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$2,500 Ethernet Switch Isolates Audiophiles From their Cash


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2 minutes ago, acg said:

but I am not closed minded enough to dismiss it on mantra alone...

 

For sure. Testing and experimentation certainly might uncover previous unknowns, the unfortunate fact is that with such well established and standardised technologies, the hidden surprises are pretty much exhausted.

 

The experienced pragmatist in me accepts that finding such surprises or revelations is a diminishing possibility. But again, I am perfectly happy to readjust my understanding if new, demonstrably repeatable objective behaviours can be shown. Science cares not if I am right or not, it just tells me what is. To be emotionally invested or entrenched in a dogmatic position is hitching your wagon to a dead horse. I am still waiting for published outcomes to be overturn current understandings and findings. It would be a wonderful thing if it happened as I would learn something new.

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21 minutes ago, MLXXX said:

 

That is a usual response to a request for a recording of an audiophile phenomenon. 

 

Note however that if the effect is in the signal sent to the loudspeakers, that a recording would not need to be made with microphones.  There would be no need to complicate the recordings with room acoustics.

 

Because it is the correct response.  You want someone to give you of evidence of something by not using the system as it is normally used.  The key word here is system, because we are talking about a change upstream perhaps affecting something downstream by an unidentified mechanism and your instinctive call is to break up the system to find the difference.  That is non-intuitive.

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20 minutes ago, El Tel said:

Science

 

...is unfortunately a weaponised word these days.  I try not to say it to anybody even though I hold such a degree myself.  Sort of like "Voldemort" if I believed in magic...

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41 minutes ago, MLXXX said:

I don't struggle with the idea of system noise, which is measurable as SINAD, and which can be heard for example if you place your head next to a loudspeaker when no music source is playing.

 

 

I struggle with the audiophile phenomenon of "noise floor", an apparently unmeasurable phenomenon in the ear of the beholder.  It exists in magazine reviews and audiophile forum posts. It would be nice to to be able to access recordings illustrating it. Surely that isn't too much to ask!

System noise can manifest itself in many ways and forms in a system.  After experiencing a reduction in system noise with quality isolation devices under the amplifiers, I was hooked on the journey of less noise.  As I have said in a previous post, it is the Holy Grail of audio.  With less noise I am more engaged with the music.  Over time I have utilised many strategies and treatments to mitigate system noise.  When nothing is playing if I put my ear to my speakers there is just silence.  Zilch. There may still be some absolutely minimal noise in my system because of the proximity of cable to each other.  If so that is the reality of components near each other because of space restrictions.

 

 

Audio switches are just one strategy.  My network includes a serious passive Ethernet filter.  One short listen and I knew there was less noise in the playback.

 

John

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38 minutes ago, acg said:

 

Because it is the correct response.  You want someone to give you of evidence of something by not using the system as it is normally used.  The key word here is system, because we are talking about a change upstream perhaps affecting something downstream by an unidentified mechanism and your instinctive call is to break up the system to find the difference.  That is non-intuitive.

 

There is nothing stopping the making of a recording of the signal actually delivered to the speaker terminals (a resistive pad would be used to reduce the voltage to suit the ADC) if it is thought that the interference is being picked up by and is audibly affecting the amplifier itself rather than being picked up and having an adverse effect earlier in the chain of reproduction.

 

After all we are not evaluating the speakers and the room, we are evaluating the signal delivered to the speakers. And more specifically how that signal is different in a situation A compared with a situation B.

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34 minutes ago, Assisi said:

When nothing is playing if I put my ear to my speakers there is just silence.  Zilch.

 

If the test of blackness was how much system noise was present when nothing is playing, that would be readily measurable.

 

However from what I've read, the blackness phenomenon is something experienced as the music is playing.  But apparently it is not harmonic distortion or IMD.  It, well, escapes a definition.  It is simply experienced.

