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Building a DIY Music Server


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On 9/9/2020 at 4:40 AM, ASRMichael said:

@seeteeyou the base clock TDP is only 95w, but I run at 5.0ghz with HQ player. So probably around 140w. 

 

https://www.monsterlabo.com/the-beast

https://www.monsterlabo.com/compatibility-the-beast

https://www.monsterlabo.com/page-d-articles/the-beast-batch-2

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The ATX PC case with a dual passive cooling solution able to cool down 600W

 

Certainly NOT the cheapest by any means, though we don't have THAT many choices to begin with IMHO.

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23 hours ago, tgb said:

Thanks Exocer & SoulAnalogue for feedback vs clocks.

 

The question is : what's important => 

- the current to power the clock ? 

Something special in the PinkFaun power supply ? far far better than a MPaudio module (LT3045 based) ?

 

The connor winfield ocxo clock draws 600-800ma at startup, while 200-300ma after 30s of start

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19 minutes ago, Soul Analogue said:

2137982916_WhatsAppImage2020-10-11at7_09_58PM.thumb.jpeg.e6636c940a1c8bb069ad28666cbd3e59.jpegManaged to take sometime to do the wirings for the LPS during the weedend.....

Looks very well built! What will this be replacing? Interested in your before and after impressions.

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1 minute ago, Exocer said:

Looks very well built! What will this be replacing? Interested in your before and after impressions.

nth is replaced...it is just my first attempt of LPS to power the EPYC....

not bother to listen CAS with SMPS ATX psu....not even with ATX DC converter module....

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2 hours ago, Soul Analogue said:

nth is replaced...it is just my first attempt of LPS to power the EPYC....

not bother to listen CAS with SMPS ATX psu....not even with ATX DC converter module....

Acknowledged. You could have also replaced a less prominent off the shelf LPS for all I know 😀, but I see and agree with your approach although I am indeed listening with an SMPS for now. Hopefully this changes soon.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Looking forward to any joint ventures you have together. 

@Nenon Ditto this.

 

Excited for the further advancements you will bring to the DIY community. Sean Jacobs has been a pleasure for me to do business with. Great guy!

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4 hours ago, Nenon said:

I am now officially affiliated with Sean Jacobs.

Please let us know if there's an opportunity to jump in on the FrankenRouter order. Your solution is exactly what I'm looking for.  I'm in!

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On 10/11/2020 at 10:00 PM, Soul Analogue said:

2137982916_WhatsAppImage2020-10-11at7_09_58PM.thumb.jpeg.e6636c940a1c8bb069ad28666cbd3e59.jpegManaged to take sometime to do the wirings for the LPS during the weedend.....

Hi @Soul Analogue, cool build! looks like a CLC approach... What regulator are you using? any insights on the actual design are much appreciated!!

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16 hours ago, Nenon said:

Just so everyone is aware - I am now officially affiliated with Sean Jacobs.

 

Per the forum rules:

1. My signature clearly displays that.

2. I will not promote his products but can answer any questions you have.

 

That is actually good news for the DIY community here, because:

a) I am not doing any of that to pay my bills. Any work I do with Sean is planned to be invested back in my hobby!

b) I will have access to as many of his DC4 rails as I need for my personal experiments. And that is very exciting news.

So what can I do with some extra cash for my DIY experiments and a number of DC4 rails available? Hmmm, I can think of A LOT OF THINGS! And I hope I have the time to do all of them. 

 

You can expect me to continue to share any successful DIY experiments as I always have. I understand if you take my words with a grain of salt from now on. And you should! But my only goal and agenda remains to advance the level of my system.

Congratulations for this partnership.

And thank’s for all the good things you share with the community.

PCserver Supermicro X11SAA under Daphile  ,Jcat pcie net card ,Etherregen,e-red dock endpoint,powered by LPS 1.2 , SPS 500 , Sean Jacobs level 3 psu,  DAC Audiomat Maestro 3, Nagra Classic Amp , Hattor passive preamplifier , Martin Logan montis

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On 10/5/2020 at 10:10 PM, Nenon said:

 

I can't comment for other people, but I can explain why you don't see my system details.

