The mains switch is a hydraulic/magnetic circuit breaker from Carling first popularized by Sound Application for hifi use. GigaWatt source theirs from Carling's costliest range and in this form have it custom-made. It replaces the far inferior current-strangling protective wire or thermal fuses which typically perform this task in even very costly high-power amps. To make the point, the Carling switch is rated for 25A of constant current and capable of peaks exceeding 70A. This explains why the power inlet wouldn't be a conventional IEC either but rather, a 32A professional locking PowerCon with silver-plated contacts.

This creates 3 x the continuous load capacity of competitors using a traditional IEC. It also means a specially terminated 1.5m cord which GigaWatt provide as part of this package. Continuous power output on 220-240V lines is 3'680VA. Impulse current absorption (the damaging over-currents the unit can dissipate) is 40'000A. Overvoltage protection is via plasma spark gaps and UltraMOV varistors. GigaWatt insure connected equipment for up to €250'000. The Evo delivers power across three banks of proprietary GigaWatt outlets: four sockets for sources and digital gear; four for line-level analog; four for high-current kit. Each branch is fronted by a parallel filter tailored to the intended gear. For max current potential, power distribution is via high-purity massive cathode copper bars such as you see in Soulution amplifiers; and GigaWatt's proprietary duplex receptacles. Except here, those solid-metal rails of 30mm² cross section are heavily silver-clad.

Add cryogenic treatment of most contacts; a very precise line-voltage display (red standard, blue or green optional); a power polarity indicator for the IEC; a heavy non-magnetic casing with black or silver fascia... and you've got the essentials of the component-sized component-weight GigaWatt PC-4 EVO DCB. Of course there's more to it. For that, simply go to their website. As mentioned already, DCB stands for DC blocker*. That is an optional filter module which blocks DC components on the power line. Those desymmetrize the AC waveform and can cause transformer cores to hum. As my experiments and ownership of Vibex DC filters have shown, proper DC filtering can be enormously beneficial even on components whose transformers have never hummed before.

As a reminder of what €5'130 with LC-3 power cord buy you from GigaWatt; or €6'000 with their top-line cord - check out this shot of their PC-3 EVO SE I reviewed two years ago. We see the silver-clad power distribution bars, the potted surge module to the left with the three discrete filter banks next which each feed a power duplex, primary filter blocks in the front, all primary connections made via bolts and cold-forged crimps.

Below we see examples of the PC-3's digital filter with nano-crystal core; and its anti-surge module. Circuit traces on the PC-4's boards are extra width and thickness to continue the overall theme of high current delivery (examples of plasma spark gaps at left).

* Pricing for the pre-installed DC blocker module is as follows: €900 for the PC-4 EVO; €600 for the PC-3/SE EVO, €300 for the PC-1/2 ECO. Retrofitted, it becomes €1'350 for the PC-4 EVO , €1'050 for the PC3/SE EVO and €750 for the PC1/2 EVO.

On the subject of PC-3SE vs. PC-4, Adam had this: "They are quite different power conditioners - built differently, with different parts and materials. Our top model also gets a different DC offset module than all the others. It's the only one to use double-sided PCB with 550µm two-layer thickness silvered copper traces, hi-flux filter cores, a 2-pole rather than 1-pole Carling switch, the 32A PowerCon inlet, the austenitic ultra-rigid stainless steel chassis, twelve rather than six or fewer outlets, the 2-pole 25A power relay with 6'500VA breaking capacity, the 32'000A UltraMOV varistors and the ultra-high capacity double power buffer with power factor improvement. Whilst it shares the bituminous vibration absorption lining with the PC-3SE, it adds solid aluminium anti-vibration feet." Now let's take the pictorial tour to inspect this litany of luxury close up.