There are many people who have opposing views on switches, and all I suggested was looking elsewhere. You know, get the views of those who aren’t on this forum. If that’s wrong, then wow, what a place.
I was surprised by the impact different switches had on my system. I therefore did spend quite a lot of effort in finding the “best”. Same with the ethernet cable from switch to streamer. For a year I did use Melco S100 with Ferrum Hypsos PS and Esprit Aura cable. The Adot mediaconverter did also see service before the Melco.
But now I have found something better!
While Melco sounds “great” the Nordost Qnet sounds “right” and the Nordost Valhalla 2 ethernet cable is better than Esprit Aura. It turned out to be a very expensive upgrade since the sound improved further with the addition of a Nordost Qsource PS and a god power cable but worthwhile in a high resolution top-end system in my view. Sorting out the path of the bits up to the dac/streamer may be more important then the dac/streamer itself…a bit like the importance of turntable/ps/tonearm vs cartridge in the Linn world.
I have had the switch in the system for about a week or two now so I circumvented it. I had to use a cat snake to do this since the Neotech Ethernet cable is to short. So 2 changes. Anyway the difference is quite marked. Sound becomes thinner and with more disturbing etches. Soundstage is flatter and all in all it’s a more difficult sound to handle. It’s not bad. I have lives with this sound for years and love it but with the switch it’s better, cleaner and smoother. On occasion I kind of missed some of the rawness without the switch but the fuller sound with the switch is really quite good.
Is it SOtM sNH-10G you use? With the included psu? Personally I’m using EE8. Thinking about upgrading the ifi ipowerx supply to a linear power supply.
Yes that is the one.
FWIW, I tried that ifi supply with the EE8 and found it highlighted an unpleasant ‘edge’ to some recordings.
The Silent Angel Forester F1 is a much better match ime.
I’ve also looked at Keces P3 as an option.
I experimented with various cisco switches and found the PD switches with external SMPS using POE with the final switch to the streamer to be the best for SQ and lowering the noise floor. A great option for those who don’t want to fuss with “hifi” switches.
I find these networking solution discussions interesting. If switches, hubs, Ethernet and USB cables really made a difference, don’t you think a company, like Naim and others, would produce such a product? Naim essentially produce a PC in the form of a CD ripper that places music on to PC storage devices. A SuperLumia RJ45 cable would surely be a great seller for Naim? A Naim branded switch would be a good seller too.
Streaming is now mainstream, into it’s second decade. Why have none of the audiophile UK manufacturers introduced such accessories, something to think about?
What I really want is a utility that will record a radio stream from BBC sounds, but I guess this isn’t the place to ask. I cannot use get_iPlayer to work on my setup, it works with video but not radio programmes.
I guess as a company like Naim takes a lot of factors into consideration before making business decisions, as would any sound (healthy?) company. If Naim finds it profitable to produce and sell a network switch or a high end Ethernet cable they most likely will.
On another note. I have had the switch for a long period of time now and then removed it. I don’t miss it. It made a difference but I prefer the rawer sound I get without it. It’s just more fun. With the switch the sound was cleaner with more depth and it was easier to pinpoint where things were. Most likely a sound most would say was better. Me included, in some weird way. With that said I didn’t prefer it to how it sounds without. So even though I find it “objectively” better, for me it really isn’t if that makes sense.
Naim’s roots are firmly in the Audio community. A company like Innuos for example are rooted in IT. Big difference obviously. Plenty of audio companies got left behind by the switch to digital and equally many didn’t make anything of the home theatre or streaming opportunity. Because a company is slow to adopt a new technology doesn’t mean that the technology doesn’t work.
As to recording radio, the issues relate to copyright. The radio station has a licence to transmit music but that doesn’t infer on listeners the right to record and replay the music.
Which switch were you using? Bear in mind that only a vanishingly small number of switches were specifically engineered for audio. A regular IT oriented switch has many areas that can and indeed should be improved for audio application. Also the switch is only one of many parts and influences. There’s the transport cables, power supply, interface cards, vibration control etc all which have a sonic signature and influence
It was the sotm snh-10g with its standard power supply. Ethernet cables were Neotech the copper version. Regarding vibration control I thought about it and tried putting it on steel nuts with steel balls on top as to mimic the solution Naim uses with their Fraim. It really didn’t sound as good as having it firmly on the floor. Never tried it positioned in the rack because I figured it would disturb other sensitive electronics.
Anyway, having it in brought enhancements and made the music lack some what when it came to the all impotlrtant feeling.
When I first put my digital streaming system together I used an Innuos Zenith SE and was delighted with the results. Word on the street was that USB server outputs could be retimed to give even better SQ so I ordered a SoTM Tx-USBUltra with SPs-500 power supply.
The unit arrived and I could hear some improvements, but overall, the ‘magic’ was missing. I gave it 500 hours of running in before returning it to the dealer, who kindly shipped me another unit with its standard PS. Same result….improvement in certain areas, but a certain attractiveness was missing and the music failed to involve the listener. Further investigation and experimentation finally revealed that the magic would come and go depending on whether the SoTM power supplies were plugged in or not. This was true even when the actual Tx-USB was in-line or not. Bottom line, my system did not like the SoTM SMPSs.
I would not say that’s the way companies normally do business at least if they focus on quality as their top motivation driving business. Doing a lot of different things and doing it well is very challenging since it consumes resources to a much higher grade than you might think. It’s much better to focus on core products and do them extremely well. Best products are normally made by those that focus on a certain product range. That’s why I normally buy cables from companies that do cables 24/7, companies that do grounding 24/7, companies that do amps/preamps 24/7. I do not believe that companies that try to be everything normally succeed doing it all great because inside those companies you normally get priorities meaning some products are further down the list and eventually get killed since they didn’t get the love needed to compete with the market that focus solely on doing that product and do it better than everyone else. I guess that’s why naim killed speakers for example I think naim would benefit from killing more products and focus even more on what is core to them (what that is today I have no idea…)
Good point. I don’t know anything about how the business world works. In my line of work I have absolute focus on creating inclusive environments for our school kids
Much better than the consumer product world which I’ve been in for 15 years
Just added the MCRU LPS to my EE8.
Was dubious, but the outlay was not too scary and many have suggested gains were to be had.
Well I was 50/50 on the Switch, but the power supply has taken me by surprise. Now I don’t understand how or why and read the debates with mild amusement, but this improvement is just too obvious and enjoyable to ignore. The oft used more of everything is my best attempt at a description. It is as a significant improvement as any upgrade I’ve made. And from what I have researched has no basis in scientific or technological fact. Go figure
Yes I often find what makes positive changes to the sound to be surprising these days. Most of the times it’s in the power domain and the changes are quite obvious.
To the OP if you have a current Naim streamer I would dispense with a switch all together and use wifi. It bypasses a lot of the issues you get with physically connected switching. Naim streamers optimise themselves for wifi when not using Ethernet. Use a quality overlapping load balancing set of wifi access points and you should be fine.