New K50 G4 vs. K50 v2 (G3) - impression after the upgrade

I recently upgraded my K50v2 to the latest G4.
I’m using it for a few weeks now mainly with Coax SPDIF connection.
My experience is not positive and I found the new G4 more analytical and lacks the magic and musicality of my previous unit. I thought maybe it is a break in issue, but after a few weeks I cannot get the magic of my previous unit.
Before chasing my dealer for a downgrade (somehow…), wanted to see if others have the same experience.


1 Like

I think you have to be patient for a while.

I have to agree with Roymor. My K50 v2 was upgraded to G4. I’m not at all pleased with the sound.
My K50 playing to Rockna Wavedream via I2s. The sound is very harsh. The hi frequencies are very pronounced and midrange is very thin. The magic I had before the upgrade is gone. I have over 200 hours since the upgrade and keep hoping it will get better. So far not. I would take the sound pre upgrade hands down. Not sure what to do from here but my K 50 is not pleasant to listen to. If I turn my system up it becomes so fatiguing I can’t listen. Not at all what I was expecting from Antipodes.

I am awaiting the return of my K50.

With a few of my audio gear pieces, I have experienced a considerable period of time for these to present the sound signature that I came to like and find consistent. Two of these pieces have been my Lumin X1 and my K50, G1. I feel my X1 took approximately 200 hours to begin to present well and truly 400 hours and more to evolve. With my K50, it seemed to me to evolve for a very long time. It was not a case that it sounded bad to me in the first month; it was always warm and organic to me, but that signature seemed to me to gain more musical detail and flow as time went on. I do not recall that evolution to be dramatic all of the sudden but just seemed to me to sound more enjoyable as time went on, for multiple months. Another issue, at least for me, is the tuning we do with cables, feet, additional hardware and choice of outputs and software for the presentation we deem enjoyable and correct. It is pretty common for me to do some power cable and sometimes interconnect cable swapping to various pieces when a major new piece comes in to judge what differences I perceive. I also have a tendency to revisit these swaps after a couple hundred hours of new piece settling in.

I hope to not lose the informationally rich nature of what I have known as the K50, but I do expect it will be different with the G4 and very probably will take months of frequent use to settle in. I may find that some of my prior tuning decisions, which in general for me leaned towards more detail, may in the future with the G4 be better suited in a new location or not as good a fit as prior.

1 Like

My impression of the upgrade from V2 to G4 is positive from day 1. I did notice that it took about 3 weeks or so for the sound to relax and further improve.

They say that the upgraded K50 approaches the Oladra

I did an extensive comparison between the version 1 K50 and the version 1 Oladra

It was for me a big disappointment. How much I wanted to buy something new, could not stop me from concluding that I liked the K50 far better. I wrote about this here a while ago. I suspect that the power supplis may lead to the thinner and more analytical and less punchy sound,

With the money saved, i traded in my vsn den hul colibri xgp on a vdh grand cru elite snd csn only say wow! My recordplayer is definitely better (to my ears) than the K50 or my cd player. Less congested, less stressed, far mote naural. Funny…

I was so pleased with my K50 V2 that when Antipodes announced their 2023 upgrade program I jumped over my dealer as I wanted the improvement and especially the upgraded USB input.
After a month of intensive burn in, I’m quite confident that the Oladra tech (SMPS) in the new G4 is a step backward FOR ME.
The G4 might have more bells and whistles (more details, wider stage) but lost the thickness and clarity that I liked so much. For me the impact is so significant that I mostly listen to CDs since the upgrade…
Very frustrating, I’m hoping somehow to re purchase the K50 v2 which will mean loosing quite a lot in the all the process.

As someone who has owned the K50 Mk1, K50 Mk2, Oladra Mk1 and now upgraded to the Oladra Mk2 I can say that the Oladra Mk2 is head and shoulders above the Oladra Mk1 (IMHO of course) and much sweeter in tone…

However I do recognise the comparison that you make to the K50 Mk1 and I have to say that the K50 mk1 made some very sweet sounds in my system and I can see exactly where you are coming from with what you say about it. I have not directly compared the Oladra Mk1 to the K50 Mk1 but I did have a K50 mk1 to directly compare to a K50 mk2 and it took a LONG time (more than a month of running in) to convince me that the mk2 version was better but it got there in the end.

1 Like

Buyers remorse is a pity. When I was auditioning servers I had both the K50 Mk2? and Oladra at the same time and I did not think the comparison was even close into any of the four dacs here. My 6 way horn system is mighty dynamic and the K50 in comparison sounded like it still had sleep in its eyes whereas Oladra was fully awake and in its prime. Easy choice.

However, I can see how if ones system is tuned to suit the K50 that the Oladra may not seem a great fit due to how much more open and neutral its sound. Swap some cables, play with speaker toe in and/or position, adjust your sub or main speakers EQ. We like what we like…no getting past that…

1 Like

Hi Nick,
Unbelievable that you have had all these Antipodes types.
Did you own them for such a short time?
Or are you a salesman for Antipodes?

@Harry I am a compulsive upgrader in search of better sound. Thats all! It never ends!

Mind you, this compulsion has had its rewards in that I applied the same compulsion to searching for improvements to digital cables and that resulted in my WAVE High Fidelity RF filtering cable business which now helps to fund my hobby!


Not really. I did an upgrade not trying to choose a new model.
I was expecting Antipodes to keep the sound signature of a unit I already invested a lot in.
Sure, I understand that this the way it works in our hobby so was only trying to see if others have experienced the same before making a move.

I thank everyone who is sharing their experience with the upgrade — Its important for those who have not done the upgrade yet to hear these experience My hope is that Antipodes will make this a positive experience when the dust settles

But at this point it is not worth getting the new K50, it is better to look for the G3 versions…

1 Like

Far to soon to be making those sort of statements, there are plenty of people out there enjoying the upgraded servers. The K30 upgrade was a wow moment for me, best hifi money I’ve spent in a long time.


I’m please with my upgrade. I’m using usb


This is great to hear. I will send mine off early next year most likely.


Hello MarkR,
Curiously, how did you get on with the Holo May II over the Denafrips Venus and how would you compare the K30 upgrade over the changing of the DAC’s?

I listen mainly to classical music. My DAC, preamp and amp all are based on modern tube designs. I’ve had >300 hours run in time on the K50 G4.

Broadly my impressions are:

  1. absolute crystal clear, natural sounding (subtly but still noticeably better than before)
  2. tone/timbre (esp of acoustic instruments) even more pleasing to my ear (from the previous very high bar)
  3. timing of music feels snappier (the most noticeable change)

I waited 6 weeks to post this to make sure these impressions endured. They have, noting that I discerned fewer changes in sound compared to when I first ran in the K50 from new.

I have spent as much money on cable upgrades in the past and achieved lesser results so I feel the upgrade has been worth it for me/my set up/musical tastes.

Antipodes turnaround time was super fast (a matter of days) noting that I am in NZ.

Hope this helps those considering the upgrade.


@Acg Interesting comparison. On my system (which has alot of tube gear) i found the K50 v2 (which I had at the time of the comaprison) to be the more open and airier than the Oladra which had a warmer more “analogue” sound (…remarkably… delivered with astonishing detail…a “goldilocks combination trick” that few others can match in the digital realm). Ditto the musical timing/pacing of the Oladra which is also better/more effortless than the K50. Just goes to show how the alchemy of different system combinations and pyschoacoustic perceptions vary from person to person.