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Article: SOtM sNH-10G Network Switch Review

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What many HiFi companies do is send a manual to the US or local country distributor or a dealer in country. This person helps polish the text. 

 

If this doesn’t happen I honestly don’t care. I believe the value placed on some of this stuff is too high by those who read into these things way too much. If the product is good and I can read the manual for what I need, then I’m good. 

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7 hours ago, incus said:

I'll admit this review sounds more like a marketing piece however I am the owner of two such tricked-out versions of the SOtM switches and can attest that they have introduced very nice improvements into both my speaker and my headphone systems. I have them linked across a good distance via optical. There is increased ease to my listening experience as well as greater detail retrieval, which I attribute to less noise and better timing. I don't want to get into the very thorny subjects of clock phase noise and leakage currents (which probably belong in a that other thread), but I attribute the ease and detail bumps to those factors. I currently run a Small Green Computer Roon Core i7 feeding the first SOtM switch with a dCBL CAT 7 + iSOCat6 combo and then same cable combo to an sMS-200 Ultra that feeds a Qutest dac for two channel. Optical leads to the next switch which feeds another sMS-200 Ultra via the same cable combo which feeds a Holo Spring II KTE for headphones. I formerly had Aqvox switches - both versions - as well as "clock tapped" TP-Llink switches provided as part of the "switch mod" from Crux Audio. The SOtM switch tops them both by a good margin. Outside of the addition of the Spring Dac, the switches are the best upgrade in my digital chain yet. Looking forward to the etherRegen to see it can top this.

My question to you would be, assuming the results you report: would a much cheaper solution like the upcoming opticalModule and switch starter kit from Sonore be just as good? If the noise reduction is in large part due to the optical isolation, and a good clock, it  should.

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1 hour ago, LowMidHigh said:

 

It shows a lot a about the company's ethos when it charges top dollars for its products and then chooses to save on a professional translator.

I used to work in the area of writing English text for company web sites for non native English speakers. Lots of companies/site owners don’t see this as an issue. Even when it is explained to them - with examples - that the English on their site isn’t correct or is lacking stylistically, they don’t think it is something important to correct or to spend money and time on. I don’t understand why, but I can attest that it is not an uncommon attitude.

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Their native language and country of origin don't matter in the least.

 

Hey Chris, what does matter then?

 

My personal opinion is this review lacks any integrity knowing what I know about non-realtime audio reproduction, i.e. you can pull the plug and the music still plays.

 

I would love to see the article writer or SoTM sit blind and using Tidal on Windows 10 tell me during playback when the cable is in the computer or not. Do you think we could arrange this some time?

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You know it's controversial when it stirs the pot up in CA. 

 

I actually recently tried to power my $30 network switch with Uptone J2 just to see if I hear a major difference. I run my Pro iDSD through the switch and use it as a network streamer. I don't hear significant difference. I don't mind investing in something as long as I can hear a significant difference. 

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1 minute ago, gordec said:

You know it's controversial when it stirs the pot up in CA. 

 

I actually recently tried to power my $30 network switch with Uptone J2 just to see if I hear a major difference. I run my Pro iDSD through the switch and use it as a network streamer. I don't hear significant difference. I don't mind investing in something as long as I can hear a significant difference. 

I’d say your approach is very reasonable and one that most people I know use. 

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34 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’ve yet to hear a switch effect audio quality and I don’t understand how it technically could. That said, once in a while we publish articles that are controversial. 

 

I asked the same and told it could. 

 

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SOtM's marketing ploy is to make you want to buy multiple boxes from them to get better sound. That's why they say that running two of these switches sound better and that's why thy sold external clocks for the streaming boxes. All they have to do is get a few people on board from this forum and soon a lot of forum members are falling for it......

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42 minutes ago, STC said:

 

I asked the same and told it could. 

 

 

I've implemented both AVB and AES 67 and I read through the 7 replies.

 

Yamamoto explained what AVB does for you. Sound quality was NEVER mentioned.

 

Protocols like AVB and AES 67 guarantee a quality of service for audio applications that have realtime needs that are Ethernet connected. These protocols have no bearing on reproduction of but only the production of audio.

