GigaWatt G-C16A is a circuit breaker designed for Hi-End audio-video systems power lines.
The new fuses have been designed mainly to facilitate their application in most low-voltage 230V household electrical circuits, where standard 16A protection is required. Although the protection amperage suggests a lower value compared to the previous version of the G-C20A circuit breaker, in fact the new types of fuses have a much greater resistance to the value of the instantaneous starting current (Hi-Inrush).
This is extremely important due to the fact that audio-video devices (especially power-consuming power amplifiers) have different load characteristics from ordinary household power receivers. When the amplifier is turned on within the first milliseconds, the current consumed by such a receiver (starting current) can be up to 10-20 times higher than the current consumption during normal operation. The high inrush current causes the contacts in fuses and circuit breakers to burn, and consequently damage them.
This device is manufactured in the USA by Carling Technologies, according to GigaWatt specifications. It plays the role of an element controlling the value of current flowing through the power line in audio-video installations. The hydraulic-magnetic switch contains, among others, an induction coil that generates a magnetic field proportional to the current flowing through it. After exceeding a certain current value, the magnetic field causes the switch to operate precisely at the right time by opening the contacts and disconnecting the protected circuit from the current.
The advanced construction of the switch contains an innovative coil system, which has a core moving in a non-magnetic tube filled with special, oily fluid. This fluid can have different density, what allows for precise regulation of the delay characteristic and controlling the switching-off process. The switch is designed to ignore swift, peak load changes, which would trigger standard protection, and activates only when safe values are exceeded.
The G-C16A installation switch does not have the typical shortcomings of thermal or case fuses, which are the result of their simple construction. All fuses – even the audiophile ones – besides the obvious protection capabilities, have one main weak point, which excludes them from usage in audio gear – they throttle the full power applied to the circuit. This flaw is the consequence of the very small diameter of the protective element, usually a thin copper, or silver wire – things the GigaWatt switch does not have.
The G-016A excels with a very solid construction, high quality of internal elements, resistance to vibration and working stability independent of the ambient temperature. The casing of the switch is made from black phenol-formaldehyde resin, what guarantees high rigidity. It is also fire proof, melt proof, antistatic, has a low electric and heat conductivity with relatively high mechanical resistance. Internal components, which take part in current conduction, are made from copper details and connectors with large cross-section, the coil itself is made from thick, copper wire, which does not cause any throttling or losses. The main contact elements are made from silver with a large contact surface.
The switch should be mounted on a standard DIN rail, and it can be connected to bare wire or spade connectors. The construction of the switch prevents the contact of the palm or fingers with live connection elements.
The switch is conform with all European norms, requirements, directives and technical approvals (CE, VDE).
NOTE: Installation works exposes to direct contact with potentially lethal voltage. There is risk of an electric shock! All activities related to installation can only be made by a qualified personnel following appropriate regulations (DIN VDE 0100 and IEC 664 or DIN VDE 0110).
Line Voltage: 250V 50/60Hz
Current Rating: 16A
Short Circuit Capacity (Icn): 1500A
Tripping Charakteristic: Type C
Dimensions: 92x72x19 mm
Gross Weight: 0,16 kg
In the opinion of specialist audio magazines the devices from GigaWatt are among the best in the world, both in terms of effectiveness and manufacturing quality, and even surpass the standards used in the branch setting new masters. This statement is confirmed by many reviews and prestigious awards given to GigaWatt products. You can find some of them below:
High Res Mac, Germany, July 2017
„How do you like the sound? – I asked” – “It sounds more open, deeper. The vocalists are closer to me, and the drums are further than last time – is it possible” – possible. But the commentary went on – “I think also, that the sound is more rounded, and I understand the vocals better” – a short pause. “Did you change anything?” Instead of a system inspection we go out of the listening room to the corridor and with surprise in the eyes we approach the fuse board. When my finger pointed to a black element, the reaction was immediate: “You are not serious?” But when I confirmed, it was just the little automatic fuse, I heard the spontaneous, spoken with a derisive smile: “You are crazy”
“The automatic fuse GigaWatt G-C20 A is an incredible tuning element of the electric installation, which gave us such a sound improvement for 70 Euro, for which we would need to pay many times more changing the electronics or speakers, and yet we still would not have the certainty to achieve such an open, neutral and effortlessly presented sound.
Without any doubt the fuse attributes to better current flow and usage of reserves and abilities of our stereo system, which can easily be spotted even by uninitiated people.
Author : Tom Semmler