Power Conditioner: Isotek, Audioquest or other?


I know a lot of you do not like or believe in power conditioners. But I want to protect my system and improve sound and video quality.

I am trying to decide between the ISOTEK evo3 Aquarious and the Audioquest Niagara 1200 for my main system. I have read good reviews about them both, asked a couple of shops and one recomended the Niagara and the other the Isotek. Both gave the same reason: "it souds better".

First system: Power amp, preamp/dac, tv, computer, computer motitor, ruter, nas. (Probably will plug the last 4 on a different power strip)

For my second system, I am thinking about the Audioquest Powerquest 3, but I can not find any reviews. So, can any one tell me about their experience with it? I am open to other sugestions also.

Second system: Power amp, preamp, network player/dac, tv, computer and network switch. (These will all be plugged in to the Powerquest for example). I also like the powerquest3 because of the on off switch. I do not use this system as much so I like to cut the power off completly.

If you need specifics on my systems, I will give no problem.
Right now I am using 2 Salicru safe7 surge protectors, they are cheapos and probably not the best in protection or for my system.


I use two Chang Lightspeed CLS 709 powerline filters that have surge protection.

One in my main system and one in home theater.

Will connect 2 power amps, analog and digital equipment.

Very effective at noise reduction and improving picture quality.

I have tried ac regenerators, power strip filters and the Chang was best by far.

About $1300 each from The Cable Company website with their discount.

They are built to order with a two week lead time.

Very popular in Asia.  Visit the Chang Lightspeed website for info.
I've read a lot of good reviews of the Chang Lightspeed.
I was ready to buy one; then I got a deal on a PSAudio P12 that I couldn't pass-up.
Thanks, will check it out. But still would like to know on your experiences with the AQ Niagara 1200, powerquest 3 and Isotek aquarious.
By the way, I prefer a pasive conditioner. Do not want or need a power regenerator.
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I’m using the Powerquest 2 as cost effective protection for my modem, router and Small Green Computer I5 Roon server. My other gear is connected to a PS Audio Dectet. When adding the Powerquest I couldn’t really hear any sonic changes but just wanted to protect that gear. The Dectet I’ve used for years and it reduced system noise intrusion and did not hurt dynamics or bleach the sound IMO. BTW, I also have a whole house surge suppressor installed on my electrical service box. We have lots of lightning in northern Arizona during the monsoon season.

Thaks for your response, I am not sure what to use. I wish I had a shop close buy that would let me test different things, but here there is none that would do that.
I have not seen any bad reviews about any of them to be able to decide properly. How was your expirience with the AQ Niagara 1200?

The power amp I will use with one of these conditioners is a Harman Kardon 1.5 signature. I hope the high current outlet is enough for it. It should be. In the instructions it reccomends using a 20amp plug with US voltage. But in europe we use 220V, so 10 amps would be enough?

Hello tuberist.

Thanks for your response. I was wondering about the powerquest 3, maybe there is not much difference. But it has ultra linear filtering and the 2 does only have linear.
Want to use it with the powerquest 3 is a harman kardon signature pa2400 power amp. It should work fine with it yes?

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I don't own the AQ Niagara but bought a few for three friends.  Heard the first one in my buddies system Klipish Horns and the noise floor dropped creating a very overall sweet sound, nothing harsh, blacker background, more details, very noise free.  Same experience as Tvad.

Happy Listening.
I tried everything including PS Audio AC regenerators the best is a 220v line using a 220v
isolation transformer. 
I  use the Richard Gray RM 240v Substation 
that can handle over 4,000 watts.
 I should be getting my Audioquest Niagara 1200 tomorrow. It's just what I need to see through my shelter in place predicament. It should keep me busy for awhile but I'll definitely post my impressions on it.

I've been looking at it for about a year now and just had to scratch that itch. Using some High Fidelity MC 0.5 passive conditioners proved that there are nasties residing on the incoming AC. 

All the best,
I opt for "other". "Other" is the disruptor brand of power conditioning known as ADD-Powr.
It is a radical approach to AC conditioning.
The Sorcer and Wizard units are not so much power conditioners as they are electrical environment conditioners!
They saturate the electrical grid and my components' power supplies with harmonics, which I am told are derived from a low frequency fundamental pulse signal.
No kidding, ADD-Powr really adds the "S" or signal and ignores the "N" or noise in that old ratio!
You simply get more dBs but in varying degrees.
Very much worth a try.
Okay folks here is what I plan to buy when I am ready:
Cost about $950 as I recall.
Environmental Potentials EP-2050

Most audiophile power conditioners are costly, marginally effective at best, often detrimental to sound quality and only work on the outlet you have them connected to. We recommend a properly designed whole house surge protector, waveform correction and power noise filter system that installs in your main breaker box. Now everything in your home is protected from transient voltage surges and spikes. All your TVs and sound systems will benefit as will all your other home appliances. 

