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Reviews

Shunyata Research
Hydra Line Conditioners

Hydra line conditioners offer groundbreaking design, innovation and performance, establishing a benchmark by which others are judged. Shunyata filtration products have garnered accolades from all corners of the planet.
            Performance is what it's all about and Shunyata is the leader in field, consistently outpacing the competition. Their forward-thinking design concepts and unique construction techniques have made them the preeminent manufacturer of AC line cables and filtration devices.
             Leaving no stone unturned, Shunyata controls every aspect of design and manufacture. Many of the parts used in the Hydra line are of Shunyata's own design and are custom fabricated to their exacting standards. Combining forward-thinking techniques in novel ways with exotic materials to create high performance products unlike no others.
             Shunyata’s philosophy of noise removal extends beyond the usual concern of noise incoming from the AC line, and seeks to remove noise generated by the components themselves. This all encompassing approach results in far more improvement that simply dealing with only one half of the problem              
               The Hydra gained unprecedented acceptance by the audiophile and industry professionals alike. Adopted by luminaries in the recording industry, the Hydra is one of the very few audiophile products to gain entry into this market. But embrace it they did, with names like Sony Corporation (SACD Mastering studio in Japan and the U.S.) Doug Sax, James Guthrie, Astoria Studios, Crest National Studios, Skywalker Ranch realizing the performance gains offered by the Hydra (as well as other Shunyata products). One studio purchased ten Hydra’s!
               The list of users among the manufacturers in audio is impressive. A who's who in our industry use Shunyata products on a daily basis in their design and evaluation process and when demonstrating their equipment at trade shows. The list includes: Jeff Rowland, Musical Fidelity, Simaudio, Immedia, Art Audio, Halcro, Edge Electronics, Tenor, Wilson Audio, Audio Research, LAMM, Meridian, Lumen White, Wisdom Audio and a host of others.
               Never one to stand still, designer Caelin Gabriel is constantly pushing the envelope. Since the Hydra was originally designed, Shunyata has gained a wealth of newfound knowledge and techniques, just begging to be applied. Building on the basic design philosophy of the Hydra and implementing all learned since that product was penned, Shunyata was able to compose a range of products which not only met, but exceeded the original target.
              Four models comprise the line spanning a range of price points, each offering a plentiful helping of the Hydra "magic."


Hydra 8

        Eight cryogenically treated outlets are available to serve your system a healthy diet of pristine power. The unique and effective Trident Defense System offers state of the art spike and surge protection, resulting in unprecedented performance.
            The Trident Defense System seeks to achieve more than the mundane task of reducing the likelihood of damage resulting from large scale electrical events (no line conditioner can guarantee complete isolation from catastrophic events, such as direct lightning strikes). The small spikes, which occur many times per day (and are the suspected culprit in a variety of sonic ills), are addressed by this proprietary design.
             Lights, fans, motors and appliances contribute impulse and wide bandwidth noise components to the AC line. These perturbations degrade the performance of audio and video components sharing the line. The Trident Defense System confronts these gnarly foes. Want proof? Check out the Impulse and wide bandwidth noise measurements below.
              More interesting features await the curious under the hood. Nested within the antimagnetic aluminum exterior skin is a hermetically sealed sub enclosure. Tucked away in this electrically isolated chamber resides a huge (five pound) buss-bar array made from the purest form of copper, CDA-101. Both the exterior housing and internal sub enclosure are isolated from RFI and EMI with the patented (US#6,545,213) FeSi-1002 compound developed by Shunyata. A four-element capacitive array eliminates over-voltage spikes of only a few volts to beyond 1,000 volt transients. They perform their function of spike and noise elimination without the “ringing” or grainy sound associated with common power line capacitors. The Carling 20A super-fast acting electromagnetic circuit breaker shuts things down if a component fault causes an abnormally high current draw, while allowing an unimpeded current flow below its rating. Proprietary Teflon-insulated silver wire connects all the pieces together.
             Things you won’t find in the Hydra are ferrites, transformers coils and chokes. These dynamically compressive elements are replaced with FeSi-1002. This compound is a synthetically manufactured ceramic material similar in appearance to crystalline beads.  Although the substance has no metallic content, it has a similar effect as ferrites in that it absorbs electromagnetic noise within its molecular structure. The FeSi-1002 compound’s passive noise-reduction avoids the dynamically compressive effects commonly associated with ferrites, transformers, chokes and coils. As further benefit, FeSi-1002 absorbs both incoming AC noise while suppressing outgoing AC line noise generated by the components themselves.
            Far more than a collection of interesting philosophies materials and parts, the Hydra is all about music. And that is as it should be. If there is one thing I’ve learned in this life is you can’t judge a book by its cover. Yes, it’s an overworked cliché, but exceptionally apropos in this situation. Regardless of the component, you can read specs all day long and you gain little, if anything, which reveals the true measure of the article. The sound, man, it’s all about the sound! So, you’ll just have to hear a Hydra 8 in your system to realize its talents; we’ll be happy to arrange a meeting.
               The Hydra 8 achieves Caelin Gabriel’s goal of enhancing the musical experience. It does so by scraping away layers of electrically induced artifacts which cloud the subtle cues in music that convey the intent of the composition.
               A technical statement? Probably. A product that serves the soul of music? YES!

