Are audiophile network switches a scam?

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Comments

  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,995
    invalid wrote: »
    I've read posts on other sites that claim every different brand switch tried had a different sound signature. It doesn't make sense but I have never tried different switches so I have no real experience.
    NO, that doesn't make any sense. Network switches do not have sonic signatures. Please don't go down this stupid road. Why does out hobby have to get flooded with the most nonsense out of any other hobby?
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    mantis wrote: »
    Network switches do not have sonic signatures.

    Dan, it was brought to my attention the other day that an EtherREGEN is "technically" a switch. This switch includes a "moat" (ADIM, which is short for Active Differential Isolation Moat). It also has a dual, isolated clock/data/power domains, blockage of all external leakage currents, a significant reduction in upstream phase-noise fingerprint, and maximal signal integrity.

    Grounding components properly together can yield further noise reduction/energy dump and also allows the optional input of a master clock. All of which can be further refined by the use of LPS's and cables/PC's, etc.

    All of these things have the "potential" to change the sonic attributes leading to the end unit. The one thing I have recently learned when it comes to network audio is that the rules have changed. What is common knowledge and established protocol are no more. It's a whole different ball game altogether.

    I have heard the same exact cable in Trey's system make a huge difference in cleaning up the sound (to him and I both and it was immediately distinguishable), the only thing that changed was the length of the cable. Same brand, same cable metallurgies, same connectors, just a different length.

    If I hadn't heard it myself and listened to the end result of what it did? I probably would not have believed Trey if he told as much (or would have seriously doubted his observations). It's not like it changed the sonic signature much, other than the subtleties. What it did do was remove the "hard to describe Gremlins" that was plaguing his system.

    Harshness, digital glare, digital artifacts and a hard digital edge were all subsided (read, removed) and this allowed the both of us to hear more into the music. It's not like it added anything. It took away, so we heard more. The detail and texture without these unwanted artifacts really brought his system into fruition.

    You should have seen our faces when the music started playing. We were both looking at each other thinking, "no way"! Are we really hearing what we are hearing? Well, we were and we both observed the same things. To us, it was subtle but indistinguishable and undeniable. A breath of fresh mountain air, if you will.

    Well, it's the same thing with the EtherREGEN, clocks, PC's, LPS's and cables. I think the accepted terminology of a "sonic signature" is what is in debate here. IME, the sonic signature may or may not change much at all but once you are at a point of a true high fidelity system, it can or does have the potential to change the incoming noise and digital gremlins that can ultimately hamper the end result as to what hits your ears.

    In my very simple layman's terms, when it comes to NAP's, getting rid of signal noise (of any form) and insuring/correcting signal integrity is the primary goal. This, in turn, gets rid of the "gremlins" that plague a NAP system and allows one to hear more of the previously masked music.

    So, I think maybe we are both right. They do not really "change" the sonic signature. They remove the unwanted artifacts (or have the potential too), which in turn, offer the user a cleaner signal that the NAP can now work with.

    Lord, I hope this makes sense. I am still a relative rookie with NAP's (even though I have had one in my rig for about 5 years). I really started going balls to the wall after hearing all of the advances Trey did with his NAP system, as I was trying to get my new to me NAP to actually play some damned music. Once I figured out how to get my NAP to operate flawlessly (ended up being a Wi-Fi issue), I heard the potential. That's when I decided to go balls to the wall with this aspect of the rig.

    While I took a different path (don't we all) to clean up my signal than Trey did, I have achieved the same goal. The cost was not cheap, there was a STEEP learning curve (akin to learning the French language to me) and there are a plethora of paths one can take to achieve cleaning up the signal but one thing was unmistakable.

    The end result as to what is currently hitting my ears. The better the bit rate/version/recording? The better the end result.

    Tom

    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,995
    treitz3 wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    Network switches do not have sonic signatures.

    Dan, it was brought to my attention the other day that an EtherREGEN is "technically" a switch. This switch includes a "moat" (ADIM, which is short for Active Differential Isolation Moat). It also has a dual, isolated clock/data/power domains, blockage of all external leakage currents, a significant reduction in upstream phase-noise fingerprint, and maximal signal integrity.

    Grounding components properly together can yield further noise reduction/energy dump and also allows the optional input of a master clock. All of which can be further refined by the use of LPS's and cables/PC's, etc.

    All of these things have the "potential" to change the sonic attributes leading to the end unit. The one thing I have recently learned when it comes to network audio is that the rules have changed. What is common knowledge and established protocol are no more. It's a whole different ball game altogether.

    I have heard the same exact cable in Trey's system make a huge difference in cleaning up the sound (to him and I both and it was immediately distinguishable), the only thing that changed was the length of the cable. Same brand, same cable metallurgies, same connectors, just a different length.

    If I hadn't heard it myself and listened to the end result of what it did? I probably would not have believed Trey if he told as much (or would have seriously doubted his observations). It's not like it changed the sonic signature much, other than the subtleties. What it did do was remove the "hard to describe Gremlins" that was plaguing his system.

    Harshness, digital glare, digital artifacts and a hard digital edge were all subsided (read, removed) and this allowed the both of us to hear more into the music. It's not like it added anything. It took away, so we heard more. The detail and texture without these unwanted artifacts really brought his system into fruition.

