Introduction of my new Antipodes K50 Music Server

sale

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K50 Specifications
CoolingPassive Fanless Silent
CaseCNC Machined From Solid Alloy
Direct Stream Ethernet OutputYES
USB Audio 2.0 Output- PCM to 32bit/768kHz

- DoP to DSD512

- Native DSD to DSD512
S/PDIF OutputOn RCA and BNC

- PCM to 24bit/192kHz

- DoP to DSD64
AES3 OuputOn XLR

- PCM to 24bit/192kHz

- DoP to DSD64
I2S OutputOn HDMI

- PCM to 32bit/384kHz

- DoP to DSD256

- Native to DSD512
Optional Music StorageEasy Self-Installable Without Tools

- 3 Bay Slide-In

- Up To 24TB
Hardware ModulesV5.6H For Server Apps

V5X For Player Apps

R1I Reclocker
Power SupplyInternal - 3 x HSL80
AC PowerSwitchable

- 110-120VAC 60Hz

- 220-240VAC 50Hz
Width445mm (17.5in)
Depth370mm (14.5in)
Height120mm (4.7in)
Weight16kg (35lb)
WarrantyReturn To Seller - 3 Years



On request, Markus (CM Audio) sent me some additional information about the new Antipodes music servers:

"Antipodes K and S series music servers

V5.6H mainboard (K50 Server and K40 Server)


Physically, it's the same board as the V4H that was used in the Antipodes CX. Its audio performance has benefited significantly from the new ISM tuning. The V5.6H is used in the K50 and K40 and is the main reason the K50 and K40 are the best sounding Antipodes music servers. As for performance, this board can convert a CD resolution music file to DSD512 with a single CPU core using the Roon DSP. It has a further 5 real processor cores in order to be able to execute other functions at the same time as playback, which makes it very versatile and gives it the necessary leeway for operating the server apps.


V5.2H mainboard (K30 server board and S40 server and player board)

This is a new board with the new ISM coordination, which has the same single-core performance as the V5.6H board, but with fewer processor cores. This board is a "premiere" - the first Antipodes board which is ideally suited for both server applications and player applications. The V5.2H board has two cores and two virtual processor cores. If the playback solution is kept relatively simple, this board gives you much of the power of the V5.6H and can operate without overheating problems as long as it stands free to allow the heat to dissipate.


V5X mainboard (S30 server and player board, K30 player board, K50 player board)

This is a new board with the new ISM vibe that is a bit more powerful and sounding better than the V4X board used in the Antipodes EX. In terms of performance, this board can up-sample CD music files to DSD256 using the Roon DSP, but it requires Roon parallelization to use all of its cores. Like the V4X, the V5X offers good performance for server applications, but exceeds the performance required for player applications such as Roon Ready or Squeezelite.


R1i Reclocker Board (K50 and S20)

This is a new reclocker board with the input electronics completely isolated from the reclocker and output electronics. This means a very significant improvement in sound quality compared to the Antipodes P2 Reclocker which could be used for the EX and CX.


HSL80 power supply (three in K50 and one each in K40 and K30)

The power supply scheme used in the HSL80 and HSL50 is responsible for a large part of the sound quality improvements over the previous CX and EX models. The HSL80 is grossly oversized and is used in the K50 which uses three HSL80s. The music servers K40 and K30 each use an HSL80.


Server applications

The server apps organize your music files and streaming services. Even if you are only listening to streaming services, having your music served locally to the player application will produce better sound than relying on a streaming service as a server application. The server application streams the files to the player application. Examples are Roon Server or Squeeze Server. The server apps can be installed in parallel and run on all Antipodes models of the K and S series.


Player applications

The player app receives the streamed signal from the server app and converts it into a digital audio signal. The quality of the data stream received by the server app has a significant influence on the quality of the digital signal generated by the player application. Examples of player apps are Roon Ready, Squeezelite or AirPlay. With the exception of the K40 (on which only server apps run), the player apps can run on all models of the K and S series. Only one player app can be active at a time to optimize the output signal of the player app. The player apps can easily be changed via the configuration menu in the web browser.