1. It constantly changes / evolves.

2. I rarely use commercial products. Most of my system is custom built components or DIY stuff. No one would really understand exactly what I have in my system as it's not as simple as listing brands / models.

3. I almost always have things in my system I can't really talk about. 

 

I was asked to describe my system recently, and here is my answer. 

 

However, what I need to link in my profile details is that I recently decided to help Sean Jacobs with his DC4 orders in North America. In order to be in compliance with the forum rules, I have stopped discussing his products. I also need to update my profile to reflect that but we are still finalizing some details. I have made Chris Connaker aware of all this. 

 

I was also working on a couple of products for myself, but if I partner with Sean I could make those available to other people too. 

One of them is a pretty nice and solid audiophile chassis for the Ubiquiti Edge Router SFP with built-in two rails of Sean Jacobs power supply inside. It's a solid chassis with vibration treatment and damping, Gaia feet, and a world class 2-rail LPS, somewhere between a DC3 and a DC4 but closer to a DC3. The idea is to fit the Ubiquiti Edge Router SFP inside - you plug one DC rail to the router and have another DC rail to power up your cable modem or another network device. It's super easy and everyone who can use a screwdriver would be able to do it. It significantly improves the quality of the Edge router because of the better chassis, vibration treatment, and good linear power supply. I am designing this for me. It improves my streaming quality and helps me reduce the number of boxes and power supplies in my system. If other people are interested, I may turn this into a product. Still deciding how involved I want to be in the audio business to be honest.

I am very passionate about DIY audio and the way I look at it is that these projects I am thinking to get involved with would help me sponsor my hobby and do all the experiments that needed decent financing. I have tons of fresh ideas in my head that I would like to try and don't mind sharing any successful stories, so we can all build up on them. 


Hi Nenon 

Why did you choose the edge router over the D-Link DGS-1210-10 with the same SOC as the buffalo? 

Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

Modded Buffalo-fiber-EtherRegen, DC3- Isoregen, Lush^2

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47 minutes ago, Nenon said:

I am confused by this question. The Ubiquiti Edge Router is a router.

D-Link DGS-1210-10 and Buffalo BS-GS2016 are switches. So I did not chooses the Ubiquiti Edge Router over the D-Link/Buffalo. I use both.

 

We've talked about this, but here is my story on network equipment and how it all started.

 

Some time ago, I looked at my network, and decided to try a couple of things there. My Internet provider (Xfinity but also most ISPs in the US) send you an all-in-one network device that has at least 4 functions. It's a cable modem, a network router, a WiFi access point, and a network switch. Some have more features like phone gateways, firewalls, etc. Given that it does so many functions, it is:
a. a cheap and crappy device that does a lot of things but nothing really good; and
b. a device that has somewhat high current requirements (in order to be able to perform all functions).
Because of “b” it does not come with a typical 12V / 1A brick power adapter, but you have to connect it to the mains and it has a built-in SMPS. In other words, not easy to power up with a LPS unless you open it and do some mods. 

 

I thought, what if I can find an all-in-one device that can accept DC power. I started looking for one, talked to several people at Comcast/Xfinity, but it turned out there is no device with DC input that is certified by my ISP for my area. This is when I started looking at what other options I've had. And I realized that I would have to use separate devices. It made sense to try that. We don’t use surround receivers that can do everything in our high-end 2-channel systems. We use separates. Let’s try this with the network equipment, which in a way can be considered a “source” for our audio system when streaming Tidal/Qobuz.
I decided to try using a separate cable modem (just a modem without any other features) and a generic Wifi Router. That was an immediate (small) improvement even before powering with LPS. Then I powered the cable modem with a LPS and that was a bigger improvement. Then I tested different cable modems and realized that they make a difference too. There were two modems I liked, but I eventually settled on the Arris SB8200 cable modem that takes 12V DC. 

 

At this stage my network looked like this:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Linksys WiFi Router --> audio network.
 

