Antipodes Music Servers - All that digital audio cracked up to be / by Rom Beyerle

Digital arrived in the audio world with many promises. Convenience was good. CD players and transports improved, but the potential of digital and computer audio had not been realised until the culmination of more recent events. 

Firstly, the recognition of record labels, artists & mastering engineers that not only was the loudness war a race to the bottom, but also inherently the the cd format is also somewhat hobbled by design. If the recording was captured in a higher resolution which is far more common nowadays, there is audible benefit to maintaining this high resolution through to playback, and releasing via digital downloads, SACD or Blu-Ray Audio recordings in their native format, or in the case of re-releases, high resolution transfers from the best possible source available. Not to be mistaken in saying that CD’s sound bad in general, or one particular file format is better than the other, but recognising that in our journey to reach for that final few % in performance of our system and the ultimate intimacy with the recording, it would be silly to accept a bottleneck such as that of a reduced resolution source. We are very happy to see more and more releases re-visited and released in all their digital glory.

The other and equally exciting event being the arrival of the dedicated music server. A machine with it’s sole purpose to deliver music both conveniently, but most importantly, as best as it can possibly sound. Antipodes Audio set out to build the best possible digital music server and quickly realised it was no simple task. An off the shelf computer is a hugely multipurpose machine and not optimised for any particular task.  

All the steps taken in the development of Antipodes Music Servers have been tested by measurements and listening along the way. The development was long and arduous to get to the polished, stellar performance of today. Steps taken included, removal of all unimportant components and the design and manufacture of custom motherboards, custom developed operating system eliminating all but vital background software processes, addition of custom low noise circuits and power supplies, a balanced approach to spec for processing power whilst optimising the lowest possible noise for CPU and RAM clocking rates, Jitter reduction via dedicated audiophile USB interface with the highest quality low noise clocking. The list goes on, and we are sure there are many secrets under the hood held closely to their chests.

The Antipodes Music Servers have been some of our most popular digital products in recent times, taking all the confusion out of an optimised computer audio system with turnkey packages that just plain work. Sound quality and feature set surpassing that of other server or digital audio transport currently on the market. The latest software updates offers seamless integration with Roon and many other popular playback software. If you have been dreaming of a one box, optimised server for all your digital audio media, in the highest audiophile quality, easily controlled from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet, these units are for you.