IsoTek Aquarius - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 38 Old 06-10-2015, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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IsoTek Aquarius

Hello,
I am looking for user feedback for the IsoTek Aquarius. I've read a few reviews online using google but was interested in user/member feedback or thoughts.
Thanks
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post #2 of 38 Old 06-10-2015, 05:31 PM
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Do you have a noise problem?

Can you conveniently try it before you buy it?



Do you know what you're looking at?

https://www.audiotrends.com.au/IsoTe...ct&itemId=2070

Ooh, pricey...

I'll be back later...


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post #3 of 38 Old 06-10-2015, 07:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
Ooh, pricey...
Especially when you consider that it's basically a bunch of these:
http://www.excesssolutions.com/cgi-bin/item/ES5999
Look at the spec sheet
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post #4 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 04:15 AM
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Does the 175$ power cord (On Sale !) come with it?

Sounds like a Snake Oil Company.

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post #5 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 05:59 AM
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Waste of money.
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post #6 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you guys feel this way about all power conditioners or just this one?
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post #7 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Especially when you consider that it's basically a bunch of these:
http://www.excesssolutions.com/cgi-bin/item/ES5999
Look at the spec sheet
Do you make your own TV and speakers as well?
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post #8 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 08:29 AM
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This is my favorite quote from the IsoTek site: "With the Performance range you will hear significantly better sound quality, with more detail and greater dynamic range. All of your components will be improved and protected, allowing you to realise the best possible performance whenever you listen."

It will also make you thin, rich, good looking, and popular with the ladies.

Buzz is, they are planning to release a new product for the skeptical market. It's called the "IsoTek Placebo".
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post #9 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Especially when you consider that it's basically a bunch of these:
http://www.excesssolutions.com/cgi-bin/item/ES5999
Look at the spec sheet
Quote:
Originally Posted by bermise View Post
Do you make your own TV and speakers as well?
Those are fine and useful components, and using them is fairly simple, and a long way from making your own TV.

BTW, Bill does make his own speakers.
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post #10 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 08:38 AM
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This device is an audiophool detector. If the front panel lights up an audiophool is in close proximity.
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post #11 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermise View Post
Do you guys feel this way about all power conditioners or just this one?
I don't believe in them.

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post #12 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 08:59 AM
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Surge protection and noise filtering are real functions, and do have application. There are many levels of quality of devices, from the barely functional to the complete overkill.

Surge protection is a good idea, but the power strip or even power conditioner is a partial, often inadequate solution.

If the system is noise free, adding conditioning will not magically improve anything in either audio or video. Severe line noise is actually a fairly rare condition, though not unheard of.

This video is clearly designed to sell surge protection, and is a bit hyped, but shows functions under some carefully chosen extreme conditions.
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post #13 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermise View Post
Do you guys feel this way about all power conditioners or just this one?
All of them.
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post #14 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermise View Post
Do you guys feel this way about all power conditioners or just this one?
If a power conditioner combines high quality surge protection with power distribution in an attractive consumer-ish package, I will often build it into a large system proposal. I will also educate the customer as to the real functions and scale their expectations (thing like: no surge protector stops direct-strike or near-field lighting damage). Surge protection is basic, and should be there regardless. If I can do that and make it look nice in a system where the conditioner is a tiny fraction of the system budget, I'll add it in.

There is no place on this planet or any of the known others where a $2000 power conditioner makes any sense at all. All the functions can be done elegantly for 1/10 that price or less, and basic surge protection can be done less elegantly for 1/100 the price.
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post #15 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermise View Post
Do you guys feel this way about all power conditioners or just this one?
I'm not averse to 'clean power' in the sense that I don't want 'dirty power'. So I have examined what comes out of my wall socket.

I have a somewhat specialized isolation transformer, with the second function of providing 'balanced power', in my rack.

But it's a little more industrially poised, than bling.

I bought it used, from a studio in St Louis that was consolidating their power feed, for about 1/4 of the only retail prices I see listed, at maybe double the parts cost were I to try to build one myself with a similarly spec'd transformer. I can resell it for as much or more on eBay.

But I was able to look at a picture, and a schematic, and understand the electrical effects pretty well, and decide (maybe) intelligently, that this could have some usefulness for me beyond a pretty faceplate (which it doesn't really have) and noise filtering (for which I don't seem to have a need).

So, if this is a 'power conditioner', then, maybe my answer to your question is 'just this one' (and those positioned similarly in the marketplace).


I'll be back later...


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post #16 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 10:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermise View Post
Do you guys feel this way about all power conditioners or just this one?
Here's the best method of 'power conditioning'. First off, you need to run your gear on DC, not AC. To get good clean DC run the incoming AC through a transformer, rectify it to DC, then use capacitors to remove all of the ripple. For lower voltage applications stabilize the voltage with voltage regulators.

