Bridge II - ethernet signal integrity

Hi @tedsmith

With more and more ethernet input DACs coming out and as the USB input slowly becomes a legacy input over time, I can see similar devices to the Uptone REGEN popping up for ethernet.

I expect ethernet signal integrity regeneration devices to pop up eventually but that’s just my gut feel - we’ll have to wait.

Nobody has a crystal ball but can you see merits in ethernet signal integrity regeneration devices, in the same way PS Audio saw merits in the Uptone REGEN with the DS’s USB input (I’m referring to Paul’s positive impressions early on).

Especially with regards to the design of the Bridge II, is there anything that could be done upstream of the Bridge II or does the Bridge II already “regenerate” the ethernet sginal input?

I’m thinking about noise generated at the Bridge II’s ethernet PHY, similar to DS’s USB PHY and the improvements the Uptone REGEN made there.

Some informal and general discussion comments about this by Uptone:


Btw @tedsmith

I don’t want to talk about any other products and companies and their potential plans (if any). I only mentioned all that above, for context of my thoughts only.

I specifically want to ask if the Bridge II could benefit from lower noise in the ethernet PHY, in a similar way we see USB benefiting with lower noise in the USB PHY.

Or if this USB approach is irrelevant to ethernet inputs of DACs.

Some comments like in the forum linked above made me think perhaps there’s room to further improve things and hear a noticeable difference at the ethernet input, like the good USB conditioning devices out there. Paul himself mentioned he heard an improvement with one USB conditioning product and I’ve heard good improvements with a few of them.

The problem with USB is not the same as that of Ethernet. IMO, an sfp/st fiber port on the Bridge II to isolate the DS is a better approach instead of going down the PHY re-generation route. even an external FMC could do the trick. There are proliferation of usb trinket devices on the market today. With network based DAC gaining popularity, I am not sure weather these trinkets could morph into ethernet based solutions but once you isolate a DAC with fiber there is not much to gain from there. Every Ethernet based DAC should only have fiber connectivity.

Understood. However with USB, galvanic isolation and USB signal integrity are two different things, tackling two different things. One is leakage currents and isolation from the source noise and the other is USB signal integrity. There many people that use both USB galvanic isolation in addition to a USB signal integrity regen type device to tackle these separate things.

Ted uses a Corning USB plus a USB hub right at the DS input, to tackle these 2 different things.

Optical isolation of ethernet doesn’t tackle the signal integrity side, which is what the CA link above is discussing.

Just like how we’ll see combined USB isolation and regeneration devices (like from iFi iGalvanic3.0, Uptone ISO REGENetc), I think we’ll see similar with ethernet - even though ethernet is already transformer isolated. But there are stacks of people that find more improvements from optical isolation of ethernet, as you mentioned also.

Fibre ethernet inputs will come, just like USB DACs added galvanic isolation. However this doesn’t tackle USB signal integrity.

But I didn’t really want to discuss optical isolation of ethernet here (there’s a massive thread on that linked above).

I moreso wanted to discuss the merits of improvements of ethernet PHY (in particular the Bridge II) which is less discussed but I found Uptone’s comment on it interesting, since we’ll see more ethernet input DACs coming out as mentioned in my OP.


Some more developments:

As per my OP I can definitely see all the makers of USB conditioning devices moving to ethernet conditioning devices, as more ethernet input DACs (like the Bridge II with the DS) become more popular.

And it seems from this post and replies that others are expecting the same thing.

But if the signal integrity improvements are as effective as some of the good USB conditioning devices (from Uptone, W4S, iFi etc) then that can only be a good thing I guess ?

But I don’t know if the Bridge II would benefit from having the ethernet PHY work less hard, so it speak, but having this signal regeneration done before the Bridge II input? @tedsmith

You don’t take a hint - I’m not getting into a proxy pissing contest. In general I stick to the things I developed or consulted on for PS Audio - as you’ve been told I have nothing to do with the bridge. I read all posts in the Community Fora and if I don’t respond to a post I have nothing that I choose to say. In the past when I’ve strayed from this with you, you kept pushing so I’m forced to ignore you entirely on some subjects.

Ted Smith said You don't take a hint - I'm not getting into a proxy pissing contest.
Wow, a simple comment earlier, on this particular topic, would have been fine, rather than a rude response to a quite vocally supportive DS customer.

Is that the language to use to someone who just posted this last week:

Regardless who you do or don’t work for, that’s not really the language to use with a vocally supportive DS customer.

Thanks for finally clarifying that you don’t want to discuss this particular topic.

I wasn’t the one being rude. Enough now.

Ted Smith said

I wasn’t the one being rude. Enough now.

There is nothing rude in purely technical queries and technical conversation.

I was asking you to engage in a technical conversation but if you have no interest, you only need to say so in a polite and professional manner, not reply so rudely, especially to a vocally supportive DS customer.

Some of my rudeness here just last week:

Wow, that’s a first … someone pissed off Ted. He’s a real even keeled guy based on his posts. For what it’s worth, I’m with Ted …

pmotz said Wow, that's a first ... someone pissed off Ted.
Ted has always demonstrated tremendous patience and kindness. I have learned a great deal from him.
Mi2016 said But I don't know if the Bridge II would benefit from having the ethernet PHY work less hard, so it speak, but having this signal regeneration done before the Bridge II input? @tedsmith
Mi2016 let it go. You have been pushing very hard on a number of issues to no benefit than an apparent desire to argue. If Ted does not want to respond to your posts this is his prerogative.

You are very free not to respond to his posts either.

And, again, Ted did not design the Bridge.

Of course I’m very happy to let the ethernet discussion go with Ted - now that I know he’s not interested in the topic at all. Absolutely no problems there.

A simple, polite and professional response was all that was needed, rather than a rude reply to a loyal and vocally supportive DS customer.

We all have our bad days, so it’s just water under the Bridge II.

I ask respectfully of course (and hope the reply is also respectful) but I’m not sure where the arguing is? Simply asking a technical question is seen as being argumentative?

Thread locked.