Over the next few days, I’ll be doing a Fraim strip down and rebuild.
At the mo’ I have a 50m ethernet cable running from an Apple Extreme base station, which is directly hooked into my router, and which runs from there to a Cisco switch in my music room and which, in turn, accommodates both my ND 555 and HDX ripper / server.
There’s a view that network switches should be kept as far away as possible from the hi fi electronics, so, if I were to bring the HDX and Cisco into my living room, this would result in the above 50m cable running from there directly into the NDS.
Would I gain anything, does anyone think, or are things probably best left as they are?
Clearly, I can have a listen, and decide for myself, but it’s a load of faffing about, when the experience / knowledge of others might throw up the definitive answer.
My switch is sitting on my fraimlite, with the linear ps on the same shelf. Sound is terrific.
The cost of my Ethernet cables don’t enable other place.
However I tried a common 5 m cable between the Melco and the switch, so the switch was well away from the rack. The sound decreased dramatically.
My NDX2 is on a 3.5m cable from a Catalyst switch. This connects back to another Catalyst switch next to my router via about 20m of cable.
I did try connecting the NDX2 directly back to the other switch via a long Ethernet cable. As far as I could tell, there was no difference.
There is a minute advantage in having long Ethernet leads in terms of SQ, and 50 metres is a good length, especially with Cat5e… reason being the modulation voltages drop through the resistance of the wire and so there is less modulation power at the streamer… less power equals less potential noise.
Switches are inherently quite noisy… a lot more so than say a NAPSC, where current wisdom is to keep away from the NAC if it uses it.
However it will obviously all work well if short cables are used and switches are close by, it’s just you can tweak a small advantage by using a long cable and a remote switch with all things being equal.
But… and it is a big but… a small amount of added noise might actually subjectively improve the SQ for a listener. You might find the removal of this noise leads to a sound that is too smooth or lacking ‘excitement’… so there is definitely not one size that fits all.
If you really want to find out what is going on… use the off tune AM radio test.
If you play Napalm Death albums you don’t notice the noise.
@dave-marshall, I’ve had my setup with HP switches next to my hifi and away from it and have noticed very little if any difference. I think the change of temperature and humidity in the room has more effect.
I know some folk think I’m joking about audiophile air, but my ioniser seems to affect sound more than some of the network tweaks: less dust particles in the air (not sure) or an illusion (possibly).
I think you’ll be very happy with your ND555 wherever you put your switch.
As always there is theory and our experience reality.
I tried to remove the switch from my rack with a 3 m Ethernet cable, a Meicord one ( very good for the price).
The sound with the switch on 0,75 m Audioquest diamond on my Fraimlite was very notably better.
Do I like noise ? Certainly not, because more noise can’t give more details, more natural sound, less grainy, with more textures and colors. Added noise gives the contrary effects normally.
I have an at-least 50m run from my switch to my ND555, mostly because of the various options, I greatly prefer keeping as much of the ‘electronica’ out of my living room as I can. I think it’s a cleaner setup; the ND555 is connected by a high quality ethernet patch cable to an RJ-45 wall outlet. No ‘blinking lights’ in the living room with the system, no extra fans or whirring hdd’s, etc. In turn, all that stuff is on one rack tucked away in an upstairs room. This wouldn’t be possible if I had a Melco directly connected, or an audiophile switch, etc.