Innuos Introduces the Pulsar

As I continue work on a follow-up review of the Next-Gen Power Supply Upgrade to the Innuos Statement music server and streamer ($21,700), Innuos has released its new Pulsar Network music player + USB reclocker ($6899). A stripped-down version of the flagship Statement, the Pulsar lacks both a ripper and internal storage. What it boasts instead is over 130,000µF of Mundorf capacitors, a large high-end inductor, and an audio-grade, 300VA toroidal transformer. The Pulsar favors its optimized USB output with reclocking over its non-dedicated USB, and lacks S/PDIF and AES/EBU outputs.

While I see no mention of Roon on the Innuos website—the Statement works seamlessly with Roon—the Pulsar offers Tidal and Qobuz integration with albums stored on a NAS, internet radio and Paradise Radio, and the possibility to integrate BBC Sounds, Spotify Connect and Airplay based on the provided Logitech Media Server platform. You can also use the Pulsar as an endpoint for a main music server, HQ Player, or any Logitech Media server-based server.

The Pulsar was hardly the only game in the room. It was paired with the Innuos Phoenixnet network switch ($3749), MSB Technology's The Premier DAC ($27,500), a Vinnie Rossi Brama integrated amp ($38,995), PS Audio PS15 Power Plant ($7999), and Magico loudspeakers. Cables were by Kimber Kable, and the rack a Quadraspire SV2T ($3300).

Innuos's Nuno Vitorino explained that MSB's USB-to-optical adapter converted the Pulsar's USB to optical before sending it to the DAC. He also said that the Innuos OCXO reclocker operates at 25MHz—there is no need to convert from 10MHz to 25MHz, as is often the case—and that Innuos servers include two internal linear power supplies, one for the innuOS Operating System's SSD (solid state drive) and the other for the dedicated USB output.

Vitorino cued up a 24/ or 32/352.8 MQA file of Patricia Barber's version of "This Town" from her album Clique. The Pulsar worked in consort with the room's other components to reproduce instruments and voice in correct proportion. Every note from the piano sang, and cymbals sounded realistic rather than overly hot. In a convincing comparison between the unit's standard USB output and dedicated USB output with reclocking, the dedicated output delivered larger scale images, more detail and texture, and put Barber closer to her mike and the audience. An excellent system.