Introduction of my new Antipodes K50 Music Server

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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Kirkland, WA
I've also got a K40 coming as a replacement for my CX which will feed my Devialet 1000Pro. Haven't read ANY reviews on the K40 (only K30 and K50) so wondering what it will sound like compared to the CX.


When you say playing music continuously did you just have the K30 playing music, but didn't actually have your amp on to play music through your speakers, or do you need all on for the burn in process to fully work?
I had my DAC on mute when I wasn’t listening. I don’t have a separate preamp, my TT2 feeds my amp directly. All that‘s needed to burn in a server is to have it sending music to a DAC continuously.

Note also that if you use Roon, it might be busy analyzing music after you first configure it. That can degrade sound quality.

I would strongly suggest reading the AMSv3 manual in advance. Antipodes does something different with storage that’s actually very smart. They create a single Logical Volume that’s shared amongst all server application. This is described starting on page 10. I added a 4TB Samsung 860 EVO to my K30. This is only partially full with the rest of my music stored on my NAS. Their approach brings it all together nicely to appear at /storage/music. Their software implementation was very much a pleasant surprise. I switch between Roon/HQPlayer and just HQPlayer (with Roon stopped).

 

Tuckia

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Jun 4, 2019
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I had my DAC on mute when I wasn’t listening. I don’t have a separate preamp, my TT2 feeds my amp directly. All that‘s needed to burn in a server is to have it sending music to a DAC continuously.

Note also that if you use Roon, it might be busy analyzing music after you first configure it. That can degrade sound quality.

I would strongly suggest reading the AMSv3 manual in advance. Antipodes does something different with storage that’s actually very smart. They create a single Logical Volume that’s shared amongst all server application. This is described starting on page 10. I added a 4TB Samsung 860 EVO to my K30. This is only partially full with the rest of my music stored on my NAS. Their approach brings it all together nicely to appear at /storage/music. Their software implementation was very much a pleasant surprise. I switch between Roon/HQPlayer and just HQPlayer (with Roon stopped).

Interesting. I also have Roon/HQPlayer (embedded). I didn't realize Roon could be stopped while HQPlayer still played. My CX/EX is gone and the new K50 is due in this week, so I can't try this out right now. Please explain further. How does the SQ between the two compare?
Thanks
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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Interesting. I also have Roon/HQPlayer (embedded). I didn't realize Roon could be stopped while HQPlayer still played. My CX/EX is gone and the new K50 is due in this week, so I can't try this out right now. Please explain further. How does the SQ between the two compare?
Thanks

Roon/HQPlayer is delightful for sure, but when compared to HQPlayer alone it’s clear that Roon slightly smears the music even when using HQPlayer integration. Stopping Roon brings a clearer picture with fewer sharp edges. I take it one step further when I am listening later at night with no distractions. I stop my network after starting an album of music stored on the local SSD using the iOS application HQPDcontrol v4. I have a Sonore opticalModule with an 8m span of fiber running to an EtherRegen - and then a Shunyata Sigma ethernet cable runs from the EtherRegen to the K30. The opticalModule’s power supply is plugged into a Kasa smart plug, which I can power down using my iPad. This removes a bit more of an edge and is the best the sound gets here. I would encourage every to try to have someone pull your network cable while you are listening to hear the harm a network does. My optimizations have reduced the harm, but Roon itself makes it worse as it is always causing network activity.

This is found at the bottom of the Roon configuration page for my K30. Super easy to stop and restart Roon. And when it’s stopped, I use this app to play music: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hqpdcontrol-v4/id1518963245

010BA02C-C43C-45EE-8B33-A617E77A806D.jpeg
 

sbnx

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Interesting. I have not really tried HQ player yet. I really like the Roon interface. But with better sonics on HQ player I may have to give that a try.
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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Interesting. I have not really tried HQ player yet. I really like the Roon interface. But with better sonics on HQ player I may have to give that a try.
Roon/Squeeze should be even better. No additional license required for this, unlike HQPlayer. Squeeze is very pure but HQP’s scaling can improve other areas depending on the filter selected. With my Chord DAC, HQPlayer provide a filter that give a good taste of what the M-Scaler can do.
 