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3 minutes ago, MLXXX said:

 

There is nothing stopping the making of a recording of the signal actually delivered to the speaker terminals (a resistive pad would be used to reduce the voltage to suit the ADC) if it is thought that the interference is being picked up by and is audibly affecting the amplifier itself rather than being picked up and having an adverse effect earlier in the chain of reproduction.

 

After all we are not evaluating the speakers and the room, we are evaluating the signal delivered to the speakers. And more specifically how that signal is different in a situation A compared with a situation B.

 

This is not a bad idea. On the basis of trying to control as many variables as possible, and to correctly diagnose what the network is doing, would it not be prudent to get as close to the analogue output stage of the DAC rather than a few steps beyond at the speaker terminals though? This is worth a dig, if someone has the nous, I reckon.

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Just now, El Tel said:

 

This is not a bad idea. On the basis of trying to control as many variables as possible, and to correctly diagnose what the network is doing, would it not be prudent to get as close to the analogue output stage of the DAC rather than a few steps beyond at the speaker terminals though? This is worth a dig, if someone has the nous, I reckon.

 

Yes, logically the first place to look would be the analogue output of the DAC if such a point is accessible, as that would seem a more likely point of EMI vulnerability than the main amplifier.  And it would be before any possible slight masking effects later in the chain of reproduction.

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1 hour ago, El Tel said:

 

For sure. Testing and experimentation certainly might uncover previous unknowns, the unfortunate fact is that with such well established and standardised technologies, the hidden surprises are pretty much exhausted.

 

The experienced pragmatist in me accepts that finding such surprises or revelations is a diminishing possibility. But again, I am perfectly happy to readjust my understanding if new, demonstrably repeatable objective behaviours can be shown. Science cares not if I am right or not, it just tells me what is. To be emotionally invested or entrenched in a dogmatic position is hitching your wagon to a dead horse. I am still waiting for published outcomes to be overturn current understandings and findings. It would be a wonderful thing if it happened as I would learn something new.

As you have noted some posters respond with little or no enthusiasm to many of your posts. 

 

 

Reading some of your recent posts especially the last sentence above there seems to be a minuscule shift in you position from your earlier posts in other threads.  Maybe you are trying to leave yourself a way out just in case.

 

 

Who knows one day you may even become disciple

 

John

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2 hours ago, Assisi said:

I am interested in best sound quality. 

 

Well I wouldn't look to streaming or downloading because what you get is the worst later compressed issues of the music you want to listen to, with no exciting transients to startle you with.

But it's good for mobile music, earphone, car, lift or dinner music etc. 

EG: Compression differences of the same thing from the same master different issue dates  https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/1/year/asc?artist=&album=Yellow Brick

 

Edited by georgehifi
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22 minutes ago, georgehifi said:

 

Well I wouldn't look to streaming or downloading because what you get is the worst later compressed issues of the music you want to listen to, with no exciting transients to startle you with.

But it's good for mobile music, earphone, car, lift or dinner music etc. 

EG: Compression differences of the same thing from the same master  https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/1/year/asc?artist=&album=Yellow Brick

 

I should have qualified what I said, to say in the context of "streaming"  Nevertheless what comes via  streaming is still a pleasure to listen to via the network with quality switch(s) etc.  You may be surprised.  Ripped files via the network from the NAS are definitely superior listening.  As good as the CD

 

John

 

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10 minutes ago, Assisi said:

As you have noted some posters respond with little or no enthusiasm to many of your posts. 

 

(I tend to keep my opinions to myself as to whether a poster's posts are well received.)  I note that how a post is received may be more a reflection of the person reacting to it than of the person posting it.

 

The main subject matter of this thread is an expensive Ethernet switch. You, Assisi, as I understand your position are in a camp that believes that Ethernet switches and cables can and do make big audible differences. You would be in a minority taking that position relative to Australians generally. Many Australians stream video at Megabits per second (Netflix etc) and don't seek to improve the video and/or audio quality by purchasing and trying out premium audiophile switches (some of which claim to improve video as well).  In fact you'd get a blank stare from most people if you suggested that.   They experience no "noise floor" issue needing to be solved.

