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Maril555

Router and Ethernet Switch suggestions

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desbiss   
On 2017-03-11 at 8:04 AM, Al Jones said:

Hearing things

Here are my first impressions of the Aqvox AQ-Switch-8 (modded D-Link DGS-108) with 100 hours on it. I strongly suspect that the switch hasn't yet reached its peak, but only time will tell.

 

I installed the Aqvox switch as close as possible to my modem/router in the basement with only the following connections:

 

1m Argento silver interconnect from grounding screw to Entreq Minimus grounding box

25cm Meicord LAN from input 1 to Sonic Transporter

25cm Meicord LAN from input 7 to modem/router for Tidal access

5m Meicord LAN from input 8 to LAN wall panel

 

From wall panel (upstairs) 3m Meicord LAN to Etalon Ethernet Isolator - 0.5m Meicord LAN to Microrendu (LPSU-1) - Sbooster Vbus2 - 15cm Elijah USB cable with 5V DC injector (LPSU-1) - Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 DAC/ room correction/pre/power/active crossover.

 

Haven't tried plugging in non-audio components, since I have other switches for that.

 

Experimented with/without grounding box. Definitely staying in. Tried various PS, including LPSU-1, Keces, Sbooster. Nothing improved on the Aqvox modified D-Link PS.

 

The effect of the switch is far from subtle, if not quite earth-shattering. Whether it is worth the money is strictly a personal choice, but I know I'm not parting with mine.

 

Sonically, things are tighter, more solid, with more space between voices and instruments and a clearer rendering of low-level detail. Fadeouts last longer. The slight intake of breath just before a singer bears down is more clearly discernible. Audience noise on live recordings is more distinct and separate.

 

High female voices (most of the ladies on Blue Coast DSD) bloom with greater ease and naturalness.

 

I can crank things up louder with no stress or strain.

 

In general, CD tracks are now closer to the purity and sweeter tonality of Hirez.

 

I won't pretend to have any kind of plausible explanation as to why this should be. I'm just going to kick back and spend the foreseeable future rediscovering my music, beginning with every live recording in my collection.

 

I am interested in hearing others' thoughts regarding what sort of a SQ improvement I could expect with the AQ-SWITCH-8 in my system... I have already taken some steps to improve my current switch, and have been impressed with the results thus far. I'm trying to legitimize the added cost for the AQ-SWITCH-8...

 

CURRENT SCENARIO: I presently have a Netgear GS108 switch with an iFi iPower PS replacing the factory wallwart... I am also already using high quality ethernet cables on the switch (Nordost for Audio purposes, and Audioquest for non-audio items). As well, I have the LAN IN on port 1, and main audio OUT to my Aurender on port 8...

 

I've read through everything I could find on the forum about the AQVOX switch, and the comments are compelling. I'm curious if anyone has transitioned from a setup like what I already have, as noted above, to the AQ-SWITCH-8... and the gains to be had. I primarily listen to Tidal, and am excited to have read many comments indicating it bears a significant improvement.

 

Thanks in advance!

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lmitche   
18 minutes ago, desbiss said:

 

I am interested in hearing others' thoughts regarding what sort of a SQ improvement I could expect with the AQ-SWITCH-8 in my system... I have already taken some steps to improve my current switch, and have been impressed with the results thus far. I'm trying to legitimize the added cost for the AQ-SWITCH-8...

 

CURRENT SCENARIO: I presently have a Netgear GS108 switch with an iFi iPower PS replacing the factory wallwart... I am also already using high quality ethernet cables on the switch (Nordost for Audio purposes, and Audioquest for non-audio items). As well, I have the LAN IN on port 1, and main audio OUT to my Aurender on port 8...

 

I've read through everything I could find on the forum about the AQVOX switch, and the comments are compelling. I'm curious if anyone has transitioned from a setup like what I already have, as noted above, to the AQ-SWITCH-8... and the gains to be had. I primarily listen to Tidal, and am excited to have read many comments indicating it bears a significant improvement.

 

Thanks in advance!

Save your money, get a nice Chinese linear power supply for your switch, and don't forget to run a ground shunt from the Netgear to safety ground.  Also configure your nic for 100 mbs operation.

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desbiss   

Thanks Imitche. I have noticed what I consider to be significant improvement with the optimization I have already done with my general variety Netgear Switch. And I do expect I could squeeze a bit more out of it... per your suggestions.

