LHY Audio Switches?

I’m curious if members have tried LHY Audio switches & if so what are your thoughts? I’m mostly interested in the SW-6, but experience with any of their switches is helpful. I had one of these put in my cart but then got cold feet. You read info on all the different audiophile switches out there & users saying they make a difference & then the guys with actual network experience saying its physically impossible for a switch to make a difference based on how ethernet works (& not just talking about the original 1’s & 0’s argument, think most have moved on from that, but they claim even “noise” can’t be passed, timing errors aren’t possible, etc, etc typically followed by long technical explanations why, with which my eyes gloss over & I don’t bother reading) .

If its analytical, how is it also glossed over?


I too am a little confused on the “analytical & glossed over” comment, could you expand a bit on this?

I was hoping for that “sounds more analog”, which I seem to be reading. My network is very basic as I haven’t played around with that aspect & part of me still has a hard time believing it could make a difference. Internet comes into the house via fiber to the modem, cat 6 from there to router, to a standard TP Link switch (connected to my NAS drive), cat 6 to the music room & then an Audioquest Cinnamon from the wall jack to my Simaudio Streamer. Network equipment located in a different area of the house, on a different circuit, but all using stock power supplies they came with.

I have an English Electric EE8, like quite a few on here. I sold the first one I owned, after convincing myself it didn’t make a difference. Having sold it, I missed it, so bought another one. It’s not a hifi approved term, but I find that it makes things sound nicer.

We have a Netgear Nighthawk, to which the EE is connected with a Chord Clearway ethernet cable. The Nova and the NAS then connect to the EE with more Clearways. I can certainly recommend the EE, which seems to be a similar price to the one you are considering.

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No doubt its over used, but unfortunately its still what many are after, so I believe it still has its place. I’m very happy with my digital front, my Sonnet Morpheus R2R DAC is very “analog sounding” & if listened in isolation one may think it sounds just like a TT front end. Its just when you compare them back to back it’s still missing just a touch of that TT magic. I was hoping this was something I could gain from trying an audiophile network switch, as it seems to be a common reference.

Thanks HH, I have read a number of posts on the EE8 on here, as you say its rather popular. Locally I believe its runs ~ the $900 range. It appears to be very similar to Silent Angel Bonn N8, maybe just in different casework & just a re-branded version of the switch Nuprime offer, both those retail for a bit less here (~$750 range). I was interested in the LHY as it comes in that nice, machined case but also because it has an isolated ethernet port as well as a SFP port, which look like interesting options. Not to mention the robust internal linear power supply (also the option for master clock in if you want to play with external clocks). Its priced ~$1100 here, so for not much more cost, seems to have some nice additional features.

I was also interested in the features of the SW6 you’ve pointed out. I have the SW6 for less than a month and I’m very happy with it. I am coming from Silent Angel Bonn N8 (cascading) and Cisco 2960CG (cascading - sfp). In my setup and to my ears, I much prefer the SW6.

For SQ, you can read from the various posts on the web.

My connection: wall —ethernet— fmc (10Gtek) —fiber—SW6—ethernet—NDX2 / Eversolo A6ME. I’ve also connected an external 10M clock to the SW6. I have not use it as a standalone (not yet). SW6 does get warm.

Hope this helps.

Hi @daren_p , there was am main thread about this switch a year ago (Click here). May be @Richieroo can comment about his further experiences with the SW10).

That is a contradiction as they are opposites… it can be either analytical OR glazed over but not both at the same time… Analytical means precise and exact. Glazed over suggests coloured and filtered in some way.

So if you think the sound is glazed over, then it suggests you are meaning it’s coloured or filtered in some way… so it won’t be analytical.

Something that sounds ‘Analogue’ at least in the music production industry tends to mean coloured or distorted in a pleasing way, and such analogue ‘distortions’ are sometimes added in production to make a sound or mix sound more pleasing and sound less analytical or clean.


Hi I have found the switch really good, for me everything was better…not a gigantic difference but it’s there. This is a beautifully made bit of kit, well worth it. Hi frequencys just seem better, resolution improved and bass is excellent. For me it has taken my system closer to kind of the best analogue type delivery - superb.

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I was trying to explain to you your use of language is confusing and contradictory. Please don’t post if you can’t accept feedback that some are confused and seeking clarification of what you are wanting to say when you are attempting to infer through using metaphors, some of which appear contradictory, because at the very least that is rude and possibly arrogant.

By all means describe what you heard, but why not use language that people understand rather than metaphors that can be misleading, confusing and contradictory… it just becomes unfortunately a meaningless babble that detracts for many of us.

Perhaps describe more explicitly with musical examples that people might recognize, rather than infer meaning using metaphors which clearly are conveying a sense in English for some/many that is different from you are attempting to describe.

I am sure you don’t need to be defensive, it’s true in certain audiophile circles there has been a fad in recent years of over using metaphors to the point of obfuscation.

So back to your example… you are saying polished… is that polished to reveal detail, or polished as a filtering layer (you initially used ‘glazed’) that hides subtle details in timbres, voices or air, but perhaps provides a prominent bright forward sound that gives a head ache after a while? (Ie your brain is working harder to decode the sound)
If so interesting, as that can be the effect of intermodulation distortion through RFI in audio circuits.

