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AC Power conditioner + AC Power cable
Gigawatt PC-2 EVO + LS-1 + LC-2 mkII + LC-1 mkII

Price: PC-2 EVO (LC-1 mkII 1,5 m): 5950 zł; wersja z kablem LC-2 mkII: 6850 zł, LS-1 (1,5 m): 4950 zł, LC-2 mkII (1,5 m): 1450 zł, LC-1 mkII (1,5 m): 550

Polish distributor: Gigawatt

Contact: ul. Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej 1, Zgierz
tel./fax: 42 7 150 153
tel. kom: 504 183 445, 603 443 740


WWW: Gigawatt

Text: Wojciech Pacuła
Photography: Wojciech Pacuła
Translation: Krzysztof Kalinkowski

Conditioner PC-2 EVO

PC-2 EVO, we are writing about, starts a completely new series of conditioners, different to former products, like the PC-4 we also tested. The most important information is, that the modular construction of the PC-2 EVO has no separation transformers, which previously had the role of an additional filtering branch, but it based on multistage, independent passive filters – individual for each branch (digital, analog and high current). Each has an RLC filter. The noise is filtered by special low inductance capacitors, among other things. Those metalized polyester capacitors are made from foil, supplied by the German company BASF, what should not be surprising, because they are manufactured in a Philips factory. The complete filter is built on a massive PCB and soldered with silver solder to high cross-section. Each of those autonomous filters is powered from three massive distribution bars, with a cross-section of more than 30mm2 each, made from thick, high purity copper billets. Those bars allow for a stable, steady and stable power distribution, regardless of the load on each branch. The difference in construction between the new and the old version is so significant, that now we deal with three separate units in one enclosure. Each branch has a separate filter, precisely tuned to the kind of load attached to it. Each of the filters supplies power to one pair of sockets, equipped with silver plated and demagnetized connectors.

The action of the individual filters is supported by a new generation double buffering circuit with compensation cells. They increase the current capacity of the conditioner with non-linear loads (like power amplifiers) and prevent differences in power on the input and output. The conditioner has no traditional protection, like over current or thermal fuses, which would introduce all the negative characteristics coming from their simple structure. Those commonly used elements, except for their low price and obvious protective function, have one backside, which disqualifies them for use in audio – they throttle the power supplied to the circuit they protect. This flaw is the consequence of their very low cross-section. The PC-2 EVO is equipped with the LC-1 mkII power cable. For 900 zł extra we can have it equipped with the new LC-2 mkII cable.

Power cable LS-1

Mr. Adam Szubert, the owner of the company, talks about the LS-1 cable:

“Sometimes the clients ask, why the LS-1 is so expensive, and why there is nothing between the LC-1 and LS-1? Well, the LS-1 was from the very beginning designed as dedicated to the top PC-4 conditioner and used in all the branches powering the system. But we were unable to finalize the cable before the introduction of the PC-4. This is the reason, that the LS-1 was not planned as a subsequent cable after the LC-2, but as an uncompromised partner, which would not limit the performance of the PC-4. So it is an expensive cable, because this is the top cable for us. This cable begins a new series of cables, “LS” (Link of Silver), cables made from better, silver plated conductors, as opposed to the cheaper, copper series “LC” (Link of Copper). LS-1 is a project, which uses proprietary components, manufactured according to our specification. And this requires time, first spent on designing it, and then manufacturing it, or its parts, according to our specs. Work on the cable, and first listening sessions, lasted on, but still there were no materials, which could ensure the repeatability of each, hand assembled cable. A thing characteristic to the LS-1 is, that it does not employ any “off the shelf” elements, and the cable is made by hand from the very beginning. And we are not talking about attaching the plugs to the cable by hand, as this is obvious. Handmade means in this case, made from scratch. First you need to make the cable itself, consisting of a weave of separate conductors, conductors forming the shield, Teflon isolation, elements creating the cable geometry, external isolation and elements for the passive filter of the cable, and only then the plugs are attached.

