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A session with Antipodes and Wyred servers


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I spent a fascinating day today with @@Assisi listening to his setup with Lenehan ML2 limited speakers, BMC amplifier, PS Audio DirectStream DAC and Antipodes DX server. It is a lovely system and John was very gracious host.

The other reason for my visit was to compare a similar computer server to the Antipodes. My Wyred4Sound MS2 is similar in that it is a server based on the popular Votexbox software platform. It differs from the Antipodes in the attention to hardware implementation, power supply and the fact it uses solid state storage. Antipodes has tweaked the Vortexbox platform software as well. My W4S server has been augmented by the addition of a custom made Sonore external linear power supply with Cardas connector and cord.

After briefly trying the JCAT USB cable to establish that it was superior (albeit not as obviously as it is in my system) we did some ABX comparisons between the servers. Both servers sounded very nice, and for some music, we were struggling to discern much difference. But there were some key songs where, when compared critically, the Antipodes made the music sound more delicate, nuanced and integrated as a whole.

On price differential for these 2 servers, we are well into the realm of diminishing returns. Despite this fact, the effect of the Antipodes on creating a more musically coherent picture was clear to both of us. The comparison suggests to me that 1) servers do influence SQ (even with a DAC as good as the DS), and 2) the hardware implementation and attention to detail in the server also make a difference.

Certainly an interesting day. Thank you John for the hospitality and chance to listen to your wonderful system again.

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It is good to read some more positive thoughts on the Antipodes DX.I am hoping to receive the DX soon and will be comparing it to my dedicated Asus laptop running SSD drives and Win8 through 2 DACs I have on hand.

If I can hear the improvements mentioned I will be very pleased...fingers crossed.

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I'm pretty sure you'll find the Antipodes a significant step up from the Asus laptop. I'm struggling to justify the extra outlay to upgrade, but, short of the Aurender servers, the Antipodes is a clear winner for me. That Darko fellow knows his stuff.

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Yes I looked at Aurender ...almost took the plunge on the W20 but thought I would give the DX a go. I hope I made the right choice. The DAC2x is suppose to mate superbly with the DX so I am really looking forward to putting it through its paces . The Kalliope has a galvanic isolated usb and a 12.5Farad super cap to act like a battery supply for usb so improvesment may not be as significant but time will tell.....not a patient man hope it arrives soon!

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I'm pretty sure you'll find the Antipodes a significant step up from the Asus laptop. I'm struggling to justify the extra outlay to upgrade, but, short of the Aurender servers, the Antipodes is a clear winner for me. That Darko fellow knows his stuff.

Yep, I'd imagine so. From a listening session at the Darko Lair, the Antipodes was well and truly a class above a Mac Mini with Audiophilleo. The difference was quite pronounced. The Aurialic transport/streamer also nuked the Mac/Audiophilleo. I was quite amazed at what I heard during our little shootout. For those with a tighter budget, the Aurialic is a no-brainer, but the Antipodes is definitely better (at a price).

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Yep, I'd imagine so. From a listening session at the Darko Lair, the Antipodes was well and truly a class above a Mac Mini with Audiophilleo. The difference was quite pronounced. The Aurialic transport/streamer also nuked the Mac/Audiophilleo. I was quite amazed at what I heard during our little shootout. For those with a tighter budget, the Aurialic is a no-brainer, but the Antipodes is definitely better (at a price).

What exactly was the mac mini set up in this comparison? What was the music player? Did the mac have a linear power supply and an internal SSD? Was the OS optimized for music playback?

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@@Stereophilus, would you mind elaborating on how these servers are integrated into the music chain -I'm keen to understand whether there are differences in the integration methods and also whether they serve as music source, decoder (FLAC/ALAC/whatever to LPCM/DSD/whatever) and transport, source only, or some other combination.

 

Hi @,

 

Both servers in this comparison were implemented identically.  That is, acting as storage for FLAC files that have been automatically ripped (from CD), then "played" by LMS to produce PCM data transmitted over USB to the externally connected DAC.  Neither server (W4S or Antipodes) has any DAC capabilities.  Both were connected using the same JCAT USB cable to the PS Audio DS DAC. 

 

Cheers.

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I have the Meitner MA1 Dac which paired with the Antipodes DS Reference sounds amazing. I haven't stopped smiling every time I put it on. No more CDs and no more mucking around with Jriver settings.

I expect you will be very pleased. The really impressive thing is how good 16 bit sounds. I have stopped chasing higher resolution recordings for any existing albums that I have.

Yes I looked at Aurender ...almost took the plunge on the W20 but thought I would give the DX a go. I hope I made the right choice. The DAC2x is suppose to mate superbly with the DX so I am really looking forward to putting it through its paces . The Kalliope has a galvanic isolated usb and a 12.5Farad super cap to act like a battery supply for usb so improvesment may not be as significant but time will tell.....not a patient man hope it arrives soon!

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