Power Supply - an apology, to myself.

The rear of my system table has always looked similar to Spaghetti Junction - probably like most of you . It's so difficult to keep all those cables tidy and not touching each other. Also, there were so many plugs - four standard plugs into a cheap power distribution block, then into one wall socket.

After too many years, I decided to sort it out a bit, and the ideal solution seemed to be a Graham's Hydra. Perfect for tidying things up I thought, but I didn't take any notice of the positive comments on the net about how such a device improves sound quality - after all, how can the four metres of cable from the wall socket to the equipment make any difference, considering the power had travelled many miles already, to reach my flat !  Some people commented that there was a good improvement to sound using an Hydra, almost equivalent to a black box upgrade. Nonsense I thought.

Well I contacted Graham's and they made up a 4 headed Hydra for me and I put it into my system.

It's been two weeks now since installed and I must disagree with those that commented on the net. They underestimated. This darned Hydra has no right to make such a difference to the sound of my system, it's ridiculous. It just cannot happen, but it did. Definitely the equivalent to a black box upgrade IMHO.

How on earth it does it, I have no idea, But if I had to describe the improvements (sound differences I find hard to describe) I would say the bass is cleaner, instruments are easier to hear in the mix and, especially, vocals are spectacularly clear without any harshness. I am listening to Nat King Cole's 'After Midnight Sessions' as I type, and it sounds scary good.

So, if there are any naysayers out there that don't buy this idea that a cleaner power supply can make a difference, please consider my experience and try it out with an open mind. It's illogical to my simple mind, but it works. I would give Powerlines a try, but I think it would probably be overkill (especially price wise !) on my humble Olive system !

Many thanks go to Colin at Graham's, who made up the Hydra with a Euro Schuko plug for me, pretty pronto, and was very helpful and professional. Thank you.

 

Original Post
True Blue posted:

It's shielded mains. So less leakage to interfere with delicate signal cables. In layman's terms

 

The Hydra is just standard mains cables joined together; I’m not aware of any shielding. It works better in this case because it negates the need for a mains block and maintains the star earth. By connecting each box directly to the wall socket, lots of unnecessary plugs and sockets are removed from the system. I used one for years and it was excellent - cheap and effective. 

hungryhalibut posted:
True Blue posted:

It's shielded mains. So less leakage to interfere with delicate signal cables. In layman's terms

 

The Hydra is just standard mains cables joined together; I’m not aware of any shielding. It works better in this case because it negates the need for a mains block and maintains the star earth. By connecting each box directly to the wall socket, lots of unnecessary plugs and sockets are removed from the system. I used one for years and it was excellent - cheap and effective. 

Yes, HH, it's supposed to be the star earthing, together with getting rid of all those plugs and sockets that's supposed to be the reason why the Hydra works. And boy, it really works. Keb Mo sounding fine at the moment 

Naim_that_tune posted:

Interesting stuff.

I’ve got Powerline lites going into a cheap mains block - I wonder if it would be beneficial changing to a hydra going straight into the wall?

My experience NTT would suggest that there would be an improvement. Hydras are cheap (180 pounds for a 4 head version), so it may be worth trying one. Maybe contact Colin at Graham's and ask if you can try one on a purchase or return basis ? Or just buy one - I get the idea that they are easy to sell on if you don't like.

On the basis of this I bought a 2-head Hydra, to power the XPSDR (into the 272) & the 250DR.  Blimey, Woy was right. It's another step change, similar even to when the XPSDR replaced the mains lead into the 272. What was good, is now better. £150. Why wouldn’t you?

When I first got into the mains game I was appalled at the drop in quality. Everything sounded harsh and muddy. Three things I discovered: 1) mains cables take time to burn in; 2) the main bearing on the LP12 was shot; 3) clean mains lets you hear a faithful reproduction of sound, in this instance it wasn't the cables making it sound worse, but revealing the true sound of the system. You should try a dedicated mains spur if you fancy a real upgrade! Thor tried lightning: a little temperamental...

I’ve just set off along the main cable upgrade path, I have a Uniti Star, Rega Phono stage and an entry level Turntable, I was thinking of just upgrading the Uniti’s Power cable, after having a look in detail at the Power-Line Lite that came with it and not being particularly impressed.

Anyway what struck me was everything was plugged into a cheap shop 6 way extension lead, so I figured that will need to go too.

Ive just orderd a new 6 way extension that has 2 meters of a Belden screened cable and silver plated plug top from MCRU, also bought a power lead that has silver plated plug, IEC connector and the same Belden screened cable for the Uniti, not sure how long it will take to deliver but I’m hopeful of an improvement over my cheapo 6 way and the standard Power-Line Lite.

I have to admit to being obsessed with all things cable-related and I've thrown hundreds of Pounds at different solutions in the quest for the ultimate "tweak". I bought a hydra recently too, though at £300 it was more than Graham's but then again it was differently constructed and it's made a great difference.

It's not just hi-fi though. I have a Russ Andrews XBlock for my tv, router and playstation  and for the tv in particular I had an immediate improvement in picture quality. My point of view is that if a £500 speaker cable run can make a difference, why can't an electrical cable?

ChrisR_EPL posted:

On the basis of this I bought a 2-head Hydra, to power the XPSDR (into the 272) & the 250DR.  Blimey, Woy was right. It's another step change, similar even to when the XPSDR replaced the mains lead into the 272. What was good, is now better. £150. Why wouldn’t you?

Why wouldn’t you? Because you can wire both mains leads into the same plug and get the same result for precisely nothing. 

hungryhalibut posted:
ChrisR_EPL posted:

On the basis of this I bought a 2-head Hydra, to power the XPSDR (into the 272) & the 250DR.  Blimey, Woy was right. It's another step change, similar even to when the XPSDR replaced the mains lead into the 272. What was good, is now better. £150. Why wouldn’t you?

Why wouldn’t you? Because you can wire both mains leads into the same plug and get the same result for precisely nothing. 

Why? Because you might just blow a fuse? If that option really sounded better and was safer I'm sure Naim would recommend it!

A XPS and 250 into a single plug is perfectly fine:  a UK 13amp plug anyway. Quite a few Naim boxes added together use less power than a kettle and the fuse won’t blow. I was offering a suggestion and there is no need to dismiss it without having tried it, which I have and I know it works. 

Japtimscarlet posted:

The man has a good point!!

 

But why don't naim make a powerline hydra ?

 

Ps....I'm a CHC hydra user 

They do.  Sort of.

It's actually from Naim's distributor for Germany, Music Line, who offer the Power Igel Plus, a version of the Power Igel that uses Powerline cabling and plugs provided by Naim.

Richard Dane posted:
Japtimscarlet posted:

The man has a good point!!

 

But why don't naim make a powerline hydra ?

 

Ps....I'm a CHC hydra user 

They do.  Sort of.

It's actually from Naim's distributor for Germany, Music Line, who offer the Power Igel Plus, a version of the Power Igel that uses Powerline cabling and plugs provided by Naim.

Shouldn't this be superior to using multiple powerlines given star earthing etc?

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