For the LS-1 we needed also to design new plugs, which would fulfill our expectations and quality assumptions of this project. After analyzing the requirements of the project, and technological capabilities, it turned out, that we cannot manufacture the plugs in Poland, as they would not have the required quality. So we started the cooperation with a far east factory, specialized in manufacturing connectors (which makes plugs and connectors for many known audiophile companies). Having researched the technological capability of that factory, having evaluated the samples of materials and ready products, we gave them our technological specification for the GigaWatt plugs. This specification contains among others precise manufacturing tolerance for all components of the plugs, information about materials for the plug casing, resistance of the isolation, resistance to arc-over, material for the connectors, the quality and thickness of the gold plating, material for the nuts and bolts and the report for the cryo and demagnetization processes.

Known companies, like Wattgate, Oyaide, Marinco, Acrolink or Furutech (the latter also uses proprietary plugs) use existing models and modify them to a lesser of greater extent, then they brand it with their logo and protect the changes in their construction with a patent. We have our own plugs, similar to Wattgate or Furutech products. Sometimes those plugs are made in the same factory, but they can have a completely different specification for the materials they are made of, and even – as we have it – construction changes of the casing, which needs to use different molding forms. This means quite high startup costs we had to endure. But those forms are now our propriety.

Very high quality barriers were also placed for the conductors themselves. The technological process, as well as the quality of the material, turned out to be not to overcome for Polish suppliers. The process for the production of the cable was granted to a German company, which now manufactures many conductors for GigaWatt. Those are made from silver plated, oxygen free copper and placed in a Teflon isolation. Similar conductors, but with a higher cross-section, are used for internal cabling in the PF-2 strip and PC-3SE and PC-4 conditioners. The construction of the LS-1 cable required a few of such conductors to be used as one working lead of the cable.”

Power cables LC-2 mkII and LC-1 mkII

According to the manufacturer, the new cables differ vastly from the previous version by their construction. And Mr. Szubert again: “Before we introduced the cables, more than a year ago, they were sent to a few dozen beta-testers, people, who own GigaWatt products, including older versions of those cables. Both new cables were received enthusiastically, and actually they could be offered as completely new positions, with new names. But due to very good opinions about our former products we decided to keep the names, adding only the Mark II addition. The new cables are of course part of standard packaging (or upon supplementary payment) of our other products.”

To date we tested::


Discs used:

  • Akiko Grace, Illume, JRoom/Columbia Music Entertainment, COCB-53546, CD.
  • Art Blakey Quartet, A Jazz Massage, Impulse!/Universal Music Japan, UCCI-9043, CD.
  • Basia, It’s That Girl Again, Koch Records/WHD Entertainment, Inc., IECP-10168, HQ CD.
  • Ben Heit Quartet, Magnetism, Acousence Records/Linn Records, ACO80108, 24/192, FLAC 24/192.
  • Ella Fitzgerald, Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!, Verve/PolyGram Records/Victor Entertainment, VICJ 011-4052, XRCD24.
  • Frank Sinatra&Count Basie, It Might As Well Be Swing, Reprise/Universal Music Japan/Sinatra Society of Japan, UICY-94601, SHM-CD.
  • Laurie Anderson, Homeland, Nonesuch, 524055-2, CD+DVD.
  • Madita, Too, Couch Records, CR 20472, CD.
  • Nine Horses, Snow Borne Sorrow, WHD Entertainment, IECP-10002, CD.
  • Pery Como, Como Sings, RCA/BMG Japan, BVCJ-37258, K2 CD.
  • Savage, Tonight, Extravaganza Publishing Srl/Klub80, CD001, 25th Anniversary Limited Edition, CD.

Japanese versions of the discs available on CD Japan


The GigaWatt conditioner can be treated – looking at its construction and declarations of the manufacturer – as a worked out version of the PF-2 power strip. And I know the latter very well, as I am using it for about three years. It is not the best power strip in the world, but it is very even, foreseeable and inexpensive. And very solid. For me all those are important factors. This is the reason, I was very interested, in what the PC-2 EVO adds to that. Because I have all my devices plugged into this strip, I switched my whole system between it and the conditioner, and not the individual elements. First comparisons were made using a standard power cable plugged into the wall socket, then with the GigaWatt cable supplied together with the conditioner and finally with the more expensive LC-2 MkII. And finally I tried the top LS-1.