The next step was to revise the Linksys WiFi Router part. I tried powering it with LPS. It was an improvement but still noisy. I suspected the WiFi part of it was the noisiest part, so I decided to try splitting this into two components - a simple router and a WiFi access point. I started looking for well designed and very simple routers. I wanted to get something that accepts DC power, does not consume a lot, and it's a solidly designed but yet simple router. The $59 Ubiquiti EdgeRouter seemed really good. I bought one and it turned out it sounded really really good when powered by a LPS. Big improvement.

 

My network at that stage was:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

The next step was to decide what to do with the WiFi. I still thought my WiFI router / access point was generating a lot of noise. The general wisdom in the forums was to galvanically isolate (with fiber optic) the audio network from the router/modem/WiFi. But what I have noticed was that the fiber optic changes the sound, and not necessarily for good. And I thought that approach was wrong in general. 
I kept asking myself an interesting question. What part of my network is my "audio network" and is the cable modem and router a part of it? Absolutely, they are a part of the audio network, so that type of galvanic isolation did not make a lot of sense to me. What I mean by that is that if fiber changes the sound, I should be careful where and how I use it. And also I should consider the upstream devices to be part of my source and treat them as if they were a part of my system. 


This is when I came up with a little unusual solution here - instead of galvanically isolating my audio network from the modem/router/WiFi, I considered the cable modem and router to be a part of my audio network and galvanically isolated the WiFi and the rest of my home network from everything else. In order to do that, it would have been best to have a router that has an SFP (fiber optic) port. This is when I decided to try the $99 Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP. It is essentially the same router as the Ubiquiti Edge Router X but with one SFP port. Both routers sounded the same. The only difference was that one had a SFP port. The next experiment was interesting, though.
 

My network at this point was the same:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

But now I had the opportunity to move the WiFi router to the SFP port, which would essentially galvanically isolate the WiFi (and my home network) from the rest of the network. I also had to use a fiber media convertor for that. Connectivity between the router and WiFi looked like this:

Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP (SFP port) —fiber—> Fiber media convertor —copper—-> WiFi access point

I did quite a few tests but quickly realized that galvanically isolating my WiFi was a clear winner. Also, please note that in this set up the power supply of the fiber media convertor or the ethernet copper cable to the Wifi access point did not make a difference.

 

My network since then has been:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router connected (with the help of a fiber media convertor) with fiber optical cable to the SFP port on the router.

 

All that took place last year. I shared with some friend and on a couple of forums, and people who tried it liked that approach. 

A year later, I look at people's signatures (systems) and can't believe how many people are using the Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP router. 

 

The Ubiquiti router and the cable modem are not designed for audiophiles. They are in a small, compact, cheap case. People with resolving systems know that vibration isolation on network devices matters. Just moving them to a better case would actually be an improvement. This is how I started thinking about this project - create a better case with the Gaia feet I've used in some of my projects. But now that I am working with Sean, it would be really cool to also add two rails of his power supply. One to power up the router and one to power up an external network device such as a cable modem. 

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I am doing this for myself. But if it turns out to be something good, I can make a couple of units for people to try. And if I get a positive feedback, we can make it a product. But I need to be careful now what I am posting and obey the forum rules. 

Hopefully my story above makes sense and helps some people to improve their networks, and respectively their streaming quality. 

 

Thanks Nenon, FWIW, I believe @RickyVmeant the Juniper SRX300, which is a router with the Broadcom chipset. @seeteeyoumentioned this as well when I asked the same question a page or so ago.

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6 hours ago, Nenon said:

I am confused by this question. The Ubiquiti Edge Router is a router.

D-Link DGS-1210-10 and Buffalo BS-GS2016 are switches. So I did not chooses the Ubiquiti Edge Router over the D-Link/Buffalo. I use both.

 

We've talked about this, but here is my story on network equipment and how it all started.

 

Some time ago, I looked at my network, and decided to try a couple of things there. My Internet provider (Xfinity but also most ISPs in the US) send you an all-in-one network device that has at least 4 functions. It's a cable modem, a network router, a WiFi access point, and a network switch. Some have more features like phone gateways, firewalls, etc. Given that it does so many functions, it is:
a. a cheap and crappy device that does a lot of things but nothing really good; and
b. a device that has somewhat high current requirements (in order to be able to perform all functions).
Because of “b” it does not come with a typical 12V / 1A brick power adapter, but you have to connect it to the mains and it has a built-in SMPS. In other words, not easy to power up with a LPS unless you open it and do some mods. 

