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Real world Isotek Power conditioning results


Guest Sime
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Hi guys, today I decided to run some tests to see how effective Isotek power conditioning is in a real world, functioning Hi-Fi system. This test is not a test for audiable differences, just simply how much mains noise is being eliminated from my system, compared to what coming into the GPO's in my environment.

All test's were run with cables, being power and audio, in place as if the system is running on a daily basis. The main systems Isotek Sigmas was tested with its power on and off for all devices (except BR player, I needed it gpo for the analyzer)

First off, here's a pic of the 15 amp gpo which my caravan is drawing it's power from, it's scoring 615 on the noise meter, a score out of 999. The van is fed with a 15A 15 meter extension cable:

post-151620-0-86799000-1445668255_thumb.

Next we have the Isotek EVO3 Mini Mira which I use for my TV, the first pic is the score for the gpo it's connected to, second pic is the score for the "Visual outlet" on the mini Mira, as you will see, this machine imo is the best performer, but can only use 1150 watts from that particular gpo, the second one labeled "component " has 1150watts also.

post-151620-0-71679500-1445668539_thumb.

post-151620-0-50395500-1445668562_thumb.

Now we have the Isotek Sigmas Gii, this machine is plugged in using an oem version of their top line power cable, I didn't do a test without it being as it's rather difficult getting in behind this system being the environment it's set up in. But it don't think that it will make much difference with or without it, more on that later.

First up, a video of the noise coming from the GPO the Sigmas is connected too.

And a pic of the signal after the Sigmas Conditioning, all equipment powered off:

post-151620-0-94177800-1445669126_thumb.

And now with all the components on:

post-151620-0-31023900-1445669188_thumb.

Now the Polaris power board, before and after as above:

Power coming into the board

post-151620-0-11101500-1445669355_thumb.

After filtering with the Polaris

post-151620-0-97853400-1445669398_thumb.

And now it gets interesting, I took out the Polaris power board to run some test using a standard black power cable and an Isotek Premier cable (the $199 rrp one)

First video, the power before being conditioned.

This is a pic of the power board being fed with the Isotek Premier Cable:

post-151620-0-31596600-1445670013_thumb.

And now, a standard black power cable:

post-151620-0-97823900-1445670075_thumb.

As you can see, they are exactly the same, so that will ignite some debate as to wether expensive power cables are doing anything, well it seems this particular cable is no better than a standard one.

And now a video that leaves open a question as to what going on here in regards to each power socket being isolated from each other. If there's a technical reason for this that I don't know, please let's us know.

And finally, an old Thor power board I've had for over 10 years.

I hope you found this quick review helpful, one thing I know is that I have a quiet system, Is it worse without the conditioning, I have not tried as of yet, but it's reassuring to know that my components are getting clean power, and are protected from power surges, and that alone is worth the investment.

Cheers.

Edited by Sime
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Interesting...so it appears the Polaris filters just as good as the Sigma (unloaded) but what I'm really interested in is how it performs under load with all sockets loaded (i.e can it handle a power amp and all associated gear or is it saturating and performing worse than if you ran straight from the wall as it says it has a 2400w rating but doesn't it distort doing so?)

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The Sigmas's incoming power was well over 4 times as bad as the Polaris.

And also, the results arnt reliable, sometimes large noise scores don't get reduced much, other times it can be near zero. And it's differs from Gpo to gpo, and different times of the day.

But overall, once you find where the issues are, for example that bad wall wort, and you get all the gear as low as possible, it's stays fairly low at all times. The Sigmas was 26 yesterday arvo and then went down to 6 last night at midnight.

Edited by Sime
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I found it very helpful. Objective measurements to quantify a benefit of a component in a system, what more could one ask for?

If anyone is watching the isotek in the classifieds and sitting on the fence, they shouldn't be any longer.

Looking forward to the ensuing power cable debate....

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Some interesting, but, ultimately, not brilliantly helpful results, IMO. That said, the device has it's place, as will become clear.

The REAL test would be to measure the output from various pieces of audio equipment, when connected to the mains. Of course, it would be helpful to use the device to ensure that the mains supply was quite noisy at the time of measurement.

Here's the process:

Connect the analyzer to the mains supply. Make certain there is plenty of noise.

Measure the output of the audio equipment, to see if any noise is visible (using an oscilloscope, or similar).

Now, connect a suitable filter, which lowers the noise according to measurements performed on the analyzer.

Measure the output of the audio equipment again. Check for a difference.

The same approach can be used to measure power cables, filters, regenerators or any other suppression devices.

The results will be quite predictable:

Poorly designed equipment may show some benefits with regenerators and some filters.

Properly designed and built equipment will show little or no benefits with regenerators and filters. In fact, some, high power amplifiers, will perform worse as all filters introduce extra impedance issues.

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interesting test, good bit of measuring gear. great t o see some clear results. just need to understand the context myself and work through in my mind ramifications of what they show. sorry just my skim read didnt pull all that in place in my brain thats all. will read again more thoroughly to digest.

