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Best Audiophile USB Card ?

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16 hours ago, internethandle said:



Wondering if anyone has experience using a JCAT USB XE with a USB reclocker/conditioner like a SOtM-tXUSBultra or a Innuous Phoenix. I know that Marcin is cautious about using the XE with any such device and instead recommends direct to DAC, but would like to hear from anyone who has heard a combination. Currently I have a JCAT Femto USB into a SOtM tx-USBultra Special Edition, and am eyeing the JCAT USB XE as an upgrade. The SOtM clearly performs better to my ears with the JCAT Femto than with a motherboard port or a Paul Pang V2 USB card, but the Femto card performs less well on its own direct into DAC (both powered by Paul Hynes Design SR4T).

Thank you!


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23 minutes ago, internethandle said:

Thanks for the reply, logical that the clock board and the JCAT XE having synergy in your case might translate to synergy in my case, given that the same board is sort of the “heart” of the tx-USBultra.


Care to comment on how big a jump you felt it was from Femto to XE in terms of SQ?

Although I did not write notes on differences I recall noticing certain type of cleanness immediately even upon installing it vs the USB Femto. I recall the latter sounding more dense, in a thicker way and few steps lower on resolution. Burn-in took about a week, though  I recall Marcin recommended 200+ hours.

I would think to say if one looks to getting enthusiast improving digital source and unleashing potential on DAC side, USB XE is good to have. For enthusiasts with several thousands on gear it's a bargain move after selling USB Femto.

For one to have as first computer based audiophile product it can be a lot of money, though I share your opinion of motherboard USB out. On my system piano for example sounds just crap. Full of weird resonance/distortion. Heard that same effect on local fella's system with Rockna Wavedream DAC from his PC source.


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  • 3 weeks later...
57 minutes ago, darkfrank said:


I almost have the same feeling when comparing the JCAT XE with the Pinkfaun Ultra OCXO. PF has more dynamic contrast and richer analogue tone while JCAT is more laid-back and calm.

I’d agree with that impression as well - I had the pink faun ultra clock spdif card at one point, one of the best sources I’ve had, however the performance is probably similar to one of the recent state of the art DDCs you can now get (e.g Singxer SU-6).  Knowing what input your DAC works best with is definitely the more important aspect.

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  • 1 year later...

I am working on a new card at the moment (listening to it as I type) and plan to provide an update after posting here about my earlier USB RealStream card :D


Its been something of a mission, like many of us, I have always found USB to be "broken" to a greater or lesser extent for high end audio. I first started using and working with USB in 2007 and have been gritting my teeth listening to its digital signature stamped on music since then :(. The technical challenge of streaming over USB in really high fidelity systems is without question a many headed beast. Just look at threads here on Audiophilestyle and the countless threads elsewhere discussing what might be happening to fragile music streams as they are piped from server/streamer to DAC over USB. Finally eighteen months ago for me it had to be either fix it or look to other standards for an interface. An objective since then has been to create a genuinely transparent USB interface regardless of the work required. And, I think its finally done :o .


The card will be PCIe but unfortunately it has to function a part of a broader system with bespoke interfaces so it cannot be made generally available. Sorry. It will be a recognisable PCIE card though in a few months, so I will post some pictures here when its finished. I hope they will be of interest.




OAudio Ltd.

OAudio Supreme - music server.

OAudio RealStream - digital audio components.


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