We are using an Electraglide Mini Khan Plus with our APL 3910. Open, airy, spacious & revealing is the way I would describe the sound. Obviously, all components contribute to the finished product, but if I work backwards on this list below, I can definitely constrict the sound just by changing the PC on the source.
We've tried several PC's on our players, starting with a Signal Cable, which had a slight improvement over stock. VDH Mainstream Hybrid was the next improvement, then Michael Wolff Carbon Source, and finally the Mini Khan Plus. When I say 'improvement', the most notable effect was that the music went from flat to having depth, from sounding recorded to having the energy of live music. We always went back to the prior cord after a few days of listening just to be sure of the effect, and it was never marginal.
Enjoy that player!
I'm using a Michael Wolff Source cord with excellent results (they're now available at half price while they last). I also tried a TG Audio 688, which was very good, too. The Wolff Source cord provided a "smoother" texture to the sound...less edge...more natural sounding. This was true whether they were plugged directly to the wall or to a power conditioner. I am running the Wolff cord from a Hydra 4. I believe this is also important to note, since the sound of power cords will most probably be affected by the power conditioner being used.
I'd suggest trying cords that you either obtain used, or that you can try with a return policy. Speaking of cords with a return policy, Chris Venhaus also has a new cord...the AirSine...which may be worth investigating. It's designed to compete with the "best of the best" from Electraglide, Elrod, Synergistic Research and the like. I guess that makes me a shill for Chris...
Who is Chris Venhaus? Thanks,
Chris Venhaus is President of VH Audio.
I am using a Electraglide Ultra Khan Statement 2 plugged into a Hydra 8 and then to the wall another Electraglide Ultra Khan Statement 2 20 Amp. A Dedicated circuit is used for the digital.
In my opinion, It takes the APL several hundred hours to mellow out. I was not impressed with it at first, there was a upper midrange glare. I was trying all sorts of power and interconnect cables. I was thinking that all the Silver cables that I was using was the problem. Alex was no help because he doesnt return calls or emails. I was beginning to think I made a large $$$ mistake.
Then the APL finally started to mellow in that range and now I love it.
The upper Midrange glare that I experienced does not seem to reflect what others thought of the Player soon after recieving theirs . But I had a hard time liking it.
I would say the change occurred at about 250 + hours of use.
Ozzy, thanks for your candor regarding the upper midrange glare. I experienced the same thing during break-in. It's important to share these idiosyncrasies so new users know what to expect, and don't start changing things...like power cords...too soon.
Thanks for your descriptive comments about the sonic synergy between the Mini Khan Plus and the APL. I also appreciated your relative rankings of the four PCs.
I agree with you that the end result is a product of all the elements in the system; and , I might add, the synergies between the different elements.
Perhaps the answer to my next question is already contained in your descriptive terminology, but let me ask the question in more specific terms. Amongst the many virtues of music that draw me in, some are more difficult to reproduce by electronic equipment. For example: delicacy, nuance, subtle microdynamics, the fluidity of the flow of the music, the coherence of the whole fabric, etc. How well does the Mini Khan Plus reproduce these characteristics? How well do the other three PCs fare comparatively? I would greatly appreciate your insight.
Tvad and Ozzy,
Thanks for your input. I'm contemplating on getting a Hydra 4 or 8. Which one? That will depend on whether or not I will also use the Hydra for my amps. I read that Hydra 8 limits current. If that is true, I would then get the 4 for my front end only. If you don't mind, I have a follow-up question for the both of you: What are the sonic and musical differences in the APL when its PC (Statement or Source) is plugged into the wall versus when it's connected to your Hydra?
I can't comment on the Hydra 4 vs. Hydra 8 since I've never heard the Hydra 8, although I have to say I've never read anywhere that any Hydra product is current limiting. Can you provide a link or reference to something you read?
