Innuos Zen Mini MK 3 - Feedback Request


#63

Hello @T38.45 and @Hollow Quite agree that it is a good little box.

Hollow, Have you tried running Roon on it? Do you use the Zen streamer port rather than connecting through the Cisco switch?

Phil


#64

Hi @Richard.Dane, Thanks for your reply. The dealer says he cleans with cotton buds soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Is this a risky procedure? Should I send it back to HQ?

As I said the one CD is really bad on the final track of a full CD, but the Zen ripped it perfectly. I’m not sure about how a slipping puck would sound.

I’ve just had a concern that the CDX2 should sound much better than the Zen both through nDAC.

Phil


#65

Phil, any cleaning of the laser is risky, which is why Naim’s recommendation was that you shouldn’t try. It may not be down to the laser being faulty or dirty. It may be a pressing fault that lies outside of the Naim read capability - Naim optimise the read for best sound, not for best read of anything and everything (often there’s an inverse correlation here).


#66

Hi Phil - no I havent set up Roon yet, I might try the free trial but tbh I have enough subscriptions and dont have a huge amount of cd’s on the Zen - probably about 350 and they’re mostly old - not sure I’ll be buying any more going forward so with that and Tidal I’m not sure Roon is justified, I got the Zen for virtually half price from my dealer as he got them as some sort of promotion so for €400 I snapped it up! Mine is only a Mk2 so no streamer port like the Mk3, I connect it via ethernet to the Cisco which in turn is connected to the Nova and Router,


#67

What a bargain!


#68

@Richard.Dane, Thanks for your insights on the CDX2 laser. Could you put my mind at rest about the system earth.

Phil


#69

Sorry Phil, it’s not entirely clear; you say you have a CDX2 powered by a 555PS, which feeds into the DAC? Why not have the 555PS on the DAC?


#70

Until yesterday the 555 was on the nDAC with CDX2 played via the Chord Clearway digital BNC to BNC. So as the nDAC was left floating, the system earth from the CDX2 ran through the Chord and then via the IC to the 252.

With the 555 on the CDX2 the system earth runs direct from the CDX2 to the 252.

So just asking if my old arrangement through the coax from CDX2 to nDAC was really ok?


#71

I would have had the DAC signal earth set to chassis as the signal cable to the pre-amp was coming from the DAC and not the CDX2. However, if you also have the CDX2 connected to the pre-amp at the same time as the DAC, then I would set the DAC to float as you only want one item to have the signal to earth connection.


#72

I did what I did for nearly three years because the nDAC manual didn’t make it clear! My dealer even today said nDAC floating along with knowing the situation! I didn’t get hum but the system was sublime at times and also nothing special. Put it down to the mains as often late at night was really good.

Thanks

Phil


#73

I have now plugged in the Zen Mk 3, enabled Roon on it and it then provides its USB port with the M2Tech attached as an output device. The trick then is is group the Zen and the Zen Mini with Roon so they play the same music. Switching between them on the nDAC at this point there is no noticeable SQ difference. The Mini connected using toslink.

So what it comes down to is that spdif interfaces are equally good.

Where the Zen may be better is with uPnP where it has a 4GB music buffer and may implement lower noise on its streamer port with the twin medical grade power supplies and big music buffer (no disc access needed while playing back). I suspect the Zen has more powerful Quad Core processors.

Getting further into Genesis Foxtrot I am tending to think that the Zen has a slight edge. I also have no idea how much work the Zen has done before it reached me. It looked new as did the Mini 10 days ago.

Hope you are finding all this useful.

Phil


#74

One point. All three, mini, zen, Zenith have the same processor and other same or very similar specs. Those things dont have much impact past a certain point.


#75

If I could only keep one “device” out of CD5XS Flatcapxs Rega RP3 or the Zen mini…it would be the Zen mini


#76

Johnny, it wasn’t clear from the Innuos specs that the Zen Mini had the same processor as the others. No mention of 8GB Memory with 4GB for music buffer. The Zen MK 2 have an earlier generation.

Phil


#77

My view for what it’s worth is that M Scalar is a bigger upgrade than going from Naim DAC to DAVE. Though doing both was my preference, but I’d sooner have M Scalar Qutest than DAVE on its own. Blu2 DAVE is the best digital replay unit I have ever heard. As a CD player it raises the bar, as digital transport it is better than I could ever have imagined.

Of course, I may be the only one that thinks this, but if you have DAVE then try replacing Gustard with M Scalar and hear what you think, You may think it is the biggest upgrade ever, but you’ll only know when you try it.

An Innuos Zen would work very nicely in to M Scalar.


#78

When I have £4k to spare I will indeed try an M-Scaler - but for now There are too many other demands for finite resources… BTW, I don’t use the Gustard with Dave, having installed originally without and found the fantastic sound of Dave simply so good I can’t imagine it being possible for it to sound better. I have intended to try and see if Gustard makes any difference, easy as it is just sitting there doing nothing, but never got around to it.


#79

Reading the reviews of their top of the Range Statement by The Ear the message seems to be that the noise reducing measures as you go up the range contribute to SQ improvements. The uPnP Streamer ports is better than USB into a DAC according to The Ear. Of course M Scaler + DAC is probably in another league at a price.

I’m becoming very happy with the two Zen boxes I’m running side by side playing the same music so I can listen for differences. The Zen Mk3 should get better with use.

I am back with the 555 on the nDAC which is set to be the system earth. The SQ has been stable and to be honest I haven’t my system sounding better. So thank you @Richard.Dane and others.

I wish Naim would produce a uPnP streaming DAC without the Naim App but Roon support.

Phil


#80

It’s on the website. The possessors are all the same. The higher two just have more Ram.

The funny thing is the possessor is a two year old model.


#81


I rebuilt my racks last night to bring them further away from the wall and add longer legs on brain and brawn. It made further improvements.

This made it possible to add one of the Zens onto the racks and add it to the dedicated supply using the CDX2 power lead (where things plug into the dedicated supply does make a difference). The Zen Mk 3 was left on the noisy ring main and switching between them to my ear leaves the Zen Mini with LPS sounding better than its bigger brother. Both were on a par on the same ring main cheap mains block. The main thing to draw from this is that the dedicated supply is better. I would not put the cheap SMPS on my dedicated supply. I might risk not using the LPS if I used uPnP.

Next step is to swap the two Zens.

BTW the CDX2 sounds just as good.

Phil


#82

Is this true just for orchestral music, or also for jazz and rock and blues?