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Innuos Zenith SE MkII

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I requested DSD 4x / 256 support for Innuos Zenith Mk II to Marantz SA-10 (XMOS USB interface) since June 2019.  After I waited for almost a year, and after many promises by Nuno, only now I can play DSD 4x / 256 music files.  Thank you, but I don't think adding XMOS USB interface support needs 'almost a year' development time.

 

I guess the kernel upgrade played a part in SQ improvement because I heard better sound with 1.4.4.

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Maybe I'm doing something wrong on my PS Audio Sr DAC does not accept native DSD. Does this DSD playback in Roon make sense (DSD over PCM)?

 

Thank you

Roon 2020-05-20 16-59-50.jpg


SYSTEM: Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > EtherRegen/Farad Super 3 > Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > Zenith MKII SE > Phasure Lush 2 > Innuos Phoenix > Phasure Lush 2 > PS Audio Directstream Sr DAC > Ayre K-5xe MP Preamplifier > Conrad Johnson MF-2500a > Vandersteen Quatro Woods

POWER: AQ (Niagara 5000/Tornado/Hurricane/Audience AU24 SE LP/Triode Wire Labs/Shunyata (Python/Venom 3)/Nordost Blue Heaven/Audio Sensibilities Sig Silver DC 

CABLING: AQ (Earth/Go-4 Dbl Bi-Wire)

ISOLATION: IsoAcoustics/Herbie's/BDR/PS Audio Powerbase

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On 5/20/2020 at 2:01 PM, FrankMA said:

Maybe I'm doing something wrong on my PS Audio Sr DAC does not accept native DSD. Does this DSD playback in Roon make sense (DSD over PCM)?

 

Thank you

 


That is the correct display when the DAC does not support native DSD.

 

6F0FDA31-1F95-4FE8-9BE3-FEDEE9433407.jpeg.3a3944b36900a85c96072d27297c5802.jpeg


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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I was afraid of that. Thanks Kenny. In researching the PSA DAC it looks like it packages it over DoP via USB per Ted Smith:

 

DoP is DSD, but wrapped in a PCM “envelope”, just like flac is PCM wrapped in a losslessly compressed “envelope”: in both cases you don’t loose any information, it’s just obscured for a little. DoP is a way of smuggling DSD thru an other PCM delivery chain. So rather than having to use something that supports 1 bit at 2.8224MHz, you can use the 24 bits at 176.4kHz path that most hardware supports.

 

I2S can accept Native DSD


SYSTEM: Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > EtherRegen/Farad Super 3 > Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > Zenith MKII SE > Phasure Lush 2 > Innuos Phoenix > Phasure Lush 2 > PS Audio Directstream Sr DAC > Ayre K-5xe MP Preamplifier > Conrad Johnson MF-2500a > Vandersteen Quatro Woods

POWER: AQ (Niagara 5000/Tornado/Hurricane/Audience AU24 SE LP/Triode Wire Labs/Shunyata (Python/Venom 3)/Nordost Blue Heaven/Audio Sensibilities Sig Silver DC 

CABLING: AQ (Earth/Go-4 Dbl Bi-Wire)

ISOLATION: IsoAcoustics/Herbie's/BDR/PS Audio Powerbase

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48 minutes ago, FrankMA said:

I was afraid of that. Thanks Kenny. In researching the PSA DAC it looks like it packages it over DoP via USB per Ted Smith:

 

DoP is DSD, but wrapped in a PCM “envelope”, just like flac is PCM wrapped in a losslessly compressed “envelope”: in both cases you don’t loose any information, it’s just obscured for a little. DoP is a way of smuggling DSD thru an other PCM delivery chain. So rather than having to use something that supports 1 bit at 2.8224MHz, you can use the 24 bits at 176.4kHz path that most hardware supports.

