Introduction of my new Antipodes K50 Music Server

kennyb123

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Following Kennyb123’s Shunyata recommendations, I’ve acquired a couple Sigma v2 NR power cords to try out. These are simply awesome cords used on the K50 and Pacific. The result is much better when both are used rather than just one or the other. You can really hear into the recording with such a low noise floor. Very natural and stress free. Excellent low end and overall resolution. I really have to wonder about the omega usb. Thanks for sharing Ken.

I finally got around to swapping the power cord on my K30. A Shunyata Delta NR v2 replaced the Alpha HC yesterday. I have to admit being surprised by how much of a difference it made. "Very natural and stress free" - with nice reduction is harshness. And yes, "you can really hear into the recording" as everything is more clearly laid out in front of you. Lastly, transients are clearer and faster. While I've not tried the more expensive Shunyata power cords, the Delta is so darn good that I don't really feel a need to.
 

Tuckia

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Jun 4, 2019
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I finally got around to swapping the power cord on my K30. A Shunyata Delta NR v2 replaced the Alpha HC yesterday. I have to admit being surprised by how much of a difference it made. "Very natural and stress free" - with nice reduction is harshness. And yes, "you can really hear into the recording" as everything is more clearly laid out in front of you. Lastly, transients are clearer and faster. While I've not tried the more expensive Shunyata power cords, the Delta is so darn good that I don't really feel a need to.
Recall that I only had access to two Sigma v2 NR’s, so my only assessment was with these. Some at Shunyata say all you need is a venom v2 or Delta v2 on a server. Well, that’s a pretty big swing in cost, Venom to Sigma. Buying one Sigma v2 NR was an easy choice as it could always go on the dac. It is clear to me that the one Sigma I have is best used on the server in my system. Ordering the second cable was the challenge. I wanted the sound achieved with the two Sigmas I used earlier on the server and dac. Guess I was skeptical that a much cheaper cord could do the same thing, so I ordered an Alpha v2 NR. Should be in next week. It will be interesting swapping my four primary power cords around - Sigma, Alpha, Zenwave PSR-14, and the Allnic ZL 5000.

Glad to hear the Delta v2 is working well for you. These v2 cables really are a revelation on digital equipment.
 
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kennyb123

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Glad to hear the Delta v2 is working well for you. These v2 cables really are a revelation on digital equipment.

I had actually figured a while back that I’d shoot for replacing my Alpha HCs with the Alpha v2 but Caelin recommended Delta to me in a conversation on AudioShark. He actually said that Delta is what he uses in his own system as he hates thick power cords. I was happy to hear that because the Delta is a better fit for my budget plus I also like that the Delta is more flexible and lighter.

Shunyata’s guidance on fully digital components is a little confusing. It’s Caelin’s view that the bang for the buck with components featuring an analog stage is so much better that it makes more sense to apply the dollars there. High end music servers are a different beast though and could likely still benefit from the best cord you can afford.

A few hours ago I swapped a pair of 2.5amp Blue fuses into my K30. These had previously been used in my amplifier but were swapped out in favor of Orange fuses. I figured with the report about fuse blowing I should start with these as the cost had already been sunk. My initial impression was that they needed some time to settle in. On the plus side, I did think I heard an increase in low end weight.

The fuse holder in my K30 supports both fuse lengths, which is nice as the Blues were the longer sized ones.
 
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Tuckia

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Generalizing doesn’t get us too far in this hobby. The power supplies in servers are definitely not standardized. With the K50 responding so well, it may be a candidate for the Alpha or Sigma. I hope they sound the same;). If so, I might pick up a Delta v2 and experiment with the others downstream.

BTW, interesting stuff on PGGB. I see your posts elsewhere. Does this apply to conventional dacs, or mainly just Chords?
 

kennyb123

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BTW, interesting stuff on PGGB. I see your posts elsewhere. Does this apply to conventional dacs, or mainly just Chords?

Some other DACs have responded well to it. The higher the input sample rate, the better the chance that PGGB will be beneficial.
 
BTW, interesting stuff on PGGB. I see your posts elsewhere. Does this apply to conventional dacs, or mainly just Chords?
I confess that a prime motive for me getting my K50 was that I have been trying PGGB since Christmas. For that reason I have loaded my K50 with three 4TB SSD. I am not giving up my MScaler which I still prefer compared to HQP for streamed music and also for non PGGB processed files but there is no doubt in my mind that PGGB is a very interesting development.

