ANTIPODES AUDIO UPDATES ITS SERVERS
New Zealand's Antipodes Audio had made its name in music and network streaming. Most would know it doesn’t do model makeovers every second of the day.
This elegant brand releases new models or updates existing ranges when the technology advances dictate that it should. And not a moment sooner.
The latest arrivals are the DX, EX, and CX servers.
Antipodes Audio wanted to expand its X-Series servers, particularly given the original DX flagship server is the brand’s best selling model.
The DX server has racked up awards including a Class A+ Recommending Component rating from US magazine, Stereophile.
Antipodes is shouting the new models’ release from the rooftops. And why not? This is the first time the brand has expanded the X-series particularly with new models that have higher specs and better technology than the existing models they’ll replace.
The EX and the CX will replace the existing Edge and Core servers. Antipodes says the new EX is similar in concept to the Edge and that the latest CX is likewise similar to the Core server.
Thinking of the new EX and CX servers as evolutions of the existing Edge and Core models reveals Antipodes strategy which is to give buyers better sound and better value for the money.
But, and it’s a big but, the new EX and CX servers are built to a much higher specification, and according to Antipodes, they sound a lot better.
Both new EX and CX servers get the brand’s latest version of its V4 platform first released to launch the Gen 3 version of its flagship DX model in 2017.
The new pair also gains better power supplies. They’re now built-in and utilise Antipodes Audio's latest ODAPS2 technology. Moreover, these power supplies are said to yield twice the current delivery capacity of the power supplies used in the soon to be redundant Edge and Core servers.
Interestingly for server aficionados, part of the brand’s design brief for the new EX and CX was to focus more and hone in on ways to make the two work beautifully and seamlessly together.
A focus that inspired the development of optimised Direct Ethernet capability not only for the new EX and CX but also for the flagship DX model.
What this means in the real world is that you can connect, for example, one Ethernet port of a CX to the network to receive remote control commands, and connect the second Ethernet port direct to a DX or EX server.
This arrangement allows you to assign one server to the server app and the second server to the renderer app. This connectivity option cleverly minimises noise on the direct link used to couple the pair of servers.
Sonic Purity, a Melbourne based specialist retailer with extensive experience with the Antipodes Audio brand told StereoNET that they expect removing the server app would audibly improve the overall sound. Antipodes Audio's founder and CEO, Mark Jenkins confirmed:
There’s a clear and audible dramatic improvement in sound when say, the DX or EX servers are relieved of all server app duties. So much so, when we linked the CX and EX servers together the resulting sound quality was so noticeably improved, we call the linked pair the CX+EX Solution and offer it as a separate high-end product in its own right.
Jenkins makes good sense. Why would you want to put communications between server and renderer over a noisy network when you have the option of using a low-noise, direct Ethernet connection?
Jenkins also points out that you can use any one of the CX, DX and EX models as the server and any of the three as the renderer. And you can play directly from a CX, DX and EX to the Ethernet input on a DAC.
Completing the new range is the P1 Ripper Platform that has been designed for high quality, automatic CD ripping when fitted to a CX or EX server. In good news for Edge and Core server owners, the P1 is retrofittable for their models.
Also in motion right now is Antipodes Audio's V4 Upgrade Process. Anyone keen on upgrading to the V4 platform should read the details on Antipodes Audio's website and contact your nearest Antipodes service centre.
Pre-orders are currently being accepted with pricing set at EX ($4,650 RRP), CX ($6,350 RRP), EX+CX ($11,000 RRP), P1 Ripper ($900 RRP).
For more information visit Antipodes Audio.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.