network streaming tweaks

French Rooster posted:
Obsydian posted:

Second Hand is very good but if you can push and find a brand new sealed 2960 it is far superior.

hey obsydian, have you compared cisco 2960 second hand to a brand new 2960?  why new sealed is far superior ?

Yes.

You guys got my into the first second hand 2960. I was very happy with that upgrade, but do get a bit new OFF (if you know what I mean).

So I kept looking for the exact model brand new, managed to find one, was fully sealed Cisco box.

For sure it was more open and dynamic.

Maybe the older ones may have had a hard life :  

The way I read the spec of the Cisco 2960 8 tc is that it has a fibre port which requires a relatively cheap module inserted. This means that one fmc and power supply is saved. 

I have not investigated which fmc would be compatible with the Cisco. Is it determined by the cable that the Cisco module supports?

I can see no justification for a better ifi iPower ps at the hub end. 

It also seems to me that the Cisco 2960 might benefit from being plugged into a less noisy circuit or is it likely to have a internal SMPS of its own? Mine plugs into the bar used by the TV, DVD, Apple TV, NAS and Humax Sat box. However, I just use the TV as a media player for when I can’t be bothered to use the CDX2 into nDAC+XPSDR.

What about the NAS? Mine has quite a big wall wart.

Phil

 

Obsydian posted:
French Rooster posted:
Obsydian posted:

Second Hand is very good but if you can push and find a brand new sealed 2960 it is far superior.

hey obsydian, have you compared cisco 2960 second hand to a brand new 2960?  why new sealed is far superior ?

Yes.

You guys got my into the first second hand 2960. I was very happy with that upgrade, but do get a bit new OFF (if you know what I mean).

So I kept looking for the exact model brand new, managed to find one, was fully sealed Cisco box.

For sure it was more open and dynamic.

Maybe the older ones may have had a hard life : &nbsp

just a question Obsydian, not related to this topic :   you are only streaming from tidal.  Why not also try to hear some high rez and just buy a nas . You have elegant nas like the qnap hs251.  Some good sounding high rez are a good step in sound quality vs tidal streaming.  

You have tweaked now your network and enjoy the sound.  The star can stream downloads high rez stocked on a nas. The qnap hs251 is around 300GBP.  

Just a suggestion....

vtpcnk posted:

is a 10/100 switch enough or do we need 10/100/1000?

the average size of a flac file is only some 50 mb or so.

are you going to try two cisco 2960 with fiber optic ?  if it works i presume it will sound better than the cheap fmc converters.  You would be the inventor of the best network bridge possible !

i think i am going to go for the 10/100/1000 2960 which costs like double of a standard 2960. so fiber optic will have to wait.

did u check your own 2960 for the fiber optic port? 

this is the single mode sfp module for 2960 : GLC-LH-SM. for 20 dollars or so, u can try if u are able to output a fiber optic signal from the 2960 to the tp-link fmr. if that works everybody is on an upgrade path to fiber optic link to another cisco 2960.

btw there are some 2960 switches with two sfp ports. a technical project manager who works with me said that there is a concept called loopback in networking where you can turn the signal inward. so u take the fiber optic signal from one sfp port  and loop it back into the other sfp port. but whether you can take it out again out of the ethernet port is a question. maybe somebody who is good at networking can answer this. S-in-S?

vtpcnk posted:

i think i am going to go for the 10/100/1000 2960 which costs like double of a standard 2960. so fiber optic will have to wait.

did u check your own 2960 for the fiber optic port? 

this is the single mode sfp module for 2960 : GLC-LH-SM. for 20 dollars or so, u can try if u are able to output a fiber optic signal from the 2960 to the tp-link fmr. if that works everybody is on an upgrade path to fiber optic link to another cisco 2960.

sorry but i am a bit tired with all these tweaks.  I would have to try the good sfp module, then find a compatible fiber optic, then configure the cisco certainly ( i don’t know how)....and finally it is not sure that sound quality will change vs the tp link....

You have launched the idea, i thought you were interested by it.  What is the cisco model you want to buy?   what is the difference ?    For Simon in the Suffolk, all 2960 switch are nearly the same, he has tested a lot ( 8tc, 8tl....).    And does it really matters with a uniqute?

