CES & THE Show 2010 • TABlog

by Marc Mickelson | January 8, 2010

New power cords are everywhere at CES, but Shunyata Research's Venom3 is easily one of the most interesting of them.

First, it's inexpensive -- very inexpensive. Shunyata is determining pricing right now and shooting for $100, although $120 is more realistic. Second, the Venom3 is well made and promises high performance. It uses 12-gauge OFC conductors and gold-plated solid-brass contacts set within molded connectors. Third, there will be three different versions that will make for an easy transition from the stock power cords that come with audio gear. "Get the black cords out" was Caelin Gabriel's mantra about the Venom3, underscoring who the buyers for the Venom3 will likely be: those who have never tried an upgraded power cord with their gear.

Years ago, Magnepan started selling the MMG speaker direct in order to help its dealers. The reasoning went that people who bought MMGs, whose price was ridiculously low, would hear the Magnepan sound and then want to move up to other Maggies that they would then buy at dealers. Shunyata is doing much the same thing with the Venom3. There's not much money to be made on a $120 power cord, even if you sell thousands of them, as Shunyata expects to do. It's what happens after the sale that will make or break this experiment in power-cord retailing.

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