FOLLOW-UP

StereophileMay 2020

FOLLOW-UP
FOLLOW-UP
JOHN ATKINSON

INNUOS STATEMENT & ROON NUCLEUS + SERVERS

When Jason Victor Serinus reviewed the expensive Statement server from Portuguese company Innuos1 in the April 2020 issue of Stereophile, he concluded that “Innuos has created a transparent instrument that scores big in soundstage size and depth, dynamics, and bass reach.” Comparing the Statement and a sample of the more affordable Roon Nucleus +2 (fed by a linear power supply)—both servers feeding his dCS Rossini and EMM DV2 D/A processors via USB—he found that via the Statement “the treble seemed slightly rounded, the presentation a touch warmer than through the Nucleus +. . . . The Statement warmed the piano and smoothed out the top in a manner that some would call analog-like or tubelike.”

These descriptions of sound quality suggested that I should be able to find measurable differences between the Statement and other sources of USB data. In addition, the review of the Statement in our sister magazine Hi-Fi News indicated substantially reduced jitter in some of the DACs that were connected to it. When the Statement arrived in my test lab, I didn’t have Jason’s dCS and EMM processors to hand, but I did have a Mytek Brooklyn and two AudioQuest DragonFlies, a Red and a Cobalt, that I could use with the Innuos server. Using my Audio Precision SYS2722 analyzer,3 I compared the spectra of each DAC’s analog output signal receiving 16- and 24-bit J-Test data sampled at 44.1kHz via USB, either from my MacBook Pro laptop or from the Statement. To sum up my findings: While there were no measurable differences in the Mytek’s output when fed data from the laptop or the Innuos server, I did find, with V the AudioQuest DACs, that sourcing data from the Statement gave slightly cleaner spectra. The differences were at a very low level, however.

After the April issue was sent to the printers, I performed another series of tests with my long-term reference DAC, the PS Audio DirectStream, which is fitted with a network bridge card. (I am still using the “Snowmass” operating system, having not yet upgraded to the latest “Windom” firmware.) I used the Roon app to send the PS Audio J-Test data via my network and via USB from the sample of the Nucleus + that I had purchased following my review. (The Nucleus + was powered by its standard switching supply.) Using the Innuos-recommended iPeng 9 player app on my iPad Mini, I then sent the J-Test data that I had copied to the Statement’s internal storage to the PS Audio via USB. The Statement was running the same v1.4.3 operating system as it had when Jason auditioned it. (The iPeng settings screen revealed that this appeared to be a version of Logitech’s Squeezelite firmware.) The Statement’s volume control in the iPeng playback screen was set to its maximum for these tests, as was the PS Audio’s.

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May 2020