Been listening for a few days now. I’m really surprised by what it brings. I’m not great at describing what I hear but I saw the word texture on another thread and that’s the perfect description. Maybe polish as well.
My last few upgrades have been a Hi-Line and a Powerline on my NAP500. They both offered up a notable improvement. But the EE8 gives so much more.
I’m trying to get my head around how and why a switch can do this. Maybe I had a particularly noisy network
Looks like I’ll be following @Blackbird advice with the LPS upgrade.
For me, the Uptone EtherRegen bettered a fiber link that preceded it, which itself was an improvement over plain regular networking.
It’s certainly worth a bit of experimentation to find what works best for you. A bit of optimisation on the network side can be very beneficial.
Can you describe what your setup was previously? Also is the advice only to plug in your Streamer to it, or can you use it for any device without effecting the quality improvement you hear?
Schoolboy error….i have the new Melco N1 with a SFP port. Did not think to try linking direct to the Uptone ER SFP port.
I had a Cisco before with everything else plugged in. The Cisco is still there but the EE8 is daisy chained with just my NDS plugged into the EE8.
It really does ‘clean up’ the sound and so much more. It’s a much smoother sound but no loss of detail. In fact more detail, that’s where the texture comment comes in.
I have no idea how it does it, but it does.
If you use a streamer upstream if the dac, will that not provide isolation?
Coax via spdif output transformer.
Optical because it’s optical.
The performance of the EE switch depends on your own system, your susceptibility of music, the state or reliability of your home LAN network.
Below is another review of EE from someone who is familiar with different (audiophile) network switches:
@ Has anyone managed to hear the EE 8Switch yet?
I had the Silent Angel Bonn N8 (Thunder Data) with me several times to try it out. It seems to me that the EE 8Switch and the NuPrime Omnia SW-8 have the same inner workings as the N8 in a different housing. But I could be wrong.
I heard the N8 with my old LAN cable setup MicroConnect Cat6a / NoName and also with my new BJC Cat6a / BJC Cat6a which ran for over 100 hours.
For me the Silent Angel is a typical audiophile product. My impression is it improves the hi-fi criteria but kills the music. With the N8, the music seems “wonderfully” soft to me, softened and the music sinks into an unbearable insignificance. I tried to adjust the setup of my speakers. Unfortunately without success.
I was always happy when my Netgear GS108Tv2 (or my Cisco Catalyst 2960C-8TC-L) was used again.
it is just FYI, please enjoy your EE switch.
I also found that the switch softens, or warms the sound. But in my system it’s managed to do this and at the same time provide more detail, or texture is a better word I think. Ultimately it’s a more enjoyable sound to my ears, but we do all hear things differently.
Perhaps a better summary is connected devices to a streamer can produce side effects. This can include the digital output from TVs, and twisted pair Ethernet connected switches for example.
With respect to so called audiophile switches in particular, they do nothing to the digital network information, but they focus on using clocks with less phase noise for the serial links in Ethernet as well as they aim to reduce common mode high frequency noise currents flowing in the metal conductors. These aspects can couple into the streamer and in the real world they can cause side effects such as minutely modulating digital clocks or ground plane.
I find separating the streamer transport from a good modern DAC with good isolation itself, decouples these transport related noise sources so that they cease being identifiable.
However remember these consumer audiophile switches do not, or at least all the ones I have seen, do nothing to optimise the network data, a commercial grade switch such as a 2960 would do that, they simply focus on reducing analogue type noise side effects coupling into the twisted pair Ethernet port on your streamer
With TVs, it is often better to connect via TOSLINK rather than electrical SPDIF or HDMI ARC again to reduce common mode noise.
Less error correction and
noise for your NDS and eventually your ears
Has anyone added an ifi Power X to their EE8? Was there further performance gains?
So perhaps my set up with Hub>Cisco2960>EE8>NDS gives the best of both worlds?
The Cisco has other network devices connected to it, but the EE8 has the streamer only.
Yes I have, and no there were not.
I use the ‘fit and forget’ Silent Angel Forester F1 LPS which works nicely with the EE8 (daisy-chained from a cisco 2960 with all C-Stream cabling) for not silly money.
With NDX2 as transport only and Sky Q connected via optical, as Simon recommends, we could hear no difference with or without a switch in our setup.
We’ve settled on a good quality cable from ISP hub to NDX2.
We prefer Sky Q into NDX2 rather than nDAC. Something about having the extra layer in the chain improves the SQ.
Yes, I believe it is, I used to do that with my EtherRegen switch before having a separate DAC on my NDX2 rendered it unnecessary … to my ears at least. But remember to get the full benefit of that setup using your commercial grade switch to network ‘filter’ your audiophile switch, continue as you are doing and don’t connect anything else into your audiophile switch. The 2960 works well and provides its benefit even if fully loaded.
Thanks Graeme, I’ll look at Silent Angel.
Throughout my home I use Ubiquiti switches, APs, UDM etc with IGMP snooping enabled infact my ND5XS2 connects to a Ubiquiti in-wall AP that provides an ethernet out
I have updated to EE8 together with new ethernet cable and ND555 → do not know the effect of EE8 alone. But really nice to read here
This is on my list - currently EE is the only switch (TV and Apple TV connected to it - but switched off, when hearing music). Will try to get Cisco in between.