ASI mentioned before I didnot want to say the brand until I heard the Ethernet switch not only after 300 hours which was recommended having a OX over controlled clock ,
and with what myself always do the weak link on any audio component starts with the stock power cord , for minimal monies the Pangea using Cardas grade 1 copper 6-9s. Awg14 sig,Mk2 , and getting rid of the 50 cent bottle neck fuse I put in a 1.25amp 20mm L ,slow blow synergistic purple fuse these increase fidelity at least 5-7% the switch itself At least 5% if you know the name Jays audio for transports ,his other company LHY Audio the SW8 Ethernet switch for $595 nothing has all this in a nice machined aluminum case , even the uptone ether regen or Sonore deluxe using a with fiber optic which btw lessens the realism imo both were used witha Sbooster2 LPS , ,theSW8 Ethernet switch is a great buy ,and if you add a decent power cord and upgrade the fuse you will be rewarded further , 7 of us reviewed this and 6 out of 7 thought it was a noticeable improvement vs the others there were2 other brands which were more ,that were not even that good and had switch mode pS
@audioman58 Thanks for your post. Not sure I followed it all but I appreciat it.
I have one question. How warm does it run. I'm becoming intolerant of the new brand of audio components with supercaps and high current chargers that run very warm to the touch--some at high as 150 F and you can't hold your hand on them. Hopefully this isnt the case here.
I see they have a dealer in texas. They also carry Kinki Studios. I have their amp and it is an excellent piece of equipment. Also very nicely designed case.
LHY has a second switch, twice as big, twice as much money, but looks like the money was put into more power supply and better clock. Might be worth a try.
I have an ether-regen switch but might be looking to try this one. Thanks for posting it.
I run LHY-SW10 because it has optical connections and connects directly to My Green Computer optical bundle. Not to mention the external clock connection of the SW10 which connects to the Gustard c18 which takes over the Gustard X26 PRO clock. So my newly acquired Innuos ZENith mk3, which has no clock of its own, is clocked both with the SW-10 and Gustard x26 pro through the gustard c18. The result is top notch. Not a lot superior sound wise to what I achieved with my excellent Node/Pardo combo, but even a more reliable OS. Kudos to Innuos sense. Now using the Node combo in my living room with my headphones system.
My experience is a high quality network switch is better than no switch and that seems to be the consensus of a lot of listeners.
My simplified view as a Mechanical Engineer is that unlike the Analog realm where less is more, the digital realm seems to work differently. As I understand it, the digital signal is a square wave propagated through wiring. The “ones and zeros” are created by these square wave pulses. The 16 bit or 24 bit word length is made up of these ones and zeros as pulses which must be timed perfectly as they leave the originator and are captured by the receiver. I think of it as a Morse Code operator. If he misses one “dot” or “dash” thereby getting out of sync with the sender, the message becomes garbled.
I think the D/A converter needs as clean a square wave as possible with exact timing in order to produce a good analog signal. The less well defined square wave causes the D/A converter to underperform or interpolate, ie guess at what the analog waveform should look like at that moment. At this point the music is compromised.
Therefore, the cleaner the square wave the better the chance for the music to get through a D/A converter. Electrical wiring has some level of capacitance, resistance and inductance which can round off the edges of the square wave. Electrical noise can be introduced into the wiring through EMI that can make it harder for the D/A converter to interpret the signal. The network bridge, if my analogy is correct, redraws that square wave and sets the timing by its own internal clock passing on a sharp, clean square wave to the D/A converter.
It’s like reading for us. If the print is too small or too large, or the contrast is too low, our reading slows down and we might misread a few words, or have to go back and reread a sentence because it did not make sense. We might even misread the sentence and end up completely misinterpreting it. Newspapers and book publishers probably spent a lot of effort into researching in the past century the best print font, size and contrast for readers. Now we are doing the same thing for music D/A converters.
@tonywinga you have a few details correct, but you are missing a lot, like 90%.
You are correct in that Ethernet sends a sine wave, however, depending on the speed, it could be as high as 4 simultaneously waves. Ethernet uses something called a frame to transmit over the wire. Built into the the frame is a crc check, so if there is anything that goes wrong, the frame is discarded.
also important is that Ethernet standards, regardless of speed over what’s called an Ethernet cable (twisted pair) has building common more noise rejection, that handles most noise, certainly all noise in a residential setting, at speeds less than 2.5Gbit/s.
what you are also missing is that it is a stack of protocols, called TCP/IP, which ensures bit perfect transmission, 100% of the time under normal operating conditions. And you are missing that most music services that provides per song streaming actually downloads a large part, if not the entire song (Qobuz does the entire song) as fast as possible, it doesn’t take very long to download a 24/96 FLAC, seconds, and this download is done over HTTPS, which is encrypted, so you can miss any packets at all or the decryption will fail.
so, now that you have more information, it is easy to see a switch cannot do anything to improve. A poorly design switch can detract and introduce packet loss, but no switch can improve. It is not how the protocol stack functions, in fact it is the opposite of how it works.
