Can anyone share their personal experience with “Audiophile” Ethernet switches?

There’s a review in the recent issue of Stereophile on the Nordost QNET Ethernet switch. $3200 seems a bit much for a Ethernet device. Has anyone tried the QNET or the SR switch? I’m curious about your thoughts. Thank you

I owned an etherREGEN (recently sold). Used it in a couple ways. At my gear as an isolation switch and 75’ away as a copper to fiber converter. I also used the provided power supply and a farad super 3. I replaced the etherREGEN with a $100 trendnet switch that includes 8 standard category 5/6 ports and 2 sfp ports. I use 1 SPF port for my 75’ OM1 fiber. Every configuration sounded exactly the same to me. YMMV of course.

I’m sure it’ll make a difference, how big really depends what is down stream. I’m currently using a Bonn N8 switch. $600 retail. It made a considerable micro dynamic improvement vs a 30 dollar Netgear. The real question is do you want to spend the dough to find out if it’s worth it.

I do have a Ferrum PSU feeding the switch though.

This is a timely discussion as I am thinking of trying one ahead of a planned DAC/streamer upgrade

Looking at this Fidelizer modified Cisco switch, maybe add the linear power supply…

Would love to hear your thoughts on your choice

Best,
-JP

I used a SR Switch UEF for a while with a clear improvement compared to a direct ethernet connection.
Now I use an Innuos PhoenixNET that brought an even more audible improvement in my system. Switch and reclocker.
Both of them provided with internal supply, no other box and cables needed.
Netgear switches in my network house are still present not for audiophile purposes.

I’m curious to try in daisy chain the SR UEF (from the wall side) and the PhoenixNET (to the server/streamer side).

Even cables IME matter, I prefer AQ Diamond RJ.

1 Like

Nice to hear from experience although both are out of my “perceived value” budget

Do they add any sonic benefit aside from the positive effects of less noise on the signal? Soundstage, dynamics, weight?

Best,
-JP

1 Like

SR mainly noise reduction and blacker background.

PhoenixNET more than this. Feeding the brother Innuos ZENith in my system, it is able to deliver a remarkable improvement in SQ related to naturalness, realism and engagement (similar to an “analog” feeling) even if a not pleasant (to my hear) bass, too much warm and a little bit veiled image.
I fixed this “lack” adding a SR Purple fuse to the streamer, that opened up the scene, with more air and clarity I was looking for and finally providing tighter bass, warm yes but so rich and clean as I prefer.

I’d suggest to start with a very cheap unmanaged Netgear + a decent PSU, I’m looking at ifi, they sell around 60 bucks with different voltage options. When I started that rabbit whole the difference is obvious in A/B although not night and day. If I’d have to go back to my netgear + ifi PSU I’d be ok with it.

1 Like

Those audiophile switches does actually help with reduced noise and better clarity to the sound. I started with a Farad powered EtherRegen and there was a small improvement, then the SR UEF brought a bigger reduction in noise and distortion. A better ethernet cable also helped a little bit. But getting rid of the switch and my Synology NAS, and running a 8TB solid states Samsung hard drive with a good USB cable actually made my system sound even better than I ever heard it. Those NAS with the spinning hard drives are actually pretty noisy and not very good for sound quality. But if you stream from Qobus or Tidal, a good switch will definitely help.

That’s not what I want to hear! I was considering a NAS! Lol

I have an Ether rendu powered by an Ultracap LPS 1.2 linear power supply. It was a worthwhile addition to my main system, but pricey.

If you can isolate your NAS to one end of a mesh wifi, then the stereo on a different mesh node, it would be better, then you can add whatever switch and PSU after the mesh your streamer is hooked on via cat whatever cable.

Just from my experience each time I swapped a ethernet cable, I heard a difference, things improved a bit after I swapped in more expensive entry level AQ cables, never ventured further. I’d try some AQ diamond cables one day, but currently my priorities are else where.

1 Like
2 Likes

TMR is a Nordost dealer too. Well, it is either another Dragon Source or a network switch, a tough choice.

I really do not know if a switch will improve my streaming sound. It will be a short run between my Satellite and the SoTM isolator/streamer. More importantly, I do not have room on my rack anymore. I don’t Know.

You should try the DC power wire in Duncan’s interview. I have all the Gotham star quads but would like to see how much better the silver gold mundorf wire is. I guess I should do more DC power cable tuning rings. I like the one on the DC cable to the router switch.

From Duncan’s TMR article. You’ve mentioned your explorations in using different DC umbilical cable designs for the linear power supplies, and this is an area of possible upgrade. Can you talk about how the various geometries you tried affected the sound?

Absolutely. As you know even better than I do, the major components of a cable design are conductor material, dialectic, cable geometry, shielding (if any), and connectors. They all matter, but I have a favorite wire that makes a much more significant difference than different geometries, specifically for DC umbilicals. It’s the 15.5 AWG Mundorf silver/gold wire. It’s expensive at $50+ per foot, but it has been the best performer for DC cables. And I have tried many - Gotham star-quad, Neotech 7N copper, Neotech silver, almost all Duelund wires, VHAudio, and many more. The star-quad geometry works well. But that’s until you try the Mundorf silver/gold wire. No matter what geometry you use, it is better than any other wires I’ve tried. At least that is my experience. The Mundorf silver/gold wire is in PTFE, but I like to put it in a cotton (or silk if you can find it) sleeve and twist it.

1 Like

I just read the article in your post which I did not read earlier. My reasonably priced IFI Elite PS does not come with a detached DC line. In future if I get a switch with another LPS, then I will try silver gold Mundorf wire. As of now I do not have a use for it, yet.

Nick can hook you up with the best price on Nordost from TMR

1 Like

For some time I’ve been using a Synology NAS, which has worked well for me. But I’ve never had anything else with which I could directly compare the sound quality. How did you get the solid-state drives into your system? I normally don’t run a computer when I listen to music; I just have the NAS (running MinimServer) controlled by an iPad. Would replacing the spinning drives in my NAS with solid state ones make a noticeable improvement?

I have the Esoteric N-03T transport. It can accepts a high storage external hard drive through it’s 2 USB inputs or you can run a NAS through it’s ethernet input. I’m using both so it’s easy for the comparison. I can tell you, a good solid state Samsung HD with my Audience Front Row USB sounds much better than my Synology NAS with the SR UEF ethernet switch and WW Platinum S8 ethernet cable. A better IFi power supply also helped with the Samsung HD.

I couldn’t believe it before, and when my brother came over to listen, he also got the Samsung HD and removed his Synology NAS.

I also used Toshiba N300 Pro 10TB 3.5" 7200rpm disc or the Seagate IronWolf Pro with the NAS. Both sounds the same. I also compare the 3.5" 7200rpm HD with the Samsung solid state through the USB input, and no doubt the Samsung is better sounding. Right now I’m using the Samsung 870 QVO SATA III 2.5" 8TB solid state HD. Not only is it the best sound I’ve ever heard in my system, it’s a super fast downloading drive and noise free.

1 Like

Thank you for this – it’s great that you could directly compare the NAS with the Esoteric + SSD via USB using the same digital transport. I’ll keep this in mind as I think about the future of my system. I really like my NAS because my audio files can be played in my main rig or upstairs in my study or at the dining table when I work there with my laptop (SQ much less good with the latter two, of course); I also use it for my non-audio data files.
Have you used the Esoteric app? I’m using Mconnect which does the job but has some things I don’t care for.

1 Like