Server Upgrades

Our Approach To Upgrades

Antipodes' policy is to enable our customers to upgrade their existing servers wherever practical rather than force them to decide on a new purchase when technology advances or needs change. Our servers use industrial grade componentry that is built to last, and we typically over-specify all parts so that they operate well within their capabilities, meaning you should be able to use your Antipodes server for many years. It makes sense to leverage this approach by enabling our servers to be upgraded as technology advances.

If you wish to get a simple upgrade, such as increased memory or storage, please just contact the service centre nearest you.

But from time to time we make a generational change to our technology and offer upgrades to the new technology for existing servers, and with the release of our V4 servers we have reached just such a time.

Some Background

Antipodes Audio began R&D into music server technology in 2009, and launched its first server in 2011. The V1 platform used an Intel-branded board and the DS Reference was the first Antipodes server to get our proprietary ODAPS linear regulated power supply. Technological advances in the IT industry, continued research and ongoing partner development have resulted in four generations of platform in the ensuing 7 years. The V2 platform marked an advance to 64bit computing and a relationship with Jetway that enabled us to adapt their industrial grade boards, including tuning of the operation of the board to reduce and manage noise. This approach made a dramatic improvement in sound quality and is an approach we have continued to develop. The V3 platform was introduced to cope with running Roon.

We see the latest V4 technology as the most significant evolutionary step yet. Not only does it enable us to implement our latest thinking, but it marks the beginning of a key relationship with ASUS. The V4 technology in our current line-up is sourced from a specialist team within ASUS and, through that relationship, we are adapting boards that are based on ASUS boards. We consider ASUS to be the best manufacturer of computer motherboards. The boards we use are industrial grade boards that perform beyond the equivalent consumer boards and the boards are adapted to employ our noise reduction and management techniques. From our point of view the V4 technology is at the zenith of music server technology. We are excited by the possibility of moving as many of our existing customers to the new platform.

Introducing The V4 Upgrade Program

This upgrade program is different from previous programs. We have been overwhelmed by the numbers of customers wanting the V4 upgrade and it became obvious right away that we would not be able to meet the demand in 2017. Practical things like having enough backplates to effect the upgrades was just an example, and we clearly needed to complete a new run of the main boards. Unfortunately we were also entering the worst time of year to be manufacturing in New Zealand due to the Summer/Christmas/New Year shutdown. There is always a crush of orders from October onwards that makes lead times very long. So we had to delay the program and push it out to the end of January 2018. We are now in a position to launch the program. The sections below describe the options available to you if you own an Antipodes music server and wish to upgrade it to the new platform.

The V4 Upgrade Process

Because of the high level of demand for these upgrades they will be handled using a set of defined steps. There may only be a single time window in which you can obtain the upgrade so please act as soon as you can on this. This is to ensure we can meet as much of the demand as possible and that you are without your server for the shortest period of time.

Note that you will be contracting with the service centre for these upgrades and you should satisfy yourself about your investment through your correspondence with the relevant service centre.

  1. You should read the information below to discover the upgrades that are available for your server, and develop a view of what upgrade or upgrades you are interested in.
  2. You should contact you nearest service centre for pricing and to double-check that the upgrade you want can be applied to your server. You will be asked for details about your server in order to confirm this.
  3. When you have received confirmation that your server is able to be upgraded, and the price of the upgrade, tell your service centre the upgrade or upgrades you wish to purchase before 5 February 2018.
  4. The service centre will advise Antipodes Audio of the demand level for parts and Antipodes Audio will advise the timetable for having the parts in the hands of the service centres. Please appreciate that these are not off-the-shelf parts and demand may exceed the existing supply.
  5. The service centre will tell you when the server can be sent in for the upgrade and will ask you for a deposit to cover their purchase of parts from Antipodes Audio.
  6. Antipodes Audio will ship the parts to the service centre and the service centre will advise when and how to send your server in for the upgrade. The service centre will select the timing so that you are without your server for the shortest period of time, and may decide to do the upgrades in batches of different upgrade types.
  7. The service centre will confirm to you that the requested upgrade can be completed as planned and ask you to pay the balance of the upgrade cost before completing the upgrade of your server and shipping it back to you.
The Available Upgrades

Below is a desciption of the upgrades, model by model. All upgrades retain your current casework. We are not offering casework upgrades. There are some models that we cannot currently offer upgrades for, but contact us if this is so and you want an upgrade, so that we can consider how it can be done.

