Cambridge’s CXN Review

August 5, 2020 § Leave a comment

OSD Black SRT4 Streaming Media Server Review

July 31, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The SRT4 server arrived with zero fanfare in a plain white box with simple black lettering. Inside the box was the unit itself along with a wall-wart power plug (12-volt DC, 1.5 amp), detachable rack ears, and a user guide.

My initial impression upon removing the SRT4 from its box was how incredibly light it felt, reminding me more of a speaker selector than a four-zone media server. I didn’t bother to take the top off, but I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of parts inside. Obviously, a product’s weight only tells a part of its story, but the SRT4 doesn’t scream “build quality” when you’re holding it”

Innuos • ZENmini Mk 3 Music Server and LPSU Power Supply $1999

July 29, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“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.”

SOtM sMS 200 Neo Video Review

July 19, 2020 § Leave a comment

Elac Discovery Music Server update 1.7

July 14, 2020 § Leave a comment

Innuos • ZENmini Mk 3 Music Server and LPSU Power Supply Review

June 16, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“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.

BLUESOUND NODE 2i ONE YEAR REVIEW

May 22, 2020 § Leave a comment

Advance Paris WTX MicroStream € 149 network player

May 16, 2020 § Leave a comment

Innuos Statement music server $13,750 Review

May 11, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Natively, the Statement uses its own software—of course it does—to manage the library and streaming services and play music. “Its own software” is the InnuOS operating system, which is identical on all Innuos music servers and upgradable by Ethernet. The Statement is also compatible with Roon software; in fact it can be used with Roon in two distinct ways. (Please note, however, that Vitorino describes this as “an experimental mode” in which playback is “limited to 24/192 and DSD64”.) First, the Statement can be used as the Roon “Core”—Roon’s computational center, which does Roon’s file management and other computational heavy-lifting. The Statement can also be used as a Roon output device only—an endpoint in common Roon parlance—the Roon Core located elsewhere on your network—specifically, in this case, on my Roon Nucleus +. In neither of these configurations is the Statement either “RoonReady” or “Roon-tested” currently, but this is expected to change with upcoming updates. (“We are working with Innuos to have their future products fully Roon Ready,” Roon’s Bill Leebens wrote to me in an email.) In future, all Roon server partners will be required to run ROCK, Roon’s operating system. Roon and Innuos are still discussing how the two systems will work together.”

Advance Paris WTX StreamerPro DNLA network streamer

May 1, 2020 § Leave a comment

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