The Sonos Connect (previously named ZP90) is a network player I appreciate very much. Especially the reliability and easy set-up are very strong points. Analogue out the Connect is a decent player for the Average Joe set and when connected digitally to a decent d/a-converter it even offers more. However, it’s not the top of the market. It wasn’t intended to be either. I have used one for some time (for research, as I do with all important developments) and passed it on to my daughter who still enjoys it every day. Recently, I received an e-mail from Jos Schellevis of Magna Hifi: the company modified the Connect and would appreciate it if I would have a listen. A few days later the demo model arrived.
Magna Hifi offers two levels of upgrading, the standard Magna upgrade and the Magna Ultimo. Both share the following mod’s: a Tentlabs Ultra Low Jitter clock replaces the standard Sonos clock and is powered from a separate ultra wide band power regulator. Then the S/PDIF signal is reclocked and buffered. The standard RCA connector that carries the S/PDIF signal is replaced by a BNC connector or a gold plated heavy duty RCA, at choice. By default the Toslink connector is disabled, but can be brought to the same level as the S/PDIF output at extra charge. The standard Magna mod further improves the integrated 12 and 3.3 V power supply using high quality Panasonic FC and Wima MKT capacitors. The Magna Ultimo goes one step further improving the power supply by using audio grade power caps for both power rails while the switching power supply is electromagnetically shielded. The output level of the Tentlabs clock is better matched to the input of the Cirrus d/a-converter chip and the white LED is replaced by a blue one to distinguish the Ultimo version from the standard Magna one.