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How important is the Switch?


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Hi

My current setup uses a Synology 712 connected to a Linksys 8 port gigabit switch. I also have my Fios wifi router, mac mini, and a Dartzeel DAC/Renderer connected to the switch. I'm wondering how important a role the switch plays in the sound. The Linksys was fairly cheap - around $40. Any suggestions on what would be an upgrade? Is there any compatability issue with the Fios router, as opposed to a able modem/router?

Thanks

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Hi

My current setup uses a Synology 712 connected to a Linksys 8 port gigabit switch. I also have my Fios wifi router, mac mini, and a Dartzeel DAC/Renderer connected to the switch. I'm wondering how important a role the switch plays in the sound. The Linksys was fairly cheap - around $40. Any suggestions on what would be an upgrade? Is there any compatability issue with the Fios router, as opposed to a able modem/router?

Thanks

 

Now that you gotten some less than helpful info. Read some of the threads on networking, fiber etc. If your network is working there should not be any compatibility issues. Sound quality is another story. Ethernet can carry noise to your system. Ethernet filters are one way to help, isolation with fiber networking is another.

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Some users have reported improvements simply from isolating or improving the quality of the electrical supply (which typically is a wall wart) to their network devices.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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In terms of network efficiency a switch is much better than using just a modem/router. Even though they are cheap they are useful little devices especially as you grow your network. This

but pardon the irritating voice.

 

In my home network there was a difference when I switched to hires audio files which were relatively large in comparison to 16/44.1 RBCD files. Initially I used to have dropouts during playback which disappeared with the addition of a network switch. An optical network is still ethernet (with the galvanic isolation) and will still need a switch to operate optimally.

 

Regards.

Win10 Transport + Fidelizer 8.7 + JRMC 28 & HQPlayer | Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock USB |  Job INT | Green Mountain Audio Eos HX

 

 

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Some users have reported improvements simply from isolating or improving the quality of the electrical supply (which typically is a wall wart) to their network devices.

Interesting! Would this include the PSU for the router as well?

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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Hi

My current setup uses a Synology 712 connected to a Linksys 8 port gigabit switch. I also have my Fios wifi router, mac mini, and a Dartzeel DAC/Renderer connected to the switch. I'm wondering how important a role the switch plays in the sound. The Linksys was fairly cheap - around $40. Any suggestions on what would be an upgrade? Is there any compatability issue with the Fios router, as opposed to a able modem/router?

Thanks

 

I have IEEE 802.1Q VLANs setup because I need to isolate sections of my LAN, such as the 1000-base-T backbone to my AV room. The router and managed switch are both compliant with that IEEE specification; also switch is configured for layer 3, which allows for IP address use. Most cheaper switches will only pass layer 2 MAC addresses and aren't usually managed.

 

Both router and switch are Cisco business-class machines.

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Does anyone on this thread know if RJ45/Cat7 network cables send and/or receive any DC power through the cables when connected between a router and a computer? Is pin 4 and 5 used for power?

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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Does anyone on this thread know if RJ45/Cat7 network cables send and/or receive any DC power through the cables when connected between a router and a computer? Is pin 4 and 5 used for power?

 

Ethernet cables do not normally carry power. Various schemes for power over Ethernet have been implemented, some of them standardised, for sending power over unused wires or as common mode over the differential pairs. Switch ports capable of supplying power are usually marked as such.

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The network switch has no bearing on sound quality.

 

Completely agree.

 

I never found that a properly setup switch makes a difference in sound ever. The few people I have helped track down problems with wired cat5e/6/7 problems all had bad cables or connectors.

ReadyNAS Ultra/6 stored flac->GigE network->roon->Uptone JS-2->microRendu->W4S Recovery->W4S DAC-2v2 SE>W4S STP-SE STG2 Preamp->W4S ST-1000 Amplifer->Von Schweikert VR-44

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Ethernet cables do not normally carry power. Various schemes for power over Ethernet have been implemented, some of them standardised, for sending power over unused wires or as common mode over the differential pairs. Switch ports capable of supplying power are usually marked as such.

 

Thanks! :) I am quite interested in the possible capasitive coupling along the lenght of the network wire. I will go ahead and block pin 4 & 5 to see If it will improve things or not. Even if they do not carry power I guess there could be potensial currents present since they are prepared to supply power.

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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The network switch has no bearing on sound quality.

 

Completely agree.

 

I never found that a properly setup switch makes a difference in sound ever. The few people I have helped track down problems with wired cat5e/6/7 problems all had bad cables or connectors.

 

Thanks for your opinion, but one of the other VLAN on my switch is for telephony. My switch provides isolation and voice quality adjustments for that functionality, which can be a notoriously noisy environment. For the AV VLAN, Quality of Servce (QoS) adjustments are available for both video and audio environments.

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Some users have reported improvements simply from isolating or improving the quality of the electrical supply (which typically is a wall wart) to their network devices.

I am one of those people. When I plugged the 12V wall wart SMPS into my PS Audio AC regenerator, I noticed an improvement in sound quality. When I powered the same switch with my linear power supply I noticed no change.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Thanks! :) I am quite interested in the possible capasitive coupling along the lenght of the network wire. I will go ahead and block pin 4 & 5 to see If it will improve things or not. Even if they do not carry power I guess there could be potensial currents present since they are prepared to supply power.

 

Gigabit Ethernet uses all 8 wires, so if you do that you'll be limited to 100 Mbps. Moreover, your switch probably doesn't have PoE or you'd know it. Regular consumer switches never do. Even if it does, I doubt disconnecting those pins will make any difference. You're of course free to try, and if it helps, please do tell us.

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Thanks for your opinion, but one of the other VLAN on my switch is for telephony. My switch provides isolation and voice quality adjustments for that functionality, which can be a notoriously noisy environment. For the AV VLAN, Quality of Servce (QoS) adjustments are available for both video and audio environments.