 

Of course, the fact that  you are in the minority relative to people generally doesn't of itself invalidate your position. It does mean though that you are very likely to see posts asking for you to explain what objective testing you have done, if any, to provide evidence of the adverse noise floor issue that you initially experienced when streaming.

 

If you cannot provide such evidence for your own system, it would nice if someone else on planet Earth could do so for their system.

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2 minutes ago, MLXXX said:

 

(I tend to keep my opinions to myself as to whether a poster's posts are well received.)  I note that how a post is received may be more a reflection of the person reacting to it than of the person posting it.

 

The main subject matter of this thread is an expensive Ethernet switch. You, Assisi, as I understand your position are in a camp that believes that Ethernet switches and cables can and do make big audible differences. You would be in a minority taking that position relative to Australians generally. Many Australians stream video at Megabits per second (Netflix etc) and don't seek to improve the video and/or audio quality by purchasing and trying out premium audiophile switches (some of which claim to improve video as well).  In fact you'd get a blank stare from most people if you suggested that.   They experience no "noise floor" issue needing to be solved.

 

Of course, the fact that  you are in the minority relative to people generally doesn't of itself invalidate your position. It does mean though that you are very likely to see posts asking for you to explain what objective testing you have done, if any, to provide evidence of the adverse noise floor issue that you initially experienced when streaming.

 

If you cannot provide such evidence for your own system, it would nice if someone else on planet Earth could do so for their system.

 

I did not see the post you're referring to, but see the quote. I guess, going back to a statement I made earlier, and paraphrasing, I would not exchange credibility for popularity.

 

As for tone of posts etc, again, unmoved. If I say anything that rubs somebody up the wrong way it's their reaction to own, not mine to protect them from as I've not directly attacked individuals or tried any character assassinations on same based on tone - I have neither the interest or motivation to second-guess what people might infer. Use the site functions and ignore my verbiage, deity knows I have done the same for many who add no value that I can see or just seek personal confrontation rather than helping to uncover what's really going on.

 

On an earlier point - I really appreciated the idea of the ADC on the analogue stage. It's really got me thinking. The search for avenues of investigation, in and of itself, is a worthy undertaking.

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1 hour ago, Assisi said:

streaming is still a pleasure to listen to

Yes  it is, I have it on all day in the background, and when I hear something I really like, it's straight to Dynamic Range Data Base to find the least compressed CD version and then buy the cd used on ebay

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Assisi said:

You may be surprised.  Ripped files via the network from the NAS are definitely superior listening.  As good as the CD

I believe a ripped file from a cd to a HD is as good as the cd.

 

Cheers George

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1 hour ago, MLXXX said:

 

(I tend to keep my opinions to myself as to whether a poster's posts are well received.)  I note that how a post is received may be more a reflection of the person reacting to it than of the person posting it.

 

The main subject matter of this thread is an expensive Ethernet switch. You, Assisi, as I understand your position are in a camp that believes that Ethernet switches and cables can and do make big audible differences. You would be in a minority taking that position relative to Australians generally. Many Australians stream video at Megabits per second (Netflix etc) and don't seek to improve the video and/or audio quality by purchasing and trying out premium audiophile switches (some of which claim to improve video as well).  In fact you'd get a blank stare from most people if you suggested that.   They experience no "noise floor" issue needing to be solved.

 

Of course, the fact that  you are in the minority relative to people generally doesn't of itself invalidate your position. It does mean though that you are very likely to see posts asking for you to explain what objective testing you have done, if any, to provide evidence of the adverse noise floor issue that you initially experienced when streaming.

 

If you cannot provide such evidence for your own system, it would nice if someone else on planet Earth could do so for their system.

I am quite aware that my position is not mainstream.  I am also not mainstream on various other matters.  I have said in numerous posts previously that I do not do tests.  I just try and listen to my system.  With respect to noise floor my first hallelujah moment was well before I streamed music.  With a network I started with inexpensive switches and cables.  Then out of curiosity I tried a switch designated for audio.  Now it is just work in progress.  Improve and then more improvement.  As I have said, many or most of the posts in this thread and elsewhere come from people who do not express that their position comes from any actual experience of switches.

