By WL Low
IsoTek is the indisputable leading British power line conditioning company. My love affair with IsoTek products has been well documented in these pages. When I started setting up my latest HT system, some readers asked me to try out the IsoTek Mira, the power line conditioner for displays. There have been very positive user reports with the previous versions, and as luck would have it, the local distributor had run out out of stock, and was waiting for the latest batch of EVO 3 Mini Mira to arrive. I got my review sample some time in December and it took me a while to start using it due to a steady queue of equipment (some are very special indeed) coming in for reviews.
The IsoTek Evo3 Mini Mira came in nice-looking packaging with high-quality offset printed wrap around a protective brown box. The IsoTek Evo3 Mini Mira looks well built for something that’s usually hidden, with 2U metal, powder-coated finish (with aluminium top half) construction. The EVO3 is a simple device to install. Just an IEC input on one end and a pair of power point output on the other end, and the review sample came with US-style NEMA 5 power points (as opposed to the BS standard ones in the illustration above). I used a spare, self terminated 1.5 meter JPS Inwall power cord to connect from wall to the EVO3, and the captive power cords from the Panasonic 32 inch LCD screen and Pioneer DVD player connected at the output end.
|The dynamic and punchy video quality as captured here, on an Astro program.|
For comparison, I watched a variety of TV (Astro) programs and DVD with and without the IsoTek EVO3 Mini Mira in the loop. I found the EVO3 offered much clearer, crispier picture quality, due to less on-screen hash (or noise, but not the audible kind). It’s kinda like when taking pictures in low light with a digital camera equipped with poor quality CMOS sensor. It”s noise reflected off the visual kind. The screen also delivered far wider contrast ratio, which points to blacker blacks and whiter whites, making for much more dynamic, punchier picture quality than without the use of the EVO3. Colours are never saturated and the punchier quality is never eye jarring. The picture quality still manages to maintain its cohesive whole and looks natural, of course.
Due to the use of built-in TV speakers, I could hardly detect any gain in audio quality. Perhaps in a more sophisticated system, sound quality may take a turn for the better? I am just as suspicious as you are. I did not use the EVO3 in my other HT rig because I was testing something else there, and didn’t want to upset the test conclusions by changing too many parameters in one go. And by the way, in case you’re thinking about it, don”t ask me if the EVO3 Mini Mira is better than the previous version. That’s a question I can’t answer because I never made that comparison and have never experienced the older version.
|Note the outlet with blue dot on the left. It”s for your display device; the other is for your Blu-ray or DVD player.|
Priced at RM$1,100 each, the IsoTek EVO3 Mini Mira is worth checking out, if one is serious about getting the best picture quality out of one”s display device and source. That means you, the AV enthusiast, will have to decide how “thirsty” you are for picture quality.
IsoTek is sold by Centre Circle Audio, contact Sky Wong or Nelson at 03-77282686.