I have all my components plugged into the Hydra 4: VAC Phi 110/110, First Sound Presence Deluxe II, APL Denon 3910. The Hydra mitigates some edge in the upper mids and highs. Something on the order of 2-3%, if I had to quantify it. The effect is really one of ease and relaxation. I find with the APL going straight to the wall I want to get up sooner. I get fidgety. Frankly, this applies to any component that I run straight to the wall. Is the music more palpable? Is the soundstage wider or deeper? Is the bass tighter? I can't honestly say yes to any of these questions. The differences are much more subtle to my ears. I guess it just sounds more "live" through the Hydra. I certainly don't have any issue with limited dynamics using the Hydra, which is something one might expect with a conditioner that limits current.
As a musician who has listened to many hours of studio playback, I would say that our home system goal is to hear that replicated as closely as possible. Ironically, I think that the closer you get to that, you actually begin to hear the limitations and flaws in the recording process. Mid-fi systems are much better I believe at compressing those gaps, if that makes sense. Sorry if I'm not directly answering your question, but I'm trying to offer some background into what I want to hear from the recording, which will hopefully help to understand how I listen and choose components/cables/etc. that match my (and my wife's) preferences.
In the order of those I listed above, each successive cord opened up the sound somewhat more, each time getting us closer to the rawness of the recording. The Signal Cable was a marginal improvement over the stock cord. The VDH slightly was slightly more open. The Wolff gave life and depth to the music, and the EG opened that midrange air and space somewhat more, an improvement akin to what I've heard when going from some current production to NOS tubes. The music feels slower, more open, with the energy of the players, and either it or I am more relaxed because I feel like I've been let in to the music. As far as coherence, I think that in some way I can actually hear the flaws in the process even more than before, but that's what I want to hear: the humanity of the players.
I understand that the Ultra Khan Plus is another step beyond the Mini Khan Plus, in the same direction. People have told me that they found an improvement with the UK Plus, and others have told me they went back to the MK Plus.
Obviously, there are many excellent PC's out there. I just went with recommendations from people who seemed to have similar goals as those I enumerated above.
Best of luck,
Your elucidation was helpful. In particular, I think your statement "The music feels slower, more open, with the energy of the players, and either it or I am more relaxed because I feel like I've been let in to the music." conveys the spirit of what I am aiming for. For example, a component that produces "smooth" high frequencies by compression could sound pleasant, but it doesn't let me into the music because the harmonic texture and bloom have been reduced. While enjoying that sound, I remain an outsider. I need to feel the nuances in the harmonic texture, the delicacy of the harmonic bloom, and the fluidity of the natural flow of music to be "let in to the music". Similarly, at the lower end of the spectrum, a boomy bass does not connect me with the vibrancy of the music. Based on your elucidation, the Mini Khan Plus is definitely on my short list.
Yikes. All this from a power cord? Apparantly, I've been concentrating on the wrong parts of my sysem. :)
I always figure why not try something out, especially when you can resell it for around the same price if not satisfied? If you are looking for natural and accurate, then I would say you have chosen an excellent player in the APL. And in my experience, the EG just seems to get out of the way and let the music come through.
I read the comment about the Hydra on the webb. I've read dozens of threads on Audiogon and AudioAsylum in the past two weeks and I simply don't recall where I found it. If I should run across it again I will let you know.
Your comments about the positive effects of Hydra on the APL/PC are very informative and inspired me to think that perhaps I should experiment with the Hydra in my system sooner than I had planned.
I don't think that the power cord actually generates all of those qualities. Alex (APL) actually spoke to this process while we were auditioning his player. He said, "The player isn't going to find something that is not already on the recording. But what I'm trying to do is give it the presence that IS on the recording." I'm no scientist. I just know what I hear, and with certain cords, more of that presence is revealed than with others.
Or were you just being a smart-aleck?