 

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

That said, once in a while we publish articles that are controversial. 

 

Let's talk about an article that talks about why it can't affect audio playback.

1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

One of the huge benefits of an uncensored comment section is reading the opinions of everyone who is respectful while providing opinions and / or factual information. 

 

I think a larger benefit would be a piece that presents the flip side with some actual data.

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42 minutes ago, STC said:

Hi Ken, could you update the link?  It is taking to a paypal page...

 

The link is correct but it looks like at this morning moment www.sotm-audio.com has been hacked!  The supposed PayPal link t goes to is to lure the unsuspecting into signing in with their PayPal credentials.  :o

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I'm getting the US link okay, but the international buy link results in a warning for an unsafe site, and the URL displayed isn't SOTM.

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2 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

The link is correct but it looks like at this morning moment www.sotm-audio.com has been hacked!  The supposed PayPal link t goes to is to lure the unsuspecting into signing in with their PayPal credentials.  :o

 

I checked the link before clicking on it. It showed the correct address but then got diverted. Insuspect the problem could be with AS. 

 

Clicking on the company link from google search or by typing the address got no problem. 

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9 minutes ago, LowMidHigh said:

So in essence, that $700 clock board runs the same performance as a $10 Crystek 575.

I don't see how your earlier statements lead to this conclusion.  

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2 minutes ago, rickca said:

I don't see how your earlier statements lead to this conclusion.  

 

I suppose those are measurements he took.

 

Regardless, if one views paying for a high-grade chip and utilizing only 1 out of 4 clock lines acceptable, then SOtM is definitely a fitting vendor for them.

 

Personally, I find it scandalous, but I'm sure many others will shrug it off.  Good for SOtM.

 

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1 minute ago, LowMidHigh said:

I suppose those are measurements he took.

If he has measurements of the SOtM sCLK-EX phase noise, I'd love to see them.

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38 minutes ago, LowMidHigh said:

 

Because everyone on this forum is interested in the truth and nothing but the truth, I did some digging and reached an audio engineer, who had taken a number of SOtM products apart.

 

Fasten your seatbelts:

 

In the heart of the iSO-CAT6 is the $3 HanRun single port Ethernet transformer, with a pile of caps and a couple of diodes on each side. In other words, mediocracy screaming to high heaven.

 

As SOtM openly shares, that low-grade pseudo-isolation (iSO-CAT6) is the foundation of their $800 switch. If one opts for the $1,700 version, one gets their clock synthesizer board, but because the switch doesn’t have actual active digital isolators, it’s restricted to only one clock domain. The other 3 available clock lines are wasted (there are 4 with the SiliconLabs synth chip they use). So in essence, that $700 clock board runs the same performance as a $10 Crystek 575.

 

I expect some flakes: SOtM and its associates have financial interests here and actual buyers detest cognitive dissonance. Still, I’m not heaping on the company for the sake of it, rather sharing facts that some may find useful in their decision-making process.

 

As always when people discuss parts, I'm not sure any of it matters. You can make a good sounding unit with cheap parts, and a bad sounding unit with expensive parts. 

 

I have no idea if these devices do anything - and I don't care whether they do or don't. If people try them and think they make their system sound better - good for them. It's also their business if the price/performance/looks ratio is suitable to their budget.

I have nothing to say to them unless they start promoting the device as doing something other  than making THEIR setup sound better to THEM. Once they start making broad claims about the device, then I'd like some proof other than one person's sighted subjective listening impressions about what it does.

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6 hours ago, plissken said:

 

Let's talk about an article that talks about why it can't affect audio playback.

 

I think a larger benefit would be a piece that presents the flip side with some actual data.

If you’re willing to write it or know someone who can, I’ll publish it without a doubt. 

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All LPS's are not equal, I have several.  And use the second tap of my Ghent cable off SPS500 to power a simple Netgear switch because it does reduce digital irritants. The OP

should have compared using his inexpensive switch powered off the SPS500 to the SoTM... I doubt the differences would be that great. And to the usual flat earthers sneering,

pull your head out of the sand and focus on the circuit noise issues, not Ethernet frames. 

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