Innuos Statement Review


I first heard the Innuos Statement music server at AXPONA 2019. I listened to a demonstration directly comparing the Statement to the Innuos' Zen MkII. After the demonstration, it was clear to me that the Statement was a large step forward in the Innuos product line. I recently purchased the Innuos Statement and took delivery (after a six week wait). I immediately plugged it in, set it up, (super easy) and downloaded .5 TB of WAV files overnight. After burning in the Statement for approximately 100 hours, I compared the Statement's performance to the Antipodes DX3 music server. In order to have as close a comparison as possible (in relative real time) I connected both servers to my Jeff Rowland (JR)  Aeris DAC+PSU using the same brand of cables (Stealth). However, because the Aeris DAC has only one USB input and both the Statement and the Antipodes DX 3 only have USB output, I first ran the Statement through a Berkeley USB Alpha converter and connected the Alpha converter to the Aeris DAC using Stealth's Vardig Sextet V16-T BNC/BNC cable. The Stealth USB Select-T cable connected the Statement to the Aeris DAC. The rest of the system consisted of a JR Corus Preamp (connected to the aforementioned PSU), JR M925 mono amplifiers, Joseph Audio Pearl 3 speakers and a three REL subwoofer "swarm" configuration. Cardas Clear Beyond power cords, balanced ICs, and speaker cables were used throughout the system. Both servers were used as Roon Cores for the comparison/review. I own all the equipment; I don't work for any audio company. (I also don't pump my stuff to dump it later.)
I focused on music selections I know well across the genres of rock/pop, jazz, classical, soul/R&B, and classical. I used a "non-blind" method playing a 1 minute 30 second to 2 minute section of a recording before switching from one server to the other and then repeating the same recording for an immediate comparison. I did the comparison over a two hour period, taking periodic listening breaks. Before providing my overall impressions of the Antipodes Statement, I note that I immediately compared the Statement to the Antipodes DX3 without burning the Statement in. The Antipodes DX3 had been thoroughly burned in before the comparison (more than 500 hours of use). Without burn in, the Statement and the Antipodes DX 3 sounded very similar to one another. I'm confident that I would have been guessing which was which if I was blindfolded and had to name the server I was hearing on any given recording. I repeated this exercise after the Statement had burned in for one hour. At this point it seemed the Statement's soundstage had gotten a little wider and only slightly deeper. It also seemed the vocals on the Statement had become slightly clearer than on the Antipodes DX3. I did no further comparisons until now. The following are my subjective impressions of the Statement after four days of burn in compared to the Antipodes DX 3 server in my system.
The Statement threw a slightly wider soundstage than the Antipodes DX3.
The Statement had a significantly deeper soundstage than the Antipodes DX3. 
The Statement and the Antipodes DX3 had the same soundstage height.
The Statement resolved moderately more than the Antipodes DX3. By this I mean it provided more recording details than the Antipodes DX 3. It was not a night and day difference. It was apparent on most, but not all, recordings I considered.
Vocals presented clearer/crisper (better "enunciation" if you will) via the Statement than the Antipodes DX3.
The Statement provided superior bass differentiation in the lowest and mid bass regions. With the Statement, the bass drum performance did not cloud either a stand up bass or electric bass performance--provided the recording/mastering engineers sufficiently separated the performances on the recording. The Antipodes DX3 is a very good bass performer. But it slightly trailed the Statement.
The Statement placed more air between the instruments and performers than the Antipodes DX3.
The Statement excelled at acoustical instrument presentation. A reeded instrument sounded convincingly "real." The Antipodes DX3 does this well too...just not as well. Percussion instruments also benefit from this attribute. The Statement allowed me to hear more definition in the wood block, the guiro, shakers, all cymbals I heard, chimes, a gong. Again, the Antipodes DX3 was very good at percussive instrument representation. The Statement was simply better.
Both the Statement and the Antipodes DX3 provided high quality believable piano reproduction in all genres. The only significant difference I heard between the two servers on piano performance was found in Alfredo Rodriguez's rendition of "Chan Chan." There, the Statement seemed to handle the quick staccato notes and the unique decay issues of this piece more believably than the Antipodes DX3. But the difference was not night and day.
My overall impression of the Statement is that it provided superior high quality, believable digital music reproduction regardless of genre. I consider it an across the board upgrade in musical reproduction in my system over the Antipodes DX3. My impression of the Antipodes DX3 is that it is a high value product that held up very well in comparison to the Statement. The Statement retails for twice as much as the DX3's retail price when it was in production. If the Statement's performance after four days of burn in was rated as a 100 I would rate the Antipodes DX3 completely burned in as a 75. I will be keeping both these music servers. Hopefully this review helps those in the market for a music server.     
Ag insider logo xs@2xastewart8944
@astewart8944  Thank you for your informative and helpful review. Congratulations on taking your music enjoyment to another level!!!
Thanks for posting this.  Seems a more than fair and impartial way to approach things.  I’ll be curious of your findings if you switch the Statement to go into your DAC via USB (as designed) and put the Antipodes on the Berkeley USB to SPDIF converter.  It’d be interesting to know what advantage or disadvantage the Alpha converter is introducing. 

