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Ethernet switches - PartA: Switches List, info & Experience


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10 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Do you mean without the 2960 upstream?

It was a test to see whether anyone was paying attention!  ? ?  And you pass! 

 

Thank you, corrected original post.

Edited by Snoopy8
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Some food for thought ... SOtM advocates that 2 daisy chained switches improves sound quality, Paul Pang actually has a product which is 2 switches in one box and I've read about people trying different combos of dual audiophile switches, and a favourite seems to be Melco upstream a with SOtM downstream which seems to be a good combination of each of their sound qualities. That's $6k of swìtches plus cables and lps/psu's!!

 

I'm wondering if for a given budget/total cost it would be more worthwhile to get 2 lower cost audio switches rather than one higher cost switch.

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7 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Some food for thought ... SOtM advocates that 2 dausy chained switches inproves sound wuality, Paul Pang actually hasa product which is 2 switches in one box and I've read about people trying different combos of dual audiophile switches, and a favourite seems to be Melco upstream a with SOtM downstream which seems to be a good combinatiin of each of their sound qualities. Thats $6k of swutches plus cables and lps/psu's.

 

I'm wondering if for a given budget/total cost it would be more worthwhile to get 2 lower cost audio switches rather than one higher cost switch.

6k for a switch or two, really?

Get an EtherRegen for 1/6th the price and be blown away. IMHO

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45 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Some food for thought ... SOtM advocates that 2 dausy chained switches inproves sound wuality, Paul Pang actually hasa product which is 2 switches in one box and I've read about people trying different combos of dual audiophile switches, and a favourite seems to be Melco upstream a with SOtM downstream which seems to be a good combinatiin of each of their sound qualities. Thats $6k of swutches plus cables and lps/psu's.

 

I'm wondering if for a given budget/total cost it would be more worthwhile to get 2 lower cost audio switches rather than one higher cost switch.

 

Paul Pang now advocates 4.

 

 

It's worth worthwhile to understand why there's an advantage, if any, and whether there's a more elegant way to realise or exceed it.

(Hint: probably).

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13 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

 

Paul Pang now advocates 4.

 

 

It's worth worthwhile to understand why there's an advantage, if any, and whether there's a more elegant way to realise or exceed it.

(Hint: probably).

@rmpfyf  can you explain why 2 switches in tandem would give an advantage?

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5 minutes ago, frednork said:

@rmpfyf  can you explain why 2 switches in tandem would give an advantage?

I'd suggest it's noise attenuation, and a filter would do just fine instead.

Timing accuracy is unaffected.

Any packet management could be done using a managed switch rather than a few dumb units.

 

2 switches are a band aid IMHO.

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1 minute ago, rmpfyf said:

I'd suggest it's noise attenuation, and a filter would do just fine instead.

Timing accuracy is unaffected.

Any packet management could be done using a managed switch rather than a few dumb units.

 

2 switches are a band aid IMHO.

Thanks!  is noise attenuation easily measurable?

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News about Chord's new switch due out later this year

https://www.whathifi.com/news/chord-company-revives-english-electric-debuts-network-switch

Some people on the Naim forum heard it at the Bristol Hifi show and said it was better than a standard switch.

 

** Link to website, not much details

https://englishelectric.uk

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23 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

Some people on the Naim forum heard it at the Bristol Hifi show and said it was better than a standard switch.

Just about every review I could find about Chord 'streaming' cables and many other ethernet things for audio say the same thing, which is kinda a no-brainer and not helpful really.  I have read some things that compare differences between some Chord streaming cables, for instance, hòw the Music is better than Sarum ARAY, and that is a lot more useful.

 

Reviewers of switches need to stop comparing with standard switches and compare with some other point of reference like is done with othèr audio gear.  Otherwise its like concludinģ hi end gear ìs better than somethìng cheap fròm K mart ... kinda predictable.

 

On 27/02/2020 at 6:31 PM, awayward said:

Get an EtherRegen for 1/6th the price and be blown away. IMHO

Well, some have compared:

- one ER with one SOtM* (* = fully upgraded),

- 2 ERs with 2 SOtMs*,

- 1 ER añd 1 SOtM* with 2 SOtMs* ...

and concluded/preferred SoTM* over ER in all combos. Of course, ER is 1/3 the cost.

 

And others compared 2 Melcos with 2 SOtMs* with 1 of each and preferŕed the latter.

