The PC-4 EVO is the top model of the GigaWatt power conditioners line. This reference device is dedicated to powering Hi-end audio and video systems. PC-4 EVO is the quintessence of many years of experience, research and work on an uncompromised power conditioner. This powerfull device came to life using newest technologies and specialized components. This conditioner not only effectively protects from any kind of interference and overvoltage in the power grid, but most of all warrants visible improvement of the sound and picture quality in the powered devices. The unit excels with a solid construction, usage of selected components and high quality and aesthetics of workmanship.
In the construction of the PC-4 EVO we resigned from using separation transformers and applied a worked out, multi-stage, parallel filtration instead. The conditioner is equipped with three independent filtering branches, separate for each quartet of output sockets. Due to this solution the filtration of each of the branches was adapted to the character of the load that will be used on those sockets, different for each kind of devices – digital, analog or high current draw units. The autonomous passive filters allow for isolation from interference generated by devices connected to a common power line.
PC-4 EVO is based on a new architecture of filters and uses more advanced and excessive sized components. Due to the increased efficiency of the new filtering circuits they were mounted using silver solder on massive PCBs with fifteen-fold content of copper compared to standard PCB. The two layered PCBs have very wide conductive traces made from 550 micrometer thick silver plated copper. Damping of the interference is made in RLC type filtering blocks, built using, among other things, metallized polyester capacitors with low inductance and HF (High-Flux) core filters.
In this conditioner we also resigned from using traditional protective elements, like wire or thermal fuses, which throttle the free flow of current to the protected circuits and by this have a negative influence on the sound. The overvoltage protection of the conditioner is guaranteed by the start block, which contains plasma spark gaps, next-generations of UltraMOV varistors and an initial filter. Protection against overload is provided by a hydraulic-magnetic switch made by the company Carling Technologies, which is made in USA on special order and to GigaWatt specification. This element controls the value of the current flowing through the internal circuits of the conditioner and serves as the main power switch. All those elements, working together with a well-designed, modern power grid, warrant a complex protection against overcurrent and overvoltage.
The internal elements of the PC-4 EVO conditioner allow for a continuous load of 25A (and 70A peak), if the power line allows. This huge reserve is not necessary for lossless transfer of energy from the power line to the load, but to have a current reserve for impulse loads. A current reserve is a fundamental thing when supplying current to power amplifiers, capable of peak loads many times higher than their nominal values. A professional PowerCon 32 Amp socket, with silver plated pins, capable of sustained load of 32A, was used as the main power-in connector. Continuous load capability of this conditioner at 25A is almost triple of what a typical unit, utilizing an IEC socket, is able to provide.
Optionally, the power conditioner can be equipped with the circuit, which eliminates unwanted DC component from the mains (DC Offset Blocker). The Direct Current component (DC Offset) is a very unfavorable phenomenon, which exists in almost every electrical grid. It results in the Alternating Current (AC) sine wave become asymmetrical, what negatively influences any device using transformers. Their cores get magnetized, what translates in higher operating noise (hum), diminished efficiency of the power supply and finally in degraded sound. The DC blocker effectively eliminates this phenomenon without causing any compression or having any other negative influence on the sound.
The effective input voltage (True RMS) is indicated by a precise, digital voltmeter with a red LED display mounted in the front panel. This voltmeter is characterized by resistance to distortion and a measurement error caused by higher harmonics, and does not generate any interference on its own, which could worsen the quality of power filtered by the conditioner. On special order other colors of the display are available: green and blue. The conditioner is also equipped with an additional circuit, signaling problems with its connection to the power grid. A red LED mounted on the back signals improper polarization of the power fed to the conditioner or bad connection of the grounding.
The PC-4 EVO uses an innovative, two stage current distribution system, being a proprietary development of the company. It is based on massive power distribution bars of 2nd generation, made from polished, high purity, silver plated cathode copper slabs (Cu-OF). The first stage allows for lossless and equal distribution of power to the individual filtering branches. The second stage supplies power directly to each pair of output sockets using crimped and screw-tightened connections and cabling made from silver plated OFC copper wires in FEP Teflon insulation with a cross-section of 4 QMM. The use of the star wiring topology and the high conductance and massive cross-section of about 45 QMM of each of the bars warrants an equal and stable power distribution regardless of the load on any of the conditioner’s outputs.
To allow for the highest possible impulse response the PC-4 EVO is equipped with a double buffering circuit with compensation cells with ultra-high capacity and Power Factor Improvement System. This circuit improves the impulse response with non-linear loads, like for example power amplifiers, and levels the difference between input and output power of the conditioner, allowing for almost unlimited impulse capabilities.
The PC-4 EVO conditioner is equipped with twelve high quality power sockets GigaWatt G-040 Schuko, designed and manufactured by the company. The brass connectors of those sockets were silver plated at the factory, without the usage of intermediary metals, like copper or nickel, which could introduce unfavorable series resistance and voltage loss. The increased area of contact and the thick layer of silver guarantee sure contact with the plug pins. The sockets were additionally subdued to cryogenic modification and a demagnetizing process. In order to effectively protect children, the G-040 sockets were equipped with integrated anti-surge shutters (increased protection against touching, conform to VDE 0620). The PC-4 EVO is also available with outlets of type NEMA 5-20R, used in North America and some Asian countries, and with Australian outlets of type AS/NZS 3112.