 

I thought, what if I can find an all-in-one device that can accept DC power. I started looking for one, talked to several people at Comcast/Xfinity, but it turned out there is no device with DC input that is certified by my ISP for my area. This is when I started looking at what other options I've had. And I realized that I would have to use separate devices. It made sense to try that. We don’t use surround receivers that can do everything in our high-end 2-channel systems. We use separates. Let’s try this with the network equipment, which in a way can be considered a “source” for our audio system when streaming Tidal/Qobuz.
I decided to try using a separate cable modem (just a modem without any other features) and a generic Wifi Router. That was an immediate (small) improvement even before powering with LPS. Then I powered the cable modem with a LPS and that was a bigger improvement. Then I tested different cable modems and realized that they make a difference too. There were two modems I liked, but I eventually settled on the Arris SB8200 cable modem that takes 12V DC. 

 

At this stage my network looked like this:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Linksys WiFi Router --> audio network.
 

The next step was to revise the Linksys WiFi Router part. I tried powering it with LPS. It was an improvement but still noisy. I suspected the WiFi part of it was the noisiest part, so I decided to try splitting this into two components - a simple router and a WiFi access point. I started looking for well designed and very simple routers. I wanted to get something that accepts DC power, does not consume a lot, and it's a solidly designed but yet simple router. The $59 Ubiquiti EdgeRouter seemed really good. I bought one and it turned out it sounded really really good when powered by a LPS. Big improvement.

 

My network at that stage was:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

The next step was to decide what to do with the WiFi. I still thought my WiFI router / access point was generating a lot of noise. The general wisdom in the forums was to galvanically isolate (with fiber optic) the audio network from the router/modem/WiFi. But what I have noticed was that the fiber optic changes the sound, and not necessarily for good. And I thought that approach was wrong in general. 
I kept asking myself an interesting question. What part of my network is my "audio network" and is the cable modem and router a part of it? Absolutely, they are a part of the audio network, so that type of galvanic isolation did not make a lot of sense to me. What I mean by that is that if fiber changes the sound, I should be careful where and how I use it. And also I should consider the upstream devices to be part of my source and treat them as if they were a part of my system. 


This is when I came up with a little unusual solution here - instead of galvanically isolating my audio network from the modem/router/WiFi, I considered the cable modem and router to be a part of my audio network and galvanically isolated the WiFi and the rest of my home network from everything else. In order to do that, it would have been best to have a router that has an SFP (fiber optic) port. This is when I decided to try the $99 Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP. It is essentially the same router as the Ubiquiti Edge Router X but with one SFP port. Both routers sounded the same. The only difference was that one had a SFP port. The next experiment was interesting, though.
 

My network at this point was the same:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

But now I had the opportunity to move the WiFi router to the SFP port, which would essentially galvanically isolate the WiFi (and my home network) from the rest of the network. I also had to use a fiber media convertor for that. Connectivity between the router and WiFi looked like this:

Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP (SFP port) —fiber—> Fiber media convertor —copper—-> WiFi access point

I did quite a few tests but quickly realized that galvanically isolating my WiFi was a clear winner. Also, please note that in this set up the power supply of the fiber media convertor or the ethernet copper cable to the Wifi access point did not make a difference.

 

My network since then has been:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router connected (with the help of a fiber media convertor) with fiber optical cable to the SFP port on the router.

 

All that took place last year. I shared with some friend and on a couple of forums, and people who tried it liked that approach. 

A year later, I look at people's signatures (systems) and can't believe how many people are using the Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP router. 

 

The Ubiquiti router and the cable modem are not designed for audiophiles. They are in a small, compact, cheap case. People with resolving systems know that vibration isolation on network devices matters. Just moving them to a better case would actually be an improvement. This is how I started thinking about this project - create a better case with the Gaia feet I've used in some of my projects. But now that I am working with Sean, it would be really cool to also add two rails of his power supply. One to power up the router and one to power up an external network device such as a cable modem. 

