Innuos Zenith MK3 or alternatives?

I need a good 2TB server/ripper and the Zenith Mk3 is a potentially excellent, if expensive option.

I owned a 1TB Zenith, but sold it last year for a slew of reasons I won’t go into here. However, I really enjoyed the SQ of it, albeit with another expensive add on, an Audiophilleo SPDIF converter, also sold on.

I’m currently accessing my 1TB plus CD collection on an ext HD via the front USB slot of my Nova. It actually sounds surprisingly good as a temporary solution, but it doesn’t take too long for an album to be played that sounds fairly poor compared to what I’m pretty certain sounded great on the Zenith.

I’ve got a lot more CD to rip so need this facility.

One of my friends has recommended Antipodes Audio as an alt to the much mentioned Melco and Innuos models.

Beyond the Zenith (at £3K min for a 2TB MK3) what else would folk here recommend?

The Naim uniti Core is a great server, easy to use, sounds really good. I eventually changed mine for a Melco after listening to the Innuous Zenith as well. Melco was the best in SQ to my ears, Innuos was no better than the Naim Core, though its software is much better than its competitors. Would suggest home demo of any.

Thanks Gazza. I haven’t thought of a Core, but it’s worth adding to my shortlist.

A brief read about various Melco models tells me I’d need an external optical drive too, as they don’t have ripping on board.

Which Melco did you go for?

I bought the 5tb melco N10 plus a melco ripper, quite expensive, sounds great, but the software is not user friendly unless you like computers.

Ah, thanks, useful to know. I don’t like computers, no. Well, not in that technical sense.

FWIW I wasn’t impressed by the SQ of the Core, in fact I found it inferior to a fanless QNap. My experience of the Zenith vs Core differs from Gazza’s, however, though I ended up with the Statement. Not a big fan of the Melco sound myself. Smooth but dumbed down in my opinion. Audition as much as you can.

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Hmm, something amiss if a Core comes anywhere near a Zenith. It’s somewhere between a Zen Mini and a Zen but the Zenith, for me, over three demos on three different occasions outperformed stuff like the Core, NDX2 etc. very noticeably.

I see the attraction of the Melco sound but it’s a tad clinical for me and the UI. Oh dear.

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Just buy the zenith, its worth every penny

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Can somebody remind me how to optimally connect a Zenith to my Nova?

I used to use a SPDIF converter (the Audiphilleo) but won’t be this time around, should I go for the Zenith as seems likely.

Also, in the year (or thereabouts) since I sold my first Zenith, has the Innuos Sense app improved/stabilised? I’ve seen several threads/posts pertaining to this but only had a cursory glance as non-owner.

I’d like to try and keep the Naim Nova display in play, if possible but last time around this wasn’t the best SQ option when the AP converter was on board.

I’ve also still got a yearning for Roon’s library management, which I found vastly superior to Sense’s and Naim’s.

I find Sense fine stability-wise and that it sounds better than Roon either on the Nucleus or Innuos Statement.

My Atom HE and ND555 display artwork from locally stored files but not Qobuz for the time being, though a solution for the latter is in the works.

Roon still offers some features that Sense doesn’t have, but I always use Sense though Roon is always available on the Nucleus (which I stil haven’t had time to sell). I don’t miss Roon’s features but would miss the Innuos SQ.

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When I had a Nova connected to the Zenith it was via ethernet. The Sense app continues to improve, I have Roon but never use it anymore, sound quality via Sense is better to me.
As @Michaelb highlighted my Atom HE displays artwork from local files but not Qobuz yet, I have no doubt this will be available in the short term.

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You should ask @obsydian , as he uses Zenith and Nova.

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Yes, I know, and as was noted when I first purchased a Zenith two years ago his postings of his own tweaking of his set up cost me more money!!

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I’m heading inexorably to another Zenith albeit a 2TB one this time round. My local Hi-Fi contact is looking out for a decent priced ex-dem one for me, or if not, it’ll be the usual s/h sites.

While I’m here and this thread is active, what are other users’ thoughts and experiences with the Phoenixes, both NET and USB reclocker?

You can have: Zenith into Nova with Audiophileo
SN3/ Ndx2/ English electric switch / Nas
Nova as player, Zenith as Server/ Nas and PhoenixNet as Switch .
Personally I would choose the second option.

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So for a Nova user like me, which one do you mean?

Hello :wave: @Charles64 shame you sold the Audiophilleo they have turned into rocking horse poo, the Audiophilleo allows the best Nova to Zenith connection and use of its USB RAM caching. That said Innuos arr also working on ethernet support, but the Audiophilleo isolates clocks, direction connection is a gem.

Always best to demo IF you can, but i went through the old Zen mini, new Zen mini, quickly to the Zenith MK2, reasoning was i could rip, store and now soon to be unfold MQA, so for the money but moreso the SQ and hardware, software design its something i would only change for the Zenith MK2 SE or a Statement.

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I have both in my system, the PhoenixNET would be a good addition for you, I can’t see where the benefit would be in adding the PhoenixUSB, I use mine to connect to Scaler/DAVE but you won’t be using USB ?

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Sell the Nova, and buy an SN3 with Ndx2, as you have the budget to buy a 3k PhoenixNet. My choice.

Hi Obsydian, yes I can’t find many (any) Audiophilleos out there.

I’ll see how it all sounds when (seems more likely than if!) I re-purchase a Zenith MK3.