Combining Antipodes K41 with non-Antipodes renderer

Hi, I currently own a Pink Faun 2.16x server/renderer with a very nice rendering architecture and Ultra OCXO clocks. I noticed that removing the Server part (Roon Core) from this machine improved sound when combined with an Intel NUC. Now I am getting a K41 on trial and I was wondering if there are any experiences with this machine or using a high-end non Antipodes Renderer in General.
Of course a suggestion to exchange it for a K22 or K50 altogether would be expected here, but for now it is not something I want (very happy with the renderer).
Looking forward to any experiences or advice.

You intend to use the K41 (as server) connected to the Pink Faun (render) or K41 will replace the PF?

An OLADRA or K50 would be the suggestion :slight_smile:
However using the K41 as the server and connecting to the Pink Faun (assuming it can be configured as Player only) will definitely reap rewards, separating the server / player functions to separate computers frees up both units to perform at their best.
We have a number of clients using other manufacturers’ end-points, who have upgraded their systems by adding a dedicated K41 server.


I want to keep the PF at least for now. I am happy with performance especially if I take away the processing (the server part).
They have a good architecture and very good clocks. I can also double the PF configuration in a separate server and player setup but I think the K41 is more fit for this…

I will let you know how it goes. I am replacing an Intel NUC that has the server role right now, so that is probably not fair competition :wink:
Also curious to hear the difference between the K41 - PF setup through a Melco S100 and through Direct Stream (with the Melco before the K41)

Dual setup has advantages. Before removing it, the optimal intel NUC configuration in this case would have been:

  • Passive cooling (no fan)
  • Best linear or hybrid DC power supply unit you can afford
  • Better DC cable
  • Better RAM
  • Separate (pci) Network card or USB card, depending what connection you will use.

I am aware this is a DIY solution but if the nuc has none of these the step up in sound quality should be quite impressive.

In the line of thinking about improving your dual setup with a new device, since you already have an excellent PF streamer (high power) to me it makes more sense to add the K21 player (low power) instead of a second (high power) server board. But it all depends the connections you prefer to use between PF - Kxx - DAC.

You did not mention from where you play music and what quality files? Local files or streaming? Each has quality issues but can be improved. Important is also the player software you prefer to use. It all should be part of the equation.

Thanks for the elaborate info. My NUC is basic on the inside, so with Fan and no specific optimized RAM (although it has 32GB) and internal network card
I do have a good (Farad Super3) LPS with dito Silver DC cable attached to the NUC. And yes, expectations are high.

I heavily invested in -ultra- high quality OCXO clocks on the PF outputs (i2S and S/PDIF) and on the motherboard and the PF is less flexible when it comes to storage expansion
Each component of the PF has its own power supply dedicated to it (mother board, processor and outputs) so the amount of power should not be too much of an issue.

I have a lot of local music (3,5TB) and I stream Qobuz and Tidal. Playing with Roon and with another Music OS called Euphony which has better sound quality than Roon. I am curious to test the Roon, Squeezelite combination with K41 and PF because I read a lot of good things about that.

Great choice LPS, i like Farad Super3 very much. Your choise of DC cable makes a valuable difference too.

I totally understand you don’t want to give up on Pink Faun i2s or SPDIF connections. Hence my remark that for example the suggested K21 player can possibly not be connected that way.
As for storage, It seems most agree that local SSD storage in the Antipodes device yields the best results.

I am Euphony user myself for the same reason. My custom built server runs Euphony OS, motherboard fed by Farad S3 LPS. Network card with 2 shielded RJ-45 connectors (bridged) has separate 5v also. Optane M.2 memory and Euphony runs from better RAM. I play local music from NAS through EtherRegen switch + Farad LPS either to S30 player or UPnP to other devices.

To make the best out of Tidal streaming the modem has an LPS and also streams through EtherRegen switch to the server. No Roon obviously, so I have to accept the not so good Euphony interface, and the ‘a little better’ Squeeze/Material in Antipodes mode.

My Euphony server is connected direct over ethernet to the S30 ‘‘server’’ + hybrid PS (Ferrum Hypsos). I mostly use the S30 in player mode (in my experience it is not optimal to use it as a server or server+player).

Very curious about your listening experience. It is very easy with Antipodes to change between different modes. Good luck!

It is clear you put a lot of thought in that set-up. Well done!
I understand the Super3 should be able to feed the s40 as well but is not hybrid as the s60.
Euphony got somewhat better with the new version, but has now an expiring usage model in stead of perpetual, which is not cool, but I am going off topic :slight_smile:
I will post my experiences here.
Thanks for all the info

Indeed any 12V PSU can feed the S30 or S40, and each will add their specific character and qualities to the sound. S60 psu is probably very good, some users hear Ferrum Hypsos psu is better, and then there is even better than that of course. It never ends.

Even though I am not listening at the same quality level as for example your Pink Faun or K50/41, I apply many things learned on the way to get the best results within my budget with rewarding results. So I keep comparing and trying to get the best out of local files or streamed from Tidal accepting a big compromise with Euphony or Squeeze/Material in Antipodes mode on user interface (any UI designer reading here?)

S30 being simply a player board with very good ethernet connection to a server and only USB out to DAC (or DDC) can be easily enhanced by selecting a better PSU and DC cable AND using as a player instead of server + player, but that’s where it stops unfortunately. It seems Antipodes do not believe in or do not experience improvement with fuse upgrades, separate regulated power for SSD (or other components) or better inner cabling or RAM. Possibly Antipodes board design avoids common problems by good design that by other brands can be (partially) resolved with upgrades. I am really glad I tried S30, but I am already moving forward.

Euphony OS is going through a major change these days (as are more companies), so I understand your annoyance when the new version is not ready before hitting the market. Here at Antipodes availability and market decided that S30 and K30 are not in production anymore before expected end of life. K50 is revised and a different device now with similar sound quality. The original HSL50 ‘lighter’ psu used in S60 power supply inners has been improved since in more recent devices (as has the HSL80 I understand).
Owners have to deal with the consequences. It never ends…but I trust in the end it’s all leading to improvements for us, the users.