I use Verizon Fios for my internet, TV and 2 landlines. The Verizon supplied router is located upstairs in my office.
My Roon Core is on my music server (Antipodes CX) which is in the downstairs living room. The living room does not have an ethernet jack.
To solve that shortcoming Verizon installed a MOCA device which connects to the junction box (ONT?) via a long (90 ft) run of coax cable. I then connect the music server to the MOCA box with audiophile grade ethernet cable.
My basic objective is to upgrade the network with higher quality components that are highly reliable and relatively maintenance free.
I’m seeking advice on what network components are compatible with the FIOS system.
Ideally your response will specify: 1) Modestly priced gear that is a step-up over the Verizon supplied gear and 2) Higher-end audiophile level gear.
With all due respect I’m not interested in a discussion of whether “audiophile grade” network components make an audible difference. As they say “Voodoo works” if you believe in it:)
Just wondering if anyone can recommend specific gear for my application.
I do not know of any higher spec MoCA components unless you are using the first generation devices. Same for the router.
The only options I can think of would start by replacing the coax link with something else. There are 3 options I’m aware of and not all will necessarily be improvements.
- Ethernet over Powerline - allows you to replace the CATV cable and adapters with powerline to do the same thing but probably wouldn’t make any significant difference and may actually be worse
- Install a Wifi bridge between the two floors and connect the server via hardwire to one side of the bridge and the ONT to the other side of the wifi bridge. As long as the WIfi doesn’t have to pass through concrete or something, the signal should be fine for audio transmission. But you need to get a bridge and not a router or you will have problems.
- Snake a 90 ft ethernet cable or fiber optic cable using the FIOS coax as the snake and run full hardwired internet. This will be the best in term of stability and might or might not improve sound.
I’m not sure what constitutes a 1st gen device. The MOCA device supplied by Verizon is an Actiontec WCB3000N01. The router is a Verizon branded Actiontec M424WR Rev 1.
The current setup works but I feel there may be sonic improvements with “better quality” network gear. I can’t imagine that the Verizon supplied gear was designed for high end audio networking.
Or I could be in search of a solution to problem that doesn’t exist:)
Re 1) Been there, done that. It works but I felt it was noisy.
Hmm… not real sure what a “bridge” does and how it differs from my existing MOCA device. But will look into this option.
Are you suggesting to run a very long ethernet connection from the upstairs router to the server using the existing “hole” or space where the Coax cable is currently? If so I would guess that would be a 150 ft run of ethernet cable. Not objecting to the idea just stating my gut estimate of ethernet cable length. Or are you saying remove the MOCA box and run the requisite length of ethernet cable direct from server to ONT? If the latter would that work? Is it possible to run ethernet directly into a ONT?
I appreciate your thinking outside the box.
Both of those are older devices and have been succeeded by newer devices.
They are not networking audio. They are networking data.
Probably if the transmission rates are sufficient.
I use MoCA for quite a while so I know it works but running an ethernet cable directly from the router is better.
Your goal, I’m guessing, is to isolate the electrical “noise” from the network. MOCA is a plenty fine standard but not much in the way of consumer level gear and I’m just guessing nothing in the audiophile space without even researching. If you want to spend money what I’d do is insert a fiber “jumper” anywhere you want pure isolation. Something like a Sonore opticalModule or a TP-Link convertor. You’d use the existing MOCA -> Copper Ethernet -convertor-> Fiber -convertor-> Copper Ethernet
That bit of fiber has no electricity on it. Pure isolation.
If you want full upgrade of all your network gear I suggest Ubiquity and if you really want to go “all in” replace the coax with fiber. But the details of that will be long so I’ll stop there. One more thing… replacing the coax with fiber lets you upgrade to “audiophile” switches like the SoTM ethernet switches.
My home network is mainly repurposed coax with Actiontec ECB6200 adapters (the coax just does that, no TV). This is what my Linn dealer recommended and installed for our setup. It works well to move bits around between my Roon core (fanless NUC with music SSD, backed up by a Sinology NAS), a Linn Klimax 350 speaker system, a Linn Kiko system complementing a big Sony screen in a smaller room, and a Pi 2 Design Pi2AES streamer driving two DACs (Schiit Yggdrasil and Sonnet Morpheus), switched into three high-ish end headphone amps (SPL Phonitor XE, ecp DSHA-3F and Eddie Current Aficionado) in my study. It all sounds very good and I have no reason to believe a data network upgrade would improve any of it (I’ve been over many different networking configurations in three different houses in the last 8 years). One of the Actiontec adapters connects to an Ubiquiti EdgeRouter router that runs load-balancing with two different service providers for reliability. Additional network gear: AmpliFi HD mesh WiFi (bridged to router) and several Netgear switches.
