DS Edge. Antipodes call it an Extensible Renderer – say whaaat? I call it an Upgradeable1 Endpoint2. We’ll tackle the two parts of my terminology revision separately.
1Endpoint means the DS Edge connects to a home network via Ethernet in order to receive digital audio from a server sitting elsewhere on the network. The Edge then sends the audio stream onwards to a DAC via USB or S/PDIF coaxial. That spells a first connectivity advantage over the Sonore microRendu (reviewed here).
Alternatively, the DS Edge will talk directly to an amplifier via a 3.5mm analogue output. Yes, the DS Edge hosts its own DAC – a second connectivity advantage over the microRendu.
Completing the hatrick, the DS Edge ships with Antipodes’ ‘top’ external ODAPS linear power supply. As per the microRendu and AURALiC Aries, power supply quality makes a significant contribution to ultimate sound quality.
In its nascent form the Antipodes DS Edge hosts no content of its own. It plays catch on audio spilling over the network from any NAS, computer or laptop running SqueezeBox, MPD, HQPlayer, DLNA or Roon server software.
However, the Antipodes DS Edge is also 2Upgradeable. A remotely-applied software update adds server capabilities, after which the hardware will parse content from a USB-attached external HDD or from a “tool free” user-installed SSD (up to 8TB).
Alternatively, those preferring to keep the hard drive out of the hifi rack and/or wanting a beefier server solution can add Antipodes’ other forthcoming product, the DS HUB (shipping March 2017).
From the press release: “Regardless of the music server you own now, your best upgrade option may be to add an EDGE, using your existing server to run music server software, and
use the EDGE to render digital audio signals to your DAC. While the EDGE is Antipodes’ least expensive digital audio product, you shouldn’t under-estimate the sound quality possible from this amazing device.”
According the New Zealand manufacturer, the DS Edge complete with ODAPS linear power supply will begin shipping on 20th February 2017 and will sell in the USA for US$2400.
Prices in other territories are TBA – readers are advised to contact Antipodes Audio directly – their customer support is some of the best in the business.
Further information: Antipodes Audio