Internet Noise: A Pest in the Machine

I have already posted a glowing review of my new Synthesis A100 Titan integrated amplifier, which is my favorite of the many amplifiers I have owned over the years. I hope to keep it as the centerpiece of my system for many years to come.

With that said, I am having an issue that is not only perplexing to me, but to the importer and dealer as well. The gist of it is that I am getting intermittent noise (sort of a gauzy static sound) that seems clearly associated with my internet set-up, which consists of a basic ethernet switch and a couple of smaller switches, with an audiophile-grade ethernet cable running from the switch to my Aurender N20. Except for the ethernet cable, everything else is basic stuff our internet service provider brought for the install.

The importer suggested moving the router (it is actually an access point) into another room, suggesting that sometimes the tubes in the Synthesis will pick up noise from nearby routers, and also suggested moving the streamer as far from the amp as possible. Moving the router did seem to help some, and at times the system is blissfully quiet. But the noise always comes back, with varying degrees of volume.

I have pretty much ruled out the streamer as a potential cause by disconnecting the sources (streamer and phono stage) to see if the noise continued. And it did. But every time I disconnect or turn off the internet by unplugging it, the noise immediately goes away. I can listen to my analog rig with no noise with the internet disconnected, but not for long when my spouse or children complain about not having internet. When I turn the internet back on, the noise will usually come back within a few minutes.

It may be that the answer is investing some money in an audiophile switch—or even something better than the cheapo plastic TP-link switch I have now—but before I go down this road, I need to be relatively confident that this is the issue. I don't want to invest a lot of money and be back at square one.

Another possibility is moving the switches and cables into the next room, far away from the system, and just running a single, lengthy ethernet cable into the room to connect to the Aurender. Maybe the amp is picking up noise from the cables or switches, though that seems unlikely. On the other hand, one day when the noise was particularly bad, I went over and just tried jiggling the cable coming in from outside where it enters the house, and for some reason, that really helped. I have no idea why, or what is going on here. It is just bewildering.

If anyone has a theory or suggestion for troubleshooting this problem, I would appreciate your thoughts. The dealer has been no help at all (he also didn’t know that amp is manual bias) and the importer has offered suggestions but seems as baffled as I am as to what might be happening to cause this.

It is the strangest problem I’ve encountered in twenty-plus years in high end. I would be more than relieved to get to the bottom of it.




I doubt this will be your answer but I was dealing with some noise issues that seemed to be related to my cheap switch. Some of this was mitigated by wrapping my switch with the following tape:

Faraday Fabric Tape 2inch x 50...

There was mention of going fiber which would replace your long Ethernet cable run when you put your router and modem in a different room. I had a lot of questions about implementing fiber into a system to reduce noise myself. The first three post to the thread I started are relatively cheap, but it would essentially look something like this:

Modem > Router > Switch > Ethernet > Fiber Media Converter (FMC) > fiber (long run) > FMC > Ethernet (very small run) > Streamer

Worth a try. I’d be pretty frustrated if I were in your shoes. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

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Sounds like a problem with your cable coming into the house with either a bad cable, connector and/or grounding of system to earth ground. Call your cable company and they can test for good signal to noise ratio and power levels as well as inspecting and/or replacing bad wires or connectors.

Other suggestions:

Do you have dedicated AC power circuits for your equipment? If not, have 2x20 Amp dedicated lines installed. Put analog equipment on one circut and the digital equipment on the other. Replace Ethernet cable with a tested Cat 6 (not Cat 8) cable from vendor such as Blue Jeans Cables on Amazon. You can also try a Furman PST-8D power conditioner. Replacing router and switch with a metal case are also good recommendations although it is not necessary to use a so-called audiophile switch. Routers and Ethernet cables provided by your cable company are often cheap and of low quality so consider replacing them if no issue is found with your incoming cabling. Fiber Ethernet is your best bet for noise isolation so consider it as well as it is easy to hook up and inexpensive. Good Luck!

Thanks for the help, folks. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. The cable coming into the house does seem to be pretty shabbily terminated.. There is some exposed wire and the cable can be twisted into an L at the switch, if that makes sense. I am keeping a good thought that maybe this is the issue.

I have contacted the cable company for more information and asked these questions.

I am certainly open to the fiber optic and converter option. I bought a Netgear switch that is certainly sturdier than the cheap, plastic TP-Link switch, though the Netgear is also pretty basic.

You folks have given me a lot of great ideas to explore. Thank you kindly!


By the way, I do have a dedicated circuit, and a Puritan 156 power conditioner. I have my components plugged into that, but not the ethernet switch. That might be worth a try.