This is what the power supplies already in your devices do, and it's why 'power conditioning' is a waste of money. If your AC line is particularly noisy, usually because of other stuff in your house creating hash, a simple and inexpensive LC filter of the sort that I linked is all the 'conditioning' that you might need. Might, as most good quality gear already contains one.

Ray is correct about the use of a balanced AC transformer, it does lower the noise floor of the system, pretty much in the same fashion that using balanced transmission between devices does. It's not a huge difference, but in critical applications, like recording studios, it can be worthwhile.
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post #17 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 11:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
but in critical applications, like recording studios, it can be worthwhile.
In other words, RayDunzl wasted his 1/4 of retail price money.
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post #18 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 01:15 PM
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In other words, RayDunzl wasted his 1/4 of retail price money.

Au contraire, a patient resale will most likely result in a few hundreds of profit. I view it as a small investment.

Until then, I will continue to appreciate its contribution to my system.

I'll be back later...


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post #19 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 02:53 PM
 
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Until then,
So it hasn't proven its financial contribution.
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I will continue to appreciate its contribution to my system.
If it's contributing something to your system or your mind, it may not be a waste of money. Is it the appearance or the space filling aspect that's considered contribution?
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(loudly in Sioux)
I am Dances With Wolves... I have
nothing to say to you. You are not
worth talking to.

I'll be back later...


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post #21 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermise View Post
Do you guys feel this way about all power conditioners or just this one?
I have a Monster HTS-3500. I bought it because my older amps do not have 12v triggers, and it does. This allows me to turn on all of my equipment with one button on the remote. Besides, it was cheap, $399 retail, but $99 on closeout. Looks nice in the rack too, after I swapped all the silly bright blue LED's for dimmer amber ones.

Did it improve the sound as claimed? No. Do I feel confident it will protect my system? No.
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post #22 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 06:06 PM
 
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(loudly in Sioux)
I am Dances With Wolves... I have
nothing to say to you. You are not
worth talking to.
You might have had a chance to sell it for profit until this thread turned out the way it did. Now that such info has been revealed by you on public forum, your chance for profit may have evaporated.
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post #23 of 38 Old 06-11-2015, 06:49 PM
 
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In other words, RayDunzl wasted his 1/4 of retail price money.
I wouldn't say that. Unlike most power conditioners a balanced power transformer actually does work.
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Quote:
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I wouldn't say that. Unlike most power conditioners a balanced power transformer actually does work.
Necessary for his critical applications, like recording studio perhaps...
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
But I was able to look at a picture, and a schematic, and understand the electrical effects pretty well, and decide (maybe) intelligently, that this could have some usefulness for me beyond a pretty faceplate (which it doesn't really have) and noise filtering (for which I don't seem to have a need).
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post #25 of 38 Old 06-12-2015, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You might have had a chance to sell it for profit until this thread turned out the way it did. Now that such info has been revealed by you on public forum, your chance for profit may have evaporated.

What kind of equipment are you using in your AV rack?
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post #26 of 38 Old 01-01-2017, 07:42 PM
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I just have to add here, since a lot of feedback comes from people without any knowledge (they have never tried!). Isotek products work. Just set up a complete Isotek (Titan EVO3 + Sigmas EVO3 + Sirius EVO3) on my HT. Already have Sigmas EVO3 on one of mye headphone setups; and Aquarius EVO3 on the other. The difference is dramatically for the better. There is a lot of crap on you power (generated by all the components hooked up, surrounding wifi-networks and neighbors). Isotek does not kill the dynamic range (as most power conditioners do), and you get lower noise floor; better separation of instruments and much clearer dialogue on movies . In short, you get the best from your equipment (there are no magical voodoo here).

I have still never heard any equipment not benefiting from a good power conditioner. Don't listen to feedback from others (including me); try yourself. My hifi-dealer allowed me to borrow and try for a few weeks with no cost.

Common Mode and Differential Mode mains noise is a reality. You could of course stick your head into the sand and pretend it is not so. We also have people claiming there are no difference between different DACs as well, and of course - all amplifiers are the same.....

HT: Trinnov A32 (AL32-1632)/AMP8/8M - BRYSTON 4B SST2 - B&W 802D3, 803D2, 2*DB1, HTM2D2, 804D2, SCMS, Nautilus SCM1, 805D2 - NORDOST Heimdall2/Frey2 - ISOTEK EVO3 Titan,Sigmas - LG OLED65B7V - GIK ACOUSTICS
HP: 2*MOON 430HA D, 2*MiND2 - 2*Yggdrasil - 2*Hydra Z/ZPM - ISOTEK EVO3 Sigmas, Aquarius - NORDOST Heimdall 2 - AUDEZE LCD-4 rev2, 2*LCD-XC - SHURE SE846 - Bose NC 700

Last edited by Berland; 01-01-2017 at 08:02 PM.
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post #27 of 38 Old 01-02-2017, 07:05 AM
 
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Quote:
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I just have to add here, since a lot of feedback comes from people without any knowledge
I guess my Masters in Acoustical Engineering doesn't count. Now I know how Sir Paul felt when he was turned away from the post Grammy party because he wasn't VIP enough.

