Ive been searching and reading but not sure i get it. I use a home built nas and occasionally stream an outside source such as youtube but no commercial sites like tidal etal. So heres my question. With my server going into a traditional netgear or linksys switch maybe 1 feet away and then Traveling through wall and attic space possibly 100ft and then hitting another conventional switch which then allows its transmission possibly another 75 feet through walls and attic in regular blue cat 5 to the vivaldi stack ( which is also on a conventional switch maybe 4 feet away) all of the concern for terminating cable is wasted since the general transmission lines are std cat5 blue cable. Correct? The next question would be could changing out the switches (3) benefit the overall sound and why. Thx
That is a longer than usual run of CAT 5, I think. Some people believe there is potential for noise being added to the signal (I know, bits is bits). I have a much shorter run of CAT 5 that I replaced with fiber optic cable. I think it made a difference in SQ in that backgrounds seem “blacker.” My DAC is also a Vivaldi. You can read here for more info: https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/how-to-optimize-digital-streaming-with-optical-fiber
I don’t think there is any problem with your cable length. It’s well under the standard 300-foot spec. Yes, you could pick up some noise I suppose—to which dCS equipment does not seem especially sensitive—and fiber could help with that, as could a device like a GigaFoil or EtherREGEN (I’m not advocating those per se, but they would be an easy trial to see if you’ve got the kind of noise they can help address). Unshielded compliant Cat5A is I believe what dCS recommend. As to your switches, changing them out to what?
I checked out the Absolute Sound article. I need to take more time during the non work day to study it and digest the material. My question to the AS writer would be is the sound quieter because of transmission or isolation. What I mean is all kinds of dirt can get into a transmission line from it’s point of origin outside in the cloud somewhere. Inside of my home I can try to treat it and not add any more. Since my source is primarily internal, most of my dirt will be from internal sources. So If the length of the cat5 cable is acceptable, and the switches themselves aren’t adding any dirt, is the fiber keeping the signal from picking up dirt along the transmission line, or isolating the sound (acting as a filter) and just not transmitting or passing along the dirt. If it’s acting as a filter, then a short piece of fiber would seem to help. If not, rewiring an entire house would seem difficult.
It seems that you think that fiber may act as a buffer at the end(s) of the line to eliminate or help to cleanse the signal (isolate).
Regarding changing switches to what… I’m thinking outside of my own box of understanding/knowledge but I could reason that cheap, linksys type boxes could add noise to the system and that where there’s money, there are ways to make any system more pure. Just asking
Well, I use fiber and the Gigafoil. But they are precautionary measures. Not everyone here has had success with the Gigafoil. “Buffer” would not be my choice of words. I just think it can be a way to ensure that data line noise has not crept into your system. Honestly, I think dCS haver already done a fine job of isolating their equipment from data line noise, if any. And given the noise floor of dCS equipment, you really have to ask yourself if you can hear the difference between a fiber and copper Ethernet line. I don’t think I can, but my use of fiber, which is not expensive, easily falls into the category of “just to be sure.”
Yeah…that’s what I was thinking. My general noise floor is extremely low but what I know about my own listening capability is that I notice things that are worse much more quickly and easily than improvements (ie Put high quality cables into the system and not notice easily but take them out and really notice). I just relocated the NAS to another room to drop the room noise floor by 3-4 db but was looking at what I may have given up in line noise transmission going the distance.
thanks for your input…
My view is not dissimilar to Greg’s, I was able to put 5 meters of fiber into my system for $140. I think I hear a difference through the Vivaldi, so for $140 it seems like a good decision. Others may disagree about the SQ, but with a Vivaldi stack and other components to match, why not? I chose 5 meters to eliminate the Cat5 between my switch and the dCS gear almost completely, but I suspect a shorter length would also work.
I tend to experience things similarly. Our dear @PAR recommended that we test things this way: try them for a while, even for weeks, and then remove them. Absence is sometimes more discernible.
I have a buddy who is just finishing up a listening room and is contemplating fiber. I’ll discuss it with him. I may do just what I had mentioned about putting fiber on both ends of the line (one at the server to the switch and one at the stack to the switch) and see if I hear anything. Like you said, not talking about much money in the big picture so may try it.