Antipodes music server K50

The K50 uses the V5.6H board for executing server applications, the V5X board for executing player applications and the R1i Reclocker Board for perfect processing of the digital signal. Each of the three boards is powered by a dedicated HSL80 power supply.
Which oscillator is used in R1i?
 

sale

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Dec 16, 2014
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I’m getting ready to get either K40 orK50. I would upgrading from a Sonictransporter i7AP using Ethernet to Bricasti M12 DAC/player. I could use Ethernet from K40 to Dac or use K50 to one of the Dac digital inputs and bypass internal player. in your analysis you concluded K50 would be better solution. After having it for a while do you think that is still the best way to go? I currently use optical connections and EtherRegen to feed good signal to Dac use the sonictransporter with Uptone JS-1 power supply Getting very good sound. So I’m curious to see if moving to one of the Antipodes would be a big difference
EtherRegen has been debunked by hyper-precise measurements at the DAC output by Audio Science Review (the comparison between $20 switch and $640 ER).
 

abeidrov

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Mark states that Ethernet is preferable input. He says that the only reason to go with USB is if Ethernet is noisy. Which it should not be thanks to Antipodes servers and players, galvanic isolation etc. Maybe your cables were subpar, or something else.
Interesting, where did he say that, about ethernet?
 

sale

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Dec 16, 2014
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Interesting, where did he say that, about ethernet?
I read it somewhere and it engraved in my memory forever. I usually distill out the summaries of advanced thinkers in audio, like these Antipodes ones:

Ethernet is preferable over USB (when it is not noisy).
No filters on the signal path should be present, otherwise the bandwidth will be further constrained constrained (think EtherRegen etc.).
If bandwidth is infinite, no matter how much noise is there (must be less than 50%), there will be no jitter.
If bandwidth is constrained, even when the noise is zero, there will still be jitter.
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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EtherRegen has been debunked by hyper-precise measurements at the DAC output by Audio Science Review (the comparison between $20 switch and $640 ER).
That’s not how science works.
 
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kennyb123

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Not by measurement?? By what then, Cracker Jack?

Ah so you haven’t graduated high school yet. Hopefully you’ll soon learn the scientific method - and how conclusions can be drawn only if the test procedure is capable of producing results.
 

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sale

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Ah so you haven’t graduated high school yet. Hopefully you’ll soon learn the scientific method - and how conclusions can be drawn only if the test procedure is capable of producing results.