Sir Isaac Newton made some observations about falling objects and developed a few basic equations to describe the motion of bodies. It took some time for people to accept his equations. Then Einstein came along and showed that Newton’s equations were not entirely accurate. Still, the observations never changed.
Many of us have experienced and observed that audiophile grade ethernet switches improve the sound of streaming music. I have even observed it dramatically improve the picture quality on my TV while streaming. Therefore, it is an exercise in futility to insist that an ethernet switch can do nothing. Try to be more like Einstein.
@fredrik222 IS spot on; An ethernet frame is in essence an envelope that carries the digital data; TCPIP is the transport protocol used to ensure that the envelopes arrive in an order to ensure constant reliable transmission of data. The disassembly and reassembly of these packets is done at the transmitting station and the receiving station -- your source for your music and your streamer or DAC. This is where the digital music files get pushed into whatever converter you have for the playing of the reconstructed analog signal. I would always agree to buy a known reliable Ethernet switch and decent cabling; most ethernet chipsets used in comms gear globally are made by a handful of manufacturers, Broadcomm and Intel to name a couple. I'd spend more money on interconnects than spending a fortune of comme gear.
@tonywinga do you really think that was the best analogy? Our full understanding of the universe, which is currently beyond our comprehension since neither physics nor mathematics are complete and both are self referencing vs. a stack of protocol we humans designed and documented to exhaustion.
Well Fred, the facts are you have not heard or experienced true hifi. You lack an open mind to the possibility that digital is more than 1’s and 0’s and packets of data. And apparently, you find history irrelevant which is sure to lead to repeating of past mistakes.
A preacher in the late 19th Century said that God would not ever allow man to fly like a bird. That man was Wilbur and Orville Wright’s father. Try to have a more open mind.
It is a simple to understand what is happening here and I think some credit should be allowed to those who argue and insist that an ethernet switch can make absolutely no audible, sonic, detectable difference and for that matter even a measureable difference can not result and that is because of the TCP/IP protocol which they love to cite and being the explanation for their convictions. These people are the same who have argued about "Perfect Sound Forever" and the source and origin of that claim are place such as as consumer audio magazines and consumer magazines such as Consumer Reports in yoru country and also now things like Wikipedia and they combine that with a basic understanding of how computers work.
I say we should allow these people some credit because they have read and consumed enormous amounts of written content as evidenced by they're liberal use of "cut and paste" to support their arguments with graphs, charts, and "data" to appear "scientific" and then many of them also watch the 'experts" who post You Tube videos and so it is a club like a religion.
What they share has been pointed out bu others here and that is that they have not tried such devices and when they do their expectation bias revs to "high gear" and they are driven to post here sometimes claiming as one has in this thread that they are laughing at us which is "ironic".
So what these people should but won't do is set aside their religion and bible texts and actually conduct some kind of experiment which may or may not reveal and expose their narrow, confined, limited "thinking" which is more simple repetition of hat they have consumed and the rest of the users here can continue to report their experiences having already overcome the "bar" of "digital sound is perfect forever".
@clearthinkyou are wrong. I have tried Etherregen and various “audiophile” Ethernet cables.
and you are also wrong about cut and paste, I have practiced networking on a daily basis since 1999, and I have worked on some really interesting commercial audio projects. Needless to say, no commercial audio applications use these products, but they only care about what actually improves sound quality.
Here’s the thing. Generalizations do not work. I do agree that while on some stereo systems a quality network switch makes no difference in the sound but on other systems the quality network switch makes a very apparent difference. To make a blanket statement that quality network switches do nothing, ie. telling me that I do not hear what I am hearing then that is a problem. These posts are supposed to be a free exchange of ideas, experiences and opinions. We can all respect everyone’s experiences and ideas. But one persons experiences does not negate another’s.
The thing to understand is that this stereo hobby is a deep, seemingly bottomless hole. What I mean is- as I upgraded my system and it became more resolving small changes become audible. What might have been imperceptible before becomes quite apparent. It’s like draining the swamp. As we make things better new problems arise. I get a preamp and now I can more plainly hear a difference in power cords or interconnects. At some point most of us rue the day we ever got caught up in this hobby. A couple of years ago I would have laughed at the idea of audio grade network switches. I’m not laughing now. I even had to buy better ethernet cables to go between the modem, router and network switch. The difference in sound was that apparent.
