To switch or not to switch? Melco S-100 or Innuos Phoenix NET switch?

Varadero xl 1000 v

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2017
57
21
88
Hello guys,
i have not posted since a long time. Glad to be back.
i finally decided to order the Innuos PhoenixNet, waiting now for the delivery.
i have a Naim Nds/555 dr, Melco N1zh2 used as a Nas. i went from direct to router, 4 years ago, to dedicated Netgear gs105 switch, then added a linear ps ( Uptone JS2). Then 2 optical cheap converters powered by linear ps, then a Cisco 2960 switch which replaced all these little boxes.
each step was an improvement.
finally, 10 months ago, I replaced the Cisco with the Etheregen and MCRU option 3 linear ps for the Etheregen. It was a real and big improvement.
i have an Entreq power cord on the linear ps.

i am amazed at how the network optimisation plays a great role in the sound quality of the streamer.
hope the Phoenixnet will still enhances the sound. If not I can hopefully return it without loosing money.
i don’t want to cascade the switches, just have one box and not many little boxes and running cables. The Phoenix seems to be probably the best for me, from all the different feedbacks I could have read.
the Anzus have SMPS , which disappoints me. The Melco seems to be a little soft and uninvolving for my kind of music ( Naim forum).

Etheregen , MCRU option 3 ( pinnacle version). 3 X audioquest Diamond 0,75m ethernet cables.
the MCRU has SR Orange fuse, Furutech plug, Oyaide silver dc cable, and Entreq power cord.
View attachment 77175
I think it will not disappoint you. But can you listen to it for a few days on your system before you buy?
 
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Frenchrooster

Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2012
57
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260
France
I think it will not disappoint you. But can you listen to it for a few days on your system before you buy?
No, I can’t. It will come from Belgium, as an online dealer here in France doesn’t allow return back policy with 100% refund.
i have 14 days to try, so I risk to loose maybe 20 euros on shipping. Not a big risk.
i stay confident, as some have already replaced their Etheregen with the Innuos. One had also a Plixir ps on the ER.
 

Varadero xl 1000 v

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2017
57
21
88
No, I can’t. It will come from Belgium, as an online dealer here in France doesn’t allow return back policy with 100% refund.
i have 14 days to try, so I risk to loose maybe 20 euros on shipping. Not a big risk.
i stay confident, as some have already replaced their Etheregen with the Innuos. One had also a Plixir ps on the ER.
Fine! Losing shipping costs is a very small amount. I would not think about it at all!
 
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Varadero xl 1000 v

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2017
57
21
88
....οn the InnuosNET device, you do not need an expensive lpsu. Maybe a better AC 220 - 240 V cable, to replace the black input ..
 

Varadero xl 1000 v

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2017
57
21
88
I have already an Entreq discover power cord on the linear ps. I will use it with the Innuos. And 3 audioquest diamond lan cables. Eros Titan powerblock and Kharma GR to wall.
i feel it will be enough...:)
... if you allow me one more opinion: change the ethernet cable, use Melco, it is not expensive, but it helps a lot. I did not expect it, but it is true ..
 

Forte

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2017
88
60
123
Another interesting comparison would be between PhoenixNet and M12 Gold. M12 is currently number one in my personal hierarchy of switches, but maybe Innuos switch is at the same level or even better?
....sadly the M12 Gold can still upgrade its LPS so that makes it more expensive than the PhoenixNet
 

Frenchrooster

Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2012
57
33
260
France
Thanks guys for the recommendations, but I like a lot the audioquest diamond. If money available I would go to top Synergetic Research or Chord Music.
i tried maybe 6 or 7 before, and don’t want to tweak more.
 
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Damir

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2016
3
15
108
Germany
Hello y’all,

A small contribution from my side to this topic. I just spend a couple of days with the PhoenixNET. It is a loaner which already saw a couple of customers. So it was well broken in. After unboxing, my first notion was the superb build quality (for a switch). Look and feel (heavy and solid like a brick) is far beyond the S100. The Innuos has audiophile footers. No need for aftermarket feet. And a built-in power supply. Just plug in a cord and you are good to go. No need for external power suppliers, DC cables, whatsoever.