Switches etc have been an issue for me for some time, and they and ethernet cables make a huge difference. Regarding switches, I settled for some time with an Ubiquiti switch which punched far above its price tag - better than switches 5 times the price. Why? I have no idea, but an interesting unexplained fact is its adapter chucks a much high dc voltage into the switch than standard
Nothing however has improved more than the Entreq combined switch/power supply, now, which also powers the Nas - which is about 9 metres away from the Vivaldi Upsampler.
Regarding ethernet cable, rewards as expected came the more I paid out. I now have 9m of Shunyata Omega ethernet which I upgraded to from AQ Vodka
A trick I have also learned the hard way …do NOT link the Nas directly to the Upsampler (which is odd as it is the shortest potential route and less problematical). The result is hard beyond belief, and distance via the Entreq and Nas being 9m away is is no issue at all. An improvement. Why? I have no idea but may have explained why I just didn’t get on with the Innuos Statement “server” which sat adjacent to the Upsampler at the time
I have ubiquity network (3access points and cloud key) but if i understand correctly you believe that using ubiquiti switching improves your data quality?
I do not know about access points or cloud key. Having tried quite a few switches, supposedly more hi fi based, the Ubiquiti is the only one I would use if I did not have my entreq combo, for the sound quality improvement I am looking for
Are any of you familiar with/have experience with the Network Acoustics (UK) products? They have 2 “passive” ethernet filters, “eno” and “muon” ( $1000-$2000 approx.). They also have a “muon” ethernet cable ( $1800 for a 1.5 M cable).
I then learned about the new Innuos Phoenix Ethernet switch ( $3400).
Would greatly appreciate any feedback on the above “new gadgets” to “improve” the already great dCS sound.
I have owned a Melco S 100 for over a year. Some members, from this/other forums have commented that the Melco makes the system sound “brighter”- they may be right, though I am not sure if is purely my imagination.
I tried the Shunyata Sigma ethernet cable and didn’t think it was special. I also tried the JCAT ethernet cable and a Siltech Classic Legend ethernet cable- they are about equal.
From reviews it appears that the Shunyata Omega Line ( power cables, ethernet cable) are vastly “superior”.
As always, thanks in advance for your responses
I have tried all the Melco “players” and all are inferior to DCS levels - so are not worth putting in such a system. Buffalo products from that stable have proven to be unreliable. And yes I am happier with Shunyata Omega ethernet - best so far
I am very satisfied with the Eno filter and RJ/E cables from Network Acoustics. In my system they brought a very nice improvement in musicality and an obvious noise reduction. I use the Eno filter upstream of my Antipodes K40 music server. Between the K40 and my Rossini, I use the Nordost Valhalla II RJ/E cable which I am very satisfied with. Obviously, each system is different and you have to try several products.
Thank you all for your responses. This is the first I have heard about Network Acoustics.
I will take another look at their products.
As an IT pro for over 40 years, I’ve read numerous network traces of signals routed around the world through racks of servers bathed in EMI - all with perfect transmission. The network protocols and digital audio protocols were designed to overcome the foibles of analog transmission, and do so extremely well. If this were not the case, your bank balance would be off, your medical data would get corrupted, and forums like this would be full of typos. Thus I’m extremely skeptical of audio vendors who attempt to scare us by attributing analog vulnerabilities to digital systems in the attempt to pry open our wallets. If you don’t believe me, install a (free) copy of Wireshark on a network PC, learn to use it, and run a trace of a listening session. Look at the error stats and you’ll see you have nothing to worry about.
The discussion has nothing to do with data transmission and reception. We all know that most data protocol solve the potential data loss issue.
It is about fields that can be conducted by wires. The source of this fields can be different things and if they enter into your electronic it might impact negatively some components dealing with the audio signal.
Not sure if this is relevant…earlier my fiber router (sitting in the hi fi area) was shared via cat 5 with the rest of the house systems. Say 60-80 feet. Running thru in-wall ducts in the apartment. I should mention tha the other boosters, switches and routers in the network used ordinary wall wart power supplies or were plugged into the wall direct.
I found that I had to disconnect the rest of the house ethernet cables for serious listening. The drop in noise floor was that obvious.
Just an idea…bring your NAS into the hi fi set up area and see what happens before spending anything.