Jump to content
IGNORED

Innuos Zenith SE MkII


rickca
 Share

Recommended Posts

It's time for a dedicated thread for this product ... rather than adding yet another topic to the 'novel way' thread.

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think we yet know of anyone who's heard one. One member is about to get one and I'm sure he will report. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am presently auditioning the standard version of the Zenith Mk II feeding my Devialet D250-Pro (core upgraded) and like it a lot via USB. Just using a Belkin gold USB cable for now. I can not use a direct ethernet connection which was a better sounding connection before the core upgrade. Hopefully Devialet comes up with a firmware update which will make that possible again. 

I am contemplating to get the SE version  (7K vs 4K) but I have not seen any report of a direct comparison. Presently I am tending to get the standard version (wait time or SE is 2-3month). I am assuming that server technology will progress as it a relative new product class so even the SE will bettered in a few years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, monteverdi said:

I am presently auditioning the standard version of the Zenith Mk II feeding my Devialet D250-Pro (core upgraded) and like it a lot via USB. Just using a Belkin gold USB cable for now. I can not use a direct ethernet connection which was a better sounding connection before the core upgrade. Hopefully Devialet comes up with a firmware update which will make that possible again. 

I am contemplating to get the SE version  (7K vs 4K) but I have not seen any report of a direct comparison. Presently I am tending to get the standard version (wait time or SE is 2-3month). I am assuming that server technology will progress as it a relative new product class so even the SE will bettered in a few years.

 

 

I'm curious,  what did you use before the  Zenith Mk II as a way of comparison?

NUC 7i3 (ROCK) > Ghent Audio Lan cable > SOtM sMS-200 (+Uptone LPS-1) >  0.2m Curious USB cable > Singxer F1 (usb to spdif) > 0.5m XLO digital cable > Audiolab 8000 Dac (25 years old) > Trends Audio 10.1 Integrated Amp > Kef 103/4 speakers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used a Macbook Pro (only for streaming recently), a CD transport (Pro-ject CD box RS) and the best sound from a SDtrans 384 (a semi DIY SD card player with voltage regulated battery PS). The sound quality is in any respect significant better than the CD transport and on par with the SDtrans (that is with not even excellent cables were as the SD trans is via very good SPDIF cables).

Streaming is now possible direct to my Devialet via WiFi for Spotify (and hopefully soon for other services) and that sounds quite better than Spotify via Innous. So likely I will use the Innous mostly as a file player and not much for streaming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, matthias said:

I listened to the SE at High End Munich 2017 and was disappointed. I think the SE has some strong competitors like the latest Antipodes DX.

 

Matt

I did the same and thought it was quite good but a little too much hifi-isch. But it was in a system that I did have any experience with.

The Antipodes DX 3 is almost 2x of the SE (or 3x of the standard Zenith)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, monteverdi said:

I did the same and thought it was quite good but a little too much hifi-isch. But it was in a system that I did have any experience with

 

Yes, the sound was completely uninspiring and left me emotionally uninvolved.

I think the price difference between the standard and the SE is too steep. As you said the SE will be bettered in a few years. Another point is that the SE is an upgrade only, not a complete new design.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I decided to get the SE based partly of stellar reviews by owners over on Head-fi (including Romaz who compared it very favourably to the DCS network bridge and fairly favourably to his own sCLK-EX server). And also Darkos review really helped, especially as he paired it with the same DAC as I have (the PS Audio Directstream). 

 

I was very tempted by the SOtM Trifecta but didn't want another spaghetti set up. Likewise the sCLK-EX server tempted but doubt I have the technical chops to pull off building one. 

 

Throw in the fact that the SE does both USB and Ethernet output (the latest Antipodes DX only does USB) and I was convinced. 

 

The curveball was that my previous Roon server had died valiantly whilst on duty and the SE waiting list was an issue. I therefore arranged the use of an MKII as essentially a loaner until my SE was ready. 

 

By coincidence I spoke to the dealer today before this thread was started and should receive my SE next week. This is a real bonus as didn't expect it until 'late January' :D I thought I was going to have to live vicariously through the reviews from @limniscate and @austinpop

 

Meantime I'm very impressed with the MKII and based on the SQ I'm getting from that am really excited to see/hear how much the SE beats it. 

 

Will report back as I fully intend on comparing the two whilst I have the luxury of having both the MKII and the SE in da house! 

 

Cheers, 

Alan

Synergistic Research Powercell UEF SE > Sonore OpticalModule (LPS-1.2 & DXP-1A5DSC) > EtherRegen (SR4T & DXP-1A5DSC) > PinkFaun modded Buffalo BS-GS2016P (Farad Super3 & LPS-1.2) > (Sablon 2020 LAN) Innuos Zenith SE server > (Sablon 2020 USB) Innuos Phoenix > (Sablon 2020 USB) PS Audio Directstream DAC > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, monteverdi said:

The Antipodes DX 3 is almost 2x of the SE (or 3x of the standard Zenith)

 

According to UK pricelist DX is 7k and SE 5k.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, limniscate said:

Roy is getting the DX3 soon but suspects it won't be as good as the SE.