The reason I ask is that you’ve purchased a server a class above what I recently purchased (Auralic Aries G2).  I’m running mine into my DAC via a Nordost Heimdal digital cable but am now wondering if USB might be the superior way to approach this.  It used to be that SPDIF was clearly superior to USB.  I don’t think that’s the case anymore.  Of course every DAC is different too in their implementation, but I’d like to know your findings to see if this might be a worthwhile pursuit. 
Best,
mgrif
@mgrif104 You and I think alike. In my next round of critical listening I plan on doing exactly as you propose. The JR Aeris DAC specifically states that the SPDIF input is optimized over the USB input. I have tried both those inputs with a different source device that had both USB and SPDIF outputs. To my ears, there was a clear preferential difference with the Aeris' SPDIF/BNC input. However, when I have introduced the Berkeley into the chain, again using a different source path than either the DX3 or the Statement, the superiority of the Aeris' SPDIF/BNC input seemed to diminish. I will let you know what I hear in about five days or so when the Statement has logged an additional 100 hours of playing time. I will first listen with the system setup exactly as described above and make notes on what I think I hear. I will then run the Statement directly to the DAC and the DX3 through the Berkeley Alpha and listen again.
Op congrats on the Statement you ain't heard anything yet.

The Statement use tons of Mundorf caps which really don't come alive unitl you have hit 300 plus hours. We are one of Innous's top dealers and we have heard a very noticable improvement with our demo unit after 300 hours passed.

The soundstage just opens up even more.

Also put a set of Critical Mass center stage footers under the Statement and prepare to have you expectations of what a music server can sound like blown. the footers dramaitcally improve the focus and macro dyanamics even more. 

Hopefully you are also using a good power cord, the Statement will show you everything that you do with your setup.

Please keep on playing your Statement you will see it open up in a very noticable way.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous Statement dealers
@audiotroy Thanks for the insight. My current plan is to review the Statement over a 400 hour burn in time frame. I probably should have noted in the review above that the Statement was tested completely stock with supplied power cord and original footers placed directly on the audio shelf. The DX3 used a Cardas Clear Beyond PC with Stillpoints Ultra SS footers sitting on a Symposium Svelte Plus Platform placed on the audio shelf. After I have completed all the timed burn in reviews, I will then review how the Stillpoints footers underneath the Statement alone and in combination with a Symposium Platform affect the Statement's performance. I will continue to also compare the Statement to the DX3 hopefully only changing one factor at a time so that the review is as methodical as it can be given the constraints of a "non-blind" one person review imposes. 
Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful review. It would be interesting to compare my current favourite digital source, the Fidata, with the Statement.
@toetapaudio I will happily do so if you supply the Fidata, I will listen, compare and comment and then ship back to you :-)
In order for your analysis to have real validity, please
perform the 400 hour test double blind. Thanks.
Thanks for your excellent review.  I very much appreciate it when people go to such an effort to listen to and review their experiences. You certainly do not need to do a double blind test for your review to have validity.
Thanks again, and I look forward to further developments and comparisons.


