Isotek Mini Sub

Neil3000

Member
Yes, it's another mains thread!

I am considering buying an Isotek Mini Sub for my various bits of kit. What Hifi think they're great but I have read a few posts where people have found them to make the sound worse.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has had an experience of the Mini Sub (or the Clean Line) be it good or bad.

Also, I am wondering where I can buy one with the caveat of taking it back if I don't like the effect it has.
 

1 GND

Novice Member
Dear Neil.

I ordered and took delivery of an Isotek Mini sub at xmas and was also sceptical.

My wife thought I was mad spending 500 pounds on something like that (as does she on most of the rest of my kit) especially bearing in mind it`s purpose, which I could see her point.

The great thing this time, was that SHE took about 5 seconds before SHE said what an improvement it made! I couldn`t believe it, an absolute first!

It really does work, the first thing you notice is that the noise floor goes so much lower with inkly blacks of silence. Within minutes I was hearing the odd bit of music or sounds within the music which I`d never heard before. I`d read that but thought it was bull, it`s not.

I`ve had it now 2 months and now take it for granted (which isn`t perhaps a great testimony, but that 1s the nature of the prodict I guess). However I reckon I`d soon miss it if I took it out and I`m not!

Also I had to instantly change my TV picture settings as the colour and contrast went up a lot, which was suprising but again they say it works on all your system.

Also I must like it as I`ve since spent another 300 quid on Isotek power leads and although not as distinct they definitely work as well.

As to where to buy it, try Audiofilecandy (as I did) who give you 30 days trial to make up your mind (perfect).

Over to you mate but I`ve a similar system with the AX10is and it really sings!

Hope that`s helped you.
 

Neil3000

Member
Thanks for that Glen. Did you notice any negative effects such as an effect on the soundstage?
 

TheSeer

Novice Member
I bought an Isotek SubStation some time ago and my experience was so similar to Glen Dowie's that its uncanny. As soon as I'd plugged the amp into it and played a familar track, the missus (who takes very little interest in these things) came out of the kitchen and said 'oh yes, thats much better, the drums and rhythm are much better' :eek:. It wasn't just the pricier stuff that benefitted either, the sound quality of a very modest 21in TV was dramatically improved.

I haven't noticed any negative effects and sometimes the soundstage has been so wide that I've grinned like an idiot all evening :rotfl:

Yes, you will take it for granted after a while and I would say it takes the performance of your components up to the next level. The only downside is that I haven't got enough outlets to plug all my components into it. So, I can see myself buying another one at some point (or maybe an Isotek Power Station :D )

The real downside to this is that it makes you very aware of how much the mains can affect your system and this leads to lots of money being spent on rectifying these problems. At the moment I am powering my Substation with a Nordost Vishnu power cable which costs £450 (yes !!) and is on a Sale or Return from a local dealer. I was very sceptical about power chords, but I have to admit the Vishnu has made a real difference and I now have to make the very painful and not entirely rational decision as to whether it has made £450 of difference.

Bloody hobby, don't know why I got into it in the first place.........:suicide:
 

1 GND

Novice Member
Classic response The Seer!!!!!!!!!

Our women must be the same Hi Fi cynics!! Perhaps they both work for Isotek?!! Or perhaps women can hear better??

Does yours go on and on about doing more round the house and seeing my mates less??!! Maybe Isotek have got a product to fix this as well!!!

Cracked up reading your reply. Absolutely agree with your comments on how aware it makes you of mains (is really suprising as you wouldn`t think it).

Also I agree with Hi fi spending habits. I started out with original 4000 budget and am now at 11000 and havent started on the visual side yet, no wonder the women moan!!! But is great fun and addictive. At least I`m not down pub every night so she`s got to be happy with that!

As for your Soundstage query.... Again Neil it certainly didn`t worsen it although I have Mirage OM7`s and they give the picture in a way I`ve never heard with any other speaker. They are great and sound even better with Minisub. Anyway why not try it for the 30 days? youv`e nothing to loose. Bet you end up keeping it and then spending even more on cables!!!

Blame me and The Seer!!!!

See you both
 

Neil3000

Member
I found a new mains filter a few days ago on Ebay. Some chap called M5ABV is making filters at £32.64 each so I have ordered 2. The filter is what might be called inline - you plug your iec lead into the filter and then the filter plugs into your equipment's iec socket so you need 1 for each piece of equipment. (He also makes filters with 3 iec leads coming out but these are auctioned rather than 'Buy Now')

Among the feedback from earlier customers is a comparison against the Isotek Substation (too expensive for me) and the opinion was that the M5ABV filter came out better.

