Antipodes DS Music Server

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From Entry Level To The High-End

The DS Series employs the same technology and the same software suite as the Antipodes DX, but in a much smaller form factor by using an external power supply. A key objective of the DS Series is to provide as much as possible of the sound quality of the DX, at three different performance levels in the DS range, with the ability to upgrade between them. The purpose is so that an audiophile can start at an entry level with a base DS, and progress later through upgrades to true high-end performance.

Base DS

The base DS incorporates the same technology core as the DX. But the cost is kept down by using a specially designed external semi-switched power supply, hard drive storage, and reduced processing resources. Even so the DS has received many accolades for its audio performance.


The DS SSD is a very significant step up towards the high-end. Processing resources are increased to the DX level, the hard drives are replaced with SSDs, and system firmware is re-tuned for use with SSD storage. The semi-switched power supply is retained. The result is a server with fantastic music-making capabilities, far beyond the base DS. Upgrading from the DS to the DS SSD can only be done at our factory due to the type of optimisation work required.


The ultimate step is to add the Antipodes GT power supply, to lift a DS SSD to the DS GT level. Again, this is a significant upgrade in sound quality, and requires firmware re-tuning. Arguably, the most significant contributor to the Antipodes DX audio performance is its power supply. It is not just because it is a linear power supply - that would be like saying all 100w amplifiers sound the same - the DX power supply is specifically designed to optimise the audio performance of Antipodes music servers. The Antipodes GT power supply is a cut-down version of the DX power supply, enabling the DS GT to be more affordable than the DX. But the result is that the DS GT gets close in audio performance to the Antipodes DX, and far from the audio performance of the base DS. The GT power supply is expected to be released in May 2016.

The Sound

With so many people arguing that bits are just bits, you need to hear what a properly designed digital source can do for any DAC. At the base DS level, you will hear a richness of timbre, detail resolution and dynamics you have not heard from any CD Player at a comparable price (allowing for a DAC). At the DS SSD level you will hear large improvements in sweetness, refinement, dynamics, musical life and expression. At the GT level, all digital glare and grain is removed, and the result is a palpably organic presentation, communicating the finest musical nuance, and utterly unlike any digital audio you have heard before. We have even been accused of manipulating the bits to change the tonal balance in our top servers. This reflects disbelief at how the same bits can sound so different when you remove the last traces of distortion on the digital signal. It is all about enabling your DAC to do its job better, and how the improvement makes it easier for the brain to make sense of the sound. The DS GT has all the sonic characteristics of the Antipodes DX, just a little less of each of them.

How The DS Works

The DS starts with getting the best possible rip from your CD collection. Playing a CD in near-real-time will not get a perfect read, but a ripping process can slow down to re-read the disc when necessary till a perfect rip is achieved. Antipodes servers have optimised the ripping hardware and software to get you the best possible rip with every CD. Music files are stored on the DS internal storage.

The music files are able to be read perfectly from disk storage much faster than real time playback, and so the music files are first transferred rapidly in block mode into the DS RAM, and therefore the playback process begins in RAM - a source with the lowest possible latency. A key element of Antipodes server design is the purpose-built Linux operating system, running only the services necessary to play the music files. This is in contrast to other systems where RAM is busy with multiple tasks at once. In our experience even the smallest unnecessary additional activity in RAM will diminish the sound quality of a music server.

Although reading from a storage drive is superior to reading from a spinning CD, the problem with using a standard computer or a mediocre music server, is that they generate electronic noise at a much greater level than any CD player, and this noise pollutes the digital signal to the DAC. But what makes all the difference is that Antipodes servers have been designed and tuned to both minimise noise interference with the digital signal, and to tune the frequency spectrum of the residual noise to place it in a benign part of the spectrum.

Tablet not included



  Number of Pieces
2 Pieces - Server plus External Power Supply
  Storage Capacity
Base DS: Up to 4TB HDD - 1TB, 2TB or 4TB
DS SSD & DS GT: Up to 4TB SSD - 1TB, 2TB or 4TB 
  Audio Outputs
Ethernet plus either USB Audio 2.0, or Conventional S/PDIF, AES3, Toslink

  USB Outputs
One with USB 5v Power On & One With 5v Power Off
USB Audio 2.0 Compliant (to 32 bit /384 kHz)
DoP - DSD64, DSD128, DSD256
  S/PDIF, AES3, Toslink Outputs
PCM to 24 bit / 192 kHz
  Core Technology
Antipodes Core V4
  Power Supply Technology
DS & DS SSD: Semi-Switched with Linear Regulation
DS GT: Fully Linear with Custom-Wound Transformer
  Software Suite
Antipodes 2
  Case Material
All Aluminium Alloy
Fanless Passive Cooling
  AC Power Requirements
110 to 120 VAC or 220 to 240VAC (Not Switchable)
  Power Consumption
Less than 25W while running
  DS Dimensions
230mm (w) x 220mm (d) x 80mm (h)
9in (w) x 8.7in (d) x 3.2in (h)
  Shipping Weight
Approx 5kg (11lbs) - Varies by Configuration

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