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Innuos PhoenixUSB

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The new Innuos PhoenixUSB reclocker has been mentioned several times here on AS. I’ll try to give a brief impression. After hearing it at the XFI Show I reckon the Phoenix deserves its own topic. Please understand that show conditions apply: meaning an unknown room, components and music. Nevertheless thanks to a direct comparison with/without Phoenix a first impression is definitely possible (before the actual comparison I was the room for about 30 minutes to get familiar with the setup/room).


The base setup was already quite impressive, consisting of an Innuos Zenith server, a Chord Blu MK2 (acting as a m-scaler), the Chord Dave DAC, Chord Ultima mono amps and ATC SCM (100ASLT?) speakers. During the demo @nvitorino (dis)connected the Phoenix between the Zenith and Blu MK2 back and forth. 


The difference using the PhoenixUSB is noticeable within a second, hands down. The pictured stage gets much wider and deeper, as if the artists are playing on a bigger podium. More 3D if you like, as if a quality wide angle less was used. I also thought the sound had a bit more punch with less decay when the PhoenixUSB was added. So yes, it made a positive impression. I also fancy the keen addition/upgrade approach, with a reclocker board, OCXO clock ánd two LPS’s in one box. It was a nice and very useful day at XFI, lots to see/hear/learn in a relaxed atmosphere. 




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Some other info about the Phoenix USB in other topics (reply’s from Nino):


“The PhoenixUSB contains the same USB reclocker board design as the Statement plus two linear power supplies dedicated to USB, just like the Statement. On our tests, the PhoenixUSB does not improve the USB reclocker output of the Statement. In fact, there seems to be a slight degradation due to the extra cabling required.


The PhoenixUSB is intended mainly for ZENith/ZENith SE users who would like to get their sound quality closer to a Statement. You can use the reclocker though with any USB output from any streamer or computer, it's not specific to Innuos.”




“There is still a difference between the ZENith + PhoenixUSB and the Statement as the Statement is more than just adding a reclocker board. Some thought the difference was considerable and others thought it was more subtle but clearly there. Do take into consideration that the SE is superior to the ZENith MK3 so it will be closer to the Statement than the ZENith. But not even theStatement board USB output connected to the PhoenixUSB sounds like the reclocked USB output of the Statement - this is where short signal paths make a difference...


This is something I write based on the feedback of a few hundred visitors that heard the comparison at RMAF, X-Fi and WestDeutsche Shows. Imaintain my opinion that SE users will be very happy with theimprovement the PhoenixUSB considering the investment of getting a PhoenixUSB vs selling the SE and buying a Statement. 

As always, if you have the chance, have a listen for yourselves so you can make your own decision.”







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I don’t know when the Phoenix will appear in the wild. Perhaps someone knows?


Looking forward to a comparison with a full blown SOtM tX USB Ultra setup (with master clock and psu’s):  As the Phoenix doesn’t improve on a Statement due to the shorter signal paths/less cables as the main reason, I really wonder how this €2500 one box reclocker differs from €2500++ SOtM setup, which isn’t very cable shy.


Innuos could have a real winner. Besides comparing the effect of the Phoenix at XFI, shortly the Blu MK2 was removed and added in the chain (with the Phoenix still in place). Still, take it with a pinch of salt given show conditions and a very short comparison: but imho the Phoenix had a bigger impact in the sonic presentation (also different, as they both have a specific function: reclocker/upsampler)

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I guess that's more or less like by the end of 2019?






Blu MK2 itself should be really prone to RF noise to begin with, and then its built-in SMPS could also pollute the other components in the entire chain.


BTW, SGM Extreme should be considered one of the best source components out there while this <$400 isolator from Intona with two pieces of their own flagship USB cables (plus the power of another quality PSU) still managed to offer sonic improvement





In other words, it's gonna be awesome to try PhoenixUSB with SGM Extreme as well as Intona with Statement. Finally we could even try powering that micro USB input (DC 5V only without data) of Intona with USB output of PhoenixUSB.

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