Nordost Network Switch

Well, Nordost have entered the specialist Ethernet Switch game, with the “QNET NETWORK SWITCH”

Apart from being round, with cables coming in on-axis - two of the ports are limited to 100Mbit/s, for noise reasons, and the other 3 ports are 1Gbit/s.
Separate DC PSU.

Designed as a ground-up design and not just an improved OEM board in a new case.
However, price is $3,199

Article in Stereonet at Nordost - QNet Network/Ethernet Switch - Digital Sources, DACs, and Computer Audio - StereoNET International.

Not advocating or promoting in any way, just posting news that will be of interest to some.

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I posted it too in the Synergetic research switch thread.
I wonder if there is an OCXO clock inside. I didn’t found any information on it.

It can be upgraded by a linear ps, the Qsource, as the Qnet comes originally with an SMPS.

image

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I have the Uptone Audio EtherRegen and that is as much as I will pay for a switch. The Nordost is more than 3 times the price of the EtherRegen!

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Quite… I do suspect this is aimed at the person who has to have everything.
I can’t help thinking if you are plagued so much with network noise that you are tempted to buy this, then wifi might just be a better option or use a different streamer.

But seriously if I did want to consider such a switch I would want to see SFP transceiver sockets that I could connect twisted pair or fibre SFPs as appropriate to match my current or future streamer. It’s a lot of money to be potentially redundant with your next streamer.

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Someone’s bound to come along and buy it. Post a lot of hyperbole about the result and get massively defensive when anyone questions the logic of dropping an annual family food budget on a switch.

Only a matter of time.

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Indeed, as surely as night follows day, someone will report the difference in using it as night and day.

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Strongly suggest to test a switch at home- I had many and some had problems with room, some with upnp services…

All these strange switches won’t be needed if optical ethernet is supported. I paid Amazon $60 for 2 SFPs+media coverter for my linn streamer and it sounds mighty fine.

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That is not necessarily the case… the underlying consideration of serial clock stability (which many of these so called audiophile switches address) of the link layer is the same whether it’s twisted pair or fibre.
The benefit that fibre brings is that it clearly eliminates the possibility of common mode electrical noise that may flow through the twisted pairs into the host (streamer) network interface card from the switch… this is more likely to be problematic if the switch is not mains earthed.

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This is not my point, my point is that it is unbelievble that these audiophile switches + copper ethernet cables cost an arm and a leg? The cost of making these is probably $20, or maybe < $100 at most.

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That I don’t disagree with, although on low volumes the unit costs will be higher… my point was that using fibre doesn’t simply bring you the benefits of using a highly stable clock in the switch. A low quality switch driving a fibre connection is not going to be optimal for audio use if your streamer allows these things to couple and be audible.

Hence my above post if I was buying a new audiophile premium priced switch now I would ensure it supports fibre as well as twisted pair connections. For maximum compatibility I would recommend the device adopts SFP transceiver ports so you can select the appropriate module for your streamer… whether it be different modes of fibre connection or twisted pair.

I’ve found that the most musical switches are also some of the cheapest ones (e.g, netgear, etc),
But one is welcome to spend thousands of dollars on any switch if he is happy.

Sure… and that is what I to tend to smile about reading some posts, but I tend to keep quiet now as it seems to antagonise some… sometimes the best ‘musical sounding’ devices occur because of noise and distortions added into the chain almost certainly unintentionally … it can be a lottery, and may depend on individual setup… but some forms of digital and analogue noise/distortion can make audio replay sound more ‘musical’ or ‘organic’.
In modern music production, sometimes this is deliberately added in a controlled way to emphasise a sound or musical feel of a track or an instrument…

But back to audio replay chain yes I tend to find less is more… keep it simple.

Which the EtherREGEN does on the A Port side. There is much discussion on the Uptone forum about the SFP or SFP+ modules used, and trying to obtain certain Finisar SFP+ types or complete Finisar AOC cables with integrated modules.

Haven’t got into that yet, as replacing a ZeroZero LPS used for my EtherREGEN (and not up to the job from current delivery) with a Farad3 PSU (with Furutech AC input, Orange fuse & Farad mains cable), plus upgrading some standard mains plugs with Furutech ones and trying a Purple fuse.

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SFP or SFP+ modules is down to speed… that is all. The SFP standard is old, and modern high speeds require SFP+. Remember SFPs are for both fibre and twisted pair.
I assume the ‘a side’ is meant for the streamer connection?

In the limit if your streamer has coupling issues then you will more readily notice audible effects from different SFP manufacturers, switches and fibre/twisted pair cables.
In my view the aim is for the streamer to more effectively decouple this rather than overly rely on the ‘feed’.

I have found the current Naim streamers improve this, and when you separate out the DAC product from the digital transport product using a Naim transport… in my experience it becomes near as dam-it completely decoupled… and up stream network becomes irrelevant as long as it can provide the data.

Yes, but most use of the STP cage in a EtherREGEN is for a downstream fibre connection.

The EtherREGEN has 4 1Gbit/s ports & the STP cage on the “A” side, and then one 100Mbit/s isolated port, the ‘B’ side, for electrical connection to the streamer.
Some have used it in reverse, taking in electrical on Port B, and outputting fibre from the ‘A’ ports side.

Thanks… this is embarrassing… I do actually have one of these… I forgot I had it… until I looked it up on the web just now…

To be honest since I separated out my DAC from Naim Streamer I heard no difference at all with it in or out of the streamer link from an elderly and venerable Cisco 3560.
The EtherRegen is powered by a separate DC supply… which can be an issue for grounding, ie greater possibility of common mode noise current… but it does offer a grounding tab to connect to mains Earth which is good if you can’t have an inbuilt locally earthed mains supply.

I wonder if that takes us into the realms of slower = quieter, as with 100 vs 1000 Ethernet? Does slower then mean potentially less added effects, which may or may not be subjectively better. It’s a minefield!

Yes, hence good/better results can be had with PSU upgrades, such as the Farad3
I also have mine earthed to a post on my 20-year old Russ Andrew’s Purifier Block

AfterDark Uptone’s HK reseller have gone the other way, the higher spec modules offer lower jitter

See Finisar SFP+ Modules for Audio Grade Network Switch (Group Buy for Audiophilestyle.com) - AfterDark (Sponsored) - Audiophile Style