I am happy to have removed the MoCA adapters from my system. All CAT6 ethernet is faster but I cannot say it really sounds better.
Same for inserting a fiber optic link. It worked fine but without any audible difference.
A Wifi bridge is a way to use Wifi to connect between two wired sections of a network. Perfect for situations like yours. It basically replaces the coax and MOCA adapters you’re using now. The downside is you need a good wifi signal for it to work. For a 20’ straight shot between two floors using normal construction materials (e.g., not concrete floors or foil insulation between floors) it should be fine but will depend on where you live and how noisy your neighbors are on Wifi.
Exactly. A good electrician can attach a spool of CAT 5e or 6 to one end of the coax and then pull it from the other end to replace the coax line with an ethernet cable. All they have to do is then put the RJ45 connectors on each end. You would put a small 4-port switch on the end where your server is. The other end should go straight into your Verizon supplied router. All of the MOCA stuff would be removed. You can do the same with fiber cable and it will be easier to snake it through the walls because it is much thinner and more flexible. But it’s more complicated because you then need media converters on each end of the fiber in order to connect to your server and the Verizon router. Again, a good electrician should know what’s needed but you may have to check around to find an electrician who does offices and data rooms, not homes.
If the coax runs in a conduit. Otherwise, good luck, as I’ve found with the homes I’ve owned in the US (6 different homes, 3 different states). MoCAs are absolutely fine for streaming music. It’s not as if we are building data centers here.
So why did you ask for advice on how to improve if you think coax and MoCA is fine? No one I know of is making any “audiophile” network equipment to attach to MoCA.
You are confused. @Matsaly asked for that advice, I explained how a MoCA network worked very well for me.
I think isolating electrical noise is a step in the right direction.
Do you mean “regular ethernet cable” like Cat 6 etc from MOCA into the fiber optic convertor and then -regular ethernet cable out of the convertor into the Music server?
Is the Ubiquity gear compatible with FIOS? I think the core of my confusion is whether I have to use the Verizon supplied gear or for example buy Ubiquity network components and simply swap those out for the Verizon gear.
So I essence I would be removing the MOCA gear completely from the setup. I would run CAT 6 etc from the upstairs Verizon router all the way directly (say 150 feet ) through the existing “holes” and then have the CAT 6 ethernet cable go into a 4-Port switch. Then I would take another (short) run of CAT 6 from the switch into the music server. Do I have that right? Do I need a “switch” if I am in essence directly connecting the server to the Verizon router?
Query- why wouldn’t I just replace the existing (90 ft) run of coax from ONT box->MOCA->CAT 6-> Server with the following: ONT box->CAT 6->Server? I’m not trying to be cheap or save money. It just strikes me that eliminating either the MOCA box or a “switch” simplifies the data flow with less potential for electrical noise etc.
I traced the coax coming out of the ONT box and it is not in a conduit. The Verizon installer simply ran it along the top of the basement wall and then drilled a small hole in the living room floor where it exits. I then take the coax and connect it to the Actiontek MOCA device and run a short length of CAT 6 ethernet cable to the server.
In your situation, I would not worry about the MoCA network link, unless you have concrete evidence that it is affecting system quality. I’ve had a MoCA network for one year and it’s been totally reliable.
Correct, MoCA is completely replaced by ethernet cable. You don’t need a switch if you have no other equipment that you want to network enable. You can always add the switch later if you acquire a TV, disk player, integrated or whatever that also needs a LAN connection.
Absolutely doable and makes sense as long as you have no other devices in the house that you want to put onto the network. You can always add switches or WAPs later if you see the need.
I don’t have evidence that it’s adversely affecting sound quality. I want to “believe” that upgrading the network infrastructure will “improve” sound quality but have no easy way of testing my “belief”. Unlike something simple like trying different speaker cables to see if I hear any “improvements” or differences that align with my tastes /system synergy, upgrading the network infrastucture seems to require a leap of faith.
This seems like the simplest method to see if I can hear any differences. I could probably just purchase the requisite length of ethernet cable and try it myself without involving electricians, network specialists, etc.
I want to confirm that I can still use the Verizon router in the office for my computers and wifi? In other words by simply removing the MOCA/coax cable and running direct from music server to ONT I still retain all the existing features "benefits of the legacy Verizon router?