Anyone have any issues with the USB sagging on their K50? I am referring to the USB output. In all honesty the cable I have (TQ Silver Diamond) sticks out more than the average cable and I feel this has loosened the input some.
So my question is has anyone else had this issue and if so is there a way to tighten this back up? I am about to buy something from Furutech to support it.
I assume it’s the USB output you’re referring to, rather that any of the inputs (please forgive me if I’m incorrect).
All I can say is that when I used a USB output, I personally found that particular socket on either of my K50’s to be extremely slack. All of the input USB’s were a much firmer fit & they would appear to be from a different manufacturer, or at least made to a different specification.
The slack fit of the USB output socket has also been noticed by one of my friends that originally owned an S30, supplemented it with an S40 & has now upgraded to a K30, for which he’s awaiting delivery.
I didn’t find the loose fit of the output USB socket on either K50’s to cause any problems, other than the sag, or at least nothing that was readily apparent. It’s not as if once the cable is actually in place that it’s going to get moved & whilst that slack fit doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, it didn’t appear to impede the sound in any way.
Being as it’s a pretty cheap item anyway & also differs for the other USB sockets, I can’t see any other reason for Antipodes choosing that particular item other than they deemed it to sound particularly good.
Maybe Mark Cole can shed some further light on this, but for myself I didn’t deem it to be a problem.
yeah I’d love to Mark on this. I switched back over to AES and I am definitely not unhappy with what I hear. I love the AES on this server. I’d like the option of the USB though for high rez if I so choose. I just feel like it’s bad for the input to use any longer without some kind of support, I am ordering some furutech contraption to help. I also heard I can put some teflon tape around the end of the USB cable and try that. Not looking to create any issues with the server but I need to do something about it.
I have complained about the loose usb output socket on the K50 to both my dealer and Antipodes. At one point my usb normal weight usb cable would just fall out of the socket. I have had some success in bending the sheet metal parts of the socket to make it have a firmer grip but one cannot escape the conclusion that this is just a cheap and flimsy component. Mark at Antipodes has always countered that it was chosen for its sonic performance but I personally am not convinced that a similar or better sounding socket could not be found with a more robust construction. For instance the usb sockets on the PhoenixUSB come to mind (see photo). They are a superb component and are also presumably chosen for their sonic performance. One main difference is that the surrounding body of the socket gives support and stops the cable plug flexing the socket internals. It provides a very firm and reassuring feel when plugging in the usb cable and also unplugging. I have even considered retrofitting one to my K50 because the usb socket is a stand alone component and is not soldered onto any of the main boards.
My personal view is the K50 usb output socket has no place in a £17,500 product.
There, I feel better for getting that off my chest.
There’s no doubt the usb output sockets are quite the flimsiest usb sockets that I’ve ever personally encountered & also provide the slackest fit. I tried a number usb cables on my first K50 & the socket was very loose with all of them.
Whilst I now use AES/EBU to my DAC, the USB cable I previously used & which my friend bought from me is quite large in circumference. Not heavy & not particularly inflexible though, but it doesn’t really grip in the usb output sockets of Antipodes units.
Tried into any other usb socket & there’s a positive grip, but on any Antipodes unit tried so far there’s no grip whatsoever. The cable still sounds excellent & the issue clearly doesn’t lie with the cable anyway, but my friend due to the layout of his system needed to provide a support to stop the connection sitting at an angle to the socket (about 15-20 degrees at an estimate).
As you’ve pointed out in your edit, part of the issue is because the usb socket used by Antipodes has absolutely no support underneath & even the slightest downward pressure will cause the bottom of the socket to bend.
On my own system that didn’t cause any problem due to the placement of my components. On my friends system where the components sit side by side, the cable was effectively hanging from the sockets & that’s why the connection was originally sitting at an angle.
Again, there appeared to be no detrimental effect sonically, but it did leave a bit to be desired (hence why he fitted a support). I will stress that it’s very unlikely that this would have caused any damage or got any worse though, because whilst the size of the cable suggests it would be heavy, it’s actually extremely light. Still enough for the usb to exit & point down at an angle though.
