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Antipodes Owners and Discussion Thread


TFJ100

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Hi All,

 

I was wondering whether it might be worth starting up an Antipodes Thread where all comments/questions/comparisons can be logged in one place?

 

EDIT Update...will start off by listing all the reviews I have read:

 

Current Models

 

Older Models

 

My DS:

 

Next, I took delivery today of a new Antipodes DS (mk.3). This replaced a Mk.1.

 

First impressions - very impressive!

 

The first comment is that compared to the original DS, the form factor is at least 1 inch (maybe 2) wider, with some serious heat-sinkage on the sides. I guess the old DS used to get pretty warm, especially during marathon CD-digitising sessions. Please see the photo below.

 

The second comment is that the power supply has gone through a big change, now it is about half the size of the unit as well. Mark Jenkins has previously described this as a hybrid PS. I notice that it has a fan to keep it cool. 

 

I don't have the old unit to do a side-by-side comparison, but all in all, I think this has driven a wider soundstage. Sound is not noticeably clearer than before, but bass has more weight. 

 

For those that can't (or don't want to) afford a DX, then the DS can perform a pretty good job, at least as good as a CD. (I'll let the unit burn in a bit more and then do a better comparison). I'm also keen to try the SPDIF connection vs the USB, to see if I can perceive a difference.

 

I'm certainly very happy with the new unit, it looks like Mark Jenkins has come up with the goods again!

 

Torben

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Very nice Torben,

I've the 1st gen DS1, this has just been sent back to me by Mark at Antipodes where it had an upgrade to the latest version software.

And it sounds even better!

I'm using either the Audiolab M-Dac or 8200CDQ into my Line Magnetic LM210iA and I'm really impressed.

He and his team do such a great job with their servers, and their follow up & customer service I reckon is second to none.

Gazza

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I also have an original Antipodes DS which I have always thought sounded better than any CD player

I have recently added the following:

Curious USB cable

Regen USB

Upgraded SOTM card

Result: A whole new level

What would these upgrades would do to the new DS? The mind boggles

.

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Go on, admit it ........ you just wanted to tell someone and have a little brag .............. :) :) ...... don't blame you ............. I'm jealous ............. :)

Well, I thought if I was going to start up a thread, I'd better have something interesting to say!

 

The most interesting thing I have found is that the Antipodes is quite addictive. Going through the process of loading up all your CDs gives you quite a sense of engagement and achievement. Then streaming via Tidal is really very good, so that opens up a whole new world.

 

And of course, there is upgrade-itis to take into account...if only could get my hands on a cheap DX!

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Very nice Torben,

He and his team do such a great job with their servers, and their follow up & customer service I reckon is second to none.

Gazza

+1 to this Gazz, anybody who has experienced it will know it is a clear differentiator

 

One of the things I have found when using servers is that you are crossing over from a traditional hi-fi model (where someone sells you a box, and that is the end of it), into more of an IT model, where you occasionally need support and some help getting the most out of the your set-up. How long before we don't buy the hardware any more but we sign up to an ongoing service contract and we get a new bit of hardware every two years which just connects us to the cloud? 

 

Thanks

Torben

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I also have an original Antipodes DS which I have always thought sounded better than any CD player

I have recently added the following:

Curious USB cable

Regen USB

Upgraded SOTM card

Result: A whole new level

What would these upgrades would do to the new DS? The mind boggles

 

It would be interesting to hear more about your changes, Bruce. Also what DAC you are using?

 

I have a pretty good DAC, and I would be surprised if the Regen would make a difference in my system.

 

Regarding SOTM cards, do you know what ones are used in the Antipodes?

 

I guess that is some of the Antipodes magic, how the DX can sound better than the DS, and the DS sounds better than Mac Mini etc - power supplies, SOTM, etc.

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My Antipodes DS being one of the original came standard with a SMPS. Antipodes then offered a LPS which I bought. This showed me how important the power supply is. I had my LPS serviced a while back so I put my SMPS back. Couldn't listen to it.

Regen USB- I have a PS Audio direct stream dac which retails at $8000 which has been designed to limit jitter so you would think the Regen wouldn't do anything. Wrong. Have a look at PS Audio forums where nearly everyone has achieved great results using the Regen with the PS Audio dacs. I think the Regen as well as the Curious USB cable shows what your system is capable of.

I don't know the model of my SOTM card is but it has been superseded by a later model. Clay at Geiseler Audio did the upgrades (caps and connectors) as an experiment which gave some good improvements.

Before I did these add ons I had a good detail digital sounding system. Now I have a very good analogue , the performer is in the room, sounding system, couldn't go back.