 

I am curious if you have experimented with any ‘audiophile’ switches? I ask as I’m trying to gain perspective on what more is potentially available with one in comparison to standard models.

 

PS - what do you mean by: configuring my nic for 100 mbs operation? I presume this means configuring my Netgear Switch, but I didn’t even realize this is possible. My switch is the main one in my house, with all other items (TV &Wifi) running off of it. I have a consistent 175 mbps service from my cable provider, and would prefer not to limit this for my non-audio devices...

 

Much appreciated!

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lmitche   
25 minutes ago, desbiss said:

Thanks Imitche. I have noticed what I consider to be significant improvement with the optimization I have already done with my general variety Netgear Switch. And I do expect I could squeeze a bit more out of it... per your suggestions.

 

I am curious if you have experimented with any ‘audiophile’ switches? I ask as I’m trying to gain perspective on what more is potentially available with one in comparison to standard models.

 

PS - what do you mean by: configuring my nic for 100 mbs operation? I presume this means configuring my Netgear Switch, but I didn’t even realize this is possible. My switch is the main one in my house, with all other items (TV &Wifi) running off of it. I have a consistent 175 mbps service from my cable provider, and would prefer not to limit this for my non-audio devices...

 

Much appreciated!

Make sure you have a dedicated Netgear switch with only two devices plugged in to even or odd numbered ports.

 

I have not experimented with audiophile switches and don't plan to in the future.  My music is on a USB 3 drive so I don't stream anything through the network except tidal.

 

Assuming you are using a PC to play your music, you can configure the network adapter to 100 mbps which is 1/10 the normal gigabit adapter speed.  This increases sound quality immensely.

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desbiss   
16 hours ago, lmitche said:

Make sure you have a dedicated Netgear switch with only two devices plugged in to even or odd numbered ports.

 

I have not experimented with audiophile switches and don't plan to in the future.  My music is on a USB 3 drive so I don't stream anything through the network except tidal.

 

Assuming you are using a PC to play your music, you can configure the network adapter to 100 mbps which is 1/10 the normal gigabit adapter speed.  This increases sound quality immensely.

Thanks for your reply and the added context Imitche. Good information to know. Much appreciated!

 

In my case, I use an Aurender server for playback. Interesting that there may be gains if the switch is limited to 100 mbps... I presume this would be configured for the switch as a whole, which would compromise the internet speed for non-audio devices. Perhaps I'll need to look into integrating another switch...

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On 4/23/2017 at 8:56 AM, Confused said:

'....Another point to note is that with the set-up mentioned above, you can remove the Ethernet cable feeding the microRendu, and music continues to play for a second or so..."
 

Correct. All audio devices connected to a network have to have a buffer sufficient to avoid playback gaps  due to momentary traffic  congestion or traffic reroutes.

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5 hours ago, Al Jones said:
I just spent a couple of weeks conducting a head-to-head shootout between the Aqvox AQ-Switch-8 network switch (€398) and the more recent upgraded version Aqvox AQ-Switch SE (€798). Owners of the original can have it updated to SE by paying the difference. For clarity's sake, I will refer to them in the following as the original and the SE.
 
As always, the usual disclaimers apply. I have no affiliation with Aqvox except as a satisfied customer.
 

My initial impressions of the original can be found here:

 

 
Aqvox tries to describe the improvements introduced in the SE without creating a virtual DIY recipe: newly developed phase correction, new, optimized oscillator for a factor 10 more precise clock generator, additional interference suppression components, carefully optimized internal power with additional Ultra-Fast capacitors, metal housing lined with butyl rubber...
 
All my listening was done in the system described in my March 11 review of the original, with a silver connection from switch to Entreq grounding box and an Akiko RJ-45 Tuning Stick inserted in an unused port on the switch. With more than 8 months experience living with the original, I had no great expectations for what the SE could bring to the party at twice the price, but the short answer to that turned out to be simply "even more of the same."
 
Skeptics can scoff all they want, but these modified switches do bring out more music with substantially more room information and natural ambience, resulting in a sonic image with enhanced dimensionality and solidity.
 
The enhanced background clarity and intertransient silence of the SE provide worthwhile improvements that make music listening so much more effortless and relaxed for hours on end. Apparently, the SE reduces noise and eliminates background distortions and disturbances that the listener probably wasn't even consciously aware of.
 
