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Mains Conditioners

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
I was wondering if anyone who has had experience with Isotek conditioners in particular the entry level Gemini and Orion please tell me what benefits (if any) they experienced. I also noticed Tacima makes some inexpensive ones such as CS939. Anyone had any luck with these? Its like one tenth the price of the Isotek ones.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Some folks swear by these. Others think they are a total waste of time.

I think the question is how dirty is your mains supply.

If you think about it most of your kit transforms the AC into DC to make use of it. It also has a lot of smoothing and damping (or should have) in the PSU so if it's doing it's job right you should not need further help. However if your mains is dirty then you might.

Dirty mains is caused in the main by big inductive loads near to you on the mains (like big motors etc.) If you live in a highly industrialised area and share a sub station with a big factory or a lot of little ones then you might need extra help in smoothing the supply. Note nothing AFAIK is capable of sorting out freqency shifts in the mains. (i.e. where the nominal 50Hz moves off point). The national grid endevours to stay between 49.5 and 50.5 Hz all the time but it can have the occasional excursion beyond this.

I do think surge protection makes sense as for any sensitive elctronic kit. BTW
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes, I concur with the others here for £20 the Tacima is surely an essential bit of kit if only to surge protect your gear and I also noticed an improvement in picture and sound quality................
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Belkin Surge Master is a nice bit of kit to protect your AV system - It's what I use as well.
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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You can't go wrong with a Tacima. Interference reduction would explain the great gains on FM/TV signals, with surge and cleaning too. Best £20 you'll ever spend.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I dunno about the Belkin, this is what one reviewer said -

I have had a couple of Belkin units, including this one, fail to
protect my equipment. Once a PC just died one day, and I found burn
marks on the motherboard PSU connector. The other time with this exact
unit there was a lightning strike nearby, and the computer PSU was
fried along with my monitor and HiFi amplifier.

Both times I tried to claim from Belkin on their warranty. They
make it very hard, and you have to send them the damaged equipment. In
both cases they at first refused to pay up, but eventually I got some
compensation out of them. Nothing like the value of the items though,
only their "second hand" value which for Belkin means car boot sale
prices.

I suppose you pays your money and takes your choise .............
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I currently have a Belkin surge protector 6 way trailing socket but it doesn't have mains filtering. I'm just wondering if the Isotek products justify the expense because the difference between those and the Tacima are huge. Can anyone comment?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Get the Tacima - it's pure value for money! I use it on my hi-fi and home cinema system and it's fantastic on both counts!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Can anyone tell me how long the flex is on the Tacima CS929?

Thanks.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
MENISCUS:
I dunno about the Belkin, this is what one reviewer said -

I have had a couple of Belkin units, including this one, fail to
protect my equipment. Once a PC just died one day, and I found burn
marks on the motherboard PSU connector. The other time with this exact
unit there was a lightning strike nearby, and the computer PSU was
fried along with my monitor and HiFi amplifier.

Both times I tried to claim from Belkin on their warranty. They
make it very hard, and you have to send them the damaged equipment. In
both cases they at first refused to pay up, but eventually I got some
compensation out of them. Nothing like the value of the items though,
only their "second hand" value which for Belkin means car boot sale
prices.

I suppose you pays your money and takes your choise .............

Actually having worked at IBM with UPS equipment (some costing in the tens of thousands of dollars) I can tell you that there is almost nothing is going to guarantee protection from a lightening strike nearby. Certainly not 20 or 30 quid trailer sockets.

Difficulty claiming compensation; whats new ? As for the other point that reviewer made, surge protection has it's limits. It always subject to a surge, bigger / more rapid than it can handle. Even so some surge protection is nice to have.

UPS:
Battery backup does tend to work reasonably well - it can automate safe computer shutdown during a power failure and isolate a machine from random reboots caused by power fluctuation. A UPS will tend to condition power and isolate from the main fluctuations by its very nature - but they tend hum - quite loudly.
I'd recommend some form of surge protection for any sensitive electrical equipment, don't expect an improvement in sound. If you have a computer based music system a UPS is a worthwhile investment but any musical revelation is likely to be imaginary.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Tacima 929 - no brainer.

