Network Switch and Melco

I have my Melco N100 connected to my amp/DAC via USB and only stream local files so I don’t stream audio over my local network.

The Melco is connected to my router to enable downloading of data and control from an iPad. I’ve read that running the Melco in so-called ‘isolated’ mode can improve sound quality due to it being disconnected from the noisy router. This is totally impractical since control is then only from the front panel of the Melco with a tiny screen!

However, it occurred to me that putting a network switch between the Melco and router may isolate it from any noise. I don’t know much about netwrok switches at all so would this be effective in isolating the Melco from any noise in the router or am I just barking up the wrong tree? I’m assuming that using a switch in this configuration wouldn’t require an expensive audiophile device as there is no audio data going through it, and that a cheap bog-standard one would suffice.

Pete - Just pull the network cable out of the Melco whilst you have a few tracks lined up and playing from a playlist.

Any perceived improvement in SQ ? If so then maybe explore further.

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Thanks James I’ll try that. Assuming that I did notice an improvement is a network switch likely to be effective? I really don’t know a lot about network switches and how they should be used so I’m unsure as to whether a switch between the Melco and router should in theory be capable of providing isolation or whether they just don’t function in this way and it would just be a pointless thing to do.

Firstly, you’re unlikely to get a definitive answer on this. It’s been discussed extensively and across multiple threads already. It may well be worth doing a search and reading through some of those before you leap feet first down your own rabbit hole.
It’s certainly an area that many have explored with their own systems and found changes they like and decided to keep and live with, do bare in mind that it can very quickly and easily get very expensive to make these sorts of changes, your main limitation will be your appetite to explore and the depth of your pockets.

I’m just talking here about putting a cheap £20 switch between the Melco and router. An audiophile switch is not necessary as there will be no audio data going through it.

Perhaps I’m being a bit dense here, but all I’m really trying to establish is one thing - in theory is a network switch used in this way capable of reducing noise, or do they not function in this way?

It’s a can of worms just waiting to be poured out on to the floor unfortunately!
The guidance that will likely materialise will be along the lines of, I spent £200, suddenly frequencies I didn’t know even existed materialised in the room, then I spent another £500 and wow, it’s like I can feel myself in the recording studio, ending with, I spent £5000 and have a shelf full of boxes and cables and it’s like I’m in the front row at Glastonbury.
Given your current setup and that you’re only sending control and playback messages to your Melco server, adding in more boxes between it and your control device is probably (disclaimer: I don’t have an identical system, it’s just an opinion) not going to make any difference to the enjoyment of what you already have.

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Thanks Mr.M. Unless it’s me though I still think you sre missing the point. Perhaps I’m just not making myself clear in what I’m trying to establish.

Let me phrase it another way. What I’m trying to do is to isolate my Melco from any electrical noise in my router, without disconnecting it. So can putting a £20 network switch in the ethernet line between Melco and router achieve this? Or is it just a pointless thing to do? I don’t see any can of worms or huge amounts of money being spent. It’s just a simple question - it will either work or not.

No problem, it’s a perfectly reasonable question from your perspective.
If anything it’s more likely to add problems rather than mitigate any, bare in mind Melco aim to design their servers to be able to handle any environment noise with a degree of efficiency.
Bare in mind adding in an additional intermediary switch will require more Ethernet cables and the switch will require a power supply which itself could reasonably be expected to be an additional source of noise.

It might do - but a higher quality switch (eg, an English Electric as I use ) may isolate more effectively. For £20 it’s worth a punt and trusting your ears? Perhaps if you are bothered about isolation and only use the internet for data for ripped files you could connect only when you are ripping. That should isolate effectively during feedback :blush: but then you wouldn’t need a switch, cheap or otherwise…

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There’s only one way to find. Get yourself a Cisco 2960 refurbished switch for 40 quids, connect it between your router and your Melco, and see if you hear improvements. For me , vs direct connection to the router, the Cisco made a huge improvement.

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Adding a network switch comes with its own power supply, a further source of potential noise.

Thanks everyone.

Yes I did wonder about that!

Yes I could. But then I would lose the ability to control playback via an app. on my iPad. I would have to use the Melco front panel which is a complete waste of time.

This is why I’m bothering at all. If for around £40 I can get a significant improvement then it seems to me to be worth the money.

Looks like it’s a question of trying it out then. If people had said to me ‘no, network switches don’t work like that’ then I wouldn’t have bothered. But I don’t think I’ll rest now until I’ve given it a go…

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It’s just that people are probably tired to share now on that subject, because of contradictory theoretical posts which go against their inner experience.
If you read all the past threads on Cisco switches or English Electric, you will find many many members enjoying them.

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