Please post your virtual system on your profile, so that those answering have some basis for answering. It seems that you only stream and are looking for a new streaming device, such as the Airlens.
Thanks vonhelmholz. I’ve spent the last 40 minutes trying to post my virtual system. After figuring out the first several steps—which are far from intuitive—I keep getting “user can’t be blank” although it’s definitely not blank. I realize this isn’t as good, but here’s my system:
KEF reference 5 speakers
krell Duo 175 XD amp
benchmark LA4 preamp
Audio Research ph3 phono stage
innuous Zenith 3
PS Audio directstream 2 dac
innuous Phoenix usb
rega Planar 6, dynavector cartridge
Thanks for detailing your system, and that helps a lot. And yes, as someone who recently posted their system A’gon definitely does not make it easy and should be made easier. It’d also help if you could specify more what improvements you’re looking for. You’ve got some nice equipment, and at this level it really comes down more to personal preferences, so sharing what you’re looking for becomes more important. Just saying general things like I want “better” or “the best” doesn’t give much direction in making helpful recommendations. The more info you provide here the better and more targeted recommendations you’ll get.
I listen mainly to classical music. I love string instruments, especially the cello, with its dark, vibrant sounds. The Bach sonatas for solo cello are one of my favorite tests of musical reproduction. On chamber and orchestral music, I like being able to identify individual instruments . I also enjoy vocal music, primarily crystal clear sopranos. I’m pretty happy with the sound of my system now. I realize all this doesn’t really describe what I’m missing or hoping to improve . As I said earlier, it’s the eternal quest for better sound, which sometimes is undefinable. I will say that the instrument placement/id in my system isn’t as precise as I would like and I would like a little more “presence.”
I’m not familiar with Wireworld interconnects and not sure what speaker cables you’re using, but I’d experiment with buying some used Acoustic Zen interconnects and speaker cables as, in my experience, they excel in the qualities you seem to be looking for and if they don’t work out you can just turn around and sell them for little or no loss. To me, they preserve detail along with the “meat on the bones” in the critical midrange while also being excellent at 3D imaging and soundstage. They may provide the extra oomph you seem to be searching for and at very little risk if buying used. Hope this helps, and best of luck.
Your system does seem to consist of a great set of components. The most important change in my system involved power cords and conditioner. I doubt that the AirLens would be an improvement, but you do have thirty days to return it. Don’t be over sold on Pauls I2s marketing. Your reclocking of USB makes your USB clock first rate. In theory I2s can carry a clock from the streamer to the DAC, but this isn’t so with the PS Audio products. Your USB is based upon a very stable clock, so I’m guessing the AirLens with a switching power supply..a good switching power supply.. will most likely not better your present setup, but listening is the only way to make sure.
I am not familiar with all your equipment but I am very familiar with steaming and Innuos. The Innuos net was a great addition to my system. Mostly eliminated all the noise you get from the internet. It was a great addition to my system and became like a black canvas for music. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is trying to improve streaming
Good luck with your system.
A huge upgrade would be a 432evo Aeon we bested an innous statement with upgraded power supply 25k while our Aeon is currently 7800
And you only need one usb cable a simpler and neater solution then adding a Phoenix and a zenith pluus Phoenix is not as good as a statement
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I will say that the instrument placement/id in my system isn’t as precise as I would like and I would like a little more “presence.”
I know of two methods to get what you want.
The first one is to improve the acoustics in your room with room treatments.
The second way is to try spatial audio/atmos music.
I did both and I can sit and listen for hours to classical music.
If you have questions just post them.
Watch this 2 minute video of the London Philharmonic to get an idea:
Actually, the OP did solicit advice.
You are correct. Audiotroy is a treasured participant in these discussions since he has personally compared high quality components in actual listening tests with his own ears. First-hand experience is always preferable to what others have only read about on the internet. He offers insight to new products that the community might not be familiar with. Obviously, he’d doing something right since he has many satisfied customers.
Participation in these discussion forums by manufacturers, dealers, et al. help make Audigon a great resource. It's not just your personal sandbox.
@brownsf Assuming the config looks like this: Zenith --> USB --> PhoenixUSB --> Matrix Converter --> spdif --> PS Audio DS, the Matrix spdif converter would negate the need for the PhoenixUSB.
Are you using Roon or the Innuos Sense app to play your local files and stream from services like Tidal and Qobuz?
The AirLens is a streamer (PS Audio also says it reduces, noise, jitter and provide galvanic isolation), so if you’re using Roon your new chain would look like this: Zenith --> Ethernet --> AirLens --> i2S or spdif --> PS Audio DS. In this configuration you eliminate USB output entirely from the chain.
The PhoenixNET is a network switch that’s supposed to eliminate noise and enhance clocking.
In your chain it could go before the Zenith.
I have PS Audio MKII DAC as well. I would say zenith 3 you have with the add ons you don’t need the matrix any more. Just usb to DAC. The MKII has a great usb input. The Airlens prob won’t yield any improvement. I would stick with what you got. I am trying out the Airlens vs the new eversolo. Not seeing a big improvement. Still need time with it.
I2s has the potential to be much better than USB, especially if the upstream devices has a very good clock and the clock information is used by the downstream device. PS Audio does not use the clock in their I2s implementation. I2s does not carry power, which can be an advantage over USB.