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Power conditioner


Manufacturer: P.A. LABS.
Price (in Poland):
• conditioner – 23 000 PLN,
• anti-vibration feet – 2500 PLN.

Contact: ul. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie 1
95-100 Zgierz | Polska


Provided for test by: GIGAWATT

GigaWatt is one of the oldest in Poland, still operating manufacturers focused on power-related products for audio. Importantly, it is still developing, both organizationally – there is new headquarters - and substantively, which is expressed, for example, by manufactured together with Miflex, anti-interference capacitors. Every now and again, though without any rush, they offer new power cables, power strips and conditioners. One of the newest proposals is the PC-3 SE EVO +, which is a special version of the PC-3 EVO + conditioner.

Founder, director

PC-3 SE EVO+ is a third generation of this model. The first idea for the SE version came up about 10 years ago, when we already had the PC-3 and PC-4 models in our lineup. The price difference between the two was significant, which resulted from the solutions used in their designs, as well as from the fact that the PC-4 featured 12 sockets instead of 6. So then we came up with an idea to create a model, positioned between them, with a standard amount of six outlets but a design almost as advanced as in the PC-4.

Since there was no available number between "two" and "four" in our lineup, and another designation - for example PC-5 - would suggest that it was a higher model, we decided to use SE designation (abbreviation of Special Edition). As time has shown, this idea worked pretty well and this hierarchy of designations remained also in the next generations of our devices. Today's PC-3 SE EVO + is probably the last, so named, generation. In the future, with new designs, we will introduce a completely new naming.

Technically, compared to the "regular" PC-3 EVO+, the SE model features several significant differences, derived from the flagship model, the PC-4 EVO+. The most important of them are: silver-plated distribution rails, hydraulic-magnetic main switch and solid damping of the housing with a bitumen-polymer composite. The tested unit is additionally equipped with Gigawatt's proprietary anti-vibration feet (Rolling Ball Isolation System) and a limited edition power cable – the LC-3 Anniversary Edition, the same one that will be included in the jubilee version of the PC-1 EVO conditioner. AS

| PC-3 SE EVO+

The PC-3 SE EVO + is a passive AC power conditioner (more about the terminology we use HERE). The protecting devices are divided into two main groups: passive and active ones - the latter generate the perfect sinusoid or improve it in an active way, the former try to clean the sinusoid of the electricity coming from power grid in a passive way.

It can be achieved in many ways, but the two main ones base on usage of serial or parallel components. The former use primarily separating transformers, and the latter different types of capacitors and other anti-shock elements that are connected in parallel. Each of these solutions has its advantages and disadvantages, both of which we also know from previous GigaWatt products. The current series are passive conditioners, without coupling transformers, and the PC-3 SE EVO+ model is one of them.

It's a large, very solidly built device that looks a lot like a power amplifier. The front panel is made of aluminum, and in the center there is an acrylic insert with a three-element LED display hidden underneath it. It allows user to read current voltage. The front can be finished in black or silver and the display is white – which is typical for this manufacturer's special edition products. The rest of the chassis is black in both cases.

The reviewed model differs from the flagship primarily with the number of outlets - there are six of them, or three pairs. These outlets are custom made for GigaWatt (model Schuko G-040). The individual pairs are optimized to work with a slightly different load: with digital devices, analog ones and amplifiers. Autonomous passive filters allow isolation from interference generated by connected devices using a common power line.

On the rear there is a high quality, hydraulic-magnetic switch from Carling Technologies. It functions also as an overload protection. The switch is manufactured in the USA on a special order and according to the GigaWatt specification.

Rolling Ball Isolation System | The device used the newly developed, interesting anti-vibration Rolling Ball Isolation System feet by GigaWatt. This option is a standard feature only of the PC-4 EVO+ model. Although not much is usually said about it, experience proves that power strips and power conditioners are as sensitive to vibrations as amplifiers. Therefore, the best manufacturers use complicated vibration dampening systems in their products. GigaWatt fights them with a thick casing, bitumen mats and anti-vibration feet.

The latter consist of two main elements - solid aluminum rings separated from each other by two treadmills with balls made of very hard stainless steel. Outside, a 5 mm thick elastomer was placed around the mandrel. The operation of a treadmill with balls is similar to the operation of a traditional ball bearing. The difference lies in the size and quantity of individual elements, the details of the bearing's construction and direction of its movement, because the feet are mainly designed to carry large axial loads in one direction, not radial loads, as is the case with an ordinary ball bearing. Let me remind that for the first time the anti-vibration feet using a similar principle were proposed by Pro Audio Bono.

