English Electric 8Switch

Finally got my hands on one (a Chord Company product, made in China, power supply Taiwan), courtesy Sonority Design (big Crimso fans btw), and I installed it yesterday.

System:

NDX>Mscaler>DAVE>552>500>Fact 12

Fed by Synology NAS running Minim into a blue Cisco 2960 acting as an edge switch into a white Cisco WS-C2960CG-8TC-L via Cat 6A. From there its a 1.5 meter Chord Music streaming cable into the NDX.

It sounds terrific, so quite honestly my expectations of a worthwhile improvement are low.

Network Stuff:

The 8Switch is, naturally very easy to set up. It comes supplied with a wall-wart power supply and a Chord C-Stream ethernet cable, but to date I’ve chosen to use the Blue Jeans Cat 6 cable that I know is run in and gives good performance to link up the Cisco and the 8Switch, with the Chord Music connecting it to the NDX.

Music:

A variety of things, but the ones I concentrated on are:

PLS.Trio’s superb cover of Twice

Rammstein - Sonne

Teodor Currentzis - Mahler 6 (1st movement)

Cold, straight out of the box, it was noticeably more dynamic and engaging, and the more I listened swapping leisurely back and forth, the more I was drawn into listening to the whole of the tracks through the 8Switch. This wasn’t supposed to be a serious listening session!

I played music uncritically through the evening and left the system on iRadio overnight to put some mileage into it.

This morning I repeated the listening sessions with the same results except that now I was hearing a better defined…everything (a good night’s sleep? extra All-Bran for breakfast?) but especially more room around the instruments.

A blind test:

My wife: I’ll be brutally honest in saying she has no idea what I’m trying out - it plays music from a box down the other end of the room, and that’s it. I kept it simple - play her favourite track that she knows backwards - Dreadzone’s Return Of The Dread

I play it twice, she picked the 8Switch version twice (out of two random spins). “Crisper, tighter bass, better!”

The verdict:

It’s not a “I must explore my collection to discover hither-to hidden delights” type of upgrade, but in the context of my system it’s a value-for-money no-brainer upgrade. It’s staying.

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this is very good news! Chord Co had a long delay with their units stuck in China (I canceled my order back then). thanks for sharing, very encouraging!
what is the power supply spec on this switch?

I wonder what the difference is between this and the Silent Angel (Bonn) N8 switch. The specs (and the form factor) look very similar. Did it replace one of the Cisco 2960 switches ?

12v is as far as my tech savvy goes!

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No, it hangs off the very end - the white Cisco serves as the hub router for my house (so the NDX has two Ciscos and the 8Switch in the way).

And effectively I have seven “Audio Grade” ports free now :slight_smile:

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I received mine last Friday and my impressions are similar to Nick’s. Great write up, by the way.

I jettisoned my NAS and am now using an Innuos Zenith, so my 8Switch is replacing the Cisco that had previously fed the Zenith. What struck me first was the timing. Just better.

Tidal streaming is way ahead, as you might reasonably expect.

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I believe that was the starting point. Noise isolation, clock, casing and power supply have all been improved. Not having heard the Angel, I can’t comment on it other than to say, it’s a real vfm upgrade on the Cisco. It’s also beautifully made.

Just listening to Fink’s Biscuits For Breakfast and it’s simply sensational.

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Possibly the most boring picture ever: 8 ports, 1 input, 1 power supply. Courtesy What Hi-Fi. It’s quite small also.

It looks like a netgear gs 108

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No it doesn’t, I’ve got one of those and it’s crude in comparison. The 8Switch has more Linn Klimax-like casework. The only similarity would be the number of ports.

Shame you cancelled your order, Pat. The supply is understandably limited but your’s may well have been in the first batch.

The Silent Angel sounds so much like something you’d find in the Ann Summers catalogue. Every time I see it written down it makes me smile. Maybe the English Electric is the souped up version.

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you are quite right! it was at least 2 months ago after the Bristol show and the prospects did not look good (cancelled a month later). Nick’s post reminded me to check and I can see it’s now available so hopefully should be able to get one next week…

In which case, that’s excellent. I know they sold out of the first batch but that’ll also consist of dealer stock.

Eek !

The two things look nothing like each other !

“Silent Angels at the Cisco?”.

OK, i’ll get me coat… :dizzy_face:

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at that price does it wash your clothes . too

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Are you on the right forum?!

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image

Just a little observation here:

I find it interesting to note that English Electric went with a SMPS instead of preferring a linear one. Also i rather like the more solidly built constructed housing (looking similar to an Arcam irDAC). I have gone for the single switch only route so i would just replace my Cisco for one if i were to investigate further. How does it fair up on it’s own?