Should I bypass my Shunyata Hydra power conditioner?

I live in an apartment building,so I thought a power conditioner would be benificial.I'm running my Shunyata Hydra HC power cord through a Shunyata power conditioner.O.K. ,sounds pretty good. Recently bypassed the conditioner,and pluged straight into the amp ( Hegel  H20 )  The music seems to sound better,especially the bass. Still using the conditioner for the DAC, and the CD player. Looking for feedback on this. 
Sounds like you've answered your own question....if it sounds better, bypass it.

See what happens with the DAC and CD player next.
Yep.  A whole lot of people have confirmed that amplifiers in particular are often not happiest plugged into power conditioners.  It can depend upon the conditioner, but most due seem to constrain the dynamic life a bit for an amp.
It is often recommended that amps not be plugged into power conditioners because it can limit the amount of electricity available to them, which sounds like what is happening to you. There are power conditioners made to have amps plugged into them.

I’d listen to your DAC and CD player with and without power conditioning (they draw less power than your amp) and decide if it’s helping or not. As with everything else audio, you have to try something in your own system to see if it works in your situation.
The only power conditioner that I have found that amps sound better plugged into is the Audioquest Niagara 7000.

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You already know bypass sounds better. So really your question is, Should I do what sounds better?

Is that right?
In my experience with all Shunyata power conditioners (I've owned the last 4 Hydras/Triton--now the Triton 3 ), an amp always sounds better plugged directly into the wall. Even though Shunyata reps told me that amps benefit from the Triton, this has not been the case for me. Everything else I own, however, benefits from the Triton.

A few of the power strip style SEEM to sound better, but offer no 120 VAC maintenance. They are not made to make thing sound better.
The reason is safety, maintenance, and surge. Filtering is kinda hit and miss usually above 20khz and again at 40khz. 

I don't use them to make my stuff sound better, I use them to protect the expensive gear, and START from a good place. My conditioners are on a journey for sure, but they constrain NO sound to my ears...AND from any of the amps I use. I use a FEW different amp types. A good power supply in the amps to begin with goes a long ways too.

Safety, protection and sound. there is no need to give up any of them...

Shunyata Hydras are not current limiting and Shunyata recommends you plug your amp into it. I have 3 Hydras in one system and plug my amp and preamp into a Hydra 2.  The system sounds better with the amp and pre going through the Hydra, than not.  Perhaps it’s because I have dedicated lines for the system?
I only have experience with the original Shunyata Hydra, but even with my dedicated lines I could not plug any amplifier into it happily.  They all got quite noticeably congested and closed-in sounding vs. direct to wall - - snuffed out dynamic life, both macro and micro.  The new ones might have changed that, of course.
I have had the same experience using the Audioquest Niagara 1000 power conditioner. Even with amps plugged into the "high current" outlet, it's still not as open and dynamic as plugged straight into the wall. This applied to everything from SET tube integrated amp, Push-pull tube separate amp, and class D integrated.
Thanks to this post I just bypassed the line condition with very positive results reported here, thanks!
Sorry to report that my excitement with bypassing the line conditioner was short-lived. With the added dynamics and treble, I also experienced ear fatigue! The result was that most days I wouldn't even feel like switching the system on to play some tunes. So I'm back with the to the last good config, with more musicality and less of that impressive sound. Please note that I'm not using the same brand as the OP, just another 'isolation transformer' locally made type.

Anyone still enjoying the Original Hydra conditioner from early 2000's ?


Happy Listening!



Thank You for the follow up. After all of these years, did you consider moving up to a newer Shunyata Hydra?  I am considering an original Hydra (wood faceplate).


Happy Listening!

I've had a Hydra Model 8 power-distribution center in my system since 2005.  It is plugged into a dedicated 20 amp circuit.  I only have my mono blocks connected and they sound slightly better than plugged directly into wall.  The model 8 is not current limiting and offers great surge protection.  I would never leave expensive amps unprotected.

I just recently conducted the very same experiment.  I unplugged my Hegel H590 integrate amp from my Audioquest Niagara 3000 and plugged it directly into the wall socket outlet.  I wanted to find out for myself and I went back and forth just enough times to make a determination on what sounded better, overall.  Plugging my amp into my power conditioner was the winner for overall better sound for my system.  However, this was not always the case when I conducted this same comparison in the past.  In most cases, direct into the wall sounded better, depending on what conditioner I was using at the time.  I purchased the Audioquest Niagara 3000 conditioner specifically because of it's ability to not constrain an amps power and  it appears to be extremely effective in not doing so.  

I am still using my old original Hydra with the fancy wooden case.  Love it and would never part with it.  I have it daisy chained to a newer Denali.  Everything plugged into a Shunyata, even the amps.  As a few posters have noticed, amps may initially sound "better" when plugged directly into the wall, but then you start to notice the hash and brittleness which you first mistook for detail.  So much more musical with the Shunyatas, and more information comes through as well. You just loose the false (imo) etched sound of direct to the wall.  Different people will certainly perceive the change differently.


Thank You for addressing my query about the original Hydra w/ wooden facia.

Good to learn that it is still relevant in 2024. Are you running a Dedicated line as well?  

Which model /year of Denali are you enjoying as well?  PM me if you do not want to cite specifics here.


Happy Listening!