Ok so I am possibly going to buy an ND555 but would like to do it right from the start. I am not interested in doing demos of untold amounts of extra stuff as my life is way to busy right now so I want to get a good setup from the off. Value for money is not a concern right now, audio quality is. I understand that my ears hear differently to everyone else’s however I am happy to acknowledge that in life compromises have to be made. My lack of interest in doing demos of switches/cables etc maybe a downside here however I am pretty damn sure that an ND555 set up with the collective wisdom here will still be great! I enjoy listening to music vs upgrading/demoing/trying new things etc.
So with that in mind…
I have a 300mbps fibre to the premises broadband connection provided by BT with the basic BT broadband router they provide.
1.) Do I need a better router?
The router is situated under the stairs in a newly built house. The house has 4 rooms that are networked (from new) 1 of which is the lounge where my system is. I would need to run a patch cable from the router to the socket on the wall that then leads to the lounge.
2.) What quality of cable would I use in this link? Audioquest Vodka seems highly recommended but maybe more than is needed in this application. Would a Switch be best placed at this part of the chain? I have no idea on the internal cable quality btw or where/how its been routed. It may run with power cables etc. This was done from when the house was built (2018) and was not an option but a fixed feature.
In the lounge the socket on the wall will be about 4 meters away from the ND555.
3.) Would I be best running a long cable from the wall socket to a dedicated Switch before using a shorter much higher quality cable (Such as an Audioquest Diamond) from the switch to the ND555?
4.) I have read and digested as much as any human could try to from the various switch related posts and have come to the conclusion that the switch to look at is the EtherRegen with a dedicated Power Supply such as the Uptone JS-2 or the MCRU Pinnacle that @frenchrooster has just installed to good effect. Would be best to situate the switch and router on the Fraim in the same fashion as I have everything else or could these be placed on another surface? Maybe a wall mounted shelf? Or small table?
5.) If the suggestion is to use 2 switches what would be recommended as the second switch another EtherRegen or the famous (around here) Cisco? I am only interested in audio quality at this stage.
6.) The next big question is… How close does streaming HiRes files via Ethernet from the likes of Qobuz come to playing CD quality rips from a NAS or music server? Is WiFi a viable option or is the quality lacking due to the lack of switches and cables etc?
7.) For storing my music I am considering using a NAS but with the above in mind would there really be an audible uplift by using a server such as Melco? I wonder now with the advances people have made by using switches if the server still creates the uplift it once did? If I use a NAS would I run that directly into the router or via a switch into the router? I assume that this could be kept in the same place as the router or is it best further up the chain in the music room similar to where a server would be placed?
@Darkebear you were incredibly helpful in guiding me to where I am today with my system, and for highlighting things such as plug order for the 2x555DR PS’s which without I would have ended up with a lesser experience. I follow your thoughts through various threads and really would along with others value your input here if you have time to provide your personal experience based thoughts. To me an individuals actual experience from this forum is worth more to me in this foray than anything else. At the end of the day I want to give the ND555 the best chance of success and if time allows in the future I will fettle away but right now I have 2 very young kids, have a busy job and my down time is music. If I can set up a system that sings from the outset I will be happy, even if it ends up being 90% of what I could achieve through my own fettling.
Thanks to all who have read this far! I am sure you are one of the few! It is appreciated.