This was used in Rural Costa Rica where power surges are a daily
occurrence. Rep'd in Arizona by Bigearstereo. Tom. 
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Look at furman as well. I have one and with my class A amp it made a huge difference in background noise. The amp seamed louder at the same volume as before which means a lot of the RF was taken out. I’m a believer. You will be thrilled. 
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I'd like to hear from members who have gone with the Audioquest 1200 unit. I like the way it's non-sacrificial where my PS Audio is sacrificial.

Puritan highly recommend. Made in the U.K. and sensibly priced, well engineered, no bs product. As good as if not better than more expensive alternatives. If you were in the UK we would lend you one to try.
@tuberist Can you explain what you mean by the PS Audio being "sacrificial"? thanks
PS    Which PS Audio unit?
I have the Audioquest 1200. Overall, I like it. I installed a whole house surge protector, upgraded my outlets, ( can't remember but $100 each ). 

When playing pool and casual listening, the music sounds good.  But it is only when critically listening that I really can hear the difference. The difference in what I hear is reduced underlying background noise. Sort of like going from ambient noise in your house that you don't really hear, to going to a dead silence that you might hear at a far away place, late at night. 

When I first auditioned the 1200 I listened to a Shelby Lynne album that I had listened to many many times. And for the first time ever, I heard someone softly talking at a table near where she was singing. I was sold. 
I’m keeping my Audioquest Niagara 1200. I took my time just plugging my Kinki EX-M1 integrated into it and all it took was one CD and I plugged everything else in as well.

At first it reminded me of my Marantz Reference PM 15S2b. It had more of that warmth but lost none of the detail, finesse, dynamics and soundstage that the Kinki has.

There must have been a very short break-in period because it wasn’t long before I found the sweet spot. Without the AC nasties highlighting everything (which I hadn’t noticed until they were gone) I found myself listening anywhere from .5-2.0db higher than usual.

Some say the sound is sweeter and at first I thought it couldn’t be but I can see why. they'd think so, There is a tonal fullness to guitars that reveal the whole body of the instrument. Never have they sounded so convincing. Same for vocals. Can’t overlook the piano as well. Even the softest notes have that majesty that only a piano has.

A great recorded CD like a Japanese pressing of The European Jazz Trio will leave your jaw on the floor. No kidding.

Like capatindidactic said, I can hear things going on before a musician plays, which had me looking for them on the stage before they started.

I didn’t think that there was that much crud on the AC lines and that what I had was good enough.
Boy, was I wrong.

All the best,
Thanks for all your responses. I can only see good reviews here from the Niagara 1200. Just no one seems to have the powerquest 3.

Not much on the Aquarious here eigther.

Just wondering, has anybody tryed or know about the Inakustik AC 3500?

I had the Isotek EVO for my theater room and two channel room in my last house.  With all of the other tweaks that I had I could not really say that there was a grave difference in sound from the Power Conditioners.  That said for my new house I purchased the best - Inakustic AC 3500P.    I am probably going to buy the AQ Niagra for my theater room.  If you have the money go for the 3500P.  If not the Niagra or EVO is fine.  
As one can see in my Escape From NY system in the speaker forum, I am putting together a small sustem while away from home. Last night I started looking into power conditioning, and upon finding the AQ Powerquest line, I thought that would be the right unit for the all in one integrated I’m plugging in. More reading lead me to an Amazon review of a Furman PST 8D that one guy liked better (and was cheaper).

I considered the idea of buying a used power unit since it would be pre- burned in. Looking on fleabay, I noticed quite a few higher end Furman’s and the ref15. I liked that it had some stored current (a feature I really like on the Niagara 7000 in my system at home).

The previous generation Furman reference line (without the “I”) seems to have the exact same specs as the current, just without as nice a case.

I made a computer surplus company an offer of half of what they were asking, and they accepted. I know it’s a very old unit, but for $450 I took a chance. They had 2 of them so if anyone wants to offer the same as I did.....

