Add an SFP slot for Ethernet

I have an APEX Rossini with clock. I use a Melco digital frontend (S100, N1A) to connect via Ethernet. It strikes me that it would be advantageous to do the ehternet connection to the Rossini not via RJ45 but via an SFP slot.
My request is to add an SFP slot to the Rossini (and obviously to the other DACs as well).

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Rudi that might be a good idea for the next generation of models that come after Bartok, Rossini and Vivaldi. Such an addition as an upgrade would require the replacement of the rear chassis panel. As a hardware upgrade this would not be free to consumers. I can reasonably guess that the panel plus cost of fitting would be several thousands of £, $ or €. Back in 2013 or so the upgrade including a new rear panel for Paganini wordclock in order to add the USB port was £3K . So add inflation …


I thought it would be a long shot

Long shot, yes, but a very good one. Other DAC makers are well ahead of dCS here, though to some degree that is a function of timing and product cycle. Lumin, for example, seems to release new models more frequently, and Linn just happened to recently release theirs. This can be an important upgrade in our relentless quests to exorcise the noise demon from our systems.


My Rossini Apex is connected to the network via an SFP bridge powered by a linear power supply:

<wired 1G network> → Ethernet-SFP bridge → optical cable → SFP-Ethernet bridge (running at 100M) → “Loop” ethernet port (which only runs at 100M but is otherwise equivalent to the 1G port) in Rossini

The Ethernet-SFP bridge on Rossini’s side is powered by an Ultracap LPS-1 power supply (just cuz I had it lying around).

I personally think that adding an SFP port inside the DAC might not be such a great idea as you would still need an Ethernet port to accomodate people. What I would like to see is more modularity like the one in MSB DACs.

Not sure I see why that’s a problem. Certainly not seen as a downside on Lumin or Linn gear. And I’m not loving what MSB did. Yes, I like their modular approach and have taken advantage of it. But their fiber implementation is (I think) unique, it’s a USB implementation and is not networkable. It’s a pass for me. When Vince Galbo told me fiber was “coming,” I got very jazzed, but it was quite the letdown.

The issue with having an SFP bridge outside the DAC and then connecting to the DAC via copper Ethernet is that another external PSU for the SFP transceiver is linked to the system. This has the potential of introducing all kinds of shenanigans.
I would much prefer the SFP receiver to be powered from within the DAC, giving the DAC manufacturer full control over the power supply architecture. This would allow the DAC to be optimally isolated form external disturbances.

If you weren’t aware, SFP plugs are commonly available in either Optical or Copper interface variants.

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Why? What is a good reason(s) for adding SFP? Please school me.

There are many discussions here (and elsewhere) about the advantages of fiber networks. Might want to start there. SFP ports are now not unusual on many routers and switches; for people who already have fiber, not having to convert back to RJ45 copper is one less potential source of noise.

I’d love an SFP port, but agree this is unlikely until the next gen of dCS DACs arrive.

I’m not sure it would need an additional copper ethernet port alongside the optical as it could ship with a copper SFP which could be swapped out for an optical fibre SFP.

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