Anyone, who ever participated in listening sessions related to power filtering equipment, being power cords, power strips, conditioners, etc, knows, that first impressions can be deceiving. The whole issue is related to something, we could call a learning curve, self education. We deal with this process in all areas, also in audio (given we want to learn), but in case of listening sessions of power gear, the process is lengthy and in 100% dependent on what we learn. I am talking about the fact, that when comparing for example two amplifiers, we can indicate the better one with great probability, or at least tell, which one we like better. But it is different wit power – very much different! Starting with power cables, when we change the standard, “computer” cables to some better ones, shielded, with better conductors, etc, at first it seems that the sound is less dynamic and too dark. Changing back we bring back the shine, the nerve to the sound. From experience I can tell, that this is a deceit, that usually this is a problem with us, and not the cable. Because it is so, that listening for prolonged period of time to some devices, we get used to the way how they sound. And that sound becomes our master sound, the reference point. And even comparisons with live sound do not change that, because those are two different worlds, so that transferring experience from one to the other is at least problematic. And in addition live sound is usually incredibly dynamic and any worsening of the “clarity” of the sound is perceived as a step backwards compared to the live event. Often this covers other aspects of the sound. But in reality, changing cables we “clean” the sound from obtrusiveness, from hardened attack, wrongly seen as dynamics. Yes, at home we will never get the dynamics of a live event, physics will not allow that, so we need to strive to the natural proportions in another way, not by brightening. A change of the cable is a structural one, a deeper one, than only a change in timbre. And with a conditioner, a good conditioner (filter), like the PC-2 EVO, this can be heard in a doubled way. Switching over from (very solid and proven in many conditions) PF-2 power strip, a few things can be heard immediately, which combine in a completely different presentation of the sound.

First of all, the sound is more vivid here. It is related to other aspects, about which I will tell in a few moments (everything is interconnected and influences each other), but it is clear from the very beginning, and this shapes the whole sound. The sound is a bit warmer and softer. But not in the sense of “warming” or “softening”, descriptions used often as flaws, especially in case of tube amplifiers. Here it is an asset, and a big one. This effect can be heard with any kind of music and although the recordings we know change, this is shown in different ways, but we know, that this change is positive, a move in the right direction: vivid and softer. But like I say, this is no softening. The PC-2 EVO allows us to hear more music in music, I understood better the intentions (at least I think so…) of the artist and the sound engineer. Because the individual sounds are much better differentiated. It can seem paradoxical, but it is not that: “clearer” often associates in audio with “brighter”. And here it is exactly the opposite way – it is clearer, because it is “not so bright”, because the hard attack of the sound is something else than a “hammer”.

With the GigaWatt conditioner the sound gained life, but not by overexposing treble, or boosting dynamics (by brightening), but with much better saturation of the sounds than with the PF-2, by a more natural timbre. And suddenly we get a more natural sound, which, at first glance – please remember what I told about the learning curve! – seems to go in another direction than we thought, instead of exposing the recordings more, instead of coming in between the individual sounds more, it goes against the stream.

Please do not worry, that “warmer” I am talking about, is related to the warmth of the system – and this is not what it is about here!

If it would be true, then the slightly warm sound of the amplifier Tenor Audio 175S, I use (please read the test, then you will know what I am talking about) would be underlined and I would have a more muffled sound. The same case would be with the Audiomatus AS250 (test in this issue), which I tested at the same time. And there was no such thing. Because this is no “warming”, but a step in the direction of a natural sound, which is not bright, or hard, or “resolved” in the sense of the word I am using. How should I say – it is just natural. Everything in it comes together into one whole, without the need of analyzing its components.