I’ve gone way overboard what I had planned to spend on an away from home system, and am now looking to complete it with some Core Power AC cables. (Just trying to decide between the Gold or Diamond  versions - which will end up in my home system eventually)
The nature and character of the wall power are, by far, the most critical element to the nature and character of the sound. The only genius designed products I have experienced are those made by Shunyata. I am the fortunate owner of older models of their premiere products, Triton/Typhon. Two full size chassis retailing for $9k each functioning together, I believe them to be the most expensive power system short of a dedicated room size power production. A very good example of their effectiveness, before T & T Pandora was unlistenable. After I spend every morning delightfully reveling in true high fidelity of Pandora! An absolute transformation of the sound. I understand that Shunyata is one on the few companies in Washington state still in full operation since a significant part of their business being power products for the medical industry. 
The nature and character of the wall power are, by far, the most critical element to the nature and character of the sound.
That depends on what's in the rest of your system, and what the quality of your AC power is. While your claim may be true, it probably wouldn't be true for most systems.
The only genius designed products I have experienced are those made by Shunyata. I am the fortunate owner of older models of their premiere products, Triton/Typhon ... before T & T Pandora was unlistenable. After I spend every morning delightfully reveling in true high fidelity of Pandora!
If you're listening to Pandora, that's probably your system's weak link, and likely more influential on the "nature and character"  of your system's sound than anything else. Even if you have the highest quality Pandora stream, you're still limited to 192 kpbs mp3 quality.
Hello Coto37.  I have a Powerquest 2 that I use for TV, router, etc.  I bought it mainly for the quality of its surge protection but it adds value by having a dedicated connection for TV which provides excellent filtering for 4K picture quality.  I have a Niagara 1200 for my hi-fi system.  The noise floor is amazingly quiet and added a superior sound quality.  As others have described it, music against a black background.  The Niagara 1200 achieves its maximum performance when using Audioquest AC power cables.  It's an engineered system concept, and it definitely works.  I also use the Audioquest NRG Edison Duplex all outlet.  If you are going to bring AC to your power conditioner than you should begin with proper connection.  Those $2.99 wall outlets that all houses have are worthless for delivering high current draws.  That said, be aware, when purchasing the Niagara 1200 it comes without a power cable.  They do this so you can buy a power cable that fits your need in length as well as budget.  I use their model, Monsoon, for connecting the 1200 to the wall outlet (the NRG Edison Duplex).  I use Monsoon for my phono stage and theater processor, and I use Tornado High Current and Tornado Source for my power amp and preamp.  The 1200 also provides 2 dedicated high-current plug connections for power amps.  I connect my main power amp and my powered subwoofer to those outlets.  Again, the noise floor is zero and the music to black background is superb.  I can't recommend it enough.  Hope this helps you in your decision making process.
I use Panamax VT 4015 and am very satisfied. Most insane power system I ever encountered was an Army buddy living in the Bronx, back when it was a virtual war zone with all kinds of illegal hijacked power taps, etc. He build himself a 120 volt DC battery pack from surplus telco 2000 AH 2 volt lead-acid cells; ran his rig and ham station from the batteries, and turned on the 200 amp charger he build every night before going to bed. Just can’t get better power than a setup like his!
Obviously he also had to hardwire his equipment to bypass the power supplies.  No residual 60 HZ riding on top of the fmsugnal abd no transformer hum. 

Don't buy a power conditioner to protect your equipment. If lightning hits your home and the circuit that the power conditioner is connected to isn't properly grounded, no power conditioner that I'm aware of will protect whatever's connected to it 100% of the time.  

I can't speak for everyone,  but I live in FLA I'm using a Modwright integrated and Magnepan. 7 Prime TT, Orchid DAC. I got the Niagria 1200 on a whim.     I was shocked... I'm having a hard time quantifying the change in sound - more expansive and detailed with a seeming increase in dynamics. Even at lower volumes..... .  Before the unit I listened with volumes digital readout  at 35-40.  Post unit 20-25.  Was my power that full of noise.... I used a dB meter to ensure volume was the close.... It does seem to lower the noise floor. I'm kind of sold.... Im kind of sold....  May get an Isotek to try in my wife's  system Primaluna integrated amp Decware Erx speakers with project perspex TT.... Or a 2nd 1200. 

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One thing I noticed after the inclusion of the Niagara 1200 was the tone control settings on my JBL 4319 monitors had to be adjusted. I had forgotten about them and the subtle effect they can have.