 

I2S can accept Native DSD

Nothing to be afraid of. No meaningful difference between DoP and Native. Both are actually "native" - meaning the DSD is unaltered when sent and arriving at the DAC. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

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

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Thanks @firedog Clears that up in my mind

 


SYSTEM: Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > EtherRegen/Farad Super 3 > Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > Zenith MKII SE > Phasure Lush 2 > Innuos Phoenix > Phasure Lush 2 > PS Audio Directstream Sr DAC > Ayre K-5xe MP Preamplifier > Conrad Johnson MF-2500a > Vandersteen Quatro Woods

POWER: AQ (Niagara 5000/Tornado/Hurricane/Audience AU24 SE LP/Triode Wire Labs/Shunyata (Python/Venom 3)/Nordost Blue Heaven/Audio Sensibilities Sig Silver DC 

CABLING: AQ (Earth/Go-4 Dbl Bi-Wire)

ISOLATION: IsoAcoustics/Herbie's/BDR/PS Audio Powerbase

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BTW, the experimental mode that comes with new firmware is not as stable as I reported first. Last evening I wanted to listen to different new albums on Tidal and skipped to next track often within 20 seconds or so. Playing stopped sometimes and sometimes the Roon-player skipped two songs instead for one. Much better than version 1.4.3 but still not perfect. But a normal evening when you don´t skip every few seconds you very rarely will have much problems. I really can live with that.

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28 minutes ago, yellowblue said:

BTW, the experimental mode that comes with new firmware is not as stable as I reported first. Last evening I wanted to listen to different new albums on Tidal and skipped to next track often within 20 seconds or so. Playing stopped sometimes and sometimes the Roon-player skipped two songs instead for one. Much better than version 1.4.3 but still not perfect. But a normal evening when you don´t skip every few seconds you very rarely will have much problems. I really can live with that.

 

 

 hi , i never had problem like this even with 1.4.3.. i am lucky ? . the new FW is a SQ improvement in my system .. more clarity and more depth... i 'd say also a little bit narrower but maybe beacause of  gain of depth..

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4 hours ago, yellowblue said:

BTW, the experimental mode that comes with new firmware is not as stable as I reported first. Last evening I wanted to listen to different new albums on Tidal and skipped to next track often within 20 seconds or so. Playing stopped sometimes and sometimes the Roon-player skipped two songs instead for one. Much better than version 1.4.3 but still not perfect. But a normal evening when you don´t skip every few seconds you very rarely will have much problems. I really can live with that.


My experience as well.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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Same


SYSTEM: Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > EtherRegen/Farad Super 3 > Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > Zenith MKII SE > Phasure Lush 2 > Innuos Phoenix > Phasure Lush 2 > PS Audio Directstream Sr DAC > Ayre K-5xe MP Preamplifier > Conrad Johnson MF-2500a > Vandersteen Quatro Woods

POWER: AQ (Niagara 5000/Tornado/Hurricane/Audience AU24 SE LP/Triode Wire Labs/Shunyata (Python/Venom 3)/Nordost Blue Heaven/Audio Sensibilities Sig Silver DC 

CABLING: AQ (Earth/Go-4 Dbl Bi-Wire)

ISOLATION: IsoAcoustics/Herbie's/BDR/PS Audio Powerbase

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I can't comment on 1.4.3 as my SE was on the bench but I recently put the SE back into my system and the timing was great as 1.4.4 followed a few weeks later.

 

Experimental mode seems far more stable (than I recall at least when it first came out). But having a few issues than I thought I'd document for the benefit of @nvitorino and team in case it helps with future focus on fixes.

 

Play an album or tracklist. Generally with no problems. Pause a track for even a short while. Resume playing and I'd say 50% chance of an issue here. Typical issue is it either stalls and then skips to the next track. Or plays a few seconds, stutters and then skips to the next track.

 

Other main issue is if I have say an album playing and I skip to the next track, again it stutters and may or may not play the next track. Sometimes seems to have paused and struggles to resume. I'd say this happens 20% of the time. Resolution is to select Play from here on the required track in Roon as it seems to be really struggling to recover itself without that intervention.

 

Is this similar to what others are seeing?

 

On the whole after a lengthy period of NUC adventures though I'm loving the sound and experience of having my SE restored to it's former glory. Also considering adding a Phoenix soon 😎.

