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...




@lalitk ​​​​@lordmelton 

Could you please detail the Masterclocks used for the N20, and how you set them up in your system?

I’m honestly confused about Master clock vs word clock, 10 MHz vs 44.1x/48x, SPDIF Sync, Sine wave vs Square wave, etc. 

Does the DAC also need to be connected to the same clock to hear the revelation?

Thanks in advance!

@rockrider A N20 needs a 75 Ohm Masterclock. Word Clocks are vastly inferior because you have to change the frequency settings everytime you change from 44.1/192 Khz etc. Masterclock is plug and play.

Sine wave is best, connecting simultaneously to a DAC will have little effect, if any.

However connecting the clock to ethernet devices and reclockers etc., should give good results. The most important issue is enabling masterclock control of the N20's internal clock, which will benefit tremendously from more accurate timing.

A quality LPS is essential together with a real clock cable, not a 75 Ohm SPDIF cable. Clock cable can cost around $2k per meter, one meter or less is best.

You can buy an After Dark or Cybershaft clock for $1k or more.

@lalitk uses a much more sophisticated (and expensive) setup, but what I've explained here will give excellent results.

Does the master clock affect the usb output? I would not think so…




Sorry for late reply. I am using Merging Technologies +clock which not only designed to synchronize RAVENNA network (exclusive to my Network Attached DAC), it also provides automatic sample rate switching, two 10MHz synchronous outputs, one of those 10MHz being used for N20 and a set of four Word Clock outputs. Even if your DAC does not have a clock input, synchronizing Aurender transport like N20 with an external clock further yielded a more coherent presentation.

My ‘Digital’ system is listed under my username for you to checkout my system setup. You can read further on this amazing and versatile clock here,