Welcome to the Antipodes user support portal. Here, you can make contact with us via live chat, book a one on one appointment to get assistance on a purchase or with your setup, use the forums to chat with other members, and form groups with common interests.
– CX/EX Update
The CX and EX upgrade process hit a snag that has now been resolved. It emerged that one third-party app that many of our customers want to use, was not working reliably with the Operating System necessary to support the latest versions of other important third-party apps.
It took us a few weeks to make and test software changes that would work across all apps and across all models. This has delayed the completion of CX/EX upgrades, and the release date for remote updates of AMSv3.1 to other models.
The operating system and third-party apps are all working happily together now, we are installing AMSv3.1 software on the upgraded CX and EX, and we will soon begin to ship units back to our customers.
We are very grateful for your understanding and patience with us on this.
– DX3 Update
We have completed sufficient testing to be able to order materials for OLADRA upgrades for the DX3 and for earlier DX that were upgraded to DX3 level. These materials need to be manufactured before we can begin these upgrades. At this stage we expect to configure the factory to complete these upgrades around October/November 2021.
Some of you will be aware that New Zealand has employed an ‘elimination’ strategy for COVID-19. Being an island nation, there are few entry points to our country and so we have successfully taken a hard border approach, coupled with heavy lockdown rules when any outbreak occurs.
We recently had our first real outbreak of the Delta variant and we are currently in the highest level of lockdown. This severely limits our ability to operate as we can only work from home, and cannot open the factory for normal operations. We cannot yet predict when the lockdown level will be eased.
Covid Impacts On The Line-Up
COVID, plus several other factors, have combined to create a shortage of several parts that are used in our current models. In some cases we were caught with just 3 months’ supply and lead times shooting out to 40+ weeks. In other cases the chipsets for boards were subject to immediate end-of-life notices from the manufacturers.
This problem began to emerge in late 2020, and continues. All models have been affected in some way, other than the K10 Ripper.
Without mitigation we would be out of stock of nearly all models by now. To mitigate the problem, we began a hunt for alternative parts, began the re-design of all models around the alternative parts, and purchased very large quantities of the alternative parts to guarantee that our business can continue through the worldwide chip shortage problems that are likely to last into 2023 at least. This has consumed a large chunk of our resources over the last 10 months.
In re-visiting each affected model, our primary goal was to ensure no reduction in sound quality. In a number of cases, one forced change would cause a small reduction in sound quality and so we changed the spec or design of another part of the design to compensate or more than compensate for this, to maintain or improve sound quality.
The most pervasive change is to the OLADRA power supply design. We have compensated for the unavailability of a preferred part by intensive work to push the envelope further to reap more of the rewards delivered by the original design of 15 months ago.
In some cases the changes to the models are minor, with the only impacts being an increase in the costs to Antipodes, and minor changes to the sound signature of the products.
In other cases, the changes are greater. The biggest change was to the K50, where three different chip sets became impossible to get in the quantities required to meet demand. Of the three main boards (server, player, re-clocker), two are completely new boards. As mentioned, the power supply design has also changed. These changes dictated a different internal layout, and this allowed us to add two additional digital outputs, S/PDIF on Toslink and I2S on RJ45, in response to requests from the market.
There are some changes to the sound signatures of the models, but sound quality is maintained and enhanced a little in most cases. As stated, throughout the revision of all models, the one key constraint we imposed was that sound quality could improve, but could not diminish.
The negative consequence is that Antipodes’ manufacturing costs have been driven up by nearly 15%. It is our policy to absorb cost increases for two years between price increases, but with the size of these cost increases, we cannot rule out bringing a price increase forward into 2021 as costs continue to rise.