 

But I'm not about to spend $6k on switches but would speculate that:

 

- 2 ERs ($2k) would sound better than 1 SOtM ($3ķ), and cost less.

- 2 Bonn 8s might be better than 1 ER.

‐ 1 Bonn 8 (upstream) and 1 ER (downstream) ($1600) may be better than upgraded 1 SOtM ($3k) and cost less.

 

Or perhaps 1 Gigafoìl and 1 EŔ ($2k) better than SOtM ($3k) using fibre upstrèam and cost less.

?

Edited by dbastin
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10 hours ago, dbastin said:

Just about every review I could find about Chord 'streaming' cables and many other ethernet things for audio sày the same thing, which is kinda a no brainer and not helpful really.  I have read some things that compare differences between some Chord streaming cables, for instance , hòw the Music is better than Sarum ÀRAY, and that is a lot more useful.

 

Reviewers of switches need to stop comparing with standard switches and compare with some other point of reference like is done with othèr audio gear.  Otherwise its like concludinģ hi end gear ìs better than somethìng cheap fròm K mart ... kinda predictable.

But you are in the camp who agree audiophile switches changes the sound. Just look at the other thread (& other forums) to see the vocal opposition. Chord and others have to convince the skeptical majority hence the comparison with standard switches.  

 

Talking of sound, there were 2 users of the Cisco 2960 on the Naim forum who preferred it over the ER and Melco switches. I suspect value proposition comes into play because those users were not prepared to pay much more. Which brings me to your other points.

10 hours ago, dbastin said:

Well, some hàs compared: - - one ER with one SOtM (fully upgraded),

- 2 ERs with 2 SOtMs,

- 1 ER añd 1 SOtM with 2 SOtMs ...

and concluded/preferred SoTM over ER in aĺl combos. Of course ER is 1/3 the cost.

And òthers compared 2 Melcos with 2 SOtMS with 1 of each and preferŕed the latter.

 

But I'm not about to spend $6k on switches but would speculate that:

 

- 2 ERs ($2k) would sound better than 1 SOtM ($3ķ), and cost less.

- 2 Bonn 8s might be better than 1 ER.

‐ 1 Bonn 8 (upstream) and 1 ER (downstream) ($1600) may be better than upgraded 1 SOtM ($3k) and cost less.

 

Or perhaps 1 Gigafoìl and 1 EŔ ($2k) better than SOtM ($3k) using fibre upstrèam and cost less.

?

I agree spending $6K is too much, which is why I went for the ER.  I did agonise over paying $1K for a switch but now have no hesitation recommending the ER.

 

I do have plans to test with more than 1 audiophile switch. I suspect I have made the biggest gain with one ER and any further improvement will be smaller. It will be an interesting exercise...

Edited by Snoopy8
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Hi All,

 

Interesting thread....I'd stopped reading these post installing my TP Link MC100 media converters as I felt that gave me a big enough boost in SQ & reading all the Ethernet, switch, media converter posts started to hurt my head!

 

Anywho, I'm now thinking maybe there are more gains to be had over my existing digital system; this is my current set up.

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > TP Link MC100 > 1 mtr multi-mode fibre > TP Link MC100 > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > Innous Mk III ROON Server > Generic Cat6 RJ45 > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

 

I'm currently only using SMPS that were supplied with the media converters & my switch, I'm also using generic Cat6 Ethernet cables so maybe gains to be had here?? Any suggestions, i.e. 9V Ifi iPower or similar? A LPS on my existing 100M switch &/or upgrade cables?

 

However, if I were to go down the upgraded switch route, would I place it here in my chain?

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > EtherREGEN Type B port output > TP Link MC100 > 1 mtr multi-mode fibre > TP Link MC100 > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > Innous Mk III ROON Server > Generic Cat6 RJ45 > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Cheers

Matt

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1 hour ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > EtherREGEN Type B port output > TP Link MC100 > 1 mtr multi-mode fibre > TP Link MC100 > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > Innous Mk III ROON Server > Generic Cat6 RJ45 > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

Feeding the B port to the PSA will give the best results.

 

56 minutes ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

Just on a side note, anyone using the SFP connection as if I were to go down this road, I maybe able to remove the cheap TP Link switch by using the SFP connection, the A ports would be used for Foxtel, Oppo, Fetch TV & HT Amp?

What you are proposing may be possible. I do not have any hands on experience with SFP and can only quote what they say

Quote

Only Gigabit LC-optical or copper interface modules are compatible with the SFP cage of the EtherREGEN. They can be SX multi-mode, LX multi-mode, or LX single-mode, as long as they are Gigabit and match what is used at the other end of the optical cable.

