Value of audiophile network switches

The three dimensionally of a sound stage, for one, which is as real as you or I.

1 Like

Ok, I’ll give you that one. :laughing:

Still, a sound stage, while it can’t be measured is a product of one’s imagination and the sensory input. The Buddhists call that ‘mutual interdependence’. So, as ‘real’ as pain, I guess.

Are you saying that the dimensionality of the sound stage is improved by an uber expensive switch? I’ve never seen that claim in all the posts on this or any thread.

So be it.

There’s little doubt an effect this dramatic should be measurable. If I was looking, I’d start with a tape measure and check that your chair legs are of equal length :wink:


Well that’s the thing, that’s not something your ears hear, it’s a perception that your brain constructs from the auditory data, and of all the things that could affect that perception - room acoustics, speaker positioning, and so on - a switch is probably very close to the bottom of the list.

1 Like

Soundstaging is 100% real, not at all imaginary, and who the heck said anything about switches? I sure didn’t.

You are in a thread about the objective validity of audiophile switches, so I thought that your original post was to defend that viewpoint.

As I stated up above. it is the product of your imagination and the incoming signal, and that is reason it can’t be measured.

As to what is real, that is an onion I won’t peel here.

Pass the popcorn…

You won’t want to eat it once I have :wink:

1 Like

Unmeasureable noises?


I’m going to throw a spanner in the works here…

What school of of listening did everyone attend and who taught the course… just like I say everyone hears differently, it’s all because we learnt to hear differently, and the chances of one hearing the same exact thing twice is so unlikely (despite what your brain might try to suggest) that even 2 people in the same room won’t hear the same sound due to air temp, pressure, position in the room, shape of ones ears even that concurrence of what one hears is already impossible to believe.

Just enjoy the journey, buy what you like, try what you like, keep what you like best but most of all just enjoy the music, however your learned to listen to it.


Sound staging is reconstructed in the brain. The better the music file and system, the less work the brain has to do to create the illusion. Hence MQA makes it easier…


I liked your post @Chrislayeruk but you couldn’t resist, could you? :joy:


Everything is better with MQA, i eat it for breakfast and it makes videoconferencing during the day so much easier

1 Like

You shouldn’t assume anything. I joined the thread posting about the new $3500 absurd Innuos Switch, stating that my NETGEAR was serving me nicely, and there wasn’t any desire to switch. The only need I would ever have to upgrade my switch is to gain more ports. I have never noticed any change in SQ. Build Q? Hell yeah, had two really cheap ones die on me, but even they sounded as good as my moderately priced 16 port Netgear that I currently use.

In your opinion. For me, MQA ruins soundstaging.

Hi Neil, if you do look to upgrade your switch you’d be hard pressed to beat a refurbished proper enterprise grade switch (from that well-known auction site) if you can tuck it out of the way somewhere - they tend to be fan cooled, so aren’t silent. Enterprise switches have a heavy duty backplane capable of simultaneously switching all ports at full capacity, unlike many consumer units. Most can be just plug and play, though there’s lots to tinker with if you’re inclined. They’re designed to sit in data centres and run all day, every day under heavy load, so they’re built to be extremely reliable. They normally have lots of ports and the PoE/PoE+ ones have a hefty power budget if you want to run IP cameras, Access Points etc. Both my switches cost me around £200 each. New, they’re nearer £900 each.

Whadda think of this switch?

Nice switch - the Amazon description is a bit sketchy though (as they often are) The Cisco datasheet spec is 22 X 10/100/1000 RJ45 ports, 12 of which are PoE+, 100W PoE capability, 2 x GB SFP ports, 48Gbps switching capacity (capable of simultaneous full-duplex load on all ports!) Has a cooling fan, so not one for mounting in your Hi-Fi rack. It’s a Cisco - expect it to live forever :wink:

My first big Dell switch was a complete steal - cheeky bid on a midweek closing auction for £203. Even now, the cheapest refurb is £400+.

It’s a beast of a switch and lives in the cupboard under the stairs. The fan noise at boot up is deafening! :laughing:


This was a session done last Friday…just posting FYI not saying it’s one thing or another.

I skimmed through the ‘noob’ explanations. Whilst I disagree with his almost endorsement of spending $1000 on an ethernet cable, mostly it’s a useful webinar.

Totally agree with his view on ISP provided routers. They’re not great and if you have anything more than the most basic of networks, put it in modem mode and add your own router.

A couple of key things to note - Cat7 and Cat8 are shielded cables and the shielding only works if you have Cat7 or Cat8 capable network gear with grounding connections in the RJ45 sockets. Normally only enterprise 10GbE kit will have this, so stick with Cat6 is my advice. If you really want to go with an optical connection - rather than media converters, an option is to buy a refurbed switch like the one above, and get an SFP optical module for it ($peanuts). My last pair of brand new 10Gb SFP+ modules cost me <£10 with postage. Plug your fibre patch lead straight into the switch and plug the other end into you optical UltraRendu or optical enabled streamer. You get optical capability and a much more robust and durable switch.

Optical can be a bit of a minefield though - there is a number of different standards (Single mode, multi-mode, short range, long range etc.) which utilise different fibres, different transmission wavelengths and there are also different types of connector.

I also disagree regarding audiophile switches - ethernet’s differential transmission (a bit like balanced XLR) deals with the noise. Leave out the shielding, and ethernet"s transformer-coupled galvanic isolation does the rest.

You also don’t need to be an engineer to do the basic config on a managed network switch. I managed to set up my first one with barely a clue about layers and ethernet protocols.

My second switch was trickier - it needed a console connection to do the initial setup…