Antipodes Audio has made a range of new changes to its line-up for 2018. Our biggest seller has always been the flag-ship DX - a product that has received many awards and is a Stereophile Class A+ Recommended Component. During 2017 we focused on developments to expand the 'X-Series', with the first step being to launch the DX Gen3 using the V4 platform in 2017. For 2018 we are launching the EX and CX.
This is the first time we have expanded the X-Series beyond the DX and these new models fully deserve the title. The EX is similar in concept to the EDGE, and the CX is similar to the CORE, but the new models are made to a much higher specification level and significantly out-perform the models they replace. While the EX and CX adopt the latest V4 platform, just as important are changes to the power supplies, which are now internal, employ our new ODAPS2 technology and are specified at twice the current delivery capacity of the power supplies used in the EDGE and CORE.
Part of the design brief for the new EX and CX was for there to be more focus on how the CX and EX could work together, and this led to development of optimised Direct Ethernet capability for each of the CX, DX and EX. This means you can connect one Ethernet port of, for example, a CX to the network to receive remote control instructions, and connect the second Ethernet port direct to a DX or EX. This allows you to dedicate one unit to just the server app, and dedicate the second unit to just the renderer app, and the noise on the direct link is minimised by the design. Removing the server app duties from a DX or EX dramatically improves their performance. The result is so superior that we call the use of a CX and EX together the CX+EX Solution and we treat it as a separate product in its own right. Using a low-noise Direct Ethernet link offers higher performance than putting the communications between server and renderer over a noisy network.
You can use any of the CX, DX or EX as the server , and any of the CX, DX or EX as the renderer. Or you can play direct from a CX, DX or EX to the Ethernet input on your DAC.
Visit the Models page for a full explanation of the differences, including the audio performance pecking order, between the X-Series models. It will also make it more obvious why we offer the range of options that we do in the X-Series.
Alongside these developments we are launching the P1 Ripper Platform, designed for high-quality auto-ripping when fitted to a CX or EX. The P1 is also able to be added to an EDGE or CORE.
We are also announcing the V4 upgrade timetable, and that the Antipodes cable range will re-launch later in 2018 - see below for more detail.
The Antipodes CX+EX Solution provides by far the best sounding solution Antipodes Audio has ever offered. The solution dedicates the CX to running the server app and the EX to running the renderer app. The EX is a superb renderer, but its full potential is only delivered when it is performing only the renderer function and receiving an excellent input signal. The increase in performance is dramatic compared to using either the CX, DX or EX alone. The CX and EX are connected by a Direct Ethernet connection, minimising extraneous network "chatter" on the feed between them, each of the CX and EX is performing just the one function, and each unit has a dedicated internal ODAP2 internal linear regulated power supply. Owners of a CX or an EX can easily upgrade to this solution by purchasing the other item. The units can be placed side by side for a total footprint equivalent to a full-size component, and this enables a short Ethernet cable (of high quality) to connect them together. See the CX+EX product page for more details
The Antipodes CX Music Server is an evolution of the CORE, but built to 'X-Series' specification level. It is primarily focused on state of the art server app performance, and also achieves high quality renderer app performance. The CX uses our new ODAPS2 internal power supply technology. See the CX product page for more details
The Antipodes P1 is an isolation platform for the CX or EX carved from a solid block of a special grade of alloy, that also houses a high-quality ripper. The ripper uses the very latest laser technology capable of reading pits 100 times smaller than the pits on a CD. Connecting a P1 to a CX or EX enables the highest possible rip and auto-ripping to the server's library. The P1 can also be used under a CORE or EDGE. See the P1 product page for more details
The Antipodes EX Music Server is an evolution of the EDGE, but built to 'X-Series' specification level. It is primarily focused on state of the art renderer app performance, and also achieves high quality server app performance. The EX uses our new ODAPS2 internal power supply technology. The EX is an ideal starting point in our range, because it includes a simple DAC, and you can upgrade it later with a separate DAC, and with a CX to reach the state of the art. See the EX product page for more details.
All Antipodes DX, DS Reference, CORE and EDGE music servers use our proprietary ODAPS linear regulated power supply technology. ODAPS simply stands for Optimised Digital Audio Power Supply. The point is that most audio power supplies are focused on rejecting 50Hz or 60Hz ripple, but do a poor job of rejecting RFI and EMI. This is because analog circuits are much less impacted by RFI and EMI noise. But our ODAPS technology is all about rejection of RFI or EMI noise, which has a big impact on digital signals. RFI and EMI filters are a band-aid trade-off often used in servers but our ODAPS technology removes high frequency noise through power supply design without compromising current delivery. Antipodes has now developed the second generation of this technology, called ODAPS2, specifically for the new EX and CX music servers. This involves a different circuit layout and an innovative new power transformer design.
The Antipodes DX, CX and EX each have two Ethernet ports - allowing you to use one to connect to the network and the other to be used as a Direct Ethernet link to a renderer device. Despite the simplistic claims that are often made about Ethernet handling of digital audio, Ethernet can introduce high levels of noise into the receiving device. This is a key reason why a USB connection to a DAC will out-perform an Ethernet connection when the server is low noise - such as with Antipodes Music Servers. But there are times when you will use Ethernet to carry a music signal, such as if you use a CX as the server and either a DX or EX as the renderer. Another example is if your DAC has an Ethernet input and no USB input (making it a renderer device). In these situations, you need to connect two devices to your network, the server device and the renderer device. The best way to do this is by Direct Ethernet. It means that you connect your server device (such as an Antipodes CX) to your network using one of its Ethernet ports, and connect a short high quality Ethernet cable from the server direct to your renderer device (such as a DX, EX or Ethernet DAC). The Direct Ethernet solution in Antipodes servers minimises network 'chatter' on the link and creates a high bandwidth, phase accurate, low-noise direct link between the server and renderer. This provides a dramatic improvement over connecting your server and renderer devices through a noisy switch or over a long length of network.
We originally planned to launch an upgrade program in October 2017, so that existing owners of Antipodes music servers could upgrade their servers for the new V4 platform. Our customers understood how significant this new platform is and we literally received hundreds of requests for an upgrade. We were not prepared for this unprecedented level of demand for upgrades, and had to delay the program while we manufactured more of the parts required to install the V4 technology into previous models. We are now in a position to begin the V4 Upgrade Program and you can learn more on our Upgrades page. If getting this upgrade is important to you we recommend that you act within the time windows set out for the process. We may or may not be able to run this program again and stocks of upgrade parts are finite.
We de-commissioned our wire manufacturing plant two years ago to re-build it to produce a new generation of wire. The technology took much longer than expected to perfect and we ran out of a lot of our stock of the old wire earlier this year. We call our new technology Open Lattice Long Crystal (OLLC). Traditional long crystal wire suffers from a poor lattice structure, as evidenced by its relative lack of malleability and ductility. Lattice structure is considerably more important than crystal size and our old wire was based on that principle. The new wire technology is based on more than two decades of research into improving the lattice structure in wire, and provides a huge leap forward in speed, resolution and accuracy of timbre. The wire is extremely soft and that has required us to completely re-design the way we make cables, in order to fully protect the wire from stretching, which would otherwise cause signal reflections in the wire. The wire plant is now operational so look out for our new cables in the coming months.