 

Cheers,

Alan


EtherRegen > Innuos Zenith SE server > Innuos Phoenix > PS Audio Directstream DAC > Hegel P20 Pre > PS Audio M700 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers

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I just picked a used Zenith MKII SE last week. Now I’m thinking about if I should import my AIFF files to the Zenith as WAV or FLAC. Anyone found an improvement in WAV over FLAC? I guess WAV files take up more drive space. I may not even be able to transfer my files over as WAV as I already have 1.7 TB of AIFF files to transfer to the Zenith.  The Innuos manual kind of discourages the use of WAV files.


>EtherRegen>Transparent Audio ethernet cable>Innuos Zenith MKII SE>Mojo Audio Mystique Evo DAC> Wireworld platinum 8 balanced interconnect>Aesthetic Mimas> Audience SX speaker cables>Magnapan 1.7‘Transparent Audio ethernet cable

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2 hours ago, Vangelis said:

I just picked a used Zenith MKII SE last week. Now I’m thinking about if I should import my AIFF files to the Zenith as WAV or FLAC. Anyone found an improvement in WAV over FLAC? I guess WAV files take up more drive space. I may not even be able to transfer my files over as WAV as I already have 1.7 TB of AIFF files to transfer to the Zenith.  The Innuos manual kind of discourages the use of WAV files.

 

Dude - you're risking opening a bunfight here! You may as well ask if cables make a difference! 😅

 

Haven't compared the two as I used FLAC before I got my Zenith. Tho from memory I think Innuos recommend zero compression FLAC (as uses less CPU resources to unpack I think). Doubt there's much of a difference, if any. I'd choose the format you prefer. Worst case do the same file in both formats and compare (for peace of mind).

 

Cheers,

Alan


EtherRegen > Innuos Zenith SE server > Innuos Phoenix > PS Audio Directstream DAC > Hegel P20 Pre > PS Audio M700 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers

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I don’t want to get into which file sounds better but I want to get my file converted. closest to my native AIFF files. Unfortunately I cannot copy my files over in their native AIFF format. I understand that WAV is the closest file type to AIFF.  I’ve heard rumors that newer servers can reach out and grab metadata now for WAV files, at least artwork artist and song information. But I’m not sure the Innuos will do that. Is there anybody at imported wave files in to the Zenith and found album art etc attached? I guess if the AIFF & FLAC file size are the same I could at least try it. 


>EtherRegen>Transparent Audio ethernet cable>Innuos Zenith MKII SE>Mojo Audio Mystique Evo DAC> Wireworld platinum 8 balanced interconnect>Aesthetic Mimas> Audience SX speaker cables>Magnapan 1.7‘Transparent Audio ethernet cable

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1 hour ago, Vangelis said:

I don’t want to get into which file sounds better but I want to get my file converted. closest to my native AIFF files. Unfortunately I cannot copy my files over in their native AIFF format. I understand that WAV is the closest file type to AIFF.  I’ve heard rumors that newer servers can reach out and grab metadata now for WAV files, at least artwork artist and song information. But I’m not sure the Innuos will do that. Is there anybody at imported wave files in to the Zenith and found album art etc attached? I guess if the AIFF & FLAC file size are the same I could at least try it. 

 

I'm not quite understanding why you can't copy files over in AIFF format.  I've done this.  And yes, WAV and AIFF are both uncompressed formats that are very similar, though ID3v2 tags can be embedded in AIFF.  I won't use WAV files because of the lack of embedded tag support.  

 

As I understand it, the choice between WAV and FLAC on the Zenith governs only which format CDs are ripped to using their built-in ripper.  AIFF is supported.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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Oh, that’s great news! I had that completely wrong. I was wondering why Innuos wouldn’t support other file formats.  I thought I had to choose one or the other when I import files and that the Zenith would, based on my import selection convert the files to either FLAC or WAV. Thank you so much for clearing that up. 


>EtherRegen>Transparent Audio ethernet cable>Innuos Zenith MKII SE>Mojo Audio Mystique Evo DAC> Wireworld platinum 8 balanced interconnect>Aesthetic Mimas> Audience SX speaker cables>Magnapan 1.7‘Transparent Audio ethernet cable

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