The Great Ethernet Showdown 2

Huge posted:

The Catalyst series of switches are expensive for a reason - it reflects the quality of the components and quality of engineering.  They are designed to work as part of large systems with hundreds of other network components all located in the same place.  To make this reliable they are designed to minimise uncontrolled interactions with other components (such as excessive latency, bandwidth limitations and electrical noise).  These design features are, I believe, where we see the benefit due to the minimisation of the uncontrolled interaction with the network interface of the Naim streamers.

Are they specifically engineered in this way Huge or are they just built to a higher standard than the usual consumer grade kit to meet the more stringent reliability requirements in the professional sector ?

James

kevin J Carden posted:

Interesting, thanks Huge. Any thoughts on why l might have had SQ issues with mine? It’s pretty old - July 2007 - but seems to be in good order. it’s been a while since I tried it and I’ve made quite a few changes in the network since I last did, so maybe time to try it again..

You write it yourself 😉....it's old,juli 2007.

I have write about this before on this forum. This Cisco's goes 24/7 hours in a computer room somewhere,year after year......before we buy it.

Think recapp,than you know what I mean,but if you recapp your power supply-card, you shall have a surprice 😁.

We have done that on one Cisco 2960 and it was from 2007. Now a guy here have start to build a linear power supple for the Cisco 2960......a big one 😎.This must be really good if you have Naim equipment......cause Naim doesn't like switching power-supply's involved in the system.

◾If you have an older Cisco,you must at least have it in your system for around 3weeks,before you take any decissions against others. No fast a-b test❗ 

◾You can also open you Cisco,and pull the cable from the power supply-card to the audioboard, up and down 10 times to clean it and get better contact.

Back too work,...... /Peder 🙂 

For me Cisco was nothing compared to D-Links and the bridge (in my case complicated but it works) , you can see it in my previous posts. Just waiting now for a good lan cable from Chord, Cardas or others to test this last missing point. But even now, the quality and soundstage are amazing, just amazing. 

Peder posted:
kevin J Carden posted:

Interesting, thanks Huge. Any thoughts on why l might have had SQ issues with mine? It’s pretty old - July 2007 - but seems to be in good order. it’s been a while since I tried it and I’ve made quite a few changes in the network since I last did, so maybe time to try it again..

You write it yourself 😉....it's old,juli 2007.

I have write about this before on this forum. This Cisco's goes 24/7 hours in a computer room somewhere,year after year......before we buy it.

Think recapp,than you know what I mean,but if you recapp your power supply-card, you shall have a surprice 😁.

We have done that on one Cisco 2960 and it was from 2007. Now a guy here have start to build a linear power supple for the Cisco 2960......a big one 😎.This must be really good if you have Naim equipment......cause Naim doesn't like switching power-supply's involved in the system.

◾If you have an older Cisco,you must at least have it in your system for around 3weeks,before you take any decissions against others. No fast a-b test❗ 

◾You can also open you Cisco,and pull the cable from the power supply-card to the audioboard, up and down 10 times to clean it and get better contact.

Back too work,...... /Peder 🙂 

Thanks Peder. I kind of assumed that a switch would either work or be in a failed state, but what you say makes sense, especially if components in the power supply might have degraded with time and use. Question is, can these parts be economically replaced?

Tesilk posted:

For me Cisco was nothing compared to D-Links and the bridge (in my case complicated but it works) , you can see it in my previous posts. Just waiting now for a good lan cable from Chord, Cardas or others to test this last missing point. But even now, the quality and soundstage are amazing, just amazing. 

Here in Sweden,we have in many years tested different swith'es. At the Linn-forum Selleri,the Lejonklou-forum (he lives here i Sweden) and on the forum I'm on now.

To this date, the Cisco 2960 is the best we have heard. But,as I have told/write earlier......you must take your time with the installation,the Cisco is a component in the hifi-chain.

I have seen many guy's not having any feet under their Cisco for example.......BIG MISTAKE❗ ..... Also write about earlier.

This not in England,but in other countries.I shall try too explane it in english. You can turn the contact on the power-cable 180 degres....the side who shall sitt in the wall.....one direction is much better than the other. Hope you understand what I mean.