Ok, Cracker, I'll draw it for you. Once upon the time, the concept of jitter misled people into thinking that all you need in a digital signal is the correct bits (which is relatively trivial to transmit) with great timing (low jitter), and so all you need was a great clock. This simplistic view was highly misleading. At least three things matter - the clock, noise and bandwidth. In the image of a perfect square wave, the horizontal axis is time and the vertical axis is voltage. We will assume the clock is perfect – ie. the vertical signal lines occur at perfectly spaced intervals (the bit rate). When the signal is representing a binary 0, it is at 0v. When the signal is representing a binary 1, it is at 1v. And we will assume that the receiver of this signal decides that the transition between a 0 and a 1 has occurred when the signal rises through the 0.5v level, and that a 1 has transitioned to a 0 when the signal falls through the 0.5v level. Now imagine that there is noise added to the signal. If the frequency of the noise is below the bitrate then this perfect square wave swims on top of a longer and smoother wave. The interesting point is that the timing between the data transitions (where those vertical lines pass through 0.5v) is unchanged. So no problem, yet. If the frequency of the noise is above the bitrate then the horizontal lines get fuzzy. And if we combine the low frequency noise with the high frequency noise the effect is combined. Again, the interesting point to note is that the timing between the data transitions (where those vertical lines pass through 0.5v) is unchanged provided the noise is not extremely high. So, again, no problem. Noise, on its own (as long as the deviations caused are materially below 0.5v) is not a problem. The reason it is not a problem is those vertical lines, because noise does not change the space between them.
Now imagine there is no noise. Zero noise is impossible, but something else that is impossible is the vertical line on the square wave, since it requires infinite bandwidth. The vertical lines imply the signal can achieve 0v and 1v in more or less the same instant. Whatever tools we have to transmit a signal, the demands of high bit-rate signals are way beyond what the available tools can deliver. Think about how your analog cables can mess with sound up to around 20kHz, and then think about the enormously wider frequency range required of a digital cable (and, optical cables just have a different set of problems, mainly related to reflections). The higher the bit rate the harder it gets. When we allow for constrained bandwidth, instead of transitions being instantaneous, the signal goes up a slope when transitioning from 0v to 1v, and down a slope when transitioning from 1v to 0v. If the bandwidth was the same as the bitrate then the signal would be a sine wave. To reasonably square out the signal you need to add several harmonics of the bitrate (say 7 or more) above the bitrate, and that is a lot of bandwidth - even more for higher bit rate signals. By adding harmonics, the sine wave begins to square out. Interestingly, in both of these constrained-bandwidth examples, the transitions through 0.5v are still perfectly spaced – even with the sine wave. So still no problem.
But as I mentioned, a higher bitrate signal (if you think high bitrate files must always sound better) requires even more bandwidth to square out the wave, and so in a system that has a finite limit on bandwidth, a lower bitrate signal will be more accurately represented than a high bitrate signal. On top of that, if you ask anything in a music server to work faster, it will work with less precision and this is a key trade-off to be aware of when you assume higher bit rates must be better, just because the numbers are bigger. These examples only allow us to conclude that there is no problem if we can achieve zero noise or infinite bandwidth. But each of those goals is unattainable, and the problem becomes apparent when there is both noise and constrained bandwidth. So what happens if we add a low frequency noise component to a frequency-constrained digital audio signal? All of sudden, the 0.5v points are shifted right or left by the addition of the low frequency noise that lifts or drops the signal between bits. Shifting the slopes up or down shifts the 0.5v points left or right. The greater the amplitude of the noise, and the greater the bandwidth constraint, the greater is the effect on timing (jitter).

Now if we add high frequency noise to a frequency-constrained signal you can see that the transition timing at precisely 0.5v is now hard to discern for any digital receiver. If the signal is vertical at the transition then noise does not affect it. But as soon as the transition is not vertical then noise changes the transition point. It is the combination of constrained bandwidth and noise that inevitably creates jitter (variation in data transition timing), regardless of how great the clock is. All kudos to Amir from Audio SCience Review for measuring all of this and debunking EtherRegen and alike.
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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What should happen when the hypothesis fails to produce results is that a new hypothesis should be formed and a new test constructed. That didn't happen. "Hyper-precise measurements" are worthless if they aren't measuring the right things. Science tries to find an explanation. It doesn't "debunk" broadly. That's not science. It's biased pseudo-science masquerading as science.

Lastly "debunking EtherRegen and alike" isn't something someone who cares about science would ever draw from test results. As such I won't respond any further as I know it will be a waste of time.
 

christoph

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Dec 12, 2015
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What should happen when the hypothesis fails to produce results is that a new hypothesis should be formed and a new test constructed. That didn't happen. "Hyper-precise measurements" are worthless if they aren't measuring the right things. Science tries to find an explanation. It doesn't "debunk" broadly. That's not science. It's biased pseudo-science masquerading as science.

Lastly "debunking EtherRegen and alike" isn't something someone who cares about science would ever draw from test results. As such I won't respond any further as I know it will be a waste of time.
I admired your patience and good will :D
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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sale

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2014
54
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113
Toronto
What should happen when the hypothesis fails to produce results is that a new hypothesis should be formed and a new test constructed. That didn't happen. "Hyper-precise measurements" are worthless if they aren't measuring the right things. Science tries to find an explanation. It doesn't "debunk" broadly. That's not science. It's biased pseudo-science masquerading as science.

