To review the PC-2 EVO+, I used the Polish Sveda Audio Blipo active monitors, my Swiss Boenicke W8 speakers and the British Trilogy 925 integrated amplifier. As per usual, LampizatOr's Golden Gate handled D/A conversion and volume when needed and was itself fed by an Asus UX305LA. The main opponent of my loaner was GigaWatt's own PF-2 fronted by its LS-2 Mk2 power cord. Since the PC-2 EVO+ arrived with the LC3 Mk3+ cord and these two were designed to work together, I kept them together. My initial agenda was straightforward. At first Sveda Audio's Blipo monitors connected to my reference DAC. This minimalist, fully balanced, exceptionally versatile and generally impressive setup is very easy to play with. Both power strip and conditioner connected via their cords to a separate power spur also by GigaWatt: LC-Y Mk3+ 3X4 in-wall cable, G-C20A circuit breaker, G-044 duplex wall socket. To switch between PF-2 and PC-2 EVO+, three cables had to trade places. This took two minutes tops.

The initial assumption was that the PC-2 EVO+ would turn out to be the even more effective noise filter though otherwise similar. Hence expectations were modest and somewhere in tweak not major overhaul land. From my safe starting point, things escalated rapidly. The very revealing Blipo monitors swiftly and eagerly showcased several major differences between the two GigaWatt products. If we assume that compared to a regular wall socketry, the several-years-old PF-2 power strip renders the sound less grainy and inherently more orderly, then yes, the PC-2 EVO+ pushed in the same direction. Yet it did so much more.

The longer I switched between the two, the clearer it became that they weren't similar at all. As a product developed mainly for the pro sector, the Sveda Audio monitors are very potent at revealing a recording's mastering quality as well as any changes in one's hardware. Their reaction to the GigaWatt PC-2 EVO+ was far greater than expected. Shortly after switching from my reference power strip, the sound got beefier and perceptively louder though I can't verify whether the latter was actual since I took no measurements. When I played tracks with a strong bass foundation, it was very obvious how the downstairs department had grown gutsier, more muscular and a bit deeper. Let's invoke "Sabrina" by Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Lorde's "Royals" or "Gambling House Massacre" from the fabulous Zatoichi flick. These all flaunt well-developed bass lines and the more extended heavier low end attributable to the PC-2 EVO+ was on central display. The same repeated itself with acoustic bass like various drums on Wardruna, Danheim, Kodo and more. Although recorded average at best, a generous section of the Celloverse LP by 2Cellos showcased the same. The obvious conclusion had to be that the new model improved the bass regardless of what instrument and type produced it.

Past the first hour of critical listening, my PF-2 power strip wasn't just leaner but also a bit jumpier. This was audible especially on synth bass. Several tracks from the Nine Inch Nails Ghosts LP and some by How To Destroy Angels—a side project by the same front man—showed it. A good part of Trent Reznor's work is recorded and mastered above average so this observation wasn't related to production values. That's why for a good while I was certain that the PF-2 held a dynamic edge over the PC-2 EVO+ on dynamics. The key to getting to the bottom of this were more acoustic instruments.

The Kodo drums on "Daraijin" from the Mondo Head LP are of various sizes and as such deliver different pitch, scale and tension. The PC-2 EVO+ was rather more generous with their textures which, on some recordings, masked the musical momentum. With something as direct, quick and uncompressed as big Taiko drums however, the bigger power conditioner easily bested its smaller sibling. The more I drowned in either minimalist instrumental arrangements or big orchestral pieces, the more it became apparent. This mapped more generous bass texturing. Yet there was more. The PC-2 EVO+ elevated the same aspect also in the upper range, across the board in fact. Because of this pigment injection, my old power strip seemed a fair bit less saturated and flat by contrast.