Switch - Silent Angel Bonn N8 audiophile switch

Reading a lot about the new audiophile Silent Angel Bonn N8 switch, I thought I’d give it a try and bought one to replace my Cisco 2960. There were so many positive reviews at some recent Hifi shows, I’d thought to take the risk on buying something not auditioned first.

Even though brand new and barely run-in, one immediately notices the improved stereo-imaging. The image is wider. Another thing that stands out is a better control on the bass. I have loudspeakers that produce a pretty impressive bass, but with the Silent Angel it is more controlled and no “boom” at all.

There is a good review on the Silent Angel Bonn 8 switch here. Using google translate, you can read in other languages as well. A youtube insight is here.

Iver

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Was tested here in France, nothing special.

I can only trust on what I hear and I can hear it’s better then the Cisco I had. Streo image quite a bit bigger

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So you have tested already, didn’t understood that.

@IvdZ I’m curious if you are still thinking that the Bonn N8 was a worthwhile upgrade. I’m considering updating my media center switch from a cheap TP Link TL-SG108 to the N8. My music streamer is the Muso-2. I’m wondering if I’ll be able get a sound quality update worth the cost of the switch.

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Hi Mike,

I would buy the Silent Angel again. In my system (252/SuperCapDR/300Dr/NDX2-555Dr) it brings a good improvement over the previous Cisco 2960. As said: in my system. Better switches help, but we should not over-exaggerate on things. The improvements are small and not comparable with a better PSU or a better Interlink.

My system is able to really “show” the switch-improvements. In your case (and I really like a Muso-2), I doubt if it is worth the investment. Why not search for a 2nd hand Cisco (some are 30€) and save the other money for music.

Iver

Hi very interesting thread - I myself use the Aqvox SE which for me was an amazing upgrade…it seemed to do what you have found… I have tried extolling the virtues - but generally you get a number of very clever people on this Naim site - who pour cold water on your findings - its depressing. I read your thread - and I can see it happening to you. Personally, it was great to hear your findings keep letting people know and keep us up-to-date with your journey. Cheers :vulcan_salute:

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@IvdZ

Thanks for the reply Iver. I’m glad that you are still enjoying the N8. I was thinking also of a used Cisco 2960. I hope readers do not misunderstand me. After remodeling the living room and downsizing to the Muso-2, I am not disappointed. The Muso looks and sounds fabulous. But coming from a setup of hifi separates I still feel the need to tinker a bit. So I’ve done some experimenting with the Muso comparing wired to wifi and now I am using 2 Fiber media converters (FMCs) between the switch and the Muso. Even with the Muso I can hear differences. For example with the FMCs in place the sound is more laid back and what I would call silky, but maybe a bit too much for my liking. I can get a 2960 here on ebay for about $35 US. I think I’ll give that a go.

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I found that the Uptone ER was a definite upgrade over the Cisco 2960. I now run the ER in cascade with the Cisco first and ER just before the dac. Agree about cold water.

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I get a bit frustrated … as I am only trying to convey … that there is a substantive improvement to be had … that for me was like a Naim box upgrade

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but it is worth bearing in mind - that many of the specific benefits that a Cat switch like the 2960 brings will almost certainly be undone using media converters… the low level physical and link layer will be being interrupted - and almost certainly you will be injecting a no better and probably worse noisy serial clock. (since Naim don’t currently support fibre interfaces)

However as said several times before adding electrical noise at this level can have many effects (noise shaping) - including filtering subtle detail making the sound smoother - which might be preferable… however I personally would tackle this differently if this was the case.

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@Simon-in-Suffolk

Thank you Simon. I suspected that the FMCs might be injecting some gremlins into the mix. My Cisco 2960 (WS-C2960C-8TC-S) is arriving today and I’ll continue with my experimentation.

I will replace the FMCs with the 2960. First I’ll chain the 2960 off the inexpensive tp-link switch. Next I’ll take the tp-link switch out of the chain just use the 2960. I realized after purchasing the 2960 that this model is not a gigabit switch; whereas the inexpensive tp-link is gigabit. I’m not sure if that matters much for audio and I even recall reading on the forum that some listeners actually preferred fast internet over gigabit.

Two things are most surprising to me so far. That I can hear differences even listening via a Muso-2 and how quickly we can convince ourselves that our “tweaks” are improvements. My first reaction to the FMCs was less PRaT and a sort of veil over the music. Then, after a couple of hours, it became silky and less edgy. :>)

This is all so fascinating and the best part in doing these comparisons is that I it gives me one more reason the sit down and listen to my more of my favorite music.

You don’t need gigabit for Naim as they don’t support it, , just Fast Ethernet (10/100Mbps) so you have no issue there.

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