Grimm MU1 Streamer - Really "The Best"?

I've recently become interested in the Grimm MU1.  While reviews of top end players from Innuos, Aurender and Antipodes and others are typically all very positive, the tone of the many pro reviews of the Grimm MU1 go far, far beyond, with some reviews resorting to using superlatives and gushing of positive system transformation and not being able to stop listening to material, etc..  HiFi Advice and Steve Huff (actually calls it "magic") have such reviews.

Given the delay in availability of the Innuos Pulsar which I'm told will be better than my current Zenith Mk3 + PhoenixUSB reclocker, I am interested in replacing my streaming setup with a one-box solution that includes a high-precision clock.  The new streamer will continue to feed my Gryphon Diablo 300's DAC module, which I have no interest in replacing.

I'm actually a fan of Innuos, after they improved the sound of my Zenith with firmware updates and after I added their PhoenixUSB reclocker. I appreciate this commitment to improving sound quality which is why I was so interested in the Pulsar.

The trigger for considering an upgrade is not for improved sound, but rather, to solve some issues I have with too many Audioquest power cords coiled and clumped together. I will get to lose one of them and one of my USB cords with a one-box streamer. I've noticed my sound is very sensitive to positioning of my AC cords and find I often need to re-adjust the PC feeding my amp to get proper sounding vocals at center stage.  One of my subs also seems to be picking up AC noise when the crossover is set above 60Hz. The second trigger is simply system simplification, removing one box.  All that said I don't really have any complaints regarding sound, and the PhoenixUSB reclocker truly did improve the sound of my Zenith.

While the Grimm MU1 has it's 4X upsampling up it's sleeve with reviewers absolutely glowing over this feature and it's extreme ability to separate tones to the left, right, front, and back far better than the rest, I don't see that Grimm has gone to any lengths with regard to power supply management in the way other brands do including Innuos. The MU1's ultra-simplistic interior doesn't bug me, but the lack of transformers and power management makes me wonder....

Are there any updates from folks who have directly compared the MU1 vs similarly classed streamers from the competition?  Did you find it to be as revelatory as the pro reviewers found it? And, how does it compare to other streamers with it's 4X upsampling disabled?  Does it sound like it suffers from it's lack of power management?  I do see that the clock should be very good...




@ghasley you are right, the Pulsar is stated as being USB only!  I am fairly sure that before the delay of the Pulsar, the specifications for it were posted on the Innuos site along with the specs of the other two Pulse products.  And, I could have sworn that the Pulsar used to list AES as an output in its specifications section that no longer exists.  Not saying I’m certain about this, but if I’m right it would signal that a redesign of the Pulsar is in fact underway to deal with parts availability issues (that Innuos directly told me they were having with respect to the Pulsar).

@ghasley I hate the fact that I agree with your advice to try some well known and available DACS. In fact the Gryphon DAC module is the only premium DAC I’ve tried in my system, ever. So yes, there is no doubt it would be eye opening. On the other hand, @sns raised a great point - my current DAC has proven it can do everything I want - just not in the same server of the two I have experience with. Although it’s possible a different DAC would rectify this with one server or the other, or both.

Why do I hate this advice?

  1. It requires another box if I enjoy the benefits and go this route
  2. I don’t get to reduce my rat’s nest of cabling
  3. Cost. I’d need to buy an expensive interconnect as well as an AES cable, probably. My assumption is I’d want to spend twice the amount of the AES cables I’ve been looking at (Jorma, Sablon, Audioquest Diamond) on analog interconnects to do justice to the system. I don’t have any experience with premium analog interconnects - do I have this right?

I know audiophiles joke about not exposing themselves to superior gear they can’t afford, as they will justify a way to afford it when they hear it. I’m afraid it might not be a joke in my case, but a legitimate concern lol!

I also feel like my current quest might truly turn into a true rabbit hole if I intro a new DAC. I’m not shutting down the concept of maybe pivoting in that direction. But my current thinking was to compartmentalize my quest to server testing only and finding the best that works with my current DAC. And maybe in the future looking into DACs. I understand that this does limit what I can learn from testing the servers though, with the DAC pairing being an essential element. Hmmm…

The dCS Lina & Bartok can be one box units if you use Mosaic as your controlling App. 

@nyev pretend for a moment that we have been friends for many years. Now, pretend that I just hit you squarely on your jaw to try to knock some sense into you! You are already fretting about interconnects? You have a six dollar ribbon cable or a four dollar board slot with traces presently connecting your Gryphon dac module... so relax for a moment and take a deep breath.


Also, free advice...I've heard interconnects make both a positive and negative difference. Its a thing. BUT...I utilize nice but sensibly priced (in my opinion) interconnects but its a bigger deal since I use single ended/rca. With that disclaimer, you could pick up a pair of nice XLR interconnects for peanuts ~$500 and you wouldnt be able to hear much if any difference between them and $5,000/pr interconnects as long as the dac adheres to the balanced XLR standard, you will be fine. Your Gryphon has balanced inputs so you are good to go. Thats what the XLR standard was designed virtually eliminate variations in cables.


Get a good dac in your system. You need to know if the streamers are the limiting factor right now or if its your dac board. This exercise will easily demonstrate which. If you acquire a great dac then you will also experience a small epiphany.


Regarding your "cable rat's nest", it doesnt have to be that way. You do however have to step back and admit that the self-inflicted audiophle neurosis that is so prevalent these days is likely overkill. What cables do you have that are causing you heartburn?

(A) Server/streamer: 1 power cable, 1 ethernet cable, one digital cable to the dac

(B) Dac: 1 power cable, 1 pair interconnects

(C) Amp: 1 power cable, 1 pair speaker cables


Don't get FOMO on interconnects (or any other cable for that matter). In most cases, and I'm a committed cable believer to a large degree, people lose their rational minds. Cables make a difference but that's the final thing you tweak, not a paralyzing decision up front. and my final comment....the fact that you've heard no other dacs besides whats inside your Diablo is all the more reason to to bring in a high quality dac for comparison. You simply dont know what you dont know. If, after listening to a quality external dac and still find your Gryphon dac preferable...then you will have removed a variable.


Above all else, stop reading reviews....they have you amped up for all the wrong reasons...we have all been guilty of the same behavior so the sooner you relax and trust your ears the better. In fact, my favorite interconnects to my ears in my system are NOT the top tier of the manufacturers lineup. 



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