LC-3 Mk3 Anniversary Edition | Together with the conditioner user receives a different than usually power cable - it's a special LC-3 MK3 Anniversary Edition one. In addition to the thicker insulation layer, the cable's plug feature metal housings known from the flagship LS-2 cable.

The GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO+ conditioner was compared to the Acoustic Revive power strip that is a part of my reference system, the RPT-4eu Ultimate. This strip is connected to the wall socket using a two meter Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 power cable. The system is powered from a dedicated line, featuring the Oyaide Tunami cable running to a dedicated fuse in the distribution box. From the system side, the line ends with three identical Furutech FT-SWS (R) wall sockets connected in parallel. I plugged the Acrolink cable and the Acoustic Revive strip into one of these sockets, and the GigaWatt power cable and conditioner to the other.

While comparing to power devices I plugged the entire system first to one of them and then to another, and switched back and forth several times. The system included the Ayon Audio CD-35 High Fidelity Edition SACD player, the RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC preamplifier (TechDAS Air Force III Premium turntable), the Ayon Audio Spheris III line preamplifier and the Soulution 710 power amplifier. I switched between to devices in A/B/A, then B/A/B order, where 'A' was the reference strip and 'B' was the tested one. The player was powered using the Siltech Triple Crown Power, phono preamplifier and power amplifier using the Acoustic Revive Power Reference Triple-C and the linear preamplifier using the Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 cable.

During the test the GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO+ was additionally placed on the Acoustic Revive RST-38H anti-vibration platform.

GIGAWATT in „High Fidelity”
  • TEST: GigaWatt PF-1 Mk2 | power strip AC
  • TEST: GigaWatt PC-2 EVO+ | power conditioner AC
  • TEST: GigaWatt PC-4 EVO + LS-2 | power conditioner AC + power cable AC
  • TEST: GigaWatt PC-3 EVO | power conditioner AC
  • TEST: GigaWatt PC-2 EVO + LS-1 + LC-2 mkII + LC-1 mkII | power conditioner AC + power cable AC
  • TEST: GigaWatt PF-1 (in a system) | power strip
  • AWARD | BEST SOUND 2010: GigaWatt PC-4 | power conditioner
  • TEST: GigaWatt PC-4 | power conditioner
  • AWARD | BEST SOUND 2008: GigaWatt PF-2 | power strip
  • TEST: GigaWatt PF-2 | power strip

  • Recordings used for the test (a selection)

    | Compact Disc
    • Okihiko Sugano Recording Works, Stereo Sound SSSA 1, „Stereo Sound Reference Record”, SACD/CD, (2007) w: Mori Shima, Okihiko Sugano Recording Works Discography, Stereo Sound Publishing Inc., Tokyo 2007; more HERE
    • Diary of Dreams, The Anatomy of Silence, Accession Records, A 132, CD (2012); review HERE.
    • Frank Sinatra, Duets II, Capitol Records ‎C2 7243 8 28103 2 2, Master CD-R (1994)
    • Mayo Nakano Piano Trio, MIWAKU, Briphonic BRPN-7007GL, Extreme Hard Glass CD-R (2017); more HERE
    | Long Play
    • Depeche Mode, Leave In Silence, Mute 12 Bong 1, 12” single (1982)
    • Falla, The Three Cornered Hat, Decca/Esoteric ESLP-10003, „Master Sound Works. Limited Edition”, 200 g LP (1961/2008)
    • Frank Sinatra, Swingin’ Session!!!, Capitol Records/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-407, „Special Limited Edition | No. 346”, 180 g LP (1961/2012)
    • Julie London, Julie is her name. Vol. 1, Liberty Records LPR 3006, LP (1955)
    • Michał Urbaniak, Constellation In Concert, Polskie Nagrania „Muza” SXL 1010, „Polish Jazz | vol. 36”, LP (1973)

    Japanese issues available at

    Checking photos from audio exhibitions around the world, from the intimate Portuguese Lisbon Audio Show, large Warsaw Audio Video Show, to the biggest Munich High End, in each case there is a big chance, that on at least a few, and probably on a dozen or so photos you will find a silhouette of one of the GigaWatt conditioners. The point is, that these are sort of the "secret weapon" of many exhibitors, even if they present electronics, speakers and cables first and foremost.

    Listening to music with PC-3 SE EVO+ in the system, it is not difficult to understand why so many exhibitors use this company's products. Music sounds particularly smooth, vivid, enjoyable with it. It's a sound that differs from what most conditioners offer – a precise but slightly cold one. It is just the opposite – it's a weighted, dense, you can even say – which is not exactly true - warm sound.

