Advice please on a switch

There is also this one though too rich for my blood.

There’s a Naim forum thread that loves the old Cisco 2960 series 8-port no fan Catalyst switches because of their port isolation. Folks there say this Catalyst series sounds better than the audiophile switches and the consumer switches with the wall-wart power supplies. I have no experience with these Catalyst switches or the audiophile ones, but I’ve got a used Catalyst coming soon. I can report back.

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Please do !

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I’ve got a Cisco WS-C2960G-8TC-L from 2011, retired from a legit layer-3 network role in a construction trailer and connected to my corporate multi-campus network. They have well designed and implemented power supplies. They run ~30W @120V though. A little air flow/space around them is good.

I also have a 2021 Netgear $18 GS308. The difference is so subtle I’m fooling myself to hear enough to describe. It uses between 1-3W.

I do have the endpoint that connects Ethernet to USB well isolated (power) and I believe this makes the differences in the apparent, or lack thereof, noise realized on the DAC output signal greatly minimized. As well as the Titanis 2.0 USB in the DAC.

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I’m running an Allied Telesis now and I’m happy with it. Will be interesting to hear the difference, if there is one. This hobby is full of experiments.

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If I’d known Ethernet switches were (going to be) a thing 20 years ago I’d have some literally bullet proof, military-grade, deployment use units in my stash.

Currently, at the office (I’ve only been twice in 2 years and am now only remote ‘post’ Covid) I’ve got about 150 Cisco 3750X access switches, across 25 stacks, dual 10G port channel uplinks, in use for 10 years now. Not a single switch failure, ~4 power supplies but they of course are n+1 redundant, 4 in our case.

The spaces (distribution frames, main and intermediate) they are racked in is conditioned and filtered, power is redundant online big Eaton UPSs backed by redundant CAT diesel generators capable of running significant portions of the building with no interruption or disturbance for 3 days. The entire computer infrastructure shares a common ground. 12mm ground wire, nice solid copper bus bars.

Digital music ‘reconstitution’ is a very fun hobby of experiments. It’s really filled a void left by my physical inability (both injury and age) that prevents me from my earlier in life hobbies. It’s the drug I can set aside at any moment and blissfully enjoys the music.

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One of the things that makes this hobby so much fun…along with discovering something that really improves your enjoyment of the music…

Cheers.

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I have gotten great results with the Uptone Audio EtherREGEN powered by an Sbooster LPS and a bit of a further lift adding a second EtherREGEN powered by an Uptone LPS 1.2. I also power my Netgear router with an Sbooster…

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I have all three pieces you mention in your enjoyable review. I have several of the Cisco switches sitting in boxes or bags around the house. None in use but they certainly could be. I have an EE8 in use and downstream an EtherREGEN using Ethernet in the B side and optical out the A side to my Pink Faun. I have a recollection of enjoying the addition of each piece but no warm fuzzies like you experienced with you EE8. I feel like I could lose either piece and not miss them. But they are here so what the heck. I am using Sboosters to power each. I have tried other power sources with meh results. I am unlikely to pursue anymore network products including cables.

I must say bah to the entire subject, as in if you haven’t tried this gear yet, try pizza instead.

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The best switch I’ve done in the past 12 years is getting entirely away from computers and music servers. The Marantz SACD 30n allows me to burn all my DSD and high res files to disc and play them that way. It sounds much better than any of the seemingly endless gymnastics and contortions I’ve gone through over the years trying to make streaming/ server sound right.

For the past few weeks I’ve been undoing what I did when I switched to streaming long ago. The CD’s have come out of storage, and I’ve burned nearly 400 high res discs.

I suppose, though hesitant to say “I’m sure”, because I don’t know - but I guess there’s some level of music server investment than can compete, or surpass, optical disc. But it could be the audiophile magazine brainwashing speaking.

In any case, for the first time in years, I’m very content with the sound. And getting there involved eliminating the entire music server/ streamer chain. And I’m enjoying interacting with physical media again, it’s like an old friend.

I’ve bought a cheap one and had it upgraded. It looks rather great
c4-mk1-low-jitter-clock-frequency-mhz-100.00-1569-p

Not yet on my audo (too frightened + decent cheap RJ45 cables to find)
But after having thought about ethernet protocol, I wonder if I’m not going to cry because I think I should have spent my mony elsewhere :cry:

After more testing, the improvement, if any, brought by the SOtM in my system is barely noticeable. The slightly warmer sound was actually coming from an Ethernet cable swap.
Maybe the Lumin U1, Matrix and Holo Audio don’t care about what’s upstream?
I do hear clear differences between Ethernet cables, however :man_shrugging:

My dealer will probably have the Melco in late August, and maybe also the Innuos and Synergistic Research.
So wait and see.

If anyone, other than @Serhan, has used those brands, please share your experience.

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Hey @Phil, I got the Cisco Catalyst switch installed. Model WS-C2960G-8TC-L and mine is from 2010. The switch it replaced is an Allied Telesyn AT-FS705L I had picked up at the thrift store a year ago mainly because it was a dollar. For reasons that probably defy science and all reason, on the AT I had put some tiptoes underneath, upgraded power cord, upgraded from cat6 to cat8, and for no other reason than it holds it down so kitty doesn’t knock it over, there’s a VPI brick on top. I moved the upgrades to the Cisco. For comparison in sound, I used a great recording Luke Howard Trio’s Meadowlands and an ok recording Miles Davis Live in Tokyo. It’s the mood I’m in lately I guess. At any rate, in my unscientific test where I’m completely drugged up on audiophool, better sound was the result. Most noticeable was the tighter more controlled bass and crisper highs. Certainly is was not like getting better speakers or a nicer amp, but certainly better than the AT. I’m curious thought how it would compare in my system to @brett66 results with the newer gigabit Netgear. He’s right that the Cisco runs at 30w and the Netgear more like a night light. If I find one at a thrift I’ll pick one up for comparison. In the meantime, I’m happy with the Cisco. Now that said, I disagree completely with the Naim forum folks who say this like getting a new and better system. I’m not experiencing that level of change. A fun experiment all the same!

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Thank you for the feedback, @jazzophile, much appreciated :+1:.

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By the way, a question for the forum : should I connect my Nucleus + to the asus router or the SOtM switch ? Does it matter ?

Probably to the switch. Then you will get any improvements the switch can offer

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Thank you @Baldy :+1:

Presumably the Asus comes before the SOtM. Each ‘hop’ through a Ethernet switch provides isolation via the transformers inherent in Ethernet design. Try it both ways and listen for a difference. You may gain a bit by further isolating the noisy Nucleus (NUC) from devices connected to the SOtM or not. Ethernet theory states there will be no difference.

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Thank you :pray: :+1: