Installation Notes

The Atlantis Reference Server’s back-panel is perhaps best described as Spartan – especially given all that available real-estate. Looking from the rear, on the righthand chassis block you’ll find an IEC AC input, a chassis ground socket and a Speakon-type socket labelled as an input for an external power supply. This will be compatible with an upcoming, universal Reference Power Supply, designed to upgrade this and other Wadax Reference units, such as the planned disc transport. The unit itself will be a single, full width box with a top profile to echo the heavy brow of the DAC and Server head units. It should be available early in the New Year (2022) – although these days, intentions, plans and deliveries are in the lap of the supply-chain Gods… At the top of this block is a cover plate that gives access to storage bays, allowing owners to insert four SSD storage units, to a total of 32TB, although this will increase as larger SSD units appear.

The left side of the rear panel contains the unit’s connectivity. Inputs are provided for USB and Ethernet. But it’s the outputs where things get interesting. For starters, the audio outputs are via USB or Wadax Reference Optical link (there is also the option to specify a ‘Legacy’ output board that includes AES/EBU, S/PDIF and TosLink). The USB output features an adjustable bracket, designed to support the USB plug and cable, ensuring a mechanically stable connection – a real concern in the case of heavyweight, audiophile USB cables. But the assumption here is that most users will go for the (optional, at extra cost) proprietary Wadax optical link. This requires not just the appropriate output on the Server, but the matching input, currently available only on the Wadax Atlantis Reference DAC.  Dubbed Akasa by the company, this uses a high-quality Neutrik termination mated to a massive, specially developed optical core. The mechanical interface between the two is definitely noteworthy: about the size and shape of a small pear, it brings a completely new balance to the terms ‘precision’ and ‘engineered’ when used together. Once you get over the sheer mass involved, the connection made is as positive as it substantial as it is secure. Wadax and their partners are clearly serious about delivering a mechanically and optically stable interface.

A brief digression on the subject of USB and network replay…

While audio over USB enjoyed a brief period in the sun during the early days of file replay, it was quickly overtaken by the advent of streaming services and network replay. The problem is that, although convenient, using the network to carry audio data from your server to your DAC exposes both the file content and your audio system to the seriously nasty, unpredictable and noisy environment of the network itself – along with everything from your fridge to the kids’ Gameboys that are connected to it. Of course, you can build a dedicated network, galvanically isolated, with audio grade switches and cables, but it gets seriously expensive to do properly.