HFA (HiFi Advice) OLADRA Review

Heck of a review! The OLADRA must be a very impressive server.

Heck of a machine :sunglasses::ok_hand::+1::pray:

1 Like

I had been checking HFA the last week to see if this review had yet posted, but saw the link here this morning. All of my experience with SMPS to date have been the inexpensive ones supplied with various electronics. I have, perhaps incorrectly, held the belief that substantial part of break-in of my audio electronics has to do with the linear power supplies and capacitors. It will be interesting to me to read from OLADRA owners and further Christiaan postings if break-in period has indeed seemed to be less. To me, my K50 seemed to me to improve over many months.

It is our experience that indeed the OLADRA continues to improve over time.
I guess it shows just how good it is out of the box.
But yes, it will be interesting to see his follow up.

I found it particularly interesting that Christiaan felt that the OLADRA “does not need special power cables.”. Is that consistent with your observations @MarkCole?

I tried a “special power cable” with my Oladra and changed back to a standard $2 cord for better sound. Only tried one fancy cable though…

It depends on the cable TBH.
But all Antipodes servers benefit from having a good power cable.

1 Like

My Oladra is winging it’s way to me - very excited indeed!




I found it particularly interesting that Christiaan felt that the OLADRA “does not need special power cables.”.

Hi Kenny,
Christiaan does not seem to be into power cables for review purposes at all. Maybe that explains. As for other cables like Interlinks, loudspeaker- USB- or AES- he has his preferences.

‘‘To get that typical fast, open, and dynamically detailed Belden sound’’ in PC’s he is generally using Belden 19364 with Oyade C-004 IEC and a standard Bals Schuko (Europe). That’s it.

CHRISTIAAN PUNTER 29 November 2009 ### Postscript 03-10-2021

Although I use Belden cables for nearly all my components, I am not claiming that this is the best cable there is. It is not! In fact, it’s really quite a mediocre cable. I just found that when using high-end power cables (let’s say around 1000 euros) and ultra-high-end power cables (several thousand euros), most of the time, these would provide a highly refined, smooth, and polished sound with higher apparent resolution and more air than the Belden but at the expense of transient sharpness, attack, dynamics, expression, or simply raw power. While this can still work well in certain systems, my system is inherently so refined and non-edgy, that it doesn’t need external polishing. I will say that the Belden can be upgraded significantly by using very good connectors. I have experimented with this at length (see for instance the Oyaide comparison) and found the Oyaide C-004 to provide a near-ideal balance of virtues. It’s very neutral, highly refined, and super-transparent, yet not too polished. That is unless you use the IEC as well as the Schuko on the same cable. In that case, I feel that the sound becomes a little too polite. Thus, I use the C-004 along with a Bals Schuko on the other end, to balance this out.

Good find. That helps to make sense of his remark for sure.

1 Like

Also interesting is that Christian prefers Roon (presumably as both the server & player software…he wasn’t specific about this distinction) over Squeeze (either as server &/or player s/ware).

I personally have a clear preference (as do many others) for the latter and would have thought it would have worked better given the Oladra is voiced on the warmer side of things.

As his review context is currently very narrow, it would be great if in his follow up Christian could test the Oladra with gear other than his reference set up to give us a better idea of the range of possibilities/interactions.

Btw, I hold Christian’s reviews as the benchmark standard against which all other reviews are measured. Other than Austinpops on Audiophilestyle, I have yet to find a reviewer that comes close to him quality wise. That said, is it my imagination that his review of the Oladra felt slightly rushed compared to other reviews he has put out? Maybe it’s just my imagination. I look forward to his Oladra follow up and further insights.

I have also been a fan of Christiaan’s reviews, but I, too, came away that this one did not have the same depth of substance feel as prior. It may be due to his perceived improvement with OLADRA over K50 with even few running hours. It will be very interesting to me how this may evolve as he accumulates many more hours on the OLADRA and he compares new equipment reviews using both the MU1 and OLADRA for differences of presentation.

As an aside, as of now, there has not been any comments to this review posted on his site, which seems a bit unusual to me too.

My new Oladra has arrived and straight out of the box its is clearly better than the K50. Sound is more transparant but not in a bad way. All the organic tones of the K50 are there but the detail is simply incredible. It is simply outstandingly musical. I prefer the sound of the Oladra over my vinyl set up as it has a rich tone and great PRAT but with a level of transparency my SME 20/3 Turntable and SMEV arm cannot match! Wonder how it will sound when it is a few weeks old?? The guys at Antipodes are inspired sonic engineers