Marc Philip, editor, magazine-audio.
Marq Doyon, audiophile and music lover.
This is what the box looks like.
It’s made of recyclable cardboard (very good!) and has an internal liner which holds the fuse securely.
It’s an appropriate package and all the instructions are on the box, on the top and back, and also on the inside, where the installation instructions appear, in English and Asian only.
This is not really an obstacle, installation is very easy.
You take out the old fuse and install the isoclean fuse in its place—making sure the size and power rating (in amperes) are the same, obviously.
Proceed Madrigal PCD 2 upgraded with OPA 627 op amps and rhodium IEC socket
Music Hall CD transport and Bel Canto II converter (future)
SIMA P 2001 upgraded with rhodium IEC socket
MELOS tube preamp (future)
CRIMSON 500 series monoblocks, 80 wpc solid-state
PASS LAB ALEPH 5, 2 x 60 wpc pure Class A (future)
Monsoon FPF 1000 hybrids, upgraded: crossover components all replaced with premium versions (Capa Mundorf Silver & OIl), crossover mounted externally on three points.
WATT PUPPY Clones (future)
Speaker cables are XSymphony Pure Silver with rhodium connectors, and one pair of Goertz Ref: Goertz MI2.
Interconnects are Tork copper/silver with Eichmann Silver and Furutech Rhodium filament connectors.
Power cables are XSymphony Silver Triton SE with rhodium connectors.
Power line treatment
Three separate AC lines from the panel entry in 4 x 10 ga. BX cable, with one breaker per line.
20 amp double receptacle on each. One Furutech RTP-6N box on the digital section.
Rack, shelves and furniture
AMADEUS tripod shelf system from the Marc Philip Design inovaudio™ line.
4.9 metres x 3.53 metres, painted gyproc walls and ceiling (BA13 or plaster panels)
Type 2D vertical and horizontal dif?ffuser panels by inovaudio design
Disc library for listening tests
Chris Jones, No Sanctuary Here
Blues Company, Cold Rain
Brahms, Hungarian Dance N°10 en F major
Vincent Bidal trio, La Bohème
Pascal Comelade, Johnny Guitare, from the film
J.Strauss, (Tik-Tak Polka
Marina Chiche, violin—Wieniawski, Polonaise brillante
Emmanuel Rossfelder (guitar)
Jheena Lodwick, Do That to Me One More Time (FIM)
Patrick Husson, Casta Diva
J.Terrasson, La Javanaise
Pink Floyd, High Hopes
Rachelle Ferrel, Prayer Dance, Montreux 1991
Martin Xavier Scène de la vie pastorale
France Gall, Besoin de vous, Live Bercy 1993
Juliette Hurel, flute—Debussy, Syrinx
Edvard Grieg (piano)
Musica Nuda, How Insensitive
Holly Cole, I Can See Clearly Now
Ze Final (a medley of sounds mixed with music)
We replaced the stock fuses in our gear with IsoClean fuses progressively, in this order:
Something actually does happen to the sound when you replace the stock fuse with an IsoClean.
The maker specifies that the fuse should be oriented in the direction of current flow, which is what we did.
We tried putting one the other way around in the CD player, just to see… it does seem that the sound could be altered if you do this, less “open”, although this is only my personal impression.
Here’s what the IsoClean fuse looks like:
The improvement—because that’s what you get, much more than just a simple difference—became evident only after IsoCleans had been installed in all the gear. (Although the CD player’s restitution of subtle nuances, on its own, was clearer with the IsoClean, that was not really enough to make a final judgment.)
Once all the units had IsoCleans, we noticed that the upper midrange was more fluid and open, seeming more present and natural, with the grain on voices smoothed out. The bass was undeniably firmer and more distinct.
As tests in the past had shown, improvements to the electrical supply can make audio equipment work better.
The improvement is certainly subtle
—the IsoCleans can’t be expected to create a revolution.
However the change is worth it for those who want to tweak their systems to the limit.
Why deprive yourself?
The IsoClean is better than the stock fuse. You’ll have to make up your own mind about them, but we’re keeping ours.
I’ll turn this report over to Marq now, for the results of his own trial of the IsoClean fuses… to be continued.
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