@firstknot Hmm...I am familiar with double blinded experiment methodology as it relates to medicine. In that instance (a drug experiment for instance) neither the study participants nor the persons conducting the experiment know which study participants are receiving the drug and which are receiving the placebo. If you have ever conducted a "double-blind" audio test please share how you did it and I will consider whether it seems feasible to me. I'm not trying to be a jerk here. I honestly am interested in whether you have an actual feasible methodology in mind that doesn't require me to recruit a large of group of people to scratch someone else's itch. If you do and if it is feasible I will try and give it go after the 400 hour burn in is complete. 
Let me know.
Regards
Al 
Here is a fast 200 hour burn-in update. Nothing new to report. Storms in my area had me turning my system off and on and off and on and off and then back on over the course of the last week. Because I run Rowland M925s they really benefit from being on--all the time. So, they have now been on continuously for the last 32 hours. During the last week the Statement has logged another 100+ hours, but because the amps have been off and on so much I don't find much value in critically listening again until the amps have a chance to re-settle. I plan on providing another listening report at the 300 hour mark and hopefully the storms stay at bay and I will have continuous power over the next week.
BTW @firstnot please forgive me for misspelling your user name previously. I just realized today that I did so. My apologies.  
Here is my assessment of the Innuos Statement after 400 hours of burn-in compared to the Antipodes DX3. Everything I noted in my initial post remains accurate except for the following: (1) I made this comparison using the same make and model and length of powers cords on both servers (Cardas Clear Beyond 1.5M); and (2) I placed a Symposium Platform underneath the Innuos Statement but did not use any other isolation device with the Statement. I continued to use the Symposium Svelte Platform and Stillpoints Ultra SS feet under the Antipodes DX3.I listened to 14 tracks, one at a time, first using the DX3 then using the Statement. The time between stopping the first track and starting the next track was less than 15 seconds. I wrote down my impressions immediately after listening to the two same tracks. I took a 50 minute listening break after listening to music for 50 minutes. I then listened to another 25 minutes of music before taking a 20 minute listening break. I listened to the final 4 tracks in 20 minutes.Conclusions:1. The Innuos Statement benefits from a substantial burn-in. It differentiated itself from the DX3 by the 100 hour mark. At the 300 hour burn-in mark the sound stage had widened further compared to the 100 hour mark. The Statement appears to have fully opened up by the 300 hour mark.
2. The Statement's noise floor is lower than the DX3's. As a result, the Statement delivers greater depth, detail and decay than the DX3. The Statement tends to sound louder than the DX3, IMO because it is providing a blacker background.
3. The Statement's sound stage depth is its strongest attribute IMO. This depth is allowing the listener to perceive more "air" around the instruments than presented by the DX3.4. The Statement's sound stage height is only slightly "taller" than the DX3. Both provide a realistic presentation of performers on a stage.5. The Statement excels at believable timbre and resolution that sounds "real." My comments in the initial post at the 100 hour mark remain unchanged on the Statements ability to faithfully convey acoustical instruments. Again, I attribute this to its blacker background.
6. If the Statement is rated a 100 at the 400 hour burn-in mark (which based on my listening I consider completely burned in), I now rate the completely burned-in DX3 as a 69. (My DX3 is not for sale--it will go in my second system.)
6. The tracks I used for testing are as follows: (a) Theme for Jetsetters--Tikiyaki Orchestra; (b) Chan Chan--Alfredo Rodriguez; (c) Still Feel Like Your Man--John Mayer; (d) Carpe Diem--Paolo Fresu Devil Quartet; (e) They Can't Take That Away From Me--Kristin Chenoweth; (f) Bubbles--Yosi Harakawa; (g) Feels Like Rain--John Hiatt; (h) The Old Woman--John Barry movie soundtrack of Somewhere in Time; (i) Babylon Sisters--Steely Dan; (j) Stay (Wasting Time)--Dave Matthews Band; (k) Hey Eugene--Pink Martini; (l) Gaslighting Abbie--Steely Dan; (m) Also sprach Zarathustra Op. 30 (Intro)--Richard Strauss/Fritz Reiner conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and (n) Alli'l Fire Dance--Tikiyaki Orchestra.7. I used a different list of test recordings in the 100 hour listening session. I used the above listed recordings for the 300 hour and 400 hour listening sessions.
Great report, we have tested the Statement vs a few other expensive servers and the Statment usually beats the competition hands down.

We have moved from the Stillpoints to the Critical Mass Centerstage footers and the difference was quite audible. 

The centerstage footers act as both an isolator and an absorber if you want to try an interesting experiment replace the Stillpoints with the Critical Mass footers and then relisten to your system.

We have found the Centerstages lower the noise floor and increase macro dynamics, both devices create a more three dimensional soundstage the Centerstage combines the quietness of the HRS with the speed and detail of the Stillpoints.

Thanks for the update we were thinking you would be really impressed after the 300 hour mark or so.

Are you using high end ethernet cables as well? We are using the Wireworld Platinum starlight and they also made an nice improvement. 

