Cisco switch

French Rooster posted:

after several months with the cisco 2960, i finally returned to my netgear gs105 powered by a high quality linear ps( hdplex).  I had too much bass and body with my system and room.

The sound with the netgear / hdplex combo is better balanced for my ears, a bit softer and nicer, with same involvement and dynamics.   

The cisco is technically better but also noisier vs my combo.  I hear a bit more details, longer notes, and nicer tone colors.   The cisco is more forward and gives a bit more bass and body, but for me it is too much.   All is finally system dependent.    With a bigger room than i have, i would keep the cisco i guess.  

I get recently audioquest diamond lans and reconnected the cisco, put off the fmc , and all is sounding fine, never sounded even so fine.  I bought a new sealed cisco, white, better looking than the old grey one.   So, after different tryings, i must say that today i am very pleased with the cisco 2960.

I should try one of these well regarded Cisco and trust the community widespread opinion,but the tiny GS105 is working just so fine with my trusted hifi iPOWERthat keeps me from trying anything else.

I may be wrong but better specs Switch in audio sounds to me an a noiser uncertainty.

Hi Antonio1, it’s not so much the specification of the switch that affects things, but the physical design of these particular devices... and their physical layer interfacing and synchronisation clock stability.... for our basic uses in home audio any switch is almost certainly going to function correctly... it’s not dissimilar to differeing Ethernet leads, or decoding WAV and FLAC... they will all correctly function and decode... bit perfectly in fact... but it’s the differeing side effects we hear and notice between these methods.

Just do it. I didn't forever and it ended up being one of the biggest bangs for the buck in my hifi. They're available used in large quantities for under $50; if you want the newer white cased ones a bit rarer on the used market - start at about $150. A small price in relation to how a poor switch can throttle your whole system. Or hang on. A number of companies coming out with audiophile switches that may or may not be better than the Ciscos. But at 10-20X plus the cost of a used 2960. Keep in mind the Ciscos are $500-1k new as well. And there are hundreds of industrial grade switches out there nobodies really tried that might be as good or better than the Ciscos. 

The second biggest bang for my buck in my hifi was swapping out the dc cable for my renderer's power supply with a Supra CAT8 which are very well shielded. It was like turning the ring and it snapping into focus, all with $4 worth of cable. So shielding and grounding are big deals, esp. with all of this new electronic gear we have to run now in order to listen to our music, and a quality switch will help with that as well. 

GS105 was my first switch introduction, yes it was an improvement, but the 2960 blew it away with ease.

I went from an Amazon £5 cable, to the Supra CAT8 which I liked but always felt it sucked the life (dynamics) out of music (same with the Supra Lorad Power cable).

I suppose it is whatever floats your boat.

But for sure the 2960 compliments our Naim setups.

Kudos to the forum members drawing attention to it, otherwise I would have never tried it.

Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

A network switch improving sound quality on your hifi?  I'm afraid this is just complete nonsense. 

Well there happens to be rather extensive threads on both the Naim and Linn forums with overwhelming numbers of posters coming to the same conclusions - using both Naim and Linn streamers (and other makes as well).  There are also some rather smart people who work in the computer and networking fields who have provided explanations on why so many are hearing these improvements.

When an overwhelming majority of people come to similar conclusions I tend to believe that things are usually what they claim them to be.

Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

"When an overwhelming majority of people come to similar conclusions I tend to believe that things are usually what they claim them to be"

Herd mentality. Not always a good thing.

 

Don't you mean 'heard' mentality in that these people (including myself) have actually heard an improvement.

Why don't you try a Cisco 2960 switch, and adopt a heard mentality of your own.

Mind you, they do say ignorance is bliss.

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

Surely the smart thing to do is get them on ebay then!

G

Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:
charlesphoto posted:

in audio many things don’t claim as much as they just sound. 

I'm not really sure what that means but good luck anyway.

In other words, numbers can only get one so far as to the quality or validity of a certain device vs what one actually hears. Some things just can’t be measured. 

Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

I am also a network design engineer with a background in system and RF engineering, and in my line of work it makes total sense... by the way you are right it nots specific to the 2960 including the new models, but it does seem specific to the various Catalyst switches I have tried including layer 3 Catalyst switches... The EM response to physical differential line driver layouts and the PHY clock stability and its lack of intermodulation products would appear to be helping. The effects or otherwise are taking place before (or after depending on your perspective) of the ASIC(s)

What I have found in my experience is that it  is nothing or very little to do with the devices powersupply. But being an engineer I observe (and listen) and then look to evaluate why one experiences an outcome. I believe it was myself who first discovered this ‘benefit’ of using, as it was then, a 2960 Fast Ethernet switch device a few years back, when I discovered it by accident when I was was narrowing down an issue of Ethernet intermodulation PHY layer clock frequency products from a particular home network switch product affecting stereo decoding birdies on my FM tuner... and I investigated further.

i have also found and analyzed sound differences between different media servers based in inter Ethernet frame timing consistency... I had shared my findings with Naim... and well what I can say is that the network  streaming module design of the newer devices has changed.... its good to have an open mind and the where with all and tools to investigate further ... you never know little discoveries have the possibility of improving our Hi-Fi products further...

GraemeH posted:
Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

Surely the smart thing to do is get them on ebay then!

G

Graeme, exactly, you can’t really go wrong... as only the now obsolete Fast Ethernet devices are all that is required for home audio.. 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
GraemeH posted:
Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

Surely the smart thing to do is get them on ebay then!

G

Graeme, exactly, you can’t really go wrong... as only the now obsolete Fast Ethernet devices are all that is required for home audio.. 

So the ND555 is obsolete already  

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

I am also a network design engineer with a background in system and RF engineering, and in my line of work it makes total sense... by the way you are right it nots specific to the 2960 including the new models, but it does seem specific to the various Catalyst switches I have tried including layer 3 Catalyst switches... The EM response to physical differential line driver layouts and the PHY clock stability and its lack of intermodulation products would appear to be helping. The effects or otherwise are taking place before (or after depending on your perspective) of the ASIC(s)

What I have found in my experience is that it  is nothing or very little to do with the devices powersupply. But being an engineer I observe (and listen) and then look to evaluate why one experiences an outcome. I believe it was myself who first discovered this ‘benefit’ of using, as it was then, a 2960 Fast Ethernet switch device a few years back, when I discovered it by accident when I was was narrowing down an issue of Ethernet intermodulation PHY layer clock frequency products from a particular home network switch product affecting stereo decoding birdies on my FM tuner... and I investigated further.

i have also found and analyzed sound differences between different media servers based in inter Ethernet frame timing consistency... I had shared my findings with Naim... and well what I can say is that the network  streaming module design of the newer devices has changed.... its good to have an open mind and the where with all and tools to investigate further ... you never know little discoveries have the possibility of improving our Hi-Fi products further...

Out of interest, why would the likes of Naim not build in what ever technical wizardry you’ve described above in to their products if it brings such a benefit

Mercky posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

I am also a network design engineer with a background in system and RF engineering, and in my line of work it makes total sense... by the way you are right it nots specific to the 2960 including the new models, but it does seem specific to the various Catalyst switches I have tried including layer 3 Catalyst switches... The EM response to physical differential line driver layouts and the PHY clock stability and its lack of intermodulation products would appear to be helping. The effects or otherwise are taking place before (or after depending on your perspective) of the ASIC(s)

What I have found in my experience is that it  is nothing or very little to do with the devices powersupply. But being an engineer I observe (and listen) and then look to evaluate why one experiences an outcome. I believe it was myself who first discovered this ‘benefit’ of using, as it was then, a 2960 Fast Ethernet switch device a few years back, when I discovered it by accident when I was was narrowing down an issue of Ethernet intermodulation PHY layer clock frequency products from a particular home network switch product affecting stereo decoding birdies on my FM tuner... and I investigated further.

i have also found and analyzed sound differences between different media servers based in inter Ethernet frame timing consistency... I had shared my findings with Naim... and well what I can say is that the network  streaming module design of the newer devices has changed.... its good to have an open mind and the where with all and tools to investigate further ... you never know little discoveries have the possibility of improving our Hi-Fi products further...

