That a power supply does a lot, we know by now. But that a power supply can do so much to a PC…. damn. Who would have thought that! We really hear immediately that the whole sounds cleaner. And definately more calm, more detailed and larger.
Now it has to. Because let’s be honest: we go from a standard power supply of at most 100 Euros to a high-end power supply of 5250 Euros. If that is not immediately audible, then Jcat is doing something terribly wrong.
Extremely high level
Now we are already quite spoiled by the Alpha Audio PC with Jcat XE cards. That sounds clean, detail-rich and gives very good insight into the recordings. At times it may be a bit analytical, but your author likes that in a way.
With the Optimo S ATX power supply attached, it seems like the streamer has a better grip on the music. The whole thing feels more stable, more robust and much more controlled. It’s not directly that the sound balance shifts (that would be pretty crazy), but there is more calmness and less sharpness in the playback. And as a result, it’s easier to hear what’s going on. It takes less energy to listen deeply. Pretty addictive, frankly.
No PC anymore
We’ve been playing with the Jcat Optimo S ATX for a few weeks. It was part of quite a few tests during that time. The reason is that after a while we got completely used to this set-up. Partly because we didn’t feel like we were listening to a PC at all anymore, which of course we are. But well… Again: a streamer is also just a computer.
The Alpha Audio PC with all those modifications and now luxurious, linear power supply just sounds rock solid. Calmness, resolution, stability and fluidity…. it’s all there. But it does cost a lot of money. If we now start calculating, the total cost comes to 8500 Euros, where the power supply is by far the most expensive.
If we include the Mutec (not necessary, but fact is: it is our usb interface), then we arrive at 9600 Euros. A lot of money and in the same league as the high-end Aurenders, Lumins… et cetera. Then of course the question is: is this a competitor? Soundwise: yes … certainly. But first of all you have to know what you are doing in terms of software, hardware and maintenance; things can go wrong. And a second point is: you have to like computers… After all: this is not an all-in-one simple solution.