The Innuos Phoenix USB reclocker is here. Avid computer audiophiles are well aware of the sonic gains of having USB conditioning. If you’d like an introduction behind using USB reclockers in your digital playback system, check out my review of the SOtM tX-USBultra here. In short, the goal of a USB reclocker is to provide a clean and well-timed signal to the DAC from the server. The improvements are usually in soundstage, detail, solidity, and tonality.
Innuos reached out and asked if I’d be interested in hearing their new Phoenix USB reclocker. As an owner of one of the very few Innuos ZENith SE Mk.2 servers, an exploration in this pairing made sense. The Phoenix USB reclocker will supposedly bring my system closer to their flagship Innuos ZENith Statement – and essentially extend the life of my product.
High-end USB conditioning usually requires more space, a slew of cables, oddly shaped boxes, and precious outlets. On top of the gear spaghetti, the combined costs of all these components can get very expensive. Some setups will cost more than $8,000 USD just for correcting the USB signal! Well, Innuos had a better idea. They decided to put all the components in a single box – and for only $3,149. You’ll also get the benefit of the shorter signal paths (no extra external cabling), linear power supplies, and much more.
The PhoenixUSB offers an all-in-one unit the equivalent of three separate components: A USB regenerator, a linear power supply, and an external master clock with its own linear power supply. Innuos applied 3 main design approaches learning from their experience with the Innuos flagship music server, the STATEMENT:
1. The USB chip regenerating the signal contains no switching regulators. All 3 independent voltages to the chip originate from an independent linear power supply with further regulation provided by 3 sets of LT3045 regulators.
2. The use of a 3ppb OCXO clock running directly at 24MHz and connected via a board track just a couple of inches away from the USB chip. Therefore, no precision is lost within cables and connectors, as is the case when using an external master 10MHz clock with an additional 24MHz clock generator.
3. Two independent Statement-level linear power supplies, one dedicated to the OCXO clock and the other used for powering the USB chip/5V USB line.
I’ll be covering impressions of the Innuos Phoenix with stock and aftermarket USB and power cables.