I have owned the APL 3910, longer than anyone else, (pat on my own back)and have used many different cords, including, but not limited too
VD Nite I
VD Nite II
Electraglide Ultra Khan, ultra khan statement II revised, epiphany, epiphany X,
Shunyata python, anaconda
Right now, with mt system in flux, I actually prefer the VD nite I or 2. The APL is so easy to voice with both PC's and interconnects. The problem for me is the rest of my system keeps changing, so until I am settled, I can give no difinitive answer, just to say, right now, to my ears, the Nite's give me the best definition, weight,and air around the instruments, body and deep black backgrounds. I am presently trying to find a deal on the VD master to see what this does for me.
Thanks for joining the thread. This is Cantate Domino John.
For everyone else's information, this thread was inspired by my experience at Steve's house. Steve was gracious to allow me to come to his house to audition the APL 3910. I drove 250 miles to get to his place. Shortly after we started the audition, he noticed that I was not very ecstatic so he offered to change the PC. That made all the difference in the world for me! For me, it was musical magic.
Enjoy the Magic,
John, I asked about the source of the Hydra info because conjecture runs
rampant on the web. If you come across a bona fide review that
mentions the current limiting issue, please let me know. I'm fairly
certain the non current limiting aspect of the Hydra is advertised by
Shunyta as a feature of the unit. The following quote is from a Soundstage review
. "The Hydras do not limit current in any way, so theyre compatible with pretty much everything in an A/V system."
Howard, I was being a smart-aleck insofar as I am dubious about all the
system benefits attributed to power cords. I know you're very tuned in to
the sound of your system, so I give your comments considerable weight.
I just know that what you hear in your system has more to do with your
choice of components and their synergy than it does with power cords.
From what i've seen and read about the Hydra's, they are simply very sturdily built power strips using high grade parts with built in parallel line filters ( like Audioprism Quiet Lines / Enacomm AC filters ) and heavy duty MOV's for surge suppression. Nothing more, nothing less. While i would not really call them "current limiting" by design, the outlets appear to be wired in "daisy chain" fashion rather than to one common point in parallel. Under very heavy demand, this wiring arrangement may cause voltage sag or fluctuations as one gets further away from where the AC feeds into the first outlet. In my opinion, all of the outlets should be wired back to the AC input jack independently of the other outlets for best results, but what do i know??? : ) Sean
Thanks for the clarification. I thought maybe you were retaliating for my snide comment about BMW's. Only joking, as I'm sure you knew.
It may make no sense to others, but I give equal weight to every part of an audio system. I've found that the difference between wanting to sell a component and getting that chill down my spine that sparks a unique intimacy with the music is at times settled by the rolling of a single tube, the introduction of an isolation tweak, or a change from one power cord to another. I wouldn't advise building a system around a power cord, though the wrong cord in a system is enough to destroy the synergy all by itself. As such, I'm left thinking that everything in the chain contributes equally to the end result. Like I said, it may not make sense to others, but in my experience even the choice of stick can make or break the drummer.
Howard, whatever works is what's important. I played with 5Bs, 3Bs, 7As
,7Bs and massive marching sticks the size of which I can't recall. Maybe
my adaptability to several stick sizes was an early indication to make my
living in another profession. :)
If your short list is still open give theFoundation Research LC1
While not the most Esoteric of power cords, I think the real advantage of the Foundation Research LC1 is that it's a Bi-Directional filter, and filters the current in both direction.
The importance here is it back filters the noise that is being generated by the normal digital operation, and sent back out, down the power cord, and back into your power conditioner, where it can pollute your other components.
Because the F/R LC1 has it's own filter built into the cord, you can plug it directly into wall. This would eliminate any signature that may be imposed by your power conditioner, and if it's plugged into the wall there is less chance of your 3910's power supply being modulated by your amps larger power supply ... if they are both plugged into the same power conditioner.
From the Foundation Research site, visit and view the rest of the info there...
Rationale: The ac power line injects noise into audio equipment. A filter removes noise from the ac power line by presenting an impedance mismatch to the undesirable noise signal. An impedance mismatch reflects noise back into the power line. This fundamental behavior is that of a band reject filter.