You may also want to experiment with different USB cables we tried four the AQ, Wireworld, Light Harminic and the Enklekin David which just blew them all away. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers
@audiotroy I tried putting Stillpoints Ultra 5s under the Statement at the 300 hour mark; they degraded the Statement's SQ IMO. I will probably try the Stillpoint Ultra SS feet under the Statement (I have extra) to see if they yield the same result as the larger Ultra 5s. I will be using an upgraded ethernet cable--the Purist Audio Design CAT7 cable. In the above testing I left it on the Antipodes DX3 server and used a standard ethernet cable on the Statement. I already own two higher end USB cables. I will perform a shoot-out of sorts between the Purist Audio Design 30th Anniversary USB cable and the Stealth USB T-Select USB cable (both are 1.5M in length). However, before getting there, I first need to determine whether I prefer the Statement directly into the Rowland Aeris DAC via USB or prefer the Statement through the Berkeley USB converter to the Aeris DAC via BNC. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the Rowland Aeric DAC's manual specifically states that the SPDIF/BNC input has been optimized to provide superior performance compared to its USB input. I will be conducting those listening tests in the near future.
Al,
As I said in my PM I think it's silly to compare the Statement to the DX3. The DX3 isn't in the same price range, nor does it reflect Antipodes top of the line music server. A better comparison would be the Statement to Antipodes's CX and EX music server.
@ricred1,

You make an excellent point. I would like to add, limiting Innuos Statement to USB output only was quite disappointing. No SPDIF or AES/EBU output on a flagship player.....don’t know what they were thinking.

For this reason alone, I will never consider buying a Innuos Statement or any other flagship server that limits you to one audio output.
Interesting point Lalik but wrong, the Innuous Statement has two high performance digital outputs" 

1: USB digital output with a special ultra high performance usb card
2: Ethernet which is a filtered, repacketed and cleaned up high performance digital output for streaming dacs

The reality is that more digital inputs create the possibility of more noise flowing into the product.

The other part of the equation is if you are buying an expensive server to play and store music having older legacy inputs, that you will never use, that can not support DSD, MQA, or high resolution PCM is of dubious utility.

Innuous cares about making the best sounding servers, that people will use with modern high end dacs, in the case of a modern high performance dac, personally, we can’t remember a single  time when we wanted to use a toslink or spdif connection.

Other than playing a legacy CD from a CD transport most people are storing their digital which is why they are purchasing the unit in the first place.

The Innuos products  allow for an easy and convienient digital rip, as all of the Innuous servers  have a CD ripper built right in the front of the machine. The  entire purpose of the Statement is to be a fantastic high quality CD library, Roon Core and Tidal streamer and CD ripper so why would you want to play anything else on it?

The Statement does that job extremely well and sounds insanly good.

As per Antipodes vs the Statement we have spoken to dealers who have previously sold the Antipodes they have moved over to the Statement.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innuos Dealers
@ricred1 Hi Richard, I can only compare what I own in my system, so that is what I did. If I owned the Antipodes CX+EX combo, I would have compared that combo to the Innuos Statement. Frankly, I wasn't thrilled that the DX3 was the Antipodes "flagship" for basically only a year before Antipodes rolled out the CX+EX combo as the new "flagship." But, such is life. Hopefully, I have offered enough detail to allow folks in the market for either a new Innuos Statement or a used Antipodes DX3 server to glean something useful. I invite anyone who cares to do so to post on this thread comparisons they have made between the Statement and the Antipodes flagship CX+EX combo. There is a very thorough review if the CX+EX combo posted on HiFi+ Advice's website. Interestingly, CP, the reviewer, has posted a comment to inferring that the DX3 is not far removed from the CX+EX combo. I do not know if that is correct--I have never heard the combo. FWIW, if I was in the market for a used music server, I would hop on an Antipodes DX3 if it was selling for something close to 50% of the retail price (and I had the money in my budget to do so).RegardsAl   
@lalitk I understand your frustration on the input options. I do think @audiotroy' s points are valid one's. BTW, the only option out of an Antipodes DX3 is USB. And the only two options out of the Antipodes CX+EX combo are USB and ethernet. So, for you Antipodes servers probably wouldn't be an option either. Because I already owned a Berkeley USB converter, I wasn't too concerned about the Statement not having an SPDIF option.RegardsAl
@audiotroy,

“The reality is that more digital inputs create the possibility of more noise flowing into the product” - Please STOP peddling the BS.

Please tell us how many DAC’s currently have Ethernet (i2s) digital input? 

The point I was trying to make is why limit the end user to modern (as you say) digital outputs? Do you expect everyone to buy new DAC that’s optimized for USB and Ethernet type outputs? 

The legacy outputs (SPDIF / AES) can handle high resolution upto 24bit/192kHz, including MQA. Pretty much every DAC currently available is more than adept to handle signal carried out via legacy digital inputs (case in point, OP’s Aeris DAC). 