 

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Thanks,

 

Not sure the SFP will work with the PSA DAC as it's bridge will only accept 100M connection, not Gigabyte?

 

So what you're saying is this would be a better set up?

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > TP Link MC100 > 1 mtr multi-mode fibre > TP Link MC100 > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > EtherREGEN Type B port output > Innous Mk III ROON Server > Generic Cat6 RJ45 > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

 

Cheers

Matt

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6 minutes ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

Not sure the SFP will work with the PSA DAC as it's bridge will only accept 100M connection, not Gigabyte?

 

So what you're saying is this would be a better set up?

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > TP Link MC100 > 1 mtr multi-mode fibre > TP Link MC100 > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > EtherREGEN Type B port output > Innous Mk III ROON Server > Generic Cat6 RJ45 > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

Sorry, do not know the PSA DAC in detail.  Not talking about feeding SFP to PSA DAC. Feeding to Innous as you proposed is probably the way to go and it looks like the setup will be similar to the PSA owners using the EtherReegen on Audiophile: Style e.g. so-no-mahBigAlMc 

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@mattjtaylor2809

I suggest start with upgrades to whatever connects to the Roon Endpoint.  With both cables and switches the biggest gains seem to be there, and each step away from these end point things, the gains are less.

 

BTW, seperating Ropn Core and Roon Ready could give great benefits (did for me) - I recall DS bridge is Roon Ready. It appears you are doing this.

 

Then find out if the 2 ethernet ports on your server are a switch or not - the specs say 'bridged'.

 

Then consider if you need a switch.  You might benefit from just a Sonore Optical Module and lps, or isolator like Gigifoil v4.

 

Then consider this ... 

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > TP Link MC100 > fibre > EtherREGEN (SFP) A Side > B side port output > Innous Mk III ROON Server (LAN port) > (Streamer port) > Upgraded Ethernet cable > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

In this ER is a media convertor so could be replaced with Sonore Optical Module for a much lower cost.

 

As I understand ER operates at 100M rather than Gigabit, so maybe that is just a hardware compatibility issue.

 

The ER actually has 2 moats if you include the isolation the fibre SFP provides.  So using fibre may not be any better than what isolation it achieves without fibre.

 

And so a simpler set up could be ...

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > EtherREGEN A side port input > ER B Side output > Innous Mk III ROON Server (LAN input)> (streamer output) > upgraded ethernet > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

In this, Gigafoil could replace ER.

 

If the Innuos is not a switch, then ..

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > EtherREGEN A side port input > ER A Side output > Innous Mk III ROON Server (LAN input)> AND ER B Side> upgraded ethernet > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

 

Actually, this might perform best (even if Innuos has a switch it might not be as good as ER) - ya never know.

 

In short, start with upgrading ethernet cable to DS DAC, and then work upstream one step at a time until you are happy.  Another member noted gains even from grounding and upgrading power to modem/router - he's got Shunyata Sigma ethernet to the endpoint.

 

Are you aware of the ER owners thread created by Snoopy?

And thread Ethernet Cables for Audio?

Edited by dbastin
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Hi Snoopy - I'll check out those links & check configurations Vs mine.

 

dbastin - I do bridge my Ethernet connection on the Innous, i.e. from 2nd media converter > LAN port > Streamer port > PS Audio DSJnr DAC.

 

380212777_Annotation2020-03-02165837.png.2e02eb6e0516f6deaf0c3e888a076330.png

 

Interestingly, some of the boffins on the PS forums suggest connecting the Innous streamer to my DAC via optical or USB NOT via Ethernet into the bridge?? I'm chasing up why as you would loose full MQA unfolding but if it sounds better then I'm not stuck on bridged Ethernet.

 

I'll look into the other suggestions you mentioned.

 

I have read Snoopys ER thread plus a similar thread on the PS Audio forums so trying to better understand options but I do like your suggestion of starting a close to the end point as possible, that makes sense.

 

I'm trying to find the Ethernet cables for audio thread?

 

Cheers

Matt

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@mattjtaylor2809

Brace yourself ... and your wallet!

 

3 hours ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

 

380212777_Annotation2020-03-02165837.png.2e02eb6e0516f6deaf0c3e888a076330.pngInterestingly, some of the boffins on the PS forums suggest connecting the Innous streamer to my DAC via optical or USB NOT via Ethernet into the bridge??

