JCAT Initio 3
Price: $885 (Dual output)
INITIO 3, like OPTIMO 3 DUO, delivers life-like natural sound. Designed and fine-tuned with only the highest audio quality in mind, INITIO 3 will greatly improve sonic performance of JCAT USB & NET cards or any other low-current audio component requiring up to 3A.
Build & Specification
- Based on flagship OPTIMO 3 DUO design, INITIO 3 comes with two DC outputs and is built around the same JCAT proprietary Linear Voltage Regulator board and JCAT ultra-fast low noise rectifier
- Truly 100% linear design utilizing state-of-the-art linear voltage regulators guarantees stable operation and superb measured performance
- Available with 5V or 12V DC outputs
- Bespoke power transformer with magnetic and electrical shielding is sealed with epoxy resin which greatly reduces harmful vibrations and improves sound quality
- Equipped with only premium quality components – all capacitors, sockets and connectors are of quality that you would expect from a JCAT product
- Comes standard with one shielded audio-grade DC cable in 1.2m length (extra DC cable is available at additional cost). Substantial 0.8mm2 cross section of conductors ensures proper energy transfer to load
- DC connectors can be customized to match customer’s device at no additional cost
- Chassis made of single sheet of bended steel ensures high rigidity and low mechanical resonance while anodized aluminum front adds elegance
- INITIO 3 features multiple protection mechanisms to guarantee safe and trouble-free operation for many years.
- Manufactured in EU with 110-240V AC input.
The Initio 3 is the JCAT Optimo 3’s younger brother. And there is a sonic resemblance which I’ll get into. Both supplies are in the upper range of the price per rail at $885.
The Initio 3’s signature is fair simply to describe. It’s a heavy molded sound that is intimate and solid. It amplifies certain textural cues but smooths over some of the subtleties. It has a really good low-end response, so percussive instruments sound very tangible and full-formed.
Similar to its bigger brother, the Initio carries a similarly darker tone. I definitely prefer this type of sound over an analytical or neutral one. Keep in mind, this tone is ever-present in every recording and you’ll notice it over longer listening sessions. You have to really enjoy a darker tone.
Although not particularly spacious sounding, the soundstage does feel pretty wide. But not very deep. It has a good balance of density and texture. But is a little less expressive or tangible when it comes to powerful transients. It won’t present notes with lightning speed. The Initio 3 just contextualizes the music in a more physically corporeal manner.
Overall, not a lot of spatial clarity. You won’t hear the inner details or feel that it’s a speedy power supply. The Initio 3 effectively puts a dark coating over everything and makes it enjoyable to listen to.
The highs are a little choked and the tonal balance is skewed towards the lower midrange. Textural information is sometimes indistinguishable between different bodies. The soundstage is also more intimate, especially behind the speakers.
Who Should Buy the JCAT Initio 3 Linear Power Supply?
First, you’re going to have to completely be enthralled by a thick-coated dark sound. Because you’ll hear a lot of it. Also, your preference will have to be with a more liquid and mellow signature. If you want the impression of having denser bodies in front of you, but can’t step up to the JCAT Optimo 3, the Initio 3 may be a great fit.
vs. JCAT Optimo 3 Duo
- The Initio 3 is not as dark or rich as the Optimo
- Initio 3 is more laid back and leaner than the Optimo
- Optimo has more depth and is much more dynamic
- Optimo has more top-end energy. Initio is more mellow.
vs. HDPLEX 300W
- Initio 3 has more bass
- Initio 3 has more body and is smoother
- HDPLEX has more rawness and lower level textures