Please Help An Old British Fellow With His Networking Woes


I read someone’s review in this section on the Muon networking thingamajig and it struck me that some of you smart people might be able to help an old guy with his network(ing).

I mostly use vinyl playback, but recently a friend talked me into buying his old digital rig as he’d upgraded.

The unit is optimized for network playback, which is how I’m using it, but my network is a very basic affair and I’m way, way behind the curve when it comes to networking and what hardware to buy, etc.

I wondered if someone could kinda ‘design’ what I would need to buy to get my network up a few notches to give my new digital source a better chance to shine. I’m thinking it’s maybe just a couple of new boxes and some cable, but I’m not sure. When I read the review about the Muon, I wasn’t exactly sure where in the system it went and what it replaced. I’ve kept up with audio stuff generally, just not computer audio and networking.

I have a Qobuz account but don’t use it much as I’m in the boonies and options are limited for internet service. I have a T-Mobile 5G account, which provides whole-home internet, and it works OK. I can actually see the top of the cell tower when I’m upstairs in the throne room so I get a solid 4 bars, but it’s not ideal for streaming.

So I mostly stream files from a drive. I have a lot of high-res vinyl ‘rips’ from artists like Lonnie Donegan, Cliff Richards, Petula Clark, etc and they sound wonderful on the new rig so it’s worth investing some time and money.

My network is very simple:

Wireless Modem > Asus Wireless Router > TP-Link 5 port Gigabit Switch > Network Player/DAC

The files are on a USB drive plugged into a SonicTransporter i5, which is connected to the Switch via an Ethernet cable I bought from Blue Jeans Cables. I’m happy enough with that side of it. (I haven’t figured out how to write new files to the USB drive without having to unplug it and plug it into my MAC, but that’s another story…)

So that’s it. A simple system. I control the Network player/DAC via the manufacturer’s app, which is called ‘Mosaic’, I don’t use Roon or anything like that.

I also have a little PS Audio DSJ that connects to the same network switch, that little guy is in another system in a different room, I don’t need to optimize that but I would like it to continue to use the switch, if possible.

Any thoughts, ideas, etc would be very welcomed! I think I can spend maybe $1500, perhaps more if someone could convince me that it would be worth it. I could also easily be convinced to ‘do nothing’ and to leave well alone since doing nothing is my default position anyway. :zipper_mouth_face:


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Hi Carl,

I can’t believe to give suggestions about digital music, I was a vinyl guy until yesterday!

Anyhow I’ll, do my best.

  1. The DAC. It seems you are ok here. This is IMO the most important component.
  2. The server/streamer. Get rid of computers, external drives. A better component that is capable to do the job is very useful. It must store the files, stream/play the music, keep things simple and improve SQ.
  3. The noise. Routers and power switches are the enemy. The Muon Pro can help you (is not the panacea for all, though). It is mostly used downstream, connected to the streamer.

It’s a long journey that can imply also a LPS feeding the router, some fancy audiophile switch, some fancy USB or Ethernet cable, some fancy power cord and a way of taming jitter and noise, noise and jitter (grounding stuff, better clocks, filters, fiber converters/switches and better components and so on).

I’ve done all these steps, one or two at a time. That’s my experience.

Oh, I was forgetting: stay away from this forum, a few members could become very dangerous along the way!


I will definitely replace your TP-Link switch with an audiophile grade switch. There are many switches alone that will blow your budget. One reasonable priced switch with great result in my system is LHY SW-6. It has an isolated ethernet input, and ethernet and fiber optic outputs.

Fiber optic link is reasonably priced, and I found it can clean up the noise in streaming chain quite a bit. You will need an ethernet/FO converter in addition to SW-6 for it to work, unless you get a streamer with FO input.

Muon Pro System right before the streamer will make a huge improvement too. But for something cheaper you can try a ethernet isolator. But none of them can give you the SQ like Muon.


Any specific area that you are NOT happy about your digital setup?


Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
I can’t avoid some of the things you mention, like external storage - I don’t have an internal option on my player.
I am researching some of the other things.