Should get them in a few days so I'll post back a review soon.
 

Neil3000

Member
I have bought (subject to audiophile candy's 30 day money back guarantee) 2 of the new mini subs that Isotek have not mentioned on their website. (<rant>What's the point in having a site and then not keeping it up-to-date?</rant>)

I got the new GII for my hifi and the also new GII Vision for my AV .

So far I haven't noticed any astounding differences (maybe my mains was quite clean to begin with?) except for better picture quality from Sky. The picture quality may not be caused by the Isotek box of tricks as I upgraded the power cable to an Audusa CSA at the same time.

I shall post back some reviews of the 2 differnet Isotek boxes soon and also of the Ebay mains filters once I get the time to sit down and do a test in a more scientific way.:zonked:
 

Neil3000

Member
Being a bit of a lazy sod once I'm home, I still haven't done any structured testing of the minisubs.

I did try plugging my amp and cd straight into my Black Widow 4 gang (so bypassing the mini-sub) and found the sound much thinner and less real. I didn't spend a massive amount of time listening for all the degradations, I just plugged the kit back into the sub to get the best sound back again.

If you're interest in any of the isotek stuff then I recommend that you order from Audiophilecandy and then use the 30 (or it may be 60) day money back guarantee if you're not happy.

As for the Ebay filters, I'm not even using them anymore.

Neil.
 
C

Cameron

Guest
k, thanks for that - the isotek does indeed 'sound' interesting :)

CaM
 
W

whiteflyer

Guest
In June's Hi-Fi News there is an artical about the Mini Sub GII on page 59, also there is a bit in the news section that the original designer has left Isotek to start a new company Isol-8. It maybe worth check out his new stuff.
 
F

Fabio

Guest
Bewar

Beware all of you chaps of Isotek. I've heard that the other 2 directors of Isotek are also the distributors and audiophilecandy. Aparently Nic Poulson the original designer has started up Isol-8 (www.isol-8.co.uk).
I have checked out the site and there are all ready 2 regenerators available and the big 4 channel one comming soon. I went to look at a new IsoTek Origin at a dealer and it was faulty!!!!!
This is not the Isotek I remember. So I sujest to all of you looking at buying a new mark 2 product check out the Isol-8 dealers and buy the genuine product.
P.S. Mr poulson ever reads this best of luck to you. :)


Neil Porter said:
Yes, it's another mains thread!

I am considering buying an Isotek Mini Sub for my various bits of kit. What Hifi think they're great but I have read a few posts where people have found them to make the sound worse.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has had an experience of the Mini Sub (or the Clean Line) be it good or bad.

Also, I am wondering where I can buy one with the caveat of taking it back if I don't like the effect it has.
 

paulcollins14

Standard Member
Would have to agree with the positive mains cable comments.

I first bought a Wireworld stratus 5 on a months trial, I plugged it into my subwoofer and the effect was wow ! I had expected it to take some time to burn in but from from the word go it not only tightened bass, somehow it underpinned my entire system to dramatic effect for £115.00.

I have since bought 3 more for my Denon 3805, CD player and 2 channel Amp.

Now on a quest I purchased a Russ Andrews Mains purifer block £495.00 with their reference powercord on a 2 month trial (the time it aparantly takes to burn in). Again further improvements and will be keeping it. Components that do not have an IEC connection, in my case TV, DVD player plug straight into it with great effect on picture quality and colour depth.

Next step re wire the house ...
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Mains boxes are designed to deal with problems on mains, of which there are many, what I don't like is throwing these boxes at problems hoping they will work. You are far better working out what is wrong with your mains first and then finding the appropriate solution. Boxes like these iso and the new ones are not the solution to everyone. If practical experience is anything to go buy, they are the correct solution to few and most issues can be solved releatively cheaply.
 
