August 1, 2009

Isotek Titan Power Line Conditioner.

This is an old post of ours in the blog we previously contributed to.

The Isotek Titan, note the back view, with an input Neutrik plug(blue) on the lower left and an extension Neutrik plug(white) on the lower right for connecting a multiway distributor(optional).

Since my last experience with the Torus Power 4A in my room, I've always wondered if there are other options available without breaking the bank a/c?

The solution presented it self when Centre Circle Audio brought in the Isotek Titan and Nova top end PLCs. The Isotek Titan and Nova PLCs are meant to be paired, with the Titan designed to supply juice to a pair of mono block power amps, while the Nova takes care of the source components and pre amps. Since I already have the Sigmas doing service at the front end, I only took the Titan.

The optional multiway distributors, which can be supported by the Titan.

One interesting feature is that you can also use the Titan to power the whole system, but only if you purchased the optional multiway add on power distributor that comes with a suitable Neutrik terminated plug on one end and an IEC on the other end. However, I suspect a better result would be to partner the Titan to the Nova or in my case the Sigmas GII.

The build quality of the Titan is first class!, way better than the Torus Power, in the usual audiophile sense, like solid, milled and CNC-ed aluminium panels all round and impressive fittings and finishing, including 3 pieces of very nice looking steel cone feet too!, resulting a back breakingly heavy carry up two flights of stairs to my 1st floor audio cave. The Titan comes supplied with it's own Neutrik plug cord on one end and US std plug to the wall.

I plug the Titan in to the wall, powering a pair of Pass Labs Aleph 0 mono blocks. Though rated only 75W/per channel, the mono blocks draw more than 600W/hour constantly. They represent a difficult load any PLCs powering due to their class A topology and power supply demands.

The moment I switched on my system with the Isotek Titan doing duty powering the mono blocks, I noticed very much further diminishing of noise floor and ground hash. When playing well recorded classical pieces, the room walls and physical boundaries seem to be non-existent. Only the orchestra in the venue recorded remains. Bass notes further tightened to iron fisted levels. However with the Isotek Titan introduced, I also heard some mid range sibilance with certain songs. The Isotek manual advises that their products always benefit from after market feet and equipment rack placement. so in went the Finite Elemente Cera Pucks under the Titan.

The Cera Pucks under the Isotek Titan, note the original cone feet?

I was gobsmacked! The already vanishing noise floor now totally vanished! The mid range sibilance on certain songs also varnished! The FE is a neat vanishing trick. The remaining audition time was done with the FE Cera Pucks inserted under the Titan.

The big question remains, does it limit current to the mono blocks? When the going gets tough, does the Titan keeps going? Two answers, the first Q, NO, the second Q, a resounding YES! During it's time in my system, the Isotek Titan never seemed wavered, no matter how loud, how much dynamic and transient strain the music exerts on to it. It just carries on supplying the juices on demand. Unlike some PLCs which can make your system sound like it's on steroids, the Titan never seems to show this thread. It just gets the job done quietly, without calling attention to it self.

The top panel has a blue LED to indicate "ON" status. Note that blue Neutrik input plug at the side?

With the Cardas Golden Reference speaker cables inserted in my system, the bank a/c breaking high end audio investments seems to give plenty of audio bonuses too! The system performance was elevated two maybe even three notches up. The system sounded calm, refined and civil when when contents required, but can also get up and kick serious ass when the music called for! A regular visitor to my audio cave commented after he had heard my system with the latest round of addition "I think you're gonna suffer when you have to return all these gears!" Guess what? I am experiencing withdrawal syndrome since yesterday as the Cardas GR, Isotek Titan and the various FE Cera stuff went to hifikaki's place for a second opinion. Let him have some poison, Ha!Ha!

Back to the sobering question asked earlier, did the Isotek Titan beat the Torus Power? The answer is probably sonic NO!, but practical value YES!

Let me sum it up as this, the Isotek Titan cost about 70% of the Torus Power 4A, but gives somewhere like 85-90% of the Torus Power's 4A sonic performance(just recalling from memories, which may not be fair, but it's all I have for now). Ultimately, I feel the Torus Power 4A just edged the performance envelope with a little more WOW! factor, at the moment you hear the first music upon powering up.

On the practical side, the Torus Power 4A has another problem too, being rated at 4amps capacity, it will not power anything more powerful than my 75W/per channel mono blocks meaningfully. If you have bigger amps, you'll need to got for the Torus Power 8A, which almost doubles the price of the Isotek Titan, rated to 16amps.

In these financially trying times, take in to consideration the practical factor and overall good sonics plus solid build quality, the Isotek Titan can still be considered excellent value for money!, despite it's five figure RM$ price tag.

Isotek is sold by Centre Circle Audio, tel: 03-77282686

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