I've held back on purchasing Antipodes because of all the recent changes. Looking for the dust to settle, so to speak, and for some owner and reviewer feedback on the new models.
If you are able to audition their new gear at a dealer, it will be terrific to learn about your impressions. Hopefully you'll be able to compare it with other front end server/players/renderers when doing so.
Keep us posted!
I own the Antipodes DX3. Before that I owned a DX for a bit. The DX3 sounds much different than the DX IMO. A CD ripped into the DX sounded very close to the same as a CD loaded into a transport and played through a DAC. The DX had a bit "quieter" background from which the music sprang from. A bit more clarity than the transport/DAC combo. (The transport used was a Modwright Oppo 105.) But the DX3 produces a dead quiet background from which the music springs. Unsurprisingly this lower noise floor allows more detail to be heard from the CDs when compared to either the DX or the transport/DAC combo. When a CD is ripped with the DX3, you can still play music but the ripper introduces a humming noise that is annoying if you are critically listening (not real loud but definitely present). Also, the DX had a BNC out as well as a USB out. My DAC generally sounds best (to me) through the SPDIF (that's not unusual though not universal). The DX3 has done away with the BNC out--it is now strictly a USB server. It sounds really good (to me) through USB. Antipodes swears that its USB out was always preferable to its BNC out anyway so they went all in with USB. My solution to having a DX3 that is USB only and a DAC with a great sounding SPDIF/BNC path was to buy a used Berkeley Alpha USB converter and put it in-between the DX3 and my DAC. Magic! You now couldn't pry my DX3 away from me. I highly recommend the product provided you have a USB DAC or you are open to using a USB converter. Antipodes customer service is top notch. I'm not crazy about their dealer network though. It is true they seemed to have a problem figuring out how to configure the DX, with the DX3 coming quickly after introducing the DX2, which came out not long after the DX. I think it had to do with Antipodes trying to keep up with the higher res craze and also doing both USB and SPDIF really well--but, not succeeding sufficiently to grab marketshare from Aurender. I tested the DX USB path out versus the SPDIF path out and it was clear the USB path sounded much better generally even with my BNC preference DAC. I could be wrong but based on what I hear they now have a winner with the DX3--they just need to convince our crowd that they are done with the revisions and have a product that is as good or better than the Aurender N10.
I just spent some time reading Antipodes' website (which has recently been significantly overhauled) regarding their current lineup. According to Antipodes, the best in class scenario is buying both the CX and EX, and linking them via ethernet cable, which allows one unit to be the dedicated server (CX) and the other the dedicated renderer (EX). So according to them the sound quality from best to worse is as follows CX+EX>CX>DX>EX. Essentially it appears to be an incrementally decreasing "detail" scale that Antipodes suggests is very noticeable in highly "resolving" systems. They are completely unpacking the DX concept right down to offering the P1, which is a stand alone Antipodes CD ripper. It will be interesting (and possibly alarming) to see the price points on the new CX and EX since Antipodes is clearly aiming for a lineup that has the DX3 as its third lowest price point in a four level price point model.
What’s great about the EX is it has a built in DAC that’s good for PCM and up to 24bit, 192 Khz with analog outputs. A better DAC can be added later, if you wish.
For luddites, like me, it may be the way to go in the future. It can hold all of my CDs and I can add more later. Hmmmm.......
All the best,
My DX is scheduled for the DX2 to DX3 upgrade very soon. My understanding is that I will be able to use the DX3 as a Roon server on my network that will be similar to a CX-EX combination, and I will be able to output Ethernet into a Roon endpoint, or renderer. Instead of using Antipodes own EX as the endpoint, I am considering either the SOtM traid or Metrum's new Ambre endpoint. The interesting thing about the Ambre is that it outputs I2S and Metrum offers a user-installable I2S input board for my Metrum Pavane Level 3 that gets installed in place of the USB board. That will allow me to go with Ethernet from the server into the Ambre then I2S from the Amber to the Pavane L3. If I decide to use the SOtM triad, the output will go through the highly regarded tX-USBUltra then via USB to the Pavane L3. Taking the USB connection out of the chain with I2S from the Ambre to my DAC may be the deciding factor in my decision of whether to purchase the SOtM gear or the Ambre as my Roon endpoint. Either way, the thought of "significant" improvements to the already great sounding DX2 is really interesting to me.
My plan does not include DSP so I should be good with the DX and cannot really justify selling it to buy a CX. I believe I will continue to enjoy the DX's ability to directly rip CDs. If I were starting over, I would look hard at one of the sonic Transporter i7 models (either Roon with HQ or Roon with DSP), as well as the CX, to use with the SOtM triad.
I was within a couple of days of purchasing the SOtM triad but then saw information on Metrum's new Ambre, which is supposed to be Roon certified soon. The Ambre is quite a bit lower in price than the triad, it uses femto clocks, and it does not require a USB enhancer/reclocker (i.e., the SOtM tx-USBultra) to use with my Pavane L3 DAC, since the Ambre directly outputs I2S and Metrum offers a user-installable I2S board for my Pavane L3. The Ambre is a single-box solution, which I hope would be built to the same high standards as Metrum's other gear. The dilemma is that everything I read about the SOtM triad describes exactly the type of sound I am trying to achieve. I wish the Ambre were a bit further along and that there was a review to provide more information.
Latest info from Antipodes:
"Antipodes is sharing one of the new Superior DemoCabins at Munich 2018, Hall 4, W12 with Aequo Audio loudspeaker manufacturers. We will focus on the new X-Series Modular Solution range - the CX, EX, P1 & P2. We are taking this opportunity to officially launch the CX Music Server and to pre-announce the P2 platform.
Please open the PDF brochure below for an explanation of the Modular solutions, and visit our home page for more information on these developments."https://imgur.com/a/jFBKD