New Hydra without a doubt.
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This was somewhat addressed in a Soundstage review. My interpretation is that the difference between the new and old is subtle at best, and you would probably be best upgrading the powercord. The only downsize is that it a specialized powercord on the old Hydra, but there is a glut of these on the used market. Personally, I have not had a chance to compare. I am running an Elrod cord on my Hydra-8, but haven't done any comparisons.
I think the Hydra 8 easily betters the original. I upgraded to the Python on my original Hydra and found that to be a great improvement. Recently, I replaced the original with a Hydra 8 with a Taipan cord. The new Hydra is quieter, faster and smoother. It lifts a slight fog that I didn't know existed with the old Hydra. The older Hydra is a great product, and a steal on the used market. I remember how impressed I was with the Python upgrade, and it is still a wonderful piece.
The new Hydra 8 takes things to another level. Also, you get lightning protection and 2 more outlets. It sounded faster and quieter out of the box, but it became much more analog sounding after several hundred hours of break in. I haven't used the Sidewinder on the Hydra 8, and there are differences between the Python and Taipan, so this post may be more confusing than enlightening, but I think the Hydra 8 is a big improvement.