Hydra or Extension Block?

I have read some of the countless threads, regarding mains cables, dedicated mains sockets etc... I'm not in a position to have a dedicated supply from my consumer unit, so need some extra sockets for my new 282/NAPSC/HiCapDR/300DR system that I will pick up tomorrow. (Yippee!)

Bearing in mind, that the above system each comes with a Power-Line Lite...I think? I've read the spec on each piece of equipment, and apart from the HiCap DR, it was a bit vague as to what mains cable was supplied.

So, I have only one double wall socket. Do I get a Hydra, which then makes the Power-Line Lites redundant, or get a quality mains extension block?

Original Post

How many sockets do you need? You may just be able to get an electrician to fit you another double socket or two. Powerline Light is the standard lead Naim now supply with all new products. Otherwise a Hydra or a star earthed mains block should be fine. 

I’ve tried a mains extension block, but now use and prefer a star earthed distribution block (a cross between a mains bleach and a hydra I suppose) from custom HiFi cables - it’s also simpler and less clutter. Sound will depend on the quality of your mains, positioning and of course what exact block/hydra you choose. As always with naim kit, avoid filters

I have a two tail Grahams hydra on my Nap and Hicap so I can plug all of my Naim equipment (my Napsc is an Olive and has a captive cable) into their own single unswitched socket and it does make a more noticable difference than when I had one Powerline in the same single socket and the Hicap in a mains extension block.

I use an Olson 4 way unswitched extension with the light disconnected I do not know if it is star earthed but it is a good solution to the problem and doesn't make the same difference as a Hydra.                                                                                         

Fueller posted:

I’ve tried a mains extension block, but now use and prefer a star earthed distribution block (a cross between a mains bleach and a hydra I suppose) from custom HiFi cables - it’s also simpler and less clutter. Sound will depend on the quality of your mains, positioning and of course what exact block/hydra you choose. As always with naim kit, avoid filters

I too have bought a CHC hydra and I chose it over the Graham's product because (IMHO) it seems to be a lot better constructed. Having said that it's almost double the price of their's but I think it's important not to skimp as Naim are very particular about the quality of cabling in general and how the kit's powered.

Jonners posted:
Fueller posted:

I’ve tried a mains extension block, but now use and prefer a star earthed distribution block (a cross between a mains bleach and a hydra I suppose) from custom HiFi cables - it’s also simpler and less clutter. Sound will depend on the quality of your mains, positioning and of course what exact block/hydra you choose. As always with naim kit, avoid filters

I too have bought a CHC hydra and I chose it over the Graham's product because (IMHO) it seems to be a lot better constructed. Having said that it's almost double the price of their's but I think it's important not to skimp as Naim are very particular about the quality of cabling in general and how the kit's powered.

I use the CHC hydra too

And they modified it for me with a longer tail on one of the leads when I added a fraim shelf and needed more length (oooww eerrr) for little cost

It's nice construction and silver soldered ...for a good price ...

 

Japtimscarlet posted:
Jonners posted:
Fueller posted:

I’ve tried a mains extension block, but now use and prefer a star earthed distribution block (a cross between a mains bleach and a hydra I suppose) from custom HiFi cables - it’s also simpler and less clutter. Sound will depend on the quality of your mains, positioning and of course what exact block/hydra you choose. As always with naim kit, avoid filters

I too have bought a CHC hydra and I chose it over the Graham's product because (IMHO) it seems to be a lot better constructed. Having said that it's almost double the price of their's but I think it's important not to skimp as Naim are very particular about the quality of cabling in general and how the kit's powered.

I use the CHC hydra too

And they modified it for me with a longer tail on one of the leads when I added a fraim shelf and needed more length (oooww eerrr) for little cost

It's nice construction and silver soldered ...for a good price ...

 

My thoughts exactly! I bought one of Sean's CHC units as well , 3 PSU's in one at a very reasonable price which also saves on rack space. I've put an order in for a replacement interconnect between my Stageline and 282. Good guy, great products!

ChrisSU posted:

How many sockets do you need? You may just be able to get an electrician to fit you another double socket or two. Powerline Light is the standard lead Naim now supply with all new products. Otherwise a Hydra or a star earthed mains block should be fine. 

ChrisSu...A minimum of five sockets for the black boxes, then there's the router and switch. I can install a double spur, but you're not allowed to spur off a spur.

Meerkat posted:
Meerkat posted:
ChrisSU posted:

How many sockets do you need? You may just be able to get an electrician to fit you another double socket or two. Powerline Light is the standard lead Naim now supply with all new products. Otherwise a Hydra or a star earthed mains block should be fine. 

