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...




Out of curiosity, pull Ethernet cable from Innuous and connect it to Tambaqui. In Roon enable Tambaqui as end point. Give it a shot. Takes few mins. Whenever you have some time. If your innuos is the roon core, just connect the innuos with basic Ethernet cable. As long as the best cable is on the Mola. 

“Grimm MU1 Streamer - Really "The Best"?”


I guess you finally have an answer to your query. Well, I hope you had fun throughout this exercise and gained a nice DAC in the process. IMHO, it’s unfair to compare a DAC modules to an outboard DAC much like an integrated network card in a DAC to an outboard Streamer. They may not sound bad but they just don’t stand a chance against a full blown component. At least that’s been my experience! 

@lalitk I agree, the outboard DAC has the advantage. But I think there is a caveat. Had I put basic level cables on the DAC I think the Tambaqui may still have won but I think it would have been REALLY close. I put an Audioquest Dragon XLR on it, and I now have a Dragon power cord on it that I have on loan. So in the end, yes my Tambaqui is far better, but when you include that level of cabling that is a big price tag. But I’m happy with the performance, even if this was probably a case where diminishing returns may have applied even more than it normally does.

For reference, the boost I had with the Tambaqui before I upgraded from a Hurricane to a Dragon power cord, may actually be smaller than the boost I’m hearing with three of my AQ Hurricane power cords upgraded to Dragons. Or maybe the Dragon on the Tambaqui is allowing it to reach its full potential. so many variables!


@nyev That's always the problem with 2 box dac/streamers.

You need a reference digital cable. Otherwise performance will suffer.

You also need more good power cords.

And if you change your Dragon XLR to Black Cat Tron, the sound will change.

The best reason for combining Dac and streamer relates to only using one clock (expensive if good), one box and one set of power cables obviating the need for digital cables which are highly inconsistent and system dependent. 

Conversely there is still a religious war going on on R2R vs upsampling dacs and streamer operating systems are anything but mature.


Roon’s solution of separating streamers and servers looks increasingly outdated, however as improvements in streaming technology increasingly obviate,the benefit of local libraries.