@phastm3 I’ve heard good things about Auralic. Or maybe I’m thinking of Antipodes, I get those mixed up…. To be honest I’ve never been impressed with my Zenith Mk 3 on its own. I expected much better. But with the PhoenixUSB added (also the PhoenixNET too), I was stunned, and very satisfied from the sound when connected to the Diablo DAC module. One could argue that for that cost you could get achieve the same result in one box (although the PhoenixNET would help any streamer). Nevertheless, end result is I’m happy with the sound. But simply interested in what the M Scaler might add for a relatively modest cost if purchased used. Yeah, it’s a patchwork of multi-box solutions. But, budget is a factor and the boxes really do seem to help nudge things towards upper tier performance to my ears. Nudge is too soft a word for what PhoenixUSB did.
I upgraded to Valhalla 2 speaker cables which levelled up my system’s transparency. Not sure I would have heard the difference my PhoenixUSB added had I stuck with my old Clarus Crimson biwires (which are also great for the price, but far less revealing).
Now that I’m stuck on Innuos (sort of) I’d probably spring for an upgraded Zenith which I would guess might be available by 2025-ish. Hopefully they do better than the MKIII. I know I’m the odd one out, most seem to love theirs.