Have a go yourself with the free trial version of PGGB. It can be set to output a variety of resolutions to suit different DACs.
 

kennyb123

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Generalizing doesn’t get us too far in this hobby. The power supplies in servers are definitely not standardized. With the K50 responding so well, it may be a candidate for the Alpha or Sigma. I hope they sound the same;). If so, I might pick up a Delta v2 and experiment with the others downstream.

Quite a step change as well from the Blue fuses. Clearly the hybrid power supplies in Antipodes servers respond really well to improved power delivery. When Synergistic again has their buy two get one free fuse offer, I might even substitute out the Blues for Orange.
 

Lxgreen

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Jul 28, 2020
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Question re: Ethernet cable feeding K50. I was using a nice wireworld starlight cat 7 from my EtherRegen to the K50 server. Using Cisco switch to EtherRegen. I tried an audioquest forest cable and couldn’t hear a difference. I’m using aes/bnu from k50 player to Dac. Has anyone tried an Ethernet cable feeding the K50 they thought was an upgrade?
 

speakerlust

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Mar 26, 2011
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I received my K50 last week. I have not yet put my EtherREGEN back in the chain. I have had to make changes in equipment positions to accomodate bringing some pieces back into play to test with the K50. I have a couple Sablon 1 meter length 2020 ethernet cables and have enjoyed them a great deal. Now, however, 1 meter Sablon is not long enough to the K50 from PF Buffalo switch. For the present I am using a Ghent Belden 1303E CAT6A Ethernet(JSSG360) for the length to the K50. I have had that cable for a bit and will repurpose it as I look to do some network changes upstream.

I mused about ordering another Sablon, but thought I would take the opportunity to test a new Signature cable from Audio Sensibility, https://audiosensibility.com/blog/p...able-***-New-***/p/322022400/category=4059160. I have several silver AS Signature cables that I have really liked--ac power cords, a dc power cord, and a pair of XLR's. I found them to provide more musical info, but not at all sharp, etched, or in your face but instead very smooth. I ordered the AS Signature ethernet cable today. I would expect I am probably a week to 10 days from having the cable. Pricing with the Spring 13% discount (code on the site) and conversion from Canadian to US dollars make it a bit less expensive than the Sablon. It is a stock listed cable, so the 30-day money back guarantee policy is there, should I wish. However, I almost never return purchased items. Triode Wire Labs is another company with a 30-day return policy. I have not yet listened to TWL's Freedom ethernet cable, but do have TWL power cords, a USB Dongle, and some of TWL XLR cables. I have been pleased with TWL, and the Freedom is less expensive.

I find all 3 companies to be competitive and offer fine products. I also find the owners, Mark with Sablon, Steve with Audio Sensibility, and Pete with Triode Wire Labs excellent for communicating back and fast on processing orders.
 
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shakti

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Question re: Ethernet cable feeding K50. I was using a nice wireworld starlight cat 7 from my EtherRegen to the K50 server. Using Cisco switch to EtherRegen. I tried an audioquest forest cable and couldn’t hear a difference. I’m using aes/bnu from k50 player to Dac. Has anyone tried an Ethernet cable feeding the K50 they thought was an upgrade?
A great upgrade was the Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 over the Wireworld Starlight 8. (Between Innuos PhoenixNET and K50),
...will never go back.
 

speakerlust

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I received my Audio Sensibility Signature ethernet cable in the mail yesterday and now in initial use. I am very pleased and somewhat suprised at the speed of the delivery. I ordered after 5 PM my time on Thursday, received tracking on Friday, and delivered to me via USPS yesterday. My initial impressions of the cable are very favorable, but intend to get about 50 hours playing with it before reporting more.
 
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kennyb123

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I received my Audio Sensibility Signature ethernet cable in the mail yesterday and now in initial use. I am very pleased and somewhat suprised at the speed of the delivery. I ordered after 5 PM my time on Thursday, received tracking on Friday, and delivered to me via USPS yesterday.

I have one of their DC cables - and it's spectacular. It needed a very long time to settle in though - like weeks - but once it did, it seemed to completely vanish. I recall also being surprised by how quickly it arrived.

I'm sure that this cable will work out well for you.
 

kennyb123

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A great upgrade was the Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 over the Wireworld Starlight 8.
The difference between these two is quite astonishing. Neither was a good match for my system, but it's easy to understand why you favored the Platinum.
 

speakerlust

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Mar 26, 2011
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Thank you, Kenny. I also have a DC cable from Audio Sensibility I purchased as an upgrade for the DC cable for my Lumin X1 to its power supply. I am well pleased with that DC power cable as well. I had suggested it as a possibility on another Lumin forum and was asked by someone there what differences I perceived. I had the AS cable for less than a month bud did do some comparisons on selected music tracks with the stock and AS. I believe there were positive contributions (no negatives) with the AS on most of the music selections, but much more noticable positives on certain selections. I do expect this new ethernet cable will improve over next few weeks as well, but I already like it more than the Ghent Belden 1303E CAT6A Ethernet(JSSG360) it replaced this morning.
 