I agree that this shouldn’t be happening across units and elicit the same sentiment at this price. I am spending $170 to put a contraption underneath to support it. I have since moved back to AES which obviously doesn’t share this issue but I want the USB to be functioning properly and at this point not even comfortable with something plugged into it it’s so saggy.
@MarkCole . Any input here? Any fixes or way to remediate this?
here is a couple of pictures illustrating the slack. The one with my finger in it has the properly placed as though the USB had enough grab to hold it properly. The other shows how it sags, you can see the difference if you use the bottom white outline as your reference.
The foam contraption is one of the original Shunyata Dark Field elevators. I have a set of these lifting my speaker cables off the floor, with a few extra to lift some power cords. Shunyata still makes a mini version of these elevators. They might be able to be used to prop up a USB cable.
Behind my audio rack is a Shunyata Aperture panel. I’m using this as well to ensure that very little strain will be placed on my K30’s USB output.
Prompted by @kennyb123 and his photo of his K30 I took a peep inside my K50. The mounting brackets for the USB socket are more comprehensive than I remember them and incorporate side clamps that can be adjusted to push onto the side clips on the USB socket. There is a fine balance between having them too tight which stops the USB plug going into the socket and just about the right side pressure to allow the plug to go in but for the socket to keep hold of the USB plug once inserted.
So K50 owners can adjust the tightness of the USB socket if theirs is too loose although one has to be happy about disassembling the K50 to a certain extent to get access to the inside of the USB socket. This involves more that just taking the lid off the K50.
I don’t remember this side clamp arrangement on the earlier version of the K50 so it may be just on the current version. In which case Antipodes appear to have taken notice of the earlier criticism of the USB socket looseness. Well done Antipodes.
I have adjusted my USB output socket so that it is a nice snug fit onto the USB cable plug.
Thanks Nick, great find! Does it require just popping the lid or do I have to remove more parts? I only because I don’t want to get out of this chair and shut my music off to find out I need to put this thing on a car lift to fix it.
@jamtown Everything can be done with the K50 in place as long as you have good access to the top. On the current model K50 you need to take lid off, I then disconnected the cables to the three SSD slots, next remove the inner lid (lots of bolts two of which are at the back and also some are different lengths so make a note of where they come from). Then you have access to the USB socket. I removed it from the rear plate so I could see what was going on but the two upper clamps can be adjusted with the socket in place. I would suggest placing your usb cable in the socket (making sure it is not hanging down or slewed off to the side) then the two bolts on top can be loosened and the clamps pushed in towards the middle and retightened whilst still pushing them inwards. Check the tightness on the usb cable plug. If it is a nice snug fit with a good resistance when pushing in and taking out then you have it right. If it is still loose then perhaps try pushing in the clamps without the usb plug in place. Beware though that if you adjust them too far inwards you will not be able to insert the usb plug. How do I know this? Well you can guess.
Reassemble in reverse order. It is pretty obvious which SSD cables go to which slot but you might want to have some system for making sure which one is which if you are in any doubt.
Also, it is obvious but there are mains voltages exposed so make sure it is disconnected from the mains and I additionally suggest you leave it unplugged for some time to allow all caps to discharge.
The USB socket is designed to give optimum contact on the pins of the cable, the connection is spring loaded, this does make the cable appear loose, but it is the pin contact that we are most concerned about, rather than any feel good solidity.
We understand customer feedback, and as has been highlighted above have made some small changes over time.
We constantly monitor the feedback we receive, and appreciate everyones input.
I can only re-iterate, that we choose what we choose based on sound quality this is the prime motivating factor in choosing parts for Antipodes Audio servers.
Actually a little concerned now…Look at the two pictures below. My unit has a dramatically different inside than the one with the side heat sinks. Were the heat sinks and update or were they updated and removed. My understanding was that my unit was shipped from you guys direct to the dealer. Were these COVD changes or design improvements or is my unit an older version?