Hi @Kjetil ,
My comment extends slightly beyond your initial inquiry, but hopefully it will enable you to consider your EX within a broader context.
The S30 made its debut in 2020 following the launch of the EX in 2018, and the former player board should theoretically sound better (when compared without the power supply). However, this depends on the specific power supply you choose for the S30. With a top-tier power supply, the S30 will definitely outperform the EX. However, once the EX is upgraded with the Oladra enhancement (better power supply, BIOS upgrade, board re-tune, memory upgrade) it should become the top performer.
Using either the EX or S30 as both player and server puts a considerable load on them. While they perform well independently, their true potential is unlocked when you use each one solely as a player in a dual setup with a dedicated server unit. As a suggestion, you might consider keeping the EX but look for a used CX at a reasonable price. Additionally, it’s important to note that the S30 has been discontinued without an upgrade path, whereas the EX model can still be G3 upgraded until possibly mid-2024.
In the following guesstimate lineup, higher is indicative of better sound quality. But you won’t be able to distinguish the differences unless you have an adequately resolving audio setup. Of course, my attempt to categorize is entirely subjective and rooted in what I’ve heard myself and learned here.
Higher ranking is indicative of better sound quality (note that all devices are now discontinued but K30 + EX + CX have a limited time upgrade available) :
K30 with G4 OLADRA Upgrade
EX with G3 OLADRA Upgrade + CX with G3 OLADRA Upgrade
S40 + S30 + S60 + S20
EX (no Upgrade) + CX with G3 OLADRA Upgrade
K30 or S40 + S30 + S60
EX with G3 OLADRA Upgrade + CX (no Upgrade)
EX + CX
EX with G3 OLADRA upgrade
S30 + S60 or S30 + Ferrum Hypsos (or similar level PSU)
EX or S30 + Farad Super S (or similar level PSU)
*Additional devices and alternative combinations, as well as further efforts to rearrange, would be greatly welcomed. *