Applications for Shunyata Hydra ?

New to powerconditioners. Did some research thru friends and dealers and the shunyata Hydra seems to get a popular vote.
My question is, considering the Guardian and the Hydra series. the price of the hydra seems to be double over the guardian series. Is the difference well worth it ?

If to use hydra /guardian, which of the components are best plugged in there ? I have a cd player, pre-amp and a power amp.

I also read that hydra/guardian has to be used with the shunyata 20 amp powercords. Which model of their 20 amp cord is best place to begin ? and does it make a whole lot difference using the higher model up which can cost as much or more than the hydra unit itself. Also if i already have some aftermarket power cord (other brands that are used in my components ) would it be compatible with the hydra ? ex. PS Audio powercord from cd player plugged into hydra 8 ?

Last but not least, what are the improvements expected from using hydra/guardian ?

Thank you for inputs.

Have you searched the thread archives? The discussions of Shunyata Hydra conditioners and power cords are plentiful and rich with information.
Do you have dedicated circuits for your system along with high end AC outlets?
That’s were everyone should start. From there it’s a matter of personal preference, opinion, and equipment needs. In other words all high end equipment doesn’t sound the same good/bad/indifferent on the same power conditioners.
haven't tried the new Guardian.
Using Hydra4 right now. Had 2 Hydra2 units before. Your cdp and preamp will benefit from Hydra. Your amp may or may not. My McCormack amps benefitted from Hydra but my Pass amp does not. I preffer this amp run directly from the wall.
With Hydra I noticed blacker backgrounds, reduced noise floor and overall it lets you hear a bit deeper into the music. Soundstage is improved as well.
Hydra and Guardian use 20amp power cords. The IEC inlet on the Hydra and Guardian is 20amp and is different from the conventional 15amp IEC plug, so your PS Audio cord, if it has a conventional 3-prong 15amp IEC plug, will not work with Hydra.
There are different power cords that can be made with a 20amp IEC end, so you can experiment. I used Shunyata Taipan Alpha with the Hydras and it was good.

But if you run the search on Hydra you will come up with lots of info and lots of opinions on PCs and everything else.
Have fun.
I'll second Lak's comments,

Given the cost of investing in high-end conditioners, I'd make sure your AC lines are up to snuff first. The bonus of doing so is that you won't have to guess whether or not any power conditioners you try are actually causing a sonic inprovement, or just a different sonic flavor, since you'll know you have a solid AC 'foundation' to compare them to.
Since my new rig (SET amp and SETpre amp now vs integrated SE tube amp before) I plug my Pre amp and cdp into a two outlet Audio Magic going into a dedicated line and my amp I skip the power conditioner and use just the dedicated line. Works for me. If I was going to power condition only one? I would do the source. Prices are contingent on how far and complicated it is to get to your breaker box. It's a labor thing..If you can go for the $$ it is worth it. I'd go with the dedicated outlets before doing any power conditioning. Your electric journey may end there, however I have found that quality power conditioning is like giving a steroid injection to a dedicated line. let us know how it goes.

BTW, as Tvad said, there is oodles of power conditioning info in the archives. You'll be reading all day.

warren :)
Lak, Warren. Toli, Tvad ( We sound like 5 oughta seven dwarves )

Hi good morning,

I realize having uncorrupted house current is one of the best treatments one can make to ensure noise free reproduction

What type of breakers and AC outlets would be considered HIgh End ? And what type of conductor would you run from the breaker to the outlet?

Another question - My house main current is coming off a powerline about 40 ft away, it enters the house about three feet away from my amp on the outside of the wall, the Breaker panel is 6ft below in the basement. Its 1/2 a mile up the road to my closest neighbor. With a dedicated line out of the box is power conditioning a wise thing or could it possibly just be another chance to degrade/enhance the signal.

Then again Warren aren't you concerned about surge protection ?
Where I live lightning does strike- sometimes twice !

thanks for your point of view

Best Regards

Well my pre amp and cdp are protected. My amp? Good excuse to shop for a new one. Seriously though, I should look for a used Audio Magic or (even) Hydra for my amp. I'd get the surge protection and a little conditioning while I'm at it. 30 yeara of this audiophooish game and lightning has never struck once. Murphy, are you there? Watch what's going to happen this year!
AC Outlets:
I have dedicated lines and Porter Ports. I don't have expensive "audiophile" breakers, nor do I have surge protection at the box. I have two Hydra 2 conditioners and I rely on the surge protection they provide. I hope it's sufficient. I live in LA, and I'm not particularly worried about lightning storms and electrical surges. I'm more concerned about the earth opening up, breaking off into the ocean, or a firestorm turning this megalopolis into Dante's Inferno.
Tvad, there is protection for a rig with that type of LA problem: Utah!

