Saturday, 22 February 2014

Clean Up Time: Magnet ISO-CLEAN 1000S

                              

Thanks to Mr. Victor from Hi Fi Creations again, I was given the opportunity to do some hifi cleaning with the Magnet ISO-CLEAN 1000S Power Station Series.... This is a plug and play cleaning device hehehehe :).... All it does is 'clean' the power supply to all my hi fi components...

Since it was Chinese New Year.... I had a good ample time to use this unit.

A full review will come soon.

In the mean time, feast your eyes to the pics.




Here we go....

So I got this unit together with the power amp that I reviewed last month... However, to ensure I can properly review the power amp, I did not hook this unit together with it. Just to ensure whatever different in sound I heard is coming from the power amp.

There is always a debate about purity and clean power supply to one's hifi system. Though I do not question the debate itself, I do question how clean and pure can the supply be when I have done absolutely zilch on the wiring in my house.

I am currently using a Belkin PF50 Pure AV to hook up all my hifi kit. Been using it for more than 2 years now. Though it claims to improve things, This unit neither improve nor made the SQ worst. It is purely there to protect my equipment from a surge which it happened once and it did its job. Oh.... I will get shot again here by audiophiles.... because all my power cables are UK 3 pin type....not US receptacle ones.

Truth be told... for those whom have been following my blog, I usually do my listening late at night (after midnight) or early in the morning at about 6 am. Mainly because my system sounds better at those times. I dont really enjoy listening in the afternoon or early evening between 2 to 4 pm. So for this ISO CLEAN revie, I did it during noon to early evening for a few days.

BUILT


Again, I am fully impressed with the workmanship from this Thai company. Solidly built at 20.5 kg in weight. Nicely packed in the box and can be easily unpacked by 1 person. The double shielded low impedance toroidal isolation transformers is housed in a 432 x 141 x 437 mm (W x H x D) black metal casing.


The front fascia looks elegant which is a bonus if you have your hifi system in the living room. The buttons are semi soft buttons but does not feel cheap.

All the blue  and red LED are dimly lit which is easy on the eyes. However, I do feel that they can improve on the voltage input display. It looks toooo industrial....and it does not fit well with the elegant look of the unit.

You will get not 4 or 6....but 10 power outlets .... so its more than enough for a common hifi set up. These 10 are divided into the following:
  • 4 x Isolation Output
    • Duplex AC outputs for any AV equipment with less than 1000VA total output power
  • 2 x high power filtered
    • Duplex AC outputs for any high power filter equipment with less than 2000 VA total output power
  • 4 x high power non filtered
    • Duplex AC outputs for any high power equipment with less than 2000 VA total output power



WHAT'S IN THE BOX?


It comes with a thick and long power cable with US receptacle plug, fits snugly into the power outlet behind the unit.


Magnet also provides 3 different spare fuses for the isolation output, high power output (filtered) and (non filtered)

FUNCTIONS


In the front fascia, there are indicators for various status of the power supply. There are indicators when:


Display:
  • input voltage is higher than 245 V
  • input voltage is lower than 190 V
  • the unit is connected in the correct phase to the wall outlet
  • the ground is operationally fully
  • the input voltage display can also be dimmed (thanks for this)

There is also a Balanced option for the output isolation ground system at a flick of a switch in the rear panel. The balanced mode is suitable for grounding system which can reduce AC noise floor.

NOTE: This unit will automatically shut down if the voltage drops less than 185 V or goes higher than 250 V

You can also set the timer for on and off in between power outlets up to 60 seconds.

It also acts as surge protector.

PERFORMANCE

Thanks to Victor again, I replaced my UK 3 pin power cords of my amps, CDP and DAC with US receptacle cords which were provided by Victor.

First up was a track from the French Kiss OST, La Mer by Kevin Kline. I must admit that the first impression that there was an audible improvement in noon listening session. Kevin's deep husky voice was more prevailing and involving than usual. The flatness that I usually get during noon session was no longer there. What I got was a more energetic and melodious tone from this quite slow rendition of the Charles Trenet original version.

I then put on a more complex music arrangement, Mustika by M. Nasir. The traditional wind instrument on this track sounded very free and airy, as if a veil was taken off. Something that was restricting in my set up to deliver a free and unrestrained music was taken off during my noon listening session. The emotional journey throughout this song was exceptionally good.

On metal tracks like Metallica's Until It Sleeps, the bass drum was really tight but had some subtlety to it as the slow part of the song was supposed to be a bit mellow. And when the heavy guitar riffs kicked in, again the sound was so free to flow... unrestricted but bold. True metal experience.

Although all these good first impressions are good but I was not fullly convinced that it was the ISO CLEAN that is giving this new listening experience.So, I went on and on and on listening to various tracks  between 1 pm to 4 pm every day over the long CNY break. And yes, it was the same experince back to back everyday. This continued for the next few weekends until I was ready to return the unit.

During my normal listening hours (night, midnight and early morning), the experience however was similar to my standard set up with Belkin PF50. Not much dissimilarity. 

And this is another way to proof that my ears are not deceiving me. After my last session during the day, I immediately hook up my amps, CDP and DAC to my Belkin PF50 and I got back that unsatisfied day time listening session. Arrrrrggghhh :(

FINAL VERDICT

I am convinced that a good power conditioner can help my system (or any other system that is suffering from 'dirty' supply). And this unit is a fine example of how a conditioner should be designed and built. It brings out the colour and emotion of various musical genres and injects melodious element to a flat musical deliverance. With all the function provided by this unit, its a no brainer that is quite a value for money kit.

What stopping me then to replace my Belkin PF50? Two things. First, the incoming voltage from my mains can go up to 255 V which the Magnet unit shuts down automatically. Not fun when that happens in the middle of a heavy listening session (ie I need a voltage regulator more). Secondly, the prooven surge protection and warranty that Belkin provides.

But nevertheless, for those without my requirements or situation, this unit can definitely put some shine on a system that is connected to a standard wall outlet.

This unit can be purchased from the sole distributor in Malaysia. Contact Mr. Victor Pheh of HI Fi Creations. It is retailed at RM 5,800. Details below:




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