Tuckia

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Jun 4, 2019
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I preferred HQPlayer over Roon Ready running into my conventional dac, so I just bought the license solely for the SQ as a base player and the superior volume control, which is handy with the Pacific. No up sampling, transcoding, dithering, etc. Roon Ready is simply bad, bad, bad. All of the Roon features are retained within Roon Server. Maybe this dynamic changes moving from the CX/EX to K series, but I doubt it. Due to shipping issues, I’ve been without a server for a month now. Roon has released version 1.8. New Antipodes software. I have a lot to catch up on.
Bottomline, try something other than Roon Ready - Squeezelite, HQ Player, or other. TAS for Antipodes maybe?
 
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Celts88

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Feb 15, 2018
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I had my DAC on mute when I wasn’t listening. I don’t have a separate preamp, my TT2 feeds my amp directly. All that‘s needed to burn in a server is to have it sending music to a DAC continuously.

Note also that if you use Roon, it might be busy analyzing music after you first configure it. That can degrade sound quality.

I would strongly suggest reading the AMSv3 manual in advance. Antipodes does something different with storage that’s actually very smart. They create a single Logical Volume that’s shared amongst all server application. This is described starting on page 10. I added a 4TB Samsung 860 EVO to my K30. This is only partially full with the rest of my music stored on my NAS. Their approach brings it all together nicely to appear at /storage/music. Their software implementation was very much a pleasant surprise. I switch between Roon/HQPlayer and just HQPlayer (with Roon stopped).

https://antipodes.audio/amsv3-guide/index.html?page=11
I had noticed that with Antipodes making one logical volume for the music files, it means any player can access my full music library either on the Antipodes or a NAS (I currently have 2 x 2Tb SSD's and looking at adding a 4Tb SSD to make up the onboard music for the K40).

I heard Roon Server plus Squeezelite is a good option for getting the best sound from the music files (Roon can put a bit of a smear on the files). Not sure yet how I go using Roon Server and Squeezelite as the player, as not sure if this is possible just with the K40 as only a music server. If I can only use Squeezelite on it's own to play the music I'll use Roon to find songs I like in the Roon interface (that is the number one aspect of Roon - finding hidden gems in the thousand upon thousands of music files), but then make up a playlist and use that with the Squeezelite player to listen to my music (I may have this all mixed up :p)
 
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shakti

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I am using the Roon Squeezelite combination with my K50.
works nice and am happy with the result.
I recently updated my Silent Angel Bonn N8 switch to the Melco S100 switch (Keces P8 LPS),
which was a good performance update as well.
 

Magnuska

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I am using the Roon Squeezelite combination with my K50.
works nice and am happy with the result.
I recently updated my Silent Angel Bonn N8 switch to the Melco S100 switch (Keces P8 LPS),
which was a good performance update as well.
Interesting. I find using the new roon 1.8 actually sounds sligthly better than squeezelite. A little more dynamic IMHO. I am using Antipodes S40 as server/player.
 
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Pb Blimp

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Interesting. I find using the new roon 1.8 actually sounds sligthly better than squeezelite. A little more dynamic IMHO. I am using Antipodes S40 as server/player.
I have been waiting for comments on 1.8. I must believe Roon is going to get their player figured out in time. Frankly it is ridiculous they have the library side so perfected and can't get the sound to a SOTA level!!
 

shakti

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May 9, 2015
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Interesting. I find using the new roon 1.8 actually sounds sligthly better than squeezelite. A little more dynamic IMHO. I am using Antipodes S40 as server/player.
I have to try out again, I just changed my DAC, it will make the next comparison after the DAC has some hours more :)
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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I was just delighted that Roon 1.8 (with HQP) didn't sound worse than 1.7 (with HQP). Since my K30 was still breaking in, I've not been able to say that Roon's sound quality got better.
 