I also bought 2 Tacima shielded mains cables - 1 was half price on eBay for £13 BNIB, the other a reasonable £26 - pay no more than about £27.00 - and these certainly had a positive effect [tighter bass, bit more definition and midrange presence] on my system [with a 929] for far cheaper than some more 'known' brand names. *cough Russ *cough Andrews.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
laugh:MENISCUS:
I dunno about the Belkin, this is what one reviewer said -

I have had a couple of Belkin units, including this one, fail to
protect my equipment. Once a PC just died one day, and I found burn
marks on the motherboard PSU connector. The other time with this exact
unit there was a lightning strike nearby, and the computer PSU was
fried along with my monitor and HiFi amplifier.

Both times I tried to claim from Belkin on their warranty. They
make it very hard, and you have to send them the damaged equipment. In
both cases they at first refused to pay up, but eventually I got some
compensation out of them. Nothing like the value of the items though,
only their "second hand" value which for Belkin means car boot sale
prices.

I suppose you pays your money and takes your choise .............

Actually having worked at IBM with UPS equipment (some costing in the tens of thousands of dollars) I can tell you that there is almost nothing is going to guarantee protection from a lightening strike nearby. Certainly not 20 or 30 quid trailer sockets.

Difficulty claiming compensation; whats new ? As for the other point that reviewer made, surge protection has it's limits. It always subject to a surge, bigger / more rapid than it can handle. Even so some surge protection is nice to have.

UPS:
Battery backup does tend to work reasonably well - it can automate safe computer shutdown during a power failure and isolate a machine from random reboots caused by power fluctuation. A UPS will tend to condition power and isolate from the main fluctuations by its very nature - but they tend hum - quite loudly.
I'd recommend some form of surge protection for any sensitive electrical equipment, don't expect an improvement in sound. If you have a computer based music system a UPS is a worthwhile investment but any musical revelation is likely to be imaginary.

Spot on. We have three very expensive UPS onsite for our data centers and one of them loves to go into standby mode when the incoming mains falls outside tolerance. At £20 the Tacima is worth a shot at least. I like mine!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
MENISCUS:

I dunno about the Belkin, this is what one reviewer said -

I have had a couple of Belkin units, including this one, fail to protect my equipment. Once a PC just died one day, and I found burn marks on the motherboard PSU connector. The other time with this exact unit there was a lightning strike nearby, and the computer PSU was fried along with my monitor and HiFi amplifier.

Both times I tried to claim from Belkin on their warranty. They make it very hard, and you have to send them the damaged equipment. In both cases they at first refused to pay up, but eventually I got some compensation out of them. Nothing like the value of the items though, only their "second hand" value which for Belkin means car boot sale prices.

I suppose you pays your money and takes your choise .............

All surge protectors have a Joule rating on them which should tell you the level of protection on offer. Wikipedia has a good article which explains how they work and the different types.

Belkin in common with all makers has a range of devices at different price points. So yes you pays your money and takes your choice. I do think it would be helpful if they made the protection information a bit more prominent and a bit clearer though.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Lot of recomendation for the Tacima on this thread so just ordered one, hope you are all telling the truth!

I ordered from a online shop i've not used before AYCS. it was £27.55 delivered.

Incedentally I also checked the website of my local dealer £39. I like to support the locals but thats too much of a difference for me.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
welshboy:

<SNIPPED>

All surge protectors have a Joule rating on them which should tell you the level of protection on offer. Wikipedia has a good article which explains how they work and the different types.

Belkin in common with all makers has a range of devices at different price points. So yes you pays your money and takes your choice. I do think it would be helpful if they made the protection information a bit more prominent and a bit clearer though.

I haven't either worked with surge protection or UPS or researched this area in a long time but from what I remember the three figures of interest are -

the Voltage which triggers a ground dump. Theres a specific term, which I can't remember. But basically lower is better.

The point at which protection fails given in joules.

higher is better (for a nearby lightening strike goodness knows how high this would need to be)

Response time it takes for protection to kick in.