 

AFAIK, Roy listens from the Dave output directly into speakers in a nearfield position.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

Yes, the sound was completely uninspiring and left me emotionally uninvolved.

I think the price difference between the standard and the SE is too steep. As you said the SE will be bettered in a few years. Another point is that the SE is an upgrade only, not a complete new design.

 

Matt

 

Fair enough but my thinking here is that Innuos have paid attention to a few of the things we advocate in so many of the threads here at CA. 

 

PSU - the bulk of the expenditure of the SE is that triple toroidal PSU. I'm thinking of all the forum members waiting on an SR7. To me the SE is almost an off the shelf server with inbuilt PSU of similar quality. 

 

Low noise circuit board. The unit is designed to minimise noise. 

 

Bridged ethernet port. Sounds oddly familiar, right? 

 

Yeah it's expensive. But I'm taking the punt that for the time being this is one of the most advanced servers incorporating some of the lessons this community has been so instrumental in developing. 

 

That said clocks and the sCLK-EX are the glaring omissions based on the prevailing wisdom. But we'll see I guess. 

Synergistic Research Powercell UEF SE > Sonore OpticalModule (LPS-1.2 & DXP-1A5DSC) > EtherRegen (SR4T & DXP-1A5DSC) > PinkFaun modded Buffalo BS-GS2016P (Farad Super3 & LPS-1.2) > (Sablon 2020 LAN) Innuos Zenith SE server > (Sablon 2020 USB) Innuos Phoenix > (Sablon 2020 USB) PS Audio Directstream DAC > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/12/dars-favourite-bits-of-2017/

 

Darko on why he nearly gave the SE product of the year 2017:

 

This is what it’s like to have reviewed – and then returned to the manufacturer – the ZENith MKII SE music server (€5699, 2TB) from Portugal’s Innuos. I find myself haunted by my memory of its sound. It was like no other digital source I’d heard to date: richer and smoother than more affordable rivals like the Sonore ultraRendu (US$875) which, in a post-ZENith MKII SE world, is contrasted as sharper on the tip of the tongue (translation: more treble glare) – a quality I’d not heard before spending time with the Innuos. Doubly interesting was how the USB-lassoed flagship server bested the sound of Ethernet direct inputs on both the KEF LS50 Wireless and the Devialet Expert 120. If ever there was a lesson in getting what you pay for with digital sources this was it.

Synergistic Research Powercell UEF SE > Sonore OpticalModule (LPS-1.2 & DXP-1A5DSC) > EtherRegen (SR4T & DXP-1A5DSC) > PinkFaun modded Buffalo BS-GS2016P (Farad Super3 & LPS-1.2) > (Sablon 2020 LAN) Innuos Zenith SE server > (Sablon 2020 USB) Innuos Phoenix > (Sablon 2020 USB) PS Audio Directstream DAC > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, BigAlMc said:

That said clocks and the sCLK-EX are the glaring omissions based on the prevailing wisdom. But we'll see I guess. 

For the music server soup...would seem that the roster of key "audiophile differentiating" ingredients is established...

  • microvolt ripple level LPS power...
  • low ppb OXCO clocks at key instances on the motherboards/USB/Ethernet timing/dispatch
  • material EMI/mechanical/vibration isolation 
  • OS fettling/focusing.......whether Win 10/2016 or Linux...

and as seems "normal" in our land...we've quite the price disparity on the solution provision....

 

contrast Trifecta/SR7 vs SGM vs Memory Player  or ~$4k vs $16k vs (almost) $64k....

 

 

 

 

Speakers: Avalon Acoustics Indra; Preamp: Spectral Audio DMC-30SS; Amps: Spectral Audio DMA 360v2 Monoblocks; Analog Cables: MIT Oracle; Power Cables: MIT Oracle; Digital: Bespoke Server [AO WinS16, HDPlex 400 LPS, Pachanko Loom, JCAT FEMTO NET & USB Card / Regen Isolator --> Vivaldi DAC and Clock [ChordMusic Clock Cables; Vertere HB Pulse USB]; Racks: Finite Elemente Pagode Edition HD4 and HD9 Amp Supports. Power: Shunyata Triton v3; DPC-6 v3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BigAlMc said:

PSU - the bulk of the expenditure of the SE is that triple toroidal PSU. I'm thinking of all the forum members waiting on an SR7. To me the SE is almost an off the shelf server with inbuilt PSU of similar quality.

 

Bingo. It's hard to tell how much did those Mundorf caps contribute to the overall success of SE when there's nothing quite like that out there. Even Roy commented that's performing fairly close to his custom server fed by (multiple units of?) SR7.

