Optimising Sound Quality
Some key points about getting the best sound quality:
- Don’t locate your Antipodes away from your main stereo. It is silent running and is very low-noise electronically. Locating your server a long way from your stereo will work, but the transmission will pick up noise and the digital signal will degrade.
- Use audiophile quality power cords and USB cables with your server. The impact on sound quality is significant. Ask your dealer for a recommendation.
- If streaming music over Ethernet, then use audiophile quality Ethernet cables. For example, you can improve the sound quality of streaming services by using high quality cable from your router to your server and eliminating switches between them. If you have a CX+EX Solution then the Ethernet cable between the CX and the EX will have a very significant impact on sound quality. Ask your dealer for a recommendation.
- Once you have decided on the playback applications you wish to use, uninstall all the other applications. Most applications use some degree of resource and your server has to juggle them all, so removing them improves the performance of the server running the applications you do use. You can re-install them at any time.
- Just as with any other high end audio equipment, vibration isolation is important. Servers tend to work best on a rigid and damped support.
- Check that your server is keeping acceptably cool. If it is getting hot to the touch then that will affect sound quality. Consider using less DSP and giving the server more breathing space. Don’t stack your server on top of or under another component that gets hot.
- Don’t assume that upsampling/transcoding improves sound quality. Upsampling can result in a smoother top end, but worse mid-range and bass. As with everything else, listen carefully for yourself. Extra processing during playback will interfere with playback. In most cases, playing your files at their native resolution will give you the best balance of sound quality attributes.