Mains extension blocks


Deltaco GT126 (39 €) is all you need





Hi JimDog
Yes it was with Olive Kit and yes it did offer a small yet noticeable difference by just tidying everything up. My experience with Powerlines was that they didn’t offer enough of an upgrade to justify the cost but and apparently this is a very big but I do have very old wiring in my house and do not have dedicated mains which should be the step before buying Powerlines I believe.


The Hydra sounds really good. Naim thought so too - they have used their own in-house made Hydras for many years.


If I needed an extension block for my system (I don’t currently as have six sockets off my dedicated mains) I would either get a Graham’s Hydra (1st choice) or a music works matrix 2.


That’s interesting. Would they make Hydras of Powerlines, or from other types of cable? Are there any secrets to the wiring, e.g. in how to stop the various cables from interfering with one another?


Have you used a Graham’s Hydra, or you just like the design? I don’t understand the star earth wiring thing - do you know how that works and why it might sounf better?


tbh I never considered a hydra when looking for a multi-way mains block; I just assumed they wouldn’t be as good. However after reading this I kind of regret not going that way. It would have cost less (mains block plus 3xpowerlines) and been a lot tidier. Also I guess I could have had the cables made the length I need rather than the powerline standard 4ft which means loose mains cable lying around behind the rack. In fact I might still go that route!


Jim - there are no secrets to the Hydra.

It’s just a number of standard Naim IEC power cables brought to a single connection point and then on to a single mains plug. In my Naim days, I used a Hydra and found it beneficial. Others may find multiple plugs better. I’m not sure how many bits of Naim kit you have but you can wire 2 (3 with a bit more work) mains leads into one mains plug which achieves the same thing.


Yes I have with a previous Naim set up. It definitely improved things.


Accepting the argument that surge protectors are detrimental to sound quality, just how great is the risk of not having surge protection ?


I’ve never worried about it. I use surge protection where appropriate in the work environment but don’t at home.


If you want protection against lightning, you still need to unplug, so don’t let a surge protector lead you into a false sense of security there.


Back to 2001 there was a Naim dealer who was obsessed with the mains distribution side of things. I’d go in to listen to a black box upgrade or something and he’d always end up getting his latest tweaked mains box out. He was more interested in this than selling me Naim/Linn. Amusing, but actually he was very good.

It started out with the hydra method with Naim leads. Different ways to connect them all, different plugs, fuses and sockets. I listened to all his hydras, but was never convinced. All sounded hard, in a nutshell.

After a year or so, he then went onto distribution boxes made from Crabtree sockets, again different cabling manufacturers, diameters, etc. These sounded much better.

Then he took onboard the Powerigel when it first came out. This was expensive and the idea looked great. He liked this and demoed it to me in the shop. It was ok, but again the typical hard hydra trait. I tried it at home for a couple of weeks and still didn’t like it. I wanted too, because it not only in theory could have worked, it was tidy and looked great. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t like it and was very passionate about it. I started to feel maybe it’s my ears. 6 months later, he rang me out of the blue for the only reason to apologise (which I obviously didn’t need one) and agree that he doesn’t like the Powerigel either. Now he’s tweaked his mains box further, ‘come in and have a listen’ he says. I must admit, I miss those days of trials and results. This box was good and so I bought one. Even once I’d bought it, a year later he had further enhanced the development with a change in the wire. He wouldn’t say what, but he came to mine and gave me it for free. It was slightly better, but to be fair I couldn’t tell much difference.

2006 I had all my house rewired and took the opportunity to have a row of sockets put in for the hifi. This gave me the easy opportunity to test his box, individual sockets and again, a hydra. The individual socket method was in a completely different league and that’s what started my own personal mains project. I made my own box. It took a while to create and most of the bits sat on my desktop for months, whilst I thought how to construct it perfectly and safely. It’s directly connected to the cu, so cutting out the necessity to use another plug. I wasn’t expecting much of a result and tbh wasn’t really that bothered, as it looked beautiful and it couldn’t be worse than the distribution box I was already using. I couldn’t believe the result when I first plugged everything in. It was great.

Then Powerlines came along. This shows where Naim’s true opinion lies. These individual cables connected to individual sockets is the best way by far and everything else is a compromise. That is within reason and legal. If you have a lack of sockets or don’t want multiple cables, etc… then that’s one thing, but imo hydras are poor.


Was it better as in simpler and cheaper than a mains block - or did it sound better than a mains block (at the same cost)?
Would that be because the route from the wall into the amp is more direct? Or other reasons too?


At the moment im considering a Wireworld Matrix 2. Any thoughts on the Stratus 7 cable to go with it ?


At the moment, just 2 Naim boxes - the 272 with its Powerline Lite and the 150x with its original Naim stock cable. And, yes, there is just one spare wall socket for these 2 plugs, so a Hydra solution would be tidy. But I don’t want to sacrifice SQ.
Should cables be of the same type if you wired them both into one plug?
(I still don’t understand the star earth wiring system.)


Jim - ideally in your situation with the two boxes, you would just plug them into a double wall socket. If you only have one socket available then using one mains plug with two cables would be ideal. It’s easier (and safer) to do this with the old crabtree plugs which have the screw and bar cable clamp arrangement rather than the MK ‘push in’ clamp. What’s bothering you about your present arrangement that you want to make a change ?


I use a Matrix 1 with an old Stratus (both of 2009). Good combination.
But the above mentioned Deltaco GT 126 is a lot cheaper and not that inferior




I use wireworld matrix 2 but have a powerline lite as it mains cable. In fact I have upgraded all my mains leads to powerline lites. I have a real issue with paying megabucks for mains leads etc so the PL Lite is a great solution - and its Naim. This is a very good solution for my 282/2x HCDR/250DR system.