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Rhein Z1+, Munich MU, Genesis GX

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (i5, 256GB SSD, 40GB RAM, Sonoma 14), 4TB external SSD with Thunderbolt 3, Audirvana Studio, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 & SW-6 switch, Laiv Audio HArmony DAC; Active filter: Lifesaver Audio Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos & EX-M7 on subwoofer; Headamp: Enleum AMP-23R; Phones: Raal 1995 Immanis, HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Qualio IQ [on loan] Cables: Kinki Studio Earth, Furutech; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: FiiO R7 into Soundaware D300Ref SD transport to Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: Lifesaver Audio Gradient Box 2; Amplifiers: Gold Note PA-10 Evo monos; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini or Acelec Model One + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF, Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; DAC: Sonnet Audio Pasithea; Clock: LHY Audio OCK-2;  Head amp: Kinki Studio THR-1; Speaker amp: Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Speakers: EnigmAcoustics Mythology M1;
 Headphones: Final D-8000
Upstairs headfi system: FiiO R7; COS Engineering D1; Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Headphones: Meze 109 Pro, Raal 1995 Magna

2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m

Review component retail: Rhein Z1+ 16GB RAM/250GB SSD €2'699, 32GB/4TB €5'299, Genesis GX €
3'299, Munich MU €2'499

Silencio. Depending on whom we ask about audiophile network switches aka LAN distributors, today's landscape could still fall into the pre Noel Lee era. Then lamp cord was all the ambitious audiophile needed. Into that scene the meteor of Monster Cable hit and dinosaurs died off en masse. Forward to 2023. Thunder Data  Co. Ltd. of Zhuhai are experts in hardware and software development engineering and project management dedicated to applying enterprise-level storage technology to high-end consumer electronics. Silent Angel are a sister brand led by Eric Huang Jian with a PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; and Chorus Chuang with a masters degree in electrical engineering. In 2014 they launched their Quiet Celestial in Taiwan. Though their engineering background in packet tech told them otherwise, they still noted that networked audio suffered sonically versus CD. As do others in this sector, they now focus on eliminating UHF noise, lowering jitter and designing superior power supplies to elevate digital music streaming. They've written their own audio OS for turning a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B into a Roon Core. Just three years ago they only had the budget Bonn N8 switch. Today they offer various music servers/streamers, music storage, linear power supplies and the top Rhein Z1+ server and Genesis GX master clock of this review.

A Kaohsiung Audio Show system with Børresen speakers, Aavik integrated and Shunyata cabling and power delivery.

External masterclocks are key in studios where multi-channel digital processors including video frames must sync to one shared clock. In the home where a single CD player or PC acted as source, a real need for them was debatable. It's when digital separated into ever more pieces that pro-audio masterclocks from Antelope to Mutec made inroads and high-end purveyors like Esoteric introduced their own. There's still no consensus on optimal clock frequency. The pro standard is GPS's 10MHz. Most domestic versions adhere to it. Others propose 25MHz. Both 50Ω and 75Ω terminations are popular. Then outliers like Denafrips argue that having to synthesize 44.1/48kHz-related frequencies from such clocks introduces new error potential. They prefer pure integer frequency multipliers instead. Obviously send and receive aka master and slave gear must agree on the same frequency.

The Silent Angel clock offers four temperature-controlled 369ps-jitter clock-distributing BNC, two each at 10/25MHz. The internal "radar-grade SMPS" can bypass with an external 12VDC linear supply like their Forester F2. There's a ground terminal for an external grounding box and a standard IEC inlet. The chassis combines an inner galvanized steel box with a curvy outer aluminium-alloy layer.

As to brand names, I find today's clever, even evocative. A silent angel elevates the concept of the perfect butler to the next octave. Invisible with no physical body, an angel's benign influence here means pure silence. That's audiophilia's idea of no high-frequency noise and its deleterious impact on the optimal functioning of digital kit. Getting out of the way with no ego or physical limitations suggests a sonic guardian angel with no stretch of the imagination. Poetic and clever!