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Tuckia

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Some time has passed since first inserting the new Shunyata v2 NR power cords into my digital front end, so I’ll offer thoughts on this now that things have settled. The Alpha has landed on the K50 while the Sigma is on the Pacific dac. I’m very happy with the effectiveness of this arrangement. The lower noise floor that these cords bring has increased perceived resolution very nicely. Recall that I started with two borrowed Sigmas and was floored. Despite being advised that a digital server only needs any v2 NR cord, I don’t quite agree. This is only because I remember two Sigmas bringing more low end weight compared to my current Alpha - Sigma combination. But, this is based on a somewhat distant aural memory. I wish I had a pile of these to A/B, just not the case. I can only wonder what the Omega power cords bring to the game. Segue.

Enter the Omega USB cable. Reports from Kennyb123 and others were intriguing. The hard part was deciding to go Omega RCA spdif or USB. I might be the only one who preferred the usb out of my K50. Experimenting with other spdif options showed the promise of organic solidity and depth, but overall detail and X-Y staging were just not at the same level as usb with my FTA Callisto. Each output had their moments however. Considering the future and file format compatibility, I went with the USB. Simply, the Omega usb is the biggest cable upgrade improvement - ever. Per usual, the rest of the system needs to be up the task as well. But I’m just dumbstruck that there was that much left to be gained from a cable change in a system with a fairly current usb optimization.

The first aspect that caught my attention was a vocal more solidly rendered with greater nuance and depth. Then the rest of the track kicked in and bam, immersion into a 3D sound field never heard before. Then new details abound. This was only a ripped red book file too. A track I’ve heard many many times. On and on this continued. Why is this? Maybe a lower noise floor, again.

Apparently the effectiveness of this cable isn’t isolated to the Antipodes K series either. Some one I know is using this cable between his Extreme with their new usb card and TAS and a Lampizator Pacific with new JL Sound usb card. He reports the same uptick. Again, he was coming from the same usb cable I had been using. True, this is an expensive cable, but for me well worth it.
 
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kennyb123

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Simply, the Omega usb is the biggest cable upgrade improvement - ever. Per usual, the rest of the system needs to be up the task as well. But I’m just dumbstruck that there was that much left to be gained from a cable change in a system with a fairly current usb optimization.
A game-changer, for sure. Really nice write-up - thanks for letting us know.
 

speakerlust

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Mar 26, 2011
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I have been pleased with the Audio Sensibility Signature Signature Ethernet cable to the extent I ordered another today in 1 meter. I have been using the 1.5 m one from a PF Buffalo switch to the RJ45 K50 port. I have ordered the 1 meter to evaluate out from the K50 ethernet Direct Streaming port to my Lumin X1. i experimented a bit today with bringing an EtherREGEN into the chain from the PF Buffalo to the ER to the K50 to Vinnie Rossi DAC 2.0. Later on, I will experiment putting the ER before the Lumin and after K50 Direct Streamng port as well as once again test fiber optic to the Lumin X1 from the PF Buffalo. I tried both of the Sablons on the ER as well as one Salon and the current Audio Sensibility to the K50. Interestingly, I preferred the presentation of the AS cable to the K50 without the ER involved, but am also curious how 2 of the AS cables will sound with the ER.

The K50 is still early on settling in, and have noticed more refined detail as it does. The addition of the AS cable steered the presentation immediately more in that direction, but expect there will be evolving changes with the K50 and the AS cables as they accumulate more time on them.
 

Magnuska

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Nov 21, 2020
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I have been pleased with the Audio Sensibility Signature Signature Ethernet cable to the extent I ordered another today in 1 meter. I have been using the 1.5 m one from a PF Buffalo switch to the RJ45 K50 port. I have ordered the 1 meter to evaluate out from the K50 ethernet Direct Streaming port to my Lumin X1. i experimented a bit today with bringing an EtherREGEN into the chain from the PF Buffalo to the ER to the K50 to Vinnie Rossi DAC 2.0. Later on, I will experiment putting the ER before the Lumin and after K50 Direct Streamng port as well as once again test fiber optic to the Lumin X1 from the PF Buffalo. I tried both of the Sablons on the ER as well as one Salon and the current Audio Sensibility to the K50. Interestingly, I preferred the presentation of the AS cable to the K50 without the ER involved, but am also curious how 2 of the AS cables will sound with the ER.