Another source of noise is the audio equipment itself. The power supplies in audio equipment inject noise back into the power line. Large power supplies like those in power amplifiers tend to create more noise. A power amplifier delivers noise to a preamplifier plugged into the same power source. Digital components can also be significant generators of power line noise.
The Hydra conditioners also back filter in both directions as Davehrab describes above (although perhaps not in the same way...I don't know). This is explained on the Shunyata website under the description of the Venom filters.
While not an audio reference, I like the line in "Moonlight Mile"--sort of goes like this; getting to know somebody 60% isn't where it's at--It's the other 40% that realy counts. Back to audio, me thinks cords can give you that extra 3/4%---and that's what realy counts.---Or, something like that.
It's like my mom told me long ago,
"If the sex is good, it makes up about 2% of the relationship. And if it's not good, it becomes the other 98% in a hurry."
That's my metaphorical offering for the day. Feel free to take it and run.
Sorry if this is off thread (it is) but Sean's post got my interest.
Sean, you certainly know more about the teck issues than me but doesn't that hugh copper buss bar in the Hydra 8 distribute the current to all outlets? If not, what's it for? Thanks.
I am a big time clean AC power nut.
I am using the Hydra 8 just for my digital (APL, etc) on a dedicated 20 Amp circuit.
For my old large power Amp, a Krell KSA 250, I have that plugged into a seperate 30 Amp Dedicated Circuit with a Hydra 2 connected with 2 Shunyata Anaconnda Power Cords.
The APL is excellent by itself. The Hydra's adds a dimension that is an improvement. Best as I can describe as making the presence of the music deeper.
Whatever its construction ,I didnt analyze, I just know, I enjoy the sound better with the Hydra.
Ozzy, what power cord do you use to feed the Hydra?
FrankG: The Hydra 4 & 6 use "silver buss straps" while the Hydra 8 uses "copper buss bars". Evidently, the buss bars are heavier gauge than straps, so they went to using the cheaper conductor ( copper instead of silver ) due to the greater amount of material needed.
Having said that, the outlets are all still wired in a daisy chain fashion. AS such, they rely on the power distribution of one set of wires to the first outlet to feed ALL of the remaining outlets in the Hydra
This was a poor circuit design in my opinion as the last outlet has the longest path and will only recieve the amount of voltage and current that isn't soaked up by the other outlets prior to it. This means increased ripple and voltage fluctuations for all the devices tied to a Hydra.
Had they wired everything to one central junction point, all the path lengths would remain consistent and independent of each other. The only potential for sag or ripple would be left up to how much current that central junction point could pass and what the power cord from the wall outlet could provide.
Since the outlets are all wired in a parallel-series daisy chain fashion in the Hydra, it increases the potential for circuit crosstalk and inter-circuit contamination. That's because there's nothing stopping internally generated noise from within a component from feeding back into the other outlets that it is directly tied to via the buss bars. After all, it's not like there is any type of isolation or filtering device between each outlet and the buss bars themselves.
If they were smart and went with the central junction point approach, they should have also included another parallel line filter at that point. This would have filtered everything prior to distribution into each outlet. With the incoming AC cleaned up, the parallel line filters at each outlet have less work to do. They would only have to soak up the internally generated noise within the component itself and the remainder of RFI that got past the first filter at the main junction.
Even if internally generated noise were to sneak past the individual parallel line filter at each outlet and make it back into the distribution node, it would run into the master parallel line filter before it could pass into any of the other outlets. This approach would catch RFI / internally generated noise coming and going from the distribution node and at each outlet. There is NO chance for cross contamination using this approach, unlike the current design.
Like i said, it is a fancy power strip using higher grade parts, parallel line filtration and high energy MOV's. As usual, it is a lot of money for an under-designed "audiophile grade" product that relies on cosmetics and marketing hype. I'm NOT saying that such a design can't or doesn't provide benefits as compared to other similarly designed products, only that there is more potential to be had from a product that offers a more thorough design and build. Sean
PS... If i, an off the street knucklehead that has the reputation of being a "know-it-all internet shit talker", can figure this stuff out, what's going on with all of these high priced engineers with those fancy degrees??? How come they can't figure this kind of stuff out???