I have an nds/555 dr and before used a simple netgear gs105 switch. The cisco gave a bit more edge and involvement vs the netgear, but it was not night and day.  I guess that with an uniqute, the effect must be minimal.   But perhaps i am wrong....i have not tried with an uniqute or atom...

French Rooster posted:
vtpcnk posted:

but there is no fiber optic output on naim streamers.....?   how use this?

Exactly.... hence why a lot of this thread is like tone control fiddling as opposed to real technical betterment...just simply wire up from your switch or router switch port, sit back, and enjoy your tunes...

If there are fundamental concerns over sound leading to people 'looping back' fibre connections then surely logic would dictate getting something with tone controls or a more sophisticated solution that allows you to tweak the sound such as convolution.

 

 

I am willing to be you would get a better 'upgrade' by turning the fridge off when listening to music, logic has to kick in somewhere.

I think the whole network tweaking thing appeals to a particular individual and the rest of us myself included can become lost, confused and eventually disinterested because it just doesn't make sense and people say that getting an analogue source like a record player running correctly is way too much faffing about.

Exactly Bob-t-B,    I would however say network tweaking thing appeals to some,  the rest are either lost & confused,  or are disinterested because they know it doesn't make sense.      As Simon-i-S says ..... wire up from your switch or router switch port, sit back, and enjoy your tunes 

I have been gradually replacing my home network components with items from Ubiquiti’s range (they have excellent wireless access points and software that allows very flexible control of the network).  Ubiquiti produce an 8 port switch that also accepts two sfp modules.  These are not cheap but I decided to experiment and have a 20 metre optical link between the switch that my server is connected to and the one connected to my NDS.  That means I need no separate media converters because the switches do it all themselves.  I liked dealing with optical cable, it’s very thin and flexible compared to ethernet cable, though is pre-terminated for amateurs like me which presents its own issues.  This all works very well and sounds fantastic but (1) the last lap from switch to NDS is ethernet (2) I don’t know how good, bad or indifferent Ubiquiti switches are in terms of extraneous electrical noise and (3) I don’t know if it would sound any different if the network was ethernet throughout.  If Naim produces an NDS 555 and if it accepts sfp modules I could be all optical and, who knows, that might be beneficial.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
French Rooster posted:
vtpcnk posted:

but there is no fiber optic output on naim streamers.....?   how use this?

Exactly.... hence why a lot of this thread is like tone control fiddling as opposed to real technical betterment...just simply wire up from your switch or router switch port, sit back, and enjoy your tunes...

so sfp separate module can’t be connected to the 2960?   the glc -lh-sm?

Jonathan H posted:

I have been gradually replacing my home network components with items from Ubiquiti’s range (they have excellent wireless access points and software that allows very flexible control of the network).  Ubiquiti produce an 8 port switch that also accepts two sfp modules.  These are not cheap but I decided to experiment and have a 20 metre optical link between the switch that my server is connected to and the one connected to my NDS.  That means I need no separate media converters because the switches do it all themselves.  I liked dealing with optical cable, it’s very thin and flexible compared to ethernet cable, though is pre-terminated for amateurs like me which presents its own issues.  This all works very well and sounds fantastic but (1) the last lap from switch to NDS is ethernet (2) I don’t know how good, bad or indifferent Ubiquiti switches are in terms of extraneous electrical noise and (3) I don’t know if it would sound any different if the network was ethernet throughout.  If Naim produces an NDS 555 and if it accepts sfp modules I could be all optical and, who knows, that might be beneficial.

so you need two ubiquiti switches to make an optical bridge ?   is there a dc output ( 5v or 12v) on this switch ?

French Rooster posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
French Rooster posted:
vtpcnk posted:

but there is no fiber optic output on naim streamers.....?   how use this?

Exactly.... hence why a lot of this thread is like tone control fiddling as opposed to real technical betterment...just simply wire up from your switch or router switch port, sit back, and enjoy your tunes...

so sfp separate module can’t be connected to the 2960?   the glc -lh-sm?

On some 2960 models you can connect SFPs on the uplink ports, but Naim streamers currently don’t support SFPs so one needs to use twisted pair Ethernet to connect to Naim streamers...