    You should have seen our faces when the music started playing. We were both looking at each other thinking, "no way"! Are we really hearing what we are hearing? Well, we were and we both observed the same things. To us, it was subtle but indistinguishable and undeniable. A breath of fresh mountain air, if you will.

    Well, it's the same thing with the EtherREGEN, clocks, PC's, LPS's and cables. I think the accepted terminology of a "sonic signature" is what is in debate here. IME, the sonic signature may or may not change much at all but once you are at a point of a true high fidelity system, it can or does have the potential to change the incoming noise and digital gremlins that can ultimately hamper the end result as to what hits your ears.

    In my very simple layman's terms, when it comes to NAP's, getting rid of signal noise (of any form) and insuring/correcting signal integrity is the primary goal. This, in turn, gets rid of the "gremlins" that plague a NAP system and allows one to hear more of the previously masked music.

    So, I think maybe we are both right. They do not really "change" the sonic signature. They remove the unwanted artifacts (or have the potential too), which in turn, offer the user a cleaner signal that the NAP can now work with.

    Lord, I hope this makes sense. I am still a relative rookie with NAP's (even though I have had one in my rig for about 5 years). I really started going balls to the wall after hearing all of the advances Trey did with his NAP system, as I was trying to get my new to me NAP to actually play some damned music. Once I figured out how to get my NAP to operate flawlessly (ended up being a Wi-Fi issue), I heard the potential. That's when I decided to go balls to the wall with this aspect of the rig.

    While I took a different path (don't we all) to clean up my signal than Trey did, I have achieved the same goal. The cost was not cheap, there was a STEEP learning curve (akin to learning the French language to me) and there are a plethora of paths one can take to achieve cleaning up the signal but one thing was unmistakable.

    The end result as to what is currently hitting my ears. The better the bit rate/version/recording? The better the end result.

    Tom

    Tom,
    I'm not going to argue anything about what you and Trey heard nor do I want to. I have been doing networking professionally for over 23 years and I can't see how any of that makes any sense.

    I do music systems like Savant which uses AVB technology. I do Sonos which works best with Spamming tree protocol. Heo's also works best with Spamming Tree which is Denon's Music system that is basically falling apart. I have used 6 inch cables Cat 6 and 300 ft cables Cat 6 and never heard any differences at all in overall performance. Maybe I haven't been paying attention enough but never once did a remote system that lived on the other side of a 12 thousand square foot home have any music issues digitally sent from one source to another or streaming. Even Wifi music doesn't seem to degrade. I have heard however Bluetooth sound terrible vs hard wired or even wifi connection.

    Back when Digital audio , Dac's , high Rez files came out, I was working at Audiolab where there was many serious audiophiles clients and co workers/ Owners. Audio was everything at Audiolab and it's what we did best.

    I studied DAC's,Digital cables, USB Coax and Optical. We even got into high end Ethernet cables and such. I personally have an issue with someone making a audiophile network switch as I know how it works, I know what it takes to properly send the signal from A to B. Nothing in all my years of training in Networks leads me to believe there can be improvements over the network as long as you have a properly setup and built network.

    I have a pretty high end network in my home with managed switches and high end Wifi Access points. If any audiophile switch company would like to me to test their products , I'm all in. I want to hear this for myself and I want the science behind it, not made up bull crap. I'd like an actual network engineer to work with me and teach me these things. Again I'm kinda tired of the so called "audiophile " Crap that doesn't end up doing anything in our hobby. If there was some truth to this, I think I would have heard about it by now. This is the first I'm hearing of this madness, I'm open to learn it but I highly doubt it.

    I think it would be fun to go down this path and figure all this out. But I feel in the end we are going to end up with no improvements what so ever.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 27,880
    The cable length in question was a BNC cable and it did make a marked improvement
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,391
    mantis wrote: »
    NO, that doesn't make any sense. Network switches do not have sonic signatures. Please don't go down this stupid road. Why does out hobby have to get flooded with the most nonsense out of any other hobby?

    Neither do power cables or my patent pending audiophile HEPA Bluetooth filter.
    ;)
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    Dan, you are welcome to do your own audio journey with these and other things. I'm not pointing a gun at your head stating that you must believe me. Personally, I could care less what you or anyone else thinks. I tried, to the best of my ability, to rationally speak as to the terminology differences.

    I don't need to understand why. I don't need to see measurements. I don't need to know the science behind all of this. All I need are my ears.

    There was one point in time to where power cords were heavily debated and considered utter lunacy. Now look at most people's stance on them.

    If you don't notice a difference in your rig? More power to you. I do. and it all started with this >>> https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/comment/2705591/#Comment_2705591

    I would not have invested what I have lately into my rig if I didn't hear it myself. Now that I can hear the end result? I can say that it was worth every penny spent and I am following the latest technology to further improve the setup.
    Dan wrote:
    I'm not going to argue anything about what you and Trey heard nor do I want to.

    Good. There is nothing to argue about.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • DarqueKnight
    DarqueKnight Posts: 6,760
    rebelsoul wrote: »

    A better question would be "are YouTube click bait videos a waste of time?"

    Proud and loyal citizen of the Digital Domain and Solid State Country!