F

Fabio

Guest
What you have to remember chaps is that putting in a something like a seperate spur only deals with localised noise from within the ring main itself. There are thousands of miles of crapy copper feeding your house. What you need to do is get rid of all the high frequency noise which is coming in and deal with noise from your fridge and computer etc.
Not forgeting the system itself. One of these 'Mains boxes' as you put it is just what you should use.
What's the piont in spending a grand for 1m of silver cable with a 50p IEC plug on one end. All that doing is manipulating the mains signal. Not an improvement, just different.
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
who is talking about silver or other exotics, I have eliminated RF / EMI issues (as indicated by a noise sniffer and oscillascope) by the appliance of basic engineering, and this is a fraction of the cost of thesE ISO boxes and other similar ones etc. The net effect is that 'exotic mains cables cables' / boxes like these NO LONGER WORK here. [Yes I have a big pile of them] There is simply nothing for them to do. ENGINEERING, simple basic engineering. Know the problem and apply the solution rather than throw lots of money at something hoping it is the solution. I have never advocated anything else.
 

Neil3000

Member
Putting in a new spur may help with mains noise from the rest of your house but does not stop cross-contamination by your hifi kit. Even your hifi kit puts noise into the mains.
 
F

Fabio

Guest
I would very much like to know how 'The Beekeeper' has eliminated FR/EMI noise?
 
A

Alex47

Guest
Yeah, Beekeeper, enlighten us with your engeneering success, please!
I use Isotek Mainline digital - it's a box sitting on Isotek Elite cable with a filtration system similar to Sub Station. I use a transort/DAC combo, and I first plugged it, naturally, into a transport - to no noticable effect. Then I plugged it (with no hope, honestly) into a DAC (MF Tri-VIsta 21), which boasts choke regulaed power supply with claims from the manufacturer that it deals with all the mains noise 100% and bla bla bla. Surpisingly my DAC benefited a lot from Iso Teck. It didn't change any balance, the feeling was an immediate opening of a midrange - better dynamics and separation, as if it started to breath more easily. I think it's worth the money ( I bought it on Sale for $160) if you have already spent several thousand on your system and it's transparent and demanding. Otherwice I would go to Fopps at Cambridge Sq. (London) and buy a lot of great jazz CDs a fiver each or save the money for a future upgrade.
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
I asked a while if anyone was interetsed in this. I got a blank response so it has been shelved, at least for the time being. Just toooooo much on. I will knock out some audible files of my system and say a uni however, where the EMI / RFI have been transposed to audible frequencies to see if people think I have suceeded :)
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Neil Porter said:
Putting in a new spur may help with mains noise from the rest of your house but does not stop cross-contamination by your hifi kit. Even your hifi kit puts noise into the mains.

A few people have done a fair bit of research into this,Ben Duncan being one(if I remember),and the results from some large power amps were quite something,with many of the larger ones drawing huge transient currents from the mains as the reservoir caps top up,and resultant showers of transients into the local supply....whether or not this relates to most setups I don't know,but certainly mine sounds better with the Krells fed off their own sockets,and Kimber mains leads all round.....I'm sure like Beekeper,if I paid enough attention elsewhere,I could reduce the problems...but finding the time!....
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Guess what I have been building over the last 2 years :) If you read Ben Duncan (try soundonsound article or HFNRR) and RA stuff you have all the info you need.

A good trick is to ask manufacturers what they use ;) with the exception of the odd transformer to block DC, they do the basics, just like little old me :)
 
A

Alex47

Guest
Back to IsoTek, I just have found another post from a guy auditioning TriVista DAC with IsoTek Substation, and came to an opposite conclusion - he says it sounded better WITHOUT Isotek. So it's another proof that it works differently in different homes even with the same gear!
 

ukaudiophile

Active Member
Hello,

Alex47 said:
Back to IsoTek, I just have found another post from a guy auditioning TriVista DAC with IsoTek Substation, and came to an opposite conclusion - he says it sounded better WITHOUT Isotek. So it's another proof that it works differently in different homes even with the same gear!

I had exactly the same experience. I use the Isotek Elite mains lead to power the Tri Vista 21 DAC, but I've played with various configurations and found that having the rest of the system running with the Isotek filtration in place (a Substation and a 2 kW Qube) but the Tri Vista 21 DAC running of an unswitched MK socket seems to give the best results.

I don't know if you've ever looked inside the Tri Vista 21 DAC, but literally half the case is filled with power supply, either power transformer or chokes, with independant power transformers for the main circuit board and the HT stages to drive the valve output stages, both of these transformers have choke regulation and their own bank of filter caps. This is an extravagant way of doing things, but it does seem to work, and is the reason why, in my experience, the Tri Vista seems to work at it's best without additional mains filtration, and pretty much every other components I've tried does benefit.

Best wishes,

Dave
 

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