In this context timbre is very interesting here. I made an introduction to this part earlier, because we know, that this is a slightly “warmer” sound than with the PC-2. From the perspective of other conditioners we know, that the sound of the GigaWatt is just more natural. In this aspect it is even better – this is a heresy, and not fully supported, but well, it shows well what I wanted to tell – than the sound of the top conditioner PC-4, which I tested (now a new version is available). It seems that the treble is darker, and that there is less of it. This is not true. But this is the impression we have when listening to recordings, where vocals have the lead, like Snow Borne Sorrow Nine Horses (a group of David Sylvain), Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! Elli Fitzgerald, or even Tonight Savage. The vocals are cleaner, they have no clear sibilants, or even chirps. Their sound, in a balanced system (and I own such a system, I think) is incredibly involving, even passionate. This because the PC-2 EVO makes the shapes on the stage being more plastic, more palpable. And this is manifested mostly by the disappearance of treble colorations. But this is by no means its withdrawal. This is another element, which can seem paradoxical from the point of view of a classic review, and which becomes clear and understandable, when we listen to the GigaWatt conditioner. The cymbals on the Ella Fitzgerald disc, and the electronics on the Savage disc – this is also true for the electronics on the disc Too Madity – were better lighted, richer, had some kind of a “cushion” around the central hit, something which made it connect to the environment, become part of a greater whole. With something like that we deal with a real hi-end, with devices that get on a completely new level of perception. The sound seems warmer, but it is clearer; it seems darker, and the cymbals are more lit. The same happens with the other end of the sound spectrum. Bass is deeper and more differentiated. There is not any more of it, but it is more “present” in the recording.

The sound of my system was clearly more palpable, presented closer to the listener, and the sound stage was visibly deeper. This resulted in an effect, as if the system would play louder. I measured that, and the SPL meter showed exactly the same as before. So it wasn’t that. It is just that the intensity of the sound with the conditioner makes us feel the increase in the amount of the sound, in a way of speech. And this is probably the main difference between the PF-2 and the PC-2 EVO. If you remember, I wrote during the test of the power strip, that for me its biggest asset is, that it disappears from the system, not changing anything in its sound. And it is true, and I support it. But the PC-2 EVO does something more – it changes the sound, but does it well, in the good direction. Compared to it, the conditioner Thor from Nordost seemed glaring to me, and the Shunyata Hydra Model-8, which I tested some time ago, and one of my friends bought (now a new version, v2 is available) a bit too dark. It will also prove itself in systems, where for example Accuphase conditioners limit dynamics. The EVO is extremely well balanced, and although it shapes the sound, it does it well.

Powe cables LC-1 MkII, LC-2 MkII

The conditioner PC-2 EVO can be supplied with the basic cable LC-1 MkII or with the better version LC-2 MkII. The copayment is 900 zl, when bought together with the conditioner (purchased alone it costs 1450 zl). I wanted to test, what is the change when we put the more expensive cable in place of the cheaper one. First I listened how the first cable differs from a standard “computer” cable. And here is one thing, that often returns. In expensive systems, where everything has its place, changing a standard cable to something better is not always a step forward. But it was one for me. With the LC-1 MkII sound became warmer, the treble was softer, and the bass, especially at the turn to the midrange, was more fleshy and stronger. The sound seemed not as resolved and not as dynamic (and it was not about the delusion I had changing the PF-2 to the PC-2 EVO). Everything was too “civilized”, too stiff, if I might say so. In case of expensive power cables the rule “one for one” does not apply, I mean, that we do not learn much, changing our own, expensive cable to another one of that kind. Here we need to listen to it in another context, in a system from adequate price range. I tested it with two sets of amplifier + CD – with the Music Hall 25.2 a + CD and ISEM Ergo 3 + Xtasis. And with those changing from a standard cable to the LC-1 mkII made sense. The sound got quieter, but it was better than before. The slightly softer treble helped to get a better vividness and clarity of the sound in the midrange and bass ranges.

But taking into account the price of the conditioner and systems, in which it will work, then I would recommend the project “LC-2 MkII” as mandatory. It gives something, that justifies the usage of something else than a standard power cable. The sound is much more vivid and deeper. Yes, deepening of the sound starts immediately after plugging in the LC-2 MkII to the wall socket. The virtual sources are visibly bigger, occupy more space between the loudspeakers, regardless of the fact, if it is a mono or stereo recording. This is good. This is not such a disciplined sound as with more expensive cables, like the 7N-PC6300 from Acrolink, but it is for sure a move in the right direction.

