Here is a cheap and nice little tweak involving fiber

I now FINALLY! have 100% electronic isolation between my computer/network and my HiFi system. And I am not talking about some solution involving galvanic isolation (which can be nice but still lets some interference through). Instead I used fiber cable which does not and cannot transfer any electricity at all.

The principle is simple: use a Roon Ready device (I use Allo USBridge), and connect it to your network with a couple of fiber-ethernet converters between. The chain will be
Internet -> network switch -> ethernet cable -> fiber converter -> fiber -> fiber converter -> ethernet cable -> Roon Ready device

You can read a more detailed how-to here:

It did give an increase in SQ, and I do notice details I haven’t heard before, with more quiet background. And its a pretty cheap tweak (at least compared to many other HiFi tweaks).

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Also good for isolating modem/router, etc. from lightening strikes or electrical surges on incoming line.

Thanks for that link, very interesting, but is the ridiculously overpriced Cat 6 really necessary?

‘2x Cat 6 Ethernet cable (I use AudioQuest RJ/E Forest (0.75m $38.75/ea.)’

I use a Cat7 from the last fibre-ethernet converter to my Allo USBridge, but any cable before that is less important since the last converter regenerates the signal. Cheap cat5 is probably more than enough.

You’ve added another ac adaptor on your hi-fi set-up. Will this introduce a 50/ 60Hz noise component? And what’s to say that the resulting solution is actually worse from a noise perspective? How would you know?


I know since it sound better, but it also makes sense. All this solution does is remove electronic noise, the bits are still the same. So unless the electronic noise improves the sound (which is unlikely), it will sound better.

Whilst I may accept that this tweak makes the system sound different, my question remains unanswered: has this tweak measurably reduced noise? The perceived change could be caused by an increase or decrease in noise.

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Well, It did improve the sound for me, but as usual with tweaks only your ears and your HiFi system can be used to determine if it improves the sound for you.

Still, it makes sense this should work (at least for me), I even think PSAudio has something similar (but much much more expensive).

The assumption being there’s ‘electrical noise’ playing an audible role in the first place. I have toyed with the same TP-Link fiber boxes and the same Netgear switch for about a month – there’s a relatively long run of ethernet (about 20m) from my router to my living room:

Router Ethernet <> TP-Link <> Filber <> TP-Link <> Ethernet <> Netgear switch <> Ethernet <> Streamer

Not a speck of difference. (To be honest, I’d be worried if there was (either way – better or worse)).

In the end, I passed on the TP-Links and kept the switch (I needed a few extra ports in the living room ;-)).

The 20m run now is bog standard Cat6 (to make matters worse: split to 2x4 pairs with two mini patch panels for two seperate 100Mbit connections over one cable). The device connections use whatever the company I work for used for patching at the time. It all works just fine.

If the fiber thing works for you: more power to you – but a universal panacea it is not. For all the tweaks I have tried (power, fiber, cables of the garden hose variety), each time I found that competently designed gear does not magically sound better compared to Blue Jeans class cables.

But hey – as always: YMMV.


You are better off using UTP with a cheap Netgear GS108 switch with the outer barrel of the DC connector tied to AC ground. The transformers used by Ethernet block most of the bad stuff going over the data wires. Grounding the outer barrel of the DC power plug causing the high-impedance noise to get blocked too. At least with that particular switch.

The problem with the fiber setup is the power supply for the fiber converter.

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I think you need the last converter right before the transport or streamer, and also power it with an LPS to get rid of switching power noise. Basically the fiber should be as late as possible in the chain, since it can’t improve on anything that comes after.

Exactly the way I run mine. The last fiber converter uses the 5v feed from an HD Plex I have in my rack for other purposes. I have tried the Netgear switch but it made no difference, so I went back to my Meraki 8-port managed switch.

PS Audio has a USB extender based on Ethernet. They don’t have a fiber converter setup for Ethernet.

The ‘does it work’ test was with the switch left out of the equation:

Router <> Ethernet <> TP-Link <> Fiber <> TP-Link <> Ethernet <> Streamer

It worked alright (as it should), but no audible differences of any kind. And I do need a few extra ports. :slight_smile:

This is in an all-digital system:

Ethernet <> Streamer <> S/PDIF <> MiniDSP <> S/PDIF <> DSP speakers.

I tried hooking up two SBooster LPSUs I had around in my headphone setup to the streamer and MiniDSP – same story.

Then again – my analog paths are literally centimeters long.

One of the first steps with all of these tweaks is to see if the sound changes at all if you unplug the ethernet cable from the endpoint and let it play entirely play from the buffer for those few seconds which Roon has. If you’re quick enough, you can plug and unplug multiple times without causing any interruptions or track skipping.

Doesn’t work with WIN10 and no longer being made.

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What PSU are you using for the downstream FMC?

Just a cheap 9v iFi iPower for now (I don’t have any 9v lps).

You don’t need a linear PSU for this purpose but it may be worth grounding the iFi’s output.

iFi make the Groundhog that will do this - it’s quite expensive for what it is but if you don’t want to go DIY it may be a good solution.

Can your FMC take 7.Vdc? This is better and cheaper than the iFi groundhog:

What’s the exact model of your FMC?

I can try to ground it the DIY way and see if it makes any difference

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