Electric Tech

Want clean mains to power your hi-fi ? IsoTek’s range of passive mains conditioners promises you all that and more, says Jimmy Hughes

The quality of the mains supply directly influences the sound produced by your hi-fi . If your mains is contaminated with noise (and it is!), the sound will lack transparency and clarity, making the music seem congested and lacking in dynamics. The solution? Invest in a good mains conditioner. IsoTek offers a wide range of products, from the mighty £6k Super Titan, to smaller more affordable solutions like the new EVO3 Solus at £595. This unit sits above the entrylevel EVO3 Sirius mains bar and replaces IsoTek’s GII Solus, which according to the company, offers higher specifications and improved performance, with no increase in cost.

No noise

The EVO3 Solus incorporates a Delta filter network to cancel common mode and differential noise. In addition, newly devised differential filtering is individually applied to all six mains outlets to prevent crosscontamination between components. Noise on the mains supply is only one of the problems you’re trying to tackle; there’s also the risk of individual components themselves (power amplifiers, for example) generating their own noise and further contaminating the supply. So isolating all six mains sockets is an important feature. Silver-plated oxygen-free copper cables are used internally, and the EVO3 Solus also protects your equipment from unexpected voltage surges and power spikes.

There’s an IEC mains input and six 13-amp unswitched mains outlets – which (given a typical hi-fi set-up) should be sufficient for most user requirements. During use the unit runs cool and makes no mechanical/physical noise so far as we could tell and there are no annoying buzzes or humming sounds to speak of.

Modest price

Build quality is reassuringly solid. The casework is made from mild steel, with an aluminium front panel and cosmetically, the finish is good. Internally, the various components are mounted on a single printed circuit board which is resin-potted. While this helps keeps things like mechanical resonance in check, it also makes it virtually impossible see what components have been used, and prevents IsoTek’s competitors from ascertaining the precise nature of its circuits!

Given the EVO3 Solus’s relatively modest price, when compared to IsoTek’s massive Super Titan model, the former offers very good value. Inevitably, of course, it’s not as good as the bigger unit, but it provides more than a taste of its benefits at a fraction of the price. And, every little helps!

Transparent sound

In terms of sound quality, what can you expect from a mains conditioning unit like the EVO3 Solus? Well, as you purge the mains supply of noise, you will be better able to experience what your hi-fi system is capable of – you finally start hearing your equipment as it is meant to sound.

Obviously, much depends on the quality of the mains to begin with; the noisier it is, the bigger the improvement. The EVO3 Solus enables a cleaner more transparent sound, with increased depth and a wider dynamic range. The music sounds slightly sharper and more immediate, yet at the same time smoother and cleaner, with reduced high-frequency ‘edge’ and less congestion in complex, busy passages. Also, the quality of sound is more consistent from day to day, hour to hour. The sound will be good, regardless of when you listen, rather than sounding best (say) after midnight.

The EVO3 Solus is a simple effective means of upgrading the sound of your hi-fi ; making it sound better and more consistent. You’ll get the biggest and most noticeable benefit in situations where mains quality is noisy and contaminated. But, even if your mains supply is reasonably clean, you still hear an improvement. The fact that the EVO3 Solus reduces cross-contamination between components is one reason why.

Because mains purity is specific to each location, you need to try the EVO3 Solus in your own home to fully experience the benefits, once you’ve done so, we’re convinced you’ll be hooked!

LIKE: Simple, effective device that improves sound quality without fuss
DISLIKE: No serious complaints
WE SAY: Mains purity has a profound effect on sound quality. The EVO3Solus will help your hi-fi deliver its full potential

IsoTek EVO3 Solus
Mains conditioner
440 x 310 x100mm
• Six 13a mains
outlet sockets
• Each socket
individually isolated
• Silver-plated,
oxygen-free copper
• Cancels both
common-mode and
differential noise
• Protects against
voltage spikes and
power surges
01962 852727