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Routers and Ethernet switch


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My theory is that any component which is well made will add to your enjoyment of our hobby.  Now, will any “audiophile” item sound better?  Maybe.  In the case of wires and switches I think any improvements would be difficult to discern but your ears may be better than average.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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Despite objective measurement may not indicate any significant difference to support any claim of better SQ of audiophile grade/high end switches or routers.  I myself experienced change of SQ with a PPA Switch which is quite popular once in my place.  Whether the change is good or bad depends on one's preference.  In my case, I don't like the change at all. 

MetalNuts

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i was skeptical too-still am but there is a OCXO ROUTER supposedly with hi end power supply and the like

Google it and see what is lists as features supposedly making it an Audiophile Grade Router"

I believe mostly what people refer to though is a hi end Ethernet switch--The Cable co in Newhope PA

has one advertised--I think either The Chord Co or someone else makes it

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2 hours ago, Sheldon Simon said:

The Chord Co

 

Chord (the cable company, not the DAC company) are making a switch under the brand English Electric.

 

https://englishelectric.uk/

 

Haven't heard it myself but people on Naim forums are saying it's comparable to the EtherRegen. And it's slightly cheaper (on the UK side of the pond anyway).

 

EtherRegen is a bit of a fans favourite here as Alex and John spend a lot of time on the forum and are well regarded for their quality products. I have this one myself and it made a significant improvement in SQ.

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/57519-uptone-audio-etherregen-listening-impressions/

 

But end of the day it depends on your system, how much noise, EMF/RF etc is kicking around. Only way to know for certain is to listen to one in your system.

 

Depending on your budget I'd say either try the English Electric or EtherRegen but be warned that these need a good quality linear PSU to really perform. So factor in a few hundred more for the PSU (unless of course you already have one to hand). Can be a bit of a rabbit hole.

 

The advice to try a non-audiophile, but highly performing switch like the Cisco is good advice. Meraki and Buffalo switches are also known for sounding good but the Buffalo's can be hard to source.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

Alan

 

2 hours ago, Sheldon Simon said:

there is a OCXO ROUTER

 

PS if this is The Linear Company then steer well clear. They've gotten a very bad reputation on here for over-promising and then not delivering or delivering sub-standard products.

 

As a rule of thumb I know many, many audiophiles with 'audiophile switches' but hardly any with 'audiophile routers'. 

 

 

Synergistic Research Powercell UEF SE > Sonore OpticalModule (LPS-1.2 & DXP-1A5DSC) > EtherRegen (SR4T & DXP-1A5DSC) > PinkFaun modded Buffalo BS-GS2016P (Farad Super3 & LPS-1.2) > (Sablon 2020 LAN) Innuos Zenith SE server > (Sablon 2020 USB) Innuos Phoenix > (Sablon 2020 USB) PS Audio Directstream DAC > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers 

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I have sometimes wondered about "Audiophile" routers.  Of course, many will argue that such a thing is pointless.  But assuming there was a good reason to have one, I am a bit stuck.  I my router is provided to me by my broadband provider (Virgin Media UK), and it has a connection for the cable input, so I am basically stuck with it.  OK - I could have one router for the cable input, and another one to feed the hifi and AV kit, but that does seem like a step too far?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, iFi Zen Stream, Paul Hynes SR4, Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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3 hours ago, R1200CL said:

.....but you do recall audiophile switches 😀 ?


yes indeed switches has been discussed (pro and con) o this site.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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10 hours ago, NOMBEDES said:

I don’t recall a discussion regarding audiophile routers.  
 

1.  Do they exist?

2.  Any recommendations?

 

thanks

 

Yes, there are in my place and see it in the following link the photos.  They modify existing routers and claim better SQ.

