Apotema Audio Materik 1 mains filter


Trying to describe the effect of accessories that can be superficially defined as "esoteric" always has the intrinsic difficulty of having to weigh the value of the words and, at the same time, of being able to make the reader (who is generally quite astute and rather sceptical) understand the effects towards objects that aren’t strictly necessary for listening to music in your home. In fact, what I am going to describe to you is not a device, it is actually a series of devices, which become part of the chain of indispensable objects to make the signal generated by a source become sound, including also the beloved and/or reviled cables of various types, without which the system doesn’t work. But it is not even something similar to electronics stands, conical supports and all the accessories that do not become part of the transfer of the signal from source to speaker.


Prova filtro di rete Apotema Audio Materik 1


What we are talking about is "something" that stands in the middle between these different typologies, not directly entering into signal processing but "passively carrying out active functions". I'm telling you about an elegant metal prism with a triangular section, the Apotema Audio Materik 1. The device is entirely made of aluminium, with dimensions of 200 x 110 x 130 mm and a considerable weight of 1.9 kg. It is not a cable, it is not a "magic brick", it does not even have stone crystals with supernatural powers inside it. 


It's none of this.


It can be appreciated for its design, a bit particular. It reminds me a bit of the monolith from 2001 A Space Odyssey if it weren't for that white LED, perhaps a bit excessive in brightness, which signals its connection to the electricity grid. Its use is very simple: you need a power cable – not supplied with the appliance and chosen of remarkable quality – then you insert it on one side into the IEC socket of the Materik 1 and on the other side into a socket on the system's power distributor, the closest to the power sockets of the appliances, then you will press the switch on the back above the IEC socket and you will see the bright white LED on the front light up.


That’s all.


Obviously, the device is very beautiful and does not look out of place if kept in sight so it can be positioned anywhere. The only precaution would be to to connect it to the line from which the system itself is powered, or even better to the power distributor or power strip, whatever you prefer.


Prova filtro di rete Apotema Audio Materik 1


To secretly feel the effect, it has

Since it is not a magical object but rather an electric filter placed in parallel to the mains power supply line of the system's devices, I will completely leave the explanation of the theoretical basis and how the device intervenes on the creation of the system's sound to the words of the manufacturer. You will find the explaination not only in the short interview that you will find later on ReMusic, but also on the Apotema Audio website here.


As you can read, these are very solid reasons, technically speaking, which have found precise confirmation on all the systems I have tested personally (around ten) for which this device automatically goes from accessory to "necessary", despite its cost, which is not cheap but which, at least for me, is fully justified by the results.


I have used far too many words to describe an aluminium casing which, for now, we know is a parallel mains filter. Not in series, as I said before! Filters in series almost always create greater problems than they solve, like isolation transformers, with the exception of PS Audio's series (very expensive power regenerators), which I could say with unshakable certainty are the only devices, as far as I know, that no one has so far managed to clone. 


The Materik 1 is not a power regenerator, I believe that the only active element inside is the LED, I would rather define it as an electric anti-noise sponge. The disturbances generated by our appliances and those introduced into the electricity grid by anything electrical we use in a house are trapped inside the Materik 1, which deprives the electricity of a myriad of noises that would go - and they would! – affect the sound of our system.


Apotema Audio Black Hole


The range of Apotema Audio devices covers limited needs, from the Black Hole, the cheapest, through to the Dynamics Extender and finishing with our Materik 1, the most effective and also, the most expensive. The direct online sales policy, with the money back guarantee, protects the buyers from unpleasant surprises. Speaking of costs, keep in mind that the one described is the top product among these filters, which consists of a series made up of three models: the first and least expensive Black Hole, 299 euros, is a cylindrical turret that fits directly into the power socket of the distributor; the second model, more complex and which shares the aluminium case of the Materik, although a little shorter, remains black in colour but with the same front and back in brushed aluminium, it is, as mentioned, the Dynamics Extender and has a price of 599.00 euros, shipping to Italy included as always.


Please note: this type of device is aimed not only at those who have a well-tuned system, with which they are fully satisfied and who do not think of improving, but to anyone who wants to directly experience the surprising results. It is clear that none of the three devices can address the many seekers of easy shortcuts to their poorly balanced systems, randomly adding or replacing parts of it, changing cables but also other gadgets, with the hope of miraculously finding the solution to their problems. This device will certainly bring benefits in those cases, it will do so everywhere, but do not delude yourself that it is the medicine for all pains. On the contrary, I consider it absolutely indispensable for those who have a mature, well-developed system that they are satisfied with, those that make people say the fateful phrase "it can't get better than this".


And indeed, it is possible!


The French, who are always original, call "ordinateur" what we call PC but, in this case, I would simply transfer this refined name to Materik 1, because it is perfect for indicating its effects, sharing the effects with its smaller brothers but increasing the effectiveness of its intervention.

Inserting the Materik into the power distributor simply causes an improvement in all the parameters, it puts everything in order in a way that leaves you partly amazed and partly admired.

Now it is important to underline that describing the quantitative scope of a sonic effect runs the risk of precipitating the discussion to the level of the countless controversies on the "sound of the cables". Don't expect sensational things but in a system already considered to be in place and satisfactory with the Materik Sorter you will notice how the micro dynamics increase, because there is less noise, the macro dynamics will also benefit, the scene will improve, becoming a little wider and deeper and, above all…tidier. The instruments and voices will take possession of their space not only more precisely but also more naturally, since, as the environmental information improves, the timbral refinement of the instruments and voices also improves. All sounds will acquire a three-dimensional consistency, as if they were materializing in front of us. Less noise on the power line of our devices produces precisely these effects. Everything becomes more "right" and turning off the Materik will immediately bring you back to the previous situation, causing you to say, "better before".


Prova filtro di rete Apotema Audio Materik 1



In general, these devices, when they work like the Apotem Audio, I can't really define them as accessories, because their effect is constant and increasing as the level increases. They are not very cheap, but I assure you that trying them makes it impossible to return them and the better the system sounds before inserting them, the greater the surprise will be at their effect. Going into practical terms, I would say that for those who use only one power strip to connect the devices to, just one of the models will be sufficient. For those who have systems that are not too sophisticated, but also for those who have them, starting with a Black Hole is already sufficient. But it is now well established that using a Materik 1 directly is, in my opinion, the best choice. In the case of a double power strip, especially for those who have separated the analogue line from the digital one, like myself, the use of Materik on the dirtiest power supply, the digital one, associated with a Black Hole or, even better, with a Dynamics Extender, remains the most advisable solution.


It goes without saying that the Materik 1 and the Dynamics Extender I used for the test stayed here with me, I can no longer go without them...



Official technical specification
Weight: 1,900g
Size: 220x110x130mm WxHxD with the supplied feet
Supply voltage: 100-240V

Official distributor worldwideto Apotema Audio website

Official current price in Italy: 899,00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Daniele Sabiu's system

by Daniele
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