Powerlines upside down?

I’m trying out an ISOL-8 MiniSub Axis in my quest for improving power to key system components.

Loads of combinations to test - it has 6 x 3 pin outputs two of which are for high current draw devices so the NAP 250s are on those with Nova (as source no speakers attached), 2 x HiCap and NAC 282’s NAPSC on the low/med current draw outputs.

As I found the Powerline provided a great improvement on the Nova that has stayed there, the 2nd has swapped between feeding the ISOL-8 device and the NAPSC. As I say many combinations/options even without the ISOL-8.

With the 1st Powerline from mains to ISOL-8 MiniSub Axis and an ISOL-8 Ultra from there to the NAPSC sound seemed much more detailed but rather constratined and anaemic - alternatively could be considered very controlled. Swapping ISOL-8 Ultra to power the MiniSub and Powerline to the NAPSC it sounds twice as loud using same settings but rather brash! Very odd.

Back to the thread topic - as the ISOL-8 MiniSub 3 pin outputs are upsude down I have to wonder if this affects any benefit of using Powerlines on these outputs.

While I think the ISOL-8 Wave/Ultra cables are probably reasonable value the Ultra in particular is so stiff it’s like NACA5 in being a pain to run from one point to another.

The designer used to work at Isotek.


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Yes, I gather he may have been a founder of Isotek.

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When I added IsoTek power boards to my systems, they were harsh for about 4 days before they evened out FWIW. This ISO could be similar. I expect you can mount it upside down so the PL’s are vertical if it bothers you?

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If the sockets are upside down the strain on the plug will reduce the isolation.

I’d question whether you are better off without a filtered block. Do you have issues with your mains that need to be ameliorated? I’d at least try the MusicWorks Reflex G3. With its optional upgrade base it comes out at the same price. It’s a simple unfiltered star earthed block with isolation that builds on that of the PowerLine.

This was my assumption, the ISOL-8 IEC cables are very stiff so the upside down sockets might be to make connections using these easier.

Hard to tell for sure - I have some transformer hum on the NAP 250s which I don’t recall years ago, I also have an intermittent electrical ‘click’ which I’ve not been able to pinpoint. This is still there with the conditioner which makes me think it’s one of the system components or connections.

I’m not in a position currently to go for a dedicated spur (long story including equipment not currently where it’s ultimately going to end up), though appreciate that might be the best foundation for the mains supply.

That seems well regarded from comments in a recent thread. My dealer kindly loaned me the ISOL-8 device to try with my system at home.

@Richard Dane

Apologies for placing the link earlier - I was trying to show the configuration of the sockets on the back of the device. Perhaps should have done a screengrab or taken a photo of the unit.

In some ways having them upside down might benefit any kind of standard plug removing the downward cable loop, even if just gave another few inches of cable length to play with.

In my albeit limited experience, conditioners can make the music sound restricted and sat upon. They have their uses when people have real mains issues but it must be sensible to avoid components in the way of the power getting to the units. I use the G3 and am very pleased with it but then I have dedicated mains with a separate consumer unit. There is no transformer hum and absolute silence between tracks. It would be a good idea if you could find a way to sort out the mains, as it provides a firm foundation for everything else, and should cost less than one swanky lead. I’d definitely try the G3 before settling on the Isol-8. At least then you’d know for sure that it was the right decision.

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I’ve had it on for several days now and certainly think it’s sounding better than from cold which is probbaly to be expected.

The unit looks very nice and gets the ‘power block’ off the floor/from behind equipment or furniture, but also means I’d need extra rack space unless it was relegated to the floor under one of my racks - it would look odd on the floor beside a rack, and I’d assume is meant to be on a shelf.

Your regular reminder that @Richard is not Richard Dane.


Maybe you should ask for a slice of the Moderator’s fee.



I have mine screwed to the back of my cabinet, so it’s not visible at all.

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That will depend on the source of any mains noise. If it’s from the street, a dedicated mains won’t help. Your electricians must be cheap if they can install a separate mains for less than a power strip and you would need an easy circuit.

Thanks Mike_S - not considered that kind of option nor currently aware if it’ll work as standard with that device, but certainly something to consider.

The IsoTek Sirius has mounting brackets, but your one looks like it needs to be flat - you could place it on a block or similar behind your rack/shelf?

It’s actually like a full length/width integrated amp so placing behind a rack would bring that out a good 30cm or more. I’m only demoing it currently, so far I think there are positives but also logistical negatives with my existing cables and racks.

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Ah, I see. I first looked at the IsoTek Aquarius, but it’s the size of a full Naim box, so went for the smaller power block as a compromise.

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