When I started streaming music two years ago, I found the the music was clearly inferior to playing CDs. Even playing the FLAC files loaded into my music server did not quite match the sound of spinning CDs. So I upgraded the power supply and USB cable on my music server. Much better- local FLAC files now were very close to the sound of the CD. Still, streaming wasn’t close to the sound of local files. I tried a cheap network switch and found it helped a little. Then I tried putting fiber optic in and that was a big improvement. Cheap network switch had to go. It was now detrimental to the sound. So now streaming was very close to playing CDs but not quite there. So I bought an audio grade network switch and added it to the chain. Bass got better, imaging got tighter and improved clarity. I don’t think I could tell the difference now between streaming and playing the CD. I can stream all day or night long now and enjoy the music immensely.
Now, will everyone have that same experience? Perhaps not. But that does not make it right or wrong.
FLAC is a lossless protocol. Decompressed FLAC files are bit-perfect in comparison to the source WAV files. Bits are bits. Fred is correct. Routers and other hardware that operate in the digital domain have built-in error correction. Analog signal chains suffer from error propagation.
@tonywinga+1 and we’ll said. It’s amazing what you can learn when you trust your ears rather than just spouting dogma. The “bits are bits” crowd will never get out of their own way and certainly will never just trust their own ears, so arguing with them is pointless. Be glad you can more enjoy what you have now because you dared to have an open mind and open ears and just let the others wallow around in their ignorance.
Speaking of the innuos Ethernet switch around $3k with discounts it’s on another level Everything sounds judt much more real and refined my brother owns one and I put it in my system for a day outstanding and inside build quality Exceptional
I may buy one but first the GreaT T+A 200 dac thsts next in my shopping list.
To Sioux ad anyone else ,unless you have actually spent time comparing them
then you speak out of No credible knowledge ,and nothing to add that’s meaningful
the common switch is crap $30 with nothing but noise ,where is the SW8 switch has low noise regulators,linesr power supplies, many filter capacitirs, and a OCXO
oven clock , which for $595 and in a machined aluminum case is a true bargain imo.to make it at least another added 5-6% put a decent power cord on it like the Pangea awg14 sig mk2 , and Synergistic purple 1.25 amp Slow blow fuse , or Hifi tuning Supreme gold fuse a easy upgrade , also put a 12v LPS on your modem-router combo vs the $5 crappy 💩 wall wart , little green computer 12v up to 8 amp
these audiophile switches are not too pricey... ether regens for instance trade used frequently at $500-600, buy one try it, if it doesn’t enhance your sound, post it for sale, it’ll be gone in a few days
otherwise, one can likely find retail sellers of silent angels, english electric or sotm, aqvox, etc who will do trial periods, worst you can lose is shipping, maybe a small restocking fee
too much brain damage and chatter on these threads - there will always be divergent opinions on a forum, anonymous keyboard jockeys spouting their knowledge from on high, no check on their credibility... it is just the nature of the beast -- so you want to know if something works? go get it, buy smart and learn for yourself, sell it off if it doesn’t perform to expectation
@soix I’ve worked in Enterprise networks for 30+ years. Fairly confident I have a better understanding of this than most members here. The base product this item is created from is a $40 limited function Ethernet switch. The only thing I could see making an impact would be clock regen on the downlink. But that shouldn’t matter, as the streamer/DAC will regen again, and will be the only clock that actually matters. So $600 for a $40 switch in a pretty aluminum case. Still lol.
I’m using a mesh network system and the audio system streamer is connected to a satellite router by Ethernet and the satellite router gets its connection from the main router via a 5 GHz “trunk” wireless stream.
1 - is the switch as effective in this situation? All reviews I’ve read appear to be pure Ethernet networks.
2 - do I put my best Ethernet cable before or after the switch?
The most robust and best sounding setup will be hard wire ethernet cable from router to music streamer. A wireless link is a compromise. However, when I did some experimenting streaming television programming, I had the wireless mesh router near the TV connected by ethernet cable back to my audio grade network bridge. The picture was just slightly less clear using wireless to the Apple TV box vs the ethernet cable plugged directly into the Apple TV box. So based on my experience, a wifi link may be just fine or you may hear a difference depending on your system and all other factors- like RFI levels in your home. You will have to try it both ways- put the audio grade network switch before the wireless link and then try it close to your music streamer. The latter is likely to give the best results for streaming music. The best ethernet cable should be at the music server.
I know all this because I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last week. Yes, I really did and it was crazy expensive. My first hotel stay since Covid. Wow! Prices have gone up a lot.
I’ve worked in Enterprise networks for 30+ years. Fairly confident I have a better understanding of this than most members here. The base product this item is created from is a $40 limited function Ethernet switch.
@rjmcinnisEnterprise networks have nothing to do with sound quality and give you exactly zero credibility here. In addition to the aluminum case this unit has an upgraded clock and dumps the crap SMPS for a LPS. These are not small upgrades, and if you don’t understand this you’re completely out of your depth here. Look up Jay’s Audio for transports — they know a lot more than you do when it comes to audio. Period. Stick to enterprise networks where you’re clearly more qualified but has little to do with high-end audio. Or are we gonna just get into the “bits are bits” BS conversation here?
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