Innous Zen Mini MK 3


Here goes, another streamer thread. Does anyone have any experience with this streamer, specifically with the internal DAC. The Mini is at the top of my price range and, for now, I would like to avoid buying an external DAC. How would it compare to the internal DAC in the Node 2i?
As an aside I like that the Innous has a CD ripper, but I could do without one.
ericsch
There is a good review here if you haven't seen it:
https://darko.audio/2019/11/innuos-zen-mini-mk3-review/
Unfortunately there are no comparisons to the Bluesound gear in the article. I have compared the Zenith Mk3 with the BS Vault2 and there is a difference, but in this case the Innuos is ~4x the cost compared to the Vault. Since you plan on using the integrated DAC you should try to listen to both. I will say that Innuos provides a compelling story if you are inclined to upgrade. You can start with a base unit and then add the linear power supply and/ or Phoenix re-clocker if they improve SQ for you; the Roon capabilities with Innuos are also interesting.
Yes, I have seen the Darko review. At about $700 more, I would guess that the Innous Mini would have better build quality and sound better. Unfortunately, I won't be able be able to audition either one. The CD ripper on the Innous is a plus.
Tough one...I doubt you would be disappointed with the Node. The other issue is the interface. The native UI that comes with Bluesound is easy to use and works well but not terribly rich. Not sure what Innuos gives you out of the box. I've heard the Innuos setup is easy and intuitive but am not sure about native music management. It seems many opt for Roon.
Best of luck.
I compared the Bluesound Node 2i, a modded Sonos Connect and the Zen Mini III on it's own, with the Linear Power Supply and with the Phoenix. 

https://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2020/03/01/hifi-innuos-zen-mini-mkiii-review-with-phoenix-usb-re-cloc...

Needless to say, I bought what sounded best for me in my system, and it wasn't even close. 
@stevehuff , nice writeup. No question Innuos is a sonic step up but for many, Roon will be a critical piece given the other UI alternatives. I had the same experience with Orange Squeeze as you had with iPeng. It is clumsy with only the most basic control functionality and I can see some people being disappointed with it. Roon is great but with a cost of $119 per year or $699 lifetime it could be a barrier for some folks. I was also prepared to take the plunge on the lifetime membership but saw they increased it $200 as they are trying to maintain income via yearly subscriptions. The increase is at least a temporary deterrent for me and am opting for the yearly plan for now. I can't help but think that there will be a less expensive alternative inside of 6 years.

(I originally posted this response under a different thread)

I own a Zen Mini Mk3 now for about three months, but have no experience with any other music servers; this is my first.
I am quite pleased with it.  I bought the Mini only, no LPS.

Very easily ripped my small 250 CD library; the Innuos OS is very intuitive and friendly feeling to me.

Reasoning that the perfect DC supply for the mini would be a battery (no AC ripple, appearing as a straight-line DC pattern if observed on a scope) I brought in a massive 12V auto battery and hooked it to the Mini.  Worked fine, no surprise but, as you can imagine, it was difficult to quickly A/B between the battery and the wall-wart switching supply that came with the unit.  I could not hear much difference, perhaps a slight improvement.  I measured dc current to the Mini at 250 ma idle, and 350ma with the hard drive spinning.  Very easy load for an auto battery.

The Innuos LPS is spec'd to have an output of 16VDC so, knowing that I would NOT be leaving a 12V battery laying around our living room, I picked up a surplus, high-grade industrial, linear, 15VDC power supply.  Working beautifully and does sound better than the wall-wart switching supply that came with the Zen.

With regard to a DAC, I used the Zen's built-in DAC for a month or so, Sounds fine.  I recently bought a very reasonably priced Chinese made DAC that is quite noticeably better.  Had my wife sit while I (blind) A/B'd between the two DAC's and she consistently picked the new DAC as sounding much better.  

My system is:  Zen Mini Mk3, Counterpoint 3.1 preamp, Cary AES SE-1 300B kit-built amp, all feeding my Klipschorn's, recently upgraded with Greg Roberts/Volti full upgrade package.  A completely awesome upgrade, BTW, worth every penny and wish I'd done it ten years ago!

Again, this stuff is all kind of new to me, but I am really happy with my sound.

-Jim


Jim,
Thanks for your comments.