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JCAT USB cable


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#1 tonymt

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:32 AM

The long awaited JCAT USB cable arrived yesterday. Gave it a try last evening for 5 hours.

 

First off, understood that the true nature of an audio device should be judged after a proper burn-in, that means 50 - 300 hours. But seasoned audiophiles know well that the first strike sometimes tells the basic potential of a product. Positive first impression confirms if the route is right for the new device to be included into the chain (train up on this or one tends to waste a lot of time and money in undesirable stuffs). The burn-in then just fine tunes the balance until everything snaps in.

 

Story of usb cable should begin with my change from Acoustic Revive SP (with separation of power & signal) to Entreq Apollo 2012 combo (cable + Silver Earth wire + Silver minimus). The moment the latter started to sound, it's a clear knock-out. No comparison. Full stop. Further burn-in verified more of the first impression, that the difference gets wider still. Did a few times to put back Acoustic Revive but couldn't bear it any longer. There's no return.

 

The JCAT USB cable gave me a similar experience. Only this time it's a clear knock-out against Entreq Apollo 2012 combo! At first I couldn't believe it. I expected it at best a draw. Maybe the price of JCAT USB cable fooled me. Because having audio as hobby for 4 decades, the dictum 'Being expensive unequal to SQ. Good SQ never comes cheap' so deeply embedded. I listened to all the tracks that familiar with, including those demonstrations from Reference Recording, etc. and proves it's true. Don't get me wrong, I loved Entreq Apollo 2012 combo which beats mercilessly quite a good number of very famous, very expensive (than Entreq) USB cables. The main difference between JCAT & Entreq is in the timbre and harmonics of the musical instruments. Well balanced in the whole spectrum of frequency. So at first I felt the same musicians are playing much more relaxed and slower. With larger scale of orchestration e.g. Mahler & Bruckner Symphonies, not one tag of congestion traced. This is also the first time, with my Stax SR-009, I feel the brass and vocal sounds a bit like horn loudspeakers! Horn? With electrostat? YES.

 

Bottom line: Don't believe anything I just said. In audio we should only trust our own ears. But with a modest 300euro, what much have got to lose? /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-cool.gif

 

Tony
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#2 germay0653

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:20 AM

Mine arrived yesterday also and I had very a very similar experience.  My first impressions are sound stage is absolutely three dimensional, almost ethereal.  Instruments and voices are more precisely placed in space and their sound pressure levels, in relation to each other, seem to be more accurate.  Timbre is more realistic and full.

 

If this is what comes from a first listen, I can't wait for this bad boy to break-in.  Next up will be the SATA cables. /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif

Edited by germay0653, 13 September 2013 - 01:21 PM.

Fanless Case - HD-PLEX H5 V2, HD-PLEX 100W LPS to 250W DC-ATX converter, MB - ASUS MAXIMUS VII GENE, CPU - I7-4785T, Disk - OS: Plextor M6e Series 256GB M.2 PCIe, Music: Samsung 840 EVO 1TB, 16 GB G.Skill TridentX 2666 MHz 10-12-12-31 PC3-21300, USB - JPlay JCAT USB Card, LH Labs X Infinity DAC


#3 aleg

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:33 AM

Could everybody put in their impressions what usb cable they were using before? Improvements are always relative to what was used before, so that information could provide us with some context to asses the resulting improvements.

Edited by aleg, 13 September 2013 - 01:47 PM.

AudioPC
HDPLEX H5.S Fanless PC Case; picoPSU-150-XT; Intel DH87RL; Intel i7-4770T; Crucial SSD M500 120GB
16GB G.Skill Trident-X DDR3-1600 (F3-1600C7D-16GTX); Maplin XM21X Linear PSU;
Windows Server 2012 R2 Core with Signature 1A of v1.22 Audio-optimiser
Connection
Direct Cable Connection via Cat.7 (AQ Cinnamon 75cm); Acousense GISO GB; via Cat.7 (AQ Cinnamon 75cm);
ControlPC
HDPLEX H3.S Fanless PC Case; picoPSU-150-XT; Gigabyte Z77N-Wifi; Intel i5-3750T; Samsung 840 series Pro 128GB
16GB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) (CML16GX3M2A1600C10B); Maplin XM21X Linear PSU;
Windows Server 2012 R2 Core with Signature 1A of v1.22 Audio-optimiser
DAC
via JCat USB cable into Sonicweld Diverter HR2 via Naim DC-1 COAX into Naim DAC + XPS-2
HiFi
via AR Sound Lunar into AcourateCleaner via AR Sound Lunar into Naim NAC-282, NAIM NAP-155XS, Wilson Benesch Square Two
Music
stored on ZFS NAS (OmniOS) in MS-stereo and DRC convolved format with Acourate and AcourateNAS

#4 germay0653

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:18 PM

I was using a DIY solid OCC silver cable, a Stefan AudioArt custom USB and a Furutech GT2.

