If surge protection is not a concern there are a couple of Original hydras with python cords listed on agon right now. They are at a bargain price, killer looks too!
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They all sound alike, they have the same parts, just more of them in the 4,6.8
My listening experience, and the listening experience of a friend is otherwise. We both thought the Hydra 2 and Hydra 4 sounded a little different.
Also, the author of this this StereoTimes review heard differences as well.
I just went to the Shunyata Research website. They all do not have the same parts. The 8 has a FeSi-1002 noise reduction compound and a massive cryogenic grade CDA-101 copper bus array. The 6 and 4 have 7 guage wire and a solid silver distribution bus. The 2 has 10 gauge wire. The only difference between the 6 and 4 is the venom filter element. The 4 has 7 elements, while the 6 has 10 elements. Everything else--surge protection, etc--is the same for the 4 and 6. I've got an original Hydra that I'm very happy with, but I've never heard any of the new models. However, it stands to reason that with differences in design, there will be differences in sound. You could contact Shunyata Research. I've talked to them recently. They were very friendly and knowledgeable. Best wishes. Stan