Antipodes K50 or K40

K50 = 17.490€ in Germany - that is 17 times my QNAP HS-264 solution. That’s a lot!

Yes, the AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital outputs of the K50 will be better than the Ethernet or USB outputs because of the extra reclocking and filtering. However, using only the USB output of the K50 or any other USB servers with a MSB Pro USB-ISL input to a MSB DAC will be another story, I presume.

That’s exactly what I’m hoping as the MSB Pro ISL is something really special according to numerous people in the field. They are sending me a HiDiamond AES/EBU cable to try with the K50 so will be interesting to hear how they compare.

Hi Martin,
If you have the MSB Pro USB-ISL modules with a MSB DAC, you should try to compare the USB output and AES digital putput from the K50. If the difference is insignificant, you would probably just need the K21 which can be used as a server/player.
I bought my NUC11i5 with 16 GB RAM and 500 GB SSD, and installed Linux Ubuntu LTS for running Roon Core. Sounds great!

The K21 just has the player engine from the K50. The server requires power and I am not sure you would optimize performance sharing one power supply for the server and player. I would discuss with Mark Cole.

Yes, using the K21 as a server + player is not the best option. But if our music library is not large and we don’t do any DSP functions with the various server apps, the K21 could be adequate. Need to do a comparison to see whether there is any significant difference.

Hi Mark -K50 arrived today at last - sounds great although going to give it a good 100 plus hours to burn in - in your opinion how long did yours take to really start to sound good. Mark at Antipodes said can take months to fully break in.
I’m using Roon with Squeeze as recommended with AES/EBU connection.

Congratulations. I believe I left the K50 playing Roon 24/7 for 2 weeks. I had other changes in my system at the same time as well but I think everything started to relax after 2 weeks. Honestly I thought it sounded great from day 1 as I was replacing my Roon Nucleus. You must be very excited. Enjoy the music.

Yes it sounds dam good already having only had it running for a few hours, very natural & organic sounding which is exactly what I was looking for. I plan to let it run like you say 24 hours a day as I always find 2-3 weeks plus everything seems to sound less edgy.
It’s a serious beast for sure weighing 19kg’s which compared to my Innuos which is understandable considering what’s inside, PSU’s etc.

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Initial impressions of AES/EBU versus MSB PRO USB are I prefer the AES as it’s slightly cleaner sound with more transparency albeit not night & day as the K50 needs good 2 more weeks to really start to sing as mentioned.

Which AES/EBU and USB cables are you using?

Hi Mark,
I’m using HiDiamond Reference which are a little known Italian company which punch well above their price point although I will probably change to the Jorma which I have in my system which are incredible. I’ve just ordered the incredible Synergistic network switch which was truly amazing -seriously equivalent to a source upgrade. I will continue to listen and do more A -B testing of the cables, if the AES continues to impress I will sell the Entreq USB which should sell quite easily I hope. Been listening most of today with the new 2nd MSB PSU & the K50 is really starting to sound special.

I use the Jorma AES and RCA digital cables. Jorma would be a good choice with the quality of your system.

Hi Mark,
After almost 3 weeks of burn in and tried both USB & AES/EBU, decided I preferred the AES which is slightly more transparent & real sounding.
Good news my Entreq ground box which connected to the USB sold within 2 days for really good price.
Have to say the K50 really is something special that’s for sure-just sounds natural & not digital which is what I was looking for.
Just out of interest have you used the SSD for comparison -apparently my Zenith’s CD’s can be easily moved over to a SSD on it which is useful .

That is great and you may find a further improvement with the Jorma digital cable. I do not play CDs anymore, my CDs and downloads are on an Samsung 860 Evo SSD and it sounds great. There has been discussion on the Antipodes blog about which SSD sounds best. Mark Cole and the users recommend the Samsung PM 893. Here is the thread.


Hi Mark, I assumed the case as the same with my previous Zenith which was great to RIP CD’s - just has that extra bit of feeling real compared to streamed although QOBUZ HD sounds incredible to me.
Decided to keep the K50 which having added the 2nd MSB PSU has given me exactly what I was searching for -the best possible sound combined with Roon which is simply out of this World to me -listening to so much more music nowadays, and thanks to Roon’s recommendations bands that I’ve never heard of.
Hats of to Roon -You have changed my life - musical Nirvana ?