The small details in the music are more obvious. The large movements are more impactful. The soundstage has opened up. The ambience reveals more of the recording venue. The rhythms are more alive. The background is quieter and I’m hearing parts of recordings I’ve not heard before.
No, I’m not describing a new CD player or phono cartridge… I’m describing the differences in my system after installing the Isoclean ICP-003S wall socket behind my entire system.
The Isoclean ICP-003S costs $200 and comes with either chrome or brushed gold faceplates. The “S” is for the chrome (“G” at the end for Gold). Installation took 5 minutes. I heard the changes described above in my very first listening session. The changes became more dramatic after about 20 hours playing time.
Isoclean Power Products hail from Hong Kong and their product line is vast, covering cable to transformers to equipment supports. All of their products seem to be of the highest quality aesthetics and materials.
The ICP-003 uses 24k gold-plated contacts with hand-polished contact points and a solid copper faceplate (coated in either gold or chrome). The socket is physically connected and grounded to the faceplate. The design and materials are optimized to absorb and reduce airborne radio frequency noise and ensure the best possible contact between plug and power.
It should go without saying that the parts quality and construction of a $200 wall socket is superior to the generic wall socket my electrician fished out of the back of his truck, but what does need to be mentioned is how impressively that actual Isoclean socket was made. Not a single piece rattled and for such a simple object, the construction was flawless.
I have my entire system going into one socket and one breaker on my breaker panel. The wiring was redone when we moved into our house almost 10 years ago. This is the first time I have changed the wall socket, replacing my generic outlet with the ICP-003S.
Right now, all my power is handled passively and cleanly with no in-line conditioners, regenerators or surge suppressors. Power comes from the Isoclean ICP-003 wall socket through the stock power cable that came with my PS Audio Juicebar II, and from there via Shunyata Diamondback power cables to my gear. The only change in this evaluation was the replacement of the wall socket.
Honestly, I did not expect to hear such a big difference. Without a doubt, this is the best $200 I have put into my system. Buying a good $200 interconnect to replace generic stock cables has a similar effect to put this into context, but the changes were more dramatic with the change to the wall socket. Obviously, the wall socket change affects my entire system, not just one component.
As a music lover, you work to make your system as musical, realist and enjoyable as possible. There are so many areas upon which to focus to help improve your experience with your system. My advice is to think of replacing your generic wall power socket with the Isoclean ICP-003, not as a $200 wall socket but as a $200 tune up for your whole system. The results are well worth the investment and peace of mind, knowing you have the best possible starting point from which to build upon.
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