PPS... I wonder how many toes i stepped on by telling the truth about this one??? I can already see the raging private emails, negative public responses and hear the voices grumbling amongst themselves.
PPSS... I wonder how many ideas / design concepts for various products that i've given away for free over the years via public discussions on the net??? I'm beginning to think that i could have been a very rich man. That is, if i was both more motivated and greedy : )
Sean, you've answered your own questions. You don't need to be greedy to improve product design. You just have to want to produce better products. Your talents are being wasted on Audiogon, my friend. But, who's fault is that?
Tvad: All i can say to that is that you must have one helluva fast internet connection to have fully read that post and responded so fast!!! That was like lightning!!! Sean
Sean, I likes the way you think, and even the way you explain, thanks. Whats your take on the BPT 3.5 sig?
Balanced power can work with some gear, on others, it makes a mess. I'm not a fan of toroidal based PLC's and somewhere in the archives, there's a thread where i explained why going into technical detail with a full explanation.
To sum things up, toroids suck compared to a good "iron core" type old school transformer. The figures that BPT provides for the 3.5 as seen in the review at Six Moons
confirm the figures that i posted in that thread. Sixty to seventy dB's of noise suppression with a toroid as compared to one hundred twenty to one hundred fourty five dB's of noise suppression with an ultra-isolation iron core transformer isn't hard to figure out which is best. Granted, ANY noise suppression is a good thing, but if you're going to spend that kind of money, why not get something that REALLY works???
Either way, you should contact the manufacturer of ALL of your components and find out if they are compatible with a balanced AC input. Assuming that all of it will may be a mistake. Then again, the gear that won't work with balanced AC is gear that already has polarized noise suppression built into it and there ain't much gear like that made nowadays. That's because it requires design skills and money to produce. Sean
Has anyone tried isoclean stuff?
I am using a Electraglide Ultra Khan statement 2 20 amp version for the Hydra 8.
Actually you descibe exatly my feelings about how can power cords improve sound quality when looking at the construction. Until I tried a quality Power cord , no one could convince me there would be an improvement.
Your discription about the insides of Hydra 8 is probably correct, I really don't know.
The APL sounds better plugged in to the Hydra 8 than straight into the wall. Perhaps the stardust is doing something or some other hocus pocus, but, it does sound better.
Although I started this thread with the aim of determining a short list of PCs for the APL 3910, the related subject of power conditioning is also of immediate interest to me. So, I appreciate your expertise.
Your comments regarding Hydra's design seem reasonable. Is there a power conditioner on the market that incorporates all three major design elements you suggest? If I understood you correctly, those 3 elements are: 1. central junction point to provide "equal" availability of voltage and current for all outlets, 2. parallel line filter at the central point to clean up the incoming AC, and 3. parallel line filters at each outlet for addditional filtering and for back filtering. If no such unit exists in the market, what are the alternatives for the here and now?
One reasonable alternative is the approach Ozzy (above) took: separate Hydras for the major components. This is suggested by the Shunyata's website: "The Hydra 8 can be used in conjunction with other Hydras if there are multiple dedicated lines available. This allows for the complete isolation of high-current and low-current electronics on separate lines, while still benefiting from the performance and protection that all Hydras deliver." The drawback (for me, not for Shunyata) to this approach is the added expense for the additional Hydras and power cords.
I'm hoping you can suggest a more economic solution to conditioning the power for my four major components: (upcoming) APL 3910, two Jadis JP80 mono amps driving the Wilson Watt/Puppies, and one Krell amp driving the subwoofer (Wilson Audio WHOW). I do have three dedicated 20 amp AC lines to work with.