/Peder 🙂 

 

kevin J Carden posted:
Huge posted:

The Catalyst series of switches are expensive for a reason - it reflects the quality of the components and quality of engineering.  They are designed to work as part of large systems with hundreds of other network components all located in the same place.  To make this reliable they are designed to minimise uncontrolled interactions with other components (such as excessive latency, bandwidth limitations and electrical noise).  These design features are, I believe where we see the benefit due to the minimisation of the interaction with the network interface of the Naim streamers.

Interesting, thanks Huge. Any thoughts on why l might have had SQ issues with mine? It’s pretty old - July 2007 - but seems to be in good order. it’s been a while since I tried it and I’ve made quite a few changes in the network since I last did, so maybe time to try it again..

you are not alone Kevin to find the cisco a bit edgy. I have found the same and other members , not many, didn’t like the cisco 2960-8tc.  But with good quality lan, with soft and fluid presentation, this edginess can disappear.  Or with a network bridge ( i use one).

If you don’t want expensive lans or network bridge, you can add an ifi power to your zykel.....

kevin J Carden posted:

Thanks Peder. I kind of assumed that a switch would either work or be in a failed state, but what you say makes sense, especially if components in the power supply might have degraded with time and use. Question is, can these parts be economically replaced?

Hard to say,we are so lucky that we have guy at our forum who is really good at this things.

And it's importent that it is the same components,.....components can sound different,even in a power supply.Believe me 😉. But the work is easy to do,and than you have a new Cisco-switch.

The power supply-card is easy to take out, if you will send it to maybe ClassA, Four screws and the cable to the audioboard you pull up....that's that.To open the switch,one screw on the top and one on each side.....just three.....than with the front against you,just lift the front-top up.

/Peder 🙂 

Sorry to drift the thread just a little bit,  but we had a few posts w.r.t. the iFi iPower PSU.      Well whatever some god/devil has been awakened;  this morning when I powered up Radio Paradise, silence, No Network, further checked & found iFi iPower was dead.   D####   that was the 2nd failure,  first one was on a Netgear switch after a very short time & the vendor swapped it with no questions. This one has been in use about 2 years  (refund warranty is under negotiation).   Whatever I am not going iFi again,  back to the original Cisco SMPS in the meantime.        

A while back my Linn DS buddy started using a replacement wall wart PSU called Friwo, it seems they are well rated on the Linn & Lejonklou forums     Friwo is a German cmpy,  they are sold as medical approved (whatever that is) & is reputed to be 'RFI' quiet,  and I've tested my Linn buddy system with the LW/AM/SW radio test & can conform they are indeed quiet. 

Just ordered a Friwo MMP15 (12vDC 1.25A) ... should be delivered Monday (?) ... will write a report whatever the SQ +/- result 

Mike-B posted:

Sorry to drift the thread just a little bit,  but we had a few posts w.r.t. the iFi iPower PSU.      Well whatever some god/devil has been awakened;  this morning when I powered up Radio Paradise, silence, No Network, further checked & found iFi iPower was dead.   D####   that was the 2nd failure,  first one was on a Netgear switch after a very short time & the vendor swapped it with no questions. This one has been in use about 2 years  (refund warranty is under negotiation).   Whatever I am not going iFi again,  back to the original Cisco SMPS in the meantime.        

A while back my Linn DS buddy started using a replacement wall wart PSU called Friwo, it seems they are well rated on the Linn & Lejonklou forums     Friwo is a German cmpy,  they are sold as medical approved (whatever that is) & is reputed to be 'RFI' quiet,  and I've tested my Linn buddy system with the LW/AM/SW radio test & can conform they are indeed quiet. 

Just ordered a Friwo MMP15 (12vDC 1.25A) ... should be delivered Monday (?) ... will write a report whatever the SQ +/- result 

presumably you know radio paradise was actually down this morning? 

Hungryhalibut posted:

Well, as least having a powered Cisco, I won’t be able to experiment with the Friwo. A whole new world of discussion awaits...

Ahh shame,  just think what you're gonna miss           I will just be writing up whatever it sounds like & thats it,  a network switch PSU will be low down the SQ gains order (IMO) so if there is a whole new world of discussion,  I'll leave it to others.      

And as for Mercky,  yes RP was down alright,  my iFi iPower made sure of that.   

