Posh switch - another cause of Audiophilia nervosa?

Someone told me that one of the advantages of using a separate switch is that it just does switchy things, which routers aren't so good at. So as yours is really a router and it has a fan, I'd suggest it is recycled in en environmentally friendly manner. The Extreme is a great router, now all you need is a proper switch. 

Pixies, to put in context, many larger commercial switches have routers built in, they are often called  'Layer 3 Switches'... this is absolutely fine and are the bed rock of much core infrastructure in data centres, factories and offices across the world. A switch without a router built in, typically used at the edges of infrastructure, are sometimes called 'Layer 2 Switches' so as to differentiate them routing switches. (In TCP/IP land switching - linking hosts within a network - occurs at layer 2 and routing - connecting networks together - occurs at layer 3 in the protocol stack)

its just in the home environment Layer 3 Switches ( and we are not taking consumer ISP broadband routers with 4 switchports built in) are probably an over kill and routers are quite processor intensive, so they will almost always have noisy forced cooling fans, again not making them ideally suited to the domestic environment.. 

But as I say just because it's an industrial switch I wouldn't assume it's going to 'sound' better. I suspect the support of PTP might however be a contributor.

Simon

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Pixies, to put in context, many larger commercial switches have routers built in, they are often called  'Layer 3 Switches'... this is absolutely fine and are the bed rock of much core infrastructure in data centres, factories and offices across the world. A switch without a router built in, typically used at the edges of infrastructure, are sometimes called 'Layer 2 Switches' so as to differentiate them routing switches. (In TCP/IP land switching - linking hosts within a network - occurs at layer 2 and routing - connecting networks together - occurs at layer 3 in the protocol stack)

its just in the home environment Layer 3 Switches ( and we are not taking consumer ISP broadband routers with 4 switchports built in) are probably an over kill and routers are quite processor intensive, so they will almost always have noisy forced cooling fans, again not making them ideally suited to the domestic environment.. 

But as I say just because it's an industrial switch I wouldn't assume it's going to 'sound' better. I suspect the support of PTP might however be a contributor.

Simon

Thanks Simon for taking the time to give a detailed explanation. Much appreciated.

Paul

Well, I was entrirely skeptical about replacing the cheapo netgear with the Cisco but blimey! I expected to have to listen hard to convince myself of some (possibly imagined) improvement...but not at all!

I've played a few albums and now on Ry's 'Borderline' which I know very well. It's a slightly toppy detailed recording which I'm hearing more into, with all the percussion and vocal harmonies nicely placed with their own space around them...delicious sounding.

This really reminds me of when I changed NACA5 to Tellurium Q Black - 'Cleaner' sounding, but not in a sterile way. The old 'veil removed' analogy comes to mind...really.

It may be that my network was substandard before of course, so others may not experience what I have.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Graeme

PS No more silly flashing numbered green lights now either!

GraemeH posted:

Well, I was entrirely skeptical about replacing the cheapo netgear with the Cisco but blimey! I expected to have to listen hard to convince myself of some (possibly imagined) improvement...but not at all!

I've played a few albums and now on Ry's 'Borderline' which I know very well. It's a slightly toppy detailed recording which I'm hearing more into, with all the percussion and vocal harmonies nicely placed with their own space around them...delicious sounding.

This really reminds me of when I changed NACA5 to Tellurium Q Black - 'Cleaner' sounding, but not in a sterile way. The old 'veil removed' analogy comes to mind...really.

It may be that my network was substandard before of course, so others may not experience what I have.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Graeme

PS No more silly flashing numbered green lights now either!

Hi Graeme. That's good then - you'll see now why I described it as sounding 'nicer'. It's hard to say exactly what's different, but it certainly was for me, and you too. Have fun. 

Hi Graeme,

Early on in this experiment, I described the music as having "more scale, or authority" ........... a little overblown description perhaps, but it works for me.

I've since binned the original bargain 48 port Cisco, in favour of the 8 port fanless version, and all I can say is that this surely represents the best VFM upgrade ever.

The scale of improvement may well be dependent on existing cabling etc, but I'm pleased to read that you are now a happy Cisco Kid.

Describing these changes is always open to individual interpretation,  but in my recent playing with switches I found a big difference between my study/office Netgear FS105 & the hifi GS105 - 'FS' = 'Fast' = 10/100mps & remember Naim only need 100mps -  so what's caused this so obvious (to me) difference.   Along that line of thought,  I'm thinking the final result impression moving to Cisco 2960 is somewhat dependant on the switch its replacing.   So a question for Graeme,  what was the switch 'with silly flashing numbered green lights'   ???

NB;  my hifi system GS105 has been replaced with a Cisco SG110D,  another change for the better.  

