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I have gigabit Ethernet service with copper cable. I put in a pair of TP-Link optical fiber media converters (FMC’’s) between a network switch and my streamer. The TP-Link devices are an inexpensive alternative to Ethernet filters, such as the Uptone EtherRegen and the Gigafoil. By using two optical fiber converters, you go from copper to fiber and then back to copper to connect to your RJ-45 component. There is a short, 1 meter optical cable in between. Here is a link to these devices on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003CFATL0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Here are my questions:

 

1. Do I have the optical fiber converters in the best location? My music files are coming from an external hard drive on my Mac in a nearby bedroom. A copper Ethernet cable runs from my computer to the switch in my music room. Another copper Ethernet cable runs from the wall in my music room to an AT&T modem. I have a much better router connected to the modem, and the router goes to a Netgear switch that is optimized for music streaming. From this switch, I go through the optical converters into my Aries streamer. I am looking for the best configuration for maximum sound quality.

 

2. Would I gain an increase in sound quality if I added a second pair of fiber media converters? If so, where would be the best place to put them?

 

3. Did I do the right thing by connecting my computer to the switch. Or should I connect it to the router instead?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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As a general rule, you want to place any fiber as far downstream as possible. In your case, just upstream of your steamer which I guess is connected directly to your DAC.

 

As for where to connect music server, I would connect it to the switch in music room which would be shortest path to streamer.

 

A few suggestions:

 

Get a switch with both Ethernet and SFP (fiber) ports in your music room. You can cut out one FMC unit, it’s PS and Ethernet cable. Obviously the EtherREGEN is one option but there are other options at much lower cost (e.g. Mikrotik, TP-Links). There is also a Cisco switch that people have reported good results. It is a rather expensive but used ones can be found inexpensively on eBay.

 

Upgrade to a Sonore opticalModule to replace current FMC, both or at least downstream one, depending on budget.

 

As for how much SQ improvement any of this will make is system dependent. Probably need to try several configurations to see what works best for your system.

Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Intel X520-DA1 NIC, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala — digital volume control with HQP via Roon client, DSP with HQP convolution engine

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