The K50 is still early on settling in, and have noticed more refined detail as it does. The addition of the AS cable steered the presentation immediately more in that direction, but expect there will be evolving changes with the K50 and the AS cables as they accumulate more time on them.
I am also thinking of the AS signature ethernet cable. Good to see that you are already happy with it. As you wrote earlier the Audio sensibility, Triode wire labs and Sablon are the best direct sales companies I have found so far. Having many of AS powercables and their Signature speakercables ( although its thick as a snake)
Do you also have a Vinnie Rossi amp? I have the L2i with DAC 2.0 that I m very pleased with.

Did you compare the AS signature with Sablon ethernet cable? I am choosing between these two replacing a Ghent JSSG for me too;)
 

speakerlust

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Mar 26, 2011
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I have the Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Preamp, but do not have VR amps. I previously had the Vinnie Rossi LIO. Vinnie Rossi is another good guy in the industry and has always responded quickly to any of my questions/concerns. I have some older Audio Artistry Beethoven Elite 4-way active speakers, with a variety of SS amps to include Cary, Spectron, and Sanders Magtech. I had gone through several amps early on with these speakers that was a bit frustrating, but this combo has been enjoyable for me. 4-way actives can produce excellent sound, but the complexities of cables and amps are a negative.

I went through a phase of seveal dacs that I still have to include PS Audio Direct Stream, Luxman DA-06, the Vinnie Rossi DAC 2.0, and a Lumin X1. The Vinnie Rossi had been my favorite prior to the Lumin X1, which to me eclipsed the DAC 2.0 after hundreds of hours of playing with my system configuration, which included using EtherREGEN. However, with the addition of the K50 and current configuration, the DAC 2.0 now sounds better at this point using USB with the VR. It will be interesting to see how the additon of an AS ethernet cable to the X1 from the Direct Stream port of the K50 will sound. I have been running for some time the Lumin X1 direct, bypassing the VR preamp utilizing LEEDH volume processing on X1.

I did do some comparing of the Sablon with AS ethernet cable, but was limited. With the addition of PF Buffalo and power supply and anticipating the K50, I did some rearranging on racks. When the K50 came in, 1 meter ethernet cable (both Sablons 1 meter) were too short to reach the K50 from PF Buffalo. Prior to K50, I had used the Sablons with EtherREGEN and prior to that had also run single mode fiber out from the EtherREGEN to the Lumin X1. I liked both fiber and the Sablons, but sound presentations were different. Fiber was in place when I thought X1 surpassed DAC 2.0. Sablons seemed to add more body and intimacy to the presentation with more lower bass while fiber seemed a bit more dynamic.

I had ordered the AS ethernet because I needed 1.5 m length plus curiosity on this cable. I have not been able to compare AS vs Sablon to the K50 due to length issue. I was able to try both Sablons with EtherREGEN between switch and K50 as well as one Sablon and one AS. Soon I will be able to try two AS cables--just received email confirmation the AS I ordered yesterday has shipped.

In my limited testing so far, I much preferred the AS direct from the switch to K50 over single or multiple Sablons with EtherREGEN. Power to the EtherREGEN was with 3rd rail from a Sean Jacobs DC4, so do not see power supply weakening the presentation. The Sablon influence seemed heavier but not as clear as the AS over limited testing so far. As with all of these things, it is so much system dependent plus I have come to believe there are audible differences between sound of new equipment/accessories and that of these pieces after a good period of time settling in/burning in. The K50 is in that process now as well as the AS cable. My initial impressions of K50 was some softness in presentation and dynamics early on, but that has evolved to a much more involved, engaging and dimensional presentation. I believe I am still quite early on in this ongoing evolution with it and would guess that the AS cable will also do so. My experiences with AS with top end, Signature series, power cords, XLR cables, DC power cable for X1, and now the ethernet cable consistently indicate there is a house sound of non-harsh presentation with added detail with all of them from the very beginning. For me, those characteristics do not change over time, but seem to become a bit more refined over the listening spectrum yet dynamic with playing hours. I had suspected that the AS cable would compliment the K50, and so far that seems true. I have only used USB output so far with the K50, but will try I2S with Direct Stream and would like to check out BNC from K50 to DAC 2.0 as well later on. I know the Sablon ethernet was quite enjoyable for me prior, but during current testing and new equipment settling in, seemed more veiled, but I think this could be a premature judgement. The Sablon does sound warmer to me, but I believe the K50 is on warmer side of neutral, at least for now as well.

