From EX to ….( what to expect)

Hi all, I am currently using an EX as server (Roon / Squeeze) with either USB → AES (with a P2) or to a Sonore UltraRendu as endpoint (alternating between Squeeze and Roon as player s/w).

I would be keen to hear if anyone has experience moving from the EX as server to -say- K50 or K40. What do you gain in terms of sound quality.

Thanks in advance

HI, I also have EX (which is really very good with a few tweaks and TLC), but not heard the K series. However I thought I’d share some info.

EX can’t really be compared to K50 which is 3 things in one - server, player and reclocker/format convertor.

The OLADRA upgrade to EX will apparently lift the EX to close to K performance, but not sure if/when that will be possible again. I have heard other owners remark that the improvement to EX is considerable.

So no doubt the K series server will be somewhat better again. The K servers are now K41 and K21 (probably best under reduced cpu load, and note it has only 1 ethernet port)

The reclocker/convertor in K50 and K22 adds some magic and appears to be the way things are starting to go (ie. high performance clocks and clever code to push AES or SPDIF to DACs, rather than USB). But that is a different ball game to what you have with the Sonore.

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Thanks, the Oladra update of the EX is still an option (discussion with Mark).

I

Indeed, we are still offering OADRA upgrades for CX and EX.
But to be honest, a K50 or K41 will surpass and OLADRA upgraded EX.

Previously it was indicated the upgrade would bring CX or EX to be 80% ish of K series, But that was a while ago and there have been some hardware changes to the Ks since then. If you were to put a rough number on it now, without bias towards new products, would it still be about 80%?

I’ve never heard a K-series but the EX with P2 and disconnected Ethernet cable while listening SSD content through Squeeze server/player is an absolute beast.

I’ve been offered the OLADRA upgrade, as well and I’m considering it. Just being worried if the sound changes a lot because I find it wonderful as it is now. But you know…high fidelity is dotted with risks!

G

It’s the same, nothing has changed in the line up, except for the OLADRA

Thanks Mark, just to clarify what I meant by ‘hardware’, I recall reading some of the innards of K products had to be changed/redesigned due to parts being unavailable, and that has resulted in some inorovements in those products.

I also recall that opinions about previous models dud change over the first year as people really got to appreciate them better. I think also CX (or Core) for example also benefited from some software tweaks.

All these incremental things might increase the gap between new K and upgraded EX or CX.

Yep, the K50 has evolved over time due to parts availability, but that was ages ago, pre CX and EX upgrade offers.
All models run the same software.
With CX and EX upgrade there is an updated BIOS.
Indeed burn in can change the characteristics of Antipodes servers over time, for the better :nerd_face:

Hi, I would like to share my experience with the Oladra upgrade of my EX. Put simply, my enjoyment of the music has taken a leap forward. Still burning in, but from the first track I noticed a big lift in dynamic range. I would expect the sound will only improve and relax somewhat. Thanks Mark, really glad I didn’t miss out on this.

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I started out with EX/CX combo several years ago and enjoyed the sound versus other options at that time. In simple terms the upgrade to the K series, in my case the K50, brings the listener a step closer to an analogue sound i.e. vinyl sound. If this is your goal then moving up the series is recommended. However, part of the decision will depend upon synergy in your system. I have thought long and hard about upgrading to the Oladra but I have not been able to convince myself that the rest of my system will help the Oladra match the analogue sound I love. I intend to revisit in a a year or so when I can actually listen to an Oladra on demo. Rob.

I am very happy with my Oladra upgraded EX. I also use a Playback Designs Stream-IF, which adds some extra functionality and flexibility, as it can be fed via Ethernet to use it’s streaming module, reclocker and jitter removal, or as a usb interface accessing just the reclocker and jitter removal. Both offer the ability to make use of Playback Designs proprietary optical “PLink” for further galvanic isolation, as I also use a Playback Designs Merlot dac.
I have currently settled on Roon server on the EX and Roon player on the StreamIf, although every now and again I try other options to quell my curiosity. Any option sounds amazing. I’m too frightened to try a K50. I’ve just retired and don’t want to resume work to fund it! For the amount of time I actually get to use it I am very content, I actually think I have inadvertently arrived at a bargain priced sweet spot considering the current price of entry into the high end server/player market. After all, I do also need funds for bikes and skis!

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I’m also extremely happy with how my Oladra EX is sounding. However I did get a quick demo with the K50. It still haunts my dreams! The Ex is showing some of its magic and character. Just with a veil or three over my speakers. It Excites me knowing there is more musical information and enjoyment to be had with streaming in the future.

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