It's so Ethereal

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Fretless
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It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

Flinging myself into unashamedly geek territory - I just picked up a Silent Angel Bonn 8 audiophile ethernet network switch. Along with a shortish AQ Forest LAN cable.

Image

Now waiting as my Tinkerboard reloads the NAS music library (Should have timed that. Didn't). Won't have time for much listening today as I have to rehearse all afternoon for an upcoming choir concert.

All of the IP addresses got refreshed so the various streaming devices have to rebuild their catalogue from the network disk. Because I am running 6 streaming units at the moment I felt that the expense was justified and my local HiFi shop gives a 5% discount for regulars, which is nice.

So, the switch has been installed in my office with an input from the main router, the NAS, 2 Pc's and 3 streamers. A very short CAT7 cable is included with the switch and I have attached the NAS with that.

Well the Tinkerboard is about halfway on the library rebuild. So no listening yet. One thing that is very apparent is that access via the switch is far quicker than the Netgear unit it replaces, lightning-fast! A good sign.

I'll leave you all in suspense until the next thrilling episode.

:geek: :dance:
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Latteman »

Fretless wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:55 am
Flinging myself into unashamedly geek territory -.

:geek: :dance:
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by scotty38 »

Why did a new switch necessitate new IP addresses, is it running dhcp? I assume it’s a gigabit switch versus an old 10mbit switch that accounts for the increased performance?

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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by slinger »

Not a path I'm going to venture down, but I'm very interested in hearing about your results.
Amps - NVA P50, A30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Classicrock »

The Silent Angel appears fairly sane compared with this at 10 times the price. :shock:

[BBvideo=560,315]http://youtu.be/fQGrkavDXeE[/BBvideo]
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by slinger »

:o
Amps - NVA P50, A30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

Finally settling down for a serious blast to see what's going on.

One odd thing was that the Sonos devices had no IP troubles and maintained their access to the NAS, however the units running Volumio needed to be reconnected to the storage library.

The first that got fired up was the least 'audio' system that I have, which is in the kitchen - a JVC minisystem with a Sonos Connect running off the WiFi. Currently on repeat there is Floyd's 'Momentary Lapse of Reason'. Whilst cooking up some chicken risotto I heard a certain improvement in the SQ in terms of control and clarity. Surprising, in that this unit is a fair distance from the NAS and not even on the Silent Angel switch circuits at all (the NAS is)

So now we're on the main rig and the Gods of Snake Oil and/or Quantum Mechanics appear to be smiling benevolently upon me. I can report that this network switching unit does have a definite impact on audio quality. The only way I can describe it is that it sounds like somebody replaced the whole system with something 5x more expensive! Really!

The recent rounds of Tinkerboard and Wyrd improvements have had me listening very critically to the setup and overall performance has just been severely cranked up, and not just by a mere notch or two. There is a sense of relaxed refinement that I haven't heard here before. Instruments/voices are more 'in the room' with a 3D tactile presence. Black Silent Space in-between.

Some reviewers go on about 'micro-detail' and now I finally get what they mean. Tiny little audible scraps and inflections that are perceptible where they previously were not.

Like the Wyrd, cleaning the electrical mush out of the USB link, the Silent Angel switch is doing a similar job in the Ethernet connection. Allowing the music datastream to flow without distortion or disruption.

This thing has just arrived but - bottom line looks to be that those using streaming devices as primary audio sources should certainly be considering the Silent Angel network switch as a serious sonic upgrade.

Oh, and it costs about the same as a 1.5m length of Audioquest Vodka ethernet cable. :grin:
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by CN211276 »

All this is very interesting, if cofusing. What is clear to me is there is a lot more to digital audio than the transmission of 1s anr 0s. It is in its infancy and steps are being taken forward. It seems the improvements these "tweaks" bring can be heared and not measured. I also believe that the more resolving the rest of the system is the greater the SQ benefits are. NVA systems will not mask subtle improvements. I have noticed that what the Jitterbug brings to the party has increased as the rest of the system has improved. For my part, following the AQ Carbon USB cable, the next step is likely be a better ethernet cable and seeing, or hearing, what happens. :grin:
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

There is a lot of electrical 'noise' in digital systems. Computers, networks, USB, they are all designed for efficient data transmission but not for 'clean' audio.

Most of the jumps in SQ, for me, have been related to decrappifying the digital signal chain from unwanted disturbances. The Jitterbug as a passive filter, Schiit Wyrd does active cleaning and precision regeneration - like the Silent Angel, the Allo DigiOne Signature that electrically separates clean and dirty processing. Linear power supplies giving smooth, regular current to source components and DAC's.

Good transmission cabling is important but doesn't solve the EM noise problem. Data is data but network/USB cables also contain power lines that can carry distortion which becomes audible when the signals are converted into music.
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by nilsatisnisioptimum »

What troubles me with the video is no matter how good the switch and it's shielded cables are the cable between the router and link block is the standard cable that comes with the router and I find that puzzling. Whilst I haven't looked is there such a thing as a purpose designed audio router because my approach leans towards all or nothing subject to obvious budget constraints
Airlink BPS 3110S with LDA DC filter, Rega Planar 8 with Apheta 3, LDA MCJ3 phono, NVA P90 SA MK2, FW Aleph J mono blocks, Cambridge Audio CXC, Denafrips Ares2 DAC, Meridian 204 FM tuner, Audio Technica ATH 70 cans, NVA Cubix & LS6

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