Lower is better. < than 1 nsec I think is the recommendation

Ultimately good insurance is probably your best bet. :)

But if anyone who is up to date wants to provide figures that folks want to aim for when purchasing, I'm sure some would appreciate it.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I am using a Isotek Gemini for my Naim 202/200, NAPSC and CDX2. It's bring down the floor noise for my setup.
 

aliEnRIK

New member
Aug 27, 2008
92
0
0
I have an Isotek Mira connected to my tv

http://www.avreview.co.uk/news/article/mps/uan/1827

It made my picture sharper, less prone to artifacting on freeview and more 3 dimensional. I Whole heartidly recommend borrowing one to see how you get on :)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,636
83
19,770
There's some uncertainty when it comes to mains conditioners. WHFI, when they've reviewed them, have, in the main, have given them a big
but I do remember reading their advice section regarding the subject, something to the effect of "if your mains is clean, you'll hear the diiference."

My problem is: how do you know if it is clean or not? I know you could just buy one to start with, but I am yet to be convinced by the notion that the sound quality can be significantly improved. . . .or am I just being a cynical old idiot?
 

aliEnRIK

New member
Aug 27, 2008
92
0
0
plastic penguin:
There's some uncertainty when it comes to mains conditioners. WHFI, when they've reviewed them, have, in the main, have given them a big
but I do remember reading their advice section regarding the subject, something to the effect of "if your mains is clean, you'll hear the diiference."

My problem is: how do you know if it is clean or not? I know you could just buy one to start with, but I am yet to be convinced by the notion that the sound quality can be significantly improved. . . .or am I just being a cynical old idiot?

Well there are ways of testing your mains but im not 100% sure how (Something to do with a waveform meter I think)

But youd have to be extremely lucky (And probably live in the middle of nowhere) for you to have a perfect mains supply.

I can only tell you from experience that my braided mains cables and mains conditioners (And powerblock) have ALL made a difference to my setup.

As in example. I used to have NO decent cables or conditioners. Everything was kettle leads and some cheap mains adaptor.

The very first time I put my mains conditioner on (sound.....something ~ forgets the name to be honest) my tv IMMEDIATELY looked better. It was sharper, more colourful and more 3 Dimensional with more detail. Now I couldnt honestly tell a difference with my hifi but then there were only kettle leads plugged in. The first time I tried an Isotek Elite to my amp I was stunned (It was second hand and fully 'burned in')! Truly, the bass difference in particular was staggering. I was hooked and have since tried all sorts out :p
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,636
83
19,770
aliEnRIK:plastic penguin:

There's some uncertainty when it comes to mains conditioners. WHFI, when they've reviewed them, have, in the main, have given them a big
but I do remember reading their advice section regarding the subject, something to the effect of "if your mains is clean, you'll hear the diiference."

My problem is: how do you know if it is clean or not? I know you could just buy one to start with, but I am yet to be convinced by the notion that the sound quality can be significantly improved. . . .or am I just being a cynical old idiot?

Well there are ways of testing your mains but im not 100% sure how (Something to do with a waveform meter I think)

But youd have to be extremely lucky (And probably live in the middle of nowhere) for you to have a perfect mains supply.

I can only tell you from experience that my braided mains cables and mains conditioners (And powerblock) have ALL made a difference to my setup.

As in example. I used to have NO decent cables or conditioners. Everything was kettle leads and some cheap mains adaptor.

The very first time I put my mains conditioner on (sound.....something ~ forgets the name to be honest) my tv IMMEDIATELY looked better. It was sharper, more colourful and more 3 Dimensional with more detail. Now I couldnt honestly tell a difference with my hifi but then there were only kettle leads plugged in. The first time I tried an Isotek Elite to my amp I was stunned (It was second hand and fully 'burned in')! Truly, the bass difference in particular was staggering. I was hooked and have since tried all sorts out :p

Yeah, likewise, I have heard that tests can be done, but we do live in the middle of nowhere [sort of]; knowing my luck, the difference will be minimal. I might have a word with my usual retailer - trouble is he is miles away. . . .
 

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