K30 + S20 + S60

Hi, @MarkC

I was interested to see MC system uses K30 + S20 + S60. That is same function as K50 and about the same cost. However, it is 3 boxes, 3 power cords, 3 spaces on the rack, a USB cable, etc. So I am curious why not just use K50?


Hi there dbastin, this is a good question, the K50 is the pinnacle of server design and sound quality in the market today, I love the K50, and would have one any day of the week, but it came down to money and DAC compatibility.

I initially had a Triode TRV1SE DAC, the reason for buying it was the dual USB inputs, anyhoo another story, with the Triode the K30 was a perfect match for that DAC with using USB only. And it was all I could afford, I upgraded from a DX, which is now an end-point in another system.

After some time I picked up the LKS DAC at a great price, this DAC is a massive improvement over the Triode, with a huge bang for buck, and with all the extra inputs wanted to utilize I2S.

One of the great things about the K30 is the ability to upgrade it over time. Another reason for purchasing it.

So I added the S20, the K30 has a 12v out, so I ditched the SMPS and ran the S20 directly from the K30 power supply. This sounded great, but then as money came in I added the S60 to take the load away from the K30's power supply, opening up the sound thru I2S.

Does it sound as good as a K50 - no. Could I afford a K50 - no.

Is it close - yes. Did building it step by step mean I could afford it - yes. Am I happy with how it sounds - absolutely.

There is a big conundrum in hi-fi, that is buying equipment that renders other equipment in your system useless, buying a K50 obviously would be the way to go, as it covers all possibilities in output, however buying something that suits your system now, and that can be upgraded over time as your system evolves is a path that I have chosen.

It is for me a balancing act of finances.



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Thanks Mark, it now makes complete sense this was an evolution. Sometimes the journey helps appreciate the destination all the more. And the story is interesting and informative too.

For instance, I didn't realise K30 had 12v output! A handy feature no doubt intended for adding the S20. It is not apparent on the Antipodes K30 web page. It is also interesting the K30 has HSL80 while S60 has HSL50, but you still gained an improvement installing S60.

It you haven't yet considered this, try powering your ethernet switch or router (which ever is closest connection to the audio gear) with the S60 2nd rail/output. If you want to get creative, try connecting the K30 to a wifi access point, and use wifi to connect to the main network router, to isolate from the network noise (and of course power the wifi access point from the S60). TP link have some affordable access points. https://www.tp-link.com/au/home-networking/access-point/tl-wa901n/ shows an image of the concept.

Happy listening. ?

Hi dbastin, Yes the tech spec onsite does need a tweek re the 12v output on the K30. The K30 does have the HSL80, this single supply runs the two boards inside the K30, so having it run a third isnt all that ideal, so using a dedicated HSL50 in the S60 for the S20 is the better way to go.

Very interesting powering router etc from the S60, this would likely be beneficial.