The improvement is subtle, but consistent across the board, enhancing top-to-bottom coherence, instrumental timbre and the sheer musicality and "physicality" of the listening experience.
 
If you're still running your system on a standard switch, you owe it to yourself to audition an Aqvox. If you're a satisfied user of the original Aqvox and have the discretionary income, look into upgrading to the SE.
 
In my system, the SE is definitely a keeper.

 

I guess I'm trying to understand why you went this more expensive route vs. using fiber optics?

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plissken   

When I was playing around with Tidal on the PC what I noticed is that you could pull the plug after 5 to 6 seconds (I get 13MB/s down) and the entire song would play.

 

What benefit would an Audiophile switch provide me? If the song isn't relying on the switch and the NIC isn't transferring any data and I can unplug/plug shouldn't I be able to (or anyone else) to hear when this is happening?

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R1200CL   

Well, I would think the data stream has already passed the switch, and the “damage” is already done 😀

 

As it would through USB as well. Did you pull the usb plugs, usb HD’s ? Power ?

I think you use WiFi. (To avoid the switch ?)  Pull the power of the WiFi, I suppose same happens. 

 

So so how would  USB/SPDIF converts sound different, or maybe they don’t ?

 

Do switches have jitter ? 

Does jitter and other pollutions (power, noice, ) most likely occurs in the digital domain. 

 

Why rule out switches ? And not DCC’s and more...

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plissken   
2 hours ago, R1200CL said:

Well, I would think the data stream has already passed the switch, and the “damage” is already done 😀

 

What 'damage'? If I take a Windows ISO image and transfer it with my normal switch and with an audiophile switch, burn to a DVD and install Windows on a machine, am I not going to end up with the same installation on both?

 

After the file has been transferred in full and the Ethernet cable pulled what's the difference?

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plissken   

Dave, this is going to fall on deaf ears most likely. Even though you are correct.

 

Music playback isn't real time, there is no timing data in the packet. GBe speeds can literally deliver a 16/44.1 track in a split second and the player application (Tidal and JRiver can do this) cache the entire track in RAM.

 

Some are behaving like there is some form of stored jitter in a file that took .5 seconds to transfer. Move up to 10GBe and you are now talking about a 0.05 second transfer.

 

This talk about TCXO and other tweaked out switches is pure lunacy.

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1 hour ago, plissken said:

Dave, this is going to fall on deaf ears most likely. Even though you are correct.

 

Music playback isn't real time, there is no timing data in the packet. GBe speeds can literally deliver a 16/44.1 track in a split second and the player application (Tidal and JRiver can do this) cache the entire track in RAM.

 

Some are behaving like there is some form of stored jitter in a file that took .5 seconds to transfer. Move up to 10GBe and you are now talking about a 0.05 second transfer.

 

This talk about TCXO and other tweaked out switches is pure lunacy.

Agree on no need to improve switch clocks . Just clean up the Ethernet connection so it doesn't inject electrical noise into the audio device. Worry about clocks where the data is in analog form.

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BigAlMc   
On 11/28/2017 at 12:02 PM, Al Jones said:

In my system, the SE is definitely a keeper.

 

Hi @Al Jones,

 

Thanks for the detailed review.

 

I spotted the below on this article about Steve Plaskins listening room - scroll right to the bottom and under Ethernet Equipment "AQVOX SE switch" is listed. I wonder if a review is in the works or if he's just trying it for himself.

 

https://www.audiostream.com/content/steve-plaskin

 

Cheers,

Alan

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Cornan   
1 hour ago, plissken said:

I'd put my Cisco Catalyst 4948 up against that AQVOX any day of the week.

 

The AQVOX is a pig with lipstick. It's a POS D-link for pete's sake.

 

The chans of AQVOX to pass your test is less than if Lajka suddenly returns from outer space. Who with a sane mind would ever send you one?

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BigAlMc   

Thanks for the contribution @EdmontonCanuck

 

All I can say is that there are many aspects of this hobby that don't make sense. I'll trust my ears over perceived wisdom as that approach has led to many improvements that don't all make sense at first glance. 

 

My friends laughed there asses off when I told them I was investing in clean electricity for my hifi. And completely pissed themselves when I told them how much. But how many of this forum would ignore power supplies now. 

 

Same thing for clocks at every stage of the chain. We're only just finding out how this stuff really works. 

 

Cheers, 

Alan 

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