ChrisSu...A minimum of five sockets for the black boxes, then there's the router and switch. I can install a double spur, but you're not allowed to spur off a spur.

Just found out that if you put a 13A fused spurred connection, you can add as many spurs as you like, providing they don't exceed 13amps.

Yes, spurring off one socket, then taking another spur, contravenes the regs, although it has certainly been done in the past. A decent electrician should be able to come up with a workable solution. Better to keep any noisy wall warts on a different circuit altogether if possible, or at least as far away as possible from the HiFi stuff. Maybe a Hydra or power block would help with that. 

I agree...but thought about keeping the Netgear Switch near the streamer, as the AudioQuest Cinnamon Ethernet cable is only 0.75 metres long. Maybe just better to get a new length of cable (At their prices, not the Cinnamon one) Not wanting to open that debate yet again, but what make of Ethernets do you use?

 

Meerkat posted:

I have read some of the countless threads, regarding mains cables, dedicated mains sockets etc... I'm not in a position to have a dedicated supply from my consumer unit, so need some extra sockets for my new 282/NAPSC/HiCapDR/300DR system that I will pick up tomorrow. (Yippee!)

Bearing in mind, that the above system each comes with a Power-Line Lite...I think? I've read the spec on each piece of equipment, and apart from the HiCap DR, it was a bit vague as to what mains cable was supplied.

So, I have only one double wall socket. Do I get a Hydra, which then makes the Power-Line Lites redundant, or get a quality mains extension block?

Congratulations for your new system! I am about to order a CHC PowerPlack Distribution Block for my system. It supports more outputs than their PowerBlack Hydra and should provide slightly better shielding. As a first step, you could also use the original cables and connect them to a CHC PowerBlack Extension Socket. A few months ago I have ordered from CHC a PowerBlack cable and I have found its quality to be very good. 

Morning NBPF...Thank you, picking it up today.

Yes, seems a shame to waste all those Power-Line Lites, normally selling for £95! And, If one is supplied with each black box...

Why did you choose the CHC PowerBlack Distribution Block for your system, over Wireworld, Russ Andrews etc...

The Powerline lite is simply the bog standard mains lead but with a plug that bends in the middle. I wouldn’t get hung up on it. The Grahams hydra is an excellent solution and is best and tidy, as well as avoiding lots of connections. It also avoids the potential angst of plugging order. On the other hand a Wireworld matrix is very good and is more flexible. I wouldn’t worry overly. The best thing you can do is to get dedicated mains, which is far more significant than mains blocks. Maybe you could reconsider this as an option, and have six sockets installed on the end. For example, we run ours from the meter in the garage to the sitting room by burying it in the flower bed. 

hungryhalibut posted:

The Powerline lite is simply the bog standard mains lead but with a plug that bends in the middle. I wouldn’t get hung up on it. The Grahams hydra is an excellent solution and is best and tidy, as well as avoiding lots of connections. It also avoids the potential angst of plugging order. On the other hand a Wireworld matrix is very good and is more flexible. I wouldn’t worry overly. The best thing you can do is to get dedicated mains, which is far more significant than mains blocks. Maybe you could reconsider this as an option, and have six sockets installed on the end. For example, we run ours from the meter in the garage to the sitting room by burying it in the flower bed. 

Thanks HH for confirming that. I did install a dedicated mains in my previous house, but at the moment in this new house, it's a tad tricky

I was just curious why so many forum members preferred The Grahams Hydra, over other makes. I could install a FCU Spur, and have as many double, unswitched sockets as I need. Providing of course the load is not over 13 amps.

As you say, The Hydra is tidy and avoids the angst of plugging order in tight, hard to reach places.

Meerkat posted:

Morning NBPF...Thank you, picking it up today.

Yes, seems a shame to waste all those Power-Line Lites, normally selling for £95! And, If one is supplied with each black box...

Why did you choose the CHC PowerBlack Distribution Block for your system, over Wireworld, Russ Andrews etc...

If you go down the Hydra route you will be able to sell those Power-Line Lites on eBay which is what I did after buying the CHC Hydra a few weeks ago. Mine were the standard Naims with Crabtree plugs and about 12 years old. I still got £25/£27 plus P&P for each one so factor that in when calculating overall costs.

To address your other question, I use a 4way Russ Andrews XBlock to power my tv, router, Playstation and LP12 on one socket and a CHC Hydra for the CHC PSU/200/282/CDX2 from the other. Why do that? Russ Andrews don't make star-wired products which is the fundamental reason for choosing a Hydra. They're also filtered which is another no-no on Naim kit. That said, the filtering on the XBlock is "passive" and I noticed an immediate improvement in the TV picture after plugging in. Expensive though! One other thing which will help make your mind up is availability. Sean at CHC is on a 2 month lead time at present as he only makes to order so if you want something now, Graham's is probably the way to go.