Lastly "debunking EtherRegen and alike" isn't something someone who cares about science would ever draw from test results. As such I won't respond any further as I know it will be a waste of time.
Abracadabra, ha ha ha. Some scientist. Let me guess: you are into alchemy and horoscopes, now am I right?
 

sale

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2014
54
2
113
Toronto
What should happen when the hypothesis fails to produce results is that a new hypothesis should be formed and a new test constructed. That didn't happen. "Hyper-precise measurements" are worthless if they aren't measuring the right things. Science tries to find an explanation. It doesn't "debunk" broadly. That's not science. It's biased pseudo-science masquerading as science.

Lastly "debunking EtherRegen and alike" isn't something someone who cares about science would ever draw from test results. As such I won't respond any further as I know it will be a waste of time.

noun
noun: science

the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Now, Cracker, tell us what is "observation" and "experiment". Ok, Jack? Tell us that and we go from there.
 

the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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Any chance we can get back to the discussion on the new antipodes... :rolleyes:
 

matthias

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Mar 14, 2019
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Mark states that Ethernet is preferable input. He says that the only reason to go with USB is if Ethernet is noisy. Which it should not be thanks to Antipodes servers and players, galvanic isolation etc. Maybe your cables were subpar, or something else.

From Antipodes Audio support:

"It is true that S/PDIF and AES3 outputs have limited bandwidth compared to the full-bandwidth available with USB, Ethernet and I2S. However, there are downsides to having Ethernet and/or USB receivers in the DAC. Both introduce noise into the DAC. USB has the effect of adding a trace of ‘sizzle’ at the edge all sounds, creating some listener fatigue. Ethernet has the effect of rounding the edge of all sounds, diminishing the tension and urgency of real music. The extent of these problems depends on how well these inputs are implemented in the DAC. If you compare these outputs to our S/PDIF and AES3 outputs you will hear the benefits in naturalness and musicality for yourself."

and

"The manufacturer of my DAC says the Ethernet input is the best sounding. What are my best options?

You cannot take such claims literally. Your DAC manufacturer is, at best, making a generalisation, because comparing Ethernet with other inputs includes comparing the player engine and app in the DAC with the player engine and app in the Music Server. If a DAC manufacturer has not compared their inputs using a K50 then they are making a generalisation that you should not accept blindly. In our experience most DAC manufacturers are assuming you will use a standard computer as your music server.
We cannot know that the player engines in Antipodes products are better sounding than those in all DACs ever made, or still to be made, so we won’t make any generalised claims. The same goes for doubting DAC manufacturers’ generalised claims.
But there is also the question of the player apps, and they have a significant impact on sound quality. As an example, with an Antipodes Server/Player you can choose from player apps that are superior to the player apps used in DACs. Most of our customers wish to use Roon Server to manage their music and streaming services, with good reason. But this will generally mean you have to use the Roon player within the “Roon Ready” DAC. With an Antipodes, you can use the superior sounding Squeezelite or HQPlayer Embedded as the player app."
 
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the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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Well...I cited Mark, the creator, the founder of Antipodes. If he cannot be in the discussion of Antipodes, then nobody can. Capisco?
Can you reference the citation.
 
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Pb Blimp

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In my humble opinion this entire discussion is an irrelevant hypothetical. The DAC's design and execution of each of the 3 inputs in combination with the digital source construct is the only meaningful determinant. Discussion outside this context is silly. Mark has confirmed this to me unequivocally. Comments regarding the digital output from the server (or transport) can't be taken in isolation. Particularly with some of the work being done on all 3 types of Dac inputs.
 
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kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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In my humble opinion this entire discussion is an irrelevant hypothetical. The DAC's design and execution of each of the 3 inputs in combination with the digital source construct is the only meaningful determinant. Discussion outside this context is silly. Mark has confirmed this to me unequivocally. Comments regarding the digital output from the server of transport can't be taken in isolation. Particularly with some of the work being done on all 3 types of Dac inputs.

You absolutely nailed it. “Irrelevant hypothetical” is right.
 

christoph

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