With apologies to those of you who frequent other forums and may see similar there from me. I’m seeking advice from as large a pool as possible.
Having moved on from my Naim source I’ve spent much of the last year enjoying music more than I have in years. Still through Naim amplification. This despite using a very cheap wireless bridge recommended by a dealer as a way to get going. Outside of ludicrous amounts of music listening I’ve spent time to get the right resting place for 2,000 CDs and have finally purchased a separate solution for the covers/booklets so that they are accessible from under the sofa. So, it’s finally time to move forward on other matters.
Located next to the pre and streamer this cheap wireless bridge introduces audible noise into the system. It can’t be located elsewhere as it relies on a piece of very short and hard-wired piece of CAT 5. To make this worse I’ve run out of sockets and it currently shares a power socket with my Chord DAC. Extra sockets are not practical. Even if they were they don’t solve the noise issue.
A run of ethernet from router to streamer would be ideal but can’t be done without a level of upheaval that would be unacceptable to all given other works which need to be funded this year and next. I appreciate that someone will always post with the best of intentions that “nevertheless if you could just run ethernet from…” but it really is off the table.
Now, I could in theory go to something like an Innuos PhoenixNET; plug it in on the other side of the living room (sorry, “lounge” ) with a 3m run of ethernet across the front of fireplace but it seems to me that the more sensible first step is to replace the bridge with something better quality; plug that in the other side of the living room and run some ethernet from that.
I already have Chord Epic from streamer to DAC and from DAC to the 202 so the obvious choice of ethernet would also be Epic. However, it strikes me that my better first step would be a relocated and new, good quality bridge accompanied by relatively cheap ethernet (3m at most I think) to see how that impacts the audible noise and sound quality in general.
Best options on the former appear to be TP-Link. Best options on the latter appear to be… well I’m not sure. Where I come unstuck is that TP-Link have an array of available devices which is utterly bewildering. I have certain criteria but even when applied I remain bewildered. Any help to narrow down my choices would be much appreciated as would thoughts on cheap cables. Ideally I’d not want this to descend into a discussion on cables.
Current broadband is a rock solid 145Mbps. At peak there are, I think, up to 21 devices using wireless broadband.
My focus is very much on a good workable bridge. The ethernet cable, any ethernet cable, cannot be any worse than the thing attached to the current bridge so, whilst advice on cheap cable would be great my feeling is that the bridge is the priority.
The location for the new bridge will be very visible. I don’t want anything too big as we’re talking a run of sockets which already struggle to accommodate TV, DVD and a Sky Q box. I also don’t want anything with very conspicuous flashing lights. Current bridge ceaselessly flashes blue and green but is at least hidden from view via Blu Tac down the side of my Hutter rack.
Two reasons re: the flashing lights. Firstly, Mrs. H. will complain if there is something constantly flashing away conspicuously whilst trying to relax, watch TV or listening to music. Secondly, one of my eye conditions means my vision will be constantly drawn to said flashing lights.
So, having spewed all that, which TP-Link device and why? Anyone with experience of decent alternatives with Naim amplification would also be helpful. I get a sense TP-Link are both the best and rather prolific. If you think otherwise then by all means offer alternatives.