All internal elements of the conditioner were enclosed in a ultra-rigid, non-magnetic chassis made from austenitic stainless steel. To reduce the vibration transferred on the conditioner its cabinet is additionally damped with a bitumen-polymer composite mattes, and the whole is supported on massive, anti-vibration feet made from solid aluminum. The front of the unit is made from a plate of solid, milled aviation aluminum. This panel, with brushed and anodized surface is available in two colors – silver and black.
All GigaWatt products are subject to an insurance policy, that covers damage to the connected equipment up to 250 000 EUR.
The PC-4 EVO is, by standard, equipped with the power cable LC-2HC MK3 with 1.5m length. To fully utilize the maximum potential of the PC-4 EVO we recommend the usage of the LS-2HC or LS-1HC MK3 power cable.
Available socket types: EU (Schuko), US (Nema 5-20R), AU (AS/NZS 3112)
Line voltage: 220-240 V / 50-60 Hz
Maximum output power : 3 680 W
Maximum current load: 16 A
Absorbed impulse current: 22 000 A
Dimensions: 440 x 160 x 400 mm
Gross weight: 20,50 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 Fidelity No.68
Phenomenally built conditioner that will fit even the most expensive hi-end systems. Congratulations!!! Wojciech Pacuła – Editor-in-chief.
“AWARD STATEMENT 2009 High Fidelity”
Author: Wojciech Pacuła – “HIGH FIDELITY” Read Full Review
High Fidelity No.65
SOUND “In my opinion these changes are vastly pos…
“Before this new power conditioner was installed, I’d already loved my system. But this is the high end. You get there step by step and not in one huge leap. That is also why the problem once identified doesn’t go away. Getting back to ‘normal’—used again to my own power strip— took a long time and a lot of effort. But I finally did succeed. I managed to forgot about the PC-4.”
“No doubt the acoustics surrounding instruments had become much better. That’s why the strikes at the edge of a drum on “Corcovado”, a piece from the We Get Request recording by Oscar Peterson, had more air around them with the PC-4 feeding the system. It’s a paradox but exactly why these strikes were stronger and more coherent with the rest of the sound. I think this is the correct sound – the one we should be trying to achieve.
The sound with the PC-4 opened up very nicely not because of increased treble energy. As stated earlier, from the first moment you have the impression that the upper midrange with the conditioner is smoother and darker. Despite that, everything is clearer, soundstage depth expands and so do the spaces between the performers as though everybody on stage moved away from each other so you can see them better. This hilarious effect of better clarity with a smoother top end was easily noticeable on e.s.t.’s Viaticum especially on my favorite track”The Well-wisher”. It is very warm and focused on coherence. Any extraction of details isn’t good because sounds start to stick to each other. The recording was mastered such that the sound is very dense and it has to be played with utmost precision to not ruin the whole effect. I think that my system manages it very well and I liked it before with the power strip. But with the PC-4 it got even better – much better. Better is a cliché like putting a pillow under your head but I can’t help it – better is what you get when using a PC-4 in your system.
Such “smoothing out” of the sound is something we can hear in the most expensive systems. Lately, Janusz, the host of the Krakow Sonic Society meetings, told me, that with age, with coming to the system he has now, he started to appreciate sound he found too dark, too dim before. Halleluiah! It is exactly what all of this is about – better, more resolving devices sound in an absolutely smooth and unobtrusive way. Of course you need to separate that from warming and softening, those are completely different things. The PC-4 shows, that warmth and delicacy are the characteristics of low distortion devices.”
“This is the reason why listening to my system plugged into the GigaWatt PC-4 was so satisfactory, so valuable, also from a purely informative point of view. It is hard to appreciate such changes from the beginning, changes that result from a “lack” of elements, which allow cheaper systems to perform better, in the direction of real sound. But when we mature, we have to face one fact: in reality sound is not so precise, not so resolving – it just “is there”. And we can approach this conclusion by following the same path the PC-4 does, at least I think so.”
“Just to make it clear, I am talking about really well assembled hi-end systems, even über systems. If the sound is too warm it will improve too but you will not get all the micro information the PC-4 offers.”
“Objectively the PC-4 is a step in the right direction, a great foundation for future changes in a system.”
“The advantages described will be present but they could fail to be decisive. On the other hand if you already have an almost perfect system that merely needs the final touch—or if you want a foundation for the system to build around—then you must check out this Polish power conditioner. There will be audible changes in quality, not quantity. The sound will change in the above ways but it’s not about how much is changed but rather, how it is different. The sound with this device becomes richer, deeper and more mature, definitely better settled between the loudspeakers. It is a beautifully crafted, audibly beneficial Polish design that one can be you proud to own. Maybe it is not for everyone by not always changing the sound in a way we like it but it is a kind of ultimate device – the one that can become the bed rock on which to assemble a system.”
“GigaWatt’s PC-4 power line conditioner is a powerful device in an aesthetically, functionally and mechanically well executed chassis. It is one of the best designs I’ve ever seen except perhaps for the wonderful Accuphase PS-1210 or PS-510V.”
Author: Wojciech Pacuła – “HIGH FIDELITY” Read Full Review