Staying with the iFi iPower thread drift for just one more post;   another thread has news of a LPS vs SMPS test reported on Computer Audiophile,  www search on  "Power Supply (8+) Group Test, LPS and SMPS"   Its a test carried out by a Chinese computer guy (& translated)  & some of the PSU's he tests are not familiar to this forum.   

It concluded:    The best is the 9V battery (benchmark).   iFi iPower is so close to the battery.   Many LPSs didn’t do well at all & are NOT guaranteed to have good performance so you need to choose carefully.   But overall SMPS is not as good as LPS (ex iFi iPower)

But after 2x iPower unit failures (my bad luck I guess) I've moved to Friwo MMP15 

 

Mike interesting... and supports what I have said a few times, a linear powersupply is not neccessarily better, and depending on design and what it is connected to can make matters worse.... slightly ironic in a way seeing that that some of the most guilty culprits of noisy SMPS come from China...

SMPS   Lots of info about them, and this will be the core of psu in audio in the next few years and that will include power amplifiers,   LARGE out power supplies will be switch mode.  Physically small ,efficient,cheaper to manufacture and reliable ,with less servicing .  more life style and less boxes   .great news for all. 

I hope Naim’s designers are listening to users’ experience here.  May be more music servers / streamers should follow the route taken by the designers of the Sonic Transporter i7 and include two Ethernet ports - one for internet one to connect to network stored music?  This doesn’t appear to be available in the UK but seems to neatly get around some of the issues described above.  The cost of adding a second port to a high end component cannot be that great?

i can’t say if some smps sound better than some linear ps, but for my experience with netgear switch and tp link with stock smps, the ifi power 5 v i had before sounded better. But my hdplex and uptone linear ps, much more expensive also, sound better by a good and clear margin, so they stay...

The uptone is powering also my unitserve.  

I agree to some extent M. Coq,  'clean/quiet' DC is important,  but don't forget that both SMPS & LPS can push switching or regulator noise back into the mains,  this can pollute everything on the same power branch.  All PSU's need a filter to suppress/prevent this & I'm not so sure that many pay attention to that.   I'm content that my system has this aspect covered as all the SMPS's are powered from a UPS that has an internal isolation transformer & C&D mode filter,  so mains side pollution from the SMPS's is at least suppressed.

But bottom line is how can we be sure a noisy PSU of any type causes sub-optimal SQ,  does RFI radiation equate into degraded SQ?    I found the iFi iPower to improve SQ on a Netgear, but only very subtly,  the same when I changed the Netgear to a Cisco SG110.   Whereas a friend was a lot more enthusiastic when he fitted an iPower on his Netgear feeding a Linn KDS 

I'm looking forward to listening to my new Friwo MMP15 when it arrives tomorrow.   I've already tested one with the LW/AM radio RFI test & it is a lot 'quieter' than a standard SMPS, but will that translate into real & audible SQ improvements   ??? 

French Rooster posted:

i can’t say if some smps sound better than some linear ps, but for my experience with netgear switch and tp link with stock smps, the ifi power 5 v i had before sounded better. But my hdplex and uptone linear ps, much more expensive also, sound better by a good and clear margin, so they stay...

The uptone is powering also my unitserve.  

I agree, even if some smps measurements are stunning in real life some linear ones sounds better. There is more than some millivolts measurements affecting, e.g. load.

Mike-B posted:

… my iFi iPower PSU is dead ... Just ordered a Friwo MMP15 (12vDC 1.25A) ... will write a report whatever the SQ +/- result 

New Friwo MMP15 arrived this morning. The old defunct iFi iPower & the Cisco SMPS DC cables were both thin enough to take 4 turns (passes) through a mix 75 clip-on ferrite, doing this not only raises the impedance by times the number of turns, but also shifts the impedance peak fs lower (both useful for SMPS suppression) The Friwo DC cable is a much larger diameter & I could only (only just) get 2 turns (passes), oh well such is life. 

I first tested a mates Friwo a while back using the LW/AM/SW radio test, that proved to be very quiet. Before installing this new one I measured DC voltage off & on load, that proved to be very stable with a very small 0.02vDC drop under load. Friwo specs show DC ripple is <=120uV(pp), so overall it looks like a pretty good & stable SMPS.

