Innuos told me that they don’t consider servers should reclock. It’s the job of the streamer or DAC. The Zen and Zenith units have a linear power supply dedicated to the USB output. This Phoenix unit is probably an excellent unit, but whether you need it is probably more dependent on the rest of your system. I use the Zen ethernet output anyway.
If your system is up to it and has the resolution the addition of the Phoenix was a very noticable improvement on the Zenith Mk III. The difference was not subtle.
As Innuos explained it it is the Statement USB and powers supplies in a separate box to be used with the Zenith Mk II. It can also be used with other devices from Innuos or manufacturers.
I haven´t seen the back panel of Phoenix,but if there´s no i2s out ,it´s their loss.
Easier to purchase their Statement streamer ,price difference is not that much up there in around 10K ,with all that fancy usb stuff in it already. And then put Matrix i2s out.
Innuos said that their Statement sounded worse with Phoenix than without,because of extra cables. Go figure…But I´m pretty sure it sounds better with Matrix with all extra cables and external lps and so on…
What I do not understand is that if you look at the PS Audio PWD MK2 DAC page (I had one) it says that the Digital Lens processes the usb input in such a way that the quality of the input is irrelevant as the Digital Lens will provide a jitter-free signal to the DAC. I used it via USB and was happy with it.
So I don’t understand what the point of I2S is and why a device like this Innuos should improve the DSD DAC, which I assume also has a Digital Lens.
Im glad to have moved past USB, as it is a computer protocol not ideal for audio.
I must say I do find it a bit annoying that PSA creates names like Digital Lens, Gain Cell and Analog Cell, they don’t mean anything, I can’t remember was the Digital Lens did and Paul was kind enough to explain that the Analog Cell was a FET input buffer stage, but all Class D amps have these in one form or another but other manufacturers are rather more specific.
Rant over, this Innuos unit is consistent with their policy of not having reclocking in their servers and I suspect for some systems it will be a very useful device.
According to Wikipedia there’s only three or four companies that use I2S, I think because it does not have a standard protocol. Roon Nucleus only has usb output, one reason I did not choose it. Aurender have optimised AES/EBU, BNC, Coaxial and Optical over usb. Innuos provide optimised usb and direct Ethernet outputs. There is no possible reason why Innuos should consider I2S.
The only I2S server is apparently from Wyred4Sound. It actually has a button to select PS Audio’s protocol. There is a fairly extensive discussion towards the end of this review. Darko prefers usb rather than I2S into the DSD Snr DAC. He has another DAC on which he thinks I2S marginally better, but he prefers the Innuos server and his is Mk2, not the latest version that has a better power supply.