The only solution I came up with is a compromise. The Shunyata's website states: "All four of the Model-8's silver-plated duplex outlets are isolated with their own buss and passively filtered, allowing each duplex to be interchangeably utilized for either high-current electronics or noise-sensitive digital equipment." According to this statement there should be little or no duplex-crosstalk and inter-duplex contamination. Although there may be crosstalk and contamination between the 2 outlets in the same duplex. If that is true, then I could plug in each of my 4 major components into outlets in 4 separate duplexes to eliminate or reduce crosstalk and contamination, as long as I don't use the remaining 4 outlets. (Essentially, use 4 for the price of 8.) Also, as Tvad pointed out, Hydra's Venom Filters provide some back filtering. Therefore, that should reduce the pollution coming from the components. What this single unit solution does not address are the shortcomings you suggested that are inherent in a daisy-chain topology, namely, the availability of voltage and current may not be the same for the 4 outlets I will use. Any suggestions for an economic solution?
Also, are the above Shunyata claims achievable in their units? Or, is this just marketing fluff? It seems to me, and I may be wrong, that you are questioning a part of their claim when you stated "...there's nothing stopping internally generated noise from within a component from feeding back into the outlets that it is directly tied to via the buss bars." Did I misinterpret your statement? Or, did you mean to use the singular "outlet" instead of the plural "outlets"?
John, are you stuck on the Hydra 8 for a particular reason, or would three Hydra 2 or some combination of Hydra 2 and Hydra 4 work?
Also, the Running Springs conditioners are interesting, but there's a dearth of user comments available here. Almost the only mention of them is from Dedicatedaudio, who is a dealer for the products.
I'm curious about your experience in using two Hydras instead of one. What sonic and musical benefits do you notice when you plug in the amp into the Hydra 2 and the APL into the Hydra 8 instead of plugging in the amp and APL into the Hydra 8?
Tvad, At each step, as you go from Hydra 2 to 4 to 6 to 8, additional filtering is available that is not available in the previous. According to the reviews, each successive model provides additional sonic benefits. If I recall correctly Hydra 8 is especially favored with digital sources. It's a game of trade-offs. For me, Hydra 8 or 6 with the APL, and 3 Hydra 2s on the 3 amps would solve the daisy-chain problem and provide filtration. But, when you add 3 additional quality PCs, the total price is high. With a single Hydra 8, the sonics will be slightly compromised but my wallet won't be as thin.
I was pleased to hear that you are getting good benefits with the Hydra in your system. Have you done any comparisons by adding other Hydras to your system? I'm also curious to hear Ozzy's experience with one verus two Hydras.
As per Sean's description of the Hydra 8's architecture, a while ago I posted my opinion that the analog outlets sounded better (tighter bass, more relaxed & integrated sound field) for all components, digital ones included. The analog ones are the first in the chain, so this seems to explain it.
Too be honest, I thought my Krell Amp sounded better straight into the wall instead of using the Hydra 8 with everything else plugged into it.
But,the cuplrit probably was that when I plugged the Krell into the Hydra 8 everything else was on one single 20 Amp circuit.
When using the Hydra 2 with my Krell and the Hydra 8 with my digital I am using 2 seperate dedicated circuits.
One for the digital and one for my Amp.
My Krell Amp is really a power sucking monster. I remember trying it with a PS Audio 600, just turning it on shut down the PS with nothing else plugged into it.
I don't know if the Hydra 8 is power limiting (it's not supposed to be) but the dedicated line that the hydra 8 is plugged into is.
The Hydra 2 with the Krell Amp improved the Krell Amp sound quality , particulary in the bass tone. I think I got the Hydra 2 for $300 bucks.
When you think of the cost of the APL and our other equipment, $300-$400 bucks more is not that much for improved sound quality and protection of the equipment. But, you gotta buy another power cord !