 

theyre probably going to sell a ton of those meters now :D

 

great the hifi store lent it out to you ! 

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@@Zaphod Beeblebrox

I know it's not a very scientific test, but I'm a layman, it's kinda a laymans analyzer, and the test is just simply to show what goes in and what comes out of Isotek gear. Nothing more, nothing less.

What conclusion can be made of them is up to debate.

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Thanks for sharing Simon. Did you do the wall wart cross-contamination test on the Sigmas? I'm interested as Sigmas outlets are, I believe, individually filtered.

Yes, I just did it now after I read your post. Pre wall wart, the measurement was 001 (clean power on Sunday's) and after it jumped to 157. I have to go to a meeting, so when I get back I'll test the wall wart on the other circuit on the Sigmas. Just now I tested it on the same circuit, the lower powered 4 outlet one.

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Yes, I just did it now after I read your post. Pre wall wart, the measurement was 001 (clean power on Sunday's) and after it jumped to 157. I have to go to a meeting, so when I get back I'll test the wall wart on the other circuit on the Sigmas. Just now I tested it on the same circuit, the lower powered 4 outlet one.

 

Thanks again Simon.

 

It may also be worth introducing the wall wart before the conditioner by plugging it into the 2nd outlet of the GPO which feeds the conditioner. This could help determine whether the increased noise is due to cross-contamination within the conditioner, or the conditioner's ability to deal with incoming noise created by the wall wart.

 

Con.

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@@Zaphod Beeblebrox

I know it's not a very scientific test, but I'm a layman, it's kinda a laymans analyzer, and the test is just simply to show what goes in and what comes out of Isotek gear. Nothing more, nothing less.

What conclusion can be made of them is up to debate.

Please don't get me wrong: I like to see non-professionals attempting to make sense of difficult concepts. Kudos to you for trying. Fundamentally, what we need to know is how audibly significant the filter devices are. The analyzer tells us half the story and that is a good thing.

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@@Zaphod Beeblebrox

I know it's not a very scientific test, but I'm a layman, it's kinda a laymans analyzer, and the test is just simply to show what goes in and what comes out of Isotek gear. Nothing more, nothing less.

What conclusion can be made of them is up to debate.

 

not very scientific is fine for this kind of thing, its pretty much plug and play literally. and I think most will be happy to see if nothing else what an excellent tool this seems to be to check quality of your power :)

 

even if did nothing further it would help to determine some noisy things that you might have....and lets not forget the potentially quite noisy devices there seem to be these days. particularly wit the proliferation of basic switch mode power supplies that are often common use.

 

excellent for your specialist dealer to have one of these and even better to let you borrow over the weekend :)

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Thanks again Simon.

 

It may also be worth introducing the wall wart before the conditioner by plugging it into the 2nd outlet of the GPO which feeds the conditioner. This could help determine whether the increased noise is due to cross-contamination within the conditioner, or the conditioner's ability to deal with incoming noise created by the wall wart.

 

Con.

Ok, the GPO the Sigmas is attached to is a single only, but I plugged in a double adaptor to it and plugged both the sigmas and the wall wart to it, and the result from the Sigmas was 004.

I'm guessing a double adaptor will have the same effect that a double gpo should have?

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not very scientific is fine for this kind of thing, its pretty much plug and play literally. and I think most will be happy to see if nothing else what an excellent tool this seems to be to check quality of your power :)

even if did nothing further it would help to determine some noisy things that you might have....and lets not forget the potentially quite noisy devices there seem to be these days. particularly wit the proliferation of basic switch mode power supplies that are often common use.

excellent for your specialist dealer to have one of these and even better to let you borrow over the weekend :)

Yes, the benefit I found most of all being able to take this device home was that I found out that the wall wart for my "Signal On IR Repeater" was causing so much trouble. I now know that with it removed, all three Isotek devices I have are providing clean power.

I'm actually thinking of buying one and offering some kind of service to people who want to clean their power systems up.

Edited by Sime
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Ok, the GPO the Sigmas is attached to is a single only, but I plugged in a double adaptor to it and plugged both the sigmas and the wall wart to it, and the result from the Sigmas was 004.

I'm guessing a double adaptor will have the same effect that a double gpo should have?

Yes, equivalent I reckon. I guess you've demonstrated that although the Sigmas is affected by outlet cross contamination, the effect is less than that of the Polaris. This makes sense as the Sigmas has some of its filtering stages repeated across its outlets.

I wonder then if the best topology for filtration would be an unfiltered high current distribution board followed by a dedicated filter per component (as determined by each component's needs)?

Thanks again for testing.

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@@Conster no problem mate, anything else you can think of before it goes back tomorrow, I'll try and accommodate.

At least it's nice to know that these products are doing what they claim to do, clean the power, sonic benefits are another debate.

Edited by Sime
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I see how the walwart dirties up the power board.

But if it's not to much trouble could you plug the walwart into the double adaptor next to where the  Isotek is plugged in.

I'm wondering how much of that noise is kept out by the Isotek?

 

Well unless you have done that and I missed it :)

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