Innuos Zenith Mk3 or something else?

Hello There,

Hoping to tap into the collective insight of this group. I am planning to buy a music server+streamer combo and am thinking of the Innuous Zenith Mk3. And have some questions before i pull the trigger:

1. Any rumors/insights of a new version of the Zenith Mk3 launching soon? (hate to buy into this and have a new version pop up in short order. I think the Mk3 has been around for over 2 years now and so I thought i would check in with this group)

2. Any other music server/streamer combo I should consider at this price point? (the Zenith Mk3 retail is ~$4700)

My budget is to keep it under $5K. Thank you!

I strongly agree with the recommendation to demo a server/streamer in your home system before making a purchase, but that can often be difficult to do. For the month of November, Innuos has a promo through authorized dealers to encourage potential users to demo or purchase any of their units for chances to win a free unit. (I'm guessing that chances to win will be pretty slim, however.) I know that some dealers will set up an in-home demo, but most will rely on in-store demos.

I have never heard an Evo Aeon or an Innuos Zenith so I won't pretend to know how they sound. However, I bought an Innuos Zen when I was looking for servers under $3k and wanting a unit that sounded clear but smooth and non-digital. My dealer recommended the Zen as the "sweet spot" in the Innuos line and as sounding fuller and less edgy than the Lumin servers they also carried. I later added the Phoenix USB reclocker to optimize the USB signal path, and the new Innuos Sense software has taken my system to an even higher level.

Just to further reinforce the reason for an in-home demo, I have noticed that it's common for Agon members to throw out a quick comment about sound comparisons (e.g., "Gear A destroys Gear B") without always specifying how the gear differs in sound. For me, I look for sound that is smooth, full, dynamic, and natural while providing enough transparency and detail to sound "real" but not so much that it sounds "bright" or "edgy." In contrast, I know listeners who want maximum detail because that's what they like and that's what their system thrives on.

So be sure to buy gear that you like - not just the gear that someone on Agon likes. 
"My dealer recommended the Zen as the "sweet spot" in the Innuos line and as sounding fuller and less edgy than the Lumin servers they also carried. "

Would anyone else characterize the sound of Lumin servers as "edgy"? I have been seriously eyeing the T2. If this is the case I may have to go back to my original choice in the Auralic Altair. 
I have been using the Zenith Mk2 for some years and am very impressed. Both the sound and ease of use are excellent. Ripping really couldn't be easier. I believe the Mk 3 is a reasonable step up, incorporating many of the upgrades in the Zenith SE.

I have been trying to audition the Phoenix for some years. the epidemic has stopped several attempts, but I finally borrowed one for a weekend, expecting to be impressed. Was I? I'm afraid not, yes I could hear a difference, slightly better depth, a bit better dynamics. But worth to me, the significant cost, I'm afraid not. That's just me, I know others have been very impressed. I read one review suggesting you need a very good DAC to appreciate the difference. Whilst my Chord Qutest punches above it's weight, I'd be the first to admit it's not state of the art.
I’ve heard the whole Innuos range and own the Zenlth as well as having much experience with the Evo thanks to my lovely near neighbour. I think it was probably truer to say that a Zenith plus the Phoenix USB got you somewhere over 80% of the way to a Statement. However, since 2/Sense it’s now probably another 5% or so. 

I'm planning to buy an Innuous Zenith MK3 soon and had a few questions. Instead of starting a new thread I thought I might just piggyback on top of this thread. Hope the OP doesn't mind ...

1. Currently, I have a separate Roon core server (SGC i5 Transport). I know that the Zenith can be used as a core as well. Any pros and cons of using it as the core? I'm not sure if using Zenith as the core will rob some of the processing power and add noise as a result?

2.  I would like the ability to switch back and forth between Sense 2.0 and Roon. Is it fairly straightforward? For example, can I easily switch during the same session or is there a lengthy delay?

3. If I configure the Zenith to run as Roon core, do I lose the ability to easily switch back and forth between Roon and Sense?

4. For DSD, can I download directly to Zenith? Or do I need to download it to a computer and then transfer it over using something like a USB stick? I don't have a dedicated NAS setup right now.