Cisco 2960 Set Up

I’m having full fibre installed next week and this will enable me to have a new master socket located near my hi-fi, making a wired connection into my NDS possible. I’m planning to add a Cisco 2960 as recommended on many other threads. As I understand it the connection should be as follows:-

BT Master Socket >>> Smarthub2 Router>>>Cisco2960>>>>Naim

I’ll need a few other wired connections including burglar alarm and ethernet over mains. Am I right in thinking these should still go directly into the Smarthub, or should they be plugged into the Cisco? I also want to wire in my BT TV box and am thinking this should be connected into the Cisco along with the Naim.

Any help appreciated. Thanks

I have the same setup and have a simple Netgear 8-port switch (about £25 when I bought it) at the Smarthub for all the devices there, and run all the music (ND, Pi, NAS) off the Cisco that’s wired directly into the Smarthub.

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I would try to avoid ethernet over mains as it could introduce noise on the rest of your connections. Perhaps @Simon-in-Suffolk can advise as he introduced most of us to all things Cisco.

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As far as plugging in other devices, plug into the 2960 or SmartHub2 switchports which ever is convenient… that is the beauty of switches.
You might want to ensure you are using 1GbitE link between 2960 and SmartHub2… should be plug and play…assuming the 2960 is not too old it will at least have a 1GbitE on its uplink port. (The separated port or ports on the right hand side)


I would put some distance between the HiFi and all this potentially noisy electrical stuff. At the very least, try to put it on the other side of the room and on a different mains socket. Better still, in a different room and just run an Ethernet cable to the streamer.
So-called Ethernet over mains generates particularly high levels of electrical noise and are best avoided altogether if possible.

Yes, best avoid… and are a misnomer as they don’t provide Ethernet over the mains, they provide a bridging function between Ethernet segments, and as such can cause performance or operability issues with devices expecting Ethernet or wifi… and that’s not to mention the absolutely phenomenal of RF interference they produce in your house.

If you use, and have young children, I would try and keep bed side lamps and other coded mains devices as far away from their beds as possible/practical.

I take the occasion of this topic to ask something similar. At the moment I have a FritzBox 7530 router which I’m using to connect my Nas Qnap TS-131K and all others connection of the house rooms (PC, TV, ecc) . Also my NDX2 is connected to the Fritz Box. I read that many users installed a dedicated switch to connect Nas and Streamer. What kind of switch and if Cisco 2960, what model? I noted that there are many many version of it and I’m completely not skilled in IT :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.
What about alternatives like Uptone Ether Regen or English Electric 8switch?

Any Cisco catalyst switch is fine… 8 ports or thereabouts tend to be silent with no fan so recommended.

Thank you Simon for your reply, I’ve found a refurbished Cisco 2960C-8TC-L with 3 years warranty and I’m thinking to buy it without any further checking about what others better devices are available risking to go in a loop without exit and spending much more money. I wrongly thought that the change from my CDX2+XPSDR to NDX2+XPSDR were easy to be done but I did not consider the “audiophile” discussion about the network :grinning:
I don’t know if a Pinfaun LAN isolator or something like this may be the icing on the cake to further finalize the network and then listen to music only.

Should be fine. Ensure the seller has reset to factory default… and ask that it has a reasonably recent IOS firmware version.

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Thank you very much, I’ll ask a confirmation to the seller!
At the moment I have my Router and NAS 12m away from my NDX2. Logistically I would prefer to put the new Cisco together with the NAS and the router but may be better to put it close to the streamer or the placement effect is neglible? I may put the Cisco close to the NDX2 but some difficult to put also the NAS.
This is my foreseen setup:

ok- with your router so close to the 2960 - you might as well connect those other swithports on your Fritz Box router to your 2960 first - when full up you can over flow to the Fritz Box

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Thank you very much!!!

Thanks for all the info and feedback. Just been upgraded to full fibre and the master socket moved to the same room as my hi-fi. I’ve just hard wired the NDS for the first time and it’s a ‘wow’ moment. The sound is much fuller and richer than before. It reminds of when I added an XPSDR to my 272, a big uplift. A few things have changed:

  1. From wi-fi to hard wired
  2. 5GB to 300GB connection
  3. BT TV Box moved away from the Hi-Fi
  4. All ethernet over mains sockets removed from house (one was near Hi-Fi for TV)

As is always the case with these things I could be imagining some or all of it, but the improvement sounds convincing enough to me!

Next step is to add a Cisco switch and get longer ethernet and optical cable (from BT box to NDS), so router, switch and BT TV box will be a good few metres away from the Hi-Fi which is as far as I can sensibly get them.

I have a TV wall mounted above my Hi-Fi but that’s a compromise I’m prepared to live with. The TV sounds great running through the NDS.

PS will give it a little longer to make sure I’m happy with positioning then I’ll be exploring dedicated mains. I’m completely bought in to the logic of optimising power and stream feeds to the system, it makes good sense to my mind and in the overall scheme of things is a pretty low cost upgrade.

Working on the basis of keeping the router and switch as far away from the hi-fi as possible, presumably it’s OK to have the router and switch on the same rack connected with a short cable and a long cable running from the switch to the system?

I’ve read that it’s better to have a long cable between switch and streamer. I need 6m so all good. But does the same apply between router and switch or is it irrelevant? Cheers

Now that almost certainly is why things are sounding a lot better…

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I had the same wow moment when I went from wifi to hard connect on my NDS. Also with a 2960, and just good quality BJC Cat6e cables (e or a, I don’t recall).
There are members here who’s opinions I highly respect that say, bah, strong wifi is just as good. I have 1 Gbps service, and it was very different.
Funny ol’ hobby …

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With wifi it depends on your streamer… with the later streamers it can be largely transparent… not least due to the interframe timing effects the early Naim streamers experienced
Wifi can have severeal advantages over Ethernet that can help SQ in the right environment.
I use wifi extensively in my audio chain now, although Ethernet to my NDX2 for the final segment currently, and i use a decoupled DAC from my streamer, and it sounds the best it ever has done.

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Not sure if you are confusing wifi with broadband service, it appears you are from your comment. They are two entirely separate things.