I think I'll take my chances here in S. California. :)

I have a Hydra 4 which I plug my mono blocks and Vandersteen Quatros. Recently my house experienced a power surge from the Electric Co. It was substantial. It took out the Hydra and one of the Quatro amps. The monoblocks suffered a blown fuse. It also took out my microwave, surge protector for my computers, my external modem.

I can't imagine what damage I would have incurred if the Hydra hadn't take the blunt of it. (e.g., amps and speakers plugged into the wall.)

We all buy protection, hoping we won't need it, assuming if we do, it will do its job.

The Hydra did its job.
I had the Hydra 6 a year ago with the cheaper powercord. I can't remember the model but it was the $250.00 one with 20 ampers.

I plugged in one component at a time starting with my Marantz sacd player, then my pre-amp, then my power amp.

This is what I noticed:

a.) with the cd player into the hydra, I find it a bit closed in, shut in as we say. The sound was not veiled but somewhat lost is liveliness. I did not like it plugged to the hydra, preferred straight to outlet with the Audience Powercord.

b.) the pre-amp on the hydra was better. It somewhat made the sound refined. More focused.

c.) On my power amp-- it was just struggling, sounded muffled, congested and shut it. No way.

In the end, i seem to prefer my components plugged into a strip bar (powerbar) with no lights, fuses, power on switch, etc than using the hydra.

I ended up selling the hydra.

Perhaps your mileage may vary!

good luck.
I have a Hydra 2 and I am tickled to death with the performance on my amp. I borrowed a Hydra 4 before buying this one and one at a time I plugged the preamp and CD player into the Hydra 4. I did not like the sources plugged into it. Only the amp. I had better results with the Ultimate Outlet for sources. The Hydra needs a good PC for ultimate results. I am using a Taipan Alpha.
Just my experience.
Try a PS Audio regenerated power supply if you do not have dedicated outlets. There is much information on their products here.
If you're not stuck on Hydra, check Audio Magic's line. I'm a big fan. I owned a Hydra as well, but I preferred the AM more...
Hi Ho!

Lak thanx 4 the link I also checked out your system and the thread that goes with it.. Your philosopy of the power plant enabling the true potential of a system rings true. As I am sure your music rings as well! A Beautiful Thing ! Something to Aspire to as well

As a minimum to start I will run two dedicated lines from my power panel up to two porter ports. I am not sure if I need a sub panel, do you have that because of your 240/120 isolation transformers. Would you say that the transformers are the first piece of the puzzel. Homer on the system thread asked

What gauge wires go out of your sub-panel and what's the reason for feeding 220V into your Isolation Transformers? Doesn't that make them "work" to step down for nothing?

I have been experimenting with 120v vs. 220v to 120v. I'll get back to you and let you know.

Could you share the results of your experiment. If the sub panel is a function of the isolation transformers and creates a audible dividend I may go this route.

In the Power Plant picture the main panel out buses into the isolation transformers and into the sub panel look huge. What spec are you using there? is the sub the left panel?

Again i am amazed at the wealth of quality advice and the attention to detail and generousity of the members here at Audiogon

Thanks Lak - Warren - Tvad - Toli and all the other generous philes hanging on these boards. Thank You Everyone!

Genuine Regards


Listening to

Arthur Rubinstein The Chopin Collection - The Sonatas-#3 in B Minor Op 58
Manhatten Center NYC 1961 RCA Digitally Remastered Analog Masters
RCA Red Seal APL 3- 5460 STEREO

Sorry for taking so long to answer in this thread, busy time of the year because of the holidays and semester exam time.

The main panel is on the right and the sub panel is on the left.

Although it’s been a long time since I posted about 120 vs. 220, I’ve been so busy working around the house, inside and out, I have not made the time to experiment from my main panel in 120 to my isolation transformers and the to my sub panel (all in 120).

My thought is only use a subpanal if your main panel is full or you want to install a sub panel a lot closer to your system to save cost on wire and work.

I think if you have a long run from the main panel to isolation transformer and sub panel there could be benefits to a 220 run.

Wire size is dictated by legal wire code etc.
use one of the better power cords from shunyata. I went from the diamondback to the python'alpha and the sound was more dynamic and unveiled. Shunyata should sell the better cord with the hydra