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I am doing this for myself. But if it turns out to be something good, I can make a couple of units for people to try. And if I get a positive feedback, we can make it a product. But I need to be careful now what I am posting and obey the forum rules. 

Hopefully my story above makes sense and helps some people to improve their networks, and respectively their streaming quality. 

 

I really enjoyed reading your experiences and there are also lessons that can be applied in one way or another. I am trying to develop my sound system within my capabilities.

Recently I have changed all my network cables and they have already optimized Tidal and Qobuz streaming with dsbl-cat7.

Also, I always found and often the use of an additional router next to the modem of the service provider is positive, not only with sound, even for people who are interested in playing online.

I have to try your way to isolate the wireless using fiber, or I think I have to wait until your new project becomes for sale as I will not suffer from the progression in development. It will be one purchase and very useful

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7 hours ago, Nenon said:

I am confused by this question. The Ubiquiti Edge Router is a router.

D-Link DGS-1210-10 and Buffalo BS-GS2016 are switches. So I did not chooses the Ubiquiti Edge Router over the D-Link/Buffalo. I use both.

 

We've talked about this, but here is my story on network equipment and how it all started.

 

Some time ago, I looked at my network, and decided to try a couple of things there. My Internet provider (Xfinity but also most ISPs in the US) send you an all-in-one network device that has at least 4 functions. It's a cable modem, a network router, a WiFi access point, and a network switch. Some have more features like phone gateways, firewalls, etc. Given that it does so many functions, it is:
a. a cheap and crappy device that does a lot of things but nothing really good; and
b. a device that has somewhat high current requirements (in order to be able to perform all functions).
Because of “b” it does not come with a typical 12V / 1A brick power adapter, but you have to connect it to the mains and it has a built-in SMPS. In other words, not easy to power up with a LPS unless you open it and do some mods. 

 

I thought, what if I can find an all-in-one device that can accept DC power. I started looking for one, talked to several people at Comcast/Xfinity, but it turned out there is no device with DC input that is certified by my ISP for my area. This is when I started looking at what other options I've had. And I realized that I would have to use separate devices. It made sense to try that. We don’t use surround receivers that can do everything in our high-end 2-channel systems. We use separates. Let’s try this with the network equipment, which in a way can be considered a “source” for our audio system when streaming Tidal/Qobuz.
I decided to try using a separate cable modem (just a modem without any other features) and a generic Wifi Router. That was an immediate (small) improvement even before powering with LPS. Then I powered the cable modem with a LPS and that was a bigger improvement. Then I tested different cable modems and realized that they make a difference too. There were two modems I liked, but I eventually settled on the Arris SB8200 cable modem that takes 12V DC. 

 

At this stage my network looked like this:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Linksys WiFi Router --> audio network.
 

The next step was to revise the Linksys WiFi Router part. I tried powering it with LPS. It was an improvement but still noisy. I suspected the WiFi part of it was the noisiest part, so I decided to try splitting this into two components - a simple router and a WiFi access point. I started looking for well designed and very simple routers. I wanted to get something that accepts DC power, does not consume a lot, and it's a solidly designed but yet simple router. The $59 Ubiquiti EdgeRouter seemed really good. I bought one and it turned out it sounded really really good when powered by a LPS. Big improvement.

 

My network at that stage was:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

The next step was to decide what to do with the WiFi. I still thought my WiFI router / access point was generating a lot of noise. The general wisdom in the forums was to galvanically isolate (with fiber optic) the audio network from the router/modem/WiFi. But what I have noticed was that the fiber optic changes the sound, and not necessarily for good. And I thought that approach was wrong in general. 
I kept asking myself an interesting question. What part of my network is my "audio network" and is the cable modem and router a part of it? Absolutely, they are a part of the audio network, so that type of galvanic isolation did not make a lot of sense to me. What I mean by that is that if fiber changes the sound, I should be careful where and how I use it. And also I should consider the upstream devices to be part of my source and treat them as if they were a part of my system. 