 

 

An example of denial is Paul McGowan from PS Audio who is on record as saying no benefit with an Ethernet switch.  In the past he has denied benefits from other components such as Pre amps.  That position changed.  I predict that one day PS Audio will have in its product list an Audio switch. 

 

 

In terms of listening all it takes for me to perceive a difference or benefit is a note or two from a guitar or a piano from something that I am familiar with.  It is easy.  Our brains are in relative terms subtly different.  Mine is tuned to respond and experience particular pleasure with definite notes.  It is like a dopamine hit for me.

 

 

I am aware that there are quite a number of SNA members who use and value audio switches.  Most of them cannot be bothered with the posting and the responses such as those that I get so they do not post.  I have been asked numerous times why do I bother to post? I just do.  I know that some posters read what I say and start the journey.  It has been said that I am dangerous person to be around as if you follow my suggestions you will spend money but there is an upside.  As streaming becomes more and more universal so will the development of networking and the use of audio switches.  It is inevitable.  Then those who have the switches will be in the majority.

 

John

Edited by Assisi
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19 minutes ago, georgehifi said:

I believe a ripped file from a cd to a HD is as good as the cd.

The network player that I have loads the NAS file or CD into memory and plays from the memory to the DAC.  The DAC is set to upscale to 88.2.  It can go higher but to just double the resolution is ideal.  I think that it is better than just playing from a CD. 

John

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26 minutes ago, Assisi said:

I think that it is better than just playing from a CD. 

 

 

Not if it originally came from a streamed/downloaded compressed version issue

EG: The compressed 2014 streamed/downloaded https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/59945 or https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/59945 

or https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/60154

 

Verses the uncompressed 1987 cd version of the same thing https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/162843 and https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/162844

 

Like my signature says,  compression is "If you have no quiet, you have no loud" (there's no dynamic range)

 

Cheers George

Edited by georgehifi
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56 minutes ago, Assisi said:

As streaming becomes more and more universal so will the development of networking and the use of audio switches.  It is inevitable.  Then those who have the switches will be in the majority.

 

Well if in the future switches marked audiophile were only somewhat more expensive then perhaps a significant percentage of dedicated audiophiles would end up getting one, if only on the off-chance that it might provide a benefit, whether or not they would actually hear any difference.  I think a similar philosophy routinely arises when choosing interconnects: a tendency to choose more than the basic quality as it might make a difference.

 

Alternatively the dedicated audiophile might choose to acquire an "audiophile grade" streamer and rely on it alone to be designed to filter out EMI coming from an Ethernet cable!

 

 

For myself the internet comes to the house by way of NBN Hybrid Fibre Coaxial, and passes through an Optus supplied router, then connecting via a short length of Ethernet cable to the main pc used for music, or via wi-fi for other devices such as the TV set used for video streaming. 

 

The idea of interposing an additional switch has no appeal to me. As matters stand, the pc buffers incoming streamed audio with an amply sized buffer. Similarly, the TV set buffers incoming video and audio streamed packets.  There are no glitches (there are very occasional outages) and there is never an audible "noise floor" unless the source material itself is noisy (such as with a very old black and white film, or a transfer of a 78rpm shellac disc).

 

 

Edited by MLXXX
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22 minutes ago, georgehifi said:

 

 

Not I believe if it came from a streamed/downloaded compressed version issue

EG: The compressed 2014 streamed/downloaded https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/59945 or https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/59945 

or https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/60154

 

Verses the uncompressed 1987 cd version of the same thing https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/162843 and https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/162844

 

Like my signature says  "If you have no quiet, you have no loud" (there's no dynamic range)

 

Cheers George

I am talking about files on the NAS that I have ripped from CDs that I have plus down loads or the actual CD  .  Anything from the NAS goes via the network that includes several switches.   Some of the downloaded files I have  are serious recordings.  The playback is wonderful.  The streaming is something else.