Fanless Case - HD-PLEX H5 V2, HD-PLEX 100W LPS to 250W DC-ATX converter, MB - ASUS MAXIMUS VII GENE, CPU - I7-4785T, Disk - OS: Plextor M6e Series 256GB M.2 PCIe, Music: Samsung 840 EVO 1TB, 16 GB G.Skill TridentX 2666 MHz 10-12-12-31 PC3-21300, USB - JPlay JCAT USB Card, LH Labs X Infinity DAC


#5 Marcin_gps

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 09:13 AM

Hi Guys,    Thanks for the first impressions. I'm glad you like it! :) Looking forward to reading more comments! Cheers, Marcin   PS I used EntreQ Apollo 2012+Minimus too in the past ;)

#6 Mike Gillespie

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:13 PM

Marcin,   is there a 2 week trial and money back return policy?   Does Paul Pang ship them from Hong Kong for do you ship from Poland?   Thanks.

#7 aleg

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:12 AM

Hello to all I did some a-b ing today with JCat USB vs. Tranparent Performance USB JCat is definitely the better one. First impressions about the noticeable differences: 1. JCat has better control in all frequency ranges giving more insight in the texture of the sound, the micro details of the sound. Transparent is by comparison more slick and thick sounding, giving the impression of more warmth but is in fact lack of detail. JCat has more luster and sprinkle to the sound. 2. JCat is capable of continuing musical lines that are diminishing to very low volume level, you can still hear and follow them even at very low volume. Transparent is struggling a bit with keeping these very low volume passages alive and continuous. I'm astonished these kind of improvements are possible in a transport cable in the digital domain. Maybe jCat is also making it possible to hear the quality of the Sonicweld Diverter better than the Transparent could, though even with the Transparent there was a substantial improvement already. JCat USB is a highly recommended cable on my part. Cheers Aleg
AudioPC
HDPLEX H5.S Fanless PC Case; picoPSU-150-XT; Intel DH87RL; Intel i7-4770T; Crucial SSD M500 120GB
16GB G.Skill Trident-X DDR3-1600 (F3-1600C7D-16GTX); Maplin XM21X Linear PSU;
Windows Server 2012 R2 Core with Signature 1A of v1.22 Audio-optimiser
Connection
Direct Cable Connection via Cat.7 (AQ Cinnamon 75cm); Acousense GISO GB; via Cat.7 (AQ Cinnamon 75cm);
ControlPC
HDPLEX H3.S Fanless PC Case; picoPSU-150-XT; Gigabyte Z77N-Wifi; Intel i5-3750T; Samsung 840 series Pro 128GB
16GB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) (CML16GX3M2A1600C10B); Maplin XM21X Linear PSU;
Windows Server 2012 R2 Core with Signature 1A of v1.22 Audio-optimiser
DAC
via JCat USB cable into Sonicweld Diverter HR2 via Naim DC-1 COAX into Naim DAC + XPS-2
HiFi
via AR Sound Lunar into AcourateCleaner via AR Sound Lunar into Naim NAC-282, NAIM NAP-155XS, Wilson Benesch Square Two
Music
stored on ZFS NAS (OmniOS) in MS-stereo and DRC convolved format with Acourate and AcourateNAS

#8 Mike Gillespie

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:22 AM

Thanks, Aleg.

Any one compare this Jcat to the highly thought of (at least, on the  Jplay forums) Revelations Cryo-Silver™ Reference DualConduit™ USB 2.0 Digital Link cable? 

http://revelationaud........gital/#USB

 

A friend with a very hi-end system found the ifi iUSB and their double conduit USB the best he'd ever heard.  So I'm wondering whether it really pays to isolate the power and the data.   Cable designer friends who don't do this, say with double shielding, it's unnecessary and it can all be within one cable.  This seems to be Paul Pang's attitude as well.

Edited by Mike Gillespie, 15 September 2013 - 11:24 AM.


#9 Marcin_gps

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:07 PM

Mike Gillespie said:

Marcin,

 

is there a 2 week trial and money back return policy?

 

Does Paul Pang ship them from Hong Kong for do you ship from Poland?