Quote:
I have still never heard any equipment not benefiting from a good power conditioner.
I've never heard any that did benefit. But being one of those stupid engineering types I've always measured the results, just to be sure that I wasn't succumbing to placebo effect or sighted expectation. What I haven't seen from the true believers is any data to back up their claims.

This isn't yet an oldie, but it's destined to become a goody:

Subjective Audiophiles (SUB) vs. Objective Engineers (OBJ)

SUB: I just added a new Pet Rock to my system, the imaging is better, a veil was lifted, bass is better, you have to get one of these!
OBJ: I do not see how a pet rock can do any of that. Have you measured the system?
SUB: Why would I care about measurements? I can hear it!
OBJ: There's no way a pet rock can do that. Without measurements, you have no proof.
SUB: What do you mean "no proof"? Didn't I just say I can hear a difference?
OBJ: That is not proof. You need to run a controlled test, have somebody place and remove the pet rock several times and see if you can tell when it is there.
SUB: I don't need some test, I can tell it works! And I just had my friend over, and he heard it too, so there!
OBJ: That's ridiculous you are both nuts. I'm just trying to save you money.
SUB: OK, I found an article by the Pet Rock Sound chief engineer. I don't understand it, but he says it aligns the molecular flow of the universe inside my room and that's why it works.
OBJ: Sounds like marketing. What measurements did they take?
SUB: There's a graph, it shows ripples in the force without the Pet Rock that are gone when it is added. Happy now?
OBJ: No, that is meaningless. You are all mad.
SUB: Well, prove it! Measure the molecular flow with and without a Pet Rock and see the difference! Then you can see and show us all why it works.
OBJ: That is nuts and I don't have anything like that kind of equipment.
SUB: Then you can't prove it doesn't work! You're a geek with no ears!
OBJ: You have so much expectation bias it is running out of your ears. No wonder you think you hear something.
SUB: Snooty objectivist scumbag.
OBJ: Ignorant gullible subjectivist.


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post #28 of 38 Old 01-02-2017, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berland View Post
I have still never heard any equipment not benefiting from a good power conditioner. Don't listen to feedback from others (including me); try yourself. My hifi-dealer allowed me to borrow and try for a few weeks with no cost.

Common Mode and Differential Mode mains noise is a reality. You could of course stick your head into the sand and pretend it is not so. We also have people claiming there are no difference between different DACs as well, and of course - all amplifiers are the same.....
Berland, I'm inclined to think that you have the gift (nay curse) of very high auditory suggestibility.

Btw, my signature link has some useful commentary specific to your type of, (but) "they have never tried!" objection.

Quote:
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard P. Feynman
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post #29 of 38 Old 01-02-2017, 08:33 AM
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My ultimate blind-test is if my wife says she can hear the sound improving without even knowing I have done any change. I understand you can be biased by "expensive stuff must improve". But when I first tested Sigmas (borrowed without any cost); I had zero belive it would do any difference (if any it would destroy the sound). I just had to bite the bullet and acknowledge I had been wrong. It does work.

There is a reason for example the MSB Analog DAC got an option for upgraded power supply for 3690 USD.

But of course; if you don't believe - and don't want to try - it is definitely the cheapest option

Noise can be measured; so there is no problem viewing the difference on a plotted graph.

HT: Trinnov A32 (AL32-1632)/AMP8/8M - BRYSTON 4B SST2 - B&W 802D3, 803D2, 2*DB1, HTM2D2, 804D2, SCMS, Nautilus SCM1, 805D2 - NORDOST Heimdall2/Frey2 - ISOTEK EVO3 Titan,Sigmas - LG OLED65B7V - GIK ACOUSTICS
HP: 2*MOON 430HA D, 2*MiND2 - 2*Yggdrasil - 2*Hydra Z/ZPM - ISOTEK EVO3 Sigmas, Aquarius - NORDOST Heimdall 2 - AUDEZE LCD-4 rev2, 2*LCD-XC - SHURE SE846 - Bose NC 700

Last edited by Berland; 01-02-2017 at 08:38 AM.
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post #30 of 38 Old 01-02-2017, 09:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berland View Post
I just have to add here, since a lot of feedback comes from people without any knowledge (they have never tried!).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berland View Post
My ultimate blind-test is if my wife says she can hear the sound improving without even knowing I have done any change.
Looks like your feedback about ultimate blind-test comes from not having any knowledge (you have never tried real double blind test).
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