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...





Lastly, I really appreciate the feedback you are sharing with the audiogon community. There are very few people who compare high-end streamers in their own systems and faithfully report their findings without any bias. I certainly have enjoyed reading your posts and find them very valuable. Thank you for sharing!


This is something you’re more likely to find on Whatsbestforum. The effort and time is appreciated.



I have been following this and really enjoy reading about your journey…

@nyev question, maybe I missed it, but have you tried the upsampling on the N20 with the AES output?

@ghasley that is a really, really interesting rumour if true (MU2 being a Mola Mola / Grimm collaboration.  That would be amazing.  Almost seems too cool to be true though, or founded in wishful thinking.  Hopefully not!

@arafiq I will try the Purple fuse with Innuos. Will see how it goes!  As I said I’ve heard from enough people that I expect a big performance jump.  I should clarify something though.  I don’t have any issue whatsoever with the Zenith on its own.  I used to, prior to the 2.0 software update.  Before that update, I slightly preferred my Mac Mini running Audirvana over the Zenith with Roon.  But after 2.0, the Zenith pulled ahead, with Sense and even with Roon using Squeezelite.  My issues only started when I added the PhoenixUSB Reclocker, which I know is much revered.  There is no question it made a world of difference, improving clarity, depth, etc.  But it made all tones, and I believe this is specific to my system, cables, etc, much more “on a knife’s edge”.  It’s not bright.  It’s not thin.  But I find I can’t help but constantly gauge the image delivery quality.  I can’t fully forget about that and just listen to music.  Everything is just not quite delivered with a commanding sense of confidence and solidity.  Not enough impact.  The N20 does this for me, but without the detail air and depth I get with the Innuos setup.  This is simply my experience in my system, I know all of these products are well loved by most.



I do realize, you wanna hold off to buying a DAC but these two DAC’s are definitely be in my list of DAC’s to consider, if I was shopping for DAC’s.