6 silver outlets, 2400W at 20A continuous, surge protection to 60,000A and 6,000V, individually filtered outlets, noise filters, solid silver buss bars, removeable power cord, all metal chassis, professional rack mount
An incredible upgrade to my system! I have searched a long time for a good conditioner, looked at IsoTek, PS Audio, Monster Cable etc.. But one thing that i didnt want to do is to sacrifice the overall dynamics and have current limiting (thats typical with active filters). I use the Meridian DSP7000 speakers and connected it directly to the wall outlets before, when i connected my hole setup trough the Hydra 6 the sound changed, for the better! But it not changed the tonal balance, it just sounded so much sharper and more focused. It sounds much more LIVE and real, i can identify new details in terms of hights, better accuracy in the lows and attacks. More clarity in the midrange as well. The music just flows better, it became ultra sharp and ultra stable. I wasnt expecting this big difference in sound, but it actually works and Shunyata Research really knows what they are doing.
Meridian G91 processor/controller
Meridian DSP7000 speakers
Base Technology Platform 3.0
Furutech Rodium plugs (AC-cable)
Chord Signature Digital RCA
i would like to start with a copy of the endorsement I posted at Shunyata's website. I hardly do this kind of thing, but read on, and you'll know why I made an exception:
Before I tell you just how excellent I found your products, let me tell you how excellent I found your customer service! I live in a remote area -- it’s only 5 miles to the north to the Arctic Circle. This is a nice and highly developed small town, but it sure is no place to go shopping for High End audio. Even though in the age of the internet it is possible to get anything anywhere, it is difficult to get products home to audition them. So I am very dependent on both consumer reviews and on customer service.
Well, as far as consumer reviews go, choosing Shunyata power conditioning was a no-brainer. When Skywalker Industries, David Gilmour, Sony Recording Studios and -- most important from where I stand -- the Viennese Philharmonics tell you a product is excellent, I don’t expect to find out otherwise. Ordering a Hydra 6 through the local High End service was an easy decision. But, alas, I am a difficult customer. Much as I would like to change that, I can’t. There are always a million questions I have. What cabling to use, where to place the Hydra, should I spike it, can I burn it in plugging my refrigerator into it, is there a plug in order for my components etc. etc.
As a rule, I get decent enough replies to the first one or two questions. Then whoever is responsible for costumer service cannot be bothered anymore. Not with Shunyata! A guy named Matt went out of his way to answer each and every question in detail. On top of that, he always found the time to be really nice and personal about our communication. That is rare, and I made a note to keep this in mind when the time came to give my feedback. Thanks again, Matt! (By the way, to save Matt some future time, here are the answers to the questions above: Put the strongest (best) cable between the wall and the Hydra. Place it on a shelve, not on the floor. Spiking enhances performance. Fridge works great for burn in. Plug in order is not so important since the exits are clearly separated, but amp first, digital last, is the natural choice.)
So I finally bought the Hydra 6 along with Diamondback cabling. 20AMP cable between wall and Hydra, ordinary Dbs between Hydra and amp/CD. First of all, the cables got here first and I was amazed! I am interested in physics, so it was clear to me, that good power cords would make a difference. But this big a difference? I never would have guessed! I got more clarity and openness in the treble along with a very deep and tightly controlled bass. On top of that, the whole sound became more dynamic without being in your face in the least. To be sure, I never had considered treble or bass or dynamics to be weaknesses of my system. I thought they were great already! I do a lot of my serious listening with headphones (two very small kids in the house). I use Sennheiser 650s through a Musical Fidelity X-Can V3. Recently I had upgraded the headphone cable, exchanging the stock cable for a Zu Mobius, which set me back 300 Euros, but was worth every cent. By way of comparison, exchanging the stock power cords on my Pathos Classic One (hybrid) amp and on my Densen 400 XS CD-player for Diamondbacks made as much of a difference as the Zu Mobius. Also, I had at some point chosen my other cabling, which is by Goertz (Alphacore) to be either copper or silver, with the silver adding 1000 euros to the cost of my system. I liked the silver so much better, I was willing to spend the extra money. Again, just the Diamondbacks alone made as much of a difference! They are more than worth the money. Actually, if you can only upgrade your interconnects or your power cords, I would opt for the power cords now! And they would have to be Shunyata.
So how about the whole deal, Hydra added? Well, the most amazing additions to the quality of sound were a) an enormously widened, deepened, heightened and better structured soundstage and b) a much more integrated sound. For all I know about physics, this is beyond me. The effect on the soundstage, which is so much bigger and which every musician is clearly placed in, is far beyond anything I could have expected. Saying the sound is more integrated means, everything just seems to be part of the same performance, more than it used to. There is one musical happening taking place, as opposed to different notes forming a whole.
Again, I’ll try to compare. I chose my speakers, the Dynaudio Confidence C1 over the also excellent Dynaudio Contour 1.4, because there is that extra sparkle to the sound. Like comparing champagne to a really good white wine. This decision cost me an additional 2500 Euros. Getting the Hydra most probably made more of a difference, at less expense! I also choose my front end, the Densen 400 XS over the 400 Plus -- adding 1500 Euros to my bill. Again, the Hydra makes as much of a difference.
No matter, what you are having or getting for a set up. Start out with a Hydra and Shunyata cabling. It will make more of a difference (for the better) than most of the other choices you might be considering. And on top of that, you’ll some excellent customer service!
