I have the Matrix with uptone power supply, Innuous Zenith 3 and PS Audio Directstream DAC. There has been discussion on this board about the new Innuous Phoenix reclocker. I’m wondering if the Phoenix could be used together with the Matrix or whether it would replace the Matrix…can they be used together or is it a choice of one or the other? Hope this isn’t a silly question but I’m not technically inclined.
You’ve got some very fine gear there. I don’t know if the clock could be added or add any value but there are other parts in the power and sonic path that I would ensure are top notch before finding out.
What is the rest of the system, the room, etc.?
Thanks. Speakers are KEF Reference 5, Audio Research LS 22 preamp and Audio Research PH 3 phono stage, brand new Krell Duo 175xd power amp, Rega Planar 6 with Dynavector cartridge, mostly Wireworld cables, 18x24 room. I’m considering Isoacoustics Gaia iii footers and the Innuous Phoenix, although everything sounds pretty good. As my question indicates, I’m not sure whether the Phoenix is compatible with the Matrix or would replace the Matrix…and if the two can’t be used simultaneously, whether the Phoenix would be an improvement and worth the cost ($3000+).
You’ve invested significant resources into the system. The USB reclocker appears to receive USB and output USB so it would sit between your Zenith 3 server and the Matrix.
The Matrix does a real fantastic job converting from USB to I2S. I would stick with this and not bother unless you have $3k to burn and want to try it. Of course, I’m sure you could try it without commitment for 30 days.
I cut out the middle man with my Pink Faun 2.16, fiber Ethernet in and IS2 out to Directstream DAC.
What do your speakers sit on? The flooring, concrete with carpet or hardwood, raised hardwood or over concrete?
I find vibration and acoustic changes to be far more significant than tweaks using clocks.
Clocks are important but you’ve got some great clocks already. Not sure another box is needed or wanted.
The Gaia work really, really well for me on a raised wood floor circa 1952 with stand-mount speakers.
You say everything sounds pretty good. What do you feel is lacking or missing?
I believe you could really use a new preamp and phono stage. The preamp is quite old and not well regarded at all. I don’t know about the phone stage.
Do you like the sound of your speakers. They are key in the presentation, in the space, along with your preferences. If you don’t get on with your speakers, change them first.
Otherwise, I would look to try a different preamp like the BHK pre. Nothing to lose.
The floors are hardwood over wood studs, not concrete. I bought the KEF speakers last year after listening extensively to many speakers. I really like them…especially the imaging/soundstage. I very seldom play vinyl as I’m spoiled by the Innuous. Based on what you’re advising, maybe I should try the Gaias on a 30 day test. They’re not cheap, but not so expensive as audio components go. Thanks again for your help.
Yes, I would try the Gaia and a preamp. Or try your DS direct into your amp bypassing the preamp. This is common and popular, at least until hearing a really good preamp.
Does the bass seem to carry on too long? Build up and get ‘thick’? The Gaias will help isolate the speakers from causing the floor structure to resonate with them. They likely will also help improve the imaging as well as the lower frequencies won’t be so dense and muddying. Allow yourself some time to adjust, it will seem like there is less bass initially.
I would consider a sub or two as well at some point. A pair of servo, high-level driven subs create the foundation of my system. Even full range speakers typically can’t do what subs do. Particularly because they can be placed in the optimal location in the space and this is usually not the optimal location for main speakers and/or seating, etc.
I’m curious. You’re the first person I’ve heard say anything bad about the Audio Research LS22. No question that it’s old but I’ve only heard good things from dealers (who would seem more likely to criticize it in order to sell me a new preamp) and from other audiophiles. What makes you say it’s not well regarded at all?
Most preamps made aren’t very good at not damaging the signal as it passes through them.
while learning about the Audio Research LS22 in particular, a number of reviews/comments came up that it is not terribly musical.
Paul said the same thing about preamps for years, even the ones PS Audio made, until the Calypso and BHK came along.
Just try the DS into your amp and listen for a few days and hear for yourself. If you prefer it direct, try a BHK for 30 days. I suspect this will make for more of an impact or change than a USB reclocker.
I’d definitely try the Isoacoustic Gaia feet. I have them on my speakers and subs. Amazing how focused they sound!
OK. Thanks. I just ordered the Gaia 1s with the right threading for my KEF speakers. Not sure when they’ll come but I’ll post an update after listening.
The IsoAcoustic Gaia’s are amazing sounding feet. I also use IsoAcoustic Orea’s under all my equipments and they are also wonderful sounding pucks. I have try many different pucks but none impress me like the IsoAcoustics. They seem to bring out more detail and substance in the sound. A bit costly though.
I use Gaia’s under my Kefs and I like the contribution. Orea’s under everything else.
The Gaias are expensive but, as high end equipment goes, not so bad if they do what everyone says. I see they now make both the Gaia 1 and the more expensive Gaia Titan Theis for speakers like mine. Which ones do you have and any thoughts on whether the Titan model is worth 50% more? I ordered the Gaia 1 but it’s not to late to change.
Gaia I supports 220 lbs each. Gaia Titan Theis Supports 320 lbs. each. Gaia Titan Rhea supports 420 lbs. each. Gaia Titan Cronos supports 620 lbs. each. Get the one for whatever your speakers weight each. They are all different size springs depending on how much your speakers weigh for proper support.
I use to use the Gaia’s, I now use the Mapleshade solid brass Mega Footers. They sound a little different. The Gaia’s sounds more spacious and the Mega sounds more substance and rich, depending on your preference.
Phoenix reclocker is priced too high to make it interesting option. Maybe for $1500 it would sell better,but still almost five times the cost of Matrix x spdif2. It needs two expensive usb cables in and out, and price is almost Statement level when all tweaks are done with Zenith mk3. I would be curious though if anyone gets one and compares to Matrix.
I would definitely add Uptone etherRegen to the shopping list to improve sound of any streamer.
I heard the Phoenix reclocker at the 2019 RMAF and thought the improvement when used with the Zenith Mk III brought the combination very close to the Statement level. I concur that when considering cables and the Phoenix cost the Phoenix is a rather pricey option. Clearly targeting those who desire to stay in the Innuos family,. Were it under $2,000 I’d buy one. No experience with the Matrix.
I would add that the weights you list are for a set of four. One thing I dislike about the Gaia is they are only available in sets of four. My Vandersteen speakers use three cones and weigh about 180 lb, so I would have to buy two sets of four of the Titan Theis and not use two of them. Kind of an expensive “extra”.
One other comment, I do have a set of Gaia II’s under my VPI turntable and do like them, but discovered they lightly adhere to the tabletop. That’s fine for my turntable but don’t expect to move a set of speakers around by sliding them on hard surfaces. I would suggest finding the ideal location for your speakers, then install the Gaia’s.
My KEF Reference 1’s and stands (35lbs of small steel shot in each stand) are around 80lbs total. I use Gaia II’s: stick like suction cups to my hard wood floors. To move the speakers, I tip them back, put a cloth under the back two, then repeat for the fronts. They slide easy as can be. If you can tilt your speakers, give it a try, if you haven’t already.
Good point, I didn’t give it a lot of thought since I don’t have them under my Vandersteen’s yet, but I did move my turntable last night and discovered how well they grip. I must say, moving the Vandersteen’s is just plain nerve racking. Whatever I’ve used for feet I have come very close to tipping them over multiple times because they don’t want to slide.
The first pair is easy. You tip the speakers, the other side holds hard while you tip. You then put a cloth under the feet. The last pair is the tough one since they slide so easy now.