Do you mean does this Ubiquiti switch supply power over ethernet?  The answer to that is yes so my WiFi access points all run off these switches with just an ethernet cable and no separate power.  If you mean do they use a wall wart or a kettle lead, it’s a kettle lead.  The power supply is integrated so it can’t be changed.  My network layout means I have to have two switches 20 metres apart.  They could have been connected by an ethernet cable but for the relatively modest additional cost of the versions that accept sfp modules I thought it would be interesting to try optical, because I was completely ignorant about what it was and how it worked.

Thank you Freedomsounds for your comment.  I didn’t mean to say that the system sounds fantastic because of the optical part.  It does indeed sound fantastic, but that’s entirely down to Naim.  I hope I made it clear that I had no idea whether using an ethernet cable instead would make the sound any different; I haven’t tried that because it works as it is.

 

 

 

hey all , i think it is agreed that to use a switch between the router and streamer is beneficial. but is it necessary for the nas or compter running the upnp to also be connected to the switch? is there any disadvantage in it being connected to the router instead with only the streamer being connected to the switch? reason i am asking is that i have a 200 mbps connection and there are a lot of reports that a switch could degrade  that speed. or if i used a 10/100 switch.

also if i had a unitiqute hooked to a wifi extender - can i also put a switch between them with a nas connected to the switch? would that work?

appreciate the insights.

Hi, you don’t necessarily need a switch between router switch-port and streamer... if you have a descent router switch-port in the first place, and a low quality switch might actually cause a SQ degrade on your streamer. Remember most home network routers these days have very capable switches built in and so makes a lot of sense to use them, KIS (Keep it simple) . If you want to use a separate switch for whatever reason, then it makes sense and is simplest on many home networks to connect everything to that switch for optimum switching performance .

Looking at throughputs is not simply a case at looking at sync speeds alone but they are related. However in your case if using a separate switch, I would aim to have a 1Gbps uplink connection between switch and your router. Many Cisco 2960 switches support this for this reason for example, whilst using Fast Ethernet distribution ports.

The idea is to route the important connection between streamer & NAS through the switch,  the router connection is less important.   Having the NAS traffic go via router & then via switch makes no sense.   

Don’t confuse broadband/internet line speed connection  with switch or other network device ‘speeds’   

Mike-B posted:

The idea is to route the important connection between streamer & NAS through the switch,  the router connection is less important.   Having the NAS traffic go via router & then via switch makes no sense.   

Don’t confuse broadband/internet line speed connection  with switch or other network device ‘speeds’   

Now I am confused...I was thinking that I need a switch to isolate my gear from the router.I currently have my Core and 272 hard wired with Ethernet to my router.How do I know if my router is good enough as a switch?All this talk about fibre optic bridges etc.,had me thinking I am missing something...but am I really?To me it sounds good as is,but I guess I would not know if it can be improved,unless I buy all of these things.

NQ, yes there is a lot loose terminology used on the forum that can confuse....especially with so called ‘fibre bridges’ and home routers..

Essentially a switch directs frames of data between devices connected to it. The switch allows the devices connected to it to send these frames concurrently and in both directions at the same time. Therefore on a switch for most  (unicast) data the data only goes between the appropriate ports required to convey that data... 

A router is specifically a device than joins networks, such as the internet to your home network subnet, and facilitates the routing of data packets  between the networks. (Routers route packets between networks, switch switch frames within a single network)

Now most home network routers, are actually hybrids of a switch, Wifi access point, router and modem... it’s a mouthful so we just say ‘router’ or ‘broadband router’. However we can just as easily use the switch function in these home ‘routers’ as we can a separate switch. Think of it being like a Naim streamer, is actually a streamer and DAC combined or you can separate out.

Many  years ago, some home network routers were poorly specified, as most people at that time used the internet simply for web and email which are not demanding, and these led to a then bad reputation for some home routers not being able to switch effectively as for most they didn’t need to work efficiently... but the world has moved on and so have modern home routers...

So all switches isolate unicast data whether they be built in the home router or separate, also remember broadcast and multicast data (depending on implementation) reaches all parts of your home network subnet irrespective of how you connect up.