 

Thanks.

Hi Mike, 


Yes, there is. But please note that shipping and custom fee is on customer's side. 
I ship cables from Poland.  

Cheers,
Marcin 

#10 DaveOPS

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 03:11 AM

I'm wondering if there will be a version of the JCAT USB cable that has no power leg. There are a lot of DACs like the Auralic Vega, Metrum HEX, Empirical Overdrive, etc that don't use the Vbus at all, and cutting the Vbus line is always beneficial for DACs that don't need it. I know the SoTM card and the Empirical Short Block can cut it, but those products don't work with everything, and as far as I know there's no way to cut the power signal from something like the PPA Studio USB card.

#11 Marcin_gps

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:18 PM

No, but you can always use a small piece of duct tape to cover the +5V USB pin.  Cheers, Marcin 

#12 lyndonlim

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:39 AM

That is some serious price $500 Aussie dollars or $400 plus usd dollars for a USB cable so it had better be very very good compared to the $70 USB cable I bought from Elijah audio. For a little bit more money you can purchase a whole Hifi component.

#13 Larry

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

Okay Okay lyndonlim, we heard you the first time ;)

Edited by Larry, 20 September 2013 - 04:04 PM.

PC : Fanless PC, Win 8.1, CPU i7 2600K, Samsung 840 pro SSD in sata 2, 8GB 1600 Mhz, JCAT sata+ USB card  

Hifi : Auralic Vega DAC + Harmony Ear 909, Audioquest diamond USB, Heed Obelisk PRE/PS/PX, KEF LS50

Power : Nordost Heimdall 2, Nordost QBase4, Nordost Blue Heaven, Furutech Evolution, Shunyata Black Mamba, JCat battery PSU   

#14 goon-heaven

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:06 PM

Perhaps if it is said often enough, the price becomes more acceptable?

#15 Mike Gillespie

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:13 PM

Marcin, is there much of a difference between buying Paul Pang's best USB cable off his web site or buying your JCAT cable?.    Maybe you could mention some of the differences in this thread.   For example, if Paul is sending me stuff, maybe it's cheaper to get it from him and save on the shipping…   But if it's a different cable — and yours is significantly better — then that savings may be illusory.   Also, I encourage as many users as possible of the JCAT usb cable (and other JCAT products) to write their impressions here and mention what they were using before. 

Edited by Mike Gillespie, 20 September 2013 - 04:20 PM.


#16 lyndonlim

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:59 PM

Yeah sorry I did not mean to post 3 times but somehow it just showed up three times despite me only hitting once. I guess the return if you are not happy offer really does guarantee satisfaction and that alone will get many people to at least trial the product....but gosh it's still pretty full on price for just a USB cable....considering a jkenny spdif converter is around the same price and that's a whole component. If it is indeed the best USB cable in the world then it may be worthwhile but if the proposition is based on its better than a $1000 USB cable and therefore it's good value is just pretty daft because not many people would fork out a grand for a USB cable when the whole computer audio wave is so rapidly advancing and transient.

#17 Hifidelit

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:13 AM

Mike

Paul has posted about the differences, I amended his text for my site and said he could use it on his:

PPA Red USB Cable

http://ppastudio.blo........cable.html

You can blame me for gray becoming grey!

#18 Mike Gillespie

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:14 AM

thanks, Hifidelit.

#19 Marcin_gps

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 09:24 AM

lyndonlim, there are cheaper cables, that's true, but if one aims for best sound quality, he won't be disappointed with our cables. We'd love to offer the cables in more affordable prices, but unfortunately it's not possible.    Mike, JCAT will perform better than the Red model, hence the difference in price. Cheers, Marcin 

#20 gavtron

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

lyndonlim said:

Yeah sorry I did not mean to post 3 times but somehow it just showed up three times despite me only hitting once.

I guess the return if you are not happy offer really does guarantee satisfaction and that alone will get many people to at least trial the product....but gosh it's still pretty full on price for just a USB cable....considering a jkenny spdif converter is around the same price and that's a whole component. If it is indeed the best USB cable in the world then it may be worthwhile but if the proposition is based on its better than a $1000 USB cable and therefore it's good value is just pretty daft because not many people would fork out a grand for a USB cable when the whole computer audio wave is so rapidly advancing and transient.

Hi Lyndonlim,

 

The JCat cable isn't anywhere near as expensive as the high end entreq cable!

 

If you order the jcat cable let me know and we can compare it to the Revelation Audio Labs USB cable I have. 

Cheers,

gav.




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