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I use the same T-Mobile 5G for my internet. It works well enough. I have “Audiophile switches”, and I have played with Fiber optic networking, various expensive Ethernet cables, all sorts of things. In my experience none of that stuff really makes that much of a difference. (That I can hear) But I have a Grimm MU1 Roon Server / Streamer and it may make some of that stuff less important. Who knows?

One piece of gear that did and does make quite a difference is the MUON Pro System. It’s a keeper. I have it connected between an EtherREGEN switch and the Grimm MU1. Since adding that I have even less interest in Audiophile Switches and cable. If you have just one device requiring clean network access it could be the simple solution. The folks that make it are very good people whom I believe would take it back if you couldn’t hear an improvement. I know and excellent source for buying it if you are interested It’s not cheap but it is stunningly effective in my system.


First rule of design - what are the actual requirements?
Or in this case, what are the actual problems with the current setup? Does Qobuz buffer a lot and not stream properly?

If you want to keep it simple and functional, and not go down the rabbit hole of your own dedicated audio server hardware (which usually leads folks to Roon etc. though there are several alternatives) then first thing to look at is your ISP - are there any alternatives to the 5G “mobile broadband”?

BT will be fibreing many previously “unreachable” areas over the next couple of years (and I think they finally might actually do it after years of delay and BS) and they have a target to remove old copper lines completely (though that target may be delayed at some point).

Having said that streamed audio doesn’t require a lot of bandwidth, just reasonable latency and good integrity - I’ve had very good results in the past streaming via mobile data…

Edit - the above assumes you are a British fellow still in the UK :slight_smile:


Thanks, I will research the LHY SW6 that you mentioned. That’s a good starting point. I’ve no point of reference with any of this so it helps to have a name to start with.


Okay that’s good info, thanks.
And another vote for the Muon, so a pattern forming!

I don’t even know what the Muon costs at this point, I will look at that next.

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So I’m not really worried about Qobuz and streaming from an online service. My objective is getting files off a local hard drive with the best SQ possible. I have all the hardware in place for the file server part, but the networking hardware is the weak link.
PS - no, I flew the coop and I’m in the usa!


Good question.
I suppose the answer is no. I think on the playback and file server side I am all set. So the only thing left to tackle is the networking hardware.

I guess I am looking for recommendations on a switch and cable. And whether or not the Muon, or something else out there, might bring better sq.

If you are doing local streaming of local files you might be where you need to be right now.
The MUON Pro System is in the vicinity of $2K, give or take a couple of hundred depending on your source. My source got it for me at under $2k.

IT REQUIRES GIGABIT ETHERNET for it to work it’s magic. I didn’t have it at the time due to a foolish piece of gear on my network. One day when my network had issues I dragged a 10/100 Switch out from under the rock it was stored and put it in my network. Taking that out and smashing it with the rock, then replacing it with a proper Gigabit switch took care of it. Your TP-Link qualifies and you should be good.

I really think you may be good where you are at now. But I would be fine being wrong.


For your budget, there is the LHY SW-10 around 1.3k, or you can spend 1.3k and get two LHY SW-6. From my experience, if your system has enough resolution, you’ll probably benefit more with going to the Two SW-6 route and stack them(put them in series with a fiber cable and 2 sfp modules) and then feed your streamer/digital front end.

There are plenty of liqudation sfp modules listed on ebay, a brand to stick with is Finisar. For the LHY switchs, you’ll need two 1GB Finisar Modules.


Pictures modules are multimode. I wouldn’t bother with single mode fiber and modules starting out at all. So make sure to buy multimode fiber not single mode fiber, or the link wouldn’t work.


Or, there is the cheapo approach, get a iFi 12V power supply and a netgear switch that comes with sfp cage so you can experiement with fiber. try it from Amazon and return them if you don’t hear an improvement. you can try daisy chian them by buying pairs also.


