Network switches

You are not alone :grinning:

This S100 review is from last month:

https://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/melco-s100-network-switch

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Nah, you’re hearing what you hear. I always believe people when they describe their experience. Whether I am likely to hear same is why I focus on engineering explanations before I go through the rigmarole of swapping stuff, especially cables. Switches? They’re pretty easy.

Well it really doesn’t matter what I or others say, we all need to try for yourself.
In my system and my ears, it made it sound duller, as if my rossini had gone off and needed a good service.

Late to the discussion here. I’ve had experience with cheap switches and improved with Cisco 2960 but found the Uptone EtherREGEN a big leap. However, it’s not just a switch like an EtherREGEN that makes a difference. There’s noise at multiple levels of transmission. Found that when I switched the Ethernet cables in and our of the switch as well. Much also depends on your actual network configuration. My personal setup involves feeding the network output of my Roon Nucleus into the EtherREGEN and then to the dCS Updsampler. The Ethernet cables I’m using are from Shunyata and they make a big difference as well. If you choose to try anything, begin with the switch and then investigate obtaining loaner Ethernet cables from The Cable Company so you can find out what this will do for your setup. I’m assuming that you use multiple Ethernet ports on your current switch. So, note the physical limitations of whatever switch you plan to audition.

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I’m using a fully loaded SOtM switch with a cybershaft clock, both connected to a LPS presently and I can say there’s a difference in SQ in my system.

Before the SOtM switch, I was using a TCXO and moved up to an OCXO switch from Linger Audio (local brand). With every switch (pun intended), there’s a noticeable change in SQ that can be heard and even crazier, when my dealer demoed a double SOtM stack in their showroom, I can swear I heard the depth and stage grew wider compared to a single SOtM…

I’m not advocating anyone to go and buy a switch but if possible, get a good loaner to audition… best trust your ears in things that can’t be explained :stuck_out_tongue:

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Well a little update, after talking to my dealer about the melco S100, we have decided to try a better power supply on it first, so we can see if that turns it around.
So a Plixir one coming next week to try, melco themselves recommend them, so i guess if this doesn’t work then i really am out.
So i will leave the S100 powered on, as it might also help, with more burn in, and report back once the power supply turns up.

I sort of want to comment on a better PS but if I do I might be in danger of influencing your experience. I have an Sbooster which is what the German Melco distributor has been bundling with the S100 when sending it out for review. Do I use it, is it an improvement? Let’s see what you think of the Plixir first.

Well i hope it does Pete, but we will see next week

Tease! :wink:

Well i borrowed a mates sbooster last night and obviously been trying it, well yes it improved, but still not to my liking.
Its piano notes that just sound wrong on the S100, thats the main one, but if you really start to pick a track a part, most off it sounds different, and for me it just makes the complete track worse.
Now if that means that the DCS doesn’t need any extra help in this department, as it can cope, or that my network is already ok? Well i don’t know, but i do know that i dont want a S100 in my system.

I was getting a plixir next week sent out, but decided that i dont want to go any further with this and £2600 would be much better left in my pocket.

I might in the new year try the ER switch, but in no rush at all to go trying anymore network switches right now.

I do not know why you are hearing what you are hearing as piano sounds to me as if it were… a piano! It is so physical that on the right recording there is
such a convincing audio hologram that I feel that could walk up and touch it.

As I said earlier I would not make a comment about adding a better PS until you had tried. I am not in disagreement with you. If I use a metaphor of the sound via the S100 measuring 1m, then adding the SBooster makes it measure 1.01m. I have not noticed a huge improvement over the stock switching PS but have left the Sbooster in place as 1. I own it and 2. It has no negative effects. NB: I am assuming that the borrowed SBooster was the correct electrical specification, they make so many different ones?

Or, equally, the opposite :wink:

So the S100 is not for you. That is, of course, fine as if we were all the same we would all run identical systems and listen to the same music.

I guess i just dont like whatever this switch is doing, as its certainly doing something to it all.
As for the sbooster it was a melco one, as my mate got it for his D100 and N100, that he now uses it on, in his 2nd system

its quite intriguing that an addition of an audio specific switch plus a power supply can be mapped to a specific and noticeable change (good or bad ) and narrowed down to a piano note.

