HIGH-END AUDIO PRODUCT DESIGNS FOCUSED ON HOW THE HUMAN EAR ~ BRAIN ~ EMOTION SYSTEM WORKS
John Darko on the Blue Moon award winning Antipodes DS Reference Music Server
"In the space of three months, Antipodes’ entry-level music server turned everything I’ve hitherto experienced with digital transports upside down in a good way."
Andy Fawcett on the Audiophilia Star Component Antipodes Reference Audio Cables
"One thing I do know – when the final shortlist is compiled of cables that are sufficiently ambitious, innovative and inspired to genuinely be the finest in the world, the Antipodes References must be on it."
Gary Pearce on awarding 5 Stars to the Antipodes DS Music Server
"Antipodes have created a fabulous-sounding, easy to set up and control product. I reckon most could have it up and running within a matter of minutes or so."
Anthony Kershaw - Editor of Audiophilia
"Antipodes’ cables and servers have been reviewed by four Audiophilia writers, each with, let’s say, utterly different tastes in music and gear. We don’t shill. We don’t lie, especially to each other. And each Antipodes component reviewed has received an Audiophilia Star Component Award. That has not happened to one company in the seventeen year history of Audiophilia."
About Us & Our Philosophy
Antipodes Audio Limited is a specialist audio technology firm located in Auckland, New Zealand, founded by Mark Jenkins. It began marketing audio cables worldwide in 2004, and began marketing music servers in 2009.
The purpose of all art is that humans can experience a meaningful emotional response to it. Human emotions are the effects of endogenous drugs, produced in response to the recognition of patterns that have evoked our emotions in the past. And just as seeing the Mona Lisa painting in the flesh is incredibly moving compared to seeing a small black and white photograph of it, so too is fidelity of reproduction crucial to the enjoyment of recorded music. It is pointless taking a numbers approach when we have not yet proven that all improvements in those numbers improves our emotional connection to the music. The final arbiter of differences and the magnitude of the differences must be our emotional reactions to the music - and this has proven far more sensitive than anything yet imagined in our science.
Antipodes Audio challenges the conventional science concerning digital audio and audio cables. If we accepted the prevailing scientific theories, and didn’t listen with open minds, we would all be convinced that all competent amplifiers sound the same and all competent cables sound the same; turntables would be a thing of the distant past; and we would only be focussed on anechoic measurements of our speakers. It is the same thing with computer audio. The theory says the server shouldn’t matter if the DAC is made competently. It is the same thing with audio cables. The theory says that unless the cable is designed to be a filter, then it cannot affect the sound.
The trouble is, our ears and minds tell us otherwise – just as many audiophiles have discovered in other areas in audio. Many audiophiles have listened and discovered that there are significant and meaningful differences between cables. Computer audio is much newer. Few have taken the opportunity to listen and discover the superiority of the music server approach over the Ethernet streamer approach. Few have taken the opportunity to listen and discover that music servers have to be as obsessively designed for high-end audio as any other piece of audio equipment.
There are two main theories used in audio cable design, one for low frequency cables (eg. analogue audio) and another for high frequency cables (eg. digital audio). Applying the first theory results in audible phase errors. Using the second introduces bad design features that are actually unnecessary for the length of digital cables used in audio systems. Antipodes Audio has developed a third theory that might be described as being a hybrid of the two. It fits much better with the real and chaotic world of audio equipment interfaces, eliminating the system-dependence of conventionally designed audio cables and eliminating the design flaws adopted by nearly all other audio cable designs. In practise, this leads to Antipodes Audio using very different cable geometries, that break many of the conventional rules, and the result is more open, more dynamic and more natural sound.
Computer audio is an even more controversial topic. The prevailing theory contends that any digital stream can be buffered and reclocked to eliminate jitter or other forms of noise interference with the digital signal, just before the DAC, rendering the source irrelevant. According to the theory, you can chuck data over an Ethernet connection (which has no timing, or even ordering integrity) and then fix it in the DAC. All theories are abstractions (simplifications) from reality and sure enough, real ears and open minds tell us the theory is simply not good enough for high-end audio. Antipodes Audio takes a different approach, babying the signal from its original source (CD or downloaded file) all the way to the DAC, maintaining timing integrity and minimising/managing electronic noise interference with the digital signal. In our experience buffering and reclocking, far from being a fix-all, is a bit like suspension on a car. Better suspension improves the ride. But a smoother road (ie. keeping the digital signal in good shape) is more important.
More than any other audio company, Antipodes Audio has focused on the new research emerging in neuroscience about how the ear - brain - emotion process works in humans, and what this can tell us about what is important to focus on in audio product design, so that the music can fully communicate its message. We have discovered several key insights by taking this approach, but the most significant are that: the challenge with audio cables is to preserve time-domain accuracy; and the challenge with music servers is to minimise electronic noise interference with the digital signal throughout the playback chain. These two insights, amongst others, are implemented obsessively in Antipodes Audio products, enabling you to achieve greater emotional connection with your music.