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PowerSync ULTRA

Manufacturer: P.A. LABS.
Price (when reviewed): 5050 PLN/1,5 m

ul. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie 1
95-100 Zgierz | POLSKA



Provided for test by GIGAWATT


translation Marek Dyba
photo Wojciech Pacuła

No 220

September 1, 2022


GigaWatt was founded in 2007, although its roots date back to 1998 - its previous incarnation was Power Audio Laboratories. GigaWatt was founded by ADAM SZUBERT - electronics and audio enthusiast - who was also the co-founder and main designer of PAL. The company specializes in supply voltage protection systems for audio systems. We are testing its latest AC power cord, belonging to the PowerSync series, model ULTRA.

AKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE GIGAWATT'S LINEUP, it is not difficult to conclude that the AC PowerSync Ultra power cord (formerly LC-3 EVO) we test is something like a "golden mean". Not too expensive - there are two more cables from the LS series above it - but also with many technical solutions borrowed from them, and on the other hand, leading to the development of all the techniques used by this Polish manufacturer in cheaper cables.

PowerSync Ultra is an AC power cord intended for - as we read on the manufacturer's website - "advanced audio systems". It can power a strip or conditioner to which the entire system is connected, because - due to its large cross-section - it is recommended by the manufacturer - for applications associated with high power consumption.


| A few simple words…

Owner, Designer

POWERSYNC ULTRA IS THE CABLE that completes our new series of copper cables. For many years of production, the LC series cables have been constantly improved and modified, but the basic assumption was a design based on solid core.

At the end of 2019, after more or less two years of testing, we refined the production technology of multi-strand twisted pair, which gave rise to a new family of power cables - PowerSync. The Ultra version is currently the highest model using pure copper conductors.

We can be assume that it is the successor of the long-known and appreciated LC-3 MK3 + cable (this was the designation of the last generation LC-3), but technically it is a completely different and more advanced design. Basically, each element is different, ranging from the conductors, through geometry, shielding and vibration damping layers, to rhodium-plated plugs in an aluminum body. The PowerSync family currently includes three cables - the basic PowerSync, the higher one - PowerSync Plus and the top PowerSync Ultra.

The offer also includes the LC-2 EVO, placed in the price list between the Plus and Ultra versions. So we currently offer four copper cables and two silver-plated ones - LS-1 EVO + and LS-2 EVO, which were upgraded in 2021.

As for the upcoming cable plans, the concept of a new reference cable is slowly emerging. The bar is set high, unfortunately the last period, due to problems with raw materials and galloping prices, does not make the tasks easier. Time will tell if we will be able to create a production copy in the coming months. If this happens, the editors of "High Fidelity" will certainly have the opportunity to conduct a premiere test. AS



THE TESTED CABLE IS CONSTRUCTED OF eight cores wires with a cross-section of 1.5 mm2, each of them consisting of seven individual copper wires twisted in a tight weave. According to the manufacturer, twisted conductors ensure a significant reduction in the inductance of the cable while maintaining a favorable, relatively high capacitance. Let me add that the conductor is copper and it is the most expensive "copper" cable from this manufacturer, because the LS series uses silver-plated copper wires.

The wires in the cable are protected by a static shield made of laminated aluminum foil. The hermetic screen structure covering 100% of the cable surface "perfectly protects against unwanted external EMI and RFI noise, and prevents the occurrence and spread of internal interference". GigaWatt says that the PowerSync Ultra design also focuses on reducing vibrations generated by the electromagnetic field induced around the conductors, so the conductors are surrounded by a thick layer of insulation "which is also an excellent material to damp unwanted vibrations." From the outside, the cable is protected with an anti-static mesh, which is there to prevent the accumulation of electrostatic charges on the surface of the cable.

Only starting from PowerSync Ultra GigaWatt uses its best power plugs. Their body is made of milled aluminum, which makes them solid and less susceptible to vibrations than plugs with plastic bodies. The contacts are made of rhodium-plated brass, which - as the manufacturer assures - "guarantees low impedance and a greater number of switching cycles without loss of parameters". The contacts additionally underwent cryogenic and demagnetization processes. All conductors are connected without soldering, using screws.

It is worth adding that this cable is also available in a high-current version. It is then terminated with a PowerCon 32 Amp connector, capable of carrying a constant load of 32 A. The cable in the BOX version, both versions, is delivered in in a wooden box.


