Cisco Catalyst 2960 before Uptone etherRegen (or eR by itself)?

For those with the experience, has anyone used their Cisco (2960) switch before the etherRegen? If so, is it still in this configuration and why? If not, has anyone preferred just the standalone eR (by itself) and why? (I only have my hifi on the Cisco, so not worried about too much traffic on either/both.)

I did and preferred it without.

Only you and your ears make a decision, everyone and one’s system. one’s listening room, etc. is different.

Okay. Thanks for the help…I suppose.

Sorry, I did not really want to stop your enthusiasm here. Of course, it is a good idea for others to share their experiences, but what I meant was that your findings for your own system was the most important consideration.

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Hi this has been covered in quite some detail on other threads … you might want to use the search…
It will all depend on your home environment.
If it sounds better without, it suggests you you might have an RFI problem somewhere… it should the same or better depending on local network group traffic levels and connected streamer equipment.
But at the end of the day trust your hearing, but do bear in mind your sound performance could vary in the future without an IGMP snooping device between your home network and the audiophile switch.
But as I say reasons why etc elsewhere.

It’s kind of like saying your car works best with summer tyres, but when it snows you might prefer winter tyres or at least all weather tyres.

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I prefer without the Cisco. The sound is more lively and colorful. With the Cisco there is more uniformity, less nuances , and instruments sound a bit less real.
Like you traffic is not my concern, nothing more is connected to the ER, and from the router there is only the tv and ER.

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Indeed in that setup, I can’t see group data being much an issue if at all… especially if almost nothing on the wifi as well.

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Thanks guys.
I don’t have the eR yet. I was just wondering what anyone’s opinion was before adding it. I bought it used from one of the members over on CA who had helped with some of the original problems with the first batches that went out. I searched there as well as scoured here, but really only saw a handful; and many spoke about two eRs or two Ciscos and an eR, etc. I figured if I started a more specific thread on the subject it might not only help me but others, too.
Anyway, thanks. I’ll follow-up with both configurations.

Just a quick update on some of my perceptions of the eR…
I will just spill it and be blunt: it really doesn’t affect much in my system, which, honestly, is a good thing, IMO. It isn’t worse listening without it and may be slightly better in only a couple of key areas when it is in. Those areas are in ‘punchiness’, especially on electronic music, and an honestly intangible kind of ‘airiness’ if I concentrate on individual instruments in the soundstage. I cannot articulate what exactly it is, but it seems present if I truly focus. This isn’t good or bad. It has just led me to believe that I can take this unit or leave it—no ‘night and day’ difference; no ‘transformative’ revelation; no ‘wow’ factor.
I have tried it with three different PSUs as well, each giving little-to-no difference, either. First was the supplied brick, then with a 12vdc Enercell LPS (same model I used with my Well-Tempered TT to eliminate a very distant hum) and lastly—which is still on it—an Astron SL-11A LPS that I set to 11.3.
My Google Home has a BJC Ethernet going from it to the ‘A’ port, then the in-wall Cat5e from ‘B’ moat/port out to listening room’s outlet; from there I have a .75m AQ Vodka going to my ND5 XS2.
I also tried a configuration that utilized the eR closer to the streamer, having used the Google Home to Cisco 2960, then that switch from in-wall to listening room. Neither one sounded better than the other, per se, so I took the Cisco out altogether and am continuing to use the standalone eR in the aforementioned way…Google Home/(BJC)—>eR A port—>eR B port/(in-wall Ethernet)—>Listening Room wall plate (.75m Vodka Ethernet)—>ND5 XS2.
For many with noisy lines/environments, spending $640 and likely with curiosity getting the best of them adding another $440 or even up to $1,000 for a LPS is totally worth a X% increase in SQ. I, however, am not one of them. I think this is fortunate for me. My system and environment is likely as silent/noise-free as it is going to get. New construction build with 20A dedicated lines, a Power Regenerator (PS Audio) and living virtually in the middle of nowhere likely contributes to this outcome for me. Was it worth a shot? Absolutely. I’ll likely just keep it where it is because, why not? That said, I feel pretty confident that I am done attempting to tweak my digital side. My analog side? Well, cartridges keep me in the tweaking game, unfortunately.

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If of help, I had quite a similar experience with the same switch looking to replace my Cisco, testing instead, after etc. although I did not go to explore LPSUs as I think upgrading components is worth the effort when they work for you on their own first. Like you, to start with, I had made some effort to reduce the noise in my network too but would say that even in this case better switches could help - sometimes it’s a different setup and/or another switch (as for me). Not to say that you should not be happy as is or giving more time to the ER as some have found to hear improvement over time.

I also do not get why some of the most heartfelt poetic descriptions of “transformative” experiences here on this forum can be read about adding switches but in my experience a switch can be a modest more like a tuning but nevertheless a tangible beneficial step in improving a home streaming network. It’s also a good feeling to try and know where you are on this, and settle, as I have now.

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I suspect that the ones who like the ER must have something not quite right with their system? Either their home network setup or some kind of placebo?

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Some who have installed an ER find a significant improvement, some have found it to make very little difference.