Summarizing: The PC-1MkII is a very nice, inexpensive cable. In entry level systems it will prove itself very well, because it will remove any nervousness in the sound, it will darken it a little, make it more vivid. The PC-2 MkII is a much better cable, and it should be a mandatory accessory to this conditioner, and be the starting point. But not the reference point, because there is still the top LS-1.

Power cable LS-1

The most expensive GigaWatt cable, plugged into the CD Ancient Audio Air, replacing the 7N-PC-9300 from Acrolink, showed itself from an incredibly interesting sound. This is an incredibly dynamic cable, almost impulsive. The treble is rather dark, but the midrange has lots of air. This is “live” sound, in all meanings of that word, that is vigorous sound, strong, dynamic, expressive (midrange) with a strong bass. This is by far the best Polish cable I heard, not only a GigaWatt one. Comparing it to the 7N-PC6300 from Acrolink it can be heard, that the Japanese cable is slightly brighter and has a slightly clearer midrange. The LS-1 has a deeper midrange and stronger bass. Its treble is also more vivid than the Japanese one. It seems, that the way the vocals are presented in a given system could be the basis for the choice between the two cables and sounds. If it is a little warm, but not faded, then GigaWatt will be ideal. Acrolink sounds too light in such systems, and as such does not use the assets of the sound. But on the other hand in places, where speed is required, and the midrange is as it should be, there is no need to make it more vigorous, I would look elsewhere, maybe in the direction of the Acrolink. In favor of the Polish cable works it not so high – taking into account the competition from abroad – price and a really splendid, deep sound. This is a sound, that allows to take place in the armchair and listening to discs with curiosity, what we will hear next. We will never get bored. And at the same time it is not a bright or hard sound, which often gives a wrong impression of “dynamics” and “openness”. A true revolution is brought by this cable when used with the conditioner PC-2 EVO, about which I wrote above. Yes, the price gets doubled, but please listen to this combination to know the abilities of the conditioner. The sound of this pair is incredibly deep, saturated and full. It has lots of emotions, micro events, which make us believe we are taking part in a live event. It is not so, this is a recording, we remember immediately, but those moments of placing our suspiciousness away, are what counts. There is still quite a distance to the four times more expensive Acrolink PC9300, but this difference is not so grave, to kill for it (or to let kill our wife, for example…). The PC-2 EVO + LS-1 is something extraordinary, and absolutely surprising the context of the price.


The conditioner PC-2 EVO

GigaWatt conditioners are built exceptionally well – with a very solid enclosure and a very thick, aluminum front panel. In the middle of that panel there is a smoked acrylic plate, where a blue LED is hidden behind. On the back we have six sockets branded by GigaWatt, three sections of two. This is reflected by the construction inside, where for each two sockets there is one filter block. There are two separate circuits in front of them (for the analog and digital outputs) and a big input filter behind the IEC socket.

Most GigaWatt devices, including the PC-2 EVO, are equipped with a unique system of internal power distribution. It is based on massive power bars, made from thick copper billets, with 30mm2 per bar. Using separate bars for each of the sockets allows for an even and stable power distribution, regardless of the draw on each output. All types of the used bars are proprietary construction of GigaWatt and were designed by the company. The manufacture of such bars is very expensive due to the quality and cleanness of the copper they are made of, and the technology applied. The distribution bars are made from the cleanest (99.99%) cathode copper Cu-OF (oxygen free copper with high conductance) and Cu-ETP (metallurgical refined copper with high conductance). The copper is enameled and annealed, what makes it denser and increases conductance, plasticity and resistance to corrosion in most environments. Mechanical tooling is made in a process, that does not emit heat, which could oxidize the copper and negatively influence the quality of conduction. In the flag conditioner GigaWatt PC-4 and in products of the limited “Special Edition” series, the distribution bars are silver plated.

