Network Switch Connections

Presently, I have my Router which feeds in to a plain vanilla TP Link Gigabit switch (No. 1), which in turns feeds my CCTV, another TP Link Gigabit switch (No. 2), which feeds my PC, Printer and Laptop.

I am getting a Linn Klimax DS3/Katalyst streamer and will be connected to the No. 1 switch.

My question is;

  • if I get an EE8 switch, can I do a straight swap with the No. 1 switch and will the No. 2 switch with PC, Printer and Laptop cause no conflict with the streamer or, do I need the connect the EE8 switch to the No. 1 switch and only have the streamer going into the EE8 switch?

All of these Ethernet switches are simple unmanaged Layer 2 devices, how they are connected together and what client devices connect to which will probably come down to your personal preference, the connection scenarios you outline will all work the same way from a packet forwarding perspective.
Try them out and see which one you prefer the sound of basically, advising on electrical Ethernet setups for digital streamers is a little like choosing speakers, you have to experiment a little and find the setup that works best for you in your environment.


How far away from the Klimax will its switch be?

I think that the benefits of a “hi fi” switch might be maximized by locating it close to the hi fi streamer/player (in part so it can be connected to the player via a high quality ethernet cable), as opposed to being many meters away. This is what I do. But it’s what I “think” and is not supported by empirical evidence.

So an alternative could be (if it’s a long way from switch #1 to the player) to simply add in the EE8 at the hi fi rack.

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I tend to adopt the opposite approach, keeping any electrical equipment as far away from the HiFi as possible. I certainly wouldn’t put anything other than HiFi actually on the rack!

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I have an Ansuz switch – I think I’ll ask them what they recommend, too!

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The Klimax will be about 15m from the switch.

Likewise. I have my switch and PSU some 15 meters away at CU in a stair cupboard downstairs. Only the network cable goes to the rack.

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My PhoenixNet sits under the shelf of my Nds. My router 1m from it, the PhoenixNet shares the same audiophile powerblock. The router is on the av powerblock.

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This weekend I plan on ordering a couple of SFP modules and some optical Ethernet cable to go between the two.
My new Lumin P1 streamer has a regular Ethernet input, plus a separate optical Ethernet input.
What I don’t know is are there different quality of optical Ethernet cables available, and does the length of these cables matter?
I use a Cisco 2960 -8tc switch, which is currently located on my rack, so a short run would work.
I could also relocate it to another room, far away from the rack with no problem.
I may just order a short and long run so I can try both, they seem cheap enough.
Does optical eliminate the need for boutique cables?

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I used to have a Linn DSM/2 with Katalyst before upgrading to the Linn Organik DSM/3. I couldn’t hear any difference between the ER, the EE8 and a Cisco switch. So it would be interesting if you decide the English Electric switch is as good as your TP Link.

PS: But the fiber optical ethernet ‘does’ make a difference to the Linn Organik DSM/3, and the 2 SFPs, cable, the LinkSys media converter cost me around $60 totally, I decided not to use the Cisco optical out because the Linn streamer is happier with the higher speed > 1,000 mbps.

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As far as I’m aware the boutique cable makers have yet to exploit the market for fibre network cables. Regular OM1/2/3 cables are fine and cost very little.
Fibre can cope with much greater distances than copper Ethernet which is good for up to 100m. In some cases it’s advised to use attenuators on short optical cables although I haven’t come across them being required in home networks for audio. The shortest I use is about 15m.


Luckily the Lumin online manual provides links to the components I need to order from the big river. They used to recommend Cisco switches too, but they are no longer made I guess ( the one they recommended).
I am sure someone will step up to offer boutique optical Ethernet cables soon enough.

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Does your modem/router only have one output? I thought most had 4 like mine these days, then you link direct to the hifi on its own branch of the network so to speak

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No, it only has two. One from the fibre box and one to the switch.

I have a horrible feeling it’s only a matter of time.

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The majority of Cisco Catalyst switches out there have been bought cheaply on ebay as discontinued models. They are robust and will likely continue to work for many years.


I’d see if you can borrow an EE8 switch and try it in both locations. It comes with a short C Stream cable.

Whilst I agree with Chris in keeping network kit away from the Hi-Fi, I found I preferred the end result with the EE8 at the Hi-Fi end. This was different to when using the Cisco 2960 as the final switch which I preferred located at the office end (via ~25m of Cat-5e). I still have the Cisco, but it’s now used to provide a fibre link to the rest of my network.

Your mileage may vary so it’s worth experimenting.

From a purely visual perspective, the EE8 is rack friendly with rear mounted sockets and discreet port activity lights so if you prefer it at the Hi-Fi end, it won’t look out of place in your rack.

Have fun with your new Klimax DS3. I’ll be interested in how you get on.

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I would imagine in a perfect setup you would have a dedicated optomised computer network…serving only the the hfi. In reality this is difficult…but not impossible. IMO (humble) one has to try and keep noise off the network…I am sure … captain Simon will explain the robusts ness of the packets…which is science…but for what ever reason noise and clean power supplies are critical…

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Cymbiosis will be bringing an EE8 for me to try.

We will set it up on the existing TP Link (No. 1) and try that, then I’ll start changing the switches round, moving the switches to the different positions.


Yes I bought mine for around $60.00 dollars a few years ago when they were all the rage. No rush to spend big money on “ high end” switches yet. I am hoping simply going to fibre is good enough.
My local dealer mentioned bringing one by to try once I get enough hours on my streamer.

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