It is tempting for each group to assume that there is something wrong with those in the other group (i.e. either your hearing is impaired on the one hand or the network must be rubbish on the other hand). I suspect that any criticism of one group by the other is misplaced.

There will be a scientific explanation for why the ER only brings a benefit to some systems but not to all. In time that explanation will be better understood.

I’m firmly in the “it should make no damn difference at all over a properly engineered switch (e.g. Cisco) yet it does for us. No real idea why” group.

Our music streams very nicely without an ER and even better with one. I’ll live and let live.

Happy listening, BF

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I by no means intended nor wish for this to turn into a negative system/listener experience slinging effort. I’ve always taken one’s word for the experiences he/she has. It doesn’t matter if it’s transformative, slight, or not at all. There simply cannot be any one (or even a few) explanation(s) for what happens in our systems; there are just too many variables and too many system, personal and environmental combinations. I feel I’ve read almost every accolade out there regarding this switch; I’ve also read those who are at the opposite end of the earth with it, too. Likely we’ll never know why vs why not, much like cables (Ethernet or otherwise). It’ll be argued until the last note any of us ever hear. More power to those creating and engineering equipment and the people whose systems they feel are benefitting from such endeavors.
The Uptone etherRegen unit was an oddity for me. It was one of the very few components I tried in all my years that simply didn’t do much of anything in my case (I’ll exclude cables here, as I’ve always admitted I’m not one for caring much about them overall and have never really had one in any of my systems regardless where I’ve lived or had their affiliated equipment connections convince me of much benefit for the better. In other words maybe I have cloth ears when it comes to wire; not so much with most other tweaks and upgrades, such as a PSU, so I know recognizing improvements does exist for me).
I agree with much of what @Bluesfan states and will leave it at that. After reading everything about this switch, I really wanted to have an ah-ha moment as my listening habits are veering more toward digital streaming these days in an effort to maximize the medium and my enjoyment of it. As I say, it just might be that with this particular set of equipment in conjunction with my wifi and mains combination that I have squeezed out nearly everything there is without investing in all kinds of other gadgets on the market; that money would be better served in savings toward a future streaming upgrade when it presents itself.
I’ll keep the eR for now until I decide someone else may benefit from it. After all, upgrades cost money and every little bit helps offset that down the road expenditure. Thanks for the conversation all!

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@jsawyer09,
Thank you for feeding back your experience with the ER. I share your desire for this to be a friendly, constructive place where we can all share our experiences with fellow Naim enthusiasts/nutters. I have taken all of your posts in that positive, well meaning spirit.

Like you, I have tried some “it’s a sure fire winner” upgrades and gone “dear me, no.” There are others, such as Isoacoustic Gaia loudspeaker feet, where I have been far more impressed than I expected. Such is life.

Enjoy the journey and above all the music.

Best regards, BF

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When I first got my ER using it with the stock power supply I initially preferred it connected directly to one of my router’s gigabyte ports bypassing my Cisco 2960 to which most of my other network devices are connected. However now that the ER is fully run in with the addition of a Paul Hynes SR4T linear supply I have tried connecting the ER to a spare port on my Cisco and I think I prefer the presentation, more musical I would say. It’s not night and day and easy to swap back.

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@Gazza and @hungryhalibut , just idly speculating as my ER arrives tomorrow, but do you prefer your ER on its own without a Cisco 2960, or with the 2960 in the network just before the ER (assuming you have made this comparison)?

(Nigel, I could be wrong in my belief that you have an ER - I have done a quick search on here but can’t see if you have gone for one).

I will of course play about with a 2960 and the ER myself.

Bear in mind the EtherRegen only has 4 basic switch ports, excluding its streamer port, so unless you have a very small network you will need to connect to a bigger distribution or service switch, which the Catalysts are well able to do, and of course condition your LAN.
Think of the EtherRegen as an analogue signal noise filter on your ethernet segment.

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I have no choice…the router is feeding an external cable to one switch ( hp procurve 408) on one side of the fireplace for tv etc, then on to the ER. It works for me set up.

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Currently, my MacBook and Sky Box are connected direct to my BT HH5 router, my QNAP NAS is connected to the first Cisco 2960 and my ND555 and UnitiServe are connected to my second 2960, and that is the entirety of my local network. So I don’t ‘need’ a distribution/service switch in addition to the ER for connectivity reasons, but I intend to retain one of the 2960s (the one with an external SMPS) when I put the ER in.

I plan to start with the retained 2960 with the QNAP and ER attached (the MacBook and Sky Box still attached to the BT HH5), and the ER with the ND555 and UnitiServe (as the main server) attached to it. I will then compare this to the ER on its own (with ND555, QNAP and UnitiServe attached) and will stick with whichever sounds best, if indeed there is any difference.

If there is no difference I will probably leave one of the 2960’s in as I want to ensure IGMP snooping etc is kept in place in the face of possible future changes to my network, which might move towards multicast and the traffic that could introduce. I also assume that the extra switch (the 2960) brings some benefit to noise control, but I realise this is all system dependent and also dependent on the listener’s appreciation or otherwise that noise shaping can bring.

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