Innuos • ZENmini Mk 3 Music Server and LPSU Power Supply Review
June 16, 2020 § Leave a comment
“USB ended up as my favorite connection for the ZENmini Mk 3, so I need to add a word about cable choice. In my system, the USB output was quite sensitive to the cable used, and you may not hear the ZENmini Mk 3 at its best without some experimentation. The inexpensive but good Oyaide Neo d+ Class A USB has always been an easy recommendation, but with the ZENmini MK 3 and the BorderPatrol DAC SE, the treble became spitty and harsh with an unmistakable glare. The wonderfully good and super-expensive Shunyata Sigma USB delivered a deep and rich soundstage with excellent image placement. But its cheaper stablemate, the Venom USB, was slightly cleaner in the lower treble in my system, so I settled on it for long-term listening. It’s nice to know that the ZENmini Mk 3 could resolve these differences while not costing more than the cable’s itself.
What are the disadvantages of the ZENmini Mk 3 and LPSU? The absolute need for Ethernet might be a small impediment, but Ethernet over either A/C devices or WiFi extenders worked great. The lack of Bluetooth or AirPlay could absolutely be a non-starter for some audiophiles, as would the inability to use portable hard drives as playback devices. I have heard more expensive units do a better job at fleshing out images in the back of the soundstage and, while the ZENmini’s bass was nimble, it certainly lacked some slam and body behind the initial bass hit. Finally, if you own the ZENmini Mk 3 but use it without the LPSU, you are missing out on much of its magic and you’ll need to find the funds to complete the pair.