First, I compared the Phoenixnet to a “regular” S100. Besides this S100, I own a S100 with a Pink Faun (PF) OXCO clock upgrade. There are already a couple of opinions on Phoenixnet vs. S100 out there and I largely share the findings.
The Phoenixnet leans towards a darker timbral voicing and a thorough, dense and very well layered bass. The bass is actually outstanding. The best I have heard from a switch so far. What you gain on the bottom end you lose on the top end. Resolution, air, stage size and detail is cut back. In particular stage depth but also transient decay is less defined. However, the Phoenixnet is able to create a beautiful emotional connection to the music. Please be aware that all my impressions are not absolute but always relative to the performance of the S100.

The S100 it is sonically basically the other way round. Great resolution in the top end. Fast and crisp transients. But the articulation of the bottom end is not as good. Its overall presentation is a little bit sterile in comparison. Summarizing the abilities of both, I would rate the Phoenixnet slightly above the S100. Probably not worth replacing one with the other unless you are not looking for the different tonal characters they provide. During my tests, the S100 was fed by a Farad Super3 power supply.

Comparing the Phoenixnet to my Pink Faun S100 fed by two Farad Super3 power supplies (both with Furu Inlet, SR Orange and Silver DC cable), the things get quite different. The PF S100 is by far superior. In practically all relevant attributes it is ahead by a good margin. Fluid, organic, rich and airy are the adjectives coming to my mind. The Phoenixnet comes not close. Only in the bass precision the Phoenixnet remains a tiny little bit ahead. Maybe a few percent.
The price difference of the two translates quite good into their audiophile qualities in my opinion, which is not always the case in the audiophile industry. The PF S100 with two Farad power supplies costs about twice as much as the Phoenixnet.

So what to do??? Well, combine the characters of the two and connect them in a row, of course!

And then -- a wow effect. Together the clean-up jitter and time smearing (two OCXO clocks in a row). Voices, so real and crystal clear as if there were made from diamond. Ultra-sharp transients with long-lasting decays. The textures on voices and instruments are just fantastic. Everything is easily audible in front of a pitch-black background. And I mean really dead-nuts.

The two are a perfect match. Connected in a row, they will give you both. Great resolution in the top end, air and stage and profound bass and timbre. A beautiful symbiosis. Easy to handle, flexible and adaptable to one’s preferences. Basically, a dream come true.
You just need to decide to which of the two you connect you DAC to. To emphasize the upper end, connect the DAC to the S100, or to the Phoenixnet, to lean towards its darker character and layered bass. The gain of two OCXO clocks remains either way.

To all the S100 owners with PF clock upgrade: Try the Phoenixnet. It will give you something you don’t have.

D.

P.S. One more thing: the PhoenixNET boots superfast. So convenient for testing. Again, the opposite of the S100.
 

Damir

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2016
3
15
108
Germany
A picture of my setup...
 

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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,729
2,514
710
Hong Kong
Hello y’all,

A small contribution from my side to this topic. I just spend a couple of days with the PhoenixNET. It is a loaner which already saw a couple of customers. So it was well broken in. After unboxing, my first notion was the superb build quality (for a switch). Look and feel (heavy and solid like a brick) is far beyond the S100. The Innuos has audiophile footers. No need for aftermarket feet. And a built-in power supply. Just plug in a cord and you are good to go. No need for external power suppliers, DC cables, whatsoever.

First, I compared the Phoenixnet to a “regular” S100. Besides this S100, I own a S100 with a Pink Faun (PF) OXCO clock upgrade. There are already a couple of opinions on Phoenixnet vs. S100 out there and I largely share the findings.
The Phoenixnet leans towards a darker timbral voicing and a thorough, dense and very well layered bass. The bass is actually outstanding. The best I have heard from a switch so far. What you gain on the bottom end you lose on the top end. Resolution, air, stage size and detail is cut back. In particular stage depth but also transient decay is less defined. However, the Phoenixnet is able to create a beautiful emotional connection to the music. Please be aware that all my impressions are not absolute but always relative to the performance of the S100.

The S100 it is sonically basically the other way round. Great resolution in the top end. Fast and crisp transients. But the articulation of the bottom end is not as good. Its overall presentation is a little bit sterile in comparison. Summarizing the abilities of both, I would rate the Phoenixnet slightly above the S100. Probably not worth replacing one with the other unless you are not looking for the different tonal characters they provide. During my tests, the S100 was fed by a Farad Super3 power supply.

