Innuos Network Isolation Switch and Reclocker (Phoenix)


A few weeks ago I added an Innuos PhoenixUSB reclocker to go along with my Innuos Zenith MKIII streamer which I am running Roon/Tidal on. On it’s own, I have to admit the Zenith didn’t offer the performance boost I was hoping for over my prior Mac Mini. This was even though I was using the “Squeezebox experimental mode” for better performance that pro users know about - it made a tiny bit of an improvement. For convenience I’ve been using the Zenith for years.

When I added the PhoenixUSB reclocker, after break in the performance boost was very clear. Everything became more focused, with better clarity. But I had the slightest feeling that my system was now a tad more “HiFi” sounding, which is not a quality I strive for in my system. Nevertheless I much preferred the sound with the PhoenixUSB reclocker. I perhaps wasn’t quite as over the moon as all other reviewers/owners seem to be with it though.

My Innuos PhoenixNET network isolation switch arrived yesterday. Without even any break in, the results are sublime. It took all the benefits of the PhoenixUSB and added to them in a way that took the sound in a far more natural direction. I’m amazed at the “calm” presentation I have now as one pro reviewer put it. The music is more straightforward now, and easygoing, with a highly detailed, tight, utterly controlled but also warm and inviting sound. There is an overwhelming sense of stability and solidity to the sound now, and it is very natural. Pro reviewers describe the sound as “analog” to use that cliche. Another said more specifically, it is like a highest quality tape recording. I’d agree, but there is of course zero noise. My system just sounds like music now without any hint of nasty “HiFi” qualities…

Highly recommend this combo, even if it’s pricey considering upgraded power cords, Ethernet cables and USB cables (a must - don’t bother without these upgrades)….

I wasn’t particularly a fan of Innuos when I just had my Zenith MKIII, but I am now.  It’s always stunning for me when I hear a slightly warm sound that is at the same time highly detailed, fast, punchy, and with tons of grip, and that’s what I’m hearing now.

 

 

nyev

@jon2020 , I should advise not to read too much into what I say beyond the fact that the PhoenixNET needs to be system matched - which goes for every component ever really.

On my current system, I wouldn’t say the PhoenixNET makes things smoother. Rather, it adds clarity and focus. And control. It’s cleaner, which can seem smoother but that’s the wrong descriptor really. It definitely does not balance the sound in the direction of smoothness or in any way tonally. There is nothing lost and the music is free-flowing.

It’s just when I’ve had warmer, denser, more liquid components in my system the PhoenixNET seemed to take something away.

But the PhoenixNET doesn’t make leaner or balanced gear warmer I don’t think, rather, it adds clarity and focus and control and this can seem like it’s a smoothing effect. But rather, it’s more like it’s cleaning up the music rather than the effect “smoother” usually means. If that makes sense.

 

@nyev,

Roger that.

Btw, I just read your review of the USB reclocker on another thread  :-

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/innuos-phoenix-usb-reclocker-sounds-worse

As you say, everything is system dependent, so I probably need a home audition before pulling the trigger for either.  Cheers!

I added the Phoenix USB reclocker between my modded Bluesound NODE 130 and Gustard X26 pro DAC. Made a positive difference. Not mind blowing, but good enough I’d have trouble removing it lol. It was a pricey upgrade and was glad to get a used store demo rather than pay full price.