Unless you’re buying DSD downloads (I can’t imagine why anyone would still pay $25-$30 bucks for DSD downloads) when high resolution streaming from Qobuz is so superlative, no one really cares about streamers that is optimized for USB or Ethernet outputs only.  Its certainly a nice plus to have if industry is headed that way. Last time I checked, we still don’t have a standard i2S protocol in place, there are still handshake issues with components sporting Ethernet / HDMI digital I/O. 

Here is the reality my friend,

- most DAC’s currently available are not optimized for USB / Ethernet input. 
- most people are quite satisfied with 16bit/44.1kHz streaming quality from Tidal/Qobuz.  They can’t hear or appreciate the difference between 44.1kHz and 192kHz resolution. 

Cheers! 
Regarding:

- most DAC’s currently available are not optimized for USB / Ethernet input.
- most people are quite satisfied with 16bit/44.1kHz streaming quality from Tidal/Qobuz.  They can’t hear or appreciate the difference between 44.1kHz and 192kHz resolution.

Maybe most folks are - the point could be debated.  But there is definitely a group that is not.  Count me in that group - on my system, there is often quite a difference between a 44Khz song and the same one in either MQA or 192Khz.  I don't know if its due to more information being present or some other factor like remastering, but there is definitely an improvement with the higher resolution formats (on my system, at least).
@mmeeks100,

I am not trying to debate, just stating that most people are happy with 16bit/44.1kHz or even low resolution (Spotify) streaming.

I just dumped Tidal in favor of Qobuz and also own few DSD files (purchased prior to Qobuz launch) and large number of SACD’s. Fortunately, my system is resolving enough to appreciate the high quality streaming and DSD files.

My concern is with these so called state of the art components with high $$$$ price tags that limits the end user options. I cannot imagine sticking a $1500 USB/AES converter between components that retails for $37K (i.e. Innuos Statement and Berkeley Reference 3) 😉
@mmeeks100 and @lalitk I actually think you are both right. Presently many current high end component manufacturers seem to have coalesced around the following ideas: (1) USB and/or ethernet connections are the future and will be supported; and (2) SPDIF/AES/BNC is the past and will not be supported. I have read many posts by audio enthusiasts that enjoy "higher resolution" than 16/44 and will pay for it. Additionally, I have read comments from others that prefer the MQA experience and are willing to pay for it too. Time will tell whether digital downloading and MQA have long term viability. I suspect that consumer demand will win out in the end. If lots of folks feel like @lalitk  and keep their wallets closed unless a high end audio component is SPDIF compatible, then we will see lots more (not less) SPDIF functionality. FWIW I listen to ripped CDs (WAV) on music servers almost exclusively and do not use any upsampling. My DAC handles higher resolutions (24/192) and I performed some tests to see if I could objectively discern a difference with the system I had at the time. I honestly could not consistently distinguish between 16/44, 24/96 or 24/192. I could hear differences in some instances but it was not a given that I would prefer the higher resolution material or could even say which was which. However, I'm confident that others probably can do so with greater consistency than me.

As posted above, the Innuos Statement only has USB and Ethernet outputs. Based on my listening experiments, going back and forth between an USB and an AES/EBU connections, I prefer the AES/EBU connection for the best sound quality in my "audio system".

I am currently using an Aurender N10 music server and the SimAudio 380D DSD DAC. This means if I purchase the Innuos Statement, I CANNOT use my “preferred” AES/EBU connection using my current DAC. As @Lalit states above, I am surprised the expensive Statement does not support an AES/EBU connection. As posted, it may be an older legacy connection, but I like the way it sounds (in my system).

As everyone knows on Audiogon, we have many equipment choices to select from.  It is unfortunate, in this case, the high-end Innuos Statement does not support an AES/EBU connection. Most DAC’s that I am aware of do not support an Ethernet input Connection.

AudioTroy reports that “Innuous Statement has two high performance digital outputs" consisting of USB or Ethernet. This means, I guess, that the older legacy inputs are not useful and are being phased out as least by the Innuos Statement.

In addition, I know that the Berkeley DAC’s does NOT have USB or Ethernet input connections. This DAC requires the use of an additional Alpha USB Unit that is an asynchronous High-Speed USB to digital audio interface that extracts the highest possible audio quality from computer audio sources. Berkeley Audio Design ONLY supports coaxial SPDIF using a BNC input connector, an AES/EBU connections and not Ethernet. They elected to export their USB conversion to another box to further isolate the noise (I guess). As of now, Berkeley Audio Design DAC’s do not support an Ethernet connection.

