to the double bass on Peterson's album with it – pace changes, dynamics differentiation and so on. On the Pepper recording I could follow the full line of a double bass, and it finally sounded right. I agree with you - this is a development of the best features of the Denali T conditioner and leading them in the only right direction. I wonder how Shunyata plans to beat it ...

Jarek Orszański | I've been using Triton in my system, so I can confirm that it shows the dynamics closest to what we know from the live events. It brings us closer to the "real world" which is what we are looking for. The dynamics differentiation, both at the micro and macro levels, the tonal differentiation - all this is excellent. I believe that this conditioner has no faults. I can hardly imagine anything that could be even better.

Wojciech Pacuła | Everything has been already said and there is nothing to beat the bush around, as our host so often says :) I tested the Triton v3 in my system and was prepared for what we would hear here, but it surprised me once again - and it's simply the best, by far, conditioner from all three. It's “sounds” absolutely differently than the "S", it's the same as "T's", but deeper, nicer, more resolving.

But Triton does not have one things that the "T" model has. Denali T did something which improved definition of all sounds. Triton plays everything in a soft, more pleasant way. Nothing is so sharply defined with it, but that's how it is in real life. But it is still a recording, not reality and when playing it at home, one requires a greater discipline of communication, because we have to get it through small speakers and a small room. Triton is dark like "T", but has more top, because it is more resolving. If it only had - but really just a bit more - clearer sound definition like the Denali T, it would be perfect.

But, on the other hand, Triton goes even lower and there is “more” of everything. And in this case, there is no comparison between it and Denali S. While before I could have imagined that "S" will play in one type of a system, and the "T" in another, now I know that the Triton is so much better that it is the only real choice here.