Once again, threads are overlapping. Rather than double post, here's a link to the other thread where Grant ( Tvad ) and i discussed alternatives to the Hydra
. After reading all of this and seeing the opportunity to fill a void in the market that has now been highlighted for all to see, i'm sure that a manufacturer will start producing such a unit sometime shortly. Sean
PS... Rgs92, thanks for pointing that out. I never saw your comments about the Hydra as most of these type of products don't interest me for the aforementioned reasons. Having said that and as i've mentioned before, one doesn't necessarily need to listen to a product to have a good idea as to what to expect out of it. That is, if they know how to dissect it electrically and can understand what those electrical characteristics may translate to sonically. Someone should point this thread and the others where i've posted similar comments based on logical deductions to Jtinn and and his group of cronies
. They don't seem to think that such things are possible.
John, other than the use of FeSi-1002 compund on the Hydra 8, I have
not read of filtering increasing through the Hydra product line either on
the Power Snakes website or in reviews, although I have read Clement
Perry's Stereo Times review in which he expresses his subjective opinion
that the Hydra 8 sounds better in some respects than the lower models.
Then, later in the review, he writes of the wonders of using two Hydra 2
conditioners together. That's safe reviewing, wouldn't you say? I believe
the rest is marketing strategy.
Why would anyone pay a premium to buy an 8 outlet power conditioner
for digital sources, which would at most utilize only 2 outlets? Doesn't
that seem wasteful? I'm also dubious of the real world effects of current
limiting unless one is using two enormous 600 wpc power hungry amps
at the first two outlets. This Shunyata web page
specifically of the non current limiting aspect of Hydra conditioners. Are
the marketing folks at Shunyata blowing smoke? After all, the
recommended configuration per Shunyata is to plug the amp into the
duplex closest to the IEC, followed by the preamp and finally the source
components. The reason being that amps require the most juice, and
source equipment requires substantially less juice, hence the rationale
for plugging the least power hungry components into the duplex
farthest down the chain. Unless one were to inexplicably plug an amp
into the duplex farthest from the IEC, I cannot fathom current limiting
being an issue.
As you might expect, I'm not of the opinion that two, three, or four
power conditioners are necessary. I believe that idea is solely born of
marketing and misinformation.
To answer your question, I have not tried more than one Hydra...or more
than one of any power conditioner I've owned, and if I were to do so, I'd
certainly try two Hydra 2 or two Hydra 4 conditioners first. If you are
inclined to try multiple conditioners, I hope you do so with an objective
ear, and please report back.
Yep, I have to go along with Sean, since his analysis has proven right to my ears. For the record, my Edge NL-12 amp is much smoother & warmer (but still conveys all the details & dynamics) through the Hydra 8. I have all my source components (EMMs) bunched up in the analog outlets. The digital ones made them sound strained.
Other power conditioners I have tried did make things sound smoother, but made amp sound compressed and the source components kind of lifeless. I have had more luck with better power cords, where I have experienced major improvements. I have always been suprised how power cords can be as influential as interconnects.
Besides the FeSi-1002, the differences in the filtering are also in the Venom Noise Filters. According to the specifications on the Shunyata's product page: Model 2 uses a 4 element Venon Noise Filter, while Model 4 uses 7, Model 6 uses 10, and Model 8 uses 16. Whether these differences in filtration are reflected in Clement Perry's subjective experiences, is an open question to my knowledge
My current view is that if I get the Hydra 8, then I will plug in all my major components into it in the manner I described previously. However, I liked Sean's suggestion on the other thread for inserting parallel line filters at each of the outlets feeding the amps. If that turns out to be a viable solution, then using Hydra 8 for APL only is wasteful, but , probably more optimal.
Thanks for sharing your experience about using one Hydra versus two in your system.
Is here a sonic difference in using the APL with Hydra 8 versus with Hydra 2? If so, is the cost difference worth it? Or, let me ask it in another way. What motivated you to get the Hydra 8 for your digital source instead a Hydra 6 or 4?
Thanks for your observations about the analogue outputs on the Hydra 8. If I do get the Hydra 8, I'll keep that in mind.