So, based on the Innuos Statement features, does it mean that Ethernet is the new preferred server output moving forward? Are more newer servers and DAC’s implementing an Ethernet connection? Is Ethernet becoming the new connection standard? How does an Ethernet connection sound quality compare to using an USB or an AES/EBU connection?

What other Music Servers and DAC’s support the using of an Ethernet connection? Have other audio companies adopted the Ethernet format for both outputs and inputs?

The Audio Industry to making it very difficult to purchase new equipment if the output and input connections do not match other equipment used in one’s system.



@hgeifman Your points are excellent ones. I do think there is a movement to make ethernet the "preferred" connection method. Yes, it appears that more newer servers and DACs are implementing an ethernet connection. I agree the audio industry makes things difficult when purchasing new equipment, but I contend that the difficulty seems to be a constant "bug" in this hobby lthat has been around for many years.BTW I have spent the last hour or so A/Bing the Innuos Statement direct to my Aeris DAC via USB and through the Berkeley USB converter via BNC to the Aeris DAC. I prefer the latter pathway and it doesn't surprise me. Every time I try this experiment with different pieces of equipment it comes out the same--Jeff Rowland made the Aeris DAC to have a superior SPDIF input compared to the USB input. The manual says so and my ears tell me it is correct.
I wish y'all could hear what I'm hearing right now though. Deep layers of sound, complex passages coming out of black backgrounds are flowing out of my speakers. I understand the consternation of losing the SPDIF as a standard on many new products. I frankly share it. But, I had the Antipodes DX--it had an SPDIF output. The DX3 dropped the SPDIF output. Nevertheless, IMO the DX3 was a significant upgrade over the DX--I owned them both. In that exchange, I lost an SPDIF output, but I gained a superior piece of equipment from what I had previously.
Earlier this evening I placed Stillpoints Ultra SS feet underneath the Statement. They provided increased clarity/detail. Underneath the Statement, the Ultra SS feet work much better than the Ultra 5s. (This was also true under the Antipodes DX3). Under the Jeff Rowland Corus+Aeris+PSU stack I find the Stillpoints Ultra 5s to be preferable to the Ultra SS feet.
Great thread and valid, pertinent and important points made by all. 

I'd like to recognize @astewart8944  for being the first to post user based impressions of the Innuos Statement within this forum. OP, thanks for sharing your findings. 

It's also wonderful hearing you have found a component you are so happy and satisfied with. We don't get those opportunities often.
@david_ten Thank you for your kind words.RegardsAl
To Lalik and a few others lets frame this discussion, that for 99.9% of the market that is looking for a Statement or other serious state of the art music servers, most people are going to be actually using either USB or Ethernet connections.

The other interesting point we would differ on from Lalik is his viewpoint that most dacs are optomized for 16/44k really? 

Most of the worlds top digital manufacutures are all producing dacs that can handle very high data rates, other than older dacs with chipsets or inputs that can't handle the higher resolution files this is the case.

Look at DCS, Esoteric, EMM Labs, Light Harmonic, T+A, Rokna, Aqua Hifi. MSB,  and many others, they all have access to be able to play high resolution files. Does that mean that an older dac that can't play those files isn't good of course not, but we live in a world of 4k TV doesn't it make sense if you are purchasing a brand new state of the art TV to purchase one which can access those files even if true 4k content is limited? 

Then you have the ability for many TV's or projectors to upconvert an image to a 4k standard even when feeding the TV or projector a 2k image, if it looks better to you do you care that the image isn't native?

The reason that many modern dacs only offer ethernet or usb  is really simple:  asyncronous data transmission and ethernet packeted data are the best ways of miminimizing jitter going from a server to a dac.

Spdif, Aes/Ebu and Toslink are really not up to the task beyond conventional data rates.

With Ethernet and Usb you have the advantages:

You have the option of accessing: Naitve DSD files, MQA files

Also you have the additonal option of being able to upconvert 16bit 44k pcm to higher data rates 24bit 192k, 384k and above depending on the server and dac.

Many Dacs that we sell actually do seem to sound better with upconverted data files even if the standard files started out in 16/44.

If you consider that Innous specifically built the Statement to provide the best sounding data from Ethernet and USB and they spent considerable money on making sure those pathways are the best sounding and optomized it makes sense.