    Since during my test I listened to a whole range of recordings, both on CDs and SACDs as well as on LPs, with jazz, classical, rock and electronic music, I can tell you with certainty that it is an extremely versatile device. There was no recording which sounded in a completely different way, which did not offer these qualities - all of them benefited from Gigawatt's qualities.

    Let's take the first example, the original, mono edition of Julie London Julie is her name ... Vol. 1. It's an old recording - from 1955 – and I listen to it quite often. It sounds organically, warmly and deep by itself. With the Polish conditioner, the voice gained a velvety shine, was slightly withdrawn and formed a dense whole with a guitar and double bass. It seemed that there was less reverberation in this presentation, a little less separation of individual elements, but everything was nicer, smoother, better arranged.

    And when I say "arranged" I mean not only the arrangement of elements in the listening axis, that in both cases - with a reference power strip and the tested conditioner – was excellent, but their internal arrangement. The GigaWatt has a toning and releasing affect on the sound at the same time. Several times during the test when the system was plugged into the conditioner I felt like turning up the volume - which after a while I did. Of course, I for comparisons I used the same volume level, but subjective, resulting from psychoacoustics, changes with the conditioner allowed me to add 1-2 dB more to the volume.

    I know this effect from the best products for power conditioning. I know from experience that the best ones reduce the background noise. It results in - subjectively - a slightly quieter sound, but also one that is less irritating if I play it loud. Quiet in this case simply means "with less noise". Perhaps that's why I perceived the performance as warm. Not because of some coloration of sound, or some withdrawal of the top of the range, but precisely because even slightest traces of brightness and minimal emphasis on the sound attack disappeared with it.

    The PC-3 SE EVO+ does also something else – it deepens the bass and slightly corrects its mid range, which in the Acoustic Revive's power strip, used as my reference, is somewhat tweaked up. The GigaWatt delivers the whole range in a smooth and even fashion - like on the The Anatomy of Silence by the Diary of Dreams. This German band playing dark wave music recorded acoustic versions of their hits on it. Neither is it an audiophile recording, nor a particularly appreciated album by the music lovers, but for a fan - which I am – it's a great thing.

    With the conditioner, the music calmed down, evened out, thickened. The reverberations were less important than with the Acoustic Revive strip, and it was obvious that the Polish conditioner was doing something else - instead of the ultimate resolution, it focuses on coherency. Not that there was something wrong with its resolution, but we should realize that every technology, every choice is a compromise and results in a slightly different set of features. The strongest advantage of power strips, at least the best ones, is fantastic dynamics. In turn, the conditioners, again - the best ones - at the cost of a slightly less pronounced attack offer more vivid, meaning more liquid, sound.

    The GigaWatt does it all in a careful, nice way. It does not hide anything, it does not blur, it does not choke – these things happen with conditioners, that the cost of protection these devices provide, which power strips don't! - and of some other advantages. However, the tested model is somewhere else, in a place where these restrictions still apply, but they no longer have causative power, they are not particularly important. More important is the fact that - as on the Master CD-R copy with Duets II by Frank Sinatra - the orchestra was swinging, and on the Depeche Mode's Leave in Silence from 1982 the conditioner deepened the bass while maintaining the rhythm of the track and not losing the vocal in the process, which moves on the listening axis – sometimes coming closer, sometimes moving further away.


    The Acoustic Revive power strip, which I use, is one of the best products for improving the power for the system I know. I've been using it for years, and only two or three times I've heard something even better. The GigaWatt conditioner is not really better, but it is also not worse, which is something absolutely special.

    It proposes things that are not available with power strips, above all reducing the background noise to such a low level that it seems that the sound is quieter. One slightly increases the volume which results in a more dynamic, more three-dimensional sound than without a conditioner. But it will be equally important that the bass gains weight and that its mid range gets clearer. And all this combined with the silky, pleasant treble. It offers a push for s system towards a more real, tangible, refined sound that every one of us dreams of - music lovers, fans and aficionados. RED Fingerprint.

    Power supply conditioners are designed to minimize interference carried by power grid, as well as reduce the influence of some devices in the system on others. The power strips do the same, but the methods are different. The strips are based on vibration reduction - these are also transmitted through power lines - and they also reduce EMI and RFI interference by means of appropriate shielding and usage of materials suitable for this purpose.

    Conditioners, including PC-3 SE EVO+, are based on electronics - passive components that are primarily intended to protect the device that conditioner delivers power to, and, secondly, to reduce vibrations and EMI and RFI interference. Both methods give different sonic results and have as many supporters as opponents.

