CISCO 2960 - Any replacement or update?

There is something hilariously funny about a small niche forum for Naim owners probably being the single most enthousiastic group of collectors of a specific model of ethernet switch from a generic network brand.

Who actually started this fad, and when??


There may be a guy at Cisco’s sales department scratching his head over some odd numbers


Those old blue ciscos are the noisiest of the bunch I tried. Try to get a newer model with external PS if you can. Also, you want to make sure it’s not configured so do a factory reset if you need to.

Breaking news. Cisco Roon Ready audiophile switch under development. You heard it here first :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Pretty sure If you keep your finger on the button on the left for a bit this puts to factory reset. the 1-8 ports for your cables

Guilty… but it all started when I was eliminating some RF interference from my Netgear Ethernet switch breaking into my NAT05 tuner… I replaced with a 2960 Catalyst switch I had available. It removed the RFI and I noticed my then NDX sounded better.
I reversed back… and noticed the deterioration. I shared my experiences on the previous Naim forum… others tried it and some, but certainly not all, found similar results… and it spread from there… I was even contacted by an audiophile journalists over it… and I predicted there would be dedicated switches with tighter serial clocks hitting the market for the audiophile market… and about 24 months later they appeared :slight_smile:

But the benefits I found were not limited to the Catalyst 2960, all Catalysts I tried benefitted including the Catalyst 3750 layer 3 switch.


You should have gotten into the game back then, you’d have to give away Statements on the forum for lack of space

If a previous user has configured the switch you need to console into it to clear any remaining settings. The reset button won’t do this.

I’m curious as to how you came to this conclusion. I have a number of 2960s including a couple of old blue ones, and they are all electrically very quiet.


The manual I found states two button holding durationss. Holding for 3 seconds gets you to express setup on an unconfigured switch, 7 seconds if it has been configured:

Caution Resetting the switch deletes the configuration and reboots the switch.

To reset the switch, press and hold the Mode button. The switch LEDs begin blinking after about 3 seconds. Continue holding down the Mode button. The LEDs stop blinking after 7 more seconds, and then the switch reboots.

The switch now behaves like an unconfigured switch. You can enter the switch IP information by using Express Setup…

Does this differ between models? I’ve not tried the above but will delve into the settings at some point just to remind myself and for the fun of it :smiley:

Edit: if after their switch POSTs @ptcm10 presses the reset button and it immediately flashes, I think that indicates a prior config exists, which might be a reason simply plugging in the router and 272 doesn’t see them speak to each other

I did it like anyone else, through trial and error. The blue one was my first one, then I tried a couple of the newer GB models and saw some improvement, but the real improvement came with the newer PD models. It shouldn’t be such a surprise considering they use different components over the years.

I have old and new catalysts and notice no difference at all.
I also had an old blue PD 2960 device (PoE powered) and noticed a small improvement with my old NDX, but no advantage with the NDX2.
I also found the firmwares can make a subtle differences too on the older Naim streamers.

Then I presume you were looking for sound quality differences, rather than detecting any electrical noise from the switch that may or may not have any effect on connected audio gear?
The forum seems to have a bit of an obsession with noisy switching supplies, without actually establishing that they are generating noise, or that any such noise is the cause of any changes to what you hear. There is little or no discussion of how a decent switch might prevent your streamer from being bombarded by unwanted multicast traffic, or give it an easier time by clocking the data more effectively. (Not to mention feeding that subconscious bias that we all like to think we are immune to, and almost certainly aren’t :wink:)

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Well with my SU I noticed differences with all the catalysts I tried and I spent about a year experimenting with several different models landing on a 8PT–>8TT POE set up being the best of the bunch and it’s by a good margin.

Maybe I’m not using the correct language, the improvements I’m referring to are with a lowered noise floor. I blind tested the switches I tested with a very familiar playlist of tracks I use for reference. My POE is night/day different from those old blue ciscos and even the newer GB versions. If you need to believe there are no differences in SQ among the different models I’m okay with that.

I don’t doubt it… I guess the effects are affected by ones environment to some effect. I am glad you have a good setup for yourself… alas my PoE PD 2960 (old blue model) went phutt in the end with a close by lightning strike.

My system then was pretty basic and on it’s own line but it seems the legacy streamers are more susceptible to external influences. After adding a powerline, ultra hbl power strip, and getting the network ironed out with POE and BJC Cat 6a it really shined for one box. And it was good enough to keep my upgrade itch at bay for a few years which is probably the longest I’ve ever stayed with one setup.

I currently have my NAS and network equipment plugged into a Furman 1000 UPS so hopefully that’ll keep things running smoothly. I haven’t had issues with lightning here and we get some crazy weather during monsoon season. Knock on wood. I’ll eventually get a EE8 switch and do some testing but my sound is really good now with the 272/250DR so I’m in no rush there. I gave my last blue Cisco to a friend who hadn’t heard about using switches for streaming and he was happy with the results. He prefers his vinyl but he says he’s streaming more now b/c of the improvement.

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