DAC vs Music Server

I want to preface my comments by saying, this is my experience, I don’t know everything, and your results may vary. I’ve recently compared the Mola Mola Tambaqui, DCS Bartok, and DCS Rossini in my system to my Chord Dave. The most significant differences were between the Rossini and everything else, but the Rossini wasn’t a good fit in my system. A couple of dealers told me that the most significant differences will be found by replacing my DAC. After my experience comparing several DACs, I decided to purchase the Antipodes Oladra music server. I’ve been using the Antipodes K21 and K41. I received the Oladra and wow! The richness of instruments and naturalness of voices, the enveloping soundstage, dynamics, realism, detail while sounding relaxed. Everything across the entire audio spectrum has improved. In my system, the Oladra music server has more impact on the sound than any DAC I’ve tried. It’s a reminder that our own ears are the best tools to decide on what does or doesn’t work in our system.


This has been my experience as well. I have had four different streamers in my system, all with the same DAC, each one has been an improvement. The latest is an Aurender N10, which has been a quantum leap forward. Finally time to upgrade the DAC. 

I'm posting to share my experiences. I no longer advocate for any particular company's product, because there are too many variables. I'm a strong believer in listening to as many products in your price range and let your own ears decide. In my system the music server has just as much impact as the DAC and that surprised me. Prior to the Oladra, adding subwoofers had the most impact on my system. 

the thing is you already had a chord dave which for many is already an endgame piece

on the flipside you may have been coming from a bad streamer or server so the upgrade could easily be expected to be large 

if you came from a average or budget dac to something like the rossini the difference may have been just a large and impactful 

The Dave is very revealing/hyper realistic so it's not suprising that the music server made such an impact but you wouldnt be getting this without the dac in this chain

@ricred1 Do plan on running the ROON core on it and then implementing one of the endpoint options?


I had the Antipodes K21 and K41 prior to the Oladra. The K41 was my server and the K21 was the streamer. I don't think one dealer suggested upgrading my music server. Every dealer suggested that I would yield better results by upgrading my DAC as opposed to my music server. So, I initially started comparing DACs. If possible, "we" have to experiment with different components in our systems to determine the best way to spend our money.