Well, with the Niagara 1200, those subtle effects became more pronounced. It turns out that even though the mid and high frequency pots were just a nudge from their flat settings, I had to reverse them just as much in the opposite direction to where it now sounds the best.

Even the slightest adjustment now elicits a noticeable result, and I mean the slightest. Having that lower noise floor is paying big dividends just about everywhere.

And I'm loving these speakers more and more. Their potential was being held back by the crud on the AC. Heck, I can probably say the same thing for every piece of gear I have.

All the best,
I had a horrible ground loop and after much research bought the Furman Ref 20.  It’s backed by real world engineering and is used by recording studios. Get it and forget the rest.  

Thanks for all your responses.

I think the "sweet spot" PS audio P15 is not that much of a sweet spot for me. Too expensive...

I do try to look at Furman, but can not seem to find as many models with schucko plugs than with the USA plugs?

By the way Redphu72, how do you know you had a ground loop? Is there a specific way of knowing?

No one seems to have the Powerquest3 review yet... Is it something not worht the time? it has been out on the market for over a year at least I think...

Things seem to make me incline choosing the Niagara 1200, it is 800€ cheaper than the Isotek maybe that difference in price is not a 800€ difference in quality. I wonder if any will pop out second hand for a better price....

A question that maybe you can help me understand. Audioquest does not seem to like it or know what to answer. They never respond to it:

As AQ say in their website, their Powerquest3 and Niagara 1200 withstand multiple surges of a maximun of 6000V/3000A Non sacrifitial. So I understand with this, that the AQ will hold that kind of surge no problems. I know they say also that it is the maximun that the main building electrical box can take with no damage.
But what if a higher surge gets to my system? Will the AQ Niagara or Powerquest be destroyed to protect my equipment? (Non sacrifitial being up to 6000V/3000A) or would my equipment die too?

I live in Spain, not many storms where I live. I never even had one of these cheap surge protectors die. But just wondering how that worked exactly, and you never know what could happen in the future...

I live in S Florida where summers are long and brutal on the electric system. Brown Outs are fairly common, begging the question how stable can the juice be before and after?

I have lived in this home over 25 years. Way back in the beginning I had a 20amp dedicated line installed. Over the decades I have tried Furman, Balanced Audio, PS Audio Premier Power Plant, and a few I don't recall. The best so far is a Equi-Core 1800 and soon will be adding a Deep Core, but my amp sounds better direct to the wall
From what I've read, there are no power conditioners that will save your equipment from a direct lighting strike. Those that are distant can be dealt with. As to what constitutes distant, I cannot say.

All the best,
Hi coto37,

Something else to consider for Superior Sound / Video Quality
For considerably less you will have a far superior set up. Fast, clean detail and deeper soundstage. If you read up on the components I think you will find that the level of dedication to the manufacturing of the products are considerable.    

Audience Response - Power Conditioner
One listed on Agon

Then Plug into Power Distributor
Oyaide MTB 6 - R1 - the best model they make.
Cable Co.

Also Listed on Used Market for 40% less.
What ever you decide Good Luck
Hi cleeds,
Thanks for your response.
My whole point is that everything is relative.
One thing that is constant in any stereo system is the AC.
Regardless of the relative quality of any particular system.
And, for sure, Pandora is geared toward convenience not quality.
My point is that before my Shunyata Triton/Typhon power conditioning Pandora was truly unlistenable. And, amazingly, with the Shyunata system I am able to listen and enjoy Pandora’s MP3s as engaging high fidelity. I listen to it right now and it is hard to concentrate on this post being drawn away by the “crappy sound”!

The best way to minimize damage from surges is to put a whole house protector at the main box. They aren't expensive and the hook up (by and experienced electrician) shouldn't be much either. These surge protectors are sacrificial, but at least everything downstream is protected in the unlikely event of a power surge.

If lightning did strike your power conditioner as well as your equipment would probably get fried. But, you might get lucky.
In my opinion, the Niagra 1200 is the way to go. The Powerquest is a much older product and the changes/improvements Garth at AQ has made with power products is impressive- the Niagra 1200 being one of them.
I use a belt/suspenders approach whenever possible.

Whole house protection at the panel and/or meter. These are usually not rated to save delicate electronics however. Read the rating/instructions carefully. This has to do with the time to respond and V at which they activate.

At the equipment end I use series mode surge suppression from Furman. Zero activation time, and a much lower clamping voltage.