Network Switch and Network Wiring

Presently got the following set up;
Gigaclear Router —> Gigaclear Ethernet cable —> Gigaclear Mesh Node (1x spare socket) —> Chord Clearway streaming cable (0.75m) —> Netgear; 5 Port Gigabit Network Switch GS105 ** —> Chord Clearway streaming cable (15m) —> Chord EE8 network switch —> Chord Clearway streaming cable (0.75m) —> Chord EE1 Network noise isolator —> Chord Epic streaming cable (2m) —> Linn Selekt DSM.

** a cable from this also goes to the upstairs of the house to feed the upstairs network switch to the hard wired components up there.

This is the bottom of the Gigaclear (Linksys) Mesh Node.

It has been suggested to replace the Netgear switch with a Chord EE8 to get an improvement.

Another suggestion was to put another EE1 between the router and the Netgear switch to get an improvement, which is cheaper.

The last suggestion is to omit the Netgear switch and go straight to the EE8 switch, as there is enough spare cable to do so, cutting down the number of connections. Then take an Ethernet cable back from the EE8 switch to the upstairs switch about 15m, which is even cheaper.

Any thoughts on this, as networking is not my area.

DG…

I would start out with the bare minimum of stuff that you actually need to connect your devices.
Then, if you feel the urge to use network equipment or cabling to fine tune the sound of your system, tweak it to your hearts content. It may make things sound better, worse, or just different….or maybe even just the same.

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What you have is perfectly fine, and it’s what I’d do. Just enjoy it and stop worrying. If you think too much about networking you’ll end up with your head up your own arse.

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We’re with Gigaclear and had two Gigaclear Linksys Mesh routers. Never got on with it and the WiFi coverage was pretty awful. I replaced this with a TP Link Archer AX53 router. Now have better WiFi coverage without the need of an extra node and it has four Ethernet ports.

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It would be far simpler if you get an ISP/router dedicated for use with your streamer.

No need to worry about any interference from anything.

Plus having a backup ISP is a good idea anyway.

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Our experience is the opposite with Gigaclear and have never ad any issues at all.

Use four Mesh nodes and have as much kit hard wired as possible.

Have the 200mbs package and our Wi-Fi coverage is excellent with over 230mbs on the Wi-Fi all throughout the house.

DG…

Sorry to have introduced you some doubts and wondering.
In my case, daisy chaining my ex Netgear switch with a Cisco 2960 and after Cisco with Etheregen, was less satisfying than using Cisco alone or Etheregen alone. But daisy chaining two same Cisco was better than one .
But all that is personal, system dependent, preference,…
So best it’s just to try if you can. Some here prefer for example Cisco with PhoenixNet, other, like me, prefer PhoenixNet alone.

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@frenchrooster

No problems.

Just doing a bit of research and I think that there will be lots of varying opinions.

DG….

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Good advice here regarding KIS. Simplicity is key… a lot of rubbish spoken about networks in some audiophile circles, and errant descriptions of cause and effects in changes in sound presentation.

Get it working fine as simple as you can. Also don’t dismiss WiFi which can bypass some of the Ethernet faffing around- assuming you have a modern compliant WiFi setup.

Back to Ethernet if you really feel you want to then put the EE8 between streamer and your main switch / router. This simply can potentially reduce any low level phase noise that might otherwise be coupling into your streamer/analogue electronics. But you will probably be fine without it.
I would focus instead on speakers and room treatments…. Far better opportunity for audio improvements.

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I’d say what you have looks pretty good, and no need to change. At a push, you might consider swapping your main switch for another ee8, but may be a waste of money. Perhaps your friendly hifi shop will lend you one

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Turn the WiFi on and stop faffing about? :wink:

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I used to run a wired NAS through a basic Netgear or Cisco switch, but due to a change in lounge furniture I now plug one of my back-up hard drives into the back of my Nova. This saves a few wires and having the NAS turning on and off each day, without any real inconvenience as I simply make a new back-up every so often when I rip a few more CDs, which is what I would do anyway.

It may be due to my relatively basic set-up, but I am sure that there was no detriment to the sound quality and I am just as able to manage the library through the app.

Previously I was considering introducing an EE8 given all of the positive statements, so I am wondering if these switches add anything, or just make up for losses and interference through the use of wires?

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Update after testing;

Did some testing with some different wiring configurations;

  • Wired straight from Mesh Node to DSM (no switches) - sounded OK
  • Wired from Mesh Node to Netgear switch to DSM - sounded OK,
  • Wired from Mesh Node to Netgear switch to EE8 switch to DSM - sounded better
  • Wired from Mesh Node to EE8 switch to DSM - sounded no different
  • Wired from Mesh Node to Netgear switch to EE8 switch to EE1 to DSM - sounded even better

Conclusion - Leave it as it is.

Many thanks for all your suggestions

DG….

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Big improvements usually come with the power supply units - the better you attach to the network infrastructure (whatever it is) the clearer are sq benefits. High-quality ones are quite expensive unfortunately (like Plixir, Farad, Keces etc.)

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Good summary… and very wise words… leave it as it is unless something is faulty.

Some go on about linear power supplies for switches, but little do they likely realise switches internally use charge pump circuitry/chipsets unless provided with positive and negative DC rails, (charge pumps are like DC switch mode powersupplies) to provide the negative and positive voltages required of Ethernet.
An alternative of course is to use wifi which depending on streamer and wifi implementation can be preferable to using Ethernet and you don’t need to worry about common mode currents conducted through Ethernet leads.

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