Fourlegs

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After reading this thread when it first started I am back and posting as a new K50 owner.

Before buying I had a K50 on demo from Elite in Scotland (who are really good guys to deal with by the way) and I admit that at first I was struggling to understand how to get it to play anything never mind getting the best sound quality. This is perhaps because I had (and still have) various Innuos streamers that are very much plug and play by comparison.

However after a few weeks I have come to appreciate the k50 strengths and I really love it.

So far I either use squeezlite with the Material web browser control and the BNC output to the Mscaler (with my Wave Storm cables of course!) or I use HQPlayer with no upscaling and out putting by USB to the Mscaler. This might seem odd but I like the HQP + NAA player sound quality and prefer the Mscaler upscaling.

Despite having a Roon lifetime subscription I am afraid that even the wonderful k50 cannot make it sound good so it is relegated to the kitchen system.

I have tried outputting with miniDLNA on the K50 server and MPD on the K50 player but to my ears that introduced a very slight harshness, perhaps because of the work that the player has to do ‘pulling’ the files from the server, I don’t know but whatever the reason I didn’t get on with that playback method.

So, I am really really liking the K50 and am very glad I have bought it.

The only slight gripe I have is that it is running on an HQPlayer embedded version that was released in July 2020, ie seven months ago and it has irritated me that Antipodes haven’t got the later versions on the K50 despite being available on their CX, EX etc.
 

kennyb123

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...This is perhaps because I had (and still have) various Innuos streamers that are very much plug and play by comparison.

However after a few weeks I have come to appreciate the k50 strengths and I really love it.
Exactly where I landed.

So far I either use squeezlite with the Material web browser control and the BNC output to the Mscaler (with my Wave Storm cables of course!) or I use HQPlayer with no upscaling and out putting by USB to the Mscaler. This might seem odd but I like the HQP + NAA player sound quality and prefer the Mscaler upscaling.
I have yet to compare Material/Squeeze to HQP/NAA straight up. I'm glad to hear you like the HQP+NAA sound quality.

The only slight gripe I have is that it is running on an HQPlayer embedded version that was released in July 2020, ie seven months ago and it has irritated me that Antipodes haven’t got the later versions on the K50 despite being available on their CX, EX etc.

Really, later versions are available on the older platform? I wonder what would happen if HQPlayer server was deleted (using Application Management). I'm sure it would appear in the list of Available Applications, but would a newer version be displayed? I'm reluctant to do that for fear of licensing issues when trying to bring it back.
 
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kennyb123

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Hey guys just got my K50 ,, actually wanted to know that has anyone tested out the library via Internal SSD vs NAS , is there any significant differences in AQ ?

Congrats on the K50!

One plus of storing music on the internal SSD, is that I can start an album playing in HQPlayer and then disconnect my network (using a smart plug into which my opticalModule is plugged). A very slight edge disappears when I do that. That’s the best that it gets.

Sorry though that I can’t answer your question about NAS vs internal SSD, as I took it as a given that the latter might have a very slight edge but maybe not enough to worry about. Mark Cole from Antipodes said that internal SSD would sound better but he plays music from his NAS. I’m doing a hybrid approach with my favorites on the internal SSD
 
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Fourlegs

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Really, later versions are available on the older platform? I wonder what would happen if HQPlayer server was deleted (using Application Management). I'm sure it would appear in the list of Available Applications, but would a newer version be displayed? I'm reluctant to do that for fear of licensing issues when trying to bring it back.