Out of interest, why would the likes of Naim not build in what ever technical wizardry you’ve described above in to their products if it brings such a benefit

That was exactly what Simon said. Naim incorportated his findings in the next generation of the streamers.

Hi Simon - I take it that the variations in Ethernet frame timing will have minimal effect on the new streamers (based around the NP800 module) as these can buffer a whole track into memory and play straight from there rather than pulling data continuously across the network during playback?

James

Mercky posted:

Yeh I know he did but why do we hear benefits by using a 2960 then? Or does he mean future yet to be released streamers?

Two different things... the 2960 matter is I believe intermodulation products. The point about media server sq that I shared with Naim was about media streaming strategy, which, whether by coincidence or not Naim has completely redesigned the media streaming strategy to mitigate certain transport issues (where the peer allows)

james n posted:

Hi Simon - I take it that the variations in Ethernet frame timing will have minimal effect on the new streamers (based around the NP800 module) as these can buffer a whole track into memory and play straight from there rather than pulling data continuously across the network during playback?

James

It should do, as decoupling is increased, and the application memory allows the media to be cached far quicker. I have yet to evaluate the new platforms on this however. It could be the SQ changes now between spooling or not spoiling ie when the media is fully transferred.. feels unlikely.. but as I say I have not evaluated the new platforms

Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:
Frank Yang posted:

I believe, per Simon, that the sound improvement is due to dealing with the Ethernet frame timing issue.

It would be interesting to know which streamers getting the benefit from the fix?

Could you elaborate on what this timing issue is?

Yes it is the timing consistency between layer2 (Ethernet ) frames during a media transfer. It’s quite complicated as the transfer is not a consistent stream, but is is regular intermittent  ‘buzz’ of activity.  During the media transfer where the media frames are consistently spaced, and dynamic flow control was not initiated but instead transfer semaphoring was used by zeroing receive window and then opening, it the SQ seemed to improve (subjectively)

Where the interframe spacing was more variable, and dynamic flow control initiated then the SQ reduced slightly (subjectively).

The classic Naim streamers seem to support these two types of transport flow control, and is dependent on the rate of media transfer from the peer host.

i have created some wireshark settings to capture and graphically display this if you are interested.

in essence all I believe we are hearing is the noise caused by the NIC and TCP engine from the streamer module coupling into the DAC clock and analogue stages.

Simo

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
GraemeH posted:
Mrs Wogan's lemon drizzle cake posted:

Funnily enough we have a stack of old 2960s ready for the skip (I'm a network engineer by day). 

However, there is nothing magical about this switch.  Ultimately It's just switching frames from one port across it's backplane (crossbar) to another.   Same as any other layer two switch in principle (apart from the fact that traditionally Cisco use their own ASICs, as opposed to merchant silicon).

I've read various vague and unsupported claims regarding increased sound quality due to using this particular switch,  none of which make any sense, at all.

Surely the smart thing to do is get them on ebay then!

G

Graeme, exactly, you can’t really go wrong... as only the now obsolete Fast Ethernet devices are all that is required for home audio.. 

Hi Simon,

I have a Cisco SG110 24HP switch sitting awaiting installation. How, in your view, does this product compare to the (widely recommended) 2960?

regards

Hi, I honestly don’t know... I haven’t evaluated it... I suspect however it may not bring the same benefits as the catalyst models... as it is probably built differently to a lower specification as it is designed and marketed to a low cost market ... but I am speculating...  certainly in my experience not all Cisco devices sound as good as the 2960/3560 series Catalyst  switches

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