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  • JCAT USB Card XE Reviews

       (1 review)
    Manufacturer: JCAT
    Model: USB Card XE
    Price $: 800

    The USB Audio output for High-End USB DACs.

     

    The pinnacle of JCAT’s engineering and experience. State-of-the-art linear power supplies combined with latest generation high-precision Emerald OCXO offering ±5ppb stability deliver unmatched performance and set a new benchmark in USB Audio playback.

     

     

    SPECIFICATION:

      • PCI Express USB Card for High-End Audio
      • Plug & Play in any PC or mini PC with a PCIe slot
      • Extreme sound quality improvement for any USB DAC or USB-DDC
      • State-of-the-art LT3045 linear regulators and filters eliminate noise interferences from a PC
      • No switching power supplies anywhere
      • State-of-the-art ±0.005 (±5 ppb) stability Emerald OCXO (oven controlled oscillator) delivers the most stable timing in the presence of environmental stressors such as airflow, temperature perturbation, vibration, shock, and electromagnetic interference (EMI)
      • Highest quality industrial grade components with operating temperature range from -40*C to +85*C
      • Next generation low latency & low noise ASM3142 USB 3.1 host controller
      • Gold plated high durability EMI shielded USB connectors
      • Two High-End USB Audio outputs supporting Low Speed (1.5 Mbps), Full-Speed (12 Mbps), Hi-Speed (480 Mbps) and Super-Speed (5 Gbps) data rates
      • Supports all lossless formats and sample rates
      • External PSU option eliminates computer as the source of power for lowest noise & best sound quality (requirements for the PSU: 5V/1A min)
      • 5V PSU can be supplied via 2.1/5.5mm center-positive DC jack connector or via LP4 molex connector (Linear Power Supply recommended for best SQ)
      • Both full-size and low-profile laser cut PCI-e brackets included
      • All x1-x16 lane PCI Express 2.0 slots supported
      • Supported operating systems: Windows (all editions), Linux, Mac OS (10.16 or later)

     

     

    Manufacturer's product page: https://jcat.eu/product/usb-card-xe/



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    Mellowman

       7 of 7 members found this review helpful 7 / 7 members

    The new JCAT USB XE card arrived this afternoon.

     

    Honestly, having worked for years on the development of various music servers, the latter by implementing colossal means (especially in terms of dedicated power supplies), I thought I had reached a kind of  "Nirvana" sound, and did not really know how I could go even further, the listening results being already superlative.

     

    Also, my curiosity was piqued when Marcin O announced the release of a new USB card, adding to the range of excellent JCAT products, of which I have happily used several elements for many years.

     

    So I was one of the first to order it, eager to check for myself if it was able to further improve my system, and if so, how?

     

    Once integrated into CARUSO (http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/3320-no-dual-pc-but-single-pc-in-double-chassis/), replacing the excellent FEMTO, I start the machine in order to finalize the software installation, update the dedicated driver (via Snappy Driver), relaunch Audiophile Optimizer 3 and particularly, check that I all audio settings have not changed.

     

    Finally, I can listen to a first track!

     

    The card is cold, has no burn in. Despite this, the result is already higher than the one obtained by the FEMTO USB card coupled to the JCAT USB Isolator:

     

    ·         What first jumps to my ears: the sound stage is further back!

    ·         This is accompanied by better placement in depth, combined with better precision in the placement of instruments.

    ·         We can hear even better the information concerning the room where the recording was made

    ·         The quality of the tones, already excellent before, is also progressing, especially in the grain of the strings (cellos and double basses).

    ·         The benchmark pieces are linked and confirm that the gain is noticeable on very different musical styles!

     

     These first impressions confirm that Marcin OSTAPOWICZ is a leader in the dematerialized music field, and one of the very few working in both the software and hardware fields.

     

     

    Thinking of getting the most out of your DAC? Well... you will have to revise your judgment, because the JCAT XE USB card still pushes the limits away.

     

    This confirms that it is essential to take care of its source, as far upstream as possible, because what does not come out at this level can never be recreated downstream, whatever the quality of your DAC.

     

     

    So yes, in my opinion, the JCAT XE USB card is an almost essential purchase, and its price seems largely justified, in view of what it brings.

     

    PS: My tests having been made with a very high-end linear power supply (proprietary and not marketed) I strongly encourage you to feed it with the new OPTIMO 3 DUO, from JCAT of course, since it was developed for make the most of JCAT cards

     

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