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  #1  
Old 01-05-2020, 03:57 PM
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Default Testing the Grimm Audio MU1 streamer at Listening Matters, The Hague

'Listening Matters' is the new name of Chattelin Audio.
Ben Van Leliveld took over the whole business, and I think it will even thrive more now.

The streamer that piqued my interest at a couple of events: Grimm Audio MU1:




It is of course a streamer, but it promises to be much more.
It is also a high quality upsampling device. Grimm's opinion is that if the DAC doesn't have to do that heavy duty, you'll get less calculation mistakes in the D/A conversion.
Further, its FLL clocks are top quality. Grimm is known for its professional clocks, used in recording studios.
It is a Roon core server.
And in future updates (in the next months), it will be a multi-channel streamer, and FM radio too.

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Stereo: Hegel H590, Grimm Audio MU1, Burmester 061 - 948 - V3 & V6 racks, Vivid Audio G2 Giyas, Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet Switch, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse IC and SE SC, Furutech Digiflux
AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
In storage: Halgorythme amplifiers
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:11 PM
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The price of admission is quite steep, a bit less than 10K euro without SSD, a bit more than 10K with SSD (up to 4 Tb).
But if you look at clocks and upsamplers of other top brands (like Auralic, dCS, Esoteric, MSB, Chord), it suddenly makes more sense.
And you avoid the additional cables, as it is an all-in-one device.

We listened to the MU1 that sent its bits to the Hegel H590.
This is the amplifier/DAC that we use at home nowadays.
Speakers: Vivid Audio Kaya 45.
Cabling: Furutech mostly.

We also used a CEC CD-transport to get an impression of the quality of the clocks and upsampling of the MU1.




The KEF LS50 wireless stood there to see the possibilities that Roon offers.
More about that later.
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Stereo: Hegel H590, Grimm Audio MU1, Burmester 061 - 948 - V3 & V6 racks, Vivid Audio G2 Giyas, Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet Switch, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse IC and SE SC, Furutech Digiflux
AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
In storage: Halgorythme amplifiers
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:38 PM
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First track came from this album:




Marvellous!
Of course, not everything is comparable to our system at home.
The room is different, cabling also.

But there was the Vivid sound and I do know the Hegel sound too.
Our G2 Giyas offer a bit more body and delicacy than their more modest brothers Kaya 45.
What impressed me here was that there was quite a lot more separation and soundstage depth than I'm used to hear at home.
It was all a bit more lifelike also.

We were in for another surprise.
We thought the album was on the server of the store, but when we checked the pathway in Roon, we saw it was an 'ordinary' Tidal stream!

These findings were confirmed when I put the following album in the CEC tray:




'Black Coffee' is a fantastic piece of jazz.
Just Ella plus piano.
Her voice was more present in the room than I could remember having ever heard.


This effect became even stronger in the first piece of 'Folk Singer':




The only audiophile blues album it is sometimes called.
I had never heard the venue so well.

Wow, the MU1 transforms CDs into terrific source material!
And Tidal or Qobuz streams undergo the same metamorphosis.
10K seemed more and more reasonable...


From above:




The gold coloured knob in the middle serves as source selector.
Can be pushed and turned.

.
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Stereo: Hegel H590, Grimm Audio MU1, Burmester 061 - 948 - V3 & V6 racks, Vivid Audio G2 Giyas, Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet Switch, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse IC and SE SC, Furutech Digiflux
AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
In storage: Halgorythme amplifiers
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:44 PM
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As the MU1 also is a Roon core, we tried it out with other end points.




The KEF LSX is an attractive little active speaker with an amazing soundstage and stereo image for such a little thing. And it does do bass!






1200€ for a pair.
For our kitchen...?

.
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Stereo: Hegel H590, Grimm Audio MU1, Burmester 061 - 948 - V3 & V6 racks, Vivid Audio G2 Giyas, Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet Switch, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse IC and SE SC, Furutech Digiflux
AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
In storage: Halgorythme amplifiers
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:58 PM
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Next: KEF LS50 wireless.
Bigger sound of course.




2300€ for a pair.
I liked it even more than the passive version, driven by a Hegel H120.
A hifi bargain!

The MU1 didn't object to switching and altering Roon endpoints one single bit.
Ben even demonstrated the 3 playing together, all different things (internet radio, streaming services).
A cacophony for sure, but an indication that the MU1 interiors do function, even if it is still a work in progress.
Updates come rapidly though.

When you add a multi-channel DAC - like Exasound or Merging Nadac Anubis - you'll have a great surround streaming system, that will do almost every file available now.
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Stereo: Hegel H590, Grimm Audio MU1, Burmester 061 - 948 - V3 & V6 racks, Vivid Audio G2 Giyas, Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet Switch, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse IC and SE SC, Furutech Digiflux
AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
In storage: Halgorythme amplifiers
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:03 PM
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Some other impressions of the store.

Zanden, oh so photogenic:













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Stereo: Hegel H590, Grimm Audio MU1, Burmester 061 - 948 - V3 & V6 racks, Vivid Audio G2 Giyas, Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet Switch, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse IC and SE SC, Furutech Digiflux
AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
In storage: Halgorythme amplifiers
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:09 PM
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Ben, thank you for the time you took to explain the basics of upsampling, streaming via Roon, jitter, clocking, etc.!

Conclusion

The MU1 has become a top candidate for us, as it does/will do all the things we want in our system.
For high quality surround sound, this is a device that can not be overlooked.
But also for stereo only audiophiles this is a must audition!
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Stereo: Hegel H590, Grimm Audio MU1, Burmester 061 - 948 - V3 & V6 racks, Vivid Audio G2 Giyas, Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet Switch, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse IC and SE SC, Furutech Digiflux
AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
In storage: Halgorythme amplifiers
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:17 PM
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Well written review Bart. You may have another calling beyond Medicine.

I find it amazing and a bit bewildering how many high quality devices are being developed in the digital space. Seems this is yet another!
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:12 PM
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Excellent report...thx for sharing
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:33 PM
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Very interesting report, thanks Bart.
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Main system: Linn Klimax Katalyst DSM; D’Agostino Momentum S250 & HD pre; Rega RP10 w/Rega Aphelion; Boulder 508; Sonus Faber Amati Futura; Shunyata Denali 6000T, Alpha NR & EF PC, Alpha IC & SC; UpTone EtherRegen; Quadraspire Sunoko-Vent T, ISOAcoustics Orea & HRS Damping

2nd system: Luxman SQ-N100, Sonus Faber Minima Amator II, REL T-5, refurbished AR XA w/Nagaoka MP-200 & VPI cabling, Linn Klimax DSM Renew, Shunyata PS8 w/Defender & Viper, Nordost Blue Heaven PC & IC, Shunyata Venom sc, Symposium Svelte Shelves

Workshop: Vintage Yamaha CA-1010 & CT-1010, PSB Imagine Mini, Squeezebox Touch, Schiit BiFrost, AZ & WW cables

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Video: Sony XBR65X850C; Apple TV-4; Vienna Schönberg L/R, Webern center & surrounds; REL T1, T2, & T3; Arcam AVR850; Cambridge Audio 752BD; MIT-EXP SC
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