Innuos USB reclocking & HQ Player

There is a lot of interests on the Innuos and its capability of reclocking the USB before output to a connected DAC, I am not sure if its SQ is comparable to HQPlayer? Has anyone here any experience with the Innuos products?

Currently, I am using a Nucleus → a Mac Mini 2012 running HQPlayer Desktop, outputting to my Klimax DSM/3 via USB.

@jussi_laako et al., should I get a Innuos Phoenix USB to sit between my MM and my DAC? Or I should I get a Sonore ultraRendu?

Out of curiousity, why are you using Mac Mini>USB>DSM instead of an Ethernet connection from Nucleus to DSM relying on Roon’s support for Linn streaming? Linn streamer/DACs do a their own internal upsampling that is specifically matched to their DAC designs, so I have a bit of difficulty getting what HQPlayer would help with there.

Yes, everything works fine and sounds wonderful with the ethernet in, but i would like to explore another venue with the hqplayer because it has a good name, also i am curious to see if it does make any differences or even sounds better.

Note that the latest Linn Klimax DSM/3 supports copper ethernet, optical ethernet, USB B, toslink and wifi. Obviously, I do not use wifi because it is not efficient and potentially unstable, even with the latest wifi mesh technology.

It is more about matching to source content and one’s sensitivity to different aspects in sound, rather than matching DAC.

AFAIK, Linn uses regular COTS DAC chips, not even a discrete design. So nothing special there.

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@jussi_laako, not quite with the latest Klimax DSM/3.

Linn designed and made their own Organik DAC, which handles the DAC conversion process using a combination of FPGA processing and a discrete conversion stage.

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OK, not sure if there’s way to make it do bit-perfect D/A conversion.

But still as I said, digital filter design depends on the source content properties and sensitivities of the listener. Not on DAC design. There’s no one-size-fits-all filter.

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Thanks @jussi_laako. However, my question is wheter you would recommend any USB reclocking device (for example the Innuos Phoenix USB) after the HQPlayer output? Or using any HQPlayer NAA enabled device?

Would you mind me asking what point you think there might be reclocking a USB signal into an asynchronous DAC? I can understand reclocking an s/pdif signal which has a clock embedded in the data stream, but there is no such embedded clock in an asynchronous USB interface, so what is there to “reclock”?

Please check out the Innuos products. They offer reclocking and buffering (in RAM) before going into an async USB B port on a DAC.

Yes I understand what they do. What I am trying to understand is what is the point of what they do. It is like multiplying numbers by 1. What goes in comes out, after a small and possibly unnecessary delay. What is the point for an asynchronous USB interface which doesn’t use the time interval between the bits to drive the clock?

Based on your reply, I think you know their products technically? I am also curious to know how they do it, and why they sound better (according to some pundits), and that’s precisely my question to @jussi_laako and others here, who have direct experience with the Innuos products.

The Phoenix usb is not cheap, so I want to find out a bit more about it before plonking $3,500.

AFAK, jussi is the world most knowledgeable about usb reclocking and related stuffs, because he is the hqplayer developer.

It certainly isn’t cheap, and for something that simply copies the input signal to the output and adds latency it’s worth asking whether you wouldn’t get a better result spending $3,500 elsewhere in your system.

Exactly, that’s my point.

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Since the USB clock is not used for audio. And master clock responsible for clocking audio is owned by the DAC, I don’t see any benefit in reclocking USB (or Ethernet for that matter either). These clocks have no relation to audio clocks, they just facilitate data transfer between two RAM buffers.

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I own one of the new Organik DSM/3. Max input rates are 384k PCM, DSD256. Internally, it upsamples to a higher rate. I can’t find the actual rate online but I seem to recall 1.536M from somewhere, and I can’t find any details on the FPGA-based filter. If I have it right, you can’t bypass the internal filter.

I’m curious how it handles DSD inputs…

I am curious too. Note that the Klimax DSM/3 only supprts DSM inputs via the ethernet connection.

Going back to your original question: like @Jez and @jussi_laako I see no benefit in throwing in the Innuos USB reclocker in front of the DSM/3. Your Mac Mini setup should allow you to explore what HQPlayer can do for your system.

Personally, I’m missing my 2021 Klimax DSM/3 with ATC SCM40A speakers from my country place as I listen to the older 2016 Klimax System Hub with Katalyst Klimax 350 active speakers in my city place. The city system is smooth and goes lower in the bass, but it’s a bit too “polite” and so it loses the grit, depth, and speed of the other system.

@jussi_laako AFAIK, Linn’s Katalyst DACs used AKM chips for the final A2D step, but used Linn’s own FPGA upsampling filters and modulators before that final step.

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This is also what I’ve found with the my Klimax DSM/2, it is a bit too polite and soft, somewhat lacking in attacks, but it is still an awesome network music streamer too.

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I updated my USB streamer clock a while back, and that definitely improved the sound (more than I thought it would), but as you mention it’s not easy to understand why. Maybe a better signal causes the receiver to easier handle the input, thereby producing less work and less internal noise.

Btw, it’s a little similar to how the clock seems to matter for ethernet switches, and even external clocks to for example etherRegen (which already has a good clock) seems to matter. There is a thread about that here on the forum.

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