• 8 cryogenically treated Venom silver outlets
• “Trident Defense System”
• 2400 watts @ 20 amps continuous
• Surge protection (60,000A)
• Four individual, isolated circuits
• Shunyata Venom noise filters
• Massive CDA-101 six pound solid buss bars
• FeSi-1000 noise compound
• Detachable 20A inlet
• Aluminum chassis

• $2995
 Soundstage! review
 On Hi-Fi Review
 Stereophile review

 



Hydra 6

        The Hydra Model-6 delivers virtually unlimited user flexibility by combining high-current capability with Shunyata’s passive form of noise reduction and system protection. The sophisticated Trident Defense System provides noise-reduction with Shunyata’s best six-element Venom filter array. These proprietary filters protect and isolate each duplex outlet as an independent power sources—without current limiting or manipulation.
          Because the three silver-plated duplex outlets are isolated with their own buss structure and filtered, they can be interchangeably utilized for either high-current electronics or noise-sensitive digital equipment, or both.
         Common to all Hydra models, is the Model-6’s 20-amp inlet connector, allowing each system and budget to dictate which of the five PowerSnakes Pacesetter power cords will be ideal in a given application.

 6 cryogenically treated Venom silver outlets
• “Trident Defense System”
• 2400 watts @ 20 amps continuous
• Surge protection (60,000A)
• Individually filtered outlets
• Shunyata Venom noise filters
• Solid silver buss bars
• 20A IEC inlet
• All metal chassis
• $1295


Hydra 4

        The Hydra Model-4 delivers virtually unlimited user flexibility by combining high-current capability with Shunyata’s passive form of noise reduction and system protection.  The sophisticated Trident Defense System provides noise-reduction with Shunyata’s multi-element Venom filter array. These proprietary filters protect and isolate each duplex outlet as an independent power sources—without current limiting or manipulation.
          Because the two silver-plated duplex outlets are isolated with their own buss structure and individually filtered, they can be interchangeably utilized for either high-current electronics or noise-sensitive digital equipment, or both.
           Common to all Hydra models, is the Model-6’s 20-amp inlet connector, allowing each system and budget to dictate which of the five PowerSnakes Pacesetter power cords will be ideal in a given application.

• 4 cryogenically treated Venom silver outlets
• “Trident Defense System”
• 2400 watts @ 20 amps continuous
• Surge protection (10,000A)
• Individually filtered outlets
• Shunyata Venom noise filters
• Solid silver buss bars
• 20A IEC inlet
• All metal chassis
• $995


Hydra 2

         The Hydra Model-2 will perform its high-current power distribution and noise-reducing functions with any type of electronics and can be partnered with one of five different PowerSnakes power cords-- to match any application and budget.  The sophisticated Trident Defense System provides noise-reduction with Shunyata’s best six-element Venom filter array. These proprietary filters protect and isolate — without current limiting or manipulation.
         The Hydra Model-2’s extremely high current capability and two-outlet size make it an ideal choice for mono-amplifiers and electronics that are remotely placed from the main system, such as video projectors, video monitors, phono-electronics, recording equipment, powered speakers etc.
         Common to all Hydra models, is the Model-6’s 20-amp inlet connector, allowing each system and budget to dictate which of the five PowerSnakes Pacesetter power cords will be ideal in a given application.

 • 2 cryogenically treated Venom silver outlets
• 2400 watts @ 20amps continuous
• Surge protection (10,000A)
• Shunyata Venom noise filter
• Silver/Teflon wiring
• 20A IEC inlet
• All metal chassis
• $495



Hydra Spikes

All components are affected by vibration. Vibration control and isolation will improve performance of virtually every component. But what about a line conditioner? While normally one would not think of a line conditioner as a component, they are. Shunyata line conditioners, in particular, because of their potential performance enhancements, should be given the same consideration as the rest of your gear.
            Ideally you would locate your Hydra on an equipment shelf. Many of us, though, don’t have the room, which generally means the line conditioner is relegated to a less than ideal placement, usually on the floor. Not a great place and it definitely sacrifices performance.
            Cones or spikes are the obvious answer. While there are threaded inserts on the bottom of the Hydra, the thread size is such that available spikes won’t fit. We decided to design a spike that would allow one to place their Hydra on the floor, or on a shelf, and enhance performance. Consisting of a hardened steel spike coupled to a wood buffer, our spikes provide a simple answer to positioning your Hydra.
            Select the set of four for all Hydra models except for the Hydra 6, which requires three spikes. $22 for 3, $29 for a set of 4


 

Be sure and check out the phenomenal Shunyata power cords!

Anaconda Alpha and Anaconda vX

Python

Taipan

Copperhead

Diamondback

 

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