Are Hydra Heads equal to Power-Line Lites?

Power-Line Lites were introduced around 2017, so all my black boxes have them.
NAC 282 (2018)
NAPSC. (2018)
NAP 300 DR (2018)
SuperCap DR (2021)
NDX 2. (2021)
XPS DR. (2022) Arriving 06/04/22 :smile:

At present, they all go into a cheap £8.99, ‘surge protected’ power strip. I appreciate power strips with surge protection are a no, no!

My question is, should I get a Grahams Hydra and put away the Power-Line Lites, or get a power strip such as a MusicWorks, or similar, and use the supplied Power-Line Lites, with a view of upgrading the Lites further down the line? Are the Hydra heads equal to the Lites?


Good question: when I bought my NDS I unplugged the hydra and used the provided Naim beast. I didn’t compare as I rather assumed the Naim offer was better.

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I’m using the MusicLine Powerigel (Naim), google it and have a look, works very well.

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I’m using a Hydra, and it seems excellent to me

The Hydra is made using standard mains leads. The PowerLine Lite is a standard mains lead with a ‘special’ U.K. mains plug, ie the wire itself and the IEC connector are exactly the same.

As to which you use that’s purely down to personal choice. Simplicity versus flexibility.

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I’m a big fan of the Hydras. Maybe there is better available, but the peace of mind works for me. A decent product, decent quality, decent price, decent performance, no what-ifs. One area less for upgraditis.


Seeing as you already have the Power-Line Lites i’d be inclined to use those. Saves on wastage. Maybe plug them all into a Chord Company Master/Studio Block.

I have had a look at that. :+1:

Thanks @hungryhalibut for that info.

Has the quality of the Naim standard lead changed over the years?

Probably not so anyone would notice. I really wouldn’t overthink things.

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Are we talking Grahams Hydra? :thinking:

I use a Grahams Hydra. Having brought 2 new boxes recently I had to wait for a new 4 headed lead to be made up. Very pleased when I received it. Everything is neater and it sounds better! I dont know quite how it sounds better and how much of that might be psychological! But it does and for the very reasonable cost definitely worth it. Afraid I haven’t tried lites with a power block instead so don’t know how well that compares.


In my case, yes.

You could always use one of the Powerline leads you have as the root (mains end) and one IEC end, buy a number of standard IEC leads for the remainder you need and ask Grahams to make it up for you. That way you’d have a Grahams Hydra with a fancy Naim mains plug on the end of it. Then you could sell any spare Powerlines you have. Grahams might, of course not do this with your suppplied cables, but I’m sure they’d be willing to use one of your Powerlines as the root of the Hydra for you.

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I used a Hydra for many years and even on the then system of NDX 202/Napsc/Hicap/200 I noticed a small but noticeable improvement over the stock (non Power-Line Lite) cables. Presumably this was due to the better star earing arranegement of the Hydra.

When I accumulated a few Power-Line Lite’s I switched back to individual cables and noticed no difference. I can only assume that the improved cable over the originals.

Al my cables are into double sockets on a single radial.

A Hydra is neater but based on my experience I doubt it will improve matters but it certainly will be neater.

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Good idea!

I think it would be an improvement on the rubbish £8.99, surge protected one I have at the moment.


As I understand it, the concept of using Hydras was to enable “star earthing”.

In my case I bought a 4-way Hydra from CHC which is a far more robust (but costlier) alternative to the Graham’s Hydra. This replaced the Power-Lites and Russ Andrews XBlock I’d been using. So what were the results? I’d say a deeper, quieter soundstage allowing for more detail retrieval, it was quite subtle though. Other benefits? Well, easier cable-dressing for a start and I was able to re-coup the outlay by selling the XBlock and Naim-Lites on eBay.

My 5 head Hydra should arrive tomorrow from Grahams. The system outgrew the old 3 head and I’ve been using a crappy extension lead while waiting for the new one to be made up. It’s certainly a very neat solution.


I have spent the whole day reading up on this. The result is, I’m totally confused! (Which is not difficult :smile:)

My dealer has recommended the Chord S6 PowerHAUS. At a £1,000 + the £500 Epic mains lead. That’s dosh that I don’t really have. Especially as I’ve just purchased a XPS DR from him. :+1:

As I read it, the PowerHAUS does not have the Star Earthing. Why is that? As Chord and Naim go way back?
I’m edging towards a Grahams Hydra… :thinking:

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