To Switch Or Not To Switch


That’s useful to know.
How does one disabling the 5V power to the USB port? Is it in Tools - Settings - USB - Options…?


Will do.
Do you think it’s ok to plug the Cisco in to the 8 socket block with all the nasty PSUs for my TV, STB, PV panels and router?


:small_blue_diamond: JimDog,…Should be OK,…but try different power connections and choose the one that sounds best.

But let your Cisco get really hot before you start “tweaking”,it takes a few days before it has stabilized itself.
But if it goes,…avoid having your Cisco in the same powerstrip as your music-system…as long as you have a SMPS.



You can disable it in the settings via the front panel display/remote control.


Simon - what brand of ethernet cables do you use or recommend? I cannot stretch to Audioquest or those type of cables, so I was thinking of getting Blue Jeans cables as they claim to demonstrably measure and test each cable they sell against the category specifications.


Correct - If you or anyone want more, with/without switch, with ferrite, screened, screen grounding schematics, just mail the request with your address written on a 20 £/$/€ note.


Is it ok to put the Cisco on a thick carpet? Or is that a fire risk? I currently have my router on the carpet. Clearly, being on the carpet would dissipate any mechanical movement of the Cisco, but does it need a rigid base to stand on? If so I can put it on a thick slate roof tile that I use for moving speakers around.


I just use certified Cat 6 (not shielded). Cat 5e is a touch more flexible if you need it. My Cisco to streamer cable is about 5 metres. Blue Jeans seem to have a good reputation for quailty and cost although I haven’t used them myself.


Why not shielded? And Why not cat 6a?


You only want a single ground point. Using shielded cable with a Naim Streamer and a Cisco switch will introduce more than one ground point.


Wow - I don’t understand why that is but it’s very useful to know.
Does a shielded cable somehow automatically create another earth??


The Naim streamer Ethernet ports are earthed and so are the Cisco ones. Using shielded cable means your 272 will be grounded at it’s own mains plug and the Cisco’s mains plug too.


Unless you have a specific reason to do so then I’d not bother with shielded Ethernet cable in a domestic environment. One less issue to worry about.


I tried a shielded Cat 7 from my switch to streamer. I got a high pitched noise when nothing was playing. I’m not sure if the cable was crap or what. It was a no name cable. I switched back to an unshielded cat 5e certified cable, noise went away.


A switch uses serial clocks to send data on the wires… if this clock is ‘fuzzy’ ie it’s frequency is wobbling about slightly then this ‘fuzz’ couples and interacts often with connected equipment. Hence some switches with higher quality physical clock circuitry are going to produce less noise.
Additionally a switch design may also contain better circuitry and PCB layout that reduces reflections and cross talk.
As far as longer Ethernet cables… well this is purely down to the resistive nature of the twisted pairs. A longer cable has a greater voltage drop, and so there is less power in the twisted pair at the receiving end… now this might be offset from increased crosstalk in the longer cable … so this may vary from cable to cable… yes in the limit these is all going to be subtle… but that is what we are talking about here.

Peter, this might address your query too


Hi… I tend to roll my own using industrial grade Ethernet cable… so I can’t really recommend a consumer audiophile cable… but different cables certainly can sound different, especially on the first gen streamers…
No obvious difference with the second gen streamers, especially with a decoupled DAC.


And switches on second gen streamers? Most of the comparisons seem to have been done on the NDS.


Did you order and receive your switch Ok, JD ?


Well, I ordered it fine.
Then I had a deep think.
Realized that:

  1. I’m going to have to buy and install and maintain a switch, NAS drive, storage, linear PSUs, and probably other bits of kit
  2. Plus Asset and dbPoweramp - learn how to use all these things and make them work together
  3. Introduce a load of complexity and electrical noise into my system - which is working beautifully and getting simpler and better all the time at the moment
  4. I have perhaps 250 cds - maybe 100 of them I’ll never want to play - maybe 80% of the rest are on Tidal - and the quality of locally stored CDs is not much better than tidal - Tidal is working very well in my system and I’m loving discovering new and old music thru it

So I’m going to a lot of trouble for little or no advantage
So I’d better spend the dosh on a PSU/better cables/a 250DR instead…


I think that’s fair enough, although you don’t need to spend anything like as much on a ripper and NAS as you would on a 250! £300 would do it.
It’s a shame the old streamers don’t handle USB as well as the new ones, as the relatively small CD collection you want to keep would work perfectly well on a USB stick for just a few quid.