How does an...

Isolation transformer work and what does or is it doing? I have an isolation transformer in my system for my sources. It is an old Noisetrapper unit I purchased back in the mid 90's from a very dear friend.

What prompted me to ask is I am considering some sort of conditioning for my integrated (currently plugged directly into wall) and understand the isolation tranny won't support the draw. Since I'm thinking about conditioning I realized I don't really know what an isolation tranny does.

Next question, I'm considering a Furman like at AA. Would plugging the isolation tranny into it and using for sources be too much of a good thing?
Would it effect them negatively?

I know that the ultimate decision lies in what I hear but thought many of you far more experienced folk might have some insight.

Do you have a mental picture of how any transformer works?

Basically, one has two separate coils of wire that are next to each other, but also electrically insulated one from the other.

When AC is applied to one coil of wire, the magnetic properties of electricity induce a flow of electricity in the adjacent coil.

If the number of windings on each coil are the same, 100 volts into one coil gives you 100 volts out of the other. If the number of windings on the second coil is double the first, you'll get 200 volts (or, if you switch which coil has double windings, you'll get 50 volts out).

The latter example is what lets a high voltage, low current vacuum output tube power a low voltage, high current speaker.

Note that DC (direct current) will not pass through a transformer. This makes a transformer useful for "isolating" electrical devices from the main AC circuits. This can address ground hum problems. Transformers also have an upper frequency limit for the AC they pass, so depending on design, they can be useful for addressing RFI problems.

Transformers also have a maximum load they will carry. It sounds like you've discovered this already.

My only caution about combining devices is I'm of the school that one shouldn't spend time fixing problems one isn't having. You can end up creating new issues. If noise from your AC is an issue, address it, and then when you've got it fixed, stop working on the problem.
If youu get another power thingy, do not plug your current tranny into the new thingy.
You will be unessessarily burdening the new thingy with your old one.
PS I use a Furman REF20i for all my alalog stuff.
Love it.
I would say if you go for a Furman, get one which includes the 'power factor' technology.
Actually what that "power factor' is is just a big stiffening cap in it. To keep the A/C power from sagging.
Works great, sounds good.
Also, Furman is overpriced. I would say check out some Musician type shops and see if they will get you what you want at a good 20% to 25% discount. Buying a new one at full retail is WAY overpriced.

As you guessed I had no idea how it worked. So by virtue of the 2 windings is how the isolation occurs? They are not connected and electro magnetics is how electricity is induced in the second winding?


I appreciate your suggestions on alternatives.


Thanks for the cautions about using 2 devices. And thank you both for responding.

So by virtue of the 2 windings is how the isolation occurs? They are not connected and electro magnetics is how electricity is induced in the second winding?

Yes. I'd just add that most transformers are wound around a steel core that aids the transfer of magnetic energy from one coil to the other.

So the purpose of transformers in equipment is to provide a certain amout of isolation from the incoming power and in the case of transformers that double the windings in the second winding increase that power?

No, changing the winding ratio does not increase "power".

If you put 100 watts into a transformer, you will only get 100 watts out (actually slightly less due to efficiency loss).

But wattage is voltage times current. If I put in 100 volts at 1 amp of current and have a double winding on the second coil, I'll get out 200 volts, but only at 1/2 amp. I'll still have 100 total watts.

If I do the reverse, I'll have an output of 50 volts, but at 2 amps current - still 100 total watts.

Transformers can change voltage but do not magically create extra power.

Appreciate you!


I have had good results plugging my cd player into a Furman IT 15 amp balanced power conditioner, which is on a different line from my other components.

My other components are on a dedicated line and I use upscale power cords and conditioners from the same company.

Previously the cd player was in the power conditioner on the dedicated line with all the other gear, but slotted into the digital in receptacle.

The difference?

The sound from CD is now more dimensional,less flat,there's more space between the instruments and voices are more distinct from one another.

The sound has less of the digital edge or glare that it once had, and in this sense is closer to the sound of my analog set up.

One side note, I had been using the Furman on my old RPG TV thinking it was pretty good.

It's apparant now it wasn't and so it's back doing a better job with the cd player.