Hmm, a bridge and a switch are not the same - apparebtly a key difference is a switch has a buffer, and does error checking.  I suspect the Innuos streamer port is optimised as 'out' only, which is fine in this case, however I am curious if it isolates and performs as well as ER and other switches - it might still pass on noise to the DAC.

 

Those suggesting USB might do so for this reason, or because thet prefer their outboard Roon Ready render to that of the DSJnr bridge.

 

However, you might wanna check if the DSJnr is simply recieving streamed data from Innuos via ethernet (instead of USB), or if it is acting as renderer.

 

When I discovered this difference and dedicated my Antipodes Edge as Roon Core (server) and Devialet Pro as Roon Ready (renderer) it was a revelation - even with generic Cat 5e.

Edited by dbastin
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12 hours ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

Hi All,

 

Interesting thread....I'd stopped reading these post installing my TP Link MC100 media converters as I felt that gave me a big enough boost in SQ & reading all the Ethernet, switch, media converter posts started to hurt my head!

 

Anywho, I'm now thinking maybe there are more gains to be had over my existing digital system; this is my current set up.

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > TP Link MC100 > 1 mtr multi-mode fibre > TP Link MC100 > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > Innous Mk III ROON Server > Generic Cat6 RJ45 > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

 

I'm currently only using SMPS that were supplied with the media converters & my switch, I'm also using generic Cat6 Ethernet cables so maybe gains to be had here?? Any suggestions, i.e. 9V Ifi iPower or similar? A LPS on my existing 100M switch &/or upgrade cables?

 

However, if I were to go down the upgraded switch route, would I place it here in my chain?

 

TP Link-SF1008D 100M Switch > EtherREGEN Type B port output > TP Link MC100 > 1 mtr multi-mode fibre > TP Link MC100 > generic Cat 6 RJ45 > Innous Mk III ROON Server > Generic Cat6 RJ45 > PS Audio DirectStream DAC Ethernet input.

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Cheers

Matt

Firstly, not sure if you saw, but I started a thread on the optical Ethernet converters a while back...  The iFi iPowers make a difference on the converters.


Second, I have just today installed my EtherRegen!  I am using it with the fibre converters upstream currently.  Early days.

 

Finally, if you use your Innuos server as the Roon core, and the DSJ as a Roon Ready endpoint (renderer) with a bridged Ethernet link between core and endpoint, this will give best SQ.  Better than USB and optical from the Innuos to the DSJ.  However, the bridging Ethernet cable is the critical link and changes in this cable will be audible.  I use an Antipodes CX + EX combo in a similar configuration.

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That previous thread had some good info and potential, but sadly got closed ... so as part of my series of threads on ethernet for audio I started this one ...

@BAM, perhaps you could share experiences with Aqvox in this thread?

1 hour ago, Stereophilus said:

I use an Antipodes CX + EX combo in a similar configuration

I'm pretty sure Antipodes advised me the CX, DX3 and EX have a 'switch' rather than 'bridge'.  This may make a difference?

 

I am curious to hear how the EX/CX switch compares to ER, and Paul Pang switches.

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8 hours ago, Stereophilus said:

Finally, if you use your Innuos server as the Roon core, and the DSJ as a Roon Ready endpoint (renderer) with a bridged Ethernet link between core and endpoint, this will give best SQ.  Better than USB and optical from the Innuos to the DSJ.  However, the bridging Ethernet cable is the critical link and changes in this cable will be audible.  I use an Antipodes CX + EX combo in a similar configuration.

This is my exact set up & it's my understanding as the best set up for SQ but reading numerous "SQ USB Vs Bridge" over on the PS Audio forums it seems that people are leaving the Bridge II in droves, even asking Paul McGowan to remove it!

 

What they seem to be going back to is using a USB digital interface like Singxer SU-1 or the Matrix SPDIF 2 into i2s.....BUT, do they have a streamer like the Innous with bridged ethernet which is supposed to be a good solution?

 

I'm 95% happy with my digital front end, it sounds pretty dam good but, it can sometimes be a little harsh, possibly digital glare so I'm happy enough to spen some cash if I can improve the sound by another 2-3%, hopefully more.

 

Cheers

Matt

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2 hours ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

if I can improve the sound by another 2-3%, hopefully more

I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised how much more than 2-3% upgrading the cable from Innuos to DSJnr will gain.

 

Sorry I create expectation bias. ?

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