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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, Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Active filter: Lifesaver Audio Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos & EX-M7 on subwoofer; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara, Meze 109 Pro; 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 Sonnet Pasithea; 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: iFi Pro iDSD Signature; Clock: LHY Audio OCK-2;  Head/speaker amp: Enleum AMP-23R; Speakers: EnigmAcoustics Mythology M1;
 Headphones: Final D-8000 & Sonorous X, Audeze LCD-XC, Raal-Requisite SR1a
Upstairs headfi system: FiiO R7; Headphones: Meze 109 Pro

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 Plus 16GB RAM/250GB SSD €2'699, 32GB/4TB €5'299, Genesis GX €

Silencio. Depending on whom we ask about audiophile network switches aka LAN distributors, today's landscape still falls somewhere in the pre Noel Lee era. Lamp cord was all the ambitious audiophile needed. Then the meteor of Monster Cable struck and dinosaurs died off en masse. Forward to 2023. Thunder Data  Co. Ltd. of Zhuhai are experts in hardware/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 who holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; and Chorus Chuang with a masters degree in electrical engineering. They launched their Quiet Celestial in Taiwan in 2014. Though their engineering background in packet tech told them otherwise, they 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. Now they already offer various music servers/streamers, music storage, linear power supplies and today's top Rhein Z1 Plus server and Genesis GX master clock.

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 a shared clock. In the home where a single CD player or PC act 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 upscale purveyors like Esoteric introduced their own. There's still no consensus for 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 be bypassed with an external 12VDC linear supply like their own 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 especially clever, evocative even. A silent angel elevates the concept of the perfect butler to the next octave. Invisible by lacking a physical body, an angel's benign influence here manifests as pure silence. That's audiophilia's synonym for absence of high-frequency noise and its deleterious impact on the optimal functioning of digital kit. Getting out of the way by absence of ego and physical limitations suggests a sonic guardian angel with no stretch of the imagination. Poetic and clever!