I still have my SonicTransporter i5 in the chain as a server as I work through some Roon Database backup issues and with Antipodes on how Applications can be updated, specifically Roon. I am using the K50 for Player now till these are resolved.
 
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Magnuska

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Nov 21, 2020
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I have the Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Preamp, but do not have VR amps. I previously had the Vinnie Rossi LIO. Vinnie Rossi is another good guy in the industry and has always responded quickly to any of my questions/concerns. I have some older Audio Artistry Beethoven Elite 4-way active speakers, with a variety of SS amps to include Cary, Spectron, and Sanders Magtech. I had gone through several amps early on with these speakers that was a bit frustrating, but this combo has been enjoyable for me. 4-way actives can produce excellent sound, but the complexities of cables and amps are a negative.

I went through a phase of seveal dacs that I still have to include PS Audio Direct Stream, Luxman DA-06, the Vinnie Rossi DAC 2.0, and a Lumin X1. The Vinnie Rossi had been my favorite prior to the Lumin X1, which to me eclipsed the DAC 2.0 after hundreds of hours of playing with my system configuration, which included using EtherREGEN. However, with the addition of the K50 and current configuration, the DAC 2.0 now sounds better at this point using USB with the VR. It will be interesting to see how the additon of an AS ethernet cable to the X1 from the Direct Stream port of the K50 will sound. I have been running for some time the Lumin X1 direct, bypassing the VR preamp utilizing LEEDH volume processing on X1.

I did do some comparing of the Sablon with AS ethernet cable, but was limited. With the addition of PF Buffalo and power supply and anticipating the K50, I did some rearranging on racks. When the K50 came in, 1 meter ethernet cable (both Sablons 1 meter) were too short to reach the K50 from PF Buffalo. Prior to K50, I had used the Sablons with EtherREGEN and prior to that had also run single mode fiber out from the EtherREGEN to the Lumin X1. I liked both fiber and the Sablons, but sound presentations were different. Fiber was in place when I thought X1 surpassed DAC 2.0. Sablons seemed to add more body and intimacy to the presentation with more lower bass while fiber seemed a bit more dynamic.

I had ordered the AS ethernet because I needed 1.5 m length plus curiosity on this cable. I have not been able to compare AS vs Sablon to the K50 due to length issue. I was able to try both Sablons with EtherREGEN between switch and K50 as well as one Sablon and one AS. Soon I will be able to try two AS cables--just received email confirmation the AS I ordered yesterday has shipped.

In my limited testing so far, I much preferred the AS direct from the switch to K50 over single or multiple Sablons with EtherREGEN. Power to the EtherREGEN was with 3rd rail from a Sean Jacobs DC4, so do not see power supply weakening the presentation. The Sablon influence seemed heavier but not as clear as the AS over limited testing so far. As with all of these things, it is so much system dependent plus I have come to believe there are audible differences between sound of new equipment/accessories and that of these pieces after a good period of time settling in/burning in. The K50 is in that process now as well as the AS cable. My initial impressions of K50 was some softness in presentation and dynamics early on, but that has evolved to a much more involved, engaging and dimensional presentation. I believe I am still quite early on in this ongoing evolution with it and would guess that the AS cable will also do so. My experiences with AS with top end, Signature series, power cords, XLR cables, DC power cable for X1, and now the ethernet cable consistently indicate there is a house sound of non-harsh presentation with added detail with all of them from the very beginning. For me, those characteristics do not change over time, but seem to become a bit more refined over the listening spectrum yet dynamic with playing hours. I had suspected that the AS cable would compliment the K50, and so far that seems true. I have only used USB output so far with the K50, but will try I2S with Direct Stream and would like to check out BNC from K50 to DAC 2.0 as well later on. I know the Sablon ethernet was quite enjoyable for me prior, but during current testing and new equipment settling in, seemed more veiled, but I think this could be a premature judgement. The Sablon does sound warmer to me, but I believe the K50 is on warmer side of neutral, at least for now as well.

I still have my SonicTransporter i5 in the chain as a server as I work through some Roon Database backup issues and with Antipodes on how Applications can be updated, specifically Roon. I am using the K50 for Player now till these are resolved.
Thank you for your answer.
Yes I agree, Vinnie Rossi must also be included in the top group. I also had a LIO prior to my L2i integrated amp.
I also have an Antipodes S40 as roon server with storage so I wonder if you would find eventually when you can use the K50 as both server/player to a dac you will get the best sound. Shall be interesting to read about your progress later on.
 
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