We sell multiple brands of severs, and dacs because one size does not fit all. If you are adament about having more or different digital outputs then USB and Ethernet then you are free to purchase a unit which has those features.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers


@audiotroy I'm not confident that your 99.9% customer base number is accurate, but I'm fairly certain that most consumers can live with and/or prefer USB/ethernet--not necessarily because they have done A/B comparisons between the different pathways, but because the component manufacturer tells them which pathway is preferred and the consumer believes them. I'm not taking negative aim at either manufacturers or consumers here. I think it is simply a matter of consumer expectations (the manufacturers know best) and ease of use. Despite what we often say, it does not appear that most audio consumers want to extensively A/B test many different pathway options. They simply want to plug-n-play. And I don't blame them. @audiotroy  I think you could help answer one of @hgeifman 's questions: Can you please tell us which of the manufacturers you listed above provide the consumer with an SPDIF/AES/EBU option and isn't strictly dedicated to either USB/ethernet or both? (You stated: "Look at DCS, Esoteric, EMM Labs, Light Harmonic, T+A, Rokna, Aqua Hifi. MSB").
I (personally) am willing to accept the singular focus that comes with a top level server. Hence the 'flagship' label...because of the need to dedicate full and focused optimization and implementation around one (or very few) output(s). 

The DAC 'node' of the chain, with their generally wide assortment of digital inputs (including those marching towards legacy status) should keep most happy (in the interim).
@david_ten Excellent point. I have learned over time in this hobby to not become too wed to a particular pathway on the digital side. When Jeff Rowland says its Aeris DAC works best via the SPDIF input, I tested that--and it was true. When I had an Antipodes DX with both USB and SPDIF outputs I found that it sounded best via USB to a Modwright Oppo 105D but best via SPDIF with the Aeris DAC. When Antipodes came out with the DX3 I asked them why it didn't have an SPDIF output and they candidly told me because they were focusing on optimizing and implementation of USB. They believed that the future would be USB/ethernet.
@AudioTroy,  Thank you for your above comments.  

You stated above "that the reason that many modern DAC's ONLY offer Ethernet or USB  is really simple:  asynchronous data transmission and Ethernet packed data are the best ways of minimizing jitter going from a server to a DAC.  Spdif, Aes/Ebu and Toslink (legacy connections) are really not up to the task beyond conventional data rates”.  

As I asked above, based on the Innuos Statement features, does it mean that Ethernet is the NEW preferred server output moving forward?   Will other future audio servers and DAC’s begin to include Ethernet connections in their products like the Innuos Statement does?  Is Ethernet becoming the new connection standard between servers and DAC's?  How does an Ethernet connection sound quality compare to using an USB or an AES/EBU connection?

As I stated above, the Audio Industry to making it very difficult to purchase new equipment if the output and input connections do not match other equipment used in one’s system.
Today I experimented with the Statement by plugging it into my Shunyata Denali power conditioner to see what effects, if any, the power conditioner had on the Statement's SQ. The Statement's sound stage narrowed and it lost significant depth. The background seemed a bit quieter but at the expense of a fuller bodied presentation. When I plugged the Statement back into the wall outlet (a dedicated circuit), the more favorable width, depth and fuller bodied presentation returned immediately.  
@astewart8944   

Al,

Have you tried the Statement as both Roon Core and Roon Endpoint? From your review, it was tested as Roon Endpoint only, Correct?

How would you summarize the Stealth cables sound signature? Same question for your Cardas Clear Beyond cables? Generally speaking...both irrespective of the gear connected to. My interest here is mainly to feel out synergies.

Also, I'd like to confirm that you were using a 'standard LAN' cable to the Statement (vs. the Purist you have)?

I demoed the Zenith Mk3, in my system, last week. I'm asking because your answers may help me tease out and provide more information to chew on, as I process the demo. I plan on bringing the unit in again, for a more thorough evaluation.

Thanks.

- David.
David, these are great questions. First, I have only run the Statement as a Roon Core and not a Roon endpoint. When I compared the Statement to the DX3 I set them both to be Roon Cores, which allowed me to quickly toggle between them. I would describe Stealth cables as open, smooth, detailed and neutral. This is true for both the SPDIF and the USB cable. I would also describe the Cardas Clear Beyond XLR cables the almost the same way--smooth, detailed, and neutral. Before Cardas Clear Beyond I tried Cardas Clear XLR cables, which I found to sound much less detailed and frankly "drier" than the Clear Beyond cables. The step up from Clear to Clear Beyond in the XLR cables is a large one IMO. Before settling on the Stealth USB cable, I tried the Cardas Clear High Speed USB. I found the Cardas Clear to be more engaging than a standard USB 2.0 cable, but compared to either the Purist Audio Design 30th Anniversary USB or the Stealth USB-T Select, the Cardas Clear HS USB sounded much "thinner", lacking the substantial body the other USB cables provide. The PAD 30th Anniversary and the Stealth USB-T Select are both very engaging cables. The PAD is slightly warm, the Stealth sounds neutral. The Stealth has a touch more detail. Both are can't miss cables IMO. You are correct that I did the Statement test review with a run of the mill standard LAN cable. Now that the testing is over, I have moved the PAD Cat7 to the Statement.   
Al, Helpful and appreciated!