Meerkat posted:

I agree...but thought about keeping the Netgear Switch near the streamer, as the AudioQuest Cinnamon Ethernet cable is only 0.75 metres long. Maybe just better to get a new length of cable (At their prices, not the Cinnamon one) Not wanting to open that debate yet again, but what make of Ethernets do you use?

It’s been said that the optimum length for an Ethernet cable is 3 meters minimum, for reasons I won’t pretend to fully understand. Maybe you need to go for quantity over quality?!

Jonners posted:
Meerkat posted:

Morning NBPF...Thank you, picking it up today.

Yes, seems a shame to waste all those Power-Line Lites, normally selling for £95! And, If one is supplied with each black box...

Why did you choose the CHC PowerBlack Distribution Block for your system, over Wireworld, Russ Andrews etc...

If you go down the Hydra route you will be able to sell those Power-Line Lites on eBay which is what I did after buying the CHC Hydra a few weeks ago. Mine were the standard Naims with Crabtree plugs and about 12 years old. I still got £25/£27 plus P&P for each one so factor that in when calculating overall costs.

To address your other question, I use a 4way Russ Andrews XBlock to power my tv, router, Playstation and LP12 on one socket and a CHC Hydra for the CHC PSU/200/282/CDX2 from the other. Why do that? Russ Andrews don't make star-wired products which is the fundamental reason for choosing a Hydra. They're also filtered which is another no-no on Naim kit. That said, the filtering on the XBlock is "passive" and I noticed an immediate improvement in the TV picture after plugging in. Expensive though! One other thing which will help make your mind up is availability. Sean at CHC is on a 2 month lead time at present as he only makes to order so if you want something now, Graham's is probably the way to go.

Ah, thank you Jonners. That is useful to know. A quick buck now, may be detrimental if I ever sold either of the black boxes?

Spoke to Colin at Graham's. He states, they use the same cable as the 'Lites', just a different plug. Still keeping the 'star earthing route' 

ChrisSU posted:
Meerkat posted:

I agree...but thought about keeping the Netgear Switch near the streamer, as the AudioQuest Cinnamon Ethernet cable is only 0.75 metres long. Maybe just better to get a new length of cable (At their prices, not the Cinnamon one) Not wanting to open that debate yet again, but what make of Ethernets do you use?

It’s been said that the optimum length for an Ethernet cable is 3 meters minimum, for reasons I won’t pretend to fully understand.

I know a couple of guys on here that would definitely know!

 

ChrisSU posted:

It’s been said that the optimum length for an Ethernet cable is 3 meters minimum, for reasons I won’t pretend to fully understand. Maybe you need to go for quantity over quality?!

Minimum length ethernet is another of those myths that have been assumed to be fact in some quarters..   There is nothing in the regs & specs that suggest a minimum length.   

Meerkat posted:

Spoke to Colin at Graham's. He states, they use the same cable as the 'Lites', just a different plug. Still keeping the 'star earthing route' 

I think it depends how flush you're feeling Meerkat. Having said that, if you ever did want to sell one of your boxes you could simply buy a mains cable off eBay (and you won't pay £95 guaranteed), or if you trade-in with a dealer I'm sure they wouldn't penalise you for the absence of a cable. I think Graham's take the genuine Naim cables, bind them together and fit to a fat plug whereas CHC use their own cabling which is more thickly shielded. That's the only reason I went with CHC because I live in a block of flats and the mains is quite noisy. You pays your money, etc....

Mike-B posted:
ChrisSU posted:

It’s been said that the optimum length for an Ethernet cable is 3 meters minimum, for reasons I won’t pretend to fully understand. Maybe you need to go for quantity over quality?!

Minimum length ethernet is another of those myths that have been assumed to be fact in some quarters..   There is nothing in the regs & specs that suggest a minimum length.   

Thanks...Were your ears burning Mike?

Jonners posted:
Meerkat posted:

Spoke to Colin at Graham's. He states, they use the same cable as the 'Lites', just a different plug. Still keeping the 'star earthing route' 

I think it depends how flush you're feeling Meerkat. Having said that, if you ever did want to sell one of your boxes you could simply buy a mains cable off eBay (and you won't pay £95 guaranteed), or if you trade-in with a dealer I'm sure they wouldn't penalise you for the absence of a cable. I think Graham's take the genuine Naim cables, bind them together and fit to a fat plug whereas CHC use their own cabling which is more thickly shielded. That's the only reason I went with CHC because I live in a block of flats and the mains is quite noisy. You pays your money, etc....