What about the SQ? Compared to the Cisco's little OEM SMPS my 1st impressions are that the changes are all subtle but positive. The presentation has more clarity & detail,  this seems to bring more musicality in that I can follow a tune better.  I get am impression the sound stage has more separation & depth. There does seem a more natural sound with voice & acoustic instruments, most noticeable is well recorded piano. Its a shame I can't compare it to the iPower,  but whatever Friwo is a keeper.

I thought you were all a bit mad - lovely, but just a smidge on the mad side. Network cables don’t make any difference at all, that’s silly. I’ve been running my system with a flat, ribbon-type CAT 5e cable from good ol’ Maplin for years. Nothing wrong with it...

But never one to be ignorant, I thought I should at least try to see if network cables sounded different, so I could be confident I wasn’t missing something. So, although not an “audiophile” cable, I thought I’d try a well constructed and, crucially,  fully shielded Cat 7 cable.

Left it playing for a day.

Sat down. Listened. 

Awful! My system sounds terrible. Sharp, overblown, no bass. Must be the new XPS Burndy. God, it’s bad. But I’ll just switch the cables back, in case...

...oh. That’s a lot better. It sounds natural again. There’s that lovely bass thump.

You’re not mad afterall. :-)

Seth

Seth posted:

I thought you were all a bit mad - lovely, but just a smidge on the mad side. Network cables don’t make any difference at all, that’s silly. I’ve been running my system with a flat, ribbon-type CAT 5e cable from good ol’ Maplin for years. Nothing wrong with it...

But never one to be ignorant, I thought I should at least try to see if network cables sounded different, so I could be confident I wasn’t missing something. So, although not an “audiophile” cable, I thought I’d try a well constructed and, crucially,  fully shielded Cat 7 cable.

Left it playing for a day.

Sat down. Listened. 

Awful! My system sounds terrible. Sharp, overblown, no bass. Must be the new XPS Burndy. God, it’s bad. But I’ll just switch the cables back, in case...

...oh. That’s a lot better. It sounds natural again. There’s that lovely bass thump.

You’re not mad afterall. :-)

Seth

You make a serious point Seth. I just bought a 2 metre Supra Cat8 cable, just so I could experiment with moving my ‘music’ switch and NAS physically away from the rest of my overcrowded and probably noisy ‘data cupboard ‘ . I haven’t moved anything yet, but in the meantime I thought I’d try it between switch and  Unitiserve. Sounded awful, very sharp and Steely. Nasty. Take it out, back to music. Try it between switch and router. Same bad results. Wherever I try it, it ruins the sound. Very odd, but on the other hand,  your experience and mine at least suggests that cables sound different - if not always better. 

From an engineering perspective it would be bizarre  if Ethernet cables when loosely coupled to revealing and sensitive audio components did not ‘sound’ different. As said difference doesn’t neccessarily mean ‘better’ but just different. The TI engineering white paper on their Ethernet line noise reducer devices goes into details why if anyone is interested.... I am not sure why non computer / electronic engineers find this and the whole area of system coupling so hard to comprehend.... 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

... I am not sure why non computer / electronic engineers find this and the whole area of system coupling so hard to comprehend.... 

Perhaps, decades of marketing that says “digital” means “perfect” transmission of audio data without loss, error or distortion? Perhaps, an expectation that audio manufacturers would take every precaution to ensure a network cable doesn’t change the sound of their £4k + products?  

Frank Yang posted:

You may need to remove the metal RJ45 cover at the end, I remember that I've read somewhere that it is bad for the grounding.

I thought my switch (an Apple device) wouldn’t ground the screens, but on closer inspection, the plastic sockets do have little contacts either side, suggesting they do make a grounding contact. I’d also read some of Simon’s advice about connecting the screen only at one end, so thought there could be a grounding problem. I may try disconnecting at the NDX end.

Seth posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

... I am not sure why non computer / electronic engineers find this and the whole area of system coupling so hard to comprehend.... 

Perhaps, decades of marketing that says “digital” means “perfect” transmission of audio data without loss, error or distortion? Perhaps, an expectation that audio manufacturers would take every precaution to ensure a network cable doesn’t change the sound of their £4k + products?  

Sadly, even at £4k, it's not possible to put in enough engineering to totally block the coupling of all RFI without also blocking all the signals!

It's also possible that the precautions necessary to reduce the effect of the interference to completely irrelevant levels could impinge on the desired (Naim type) sound characteristics (musicality, PRaT or whatever you want to call it).

