JCAT Optimo 3 Duo
Price: $1,770 (Dual rail, single voltage each)
Build & Specification
- Culmination of years of research and fine-tuning, OPTIMO 3 DUO, equipped with JCAT proprietary technologies, delivers astonishing sonic performance
- Each unit is custom made for specific voltages to ensure absolute best sound quality
- Features two independent galvanically isolated DC outputs. Each of the two JCAT proprietary Linear Voltage Regulator boards is capable of delivering up to 3A to load and powering two separate hi-fi devices without any loss in audio quality
- Truly 100% linear design utilizing state-of-the-art linear voltage regulators guarantee extreme sonic and measured performance. The noise at OPTIMO 3 DUO’s output is below measuring range (< 2uV)
- Bespoke massive low-induction 100VA power transformer with magnetic and electrical shielding, sealed with epoxy resin, was selected for absolute best sound and noiseless operation
- JCAT proprietary ultra fast low noise rectifier
- OPTIMO 3 DUO utilizes only supreme quality components, carefully selected for best sonic properties during long listening sessions
- Chassis made of thick sheet of stainless steel ensures high rigidity and low mechanical resonance while anodized aluminum front adds elegance
- Comes with two extremely high quality 1.2m PC-OCC 0.7mm² double shielded DC cables for lossless transmition of power
- DC connectors can be customized to match customer’s device at no additional cost
- OPTIMO 3 DUO features multiple protection mechanisms to guarantee safe and trouble-free operation for many years
- Weight: 13.2 lbs
- Dimensions: 31 x 19.5 9.5 cm
The JCAT Optimo 3 Duo took quite some hours to break in. Initially, it was a little cold and after keeping it on for one to two weeks, it took on a completely different sound: dark.
The Optimo isn’t tonally variant. It’s a “one color” sound but it’s a nice dark one. I prefer this over neutral or cool. But understand neither sound natural or close to the more golden and soulful “brown.” But if I had to choose, I would go for the darker fantasy. In my opinion, this is still more musical than something light gray and neutral.
This is one of the darkest sounding power supplies in this lineup. Think moody, rich, creamy, dark chocolate. But what makes it interesting is that it’s also very quiet with good focus. The Optimo 3 Duo has a wonderful balance of musicality, dynamics, and sparkle. Not to mention an ample amount of room-shaking bass and a large and deep soundstage.
As far as imaging, it delineates very well but the outlines aren’t hyper-tight. Instead, there’s a silky bloom to edges and transients. It’s more elegant and “sticky” than it is razor-sharp and crisp. The jumbo’ed sound isn’t the most natural but it’s dynamically rigid. And with an optimistic spotlight, it actually makes lyrics more intelligible and easier to isolate the performers. Especially when recordings have many complex tracks. The sound is forward, meaty, and still very “musical” to my ears.
Percussions in particular have a lot of extrusion and force. And as a result more material presence and a pronounced gravity. Plenty of heavyweight drumming, all the clangy and bangy goodness of cymbals, and rumble from the bottom octaves. As far as bass, the Optimo 3 Duo has plenty of horsepower here.
Overall the Optimo 3 Duo power supply has fantastic midrange and low-end poise – with a splash of shine. It’s tilted towards a darker and more tangible sound. Which offers a grounded and more palpable listening experience. Overall a very effortless power supply. In a way, it’s a “safe sound” because it sugarcoats many of the bad digital harshnesses. You miss some of the HiFi bits – but it’s a romantically alluring and harmonically rich sound. This power supply’s tonal color is inked deeply and sounds heavier on its feet. You get the point.
The biggest drawback of the Optimo is that it’s not particularly resolving or airy. But those elements aren’t completely absent. Just not prioritized. The fibers and strings are more coalesced. Which makes for a more wholesome sound that should work well with rock, hip hop, and soul (what I typically listen to).
The broad strokes of darkness do get old at times. Every song encompasses that deep tonal color and there isn’t a lot of variation. So at times, I’ll miss some of those musical fibers.
vs. JCAT Initio 3 Duo
- Optimo has more resolution
- Optimo has more texture
- Optimo has better bass quality. But both are quite punchy.
vs. Paul Hynes SR7
- Optimo has more molding
- The SR7 is “technically” superior to the Optimo 3 Duo. It just does more HiFi things.
- Optimo 3 Duo has better tonality.
vs. Mojo Audio Illuminati v3
- Optimo has slightly less punchy bass, but it’s tighter.
- Optimo is far darker
- Illuminati v3 has a more “live” sound while the Optimo is more grounded and solid.
vs. Sean Jacobs DC4
- DC4 has better realistic molding. The Optimo isnt’ nearly as congealed or molded.
- The DC4 spreads the performers out at a more natural distance while the Optimo 3 is a bit more intimate.
- Optimo 3 has a smaller soundstage. DC4 also has much more depth.
- The DC4 has this “believability” because of its ability to shape out the music with precision.
- Optimo 3 Duo has more pop, shine, and atmosphere. DC4 sounds a bit dull in comparison.
- Optimo 3 Duo has more weighty bass and overall more grunt on the low-end.
- DC4 delineates and layers much better. The Optimo 3 Duo is a little softer.
- Optimo’s tonality is truer and more natural
- Optimo is able to unravel certain textural cues better. It’s a little smoothed over on the DC4.
- The DC4 is far superior with the technical abilities.
vs. Paul Hynes SR7
- SR7 has better realistic molding
- Optimo 3 has a much warmer and more natural tone
- Optimo 3 Duo has more texture and vividness.
- SR7 has more “music going on.” More nuance and tonal shifts.
vs. HDPLEX 300W
- The Optimo 3 Duo sounds kind of like a darker HDPLEX 300W.
- Optimo has a slightly fuller and more solid sound.
- Optimo layers out the music better
vs. Fidelizer Nikola2
- The Optimo 3 Duo is much more assertive and does so with more weight and confidence. You could feel the music more with the Optimo.
- Optimo has much better sub-bass response.
- Fidelizer’s tone is truer to real life
- Nikola2 has more high spirited playing and radiance