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Antipodes K50 - dinsdag 8 december 2020

Review door Clive bij Headfi
Uitgebreid vergelijk tussen de Antipodes K50 (€15.995,00) en Taiko SGM Extreme (€ 26.995,00)
Conclusie : I choose for the Antipodes K50!
Hello, I am back again and sorry for the small delay. The K50 blow a fuse and thanks to the speedy help of Mark (Antipodes) I was able to replace the fuse with one from the K30 also on demo. I will review the difference between the CX EX, K30 and K50 later.

So, for the long-awaited shootout between the Taiko SGM and the Antipodes K50 but before I do just need to point out a few things.

I do not have trained ears, only been listening to HiFi for around 5 years but been to a few HiFi shows and listened to quite a few high-end systems mainly digital with a few analogue. I am overly sensitive to harsh treble and sibilance, digital glare, fatigue.

I always thought there would be one true sound we all aim for. I quickly found the one true sound to aim for was the one you enjoy the most, forget everyone else’s view. So, with the above caveats I will post up my impressions of these two mighty servers.

Size and weight

The Taiko will fit not fit any HiFi rack it is deep; a two person install. Carry this beast at your peril and at the maximum I could lift owing to size and weight. While the K50 will fit a normal rack and easily carried by one person. A win to the K50 but not a deal breaker.

Price specification options.

I will not bore you all the specification and cost are all available on the web.

Set Up

Chord Dave Mscaler, Bryston 7b3 mono amps, PMC MB2 se speakers.

System cables, Wave cables Duel BNC – Chord Sarum T XLR – Chord Sarum T Speaker cables.

Server cables USB Chord Music and Wave BNC.

K50 first impressions (new out the box) were not good, I almost return the unit. The dealership advised more burning in, so I did this and over a few weeks the sound improved. I warn you now it had off days and good days during this period. According to Mark at around six months is the best you can get.

Taiko first impressions (burnt in) where is the credit card (remember the K50 was dead owing to the blown fuse and had not listened for two weeks as the K30 was burning in).

Sound Quality

If you ever manage to listen to either one of these servers, you are privileged owing one at their cost is not for the faint hearted. If your happy where you are, I would strongly advise not to try one of these servers. You cannot unhear this level of sound quality. This is where Digital gets closer to Analogue.

K50 vs Taiko.

I would be happy with ether one of these but have my preferred and that was within a few hours.

The K50 vs Taiko on USB

I took me a few A – B and a few tracks to find the difference between them initially I thought they were equal; they are different BUT VERY CLOSE.

I will spare everyone the tracks and notes. I get to the point quick and simple.

The Taiko is crisp and precise whereas the K50 is more mellow more organic more analogue and a little more forgiving. Difficult to explain (for me). In poorly record tracks (HOT) I found the S in vocal to be a little exaggerated on the Taiko and more forgiving in the K50.

Bass Midrange ballpark similar ball park.

Remember I am splitting hairs between them.

K50 BNC S/PDIF vs Taiko USB

For me (I am overly sensitive to harsh treble and sibilance, digital glare, fatigue) I prefer this option on the K50. This personal preference and could listen to K50 for hours with the BNC output knowing with a few clicks can change the K50 to USB if the mood dictates. I was using a Wave BNC cable on the S/PDIF perhaps it was this. I did try a few cheap alternative BNC cables but quickly removed as no detail and woolly.

The Taiko I had on demo only had a USB output so same as the above, exceptionally good, but my personal preference was the K50.


Both servers get closer than any other digital source I have used. The timbre, soundstage, organic nature and most importantly toe tapping experience.

Everything just falls into place.

For me by a hair the K50 (personal preference).

The End. 

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NGDaniel- 14-07-2021


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