The Netherlands - Radial Engineering revealed at ISE 2015 the IceCube IC-1, an ultra-compact balanced line isolator designed to fit inside a technician's tool kit to eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops in audio systems.

Radial sales manager Roc Bubel comments, "The use of isolators to solve noise problems is not new; small plastic units have been around for years. But the problem with these is that they were designed years ago - back when audio systems had limitations both with respect to signal-to-noise, dynamic handling and sound quality. Today, with the advent of digital audio sources, high performance mixers and line array technology, the frequency response and dynamics have increased to the point that those older devices simply cannot keep up. We identified the problem then began looking for a solution some 18 months ago.

"The best way to solve ground loops is to isolate the send and receive devices using an audio transformer. But as any tech will tell you, not all transformers are equal. In fact we spent a huge amount of time testing various transformers in order to come up with a recipe that was compact, had a linear frequency response and could handle a sufficient level for pro use. This in fact is a bit of an oxymoron: the smaller the transformer, the less able it will be to handle bass frequencies and high output signal levels.

"We are pleased to say that the IceCube does a marvellous job in these areas. It is exceptionally linear from 20Hz to 18kHz, is able to effectively manage the difficult bass region and can withstand pro +4dB balanced signals at 20Hz with less than 0.01% distortion."

(Jim Evans)

Caption: The IceCube IC-1 is shipping now

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