John

Edited by Assisi
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8 minutes ago, MLXXX said:

 

Well if in the future switches marked audiophile were only somewhat more expensive then perhaps a significant percentage of dedicated audiophiles would end up getting one, if only on the off-chance that it might provide a benefit, whether or not they would actually hear any difference.  I think a similar philosophy routinely arises when choosing interconnects: a tendency to choose more than the basic quality as it might make a difference.

 

Alternatively the dedicated audiophile might choose to acquire an "audiophile grade" streamer and rely on it alone to be designed to filter out EMI coming from an Ethernet cable!

 

 

For myself the internet is supplied by way of NBN Hybrid Fibre Coaxial through an Opus supplied router and connects via a short length of Ethernet cable to the main pc used for music, or via wi-fi for other devices in the house such as the TV set used for video streaming. 

 

The idea of interposing an additional switch has no appeal to me. As matters stand, the pc buffers incoming streamed audio with an amply sized buffer. Similarly, the TV set buffers incoming video and audio streamed packets.  There are no glitches (there are very occasional outages) and there is never an audible "noise floor" unless the source material itself is noisy (such as with a very old black and white film, or a transfer of a 78rpm shellac disc).

 

 

So you have an identical position on interconnects,

 

That is very illuminating, thanks.

Edited by muon*
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5 minutes ago, Assisi said:

I am talking about files on the NAS that I have ripped from CDs

 

Yes I know that's why I said "if", but if you ripped those from a cd >1995 issue then your no better off than copying it from a streamed/downloaded version https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/1/year/asc?artist=&album=Yellow Brick as just about everything after 1995 was compressed.

 

Cheers George

Edited by georgehifi
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56 minutes ago, Assisi said:

I am quite aware that my position is not mainstream.  I am also not mainstream on various other matters.  I have said in numerous posts previously that I do not do tests.  I just try and listen to my system.  With respect to noise floor my first hallelujah moment was well before I streamed music.  With a network I started with inexpensive switches and cables.  Then out of curiosity I tried a switch designated for audio.  Now it is just work in progress.  Improve and then more improvement.  As I have said, many or most of the posts in this thread and elsewhere come from people who do not express that their position comes from any actual experience of switches.

 

 

An example of denial is Paul McGowan from PS Audio who is on record as saying no benefit with an Ethernet switch.  In the past he has denied benefits from other components such as Pre amps.  That position changed.  I predict that one day PS Audio will have in its product list an Audio switch. 

 

 

In terms of listening all it takes for me to perceive a difference or benefit is a note or two from a guitar or a piano from something that I am familiar with.  It is easy.  Our brains are in relative terms subtly different.  Mine is tuned to respond and experience particular pleasure with definite notes.  It is like a dopamine hit for me.

 

 

I am aware that there are quite a number of SNA members who use and value audio switches.  Most of them cannot be bothered with the posting and the responses such as those that I get so they do not post.  I have been asked numerous times why do I bother to post? I just do.  I know that some posters read what I say and start the journey.  It has been said that I am dangerous person to be around as if you follow my suggestions you will spend money but there is an upside.  As streaming becomes more and more universal so will the development of networking and the use of audio switches.  It is inevitable.  Then those who have the switches will be in the majority.

 

John

Thanks for continuing to post, John

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8 minutes ago, MLXXX said:

Well if in the future switches marked audiophile were only somewhat more expensive then perhaps a significant percentage of dedicated audiophiles would end up getting one,

Already there is significant variation in price that tends to reflect quality.  Price less than $1k to  $10K+.  No different to other aspects of audio

John

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1 minute ago, Assisi said:

Price less than $1k to  $10K+.  No different to other aspects of audio

 

Perhaps so, but if I had a lazy $10K to spend on audio gear it would not be an ethernet switch.

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2 minutes ago, Niktech said:

Thanks for continuing to post, John

I have posted more today than normal as the weather is not conducive to being in the garden where I would prefer to be with my plants.

John

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