If different gear can impact the sound of a stereo, then piano notes are included, I guess…sound improvement excluding piano notes would seem strange to me…Does a switch, a cable, a clock, an up sampler, a streamer, a dac etc…can improve the sound ? That is why there are audio forums, for sharing different experiments…

For me its all affected, and in a bad way. As i said in a previous post, the dynamics have altered, its all sounds a bit off, more dull if you like. But its the piano notes that really stands out as being quite different to no switch.
Haven’t a clue why, or what this switch is doing, yes it has made a few improvements, and it was these that first hit me, and i did think, thats nice, as tracks are easier to follow, instruments do sound like they have more space around them, and so it sound more open.
But the more i listened to my favourite tracks, i started to notice things, so removed the S100 and N10 from the rack, so i could easily and quickly swap over the ethernet cables, in doing this it soon became apparent.
The S100 was brand new, i had even left it on a few days before i used it, as i was still getting acquainted with the new N10, its now been on 24/7 for over 250 hours, so i would hope that it was burnt in, but in that time it hasn’t changed anyway, and the sbooster i tried, is well run in.

So thats my time explained in more detail, with the S100, not going to try it anymore in the system, and right now i am not using any switch at all, have been using he Cisco, but now straight from the router to the N10, using catsnake 6a floating, then AQ diamond from the N10 to rossini.

Cheers dunc

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Just spent a couple of hours comparing an English Electric switch and expensive cable to cheapest plastic switch and cable I have. I could detect no difference in sound quality connected to a dCS Network Bridge.

So just looked for positive reviews and only found the usual suspects suspect positivish reviews. Stereophile do not seem to recommend expensive switches. I can find no reliable positive reviews.

And dCS say:

Save your money.

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Given that in other threads you are asking for help as you cannot get your new Vivaldi /Network bridge to work correctly isn’t your view of the performance of the EE network switch premature? Judge it again when you have a stable system.

You may turn out to be correct in the end but at the moment and until everything is running as it should be I shall be awaiting a subsequent opinion from you .

Thanks. Yes I was maybe overstating by saying “save your money”. Different people/systems/environments may hear a benefit. I will try it again now that system seems to be working correctly now.

Any thoughts on this video review of audiophile switches?:

Yes, I agree with it all! Which is why ( i think earlier in this thread) I said that although I know the fancy switch cannot make a difference as far as I am concerned the Melco S100 does. Actually it’s now about time I removed it from my system to check if its absence makes a difference.

Actually if one pursues the logic of the video ( and I cannot think of a reason why not) then we have been fortunate to have been listening to high end electronics for the past few decades where all of the aspects that are commonly measured have variations which either lie below the limit of human hearing or are are unlikely to produce any material negative electrical outcome. So everything must sound the same unless one is dealing with, what is now a rarity, a really poorly designed component.

Yet we have a paradox. Most modern competently designed equipment has effectively a blame free technical performance nevertheless we claim to hear differences.

So , is it all some kind of mass or self hypnosis or is the standard model of objective measurement of audio equipment somehow missing something? I do not know but I am aware that I deliberately use at least one component where I know that its measured performance is in all respects inferior to a another of the same purpose but which, by subjective comparison, I prefer to leave on the shelf. Humans , eh? Can’t be trusted :thinking:

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Tested the switch again and still no difference to me. I think I’ll return it for the moment and maybe revisit in a few months.

The whole measurement thing is interesting. Amir does say he thinks speaker measurements account for 80-90% of sound quality whereas for electronics he believes measurement can account for 100% of the sound quality. I seem to remember DCS also saying that all their development work is measurement based followed by listening. And they claim their custom measurement equipment is better than any available elsewhere.

Self delusion is of course a huge part of Audiophilia. I really liked Amir’s explanation of why we like new a component more than an old one even though they may sound identical: when you listen to the new piece you are concentrating much harder on the music so of course you hear more detail, more colour, expanded soundstage, more emotional involvement, air and space. You then go back to the boring old item and don’t really bother concentrating so it seems lifeless.