Each upgrade option upgrades your server unit to a specific product, each with a product name. If your server uses an external power supply then you can decide to upgrade to a Semi-Switched External Power Supply or to the premium ODAPS External Linear Regulated Power Supply, at the same time as your server is upgraded.


Upgrading a DS

All DS models can be upgraded to use the V4X electronics used in the current model DX and EX. Outputs are USB Audio 2.0, Direct Ethernet and Headphones.

The DS Gen3 models (only) can be upgraded to use the V4H electronics used in the current model CX. Outputs are USB Audio 2.0 and Direct Ethernet.

All DS except the DS Reference use an external power supply. At the same time as you upgrade your server you can choose to upgrade your external power supply to the Semi-Switched PSU or to the ODAPS External Linear Power Supply. Or you can decide to continue to use your existing power supply. We strongly recommend you upgrade to the ODAPS to get the most out of the V4X electronics while the ODAPS external power supply is still available. The DS Reference already has an internal ODAPS power supply and so no power supply upgrade is needed.

Note that you can upgrade to SSDs for a DS Gen1 or Gen3 using an external power supply, but the DS Reference and DS Gen2 cannot be fitted with SSDs and must continue to use a single HDD for music file storage - up to 2TB for the DS Gen2 and up to 4TB for the DS Reference.

Antipodes DS-X Backplate Antipodes DS Core Backplate

Antipodes DS-X1

The image below shows the original DS launched in 2011 and when upgraded with the V4X circuit it will be designated the DS-X1.

Antipodes DS-X1

Antipodes DS-X2

The image below shows the DS Gen2, and when upgraded with the V4X circuit it will be designated the DS-X2.

Antipodes DS-X2

Antipodes DS-X3

The image below shows the DS Gen3, and when upgraded with the V4X circuit it will be designated the DS-X3.

Antipodes DS-X3

Antipodes DS-Core

The DS Gen3 has the option of being upgraded with the V4H circuit, and when upgraded it will be designated the DS Core.

Antipodes DS Core

Upgrading a DX

Recent DX with the 6mm thick bottom plate (all other models have a folded alloy bottom plate) can be upgraded to a full DX Gen3, and you will be provided with documentation that reflects this.

Some very early DX cannot currently be upgraded, and the vast majority of DX fall between these two models and can be upgraded with the V4X electronics. The upgrade brings the DX up to the latest DX Gen3 specification, albeit still in the original casework. To check that your DX is upgradable, please measure the width of the backplate of your DX. If the width is approximately 423mm then it can be upgraded in this round of upgrades.

If the width of the backplate on your DX is materially smaller than 423mm, and you still want an upgrade at the price indicated by your service centre, please register your interest and we will investigate the viability of making the necessary parts for this upgrade.

Once upgraded the available outputs are USB Audio 2.0 (5v On & 5v Off), Direct Ethernet and Headphone.

Antipodes DX Upgrade Backplate

Antipodes DX Gen3

The image below shows the latest DX Casework. Your DX can be upgraded to a full DX Gen3 if it has the thick bottom plate and fluted side panels shown in the picture.

Antipodes DX3

Antipodes DX Gen3 Upgrade

The image below shows a DX that can be upgraded with the V4X circuit to become the DX Gen3 Upgrade model. These DX have backplates 423mm wide.

Antipodes DX Gen3 Upgrade