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Simon we have had this before - the switch upgrades I have made - have made quite a profound difference. I know you don’t belive this. I was just asked how I got on with the LHY… and its great. Take it or leave it I don’t care … I am trying to explain my findings the best I can. I am reasonably objective and have through the years - moved through the naim range…each step easily…identifiable. Whether you like it or not I found switches in my setup…have made a profound difference…and if you have ever listened to a top notch analogue setup there is a certain quality about the pesentation…that generally is not there in digital. I can’t put my finger on it … and I am not alone in this reguard. Don’t get me wrong I am really a digital guy - but it is so satisfying when you get better performance.

I don’t believe Simon’s comments were directed at you @Richieroo ….

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You might have the wrong Simon… if you remember many years back I introduced to much of the consumer hifi world the effect of some home network equipment on hifi systems… and I made my first postings in the subject on the precursor to this forum… it was a fun time … I did some engineering analysis with RF interactions, and was contacted by several audio hifi journalists and others at the time… the rest is history…and a couple years or so after the first consumer ‘audiophile’ switches appeared.

The very first use case was a Netgear switch with Cat5e cabling causing intermodulation ‘birdies’ on NAT03 tuner, the next was common mode RFI on an NDX streamer, and then the effects of inter frame timing modulation on an NDX (some of that specific framing analysis I shared with Naim when they were developing the gen 2 streamers to avoid some of those issues)… and it spawned out from there.

Simon…my belief is that probably each persons ethernet setup is unique… with its own unique pros and cons … regarding noise and and other issues. I cannot say and I don’t think anybody can … that a replacemret switch will definitely do x and y. However, I think it likely there will be a sonic effect…there certainly was in mine and it was not subtle. So my comments are only in regard to my system…would I recommend it is tried definately yes…

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Correct - but what a switch will do in the real world is create different amounts, based on design and model, common mode currents and serialisation clock phase noise. These two aspects can couple into connected or physically nearby equipment - which is what my early investigative experiments showed, and yes people’s home hifi setups and layouts will vary considerably.

But yes you are correct not all switches are the same - and early on I discovered that the then current Cisco 2960 Catalyst switch was better behaved than many consumer home network switches at the time - and it appeared from my personal mail box that many concurred and found them beneficial with their streamers - though I should say definitely not all.

This last point is interesting - as essentially what one is ultimately doing is changing the RF noise floor signature on power lines and ground planes by miniscule amounts in connected products. Now subsequent development by the team at Naim showed by changing the RF noise floor frequency signature could subtly affect the resultant audio - almost as a tone control and almost deterministically … and this was affected by changing the code execution timings for the SHARC and memory read and write timings… almost always a new firmware would leave a footprint on the audio - and it was ‘tuned’ to make it as pleasing as possible - but not all liked a particular tuning and kept with an older firmware. So to your point the effect of noise - which always exists - manifests itself differently and plays to people’s tastes differently. Put a different way - different people like different sorts of noise interacting with their systems.

As far as ethernet network setup and optimisation, where you can absolutely state a switch will do x and y, obviously, then for the most part this is excluded in the audiophile land, and most of the current crop of audiophile switches are rather basic devices that can’t optimise the ethernet for audio and connected streamer devices. It is probably fair to say the benefits here are marginal compared to serialisation phase noise and common mode where most audiophile products focus on.

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I am in the process of changing my big catalyst cisco switch (which consumes 1.6kw a day!) with a Netgear layer 2 switch GS724T (400w a day- phew)… this is connecting to my Draytek router - using 3 vlans connecting via a common trunk. Simon, will the use of a trunk and coded packets affect the audio in your experience??? I could run a direct cable to the router and avoid the main trunk…as far as I can see the coded packets should be fine…I am a bit concerned about loads of traffic going down the trunk…and the audio packets being in the traffic…

I can’t see the trunk being an issue - you almost certainly be using 802.1Q tagging on the frames - and the switch will break out the VLAN frames in the trunk and send to your audio equipment via the appropriate switch port.

If you were having congestion (extremely unlikely in a home setup) you could use 802.1Q QoS using 802.1p - but for a home network this really would be over the top I suggest. Home audio data is sent using TCP and therefore is not timing sensitive - from a network perspective.

FWIW I use trunks carrying media data - and port aggregation between switches carrying the trunks - no issues at all - in fact all works very well and has done for several years now.

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@bnc1863 yes thanks for this info, I have read all I could find on the SW-6 but currently doesn’t seem to be too much info, so always like to see if members here have had any experience.

@Wilfried thanks for the link, I had read that thread at the time but its on the SW-8, not the more recent SW-6, which is actually the model above the SW-8 (sits between the sw-8 & their SW-10). So was just wondering if anyone had experienced the new version. @Richieroo experiences with the 8 are helpful as well.

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I notice the SW10 has SFP …that could be usefull…

As does the SW-6, maybe a nice SW-6 to SW-10 combo via fibre?