    Idea | As it reads in the company materials (I will use them also in the further part of the description), the PC-3 SE EVO+ model has been equipped with filters with a different architecture than ones used in earlier GigaWatt products, and the elements used in it are more advanced and over-sized. Due to the increased efficiency of filter systems, they were assembled with a silver solder on massive PCBs containing four times more copper than in other models of this manufacturer. Double-layer printed circuits feature wide conducting paths made of silver-plated copper, with a total thickness of as much as 280 micrometers.

    The interference is damped by filtering blocs of RLC type, built around proprietary Audio Grade capacitors and Super-MSS (Sendust) core filters. In the conditioner there are no traditional protective elements, like thermal or blow fuses, which throttled the free flow of the current have a negative influence on the sound. The surge protection of the conditioner is provided by the starting block, which utilizes plasma spark-gaps, UltraMOV new generation varistors and an initial filter.

    Overload protection is provided by a hydraulic-magnetic switch from Carling Technologies, made in USA to a special specification from GigaWatt. This element controls the amount of current flowing through the internal circuits and additionally serves as the unit’s main power switch. All those elements working together with a well-made, contemporary power grid, guarantee a complex protection against surges and over-current.

    Indicators | In the central part of the front, there is an LED display indicating the voltage of the input current. The precise voltmeter is very resistant to distortion and measurement errors caused by upper harmonics, at the same time not generating any interference, which would impair the quality of the power filtered by the conditioner.

    The voltmeter display is red as standard, but is available in green, blue or white on demand. The conditioner is also equipped with an additional circuit signaling wrong connection to the power grid. Its action is indicated by a red LED on the back of the unit, which signals wrong polarity of the device or faulty grounding.

    Inside | Looking inside, one notices that the device has a typical for this manufacturer distribution of elements: in the front there are two “cans” with filters, the next one on the left, next to the inlet, and three more next to the outlets, identical looking, but featuring different elements, filters. They are optimized for the type of device they will supply: digital devices, analog devices and power amplifiers.

    GigaWatt describes it as follows:

    In the PC-3 SE EVO+ an innovative, two-stage current distribution system is used, a proprietary design of our company. It is based on massive third generation distribution rails, made from polished slabs of oxygen-free copper OFHCC 10100 with 99.995% purity.

    The first stage allows for lossless and even distribution of voltage to each of the filtering branches. The second stage provides current directly to each pair of output sockets via bolted and clamped connections as well as cabling with conductors with 4 QMM cross-section made from oxygen-free copper isolated with FEP Teflon. The star connection topology and high conductance combined with the 30 QMM cross-section of each of the rails allow for an uniform and stable power distribution regardless of the load on the individual outputs of the conditioner.

    The PC-3 SE EVO+ has six, high quality proprietary GigaWatt power sockets, with large surface contacts. The brass contacts of the sockets were subdued to the process of technical silver plating without usage of intermediate metals, like copper or nickel, which could introduce an unfavorable serial resistance and a voltage loss. The increased surface of the contacts and the thick layer of silver guarantee good contact with the plug pins. The sockets were additionally cryogenically modified and de-magnetized. The PC-3 SE EVO+ is equipped with the G-040 Schuko power sockets used in most European countries. To protect your children, those sockets can be equipped with automatic anti-surge protection (improved protection conform with VDE 0620).

    All GigaWatt products are covered by an insurance policy for the connected equipment, with a total insurance value of 1000000 PLN. The design and execution are first-rate and this is - I bet - one of the key factors that built the trust of foreign customers and distributor for this brand.

    Specifications (according to manufacturer):

    Available socket types: EU (Schuko), US (Nema 5-20R), AU (AS/NZS 3112)
    Line voltage: 220-240VAC 50/60Hz or 110-120VAC 50/60Hz
    Maximum output power : 3 680W
    Maximum current load: 16A
    Absorbed impulse current: 22,000A
    Dimensions (W x H x D): 440 x 115 x 400mm
    Gross weight: 16.2 kg



    - Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
    - Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
    - Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

    - Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE

    - Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
    - Power amplifier: Soulution 710
    - Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

    - Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
    - Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
    - Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
    - Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
    - Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
    - Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
    - Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

    - Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
    - USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
    - LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
    - Router: Liksys WAG320N
    - NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
    System I
    - Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
    System II
    - Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

    System I
    - Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
    - Power Line: power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m); wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
    System II
    - Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
    - Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
    - Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
    - Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
    - Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
    - Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

    - FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One