How to maximise my Innuos Zenith?

I’ve been keenly reading the various Innuos related threads here over the last few weeks and months, and I’m still not quite sure how best to proceed to maximise my Zenith MK3.

The recent opportunity to test two CD transports (Denon DCD 1600NE and a Hegel Mohican) has left me slightly non plussed as to the fantastic SQ still available from a physical disc spinner, that to my ears on occasions surpasses my Zenith.

I am intent on keeping the Zenith (I’ve ripped thousands of albums on it, and I prefer it’s Qobuz sound to that of my Nova) but would like to squeeze more from it.

Budget £1-2K.

Rest of kit: Nova/250.2, Audiophilleo + Pure Power, EE8, ProAc D2R

I like physical media as well. I bought a Bel Canto CD3t just over a month ago. It is difficult to explain what it sounds like because I’m not sure that it has a sound of its own. It is certainly the best CD sound I’ve ever had when playing through the Auralic and Burmester.
The first thing that struck me is that it is the first CD player that I’ve seen that is absolutely silent. There is no noise at all when a disk is spinning. Not a whizz, whirr or slightest sense of hiss from a turning disk. Not sure how important that is, but I’m impressed.:grin:

Power supply to EE8, like Farad 3 lps?
Ndac into Innuos Z3, 282/ 250?
Ndac - Innuos Z3 and SN3?

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Where do you use the Audiophilleo?

I’d certainly advise getting a demo of a PhoenixNet. It’s 500 above your budget limit, but you could then sell the EE8 and maybe Audiophilleo as well.

Phoenix net or phoenix usb

Hi Micheal,

The AP is used between the Zenith and the Nova.
So: USB out of Z3 into AP, and BNC from AP into BNC on the Nova.

This option does appeal.
Thanks for the reminder.

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Or Hugo into Zénith 3, into 250, Hugo used as dac and pre.

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Ndac =1k to Zenith 3 into Nova/ 250
And next move: 282

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My budget if I sold the Nova would be £1-2K plus Nova sell on (it’s a 2020 serial number), so that might get me a 282 and a DAC too, maybe.

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It would be a terrific upgrade!

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Yes, it’s been one of the step ups on my horizon for awhile, when funds and circumstances allowed.

The rouge or rather uncertain element has been the DAC and what would be the best fit.
I’ve never heard or used an NDAC but I’ve had various Chord models (Mojo, Qutest and QBD 76) but all in different set ups pre-Zenith.
Hoping for house completion confirmation this coming week and
then it’ll be time!

Remember you’ll need a power supply for the 282 so budget for a Hicap DR too. If you went down the Chord DAC / Naim amp route then you could just use the USB output from the Zenith and ditch the Audiophilleo converter to free up some more funds.

Thanks James, yes I’d not factored in the power supply for the 282.

You could find the PhoenixNet sounds considerably better. It might be worth a listen to see if that already levels the playing field vs. the CD drives you’ve heard and will lay the ground for further front-end upgrades if you stick with Naim streamers.

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I keep looking to box upgrade my Nova/AP/Zenith, buy recently second time around NDX2/SN3 is just not offering anything beyond subtle improvements.

Even a full fat Fraim did little more than a DIY glass and cup setup.

I do intend to get back a Pure Power to the AP and go full loom Synergistic Research.

Beyond that I don’t know, but I am more than content with SQ and get allot of enjoyment.

The Phoenix USB is not good for us and the AP I believe offers allot more functionality and a simpler solution. Major point is no cable or power supply drama as power is battery and you can try the Virtual cable to noise shape.

The Phoenix NET may seem overkill but it is one of them core system items.

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Phoenix NET is a switch and the Phoenix USB when used with Naim still requires SPDIF conversion.

Yes, indeed: I am suggesting that Charles experiment with (audition) using the PhoenixNet between the Zenith and Nova using Ethernet connections as a possible alternative to using the USB out with Audiophilleo

The former. Charles could of course see what the USB brings to the party but that would knock his budget for six, since he wouldn’t be trading anything in or selling it off. If I was in his position I would try both if easy to arrange with his dealer.

Unless something has changed the Zenith works best through USB, RAM buffering each track, thereafter isolation.