Not very flush at all Buying the 282/HiCap/300DR has emptied my bank account! Cheers for the heads up.

Personally i'd get a 4 headed Grahams Hydra which will be enough for source (NDX2 ?), NAPSC, HiCAP and 300. I've always found that to be the best way of connecting my kit if multiple (star earthed) wall sockets aren't available. I'd put the PL lites back in the boxes to keep in case you sell kit later.

You could explore other options later (dedicated mains and multiple sockets) but i'd keep it simple on the mains front to start with and just enjoy your new kit. 

James

hungryhalibut posted:

If you are connecting four items to a two way socket it’s perfectly safe to put two items into each plug. It would work with a Powerline lite of course, but a standard MK plug would do it. 

To get the two wires into a mains plug really needs the screw clamp cable retainer arrangement where both cables can be clamped side by side and held tightly. I wouldn't be happy using the two cable trick with an MK plug and it's particular 'push and retain' cable clamp arrangement. The Crabtree plugs were better in this respect. 

hungryhalibut posted:

If you are connecting four items to a two way socket it’s perfectly safe to put two items into each plug. It would work with a Powerline lite of course, but a standard MK plug would do it. 

Not that I'm counting, but it'll be five boxes when I get the NDX 2 in a couple of months.

Meerkat posted:
hungryhalibut posted:

The Powerline lite is simply the bog standard mains lead but with a plug that bends in the middle. I wouldn’t get hung up on it. The Grahams hydra is an excellent solution and is best and tidy, as well as avoiding lots of connections. It also avoids the potential angst of plugging order. On the other hand a Wireworld matrix is very good and is more flexible. I wouldn’t worry overly. The best thing you can do is to get dedicated mains, which is far more significant than mains blocks. Maybe you could reconsider this as an option, and have six sockets installed on the end. For example, we run ours from the meter in the garage to the sitting room by burying it in the flower bed. 

Thanks HH for confirming that. I did install a dedicated mains in my previous house, but at the moment in this new house, it's a tad tricky

I was just curious why so many forum members preferred The Grahams Hydra, over other makes. I could install a FCU Spur, and have as many double, unswitched sockets as I need. Providing of course the load is not over 13 amps.

As you say, The Hydra is tidy and avoids the angst of plugging order in tight, hard to reach places.

I would only bother with a dedicated spur if you can go the whole hog, split the meter tails and run it from a separate consumer unit. If that’s too much hassle, just get a Hydra. 

Meerkat posted:
...

Why did you choose the CHC PowerBlack Distribution Block for your system, over Wireworld, Russ Andrews etc...

I have bought a PowerBlack IEC from CHC a few months ago and found the quality of the cable to be very good. The support was very competent. I like to buy from small companies that provide detailed technical documentation. As a consequence, I am not going to buy new Naim gear until they reintroduce detailed user guides and decent technical specifications. I find the web site of CHC more appealing than that of Russ Andrews. I have not checked the Wireworld web presence in detail. After a cursory look, it seems to be a rather big company and I do not particularly like their web pages.

I had a grahams hydra and got rid of it and bought a wireworld matrix block. In all honesty i didnt notice any difference. The  block  offerred more flexibility whether i increased the box count or reduced it. Also i can use the powerline cables which i rate. The hydra was good before the powerline cables came into the equation.  The hydra is quite bulky and you either have spare heads or have to buy a new one if the box count increases. The star earthing is more important.  A few hifi dealers will let you try te mains block and return if unhappy.

 

I bought a chc hydra and didn't like the quality of the mains plug as found the fuse wasn't held very securely. The iec plugs at the other end were of the screw together type and seemed a bit cheap. I didn't bother using it much and ended up buying a grahams one as it used the naim leads. 

No idea on sound quality differences though as there appeared to be some kind of burn in going on, whether it was my brain or the cables...

You could probably fit a powerline lite mains plug to the grahams one if desired. 

Morning Mike

I have often looked at the Powerigel, but didn't take it any further.

An update from yesterday: I have installed an additional double MK, unswitched socket, I also replaced the old double socket to an MK.

I then unpacked and installed my new 282/HiCapDR/300DR (Blimey, those Burndys are tricky)...and without fail, I've got the Naim Hum! On my old system, the HiCapDR was giving it large, but this time its the 300s power supply. Switched off all other electrical appliances in the house, so it's not those...Probably, as we have mentioned above, DC issues.

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