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk01rqJHCSPqOwpEfQgnT3jcYIw1qYQ:1593738198793&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=linger+audio+router&client=firefox-b-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwieudC58a_qAhUUMN4KHaatDMAQsAR6BAgJEAE

 

 

MetalNuts

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Regarding audiophile switches, this comes into the market

 

https://www.facebook.com/VOLENTaudio/photos/pcb.3098201986894884/3098200410228375/?__cft__[0]=AZXfYVdZQF0qe1lDt4fO1WJ-ts-R0QYQ2FLBOUjEbF7CY7BBD6QHt5ik2JPGf1UYs2YSGiz6ab7M9rd2X0PFMxtSK3XfffgX0OWlOv4u1TK-QUuIp_RFPa--lEoLMeGYcV3ygmL-OLsqQobh6BoeWoeF7Eev1XF9YA6NurAWRc82UA&__tn__=*bH-R

 

MetalNuts

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13 hours ago, Confused said:

I have sometimes wondered about "Audiophile" routers.  Of course, many will argue that such a thing is pointless.  But assuming there was a good reason to have one, I am a bit stuck.  I my router is provided to me by my broadband provider (Virgin Media UK), and it has a connection for the cable input, so I am basically stuck with it.  OK - I could have one router for the cable input, and another one to feed the hifi and AV kit, but that does seem like a step too far?

Virgin wont allow you to run anything but a Superhub, as apparently they afraid that alternatives will inject noise into their network., But the Superhub is rubbish as a router....with a poorly executed, buggy chipset (Intel Puma) that randomly introduces large amounts of latency.  The best solution is to switch Superhub to modem mode then add a decent router based on the Broadcom chipset connected through the WAN port.  This advice goes for anyone whose router uses the Intel chipset. 

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21 minutes ago, Blackmorec said:

Virgin wont allow you to run anything but a Superhub, as apparently they afraid that alternatives will inject noise into their network., But the Superhub is rubbish as a router....with a poorly executed, buggy chipset (Intel Puma) that randomly introduces large amounts of latency.  The best solution is to switch Superhub to modem mode then add a decent router based on the Broadcom chipset connected through the WAN port.  This advice goes for anyone whose router uses the Intel chipset. 

I am actually running an older Super Hub 2ac, which I believe is actually better than the newer versions in terms of the latency issue.

 

I will be honest here, I had no idea it was possible to switch a Super Hub into modem mode.  In terms of adding a more "audiophile" router I was concerned about this and the Super Hub being in conflict.  Modem mode solves this nicely, you live and learn  So many thanks for the tip, going modem mode for the Super Hub then selecting something else entirely for the router seems like an excellent idea.  (A quick search on line indicates that the 2ac can indeed be switched into modem mode)

 

Which takes us directly back on topic, if I were to do this, what would be best router for the job?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, iFi Zen Stream, Paul Hynes SR4, Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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3 hours ago, Confused said:

I am actually running an older Super Hub 2ac, which I believe is actually better than the newer versions in terms of the latency issue.

 

I will be honest here, I had no idea it was possible to switch a Super Hub into modem mode.  In terms of adding a more "audiophile" router I was concerned about this and the Super Hub being in conflict.  Modem mode solves this nicely, you live and learn  So many thanks for the tip, going modem mode for the Super Hub then selecting something else entirely for the router seems like an excellent idea.  (A quick search on line indicates that the 2ac can indeed be switched into modem mode)

 

Which takes us directly back on topic, if I were to do this, what would be best router for the job?

Indeed you’re correct, the 2ac doesn’t have the same issues as Superhub 3.

 

I tried a number of different strategies including ethernet hardwiring using installer and audiophile grade cable,  wi-fi 2 hi-fi, several wi-fi extenders and a couple of varieties of mesh networking. 

 

Ultimately I found that the combination of TPLink RE650 and TPLInk Archer AC5400 Tr-band router worked the best in terms of both SQ and wi-fi in general. With a 2.4GHz and 2 x 5GHz bands I could dedicate one 5GHz band solely to the hi-fi so maximum speed, no bandwidth conflicts and no extraneous  network traffic. Using TPLinks Tether SW I can set up both router and RE650 Extender, shutting off the extender’s 2.4GHz band and 5GHz polling entirely as well as switching off all LEDs.  The RE650 picks up the router’s 2nd 5GHz signal and outputs it via its dedicated ethernet port to my server.  Due to the dedicated band and the high speed transmission there is actually very little wi-fi traffic, typically a few millisecond bursts as tracks or albums are downloaded to the server’s RAM for replay. The server’s GUI runs on the 1st 5GHz band so again no spurious internet traffic related to metadata  

Adding LPS power, improved DC cables and vibration control to Modem, Router and Extender brought further improvements.  