John, I believe the number of Venom filter elements directly correlates to the number of duplexes in each Hydra unit. Therefore, it makes sense the Hydra 2 would have fewer Venon elements than the Hydra 4, and the Hydra 4 have fewer Venom elements than the Hydra 6, etc. IMO, just because the Hydra 8 has 16 Venom elements, and the Hydra 4 has 7 Venom elements does not mean the Hydra 8 has more than double the filtration, it just means it has two more duplexes to filter. However, the number of Venom elements does not multiply out exactly the same for each Hydra model, so this would warrant a call or an email to Shunyata for explanation.
Since the numbers for both the Model 4 and the Model 7 were not multiples of the number of duplexes, I concluded that this was not the result of a single typographical error; but referred to the actual number of elements incorporated into the filter. In my mind, Perry's subjective differences reinforced my interpretation. Let me know how Shunyata explains the numbers.
The likely reason you note greater "ease" when plugging components into the H8's analog outlets is that there is additional filtering on those outlets and some components may respond more favorably to this. Caelin felt that placing the additional filtration tin the analog section would better isolate that bank from the digital section.
None of the Hydras are in any way current limiting, however the Hydra 2 may in some instances be preferred with high-current products because it does not incorporate a Carling Breaker, which means one less contact point for the AC signal to traverse.
Sean, you are certainly entitled to your opinion and I do enjoy reading most of your informed posts. You have however, made a number of statements related to construction costs, voltage sag, wiring and "design compromises" that are off the mark. I know our pricing model intimately and it is roughly a 5-1 ratio for *all* products. If a part costs a penny, we charge a nickel --and that's considered an antiquated pricing model by todays standards. Every part in the Hydras, from the wiring on to the plated buss systems are custom designed, and then either manufactured by or exclusively for us- even the wiring- excepting the thermally insulated MOV's which are commercially available. You may view some of the parts as over-rated or over-engineered and that is your right, but they are extremely costly to produce--forgetting even the cost or research and design. Our dealer margin is the same as that of speaker and electronics manufacturers. We cannot afford "special price incentives", sales person spiffs or 70%+ overseas margins. This often puts us at a serious disadvantage when competing with "specialty" cable and power companies that offer a great many "breaks" and incentives to dealers.
All Shunyata designs focus on using hand applied, custom made parts and proprietary terminations that reduce contact impedances and present no-limit to the instantaneous current demands of electronics. This is where a lot of money gets spent rather than on isolation transformers, chokes, coils or other reactive devices. Using conventionalyl available power-line caps, a choke, coil or iso-trannies were all considered and rejected because of issues related to reactance, non-linear current flow (such as thermal breakers) and restricted instantaneous current delivery.
If you decide to manufacture your own products and attempt to set up a network of specialty parts vendors, a US based factory, in-house cryogenic facilities and enough staff to run a company, you will likely learn that our retail prices are very reasonable.
Regarding the technical, buss core and wiring issues raised, I'm afraid Caelin would be best equipped to answer those questions, but he long ago gave up trying to answer critical points on the internet. Too often they are loaded with baiting for 'ether-sport' or an agenda, not simple fact finding--he simply does not have the time or inclination. We do not hide any design or construction elements, and anyone that cares to look can decide for themselves whether these make sense to them.
With regards to other comments people made about "marketing fluff and hype", we do very little of either. Forget the reviews, there are many accredited engineers, electronics manufacturers and professionals who understand perfectly what we do and are willing to speak for us. Most of our business is referred from manufacturers and professionals that use the Hydras.
My interests in responding are only related to reading so much opinion--some of it poorly informed, presented in a somewhat pointed way, when much of it runs contrary to what I know to be the truth.
We run an honest business staffed by good people. The products all use solid engineering principles and are purposefully uncomplicated--at a casual glance. Opinions about what might be a better performer or more economical are fine. When serious questions are raised about the integrity of the products or the people that make them however, I feel the need to at least weigh-in.