Valley of "audiophile" ethernet cables

(Charles Peterson) #509

The Cisco 2960 absolutely blows away the Netgear switches, even with the ground shunt and an LPS. No layer management needed - just return to default and plug and play. It does take some extra time to bring the port online so look for the green light before freaking out. From what I’ve read, it has to do with superior clocking and physical layers. Keep in mind these were $500 plus switches new - I got mine for $29.


Do we know any more detail about the PHY or the clocking on those Cisco 2960? Also, where is anyone getting theirs for so cheap!?

I also have a spare Cisco Linksys E3000 router. It uses Broadcom BCM53115 for the switch. I wonder how it would compare.

Also, I wonder if the usage of a LPS has any benefits on the clocking/SI?

(Charles Peterson) #511

A few network engineers over on the Naim forum have been recommending these for a few years. Ignored at my own loss until now. Bought two for $29 each. Both looked practically new, though probably racked so who knows how much actual use they had. Run with SFP modules and fiber cable from switch to switch, and then a good Ghent Audio JSSG ethernet cable from the second one to the microRendu.

Just had a look and at least twenty to thirty on ebay for under $50 - and double that if you go put to $75-100. There’s also poE models same price. Stick to the 8 port model as it’s fanless. Great overview of all the various Cisco models on the Naim forum in the streaming forum. Thread called “Cisco switch” page 6.


Hey @Sean2016 are you sure this will work with Netgear switch? I have the GS108 and it says 12v input.

The UpTone power supply is rated only 7.5v


I need a Gigabit Ethernet switch. Is the Cisco 2960G just as good?

(Charles Peterson) #514

Better some say (though slightly) as they are newer. But you’ll pay for it (typically $200-250 used on ebay). I’ve considered getting one as the wired internet is a bit throttled, but since the AirPort Extreme comes before the 2960 we have over 100mbs WiFi. No audio, even the highest rez, needs gig speeds though.

(Sean) #515

Hey thyname, I have it working right now. It works with lower than 12Vdc and 7.5Vdc appears to be the lower working limit.

(Fredrik) #516

I have tried my GS108 with lower voltage. If I recall it works all the way down to 6V when it shut off and came back on when I raised it to 7V so 7.5V should work.

(Mikael Ollars) #517

I’m not fully convinced that running below recommended voltage is a wise move. You surely must put a very different strain on voltage regulators or oscillators to feed the internals.
Do you experience any SQ differences with different input voltages?

(Fredrik) #518

I am runing mine on 12V. I dont know how it will affect DC/DC converters as they often are built to have a wide input range compared to it’s output.


Good point!

@Fredrik_Andersson @Sean2016 thoughts?

(Fredrik) #520

Perhaps a bit OT now but the GS108 uses two dc-dc converters internally to convert 12vdc to lower voltages (I dont know what voltages). It all depends on the lowest voltage compared to the output how low you can go on the dc-dc converter.
The converter have a wide input up to 20vdc and will still output the set voltage. Only thing that will change is the current as the voltage is changed.

If this will affect the sound well I really dont think it will as long as the converter outputs the voltage it is set for.

(David Liguori) #521

Yes, that’s why FM was invented early on. The big advantage to “large carrier” AM is it’s easy to demodulate with low parts count, or accidentally. That can also be a liability, if you live next to a station. And frightfully inefficient, not at all green.

So what did you replace your LED’s with, old fashioned glowing filaments?

It’s not at all unreasonable to suppose RFI could get into the analog sections of the audio chain and change the way it sounds. Though, as always, just because it could happen doesn’t mean it is.

(JohnV) #522

This may read harsher than intended, but how do you know? I am trying to learn, not poke holes.

(Charles Peterson) #523

By owning and trying. Ya wanna buy some Netgear switches, cheap? I also have a Trendnet 24 port fanless that to me sounded better than the Netgears but not as good as the Cisco. Caveat, I do have one Cisco as a main router switch, and then another just for the hifi (and Roku) in the living room connected via optical fiber and the SFP ports (OEM SFP’s $5 on eBay). Got rid of the TP Link FMC’s and their lips’ that way too. Next caveat, the Cisco is on a dedicated circuit that it shares with the charger for the Uptone LPS-1 for the microRendu. Basic Naim Tibia power cable. All, i know, is it was an immediate increase in air, bass, clarity, and dynamics over the Netgear switch.

(JohnV) #524

Fair enough, thanks!

(Robert ) #525

I’ve had good luck with Linksys SE3008…have several of them…


I had made a couple of changes to my rig earlier and now all ethernet cables (5e, 6 UTP, 6s S/STP shielded, floating both ends, 1 end, or shielded connected on both ends). switches/routers, stock power supply vs LPS all sound identical. Zero difference now. Finally!

You can even plug and unplug the ethernet cable and it sounds identical throughout. Although, the buffer doesn’t last long. You can unplug for a second or two and quickly plug it back in to make sure the playback doesn’t stop.


what did you change to achieve this parity?


I don’t know which one did it. It wasn’t done with the intention of addressing the network portion of the rig. I didn’t make all these changes at once. I was also using wireless for a long period there, so I don’t know what actually did it. Nonetheless, it’s all identical now.

  1. Got rid of stock shielded power cables and went back to stock unshielded power cables. The stock power cables had the drain wire connected on both ends.

  2. I was finally able to move the BDP-1 to the Torus without running into any voltage spike issues. So now all the audio relevant gear is on the Torus which helps with ground loops.

  3. I moved the Torus and the amplifier out of the rack and put some distance. This was done for heat purposes with summer approaching. Now the room is cooler and the heat doesn’t feed and build up on each other. Before they were on individual shelves, but still stacked vertically.