 

I switched (sorry) a Netgear GS105 v4 for a Cisco 2960 and noticed a rather nice improvement. Although the FS Netgear switches may be inferior to the GS models, my experience is that there is still an improvement to be had from moving from a 'GS' Netgear Gigabit switch to a Cisco 2960 switch.

Other systems and ears may beg to differ of course.

MMcCulloch posted:

My only nagging complaint with the 2960 in place is somewhat slower response time from the Naim app. Has anyone else experienced this?  

I noticed this when I first put it in but - and this may sound silly - it has speeded up and is now faster than when I had the Netgear. Maybe there is some sort of internal stuff going on. 

Hello Simon !

It's Peder from Sweden.I must thank you for the recommendations of the Cisco 2960,I have write

about it in a Swedish Naim/Linn-forum.

 

I have also told them if they want to read more of tecnical questions and other things about the Cisco,look for your inputs on the Naimforum.

 

A forum-member in Sweden ask me one thing,and I must ask/take the question to you.He said to me that

the Cisco WS-C2960-8TC-L are in at least 3 versions,called V01,V02 and V03 and he ask me what

version who is best.

 

Have you any ide about that,I promised him to take the question to you.

 

Ones again,thank's for all you have write about the Cisco,I have learned a lot,and I promised you,I have

read every word :-). And a Love my Cisco-switch 2960.

Best regards

Peder

 

MMcCulloch posted:

My only nagging complaint with the 2960 in place is somewhat slower response time from the Naim app. Has anyone else experienced this?  

It should be quicker, or at worst the same. Was the switch put to factory defaults when you bought it?

if you know how to log onto the switch I can give you some code to make the switch FASTER for UPnP discovery, so in your Naim app media server devices almost instantaneously appear (I am not talking the spinning circle for your app to connect to your streamer .. that is App/iOS related)

Thats the beauty of this devices, not only do they better for many, but you can optimise them to support the applications on your network... which is what managed devices are all about.. but you do need a bit of IT savvy.

 

Peder posted:

Hello Simon !

It's Peder from Sweden.I must thank you for the recommendations of the Cisco 2960,I have write

about it in a Swedish Naim/Linn-forum.

 

I have also told them if they want to read more of tecnical questions and other things about the Cisco,look for your inputs on the Naimforum.

 

A forum-member in Sweden ask me one thing,and I must ask/take the question to you.He said to me that

the Cisco WS-C2960-8TC-L are in at least 3 versions,called V01,V02 and V03 and he ask me what

version who is best.

 

Have you any ide about that,I promised him to take the question to you.

 

Ones again,thank's for all you have write about the Cisco,I have learned a lot,and I promised you,I have

read every word :-). And a Love my Cisco-switch 2960.

Best regards

Peder

 

Hi Peder, you are welcome. I posted details earlier in this thread - I use V02  see below

https://forums.naimaudio.com/to...22#69004037371527722

I suspect it makes no difference though, and unless people know how to log on to the switch and execute a show version command on the console we won't know what versions others are using.

Simon 

 

Yes I suspect its worth a try - its a Catalyst switch that supports PTP - they key aspects that drive the performance in my opinion, rather than the power supply. As I have said before with these switches I really don't think the power supply has much if anything to do with the performance boost many of us  hear - i think that is more for the cheaper consumer Netgear type devices

GraemeH posted:

I'm finding greatly increased clarity at low volumes too. Very happy indeed with this £60 upgrade!

G

...and a new razor like precision in the placing of instruments within an expanded 'out-of-the-box' side-to-side and front-to-back soundstage.

How can this be!?

G

All the discussion on this thread has prompted me to do what I was told to do in the first place, which is to hard wire our 272 to the BT hub and not use WiFi. There's no posh switch (yet) but just with using Ethernet cable, everything is quite a bit 'better'. There's no going back now which means a not so simple cabling project but Mrs NewNaim16 is in total agreement. Methinks one of those posh switches is next.

That's another lesson for me in how worthwhile improvements can be obtained with little expenditure. And of course taking best advice in the first place - even if I don't really want the inconvenience! 

Granthar posted:

 Now here's a question, would a Cisco 3560 sound better as it's a POE switch and therefore would have a bigger power supply built in.

I would have thought a bigger power supply might be noisier, therefore worse sounding? Then again, if it's POE, doesn't that mean it has no PSU of its own? I notice some 2650s are also POE, but I'm not sure where you would take the power from if you used one. 

Harry posted:

The effect of adding the switch was subtle but easy to notice. I thought the bass went a bit tighter and a little leaner, both of which sounded good to me. Unfortunately, this was accompanied by a ringing, biting edge to the treble which put me somewhat in mind of the DAC/555PS.

You can’t argue with the detail, resolution and sheer crystal clarity of the presentation but it goes all HiFi-like and you start thinking of system parameters rather than the music it is playing. The NDS put paid to all the HiFi and just left the music behind some years ago. The last two days have been a trip down memory lane and a reminder of why I settled where I did.

