I just wanted to share some experience that might be useful for those of you using fiber optic internet cables. I have been intrigued to find if there is any difference in SQ between different fiber optic cables but I could not find any comparative reviews for audio applications.
They differ from many others by their proprietary Ultra Low-loss LC ferrule which reduces the insertion loss (IL) to less than .09dB (vs ordinary IL of less than .30dB). Curious to hear if this may translate into better SQ (sfp module in Cisco Catalyst to EtherREGEN sfp port) we ordered some Ultra Low-Loss Cable, Duplex, LC-LC, Single-mode cables for testing.
Not expecting much, we were both extremely surprised with the results!!
With streaming from Qobuz, we immediately notice clear improvements in bottom and top end extension, more natural presentation, better instruments separation and cleaner/tighter bass.
Hope this is useful. I would be interested to see if someone else experienced something similar with these or cables from other brands.
I used 50ft length.
The components are Cisco sfp in Catalyst 2960 on linear power supply (LPS) → EtherREGEN (on LPS) sfp port → Luna Orange Ethernet cable to JCat Net Card XE (on LPS) → HQ Player OS with upsampling to DSD 256 (Sinc-Mx, ASDM7ECv3) → JCat USB XE (on LPS) → Luna Mauve USB cable → Matrix X-spidf 2 (on LPS) → Wireworld Silver Sphere HDMI → I2S input on Directstream Mk1 (with external LPS for analog board, VOCM upgrade, latest Nickel output transformers upgrade from JKRichards, Synergistic Research Purple fuse)
Your post could not come at a better time for me. I was searching for the SQ difference between singlemode and multimode fiber optic and could not find any.
I am using a multimode F.O. with a cheap 10g converter (all from Amazon) to feed my streamer from the switch. When I switched back to ethernet it actually sounded better! This is not supposed to be the case. I figured it has to do with the converter and the type of cable I am using.
I will order the one you are using since my Lumin U2 will be here is a week or two. Thanks!
I am not sure about the multimode vs single mode. I think I read long time ago that single mode might be preferable but can’t recall the source of information. I’ll you know if I can find it.
However, I actually used some cheap Fiber Ethernet Media Converter (on powered with batteries) in the past but I got much better results after switching to the Cisco 2960 with the sfp module as a source to the EtherREGEN. I suspect some Unifi Ubiquity switches with sfp ports might be even better than my old Cisco…
There are so many types of SFP+ transceivers out there too. Some from Amazon are selling less than $20, and some are over $100 each. For instance, Optospan site has Cisco Compatible 10G SR Ethernet transceiver selling at $175 each!
I may just order a couple to see what is the big deal on these hi-priced ones compared to $20 ones (that I am using now).
I may open a can of worms here for your streaming audiophiles
Interested to see how this turns out for you. I have a SW10 on the way, and I’m looking for short and long term (after new streamer is in place) solution for fiber and media converters as needed. I was just thinking the less expensive Amazon route, but I’ll hold off. Not in a huge hurry as we have a few baseball tournament trips lined up.
I believe the media converter matters, but I am not sure if single-mode cable is better than multi-mode. It could be due to that single-mode modules are built with “tighter” spec, and are supposedly performing better (not in audio sense). They are more expensive in general.
That is one of the reasons I bought the Lumin U2. I don’t want to use any converter with another power plug (noise!). I have a set of cheap multi cable/modules to compare with the Optoscan single cable/modules that I will order. They have multi-mode modules that are selling more expensive than the singles. But I will start with single-mode first to see if there is any difference in SQ.
My .02c on fiber cables… I’ve found Corning SMF-28 to be the best of all the brands I’ve tried. And I haven’t tried a ton (around 6 different brands including Corning ClearCurve). The thing about MM vs SM isn’t the cables, perse. It’s the transceivers (as I understand it). Using SM transceivers, you can buy Finisar modules which utilize DFB lasers (said to be the best out there) but only the 10G models utilize DFB lasers. And those are 100% incompatible with the Lumin U2 (ask me how I know). So, what I did was buy a 1G fiber switch, put a 10G module in it and then a 1G module in the Lumin (1318 is the model). I am very happy with the results. I don’t remember which 10G module I bought but it wasn’t the 1475 that you read about all over the place. Those are way inflated in price when you can buy the pretty much the exact same modules utilizing the same DFB lasers for a fraction of the cost. I think mine are 1471s. If you search online, there is a very helpful chart of all the Finisar modules. It’ll give you all of the specs in a neat little spreadsheet.
As for FMCs, I’ve never really heard a difference between a 10GTek and a Sonore. It’s always been about which transceivers I put in them.
I just put in the order for this one: SFP 2 km transceiver | Cisco Compatible 1G LX Ethernet from Sanspot that sells Optoscan. These are pricer than Finisar (I have heard that they are the best), and I hope they will work with Lumin U2 and LHY SW-10 switch.
I can try them with the switch and converter first before U2 arrives in a couple of weeks, and I hope they are compatible.
Hello. Nice that the topic of fiber optics is taken up here. Since I also like listening to streaming, it’s time for higend. I have a Melco S100 switch in front of my streamer. This has a port for fiber optics. There are also converters for Melco, transreceivers and fiber optic cables. The parts are called Adopt. The latest is an upgrade kit that consists of two SFP modules and fiber optics. Single mode should be more optimal. Since there is only one laser and fewer or no scattering losses as with multimode. According to my research, the modules and the cable should be coordinated to achieve the best results. I have considered a Teradac 212 as a converter. Because it already has an R core power supply and an Ocox clock integrated. Now I have to find the optimal modules with the right fiber optic cable of the right length. About 15 to 20 meters needed. The Teradac switch is also very interesting. Actually a Melco S100 with an additional clock and power supply. If I didn’t already have my Melco. Am very excited. Greetings Andrew
Congrats on your U2! I will say that I have quite an assortment of transceivers and the U2 was not very picky as long as it was a 1G/1.25G module. Here is about 1/3 of my stash when I was cataloging all of them a few months back:
I use my circa 1998 Toslink skinny cable that came with my Technics Dolby Digital Decoder/PCM DAC. When I switch between my Straightwire Mega-Link S/PDIF Coax Cable. I hear absolutely no diiference via the PS Audio DirectStream DAC MK1.