Review: ISO 1100va AC filter

Category: Accessories

Well it has been three days since receiving the ISO.Upon plugging the unit in, I have to admit I was not very impressed but knowing how break-in of components works I was not going to be quick to judge. I plugged a lamp(100w bulb) into the unit as well as my cd source and left both of them powered on until the next evening.

The following evening I arrived home from work, had a bite to eat and was ready to listen. I cannot emphasize to you enough how much the unit came around. Within the first few seconds of listening my jaw dropped to the ground, could this possibly be happening? Am I hearing what I am hearing? Sometimes we as audiophiles want to believe that the piece of equipment we just put into our system will elevate performance to the next level. We then realize after the excitement of inserting the piece of gear has worn off that, it was just a figment of our imagination. The new piece of equipment actually made things worst (power conditioners our notorious for this)! This is definitely not the case with the ISO! The improvements I heard after 24 hours of break-in only seemed to continue to improve.

The most apparent improvements I heard from the get go were, the level of increased transparency, air, focus, blacker background but most importantly musicality. As I said these were the most apparent, but not the only ones. I spent hours upon hours going through my Cd collection, only to find myself craving more. This craving only confirmed how much more musical my system had become. I found it hard to focus on the frequency spectrums, I could only just sit there and enjoy music. Every time I thought I hade a grip of what the ISO was doing it threw more at me. I started to realize how much more detail was coming through, bass seemed much tighter and more focused and there was a weight to pianos that prior to the ISO was almost non-existent.

I have used many power conditioning products, those costing much less and those costing much more. The thing that I noticed about the ISO, unlike other power conditioners it did not make things sound sterile, analytical or rob the system of musicality. The ISO did what I like about other power conditioners I have tried and managed too add a new level of musicality to my system I had not yet experienced.

Music Used For Review,
FIM CD006 Audiophile Reference (Classical)
FIM CD007 Audiophile Reference (Popular)
FIMCD009 Songs My Dad Taught Me
FIMCD010 Patricia Barber Cafe Blue
FIMCD016 Feelings
FIM SACD034 Jazz At The Pawnshop
Saint Saens Symphony # 3 Organ
LA4 just friends
Radka Toneff Fairytales
Diana Krall Live In Paris
Sting Dreams of the blue turtle
Jennifer Warnes Famous Blue Rain Coat.
Gary Karr Adagio

Associated gear
Gamut CD
Sony 777ES Sacd
Rogue Magnum Pre-Amp
Rogue Magnum 120 monos
MMF 7 Turntable
Messanger Pre-Amp, only available from
(Info Link)

Acoustic Zen Silver Ref MkII
Acoustic Gargantua MkII
Acoustic Zen Satori
Acoustic Zen Hologram MkII
Acoustic Zen Tsunami MkII
Acoustic Zen El Nino

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Audio Prism Foundation 3
P.S.Audio 300 with multiwave
P.S.Audio 600
P.S.Audio Ultimate Outlet High Current
Sound Application XE-12
Dave: I see that your findings parallel mine to a "T". In fact, i had just posted similar comments and findings in another thread today regarding modifying a Monster 2500 PLC. I would only add that the more current that you can initially pull through the isolation transformer without saturating it, the better it will perform for you. As such, i WOULD recommend hooking your entire system up to the "iso" initially for break in. Just don't work the throttle too hard as you will saturate the core and possibly smoke the windings. This is besides the poor sonics that you would run into due to the aformentioned core saturation / current starvation. After you've got some good time on it, I would remove the amps from it and look for transformers that are capable of supporting the amps on their own. For optimum results, an individual transformer for each device ( and especially the amps ) is what will work best.

Other than that, i think it should be noted that Dave is ( or at least was ) employed by Acoustic Zen. I have no idea as to any other business affiliations he may have with the manufacturer of said "Iso" device, but i have no reason to doubt his comments given the fact that i have experienced near identical reactions using similar products.

Regardless of whether or not i had agreed with his findings, i still think that those professionally involved within the industry should make their affiliations known when posting comments. The only reason that i knew that Dave worked with Acoustic Zen is that he had previously stated so quite openly in his one other contribution to these forums. Kudo's to him for being up front about it. Sean

Thanks for your input,I actually put a small portable heater unit on the ISO to help with the break-in.I have no affiliations with the manufacture of the ISO. I do feel it is truly a great product and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.I have no gain in recommending the ISO , I want to make that perfectly clear.I also have no problem stating that I am indeed employed by Acoustic Zen.
David S
Acoustic Zen Technologies
Dave: I didn't think that you were trying to be manipulative. Someone that was into pushing products would not have been as up-front as you were about your affiliations, especially in their very first post to a forum. I simply wanted to take the time to commend you for your honesty, hoping that others might see how things "should" be done. As such, my comments were meant to show you as being a "good" example and not to cast shadows in your direction. I hope you took it as such.

As far as using a portable heater as a "break-in device", that was very good thinking on your part. Those little ceramic heaters can pull a GOB of power and do so for as long as you have them turned on. Thanks for opening my eyes to this approach. The funny thing is that i have one of those heaters running below my computer desk every night and it never dawned on me : ) Sean
As a dealer(though not for them) I have found them also to be very impressive.The initial impression was very much the same as the original poster stated.After about 200 hours they really show what they are suppose to do.With all the line conditioners around this one really does what it says it does.Try them on your digital equipment and be overwhelmed in the difference.I run a BC Music Ring and 2 ISOs for my front end,and this has finally given me the results I have been seeking for years.Best part is, it didn't cost a fortune.
I, too, champion the use of an ISO. I initailly employed two, one each for my DAC and transport. The difference is the clarity and the immediate eradication of what I call the "digital haze" in the "air" about the musical artists, much like the haze around a street lamp in the fog. I could never go back.

However, I was really astonished what it did for my HDTV. before the ISO, I tuned the video with Avia and it seemed OK. But, was I surprised at the difference the ISO made: the whites were now really white and the flesh tones are right on.

The financial investment was well worth it.

Could someone please give me the manufacturer's or a dealer's website so I can research more this item ? Thanks.
I found the ISO being sold on JC Audio's website with Dave's endorsement. It certainly is eye candy, but it is $1500. How many outlets does this thing have?

On the other hand, I found a digital mains filter at It is 1/4 the price but without the eye candy shell. Other than that, they look very similar.

I have no idea how they compare performance wise. Hope someone can enlighten us. I am very curious.