Hydra 6 with Diamondbacks
Pathos Classic One hybrid amp
Densen 400 XS CD and 800 Tuner
Goertz silver cabling (Veracity MI2 and Triode Quartz)
Musical Fidelity X.Can V3 with Senneheiser 650s, Zu Mobius upgrade cable
After roughly half a year of use I would like to add the following:
When I first installed the burned in Hydra and Diamondbacks I thought that this was surely it: Now my set up sounded it's best. There was no way it COULD sound any better, it easily outperfomed some setups costing twice as much.
But then I tought, since this is just as good as everybody sayd it was, maybe everything else they make is, too. So I traded in 2 of my three Diamondbacks for Copperheads, completing the recommended set up consisting of noise reduction cable (Diamondback) for the CD-pleyer and pace setter cables from wall to Hydra and for the amp. Again, the difference was stunning!
There is no better word to describe it than Shunyata's own: Pace setting. There is even lower bass, superbly controlled and some additional detail. But above all, there is the most exact pace/time I have yet listened to on a stereo set up.
The effect is so unbelievable, I am now saving for Taipan cabling...
o get a suspition out of the way: I have also "listened to" Shakti stones, connector fluids and what not, and I rejected all of it. In a blind test, I never could tell the difference. But with these cables, as with this powerline conditioner, I can.
THIS CONDITIONER IS OUTSTANDING. I have never heard my system this good and I have a superb system consisting of the following:
Musical Fidelity KW integrated amp
Musical Fidelity KW DAC/CD PLAYER COMBO
ACOUSTIC ZEN DOUBLE BARREL SPEAKER CABLES
MARTIN LOGAN VANTAGE SPEAKERS
This unit gave the above system more dynamics, more details and lower noise floor. The first night I had the Shunyata Hydra 6 I stayed until 2 Am flipping through my CD collections because I heard stuff that I have never heard before such as singer's breath, low end and high end extensions. I am very impress with this product. I cannot believe that a $1000 investment in already a very impressive system could make such difference.
Power conditioners and especially isolators reduce basically AC noise. Plugging AC isolators/transformers you may find a huge positive difference depending the high-freq. distortion,less harshness and hardness and increased width of the soundstage, more body. But you also may find a degradation of dynamics, both micro and macro, less air between the organs and a feeling of a unpleasant roundness of the spectrum.
Combining most of the conditioners out there with a tube amp you will find yourself even more frustrated.
I use Cardas Golden Reference cables for all of my audio equipment and I must admit that is the best AC cable I ever tried. Involving, huge increase of detail, smooth sounding, immediate decrease of noise.Its a very good partner with Hydra.
Hydra is for my tastes the best conditioner (noise filter) out there. Thats because it makes the job without pressing the break in terms of dynamics (micro and macro) and adding roundness. Against all that, Hydra made more music, less noise/distortion. That means, better soundstage,imaging,bass resolution, and detail. Especially detail. By far more naturally represented low level detail previously (connecting straight to the wall) unheared.
Compared to every other conditioner in this price range, the Hydra didn't harm dynamics (also I saw increased dynamics),cleaned the incoming AC with a gentle hand without harming anything, digging out more detail from a further blacker background and reduce harshness and edge caused from AC .
It is the only equipment that I allow to take place between the AC and my stuff, except the Cardas Golden Reference and [all] Shunyata cables.
I have previously posted a brief review of the Hydra-2 (feeding a Simaudio Moon W-5 LE dual-mono power amplifier), in which I also described other aspects of my current system. Rather than repeat the background information I provided, I will refer the reader to my review of the Hydra-2.
My comments here pertain to the Hydra-6 that was recently added to my system. As I did with the Hydra-2, I have selected the Shunyata 20-amp Copperhead to connect the Hydra-6 to one of my home's dedicated 20-amp wall outlets. The Hydra-6 currently feeds a Simaudio Moon P-5 LE pre-amp (via a 15-amp Copperhead power cable), as well as a Moon Eclipse LE CD player (via a 15-amp Diamondback power cable). It should be noted that both the P-5 LE pre-amp and Eclipse LE CD player include separate digital and analog power supplies, each housed in an external chassis.
My brief review of the Hydra-2 indicated that it was installed in my system first, while I awaited arrival of the Hydra-6 and associated Shunyata power cords. Now that I've had the Hydra-6 and the previously mentioned Shunyata power cables in place for several weeks, I would like to briefly describe my impressions now that my entire 2-channel system is completely powered and conditioned by Shunyata gear...
First, I will say again that the Hydra-2 alone (along with its associated Shunyata cables) imparted a truly remarkable enhancement to the already exemplary performance of my reference-grade Moon components.
Upon the addition of the Hydra-6 and associated Shunyata power cables, additional benefits were immediately apparent, but overall the most dramatic improvements seem to have come from the Hydra-2. Subjectively, I might attribute about 60-70% of the sound improvement to the Hydra-2, with the Hydra-6 claiming the remainder.
Now, before we jump to any subjective and potentially erronious conclusions here, don't forget that the Moon LE front-end components (as previously mentioned) feature separate digital and analog power supplies, each housed in an external chassis. Therefore, each of these lower current, front-end components have outstanding power supplies to start with, so it's really no surprise that connecting them to the Hydra-6 might result in less dramatic improvements compared with adding the Hydra-2 to the massive Moon W-5 LE dual-mono power amp. That said, I will not part with the Hydra-6, because it has made a definite improvement over what was already very good sound.
At the risk of sounding cliche, the Shunyata Hydra -2 and -6, along with the Shunyata power cables, have stripped away layers of film or haze that I was rather unaware of until I installed these power conditioning products.
If you decide to invest in one or more Hydras, be sure to first have at least two dedicated, isolated, 20-amp outlets installed in you listening room. As well, consider using Shunyata power cables to make your connections.