After our visit to the Bristol HiFi Show at the end of March, we came back super excited about a couple of new brands that we wanted to get into the store.
One of those brands is IsoAcoustics. They have been around the UK for a couple of years now and I have experienced them in the past but, having finally got my hands on the products in store, I am totally bowled over with the performance benefits these products can add to any system without requiring a huge investment.
Take, for example, the IsoAcoustics OREA Bronze isolation puck: at £49 each, so just under £200 if you need a set of 4 for a product, it's hard to describe what a significant difference these make to a system.
Systematically we added them to each stage of the system and everyone present could hear the marked improvement to the system: bass got tighter and deeper, transparency increased and sound staging improved.
In anything with moving parts this makes a lot of sense: the fewer vibrations going on the better the performance, especially with something like a turntable, but why would it make a difference to a music server with a solid state drive in it? To be honest I'm not sure I can explain why it makes such a difference, but ten people in the room agreed they much preferred the system with the OREA Bronze pucks underneath it, and since then I have done numerous tests in the shop, taking them away and putting them back, and every time I can tell that timing and imaging have improved and that the system is producing bass information that it was not before.
The best example I can give is that I took home a set of the OREA Bronzes in the week leading up to our music night and I sat my partner down, to whom I had been raving all week about these odd little isolation pucks. Although my partner loves music, I think she quietly tolerates my obsessiveness about HiFi and performance! Nonetheless, I put on one of her favourite discs, The Shires' Ten Year Plan, with my AV system playing in stereo through my moderate level CD player. I stopped the track, much to her annoyance, and then as quickly as I could I put the pucks underneath the feet of the CD player, which currently lives on top of the media box on my Pioneer plasma, and started the same track again.
The response I got told me everything: she looked up from the game she was playing on her phone and said "Oh my goodness what have you done?" She said the vocals had improved, the guitar was clearer and there were suddenly bits of bass that she hadn't heard before. I laughed and smiled at her and said "I told you so!", and we sat there and listened to rest of the CD with me thinking to myself that it was the best my system had ever sounded.
At the end of the CD, I asked my partner if she had spent £3500 on a system and someone offered her that upgrade for £200, would she do it? She responded to me that if she had spent that much, then for £200 more she would definitely do it.
We also have the ZaZen I and ZaZen II isolation platforms on demo, which have an equal performance boost as four of the OREAs but have the advantage of being one solid platform, which is great for turntables in particular.
The other item which is a little harder to demo is the GAIA isolation feet which come in three different sizes (GAIA I, GAIA II and GAIA III) depending on the weight requirement of your equipment. Replacing the spikes on your stands with these again leads to another step in performance: bass control is better and the system images better. It's very similar to the effect that mains conditioning can do to a system, with a feeling of increased resolution.
If you would like to come and listen to any of the new IsoAcoustics products in store then please give us a call or send us an email. Plus, if you are nearby to our Lincolnshire showroom then feel free to pop in for a listen and I will make you a cup of tea. IsoAcoustics also offer a loan scheme so that you can borrow whatever you would like to to try at home and see the benefits in your own system.