Power cable LS-1

Conductors used in the power strips and conditioners of GigaWatt are no “ready made” items, but those are manufactured especially for the company, and were designed in Poland. As Mr. Szubert says, in the beginning the tests were made using the same conductors as used in the conditioners. Tests and listening sessions were so promising, that they decided to design a new conductor for the LS-1. The conductors in the LS-1 differ in cross-section, amount of wires in the conductor, isolation from pure Teflon (FEP and not PTFE) and the amount of such conductors in a working wire of the cable. The purity of the copper, or rather the amount of nines after the comma, has no influence, because this is a cheap marketing trick – for the inquiring among the readers, they use 6N purity copper and 12 micron silver. Most cable manufacturers use readily available cables – for example a 10 zl per meter cable, puts on readily available plugs and sells for 5000-7000 zl. GigaWatt makes the cables from scratch, including the plugs. Small companies can do that, and this is our passion, our game, we always calculate in a loss when investing in new products – in larger companies this cannot happen. This is why the LS-1 costs what it costs – besides its sonic value.

A kind of revolution was to use a new kind of lossless passive filter on the cable. In the LS-1 (probably the first cable in the world) a novel, low loss, passive filter from nano-crystal alloys was applied. It is mounted in a special place, found by measurements, directly on the cable, and becomes an additional element of noise absorption (the first element is the geometry of the conductors, which limits the inductance of the cable, while keeping the advantageous, quite large capacitance).

This filter is there to initially reduce a wide band of noise and damp the oscillations on the output of the cable. To dampen the electromagnetic interference, that appears in the power network, different magnetic materials are used in different filters. The effectiveness of such filters is influenced by many parameters like: inductance of the circuit, magnetic permeability and size of the magnetic material. During the times of PAL (predecessor of GigaWatt) we used filters based on ferrite elements, which are an outdated, and unreliable material, with large losses, and did not fare good in all applications (amplifier, CD). In addition the ferrites impacted sound in a negative way.

A modern nano-crystal alloy is completely devoted from those flaws. This alloy is achieved by a controlled thermal process (in a process of rapid cooling of metal and at the same time forming it in a very thin ribbon) of an amorphous alloy from cobalt and iron. The material created in this process has a very fine-grained microstructure – a nano-crystal structure. The grains have a typical size of 10 nanometers, what means, that they have less than a few dozen thousand atoms. For comparison – micrometric grains of ferrite (7-8 micrometers) are made from billions of atoms.

Magnetic softness of a nano-crystal ferromagnetic increases with the reduction of the size of the crystals, what changes the physical properties of a certain material. Due to the nanometric size of the crystals, the magnetic material reaches unique magnetic properties, which result in a large magnetic permeability, minimal loss, a small value of the coercion intensity and almost zero magnetostriction, allowing miniaturization of the magnetic circuit.

The only flaw of this alloy are the high costs – all others are only assets. The nano-crystal alloys are also used in the filters of the conditioners PC-4 and PC-3 SE.

g   a   l   l   e   r   y


  • CD player: Ancient Audio Lektor Prime (tested HERE)
  • Phono preamp: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC (tested HERE)
  • Preamp: Leben RS-28CX (tested HERE; soon to be changed to Polaris II, tested HERE)
  • Power amp: Luxman M-800A (tested HERE)
  • Integrated amp: Leben CS300 (reviewed HERE)
  • Loudspeakers: Harpia Acoustics Dobermann (tested HERE)
  • headphones: AKG K701, Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, 600 Ω version (reviewed HERE, HERE, and HERE)
  • interconnects: CD-preamp: Wireworld Gold Eclipse 52 (tested HERE; soon to be changed to Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, article HERE), preamp-power amp: Velum NF-G SE (tested HERE)
  • speaker cable: Velum LS-G (tested HERE)
  • power cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9100 (CD; reviewed HERE) and 2 x Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC7100 (preamp, power amp (reviewed HERE)
  • power conditioning: Gigawatt PF-2 Filtering Power Strip (reviewed HERE)
  • audio stand Base
  • resonance control: Finite Elemente Ceraball under the CD (article HERE ) Turntables change continuously, as do cartridges. My dream setup: SME 30 with Series V tone-arm and Air Tight PC-1 cartridge (also in the PC-1 Mono version).