⸤ HOW WE LISTENED The GigaWatt PowerSync Ultra power cable was tested in the HIGH FIDELITY reference system. It powered the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition SACD player and was compared to the Siltech Triple Crown cable (15,900 EUR/2 m). Both cables were connected to the Acoustic Revive RPT-4EU Absolute power strip, and the latter, through the 2.5-meter Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 cable, to a dedicated Furutech NFC socket in the wall, to which a separate power line with its own fuse leads.

The comparison was an A/B/A listening session with A and B known. The auditioned fragments of the tracks were 1 to 2 minutes long. As the Ayon is a tube device, the comparison was not immediate - the breaks were around 30 seconds long.

Recordings used for the test | a selection

⸜ LOUIS ARMSTRONG & DUKE ELLINGTON, The The Great Summit | The Complete Sessions | Deluxe Edition, Roulette Jazz 7243 5 24548 2 2/3, 2 x CD (1961/2000).
⸜ HERB ELLIS/JOE PASS, Seven, Come Eleven, Concord Records SACD-1015-6, SACD/CD (1974/2003).
⸜ GEORGE MICHAEL, Older & Upper, Virgin Records 8452032, 2 x Gold CD (1996/1997).
⸜ PETE SINFIELD, Still, Manticore/Victor Entertainment VICP-75103-4, 2 x K2 HQ CD (1973/209).
⸜ TANGERINE DREAM, Phaedra, Virgin Records/Universal Music LLC UICY-40130, Platinum SHM-CD (1974/2015).


IF I LOOKED FOR DEFECTS IN THE TESTED PRODUCTS, none of them would "stand" such a trial, so to speak. Everything that was made by human hands has some issues. This also applies to audio. Therefore, the only option is an affirmative view, i.e. looking for what is GOOD in the products. And only then can we superimpose what downsides we found in it .

With GigaWatt products it is rather simple because listening to the next generations of its conditioners, strips or AC power cables, on the one hand, you can hear continuous progress, and on the other hand, you are sure that here and now these are just very, very nice products - < b>reliable products. Like the PowerSync Ultra cable in the test.

What is special about its influence on sound is a ‘restraint’ - something we rarely talk about, but which more and more often turns out to be more important than many other, seemingly significant, features that make up the musical presentation. The moderation in question manifests itself in this case by presenting events in a balanced way. This is not a cable with a warm or rounded sound, that is not the point (when I say "sounding" I mean the way in which it modifies the signal). I will say more, it is quite expressive and open sound. And yet it has an inner balance that prevents it from tilting to one side or the other.

| Our albums

The The Great Summit | The Complete Sessions | Deluxe Edition

Roulette Jazz 7243 5 24548 2 2/3
2 x COMPACT DISC ⸜ 1961/2000

THE DOUBLE ALBUM The Great Summit: The Master Takes by LOUIS ARMSTRONG and DUKE ELLINGTON is a re-edition of two previous albums: Together For The First Time and The Great Reunion, which Roulette Jazz, a label owned by Blue Note, released in 2000. This extraordinary release is a recording of a session with DUKE ELLINGTON, author of all songs, and LOUIS ARMSTRONG with his All-Stars band.

The album contains all the tracks recorded during this one and only meeting of Ellington and Armstrong. In this version, one album includes the two mentioned titles, and the other includes the recording of the session, with warm-up, alternative versions, etc. The best professionals were involved in the creation and re-edition of the album: Bob Thiele as producer, Ray Hall as the sound engineer, Michael Cuscuna, who produced the re-release, and Ron McMaster, who was responsible for the remix and new master.

Both sessions took place at RCA Studios in New York - on April 3rd and 4th 1961. They were recorded without overlays, with the entire band in the same room, on the three-track Ampex 300-3 tape recorder. The entire band was recorded on two tracks, and Armstrong's vocals on the third. The mix for the two tracks was done live. With the remix, the balance between the band and the vocals was re-adjusted. The remaster was prepared digitally in 24/96 resolution.

Let's add that Ron McMaster, Grammy Award winner, nominated four more times, is one of the most respected sound engineers. He spent most of his career at Capitol Studios Mastering, where he worked on the albums of The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, R.E.M, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Tom Waits, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Miles Davis and Elvis Costello.

