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...




@nadimjaber, I have to say that between replacing my three Innuos boxes with the MU1, and replacing my Gryphon Diablo 300 DAC module with a Mola Mola Tambaqui, the upgrade to the DAC has made the most difference.  But the fact that the MU1 is slightly better than Innuos (along with a different sonic presentation), in one single box, is a win for me personally. Keep in mind I expect the MU1 will get a boost when I finally get my upgraded cables, as I am using only a basic set currently.  I’m also using a 1m AES which as above is not as ideal as a 1.5m length for digital interconnects.

Unfortunately there’s no way to figure out what will give you the biggest boost aside from just trying stuff out.  I started down that path by buying used gear that is easy to sell with good demand on the second hand market, wherever I could.  That way I was able to try stuff without too much of an added cost. Wasn’t able to do that with the MU1 though, so I was risking losing a bit more if it didn’t work out.  Thankfully the MU1 is here to stay though.

On digital cable length -- I have used the same make of excellent AES cable, with different lengths (both 1.5m and less than 1.5m), in my rig and I cannot distinguish the difference. YMMV.

hi. In my system I have had the opportunity to test the Innuos Phoenix Net together with the Zenith and the Phoenix USB and faced with a simple Netgear 108. The results were quite clear for me, very subtle or practically indistinguishable and I could not in a blind test differentiate between both switches. The explanation is that the reclocking of the signal that the Phoenix USB makes before entering the DAC causes a redundancy in the data synchronization that does not allow the signal to be differentiated from one to the other. Although each audio system has its own idiosyncrasies and characteristics, in mine it was not worth investing in a HIFI switch.

The Grimm and Innuos were very popular at Axpona this weekend. As good as they sounded you went into a room with vinyl and they are still not quite there. 

“I have used the same make of excellent AES cable, with different lengths (both 1.5m and less than 1.5m), in my rig and I cannot distinguish the difference.”

@metaldetektor I expect it depends on your DAC’s jitter rejection abilities as to how much of an issue this is.  Also, while I clearly heard the difference when comparing the same USB cable of different lengths, I do wonder if maybe USB is more susceptible to this issue than AES.  Of note, I tested two Nordost Valhalla 2 USB cables of different lengths, and I also heard the same effect when I tried a .75m Audioquest Diamond USB cable vs my 1.5m versions of the same cable.