As far as  ‘fibre bridges’ they are transparent to data,  they have no impact what so ever in terms of data isolation etc, however in theory you can use them like acommon mode RFI filter (like a ferrite clamp) to impede electrical noise from poorly specified or faulty home network equipment .. but to my view you are more likely to cause more issues this way in the longer run and it’s better to fix the root cause.

Tweaking aside, set up your home network topology to suit your layout.

 

I found the following when progressing the various options from just adding a switch, cables and full power Fibre Bridge

I have ranked each (#) and then the order (1st, 2nd, etc…) of change.

 

Yes #03 – if you factor VFM and bang per £, then I would rate it #09, but I see this exercise as letting the Nova flourish and excel.

 

#01 (6th) – Adding IFI power supplies (£90) to the fibre bridge = Major drop in noise floor, vivid soundstage;

#02 (5th) – Adding fibre bridge (£75), between switch and Nova = Major improvement in dynamics, wide soundstage, everything got much better;

#03 (2nd) – Upgrading Atom to Nova (£4100) = Allot more emotion and control, brings ease to the presentation (as in effortless);

#04 (3rd) – A new Cisco 2960 = Much tighter grip/control/timing, made the used switch sound sluggish an “loose” in comparison;

#05 (1st) – Adding a used Cisco 2960 (£100) used = Very noticeable improvement in dynamics and detail;

#06 (4th) – Using Chord C Streams (£50) = Subtle but clear minor veil lifted;

#07 (7th) – Using AQ Vodka (£500) fibre bridge to Nova = A clear step backwards, dynamics lost and heavy bloated bass.

#08 (8th) - Wurth Ferrite Core = Nothing no change whatsoever

OBSYDIAN

Just when I thought Simon had me staying put with what I have,ha ha...I notice you have adding the “new Cisco 2960” as number one improvement.Can you give me the exact model number you are referring to.Thanks for the breakdown of the things you added.

NO QUARTER - Sorry my dual logic of rank improvement and order/sequence of change.

The old Cisco i did 1st in order, but ranked it as #05 out of #08.

Anyway it is the Cisco - WS-C2960-8TC 8-Port

 

Anyway best to keep and open mind and try what you think makes sense.

I think he had “used” Cisco as no1,and the new as no.3. Presumably the new gives an uplift, but not as much as he already had the benefit of the used baked into the set up. A new Cisco ws- 2960. 8tc is £1454 on Amazon, which was why I got a refurbed one.

Obsydian posted:

NO QUARTER - Sorry my dual logic of rank improvement and order/sequence of change.

The old Cisco i did 1st in order, but ranked it as #05 out of #08.

Anyway it is the Cisco - WS-C2960-8TC 8-Port

 

Anyway best to keep and open mind and try what you think makes sense.

Oh I see,so you are saying adding the power supply to the bridge is #1 improvement then,correct?Is GAZZA right,the new 2960 is 1400 pounds?woah!

No quarter posted:
Mike-B posted:

The idea is to route the important connection between streamer & NAS through the switch,  the router connection is less important.   Having the NAS traffic go via router & then via switch makes no sense.

Now I am confused...I was thinking that I need a switch to isolate my gear from the router.

Sorry if I confused you,  all I'm saying is to route the NAS-Streamer path through the switch ,  or the broadband router,  not both.   

No quarter posted:
Obsydian posted:

NO QUARTER - Sorry my dual logic of rank improvement and order/sequence of change.

The old Cisco i did 1st in order, but ranked it as #05 out of #08.

Anyway it is the Cisco - WS-C2960-8TC 8-Port

 

Anyway best to keep and open mind and try what you think makes sense.

Oh I see,so you are saying adding the power supply to the bridge is #1 improvement then,correct?Is GAZZA right,the new 2960 is 1400 pounds?woah!

Yes sorry i was trying to answer both dimensions of how i would rank the change and then the order of the change. Plus to add the cost.

So in this case i did the used Cisco 2960 1st (ranked it 5th in terms of improvement) and the new Cisco 2960 3rd (ranked it 4th improvement wise). Yes a new 2960 is expensive i got a bargain but still expensive, reminds me still need to shift my old 2960.

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