IsoTek EVO3 Nova One & EVO3 Genesis One

Equipment+
Categories:
AC conditioners
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Products:
IsoTek EVO3 Genesis One,
IsoTek EVO3 Nova One

The very long, 470mm, deep casework looks great but does mean you need a deep rack or a bit of space nearby. IsoTek provides spikes and pucks to sit them on.

Given the price of these devices anyone with more than a single source and/or preamplifier might wonder if there is a more affordable alternative with multiple outlets. The IsoTek EVO3 Sigmas comes close at just under £3,000 but doesn’t have a regenerating output; the firm’s EVO3 Mosaic does regenerate and has outlets for power and source components but costs a shade under £8,000. If you want both options a split is inevitable. And when I start describing how the two differ in their effects you might start looking at the EVO3 Mosaic in a new light.

I tried the two IsoTek devices on a number of different components starting off with an Audio Technica HA-5050H headphone amplifier that was already connected to a (relatively affordable) Puritan Labs PSM136 multi-outlet conditioner; adding the IsoTek managed to open up the sound still further, reduce some lateralisation effects of the headphones and improve timing and immediacy. The overall effect making the tune from the clarinet and string tone in the violins of a Mozart piece far more pleasing (‘Violin concerto in D major’, Marianne Thorsen, TrondheimSolistene, 2L). Using the Genesis with a Chord DAVE DAC relaxed and opened up the layers in the mix, creating a greater musical coherence where the various parts of the orchestra played more cohesively and created a stronger overall musical experience. The effect was to make the performance far more engaging and it also caused the unleashing of the air baton, which doesn’t happen very often.

With an Innuos Zenith SE server, adding the Nova One opened up the sound and improved the timing, increasing definition of leading edges, which resulted in greater drama and an obvious cleaning up of the high frequencies. Moving the same server to the Genesis One improved things quite markedly, creating a walk-in sound stage with excellent separation and a magic being-there coherence where the potential of this remarkable server was made very clear indeed.

Contrasting the IsoTek components with the raw power from the wall and switching the Zenith SE to the Nova One and the DAVE DAC to Genesis One improved things quite significantly. Suddenly the dynamics increased with much more vitality and energy coming off the track alongside a much stronger sense of three dimensionality created by a lot more fine detail, it was almost like going from mono to stereo recordings.

With same DAC and an AVM PA 8.2 preamplifier putting the Genesis One on the converter and the Nova One on preamp and playing Doug MacLeod ‘Too Many Misses’ [Exactly Like This, Reference Recordings] had an ‘open sesame’ effect on the soundstage which expanded to an uncanny degree and brought more solidity of kick to the drum and enhanced the quality of timing. The overall result provided a far greater sense of engagement and enjoyability, which in my book is the aim of the game. Switching around with the Genesis One on the preamplifier and the Nova One on the DAC reduced the scale and calmed the overall presentation, focusing on the flow and in fact resulting in a more relaxed sound that while not so exciting might be preferable in some systems.

I tried these conditioners on a Rega RP8 turntable which was connected to the phono stage in the AVM preamplifier. Initially I put the AVM on the Genesis and the RP8 on the Nova, but switching things around (with the Nova on the preamp and the Genesis on the RP8) proved far more satisfactory; timing improved quite dramatically and the resolution with it, resulting in a calm yet dynamic and compulsive groove. This sounds counter-intuitive (regenerated mains should be more useful for a power supply) but on LP it works.

Just for completeness I also decided to see if a Valvet P2c valve preamplifier would benefit from cleaner power. Switching the Valvet from the wall to the Nova One cleaned up the highs, but didn’t really do a lot more to what was already pretty open sound. It made me wonder if thermionic devices are less sensitive to mains noise. However, the Genesis One proved that this is not the case by increasing dynamic range thanks to a lower noise floor that distinctly improved three-dimensional imaging, separation, and focus. 

It would seem that mains conditioning of some form or another is pretty well essential if you are to realise the potential of a decent system. IsoTek has consistenly proved this to be the case and, with these two bricks of power, makes its point very clearly indeed. Expensive regeneration is the way to go for ultimate results but conditioning is also highly beneficial in most instances. You pays your money and takes your choice. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

EVO3 Nova One

Type: filtering single outlet mains conditioner

Number of outlets: 1 + linking connection

Outlet: 2300W

Power cable: IsoTek Premier

Specifications for: UK, EU, US, ZA, Australia, Switzerland

Dimensions (H×W×D): 125 ×75 ×470mm

Weight: 10kg (boxed)

Price: £1,495

EVO3 Genesis One

Type: regenerating single outlet mains conditioner

Number of outlets: 1 + linking connection

Outlet: 100W

Power cable: IsoTek Premier

Specifications for: UK, EU, US, ZA, Australia, Switzerland

Dimensions (H×W×D): 125 ×75 ×470mm

Weight: 10kg (boxed)

Price without/with display: £1,995/£2,795

Manufacturer: IsoTek Power Systems

URL: isoteksystems.com

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