Upgrade my Grahams Hydra?

What would be a good next step up from the Graham’s Hydra (EU version) I currently have.
My system consists of a SN3/Hicap DR/ND5XS2/Qutest with SBooster. The Hydra goes directly in the wall in a separated audio group.

I also have an unused Wireworld Matrix II powerblock. I got an interesting offer on a single Powerline so I am thinking whether to buy it or not. No way to try it out before unfortunately.

Perhaps I go for a 282/250 set in 2024 so then my Hydra would require an extra rail anyway so I might as well just go to something else entirely.

There may be all sorts of reasons for ditching a Hydra, but you will never achieve a better result in terms of sound for its intended use - powering a multi-box Naim system.


With the greatest respect, I got a valuable improvement on the Hydra with the considerably more expensive Powerigel (original version, I didn’t get on with the Powerline variant). I have also found the Sean Jacobs power block with his standard copper PowerBlack cables to be a nice step up from both.


Ah well, different strokes for different folks!

I would leave the Hydra alone and look elsewhere. Replace your SN3.

YMMV… :thinking:


Your real step up would be a dedicated radial spur, with unswitched sockets and then progressively snap up 2nd hand powerlines slowly replacing the Hydra. But that’s not possible for everyone. If not stick with the hydra and replace the SN with a 282/200 or better.



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Power Igel or ultimately the Power Igel Plus


To state this - and be correct - you must have listened to every other conceivable combination of power leads…


I wouldn’t plug a Graham’s Hydra in my house.
If I have to explain then continue to enjoy. :scream:

Let’s say that I have been very happy with the Hydra for over twenty years, that I see no reason to change it, and leave it at that.


i have been happy for five years with a micro wave powerblock too…until i discovered other powerbloks


The thing with the hydra is that it is good and easy at a price point. Power cables especially open an enormous can of worms leading to unlimited upgrades. That’s the charm of a simple sufficient hydra. There is perhaps better but I’m happy and live in peace.


Starearthing is the key in both the Hydra and the Power Igel.

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So the powerigel would better the grahams Hydra?
Is this only the case with the plus version or also the standard version?

Trying this Chatgtp experience for a lark:

‘The impact of expensive mains power cables on hifi replay sound is a topic of debate. Some argue that these cables can reduce electrical noise and provide cleaner power to audio components, potentially leading to improved audio quality. However, scientific evidence supporting significant improvements is limited, and many experts believe that, within reasonable quality standards, the impact of power cables is minimal compared to other factors like speaker quality, room acoustics, and source material. It’s essential to consider the overall system and prioritize elements that have a more substantial impact on audio performance.’



Yes the Power Igel is even better than the Hydra I had before it. I now have the Power Igel Plus and it is of course a big upgrade, but very expensive as it is made of Naim Powerline cables.


An hydra is certainly a very decent powerblock, which lets the Naim sound being not altered. So I understand.
But saying it’s a definite choice and that there’s no much better possible upgrades on it is something else.
If one day you want to upgrade on it, don’t sell it. You will be able to put 6 eggs inside it,then in the fridge.



None of us will ever try every conceivable option in a double-blind test covering all possible rooms and systems, so complaining that an honest opinion here is based on partial data seems a tad harsh.

Hydras don’t look impressive, heavy duty or expensive, but I don’t care about that. If pride of ownership considerations lead other people to other solutions, or better hearing does so after extended listening, I see no reason to insult them or their hearing.

I use a Hydra, as do some people I have asked who work in hi-fi shops that are not Grahams. I have also listened to the giggling and sneering from people who have spent decades in recording studios about hi-fi nuts’ fascination with power leads.

After a Hydra ( or equally well-made and star-earthed option) I was strongly advised that the next upgrades to power supply in any normal house and system were:-

  1. Get LP12 or similar non-Naim power supplies as far from the power to Naim boxes as possible and definitely off the Hydra.

  2. Get a dedicated supply with its own Henly and CU all the way from the electricity meter to some good quality sockets for the hi-fi. Earth needs to run to the meter or a ground spike and you need decent cable with appropriate shielding.

I have done both. It seems likely that one can go further, but whether my old ears could detect a difference seems less likely, even with all the other junk between the mains sub-station and my hi-fi.

If someone else’s supply is much more compromised than mine, I can imagine that more complex solutions might bring audible benefits, and the design of (for example) the Sean Jacob’s options looks convincing. However, I have not heard his stuff, never mind doing the extensive multi-ear blind testing required to make statements as firm as some here.

What I can say is that spending money on a dedicated supply can often make sense, and can be great VFM, even if one has a fairly typical mains supply and ‘only’ has (say) ND5XS2 and a Nait. It can cost about the same as one new Powerline…

If someone at that level wants more SQ, and is not hearing hums or clicks when the fridge door has been left open and that sort of thing, I would respectfully suggest that a box upgrade or two would typically give bigger and more reliable improvements. However, if I already had a balanced setup at 500 level, I might investigate sophisticated power options again.

My strongest suggestion if trying above-Hydra power options is try before you buy - and play the ‘improved’ system to 1 or 2 other people. If only you can hear the supposed transformation, it may be made entirely of pixie dust.

Good luck!


Very good points and I appreciate the detailed feedback!


The caveat is: some recommendations from members seem based on “what I own can not be bettered”.

A touch of good-humoured scepticism is healthy, when considering the advice.

It’s a varied world, my masters

And mistresses…