Just because an Ethernet RJ45 cocket has a metal surround, doesn't necessarily mean that it's grounded.

I measured the continuity from the shield connection of the Ethernet socket on my 272 to the phono socket shells and to the IEC earth pin, in both cases the resistance was too high to measure (>20MΩ) (Ground switch set to Chassis).  The Ethernet socket may be metal, but it's not grounded!

When I measured the ND5 XS I seem to recall that the Ethernet shield was connected to the IEC earth pin.

Seth,  the ground/earth on an ethernet shield should ideally/theoretically be made at only one point.  This is assuming all the sections of shields in the various ethernet cables are each connected together.   There are so many possible permutations & unknowns with the info you have given - e.g. what Apple 'device',  what other cables are on your LAN & whats connected to them.     Whatever,   I doubt very much that replacing an unshielded Cat5e (UTP) with a shielded (STP) & interconnecting 2x earths would cause the loss of SQ as you described.    In the hifi/audio world there must be so many users who unknowingly replace UTP cables with STP & have unknowingly ended up with more than one earth/ground on the network,  these people do not report awful, terrible overblown & no bass,  more likely the opposite.    My logic says you have another cause for this loss of SQ.   Before you start taking the cable to pieces,  I would look elsewhere & also consider that the cable itself might be faulty.    Also can you tell us what your ethernet system consists of, how its connected & with what ethernet cables (UTP or STP)

Seth posted:
Frank Yang posted:

You may need to remove the metal RJ45 cover at the end, I remember that I've read somewhere that it is bad for the grounding.

I thought my switch (an Apple device) wouldn’t ground the screens, but on closer inspection, the plastic sockets do have little contacts either side, suggesting they do make a grounding contact. I’d also read some of Simon’s advice about connecting the screen only at one end, so thought there could be a grounding problem. I may try disconnecting at the NDX end.

Sounds like you need a Lindy adapter, unless you are planning to do this surgically. 

Mike-B posted:

Whatever,   I doubt very much that replacing an unshielded Cat5e (UTP) with a shielded (STP) & interconnecting 2x earths would cause the loss of SQ as you described.   

It was more of an anecdote, Mike-B, but this cable does have an obvious impact on the sound, so no doubts really required.

Thanks,

Seth

Seth posted:

It was more of an anecdote, Mike-B, but this cable does have an obvious impact on the sound, so no doubts really required.

I'm confused  .........  in your post you wrote:  Awful! My system sounds terrible. Sharp, overblown, no bass.     An anecdote is a brief, revealing account of an incident.    So is your SQ change description accurate or not. ???

FWIW Uptone Audio have announced that they are working on a bespoke switch, built from the ground up. Won’t be cheap, but sounds like sub $500 minus the power supply. Same form factor as their LPS-1 power supply the and the Sonore UltraRendu. Should be interesting - four “dirty” ports in, and one “clean” port out, as well as a SFP port out (that’s not clean, but they said they’re including it because they could). 

Mike-B posted:

I'm confused  .........  in your post you wrote:  Awful! My system sounds terrible. Sharp, overblown, no bass.     An anecdote is a brief, revealing account of an incident.    So is your SQ change description accurate or not. ???

Mike-B, I’m not sure you and I are coming from the same direction here and I don’t really think anyone else would be all that interested in this conversation. There is some artistic license in my post, so perhaps I have confused you. Either way, I hope you’re having a grand day and that we don’t need to analyse it too deeply.

Regards,

Seth

I thought I'd have a go at some changes to the Ethernet.  I have replaced my Netgear switch with a Catalyst 2960.  I have a reasonable Ethernet cable between the switch and the NDX.  The difference in sound is...undetectable.  I can hear no change at all.  Of course, I'm sure that's because my hearing is rubbish, otherwise I would hear the night and day improvement...

Beachcomber posted:

I thought I'd have a go at some changes to the Ethernet.  I have replaced my Netgear switch with a Catalyst 2960.  I have a reasonable Ethernet cable between the switch and the NDX.  The difference in sound is...undetectable.  I can hear no change at all.  Of course, I'm sure that's because my hearing is rubbish, otherwise I would hear the night and day improvement...

Well done for taking the time to listen and properly add to the debate.  Could you provide more details about your 'reasonable Ethernet cable'.

Likes (2)
kevin J CardenNick Lees
×
×
×
×