 

FYI - those ToTL caps from Mundorf would cost anywhere $83.88 and $839.88 a piece as shown below, we're talking about 3 pairs of them so multiply by 6

 

https://www.hificollective.co.uk/components/mcap-supreme-evo-silver-gold-oil.html

http://www.partsconnexion.com/capacitor_film_mundorf_supreme_evo_silvergold_oil.html

 

Of course CHC and Innuos might have picked cheaper ones instead, one could only speculate how it's gonna sound if they're actually going all out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings guys

 

Long time reader but rarely post...

 

My Zenith mII (standard) arrived just before xmas and is at this point as close to "burned in" as I would think it could be.

I came out of a fairly optimized Pc with Sotm card with separate power supply , The HD plex power supply for the mother board etc etc feeding a Micro rendu....and this sounded very good.

While all of this is purely subjective I have to tell you the Zenith is better in every way I can articulate ....I just cant get enough hours of music in now. And that is really what its all about, that and its the easiest dam thing ever to get up and running on Roon.

 

System is:

Zenith >Hydra Z/ZPM D-D converter >Calyx Femto dac > Gamut Di150 LE Integrated > Acoustic Zen Crescendo II's > Rel G1's in stereo

 

btw, ignore my signature I have tried a dozen times to edit it or remove it and this dumb dumb cant get it to do so

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, ADCO said:

I came out of a fairly optimized Pc with Sotm card with separate power supply , The HD plex power supply for the mother board etc etc feeding a Micro rendu....and this sounded very good.

While all of this is purely subjective I have to tell you the Zenith is better in every way I can articulate ....I just cant get enough hours of music in now. And that is really what its all about, that and its the easiest dam thing ever to get up and running on Roon.

Yeah that's been my experience with the MKII too. 

 

The SQ is terrific and I'm really wondering where the SE needs to take things in order to significantly improve upon what I'm hearing now. 

Synergistic Research Powercell UEF SE > Sonore OpticalModule (LPS-1.2 & DXP-1A5DSC) > EtherRegen (SR4T & DXP-1A5DSC) > PinkFaun modded Buffalo BS-GS2016P (Farad Super3 & LPS-1.2) > (Sablon 2020 LAN) Innuos Zenith SE server > (Sablon 2020 USB) Innuos Phoenix > (Sablon 2020 USB) PS Audio Directstream DAC > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dealer , or should I say distributor here in Ontario didn't quite come out and say it but the undertones where that the sweet spot in the line up in terms of a value proposition was the standard....I kinda just took that as situation normal as with all hifi . In other words diminishing returns...I don't know this to be any kind of fact though.

I just didnt see the price of the standard Zenith as being any kind of risk and it has exceeded my expectations generally

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, ADCO said:

My dealer , or should I say distributor here in Ontario didn't quite come out and say it but the undertones where that the sweet spot in the line up in terms of a value proposition was the standard....I kinda just took that as situation normal as with all hifi . In other words diminishing returns...I don't know this to be any kind of fact though.

I just didnt see the price of the standard Zenith as being any kind of risk and it has exceeded my expectations generally

Yeah I can believe that. 

 

Also, and I'm sure you know this, the MKII is the top of the range - or at least was until the SE. 

 

If I hadn't already ordered my SE I'd be very tempted to stick with the MKII because I'm really impressed with what I'm hearing. 

 

I'll shut up now as going a bit fanboy. But glad you're happy with your Zenith. 

 

Cheers 

Alan 

Synergistic Research Powercell UEF SE > Sonore OpticalModule (LPS-1.2 & DXP-1A5DSC) > EtherRegen (SR4T & DXP-1A5DSC) > PinkFaun modded Buffalo BS-GS2016P (Farad Super3 & LPS-1.2) > (Sablon 2020 LAN) Innuos Zenith SE server > (Sablon 2020 USB) Innuos Phoenix > (Sablon 2020 USB) PS Audio Directstream DAC > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, firedog said:

I don't think we yet know of anyone who's heard one. One member is about to get one and I'm sure he will report. 

The Innuos ZENith SE MK.II had been presented at the HighEnd Show in Munich last year already, connected to Dynaudio Focus 60 XD active speakers and I spend about half an hour to listen to them in a separated room. What I could hear was impressive, but I'm always cautious about listening impressions at audio shows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting and promising reports for sure, thanks. Did anyone made a direct comparison with the ZENith MKII Std (non SE) vs the SOtM Ultra lineup (SMS-200 Ultra, tX-USB Ultra/tX-USBhubEX, sPS-500 with clock modded switch).

 

I'm in the market for a front end. The SOtM lineup really appeals to me, but 3 or 4 separate devices with cable mess puts me off*. The MKII Std could be an interesting one box alternative, in the same price range.

 

 

 

(* offtopic: I wonder why SOtM doesn't offer an one box NAA solution at Ultra level yet, the above mentioned together with master clock input: et voila)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...