K50 vs a K21/K41 combo- decision making

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I’m new to this forum. I am considering a new Antipodes K50 or possibly the K21/K41 combo. Since I will be using only USB output from the player some of the K50’s features would not be used and I do not see a need in the mid term future for those additional digital out options.
My questions are: Any reservations choosing the two box solution over the single box?
What are some good ethernet cables to use between the two boxes?
And lastly, does the K41 need as good a hifi power cord as the K21? (Assuming the best power cord should go on the K21).

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Welcome @Tony_in_georgia

OK, let’s take a look…

Plusses for a K50 - one box solution, one power cable, one ethernet cable, possible use of digital outputs in the future.

Plusses for a K41+K21 combo - Two box solution, potential to sound better than a K50 due to physical separation of server/player, Price

I will leave others to comment on cables, but I think you will find a plethora of info here… Search results for 'ethernet cables' - Antipodes User Forum

I would say that both units should have the same power cables.


Thank you for your reply. I saw a little bit of discussion while roaming through some threads about RJ45 cable length between the two boxes. Someone commented that the minimum length should be 1.5m. Do others here feel that length should be a consideration when selecting an Ethernet cable to go between the K41 and the K21 (or K22)?

The shorter the better IMHO

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While for now you are only using USB, any subsequent change to your system might allow other combinations - eg a new DAC might allow you to use the I2S output - in my experience it’s better than usb

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I have found audio nirvana with both the K22 and the K41 combination, and YES, both units benefit immensely using the best power cords for which your budget provides. I can recommend the Cerious Tech Lumniscate, or if that is too pricey consider the Matrix v2 from the same - about 80% of the quality for considerably less $$. Graphene Lumniscate – Power Cables – Cerious Technologies

As for USB v AES, I have tried both and use the Lumniscate AES cable as Antipodes recommends this as the preferred method of connection as the USB does not provide for the benefit of the excellent re-clocking . Both sound great, just different. I use the Sablon USB cable and while it sounds good, it’s not nearly as good to my ears as my AES cable

Here is a link to a recent review I posted to What’sBestForum that may provide you additional insight. Antipodes K41 - The Tipping Point | What's Best Audio and Video Forum. The Best High End Audio Forum on the planet!.

Good luck!

Thank you all for the advice. I have purchased the K50. Partly because it was readily available in the Distributor’s warehouse and partly because I preferred the single box solution and I get the flexibility of multiple connections out. The unit is on the way but looks like it is delayed due to the bad weather across the plains and midwest.
Maybe some do not know this but the latest version of the K50 has reclocking on the USB.
DesertRat66, I read your excellent review. It has me looking forward to breaking in and hearing my K50.


Hi Tony; you are going to LOVE the K50, no question about it . And no doubt you are correct about the USB re-clocking. I assume it is the same with my K22 though in my view I have a considerably better AES cable than I have in the (very good) Sablon Audio USB. I still have it connected and personally, I observed a considerably wider sound stage with my Cerious Lumniscate. The improvement in SQ was not a little but considerable. I can share this much with you: I had his entry level Graphene Extreme powering my K41 server; honestly I did not believe it would “matter” that much. I asked him point blank if I’d benefit by upgrading to the Lumniscate, He assured me I would, and OMG. It utterly transformed my system. If my server was delivering an 8.5 in SQ, it immediately went to 12! It is THAT transformative… No one on the planet is making cables like Cerious. But don’t take my world for it as there are plenty of blogs out there on Audiogon and What’s Best Forum.

You’ve got among the very best units on the planet - certainly the best for the price point by a wide margin (in my view). The K50 deserves the very best power cord you can afford. After all, who would purchase a Porsche Turbo 911 and choose to install the cheapest tires on the 911 and utterly compromise the suspension system and associated performance? :wink: No one I know!

Whatever you do, enjoy the music and give it a few hundred hours before you pass judgment.