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IceCube™ IC-1 FAQ

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How does the IceCube work without power?

Transformers have been around since the dawn of electricity. They are passive devices that typically have a primary and secondary coil with a metal core inside that concentrates the magnetic field so that the current coming in the primary is produced at the secondary via a magnetic bridge. Because they are so efficient, they can pass low level audio signals without the need of power.

What makes one transformer sound better than another?

Careful attention to winding techniques, the choice of the core materials and the physical size of the transformer will dictate the performance. The IceCube employs a custom 'made in the USA' Eclipse transformer that brings together these attributes to deliver superior sound.

How does the Radial IceCube compare to the Radial Twin Iso?

The IceCube is a mono device that is able to withstand signal levels to 15dB while the two-channel Twin-Iso can be hit with signal levels to +24dB. This makes the Twin-Iso a better choice for more demanding applications such as sub-mixing a console into another or driving a broadcast signal to a tower. The IceCube is more of a general application isolator.

How does the IceCube compare to the Sescom IL-19?

The Sescom IL-19 is an older device that has been a popular 'band-aid' for years. Sonically, it is limited to only 60 Hz in the bottom end and has significant degree overshoot in the mid range. It is also made of unshielded plastic. The IceCube delivers a ruler flat response down to 20Hz, has significantly less overshoot and is made of steel, which of course, provides shielding against extraneous magnetic fields and radio frequencies.

Can 48V phantom power harm the IceCube?

No. The internal transformer will ignore it and block the phantom power from going further upstream.

Can I use the IceCube with a ¼" unbalanced signal?

Yes. Simply make up a cable adaptor using the pin-2 XLR as the hot connected to the tip of the ¼" jack. Note that the unbalanced signal will drop in level by about 6dB. Simply increase the gain at the receive end to make up the lost level.

Can I use the IceCube like a direct box with an unbalanced input and a balanced output?

Yes. As described above, simply use pin-1 for the ground and pin-2 for the plus. Since it is not specifically designed for instruments, the source must be buffered, as found in a keyboard or active bass. A better choice would be one of the many Radial direct boxes.

Where in the signal chain should I position the IceCube?

The IceCube could be placed anywhere in the signal chain however you will generally find that if it is positioned near the input (receive end), you will enjoy greater freedom from noise.

Can I use the IceCube with a hif-fi system to eliminate noise?

Yes. However there are products on the market such as the Jensen Iso-Max CI-2RR that are already equipped with RCA connectors which are easier to use!

Is the transformer in the IC-1 as good as the Jensen Iso-Max pro-isolators?

The Ice-Cube retails for about $70 while most of the Iso-Max Isolators retail for about $150 to $200. Jensen produce the world's finest transformers and this comes at a cost. The primary differences are frequency response, signal handling and noise rejection. The Jensen is typically flat from 10Hz to 100kHz while the Ice-Cube runs from 20Hz to about 20kHz. As for signal handling, most Jensens are able to handle signal levels to +20dB while the Ice-Cube is limited to around +14dB. Finally, many of the Jensen transformers incorporate Faraday shielding and come with a MuMETAL® can – all of this costs more but reduces noise. The Ice-Cube is excellent for the money!