Value of audiophile network switches

What streamer do you use? I would suggest that the difference could be more apparent on a lower end streamer (like DigiOne) than on a higher end streamer that is already cleaning up noise on Ethernet.

The burden of proof always falls on the yea sayers. Nihilists get off easy.

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what noise?

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You don’t think a $30 switch makes noise?

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what noise?

It’s a simple question, what noise problem do think needs solving?

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@thebiglebowski and @Charles_Coutret… you are both going to have to define what you mean by ‘noise’ or this thread is going nowhere!

How can I define something that I don’t think is an issue?

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It doesn’t matter whether it’s an issue or not - as you are a network designer I was hoping you had a useful concept of noise. Then we could move on to consider in what way it might affect low level analogue electronics.

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I will quote from the Auralic website: Open network connections and data fetching are prone to noise that can hurt the quality of your audio signal.

As I said above, I will AB test as soon as I can get some help.

Auralic, though, are trying to sell you something…

I don’t think the quote actually tells you anything useful - beyond the fact that Auralic think they have identified a problem for which they claim to have a solution.

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Yes I understand noise but in 90% of situations it is not an issue for networking.

Only time I have seen noise cause issues was in an industrial environment where RF welders were causing interference on the network switches.

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“Audiophile” switches are pure snakeoil, audiophoolery at its worst. Right up there with the Clever Little Clock and Brilliant Pebbles.

Save your money and spend it on something else, like music or beer…

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The two words to conjure here are PRONE and CAN. This makes the statement meaningless in the same way ‘up to 50% off’ is used in sales…
But, I agree that if you are curious, try it for yourself.

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Why “except optical”? Isn’t that also an analog signal albeit modulating light rather than voltage?

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Yes and no. They aren’t necessarily doing anything that isn’t maybe better achieved another way. Like using the infamous Cisco switch. Or designing out susceptibility to Ethernet (or usb… ) effects. They are a relatively harmless way of tweaking the (very) low level effects of digital processing close to low level analogue electronics. Whether it’s better/worse/inaudible is system dependent and - of course - subject to expectation bias.

I remember PWB from the 1980’s…

I don’t believe for a femtosecond that there will be any effect from these switches, audible or otherwise. The only things these switches will accomplish is separating fools from their money.

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My suggestion is to take your favorite album, convert it to WAV format and copy it to /tmp on your Raspberry Pi endpoint. Next, use the SoX “play” command to play the tracks. Finally, completely disconnect the network cable (also make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled)

This is the same or better than what your system would sound like with the best audiophile switch and network cable in the world. No switch or cable can sound better than no switch or cable at all!

You’ll be playing uncompressed files, and /tmp is often mapped to RAM, so there’s little or no I/O to the microSD card, and CPU usage is minimal since the files are already uncompressed.

If the sound from this test does not leave your jaw on the floor, you will be unimpressed with results from an audiophile switch and $1k AudioQuest Diamond Ethernet cable.

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While I can’t hear any significant changes with buffer Ent networking kit I tossed out all the consumer crap routers and switches years ago and the only Audiophile networking kit I have is an EtherREGEN just as it was something to try…hold a gun to my head and I can’t honestly say I can tell one way or the other…the rest is all UniFi gear, router switches(7) and AP’s (5) and no it’s not a big house just lots of rebar and concrete and lots of devices … 50+

I don’t have any issues with networking or roon dropouts etc. at least 7-10+ endpoints. Good networking is one less thing to have to worry about.

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Like any remedial device, something like an audiophile switch has to have something to fix. If there is nothing to fix it simply behaves like a switch and you’ve spent hundreds of dollars/pounds/euros where 20 would have done the trick. There are no guarantees with devices like these as there are no guarantees with cables, platforms, stands and the like. They may help, they may make no difference and they may even make matters worse. But here money back guarantees are useful if not essential.

That’s ok. No one is twisting your arm…