 

For my installation, this was the best configuration, but I’m pretty sure that in other networking environments, different approaches, for example fibre optic may be better. 

 

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  • 3 months later...

I noticed a big improvement with the Ubiquity EdgeRouter X SFP once I put a Farad Super 3 12V on it. There are quite a few people on here using this router but I haven't seen a dedicated thread. The same Farad on my ISP supplied EE Brightbox router did not produce anywhere near the same level of improvement. 

 

This is independent of the EtherREGEN, they both offer different kinds of improvements. In my system the router + LPS gives much more bass and a fuller sound, the EtherREGEN a better timed sound.  

If you go this way, you either have to put your your ISP supplied all-in-one modem/router/AP/switch into modem only (bridge) mode (as above post), or create a second separate network just with the Edgerouter, or (what I do here in the UK) buy a standalone modem (Draytek Vigor or refurb BT Openhome) and Ubiquity access point for the WiFi. (Most ISP's will only support their own boxes so be sure to keep the original in case you have any connection issues!)

Of course if you do what I did then you create the need for 2 or 3 power supplies instead of one! However, even with just the router PS upgraded it's still a lot better than the all-in-one ISP modem if you use something like an iFi iPower on the modem. It's the same concept as hi-fi separates. You can always do the modem later...if you have only have an all in-one-box you are always limited by noise from the box itself...usually these boxes are under specced due to cost constraints.  

 

Compared to most other digital front end tweaks, the upgraded router + LPS was not at all subtle. If you have a networked PC streaming to a low powered endpoint it's definitely worth paying attention to the router, IME. We all wish this wasn't the case but unfortunately that's been my experience.

@Blackmorec's solution looks interesting, too. 

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  • 2 months later...

So how is these Ethernet switches correcting a signal from the ISP, after all we have to have an approved ISP modem to use their services in the US.   If the ISP is providing sub par services no additional equipment after the modem is going to fix it.  So what am I missing,.

The Truth Is Out There

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14 minutes ago, Sheldon Simon said:

A close audiophile friend with a 

15,000 dac auditioned a 5,000

ethernet switch. ZERO difference 

what do you suppose you will hear with,say. 2,000 dac? Hmmmm?

 

Actually the switch isn’t the most important component....the DC power that its modulating is way more important, as it defines how cleanly the switch’s oscillator works (how much jitter it produces) and how much noise is sent to the DAC. Using your budgets above I would apportion $1000 on the switch and $4000 on its power supply. With that as a front end you’ll likely get better results with a $2000 DAC than you will spending $20,000 on DAC and Switch and neglecting the DC power upon which its ALL based.  

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1 hour ago, mav52 said:

So how is these Ethernet switches correcting a signal from the ISP, after all we have to have an approved ISP modem to use their services in the US.   If the ISP is providing sub par services no additional equipment after the modem is going to fix it.  So what am I missing,.

Unlike analog, where there’s only the analog signal, digital music is stored in a purely digital format and its moved around using analog voltages.  When your music stream arrives at your ISP modem, its been subject to all the switching and noise nasties of the global internet. The digital signal is still perfectly intact (that’s the benefit of digital) but the analog representation of the signal is probably a mess.  But as I mentioned, analog voltage is only needed if you want to move the stream from one component to another. Each time you move the stream you regenerate the analog (voltage) part of the signal (remember you can’t store voltage).  The regeneration is done according to the stored digital template. The better and more accurate the template, the better and more accurate its analog representation. So if each time you regenerate the analog signal, you are always using an improved template, your stream will gradually improve as it passes along your network, as long as your network is arranged for increasing quality (less noise, more accurate clocking, less jitter/phase noise) 

 

3 minutes ago, Sheldon Simon said:

By power supply I presume I refer to

line conditioner?

No. I’m referring to the switch’s DC power supply from who’s voltage the switch resynthesises the analog part of the digital stream.  

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