 

QoS is useful if the network is congested. That's not likely to be the case in a typical home environment. If you're not experiencing dropouts, it won't make a difference.

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Gigabit Ethernet uses all 8 wires, so if you do that you'll be limited to 100 Mbps. Moreover, your switch probably doesn't have PoE or you'd know it. Regular consumer switches never do. Even if it does, I doubt disconnecting those pins will make any difference. You're of course free to try, and if it helps, please do tell us.

 

OK, limiting my network speed to 100 Mbps is nothing I want to do. I do not use PoE. Just normal Gigabit Ethernet with 1Gb full duplex. When I got some time I will try to cover a few pins with electrical tape to see what happens and report back. Otherwise I will most likely head for Acoutic Revives network Isolator.

Since my router is already connected to my Furutech power strip with filter it looks like a LPS would'nt give me any big improvements.

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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OK, limiting my network speed to 100 Mbps is nothing I want to do. I do not use PoE. Just normal Gigabit Ethernet with 1Gb full duplex. When I got some time I will try to cover a few pins with electrical tape to see what happens and report back. Otherwise I will most likely head for Acoutic Revives network Isolator.

Since my router is already connected to my Furutech power strip with filter it looks like a LPS would'nt give me any big improvements.

 

Hi mansr!

After making a detailed investigation through Google regarding Gigabit network I realize that you are 100% correct. All 8 wires is needed and therefore there is no point tapping the pins. It will just make things worse. I guess the network isolator is the only option I have got left. Thanks for your help! :)

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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Hi mansr!

After making a detailed investigation through Google regarding Gigabit network I realize that you are 100% correct. All 8 wires is needed and therefore there is no point tapping the pins. It will just make things worse. I guess the network isolator is the only option I have got left. Thanks for your help! :)

 

Are you experiencing a problem attributable to the network? If not, I see no reason to tinker with it at all.

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Are you experiencing a problem attributable to the network? If not, I see no reason to tinker with it at all.

No problem at all! Quite the opposite. My network is both quick and very stable. Just curious what is possible to do in that area to improve SQ when using UPnP/DNLA.

 

As far as I can see the only options left is to ground the router (external grounding) and possibly use a LAN isolator (Acoustic Revive RLI-1 comes in mind). Do you have any personal experiences in these areas?

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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No problem at all! Quite the opposite. My network is both quick and very stable. Just curious what is possible to do in that area to improve SQ when using UPnP/DNLA.

 

As far as I can see the only options left is to ground the router (external grounding) and possibly use a LAN isolator (Acoustic Revive RLI-1 comes in mind). Do you have any personal experiences in these areas?

 

Ethernet is transformer coupled, so it already provides galvanic isolation. It's of course still possible for high levels of interference to be carried into a system over an Ethernet cable. If you suspect such a problem, turn up the volume high while not playing anything, then unplug the Ethernet cable and see if you hear a difference. If unplugging the cable makes no difference, neither will fancy isolation devices.

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Ethernet is transformer coupled, so it already provides galvanic isolation. It's of course still possible for high levels of interference to be carried into a system over an Ethernet cable. If you suspect such a problem, turn up the volume high while not playing anything, then unplug the Ethernet cable and see if you hear a difference. If unplugging the cable makes no difference, neither will fancy isolation devices.

 

Thanks a lot mansr! Very useful trick! :) I will give it a go to see how it turns out.

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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Hmmm....I have found elimination of the switch to be very beneficial to sound quality.

 

With a 150 foot Blue Jean cable run to my audio system from my router, this cable picks up all sorts of noise. Eliminating this took noise several steps.

 

First a second wireless router configured with a second subnet was placed in the audio system cabinet connected to the long cable run. Next a standalone wireless adapter, powered by an LPS, is hardwired to the music server with a emosystems en70hd isolation transformer between the adapter and server. The server runs Linux with bridging using brctl as a virtual switch. A second Ethernet adapter is used to connect the server to the audiopc, again with a emosystems en70hd in between.

 

I know that Ethernet is supposed to be galvanically isolated, so isolation transformers or fiber connections should have no impact on sound quality. Nevertheless they do. I am not alone in hearing this benefit. Have a read of the network and optical isolation threads. My guess is that there is some high frequency EMI that makes it past the standard Ethernet isolation.

 

Someday I'll experiment with a fiber connection between the music server and audiopc. But for now, after months of experimentation, I am very pleased with the sound quality of the configuration outlined above.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Hmmm....I have found elimination of the switch to be very beneficial to sound quality.

 

First a second wireless router configured with a second subnet was placed in the audio system cabinet connected to the long cable run. Next a standalone wireless adapter, powered by an LPS, is hardwired to the music server with a emosystems en70hd isolation transformer between the adapter and server. The server runs Linux with bridging using brctl as a virtual switch. A second Ethernet adapter is used to connect the server to the audiopc, again with a emosystems en70hd in between.

 

What is your "standalone wireless adapter"? Does it pass high res without issue? I'm hoping to make this work with a microRendu, to avoid drilling holes and running ethernet cable.

EtherRegen > SonicTransporter i9 > opticalRendu > Ayre QX-5 DAC > Ayre KX-R Twenty Preamp > Ayre MX-R Twenty mono amps > YG Kipod Signature Passive speakers.

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What is your "standalone wireless adapter"? Does it pass high res without issue? I'm hoping to make this work with a microRendu, to avoid drilling holes and running ethernet cable.

 

I use a wireless AC bridge to get high res files from my NAS upstairs. Wireless N also worked but the distance from router upstairs to my music room downstairs caused dropouts sometimes. Since upgrading to AC I've had no issues streaming high res (DSD or 192/24 files)

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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