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Does choice of router matter to Streaming SQ

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Hi guys


Please bear with me. 


Last month when I went to a dealer to buy an usb cable to rip cd, he suggested me to try the SOtM USBUltra in between the Pioneer X12 cd writer and my pc for better result. This pandemic makes people do strange things including me. I bought the Ultra and the SOtM power supply. Out of curiosity I also tried the SOtM USBUltra between the streamer and DAC. The background is darker and individual instruments are more easy to follow. Later that week I read somewhere saying the SOtM is not a LPS and giving the USBUltra one will further improve the SQ. I found an unused Plixir LPS lying around and the story of my audiophile life takes a big turn. The SQ improves immediately and not like the changing gear type of improvement. Ever since I switched  to cd from vinyl in the 90s, this is the first time I think digital medium music has surpassed vinyl. Of course, my vinyl setup i.e. Linn plus Ortofon is no comparison to today’s state of art vinyl reproduction gear. Since then I spent 4-6 hours listen to Tidal almost everyday. And, of course, read as many forum about CAS and network setup as I can. Discussions of multi-network-switches,  external master clock, LPS choice for network gear and optical network connection really get my interest going.


i am not ready to spend tens of thousands to improve my network yet but I like to start my journey by upgrade critical parts of my network within a reasonable budget starting with the router. (The modem is provided by ISP and hard wired so I guess there is nothing I can do about it.)


Currently I have an Asus AC-1900 Wi-Fi router. I was told Wi-Fi is no good to SQ. (My Lumin U1 is copper connected and Wi-Fi is for phones and iPad.)  I did try to turn off it a few times but I could not hear any difference. Thus, my two logical options are replacing it for something better and switching to LPS or both. I still need copper connection for my computers. Is there a better choice of router which can improve SQ in my system? Or router simply doesn’t matter as some suggested.


Really look forward for your advise.

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Welcome to AS!!


There are lots of discussions on network gear and approaches currently running on different threads. Probably need to get a sense of each thread says and narrow down what you think is best for you ... not an easy task.


That said, I would recommend starting at your music system components and looking back upstream rather starting at your router and looking downstream. The reason is that you want to create the best network environment as possible just before the signal hits your music system (streamer, DAC, etc.). There are a lot of things that can happen between your router and music system. In other words, you don't want to get everything cleaned up on the router end then to have things mucked up on the way to your music system.


Also, everyone's network system is different due to how your house/apartment is laid out (where and how the Internet enters, where your music system is located, etc.).


As for equipment, the Uptone etherREGEN has been getting really good reviews, especially if you have mostly a copper-based Ethernet network. Fiber optic networks have been growing in popularity with products like the Sonore opticalModule that can convert optical to/from copper signals.


To read more on fiber optics, see:


Personally, I am big fan of fiber optic networks due to the ability to electronically isolate the signal but it is slightly more complicated to deal with due to different modules (single mode, multi mode, SFP, SFP+, etc.) although the cost can be equivalent if not cheaper.


Best of luck. Lots of great network information and experts here on AS.


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