This is when I came up with a little unusual solution here - instead of galvanically isolating my audio network from the modem/router/WiFi, I considered the cable modem and router to be a part of my audio network and galvanically isolated the WiFi and the rest of my home network from everything else. In order to do that, it would have been best to have a router that has an SFP (fiber optic) port. This is when I decided to try the $99 Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP. It is essentially the same router as the Ubiquiti Edge Router X but with one SFP port. Both routers sounded the same. The only difference was that one had a SFP port. The next experiment was interesting, though.
 

My network at this point was the same:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

But now I had the opportunity to move the WiFi router to the SFP port, which would essentially galvanically isolate the WiFi (and my home network) from the rest of the network. I also had to use a fiber media convertor for that. Connectivity between the router and WiFi looked like this:

Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP (SFP port) —fiber—> Fiber media convertor —copper—-> WiFi access point

I did quite a few tests but quickly realized that galvanically isolating my WiFi was a clear winner. Also, please note that in this set up the power supply of the fiber media convertor or the ethernet copper cable to the Wifi access point did not make a difference.

 

My network since then has been:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router connected (with the help of a fiber media convertor) with fiber optical cable to the SFP port on the router.

 

All that took place last year. I shared with some friend and on a couple of forums, and people who tried it liked that approach. 

A year later, I look at people's signatures (systems) and can't believe how many people are using the Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP router. 

 

The Ubiquiti router and the cable modem are not designed for audiophiles. They are in a small, compact, cheap case. People with resolving systems know that vibration isolation on network devices matters. Just moving them to a better case would actually be an improvement. This is how I started thinking about this project - create a better case with the Gaia feet I've used in some of my projects. But now that I am working with Sean, it would be really cool to also add two rails of his power supply. One to power up the router and one to power up an external network device such as a cable modem. 

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I am doing this for myself. But if it turns out to be something good, I can make a couple of units for people to try. And if I get a positive feedback, we can make it a product. But I need to be careful now what I am posting and obey the forum rules. 

Hopefully my story above makes sense and helps some people to improve their networks, and respectively their streaming quality. 

 

Hi your current network is roughly the same as mine. Only difference is Edge x SFP goes to Ubiquiti switch SFP. I have trunk port down to switch for VLANs. I have inter VLAN router for Edge port to audio network. I agree isolation the rest of your network back to the Edge with SFP is the way to go. 

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7 hours ago, Nenon said:

I am confused by this question. The Ubiquiti Edge Router is a router.

D-Link DGS-1210-10 and Buffalo BS-GS2016 are switches. So I did not chooses the Ubiquiti Edge Router over the D-Link/Buffalo. I use both.

 

We've talked about this, but here is my story on network equipment and how it all started.

 

Some time ago, I looked at my network, and decided to try a couple of things there. My Internet provider (Xfinity but also most ISPs in the US) send you an all-in-one network device that has at least 4 functions. It's a cable modem, a network router, a WiFi access point, and a network switch. Some have more features like phone gateways, firewalls, etc. Given that it does so many functions, it is:
a. a cheap and crappy device that does a lot of things but nothing really good; and
b. a device that has somewhat high current requirements (in order to be able to perform all functions).
Because of “b” it does not come with a typical 12V / 1A brick power adapter, but you have to connect it to the mains and it has a built-in SMPS. In other words, not easy to power up with a LPS unless you open it and do some mods. 

 

I thought, what if I can find an all-in-one device that can accept DC power. I started looking for one, talked to several people at Comcast/Xfinity, but it turned out there is no device with DC input that is certified by my ISP for my area. This is when I started looking at what other options I've had. And I realized that I would have to use separate devices. It made sense to try that. We don’t use surround receivers that can do everything in our high-end 2-channel systems. We use separates. Let’s try this with the network equipment, which in a way can be considered a “source” for our audio system when streaming Tidal/Qobuz.
I decided to try using a separate cable modem (just a modem without any other features) and a generic Wifi Router. That was an immediate (small) improvement even before powering with LPS. Then I powered the cable modem with a LPS and that was a bigger improvement. Then I tested different cable modems and realized that they make a difference too. There were two modems I liked, but I eventually settled on the Arris SB8200 cable modem that takes 12V DC. 

