Nearly there, your on the right path………….
Today, I tried this setup and initial result is promising. Two units sounds better than one with heavier bass slam and seems “louder”. The white cisco is modded with OCXO clock and 12v dc input. The Bonn N8 is back in its box
Hi @bnc1863 How did you convert it to 12v DC? Can you show a picture?
Hi Simon, if I’m reading this correctly it sounds like my EE8 switch may be redundant since I have an nDAC on my ND5 XS 2?! The switch is connected to the BT router (5m) then a short run to the streamer.
I can leave my 2960 in the cupboard?!
Thanks, and thanks for all your contributions here!
It may be… but you might still find the audio balance sounds slightly different with it in which you may or may not prefer. Remember this all about preference as opposed to ‘SQ improvements’.
As far as your 2960, this is an advanced switch that potentially does a quite lot underneath the covers, even in its default setup, that can help your streamer in actual network/Ethernet optimisation that the rather basic audiophile switches don’t. So you might find daisy chaining the 2960 → EE8 → Streamer an optimum configuration for your tastes.
Thanks for the compliment !
Thanks Simon, I’ll give it a try, at least it’s easy to do and easy to put back if I don’t like the results … or can’t hear any difference
Interesting that you note this is more to do with suiting one’s taste than ‘improvements’ per se. For me the configuration above is definitely an improvement over running straight from the Virgin Superhub 3 or going Superhub to EE8 alone. That tiniest hint of digital ‘edge’ that was there before has given way to a lovely lucid ‘natural’ presentation. It’s like some noise, previously evident, has fallen away somehow.
You’ll probably tell me it’s noise added that is shaping the sound but, whatever is going on, it sounds spot-on.
We removed our 2960 from new setup (NDX2 into nDAC) as we couldn’t hear any difference.
Now just run a decent cable (not expensive boutique) between BT Hub and NDX2. No switches.
When we had a 272 the switch made an audible difference.
Hi Iain, I’ll give that a go as well, out of interest … when I got the EE8 I didn’t have the DAC and there was an audible improvement on the ND5, and at the time a SuperNait 3, so I’ve just kept it in ever since. Never occurred to me to take it out … it may just be sitting there looking pretty now
It’s funny… in my production exploits I deliberately add ‘edginess’ through simulated distortion to many sounds to ‘improve’ how the resultant track sounds to my tastes… it really is bizarre what a difference it can make with perceived engagement and ‘musicality’.
I do think this has something to do with why vinyl can sound so good… I have used vinyl distortion simulators before and they can make an otherwise clean synthetic sound more organic and natural.
The Virgin Hub 3 is really a piece of rubbish. Its Puma chipset has a bug that can cause some real bottlenecks, latency and physical errors. But Virgin won’t let you connect to their broadband with anything other than one of their modems. The (partial) answer is to set their Superhub in modem-only mode and put a decent router into your system. This is where you have the first opportunity to really make an impact on your streamed music sound quality. Essentially what you want is a music stream arriving at your streamer/server with no noise, no jitter and no other network traffic other than audio related.
How it ideally works; the first router/switch gets rid of all the non-audio traffic and some of the noise and jitter coming from the Superhub. The stream out of this first switch is therefore less noisy from a workload, jitter and noise perspective. If the switch has a better power supply, then the bit stream square wave is also improved. This ‘better’ stream is then passed through a second switch, with better ‘physical layer’ specifications than the first. The noise, the jitter and ideally, depending on the power supply used, the square wave structure of the bits are all improved again. This isn’t noise shaping, its noise removal and improvement to the physical layer specification of the bit stream.
Anything that changes the physical layer will change the sound. Anything that improves the physical layer will improve the sound; that is, make it more accurate, purer and better timed so your brain can do a much better job creating the illusion of music being played in a venue.
Hi Graeme - in reading your post again - I do wonder if the Virgin Superb is earthed - or double insulated? If not earthed (ie 3 pin plug with earth connected to chassis etc) then there may be relatively high common mode currents passing from it - which could couple into your streamer - not totally dissimilar on why connecting the audio outs from double insulated TVs into our preamps can lessen the overall perceived performance of other inputs.
The standard Superhub 3 get 12V from a matchbox SMPS via a barrel connector
oh dear … kind of explains why connecting directly to it can be none ideal. To be fair many SOHO/consumer broadband routers have a similar setups - its just those that are designed to support xDSL type connectivity as well tend to be relatively well behaved otherwise they would negatively impact the broadband SNR performance (speed) which would be self defeating…
(However I would think a noisy router would affect DCMS as well - but have less recent experience with that)
That might explain why adding the 2960 between VSH3 and EE8 shows benefit I guess.
Made my way through this thread and surprisingly enough I did not see many Daisy Chaining with optical.
I have two 2960’s purchased back in the day when they were introduced in the old forum (thanks @Simon-in-Suffolk ) and decided to experiment with an optical connection between the two (official Cisco optical cages). The bottom Cisco handles the entire house. The top is daisy chained to the bottom via an optical cable and my dCS Rossini is the only device connected to it. There is definitely an improvement.
@Simon-in-Suffolk - am I understanding correctly you are advocating for a long optical cable between the two Cisco’s? My current one is 1m
Good plan, Gregg. I’ve found fibre out from my main Cisco switch (not a 2960 anymore) to a media converter (fibre to copper) and then onto my final switch to be very beneficial in my setup.
AND…your KDS-Organik has an optical fibre port already built in (and Linn are officially on record as stating they believe optical in to be superior).
Are you feeding the Linn with optimal?
I finally succumbed and ordered my Katalyst>Organik upgrade for my KDS. As you know the KDS Is now in my Stax headphone system while the Rossini fronts the 552/500. I have high hopes for Organik thus the reason for getting my order in last week before the price increase.
I recall adding a single 2960, replacing a cheapo Netgear, and hearing a small improvement with my NDX.
For a few years I’ve been running NDX, then NDX2, into a Chord DAC, and I installed another two 2960s to cover the whole house. I connected the three of them with fibre for reasons unrelated to sound quality. So I have 3 of them between server and streamer, and 2 between router and streamer.
I once tried running a Cat5e cable to the switch that connects my NDX2. It sounded exactly the same to me.