Hope this helps

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Torben,

I have just had a look at your BMC DAC. Looks very interesting

Well, I don't know if it is up to the standard of the PS Audio Directstream (big difference in price), and the PureDAC is now secondary to the UltraDAC, but I am struggling to see how it could do its job better. If you get the matching amp and speakers, they are supposed to be an unbelievable match. I am very impressed by the headphone section which isn't a traditional gain solution. No hiss, even at 100 on the volume control. Here is the explanation from the founder:

 

The balanced headphone output is a non-feedback LEF (Load Effect Free) amplifier. This is a very special amplifier design which delivers voltage and current from separate sources, phase independent. LEF avoids distortion by keeping the voltage source from handling any current movement. A headphone with a strong drive may not require high power, but the phase shift is a challenge. Beyer’s T1 is an example as well as the Fostex top model. Those headphones benefit a lot from LEF and the “thinness†tendency of the T1 turns to an almost perfect balance with an impressive sound-stage.

The output impedance is just one milliohm, meaning essentially a zero-ohm drive.

 The PureDAC actually doesn’t need a headphone amp for delivering that function. It is a DAPC digital / analog power converter. This is a unique B.M.C. design avoiding lots of extra stages and thus preserving sound quality. You surely will notice when listening closely.

 

Pretty amazing.

 

Back onto Antipodes. I followed your lead today and ordered a USB Regen (and enquired about a Curious cable).

 

I feel like it is a bit risky as if interpret some of Mark's Jenkins' comments, it shouldn't add any value. And although there are a lot of admirers, there are also people like Andrew Stenhouse who is music server based and has just sold his because he couldn't hear any difference (If I waited 4 hours, I could have had his and saved myself $80!). Intuitively, my understanding is that these things tend to work best on ipads etc, but I'm willing to give it a go. Luckily there is a fairly strong market on SNA, so if it doesn't work, I guess it will get put up for sale.

 

I feel like after 24 hours the DS is sounding better yesterday when it was straight out of the box, but again, I'll wait until I can A/B vs  my CD transport to make sure my ears aren't deceiving me. I bought a valve amp the other day, which has to go into storage for 1 month until I can set it up due to the house reno, but that will be my next investigation.

Edited by tfj100
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there are also people like Andrew Stenhouse who is music server based and has just sold his because he couldn't hear any difference 

 

 

Oh I heard a difference, I just didn't like what I heard. But that also varied according to what LPS I was using - the USB regenerator was more organic sounding with the Qualia and less with the Paul Haynes. Ultimately I didn't think it added enough to my system to warrant (yet another) component in the chain. I suspect the real problem is the smps it uses. But hey - it's $284 shipped. 

 

So YMMV. Good luck with having a play with it. 

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Thanks for the clarification and sorry to put words in your mouth!

 

No no - just didn't want anyone to not try it because of me. What may or may not appeal to me doesn't mean much..

 

Nice thread btw. 

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Torben,

As you now know there is usually a month wait for the Regen, big demand. Shorter or no wait for the Curious, although becoming very popular. So you will be able to assess the Curious first which from my experience gives the analogue sound. The Regen produces depth and 3D. From SNA forum advise I bought a cheap LPS for the Regen, it comes with a very small SMPS. Luckily both are not expensive and if not to your liking you will be able to easily resell

I'll be interested to hear what you think

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I'll happily swap my new & shiny SOtM tx Hubln USB (internal) for your old and dusty PCI card :)

 

When an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is

 

Maybe true.

Mark Jenkins preference for the older PCI card is well documented.

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The new DS looks great Torben. Good to hear first impressions are good. My DX sounded great straight out of the box but now it's been a few weeks and it sounds immensely good! The only thing is now I'm spending way too much money on CD's :)

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The new DS looks great Torben. Good to hear first impressions are good. My DX sounded great straight out of the box but now it's been a few weeks and it sounds immensely good! The only thing is now I'm spending way too much money on CD's :)

Ha ha, the problem with ugrade-itis!

 

Have you considered Tidal? Although the set-up is not the last word in user-friendliness, I have been picking and choosing from the Tidal album list and getting pretty good results.

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Lived with the Antipodes DX using with Gryphon Kalliope for over a year now and I really cannot bond with the user interface......I miss the slickness and ease of use  of JRiver. Does anyone else have this issue? Anyone know of any alternatives of user interface that can be run with the DX or up coming updates.....?

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I have an Antipodes server which I control with Ipeng on my my IPad

It does everything that I want

Artists, albums, new music, music folder, radio, Artwork

Simples

What else would you need?

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Lived with the Antipodes DX using with Gryphon Kalliope for over a year now and I really cannot bond with the user interface......I miss the slickness and ease of use  of JRiver. Does anyone else have this issue? Anyone know of any alternatives of user interface that can be run with the DX or up coming updates.....?

 

I have to say that I find Tidal over ickstream a bit challenging.

 

Mark Jenkins has said he is working on a Roon integration, which sounds like it will be superb (see link and discussion on Roon). The one question will be if you are an existing user, how can you take advantage? Roon can be purchased independently for USD120pa or USD495 lifetime. I'm hoping that there is some kind of retrofit available for existing buyers...at least discounted - I guess a freebie is too much to ask (but you never know given Antipodes' fabulous service).

 

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2015/08/roon-review-part-2b-walking-on-airplay/

 

Cheers

Torben

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