Putting back the original bog Netgear with its wall wart restored the balance without, it turned out, losing detail so much as shifting the sound balance - and most important of all, put the treble back in the soundstage rather than surging forward and trying to bite my face.  One cannot and should not discount the role of the room. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the most significant contributor.

Having spent some time critically listening today and doing a back to back, I am left wondering if what might seem like more detail might just be a spike of emphasis at that frequency. Not so much more detail as simply a different balance?

£50 wasn’t a huge risk and I’ll keep it as a spare for data. The feedback on this thread had me thinking it was a foregone conclusion. Just goes to show how easily you can be swept along. No harm done though.

Harry,

My findings exactly!  At first, like you, I liked what I was hearing but became increasingly disenchanted as the weeks passed; so much so, that I have now gone back to my Netgear GS105 and much prefer it.  It is warmer and fuller sounding than the Cisco and in the context of my system displays a more even tonal balance.

Like you, I initially thought the Cisco was more detailed but I now feel it achieved this impression by being leaner, particularly in the bass, thereby emphasising the top end which could make it sound 'edgy', particularly on vocals.  The same information is delivered by the Netgear but in a way that sounds preferable to these ears.

I've found the Netgear has less width to the soundstage but makes up for this with a greater sense of depth.

The Netgear is definitely a case of more music, less HiFi in my system.

So, another 2960 will soon hit the market!

Cheers,

Ian

Gandalf_fi posted:

I run HP 1810G-8 & Qnap NAS both with external linear power supply & seriously think that changing to Cisco with internal power supply makes no difference but please let me know if I should try one? Grounding with proper ethernet cabels is impacting as well.

https://commons.m.wikimedia.or...witch_HP_1810G-8.jpg

Well, I bought Cisco 2960: done 2013, SW 12.2.(55). Based on few hours comparison to HP & HDPlex I'm disappointed. Cisco is more flat = not so dynamic & piano & cymbals does not sound so natural = how long  & how instuments sound. However, Cisco is smooth & can be upgrade compared to some switches.

Let's see when I listen more but so far I'm not joining the Cisco fans. Still listening but quite sure that Cisco goes back to ebay.

Cisco myth Busted !

--------------

My system in case you wonder: NDS/2x555PS DR/Powelines or better all the way/Supelumina/Avantgarde XA Integrated/Kondo/Avantgarde XD Duo.

Simon,

If you wanted to combine the sonic benefits of the Cisco 2960 with gig Ethernet to support other devices on the switch, is there a more recent model that you would recommend worthy of investigation? I appreciate these won't probably be £50 second-hand upgrades, but I wouldn't want to sacrifice gig Ethernet, nor do I want to introduce a lot of kit just to serve the hifi.

Thanks, Adrian

The idea of a separate switch for the stereo is to isolate it from other traffic. So the files go from the nas via the switch to the streamer. If you start introducing other stuff you start to defeat the point. Perhaps connect two switches to the router - one for the Naim and one for the other stuff.

I'm not sure it makes much difference & have never tried it,  but to me it just seems the right thing to do.  I have a hifi switch - NAS>Switch>NDX -  running off one branch from the wireless hub & a separate branch to the study/office switch 

I would go with HH's suggestion. Then a 'posh' switch for audio costing £50, and a regular consumer grade Gigabit switch for everything else costing £20. A Cisco managed switch with GB speed costs hundreds. Having said that, do you actually need GB speeds?

Yes, I appreciate that, but I already said I don't want to introduce a separate kit just to serve the hifi. This wouldn't work for me anyway as my router is in my study and connected to the sitting room downstairs via a single run of Cat5E running outside the house and I currently have switches at each end of that cable. There is other kit upstairs and downstairs apart from the NDS that can use gig Ethernet. Not ideal having the shared traffic running over the same cable, perhaps, but that rarely happens in parallel.

Adrian_P posted:

Simon,

If you wanted to combine the sonic benefits of the Cisco 2960 with gig Ethernet to support other devices on the switch, is there a more recent model that you would recommend worthy of investigation? I appreciate these won't probably be £50 second-hand upgrades, but I wouldn't want to sacrifice gig Ethernet, nor do I want to introduce a lot of kit just to serve the hifi.

Thanks, Adrian

Hi Adrian - I have only observed the benefit on specific Fast Ethernet switches - if you use a GigE variant I can't say how that sounds in my setup.

Clearly there is a difference that most are hearing - many beneficial - some not. Of those that are not and have commented  some are finding it sharper or more 'hifi' -and  some are finding it smoother - so feedback on lack of success  seems not to correlate clearly  so it might be due to other reasons..

But don't spend a lot of money until you try it first

S

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