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  #1  
Old 07-31-2019, 10:06 PM
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Default zenith vs macmini

Zenith > macmini/audirvana > laptop/tidal

The local Innuos dealer graciously allowed me to demo an Innuos Zenith MK3 at home (been saving for a streamer a while). I wanted to compare when he plugged a laptop in his DAC versus the Zenith myself at home (his setup is pretty different from mine). Was there a difference? Well, I won't listen to a MacBook Pro running Tidal -- ever again. The MacMini/Audirvana did better. Setup: p15->streamer->yggy->c2600->mc452->xr100.

There are reviews out there that describe things much as I heard them. One "also", for me was a timing/tempo issue cleaned up with the Zenith. I could hear these occasional maybe-warbles on notes through the MacMini. But donít take that to mean the Zenith was sterile, I found there to be more emotion with the additional clarity it brought, and it actual acted to take the edge off some things (like sax). I like things a bit full bodied.

A nod to Audirvana-- the last major upgrade was a big improvement in sound quality on the MacMini (Iíve been a user for a couple of years). So if you can't swing a dedicated streamer just now, consider it. Though that upgrade did introduce more instances of the timing thing I heard. Yes I was using a shunyata alpha usb cable (although I cheated with the laptop because it was too hard to re-run the cable in my setup, and I figured play it like those who say there is no difference).

"Captain Pike has an illusion, and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant."
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:17 AM
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William.......So, are we to assume the Innuos Zenith MK3 music server is now part of your system?


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Old 08-01-2019, 02:28 PM
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Congrats William!
Innuos make great gear.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
William.......So, are we to assume the Innuos Zenith MK3 music server is now part of your system?



Itís on order. 5 weeks, but at least no doubt or remorse while waiting.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubla36 View Post
Itís on order. 5 weeks, but at least no doubt or remorse while waiting.


You should be ahead with the Innuos, nice gear!
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:50 PM
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I gave the Innuous Zen Mk3 Mini (half-width) some serious consideration when I was thinking about it or the SOtM UltraNeo.

In the end I went with the SOtM as I saved about $200 on it during a Memorial Day sale. And, didn't have to pay CA Sales Tax.

The ability to rip CDs is also a really nice feature of the Innuous.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:28 AM
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I have the ZENith MK II & absolutely love it. I've went through several servers in the past but Innuos has the easiest most reliable platform & experience I have encountered yet. Enjoy the MKIII!
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubla36 View Post

A nod to Audirvana-- the last major upgrade was a big improvement in sound quality on the MacMini (Iíve been a user for a couple of years). So if you can't swing a dedicated streamer just now, consider it. Though that upgrade did introduce more instances of the timing thing I heard. Yes I was using a shunyata alpha usb cable (although I cheated with the laptop because it was too hard to re-run the cable in my setup, and I figured play it like those who say there is no difference).

While waiting for the Innuos to arrive, I loaded Roon on my MacMini (I liked a number of the exploration features I got to use while demoing the Zenith). But I donít like the sound compared with Audirvana. Iíll be sticking with Audirvana till the Zenith gets here.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubla36 View Post
While waiting for the Innuos to arrive, I loaded Roon on my MacMini (I liked a number of the exploration features I got to use while demoing the Zenith). But I don’t like the sound compared with Audirvana. I’ll be sticking with Audirvana till the Zenith gets here.
Can you be more specific about the differences in sound between the two?
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndoe21ro View Post
Can you be more specific about the differences in sound between the two?
Sorry, I missed this question. The sound stage/depth decreased. It was immediately noticeable. I didn't listed long enough to note other changes. Everything in the system was the same -- just running different software on the MacMini.

I wonder if Audirvana was doing some DSP in the newer version (they have various options/integrations that I had not previously used). As noted, I kind of sensed some timing smear. It is a 2015 MacMini (slow).
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