The first part, Together For The First Time, has been remastered several times, including a version by Mobile Fidelity and Classic Records. MOFI used stereo tapes, and Classic Records already used a new remix. Its version seems sonically the best, but we only get material from the first session with it and no additional material.

AS I SAY, THE PRESENTATION IS NOT WARMED UP. And yet, while listening to the vocal of LOUIS ARMSTRONG from the The Great Summit ..., mentioned above, it was impossible not to pay attention to the slight withdrawal of part of the midrange, usually responsible for sharpness. This is around 3 to 5 kHz, very difficult to control. The Polish cable darkened them, which made the whole thing more vivid.

At the same time, however, it showed strong, dense bass and a clear treble. Also the location of the instruments was very good with it. As we already mentioned, this is a recording from 1961, recorded over just two days in RCA studios. The material was recorded on a three-track tape recorder. In such cases, the entire orchestra was recorded on two tracks, simultaneously, and on the third track they recorded vocals and for this album additionally also the trumpet. This gave the producers the freedom to select the levels later.

With the GigaWatt cable it was clear that the musicians were in one room, because their bodies were shown clearly, but I could also hear the so-called "leaks", ie the sounds of other instruments reaching microphones from other sections. As this sound comes along with the reverb, we have the impression of an event recorded "live". But the vocals or the trumpet were shown differently, with longer reverb, in greater isolation. And that’s a good thing! Because that's how they were recorded. So I could tell that the tested cable had a good resolution.

I confirmed this further by listening to the HERB ELLIS and JOE PASS album entitled Seven, Come Eleven. Originally released by Concord Records, it was remixed in 2003 for the SACD album. This 1974 concert was recorded years ahead of the more popular Friday Night in San Francisco, and is just as interesting. Anyway, it was clear to me that the GigaWatt offered an open sound, controlled the bass very well and delivered great rhythm.

It is not a cable that would warm anything up. And yet, listening to Ellis and Pass's guitars, I had the impression that it added a kind of silk coating to them. It was still an open sound - let me remind you that the cable transmits a lot of information about the treble - but there was also a "fuse" in this opening, introduced by withdrawing the part of the range that I mentioned earlier.

Thanks to it, records that can sound too bright will be smoothed, and systems that have too much energy in the upper midrange - calmed down. But not by calming down the dynamics. The Ultra plays with clearly accented mid-bass, which was well shown by GEORGE MICHAEL’s Older&Upper. I reached for it because the publisher recently announced its "anniversary" remaster. I have it in the gold version.

Drums and vocals are presented on it in a clear way, with long, bright reverb. The reference cable is so resolving that it shows it without modification, but at the same time it brings out so much information that we understand that this is a choice, not a mistake. The Polish cable also does something that makes it very good to listen to, but precisely by calming down the problematic range. And because the upper treble is strong and clear in it, we do not have the impression of closing the sound or extinguishing it.

GigaWatt is also very good at rendering the timbre temperature. The vocals of PETE SINFIELD, former King Crimson guitarist from his only album entitled Still, had an emphasized lower midrange, exactly as I heard it with the reference cable. There was also a dark, powerful reverb that made it seem as if Sinfield was singing on stage. The Hammond synthesizers and organs, on the other hand, had nicely extended bottom, proper density and saturation. It was just a very good sound.


The GIGAWATT ULTRA POWER CABLE is an interesting case, so it can turn out to be a perfect choice for many systems, regardless of their sound signature. It is cautious in administering the upper midrange. This helps in managing the "distraction" introduced by many systems and present on many albums. But it is also selective, in which it is completely different from the warm sounding cables.

Its resolution is simply good and there is no need to split the hair about it. The strength of this cable is that it puts the elements together very well. It only does not show large musical structures, like warm cables, although it offers a good insight into details. But it does not emphasize them, which is what cables with open sound do. The space is very good with it, and the reverbs are slightly shortened, which results in a more direct, more forward presentation. It all adds up to a reliable, safe, high-end product at a very good price, offering balanced, high-class sound.

Technical specifications (according to the manufacturer)

Line voltage: 110-240 VAC / 50-60 Hz
Maximum load (continuous): 16 A
Gross weight: 1.60 kg (Box version)
Outer diameter: 17 mm
Lengths: 1.5 m standard, 2m/2.5m/3m or more by request


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