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I have both LHY SW-10 and SW-6 in the system to utilize the fiber optic link between the two. When SW-10 first introduced into the system the SQ improvement was significant, when SW-6 was added the SQ improvement was much less. But I’m too lazy to compare the two individually. I talked to Vinshine guys and was told SW-10 is superior in SQ. But it is more than double the price of SW-6.

Okay thanks for the info. There are some things you’ve posted that I don’t fully understand so I will have to do much more reading.

Two things jump to mind while reading your post.
1 - some time ago when I used Sonore streaming equipment I bought some fiber optic gear from Amazon that looks similar to what you posted. I bought two transmitter units and two receivers. Each unit has a separate walwart power supply. I bought all the necessary cables too of course. I used it with the Sonore equipment where I had long runs of Ethernet. Honestly I couldn’t hear improvement over the wired Ethernet. But I still have the fiber optic gear and my new digital is more resolving than the old Sonore stuff. Should I drag this out of the closet and use it somewhere somehow?

2 - I don’t know if this is relevant but my new network player/dac has a separate master clock. It has two clock outputs that connect to the main dac and one spare output that I think I read can be used to sync to other devices. On the box you suggested I use it mentions having a built in clock. Is this something I can connect to and utilize?

Again, this might be getting too complicated but I will try and figure it out. I spent a lot of time reading up on the dCS forum but those guys are light years ahead of me and my 5g internet WiFi!

Thanks again

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Hello. What is your setup with dcs? If you are using their upsampler, you might not need anything. This is an impressive piece to isolate noise from your dac.

In the past I had several talks with dcs engineers about this. They always said: with the upsampler, keep it simple and rest assured you have the best isolation possible.

If you are using a streamer/Dac like the Bartok, you may experiment improvement (although unlikely, as dcs really does a very good job in isolation).

Note that the dcs audio clock runs at a frequency that is not suitable for switches and network equipment. (Or at least wasn’t until 2018 when I had my Vivaldi system). I don’t think you can sync network equipment with the dcs clock.

Dcs clock is to sync your different audio components (mainly Dac, transport and upsampler) in a full dcs system.

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Network tweaks should be done last and after you have very clean power to all of your components imho. If your system isn’t fed by clean power with a big reservior, I’d suggest work on that first, this is more important than tweaking your network gear.

No experience with Sonore, but a lot of folks here have, and if you didn’t hear an improvement, maybe the bucks should be spend elsewhere, or just bank them. But do try them for your new system, you might be surprised.

I wouldn’t worry about external clocks, the cables connects the clocks causes more issues than they solve imho unless you spend really big bucks on the cabling and the clocks. But the gain is still miniscual over grand scheme of things which is musical enjoyment vs bat ear training.


Okay, thanks for the info. I assumed that the clock was probably to sync to something like a SACD transport or similar, so I was definitely clutching at straws there.
I don’t have the upsampler, it’s the rossini player/dac with outboard master clock. I’m not sure how resilient the unit is to network interference or how much the sq might benefit from spending a lot of money in that area.
Frankly, I’m delighted if the consensus is that I don’t have to spend more than I already have. Of course I’m the typical audiophile who would sit there wondering if I was missing out on something just for the sake of not wanting to spend another couple thousand or whatever. But I would get over it eventually :slight_smile:


Okay good points.
I do have two P10s, one for power amps and subs and one for everything else. I don’t know how much they help or hurt the new digital kit as I haven’t done any back and forth testing, I just plugged the new kit straight into the P10.
My power cords are ok but not super expensive, I use mostly Essential Sound Products cords as they’re one of only a couple power cords where I felt I could really hear a difference. I use their ESP Reference cord into the player/dac.

I’m sensing that the general consensus is to just leave things alone. I’m fine with that even though it wasn’t what I was anticipating. I’ve scanned other forums where people have been investing heavily on the network side but to be honest my eyes just glaze over as people are throwing around jargon and brand names that I have never heard of. So I thought I would drop my question here as people seem to be a bit more level headed and down to earth.



I very much know your feeling. But with dcs, you are in good hands (the premium price tag in this case is justified). Try it out with your sonore fiber, but I am willing to bet you won’t feel much (if any) difference.