Yes, from what I have been told by an EX owner. He had a slight issue with the very latest HQP embedded version but Antipodes and HQP sorted it out between them within 24 hrs by HQP doing an update. I have bought the top of the line K50 Antipodes and I slightly think I must be on a different customer care planet when Antipodes don’t seem to be working in real time to sort it so the K50 can update to the latest HQP when the EX gets it automatically. I have tried to hassle them for action but I have slightly got a ‘all good things come to those who wait ’ response. Personally if I have bought the top product I expect a response more along the lines of ‘we’re are burning the midnight oil and will have it sorted in a few days’. Maybe if you give them some email hassle as well? It is difficult to see any problem other than an allocation of priorities.

There is no problem deleting the HQP app and then reinstalling from the available apps. Unfortunately though you will still get version 4.18.1 from July 2020 instead of the latest 4.22.2 that is now on the EX etc. (I know, I have tried it).

There is no problem with deleting HQP from your Antipodes and installing again from a license point of view. Your license still works because the hardware fingerprint is the same. (Again, I know because I have done it).
 

Fourlegs

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Hey guys just got my K50 ,, actually wanted to know that has anyone tested out the library via Internal SSD vs NAS , is there any significant differences in AQ ?
Congratulations on getting the K50. No, I have not tried that and the main reason is that I have been told it makes a slight difference to sound quality whether one uses say a single internal 8TB in the K50 versus two 4TB. Against the background of that information I have just gone with SSD in the K50. At the moment I have three x 4TB but I hope to upgrade to three x 8TB soon in order to store a library of large extra high res files.
 
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the sound of Tao

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Hey guys just got my K50 ,, actually wanted to know that has anyone tested out the library via Internal SSD vs NAS , is there any significant differences in AQ ?
Congratulations also. If it follows the CX-EX then this is my experience... I had a NAS (upgraded with external linear supplies) and ww platinum starlight USB ... when replaced installing the Samsung 860 Evo SSD was

assessing more wholly...

immediately more fluid and natural...

(Before someone asks :rolleyes:) natural= more like my experience of real instruments.

more believable

more moments of realness

player’s artistry easier to appreciate,

greater appreciation of the difference between both performances and recordings

assessing more atomistically;

not empty void blacker backgrounds but rather presence of space, not unrealistic pinpoint imagery,

more coherent and of a piece, more natural tone timbre, presence.

Microdynamics more nuanced and involving,

altogether both more musical and engaging... nicely more so than with the NAS which revealed itself comparatively to have introduced a fine layer of greyness.

As a side observation given everyone’s more recent keenness to express opinions and absolutes on benchmarks across digital transports (server also as transport) it must be said that the Antipodes combination with SSD installed (even with nas or hdd ) was still clearly more musical and natural than the spinners by Aqua, meridian, esoteric and dcs that I auditioned at length over a few years before resolving to go server option. So while some of these physical media transports were more musical than other similar transports but equally some were simply also more synthetic and analytical. The antipodes (especially with ssd internal drive) sidesteps the issue for me completely and in my experience simply has less obvious artifice overall.

The antipodes with internal ssd for me is a lovely shift to approach greater rightness and a natural sounding musical engagement... and though everyone’s mileage with any or all of the transport options in the end it is as always a case of system context trumps any generalisations.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about your experiences with the K-50. Am sure Antipodes could advise you if there was any less benefit with SSD with the K-50 but for me it lifted my player into better fulfilling its potential.
 
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kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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Kirkland, WA
I have bought the top of the line K50 Antipodes and I slightly think I must be on a different customer care planet when Antipodes don’t seem to be working in real time to sort it so the K50 can update to the latest HQP when the EX gets it automatically. I have tried to hassle them for action but I have slightly got a ‘all good things come to those who wait ’ response. Personally if I have bought the top product I expect a response more along the lines of ‘we’re are burning the midnight oil and will have it sorted in a few days’. Maybe if you give them some email hassle as well? It is difficult to see any problem other than an allocation of priorities.
There have been some real instability issues with the latest version of HQP desktop. I believe even Emile of Taiko has recommended that Extreme owners stick with an older version. Likely those same instability issues are found in the embedded version as well.
 

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