Comparing the Phoenixnet to my Pink Faun S100 fed by two Farad Super3 power supplies (both with Furu Inlet, SR Orange and Silver DC cable), the things get quite different. The PF S100 is by far superior. In practically all relevant attributes it is ahead by a good margin. Fluid, organic, rich and airy are the adjectives coming to my mind. The Phoenixnet comes not close. Only in the bass precision the Phoenixnet remains a tiny little bit ahead. Maybe a few percent.
The price difference of the two translates quite good into their audiophile qualities in my opinion, which is not always the case in the audiophile industry. The PF S100 with two Farad power supplies costs about twice as much as the Phoenixnet.

So what to do??? Well, combine the characters of the two and connect them in a row, of course!

And then -- a wow effect. Together the clean-up jitter and time smearing (two OCXO clocks in a row). Voices, so real and crystal clear as if there were made from diamond. Ultra-sharp transients with long-lasting decays. The textures on voices and instruments are just fantastic. Everything is easily audible in front of a pitch-black background. And I mean really dead-nuts.

The two are a perfect match. Connected in a row, they will give you both. Great resolution in the top end, air and stage and profound bass and timbre. A beautiful symbiosis. Easy to handle, flexible and adaptable to one’s preferences. Basically, a dream come true.
You just need to decide to which of the two you connect you DAC to. To emphasize the upper end, connect the DAC to the S100, or to the Phoenixnet, to lean towards its darker character and layered bass. The gain of two OCXO clocks remains either way.

To all the S100 owners with PF clock upgrade: Try the Phoenixnet. It will give you something you don’t have.

D.

P.S. One more thing: the PhoenixNET boots superfast. So convenient for testing. Again, the opposite of the S100.
Thanks Damir for sharing!

A happy ending : so simple to get the best of both worlds!
:D
 

Gunnar

VIP/Donor
Mar 24, 2021
79
47
195
69
Grand Est France
Damir, nice right up. After reading all positive comments on th PF S100 I ordered one with the same Super3 setups as you a week ago. Everything will leave Pink Faun tomorrow so hopefully it arrives France Friday. Right now I have an ER with a Super3 just before my streamer and a Cisco 2960 behind the server. I think that’s sound good so don’t really know what to expect..... more than it will be “positive” My intention is to replace the 2960 with the ER.
I also asked PF to include their lan cable. Curious.
G
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
1,215
1,716
330
Cologne, Germany
A picture of my setup...
I perfectly agree to combine both switches.
In my personal setup the (standard) S100 is placed close to the router and the PhoenixNET close to the Music Server,
which works best for me.
 
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Frenchrooster

Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2012
57
33
260
France
My PhoenixNet will arrive tomorrow. Impatient to install it. Some say the clock needs to be on power during 7 days to really stabilise itself.
i will do serious listening this weekend, after some days of run in.
@Damir , what do you mean by dark? Full bodied ?
@Gunnar , pleased to see you here. I feel that this place is better than Naim forum for that subject. no trolling here or posts by some who think to know all.... without even trying the components.
 
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Varadero xl 1000 v

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2017
57
21
88
I read the discussion with great interest. I have PhoenixNET as well as PhoenixUSB. I think the combination of 2 is great. It really "raised" the sq of my digital system a lot.

I would suggest this combination, instead of two in a row network outages, either Melco or Innuos, or a combination of 2!
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
600
885
168
My PhoenixNet will arrive tomorrow. Impatient to install it. Some say the clock needs to be on power during 7 days to really stabilise itself.
i will do serious listening this weekend, after some days of run in.
@Damir , what do you mean by dark? Full bodied ?
@Gunnar , pleased to see you here. I feel that this place is better than Naim forum for that subject. no trolling here or posts by some who think to know all.... without even trying the components.
A well run-in PhoenixNET sounds markedly better after 3 days continuous power.
The unit itself takes about 100 hours to partially run-in, but those Mundorf capacitors take a lot longer and you will get a significant uplift in performance after 2-3 months. All this means is that there are 2 ‘wow moments’.....the one you were expecting and the one that down the road will take you completely and very pleasantly by surprise.
 

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