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...




@svenjosh Oops! My apologies! It was early in the morning, pre coffee, when I wrote that and it should say the PhoenixNet operates at 100Mb/s, not 100Gb/s, so my bad, and annoyingly I can’t edit it.

The speed of the communication between devices on a local Ethernet network will be down to the hardware level of the Ethernet interface in the device. Most modern devices, including the Grimm, can operate at 1Gb/s. Using the PhoenixNet will prohibit this.

Our experience of listening to the Grimm at 1Gb/s and 100Mb/s connection speeds clearly shows an improved sound quality at 1Gb/s.

I hope that clarifies.



@richtruss , I was thinking about this and not everyone has internet service of 1Gbps. I believe I have up to 300Mbps service to my house. Also, if the communications were capped at 100Mbps even when the MU1 can do 1Gbps, I wonder if that would really matter? Not saying it doesn’t matter but just wondering. If it does matter, that would be an argument to upgrade my internet service I would think!

Update:  further to this, I looked and even Innuos streamers including the Zenith Mk3 support Gigabit Ethernet when the PhoenixNET is noted as supporting only up to 100Mbps.  So this would imply that capping to 100Mbps doesn’t hold back sonic performance as Innuos wouldn’t have held back their own streamers with the PhoenixNET.

@nyev Please note there is no correlation between the speed that your local Ethernet network devices communicate with each other, to the speed of your Internet service.
Data from the internet can be buffered (loaded into memory) at a slower speed, and then transmitted at faster speeds between local devices.

Hi, Niev for your comparisons between the Innuos combo and the MU1, they are much appreciated as I own two of the three Innuos you have. I don't know what DAC you have, since that is a very important element in the sound chain. Although the purchase of a Mu1 would be in order to replace the Innuos combo, after your comments I am left wondering if this would be a good decision since it means an outlay of more than $5000. Another option to consider would be to look for a streamer (better without a dac) to do the work of roon ready. There are products that can be attached to my Innuos combo, and it seems that an interesting option would be the new Innuos Pulsar, but it seems that I don't know when it will be released. Another option could be Hifi Rose with the 150B, which, having a digital output, is perfect for my system. Many doubts... About what would be the best option.

@nadimjaber, I have to say that between replacing my three Innuos boxes with the MU1, and replacing my Gryphon Diablo 300 DAC module with a Mola Mola Tambaqui, the upgrade to the DAC has made the most difference.  But the fact that the MU1 is slightly better than Innuos (along with a different sonic presentation), in one single box, is a win for me personally. Keep in mind I expect the MU1 will get a boost when I finally get my upgraded cables, as I am using only a basic set currently.  I’m also using a 1m AES which as above is not as ideal as a 1.5m length for digital interconnects.

Unfortunately there’s no way to figure out what will give you the biggest boost aside from just trying stuff out.  I started down that path by buying used gear that is easy to sell with good demand on the second hand market, wherever I could.  That way I was able to try stuff without too much of an added cost. Wasn’t able to do that with the MU1 though, so I was risking losing a bit more if it didn’t work out.  Thankfully the MU1 is here to stay though.