Following general forum advice, I was looking to power at least my English Electric 8 switch with a linear power supply, but also possibly my router and other switches as potential improvements in my digital chain. A multi output LPS like the HDPlex 300W would accomplish all of this or I could try various well documented other options from Silent Angel, MCRU, SBooster etc.
On approaching a HDPlex supplier however it was suggested I could achieve more by introducing an optical element to my ethernet chain, which would remove virtually 100% of any noise and this aproach would even avoid the need for LPSs?
I’ve since read a good deal of information on other forums (and some on this one) on the benefit of introducing an optical element to ethernet chains, some claiming optical isolation for them (even with reasonably high end streamers / DACs) was the equivalent of a black box upgrade! What I’ve also learnt is introducing optical into the ethernet chain could be done quite simply via two Fibre Media Converters and a Fibre Cable (cost £80 est.), then add an LPS on the ‘clean’ side to improve more, or if you want to really go for it there are more esoteric solutions involving multiple optical switches or offerings from audio suppliers such as Sonore (Optical Module Deluxe) etc.
I have tried some limited testing within my current system (i.e. not spending anything) to try and evaluate any benefits of removing any noise (if there indeed is any!) from my digital chain. I can stream Roon to my Sony TV which connects via optical to my NDX 2 but this has limitations in bandwidth (48khz max) the TV can handle via Google Cast and obviously loops in the TVs processing. That said, with even a 16khz stream the ‘pseudo optical’ route I employed didn’t appear to add anything. I’ve also tried streaming to my NDX 2 via MConnect and UPNP which will stream hi-res, which should avoid any cable/switch noise but I feel my cabled route including long runs, a Cisco 2960 and EE8 actually offers more and not just in ease of use. So my question to myself there would be, do I actually have any digital noise to remove or am I chasing my tail?
I also read somewhere on this forum that the newer Naim streamers are optimised to remove some nasties in the digital chain, and I’ve spent some time getting my ethernet chain right via switches and quality cables, so maybe that’s why I’m not feeling any major change streaming via UPNP or via my ‘pseudo optical’ route?
I’d appreciate any advice from anyone who has actually implemented an optical link and got any major uplift for their efforts? If so, it would be great to hear what was implemented too? I can go for LPS/s or an upmarket optical run, but would prefer not to do both…
My digital chain currently runs like this:
Router → Netgear GS108 (with TV, Sky, DVD attached) → in wall CAT 5E → Cisco 2960 → Roon NUC → back to GS108 → DeLock Ethernet Isolator → EE8 → NDX 2
Thanks for any constructive advice!