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Besides glossy theory there’s of course also practicality and features. Given the subject, those obviously are plain. The power IEC inlet connects to the wall—power cord not included—sockets 1 and 2 are meant for high-power gear like amps and integrateds, 3 and 4 are optimized for analog gear like turntables, tuners or preamps and 5 and 6 are meant for typical digital kit like CD players and DACs but can double team for analog.

To counter cross contamination, the MiniSub 2 runs six filters, one per socket. 3 to 6 get multi-stage filters with parallel and series parts and additionally are isolated from the high-power sockets with a further filter. Sockets 1 and 2 get simpler paralleled filter elements only to avoid any serialized drain on current delivery.

Where the MiniSub 2 bails is common mode filtering. This would counter transformer hum induced by premature core saturation. That topic is covered by ISOL-8’s €699 Powerline Axis or the more upscale and involved €1.799 SubStation Axis and €2.499 SubStation HC [left].

Before we prick up any ears, the ISOL men recommend according the MiniSub 2 the same proper rackspect as any other major component. Since my power strip comparators as well as any and all prior conditioners I've ever tried always squatted, the MiniSub didn’t get the kid’s glove treatment either. It ended up on the parquet floor in front of the component stand.
For a get-to-know-ya first track I like Sheatwater’s "Landscape at speed" from their 2010 release The Golden Archipelago. It’s got deep heavily reverb’d drums which makes them sound heavier still; a constant hi-hat workout to challenge tweeters to neither be lazily hooded nor sharply penetrating; a smattering of piano chords which underline the drama; a hand drum that requires clean articulation to 'really appear in the room'; and the dominant somewhat tear-jerky vocals of the formal ornithologist Jonathan Meiburg.

Here I confess to being essentially perfectly happy when my laptop/foobar 2000 feeding Northstar's USB dac32, Funk MTX preamp, Audionet monos and Thiel CS3.7 get to work unprotected. But a short listen with the subbed-in Mini 2 meant that something became more palatable and comfortable…

A few A/Bs later and the reasons were clear. One, the treble softened. Mind you, by itself this would have been rather less noteworthy as it is a very typical effect and not necessarily admirable trait of more affordable line filters.

No, interesting here wasn’t so much the softening per se as a suggestion thereof by way of more finesse - of a less condensed, looser and breathier ring-out of the hi-hat cymbal. In general my notes say that I suffered more sterility and flatness without the device. The hand drum gained a tad of plasticity and definition and lost some gray streakiness. The benefit was tone color. This made it easier to see the drum skin. To check on dynamic losses the rhythmically rather busy Ritornano Quelli Di... by the Italian quintet Calibro35 is quite suitable. It’s a catchy mix of Jazz, Funk and 70s crime flick music which I actually first crossed paths with in my neighborhood’s Italian eatery. Should you be in Berlin Kreuzberg one of these days, Fratelli La Bionda has a commendable wine selection and well-versed DJs who routinely spin pleasingly non-mainstream vinyl.