If doable, and you have the time and interest, could you report back on using the Statement for both Core and Endpoint functions (for Roon) and how this might sound in comparison to your current preferred path as Core only? Thank you. - David.
David, I will attempt to listen to the Statement using Roon as you describe and report back my impressions. I anticipate being able to do so by Monday. -Regards

Al
@david_ten I have now done further listening tests with the Innuos Statement, using it as the Roon Core/endpoint (which is the method used on all previous listening tests reported above) and using the Statement as the Roon endpoint only with the Antipodes DX3 being the Roon Core. Both the Statement and the DX3 were connected to an Orbi satellite router using Samzhe CAT 7 ethernet cables (these are basically $5 USD LAN cables). My impressions are as follows:1. In the listening tests I performed the Statement used as the Core/ endpoint provided a higher degree of SQ compared to the DX3 as Core and Statement as endpoint only. Depending on the recording, the differences could be substantial.
2. On Steely Dan's "Babylon Sisters" it does not take an audiophile to be able to discern that the Statement Core/endpoint provided an enveloping presentation that sounded "concert-like" in an excellent acoustical space. The DX3 Core/Statement endpoint was a flatter presentation, it sounded good--but it wasn't as "holographic". The Statement Core/endpoint on this recording is reference level IMO. 
3. On John Barry's "Old Woman" the Statement Core/endpoint pathway provided a more convincing detailed presentation of the solo violin that also captured a fuller scope of the other strings when they joined the soloist. There is a greater dynamic experience of this piece when played through the Statement Core/endpoint pathway.4. John Hiatt's "Feels Like Rain" showed a smaller degree of difference between the Statement Core/endpoint pathway and the DX3 Core/Statement endpoint pathway. Nevertheless, the Statement Core/endpoint seemed to provide more realistic cymbal shimmer and decay. I will note that on this recording I could imagine a group of audiophiles splitting fairly evenly on which pathway they preferred.These are the three tracks I listened to over a one hour period, listening to segments from as little as 20 seconds long to no more than 1 minute 30 seconds long.David hopefully this proves useful to you.-Regards
Al

Hi Al. Tremendously helpful. Thank you so very much for taking the time and energy to do this and report back. I'm grateful. Your findings will inform my approach when I have the Zenith Mk3 back in system. - David.
Since pathways were discussed in this thread, here is a USB solution that may be of interest to those looking to optimize that path...

http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/exclusive-stack-audio-link-usb-streaming-bridge/


This is a very helpful review. I've been in the market for an affordable server, and have read reviews on just about everything in my price range. Since I'm a music lover on a budget, I've ordered the Innuos Zen mini mk3. I was able to listen to the Zenith mk3 at my local dealer and was very impressed. I know the two units sound differently, but I did get an idea of what my room will sound like.  Right now I'm using a desktop computer with JRiver 25. I've tried Tidal and Qobuz and found both of their jazz catalogs lacking compared to Spotify. Roon sounds great , but again when I had the trial  going, I would look thru Roon for tunes I had on Spotify and nothing would show up. Since I'm upgrading I will pick one of them, but the music is more important to me. It'll be a couple of weeks before it shows up and I can't wait. 
@coach59 I'm glad you found the review helpful. Please feel free to post a review of your unit here once you have a chance to listen to it in your set-up. On the Spotify front, I have four young adult children and they all are Spotify users precisely for the reason you mention--depth of the catalog. I will admit to being a bit frustrated that some jazz titles that were nothing close to "fringe" were lacking on Tidal. I haven't singed up for Qobuz because of hearing this complaint from several people and being at AXPONA and finding out that Qobuz didn't have several cuts I wanted to hear to demo equipment.
@david_ten David, thanks for adding the link, more information is always helpful.
@astewart8944 You are welcome. I realize it doesn’t apply to your unit, the Statement, but the USB optimization may be of use to those like @coach59 who will be pairing it with the Zen Mini, etc..
astewart8944 , I can't wait to write about it. But I was at Axpona as well and spent a little time in the Innuos room. But since Qobuz was the service of the show, there were more then a few tunes I asked for that couldn't be found. I was looking at music servers ,and it was like that for two days . I'll try them all again when the server shows up.