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...





Your explanation/distinction and rationale is clear (At least to me).



Thanks Charles. Every now and then you cross path with someone who is hell bent on proving their point that they miss the big picture 😊

The OP already stated that PhoenixNet is not a good match with MU1 hence my recommendation to try Muon Pro Kit which is universally praised for its simplistic design and positive attributes on lowering the noise floor. 

One note…

There is a lot of talk in this thread and others about the Grimm MU1 working well with the Tambaqui DAC, which I have no doubt that it does.  I’ve been trying out an MU1 in my system, vs the Aurender N20, over the past week with a Chord DAVE.  It meshes VERY well with the DAVE as well.

@rshad0000 , great to hear you are testing the MU1 with the Dave and also testing the N20! Very interesting. Any insights yet on the differences you found between the MU1 and the N20?

While I’ve heard some say Dave can be a tad analytical with some material, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s not at all the case with the MU1, or the N20 for that matter. My guess is Dave has a touch more detail than the Tambaqui.

As an aside I rearranged my shelf this evening and reorganized my cabling, this time with exceptional care. I really think my system sounds different now, in a good way. I think the mids got better.

I’m not a jazz guy but right now I’m listening to the epic London Brew, a loose modern interpretation of Miles Davis’ classic, and it’s fantastic….


The main differences I hear...  The Aurender N20 is very transparent, dynamic and has quiet backgrounds.   The Grimm is very smooth, yet still dynamic, and adds some really nice texture to the music.   I have to say that I prefer the Aurender Conductor app more because its easier for my family to use when I am not around, but I'm still good with Roon.   Overall, I've been really impressed with the Grimm.   Crazy that the N20 is so large and heavy(power supply and battery) while the Grimm is a much smaller unit and a lot lighter.   

I'm surprised I like the Grimm so much with the Chord Dave.   I actually tried the Chord M-Scaler with the Dave at one point and I just did not prefer the sound for some reason and sold the M-Scaler.   The upscaler on the Grimm, however, I do like.   Great rythym and pace with the Dave and is very synergistic for lack of a better term.    

I'm going to continue to listen and will probably make a decision by the end of this week on whether to keep the Grimm or not.      The extra texture and smoothness the Grimm adds, at least in my system, is pretty addictive.