 

At this stage my network looked like this:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Linksys WiFi Router --> audio network.
 

The next step was to revise the Linksys WiFi Router part. I tried powering it with LPS. It was an improvement but still noisy. I suspected the WiFi part of it was the noisiest part, so I decided to try splitting this into two components - a simple router and a WiFi access point. I started looking for well designed and very simple routers. I wanted to get something that accepts DC power, does not consume a lot, and it's a solidly designed but yet simple router. The $59 Ubiquiti EdgeRouter seemed really good. I bought one and it turned out it sounded really really good when powered by a LPS. Big improvement.

 

My network at that stage was:
Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

The next step was to decide what to do with the WiFi. I still thought my WiFI router / access point was generating a lot of noise. The general wisdom in the forums was to galvanically isolate (with fiber optic) the audio network from the router/modem/WiFi. But what I have noticed was that the fiber optic changes the sound, and not necessarily for good. And I thought that approach was wrong in general. 
I kept asking myself an interesting question. What part of my network is my "audio network" and is the cable modem and router a part of it? Absolutely, they are a part of the audio network, so that type of galvanic isolation did not make a lot of sense to me. What I mean by that is that if fiber changes the sound, I should be careful where and how I use it. And also I should consider the upstream devices to be part of my source and treat them as if they were a part of my system. 


This is when I came up with a little unusual solution here - instead of galvanically isolating my audio network from the modem/router/WiFi, I considered the cable modem and router to be a part of my audio network and galvanically isolated the WiFi and the rest of my home network from everything else. In order to do that, it would have been best to have a router that has an SFP (fiber optic) port. This is when I decided to try the $99 Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP. It is essentially the same router as the Ubiquiti Edge Router X but with one SFP port. Both routers sounded the same. The only difference was that one had a SFP port. The next experiment was interesting, though.
 

My network at this point was the same:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router on another port of the router

 

But now I had the opportunity to move the WiFi router to the SFP port, which would essentially galvanically isolate the WiFi (and my home network) from the rest of the network. I also had to use a fiber media convertor for that. Connectivity between the router and WiFi looked like this:

Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP (SFP port) —fiber—> Fiber media convertor —copper—-> WiFi access point

I did quite a few tests but quickly realized that galvanically isolating my WiFi was a clear winner. Also, please note that in this set up the power supply of the fiber media convertor or the ethernet copper cable to the Wifi access point did not make a difference.

 

My network since then has been:

Arris SB8200 cable modem (powered by LPS) --> Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP --> audio network on one port of the router; WiFi router connected (with the help of a fiber media convertor) with fiber optical cable to the SFP port on the router.

 

All that took place last year. I shared with some friend and on a couple of forums, and people who tried it liked that approach. 

A year later, I look at people's signatures (systems) and can't believe how many people are using the Ubiquiti Edge Router X SFP router. 

 

The Ubiquiti router and the cable modem are not designed for audiophiles. They are in a small, compact, cheap case. People with resolving systems know that vibration isolation on network devices matters. Just moving them to a better case would actually be an improvement. This is how I started thinking about this project - create a better case with the Gaia feet I've used in some of my projects. But now that I am working with Sean, it would be really cool to also add two rails of his power supply. One to power up the router and one to power up an external network device such as a cable modem. 

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I am doing this for myself. But if it turns out to be something good, I can make a couple of units for people to try. And if I get a positive feedback, we can make it a product. But I need to be careful now what I am posting and obey the forum rules. 

Hopefully my story above makes sense and helps some people to improve their networks, and respectively their streaming quality. 

 


Whoops my bad. 

Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

Modded Buffalo-fiber-EtherRegen, DC3- Isoregen, Lush^2

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After reading this I moved my EtherREGEN upstream of the EdgeRouter to act as an FMC converter as described. My best sound yet! And more importantly, it looks like I might have saved a couple of LPS’s on switch and PoE injector, thanks so much.

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