Manufacturers of mains conditioners have been pushing their products for years. There has been no question that we have needed some level of protection from all the brown outs we get, whether caused by belches from the power companies, or thunder storms.
It used to be, after a weekend of storms, we’d get half a dozen calls saying my gear has locked up. We sold conditioners from Panamax, Furman and others, that ran $100-$400, that virtually stopped that problem. People that used these devices were not likely to have their gear quit working or go blooey during storms. But… while these products were helpful vs power issues, they did NOT improve our sound. It didn’t prevent manufacturers from saying they improved sound. But they didn’t. In fact, the bigger the box and the more it purported to do, the more it stole dynamic range and bass tautness. Yet we needed help from spurious line spikes.
Over the last many years, we have been approached by vendor after vendor pushing their latest mains conditioners. Those of you that know us, know, that we don’t mind taking your money. But we want that money to be well spent so you’ll come back when the next itch needs to be scratched. None of these magic boxes improved sound, whether $200, $500 or $5000.
That has changed! I’m delighted to report that there are now a few manufacturers who have absolutely proven that their mains conditioners can protect you from the problems, while improving your sound. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I was skeptical, because I had seen so many lead balloons. Yet now, there is no question. There are mains conditioners THAT HELP your sound. You should have one. Frankly, it’s like MQA. If you ignore it, you’re leaving performance on the table, period!
Isotek is my choice for mains conditioners. They make products (in Europe) that are reasonably priced. These products absolutely, positively, improve your sound. The clarity of acoustic instruments, tightness of bass and dynamic contrast in music are all inarguably improved.
We have known for many years that high quality power cords can help your sound as well. But never before have power cords mattered as much as they do now- because we have cleaned up the in coming line signal to a dramatic degree. Back in the day you could listen to thousand dollar power cable and hear a slight difference. The line was inhibiting what we could hear! NOW, we can hear a nice improvement with a $100 to $150 power cable, assuming you’re using one of Isotek’s fine conditioners.
What has evolved over the years is that Isotek squelches line noise WITHOUT inhibiting line current. The proof is in the listening.
I’ve had hundreds of components in my home over the years. Some have cost a bundle. Yet I can happily tell you that my sound today, is better than ever, because I’ve got an Isotek Aquarius ($2k) plugged into the wall. Further, I use Isotek Premier Power Cables ($150 each).
Aquarius comes with its own Premier cable. Toss on a couple more Premiers for integrated
amp and CD player. That’s $2300 all in. And the sonic improvement is nothing short of illuminating.
Isotek makes a line of wonderful conditioners.
Polaris is a six bar conditioner that COMES WITH its own great power cable, called the Initium. Initium is $100 a la carte and it makes sense to run one with each product you plug into
Solus is a six bar component shaped conditioner, that COMES WITH an Initium cable as well. Solus easily fits on the bottom shelf of your equipment cabinet. And yes, you should get an Initium cable for each product to plug into Solus.
Aquarius is a six bar component shaped conditioner, that COMES WITH a Premier cable ($150). You should use a Premier power cable for each product (that will accept one) into Aquarius.
Aquarius is the sweet spot in the line. Two of its outlets accept mega high powered, power amps. You can use Solus with big gear too, but Aquarius is specifically designed with big dog power in mind. If you can afford Aquarius, just buy it!
The Other Guys
There are other fine conditioners on the market, of course. Isotek isn’t the only game in town. But it’s the smartest! The other guys typically run $4000-$8000 and DO NOT come with their own
commensurate power cable. My promise is that Aquarius at $2k with Premier power cable, takes a back seat to NOBODY!
Solus and Polaris are also fine conditioners, so if $2k isn’t gonna happen, you can still get a real dose of what a fine mains conditioner can provide.
Initium Power Cable $100
With polyethylene dielectric
Premier Power Cable $150
With Teflon dielectric