Home Review English Electric EE1 – Network Filter

Review English Electric EE1 – Network Filter

28

Pros

  • Playfull signature
  • Brings calmness
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Effect difficult to predict

Price: € 299

Build quality
Usability
Sound
Price
Network Filters

Intro

Yep… we’re allowed to ‘nerd out’ again! A new network tweak has been launched: the English Electric EE1. A network filter that does its job completely passively. Plug and play… well: sort of, because during the test we noticed that there are some things to pay attention to. Keep reading! 

There are now a lot of network tweaks on the market. Audiophile switches, cables and also filters. Or rather: isolators.

Why?

The skeptical side of hi-fi enthusiasts will say: everything is already galvanically decoupled, so it doesn’t matter. The only answer we can give is: that’s not quite correct. And. believe your ears. Switching a switch is quite audible. Unless, perhaps, you do your hobby on a Yoko radio. And if that’s “your thing” … totally fine.

Back to the question for a moment: why is it necessary? Very simple: through the data network, noise can enter the system. It is mainly common mode which causes issues.  Later in the article you can see measurements where we have shown Differential Mode and Common Mode separately. In principle, both give problems: after all, it is electrical noise. But common mode is more annoying because it is more difficult to filter out.

So this noise can potentially enter the system. The streamer is connected to the preamplifier or d/a converter, and this in turn is connected to the power amplifier. Just to name one example. Eventually this noise is amplified and thus reproduced. And that gives unrest. No matter how soft it is: we do notice it in the reproduction. In short: we need to get rid of this noise.

Another switch?

Netwerk filters

There are several ways to get rid of this noise. One way is to place an extra swtich behind the router. An extra switch provides more isolation, which therefore brings down the noise. However, this extra switch is usually powered by a switchmode wall adapter that can also introduce interference. In short: it is then wise to feed this extra switch cleanly. Most “audiophile” switches have pretty heavy modifications on the power supply, which largely addresses this problem. On Alpha Audio you will find many tests of switches and also some research.

Filters

Network Filters

Another approach, is to apply a network filter. This may sound idiotic, but it is not; you will see that later in the readings.

These – passive – filters remove quite a bit of garbage by isolation. We have seen that this approach can be quite effective.

The English Electric EE1

The new English Electric EE1 – 299 Euro, supplied by Latham Audio – is a passive network filter that, according to its website, “converts unwanted noise into heat.” That sounds logical, as the law of energy conservation dictates. It also indicates that it filters only the spectrum where no data is present, and that more filters makes for more improvement. More on that later.

The English Electric looks very neat with its metal housing. Installation is easy by simply inserting the EE1 into the digital signal chain.

Type test
Single Test
Accessory type
Network Switch
Conductor material
Copper
Type of conductor
Stranded
Shielding
No
Production country
UK
Number of ports
1
Special clock
No

28 COMMENTS

  1. Does it matter where in the network chain where you place these network Isolators?? I had a Pink Fawn and had it running into my streamer, there was a slight improvement. I have 3 ethernet cables in my system, was wondering if it would make sense to put a LAN isolator on the end of each ethernet cable? I would so to speak isolate my incoming fiber converter, router and switch. Or should i just go with the AA spirit and test all 3 for shits and giggles 🙂

  2. The iFi is an affordable way to improve very noisy situations like my Intel NUC’s RJ45 port. Used with Cisco switches which are given quality power or a good singlemode fiber segment (I recommend Finisar FTLX1475D3BTL transceivers), however, this device doesn’t do so much in my system.

    Thank you for your continued focus on the importance of the network to sound quality.

    • I have to agree on the Ifi LAN iSilencer. I already had the Netgear gs105 and the Ipower X power supply and then added the LAN iSilencer into my very noisy WiFi extender, before the switch.
      Wow, it was the biggest improvement so far, which was not expected.
      I hear on many forums that the LAN iSilencer seem to do an excellent job plugged into very noisy sources, as the starting point of a clean ethernet signal. Not so much if plugged in later in the signal chain.

        • Just to help others that might read here, if my words matter… :-)… I also want to share that my next step was to buy the Wireworld Starlight 8 ethernet cable which was a clear step up in price… But at this point I was no-longer questioning the logic and i just understood that I have to protect this lower noise floor I now have out from my switch, into my streamer. Maybe I went overboard with ethernet cable, i don´t know…
          But, again, I was very surprised about the difference that also did, even though I was at this point prepared that it would make it better (by listening to others). These things are very fun and rewarding!
          You are doing such a great job for the audio community, thanks a bunch!

  3. Hi Jaap, very interesting! I have the same Netgear switch (on your advice) with Chord C-stream (in) and Chord Shawline (out) ethernet cables connected to my new Lumin D3 streamer.
    I just bought an IFI Audio Ipower X for it. Is that right first upgrade path or would you go for a filter like the English Electric EE1 or the IFi just mentioned ?
    regards Fransbert

  4. Wow Nice! I just bought an IFI Lan isolator. The Ifi is supplied with an isolation transformer and filter ceramics. The price is below 100€. In the past I had 8 Pink Faun Lan isolators, which I used for a test. I sold 7 of them last year.

    Hopefully I don’t take position of the wrong chair :-), but for the last 3 weeks I’m running a network test again myself. So I could not resist to share my experience as well. In the test are 4 routers. 6 Switch types, 300M Lan cable of different types. 4 optic converter types of which singlemode and multimode. 3 types of high grade power supplies. 2 types of Ocxo clocks.

    I have tested a solution where the router was completely isolated by fiber connections. Also with the lan isolators.

    What seemed to be important is that every setup needed several days to stabilize. Before I could jump into a conclusion. For example replacing the switch mode adapter of the Netgear switch by a linear power supply it needed two days before the sound stabilized.

    What I think is very interesting. Is the effect of the router on the complete network. The router doesn’t really bother when there’s only one filtered Lan cable connected. Everything in the network behind this Lan cable is stable. For example on a switch are several devices (some not audio related) connected and they don’t harm the sound of the audiosystem much, but when one or more of these devices are directly connected at the router, then the trouble begins. When the router is troubled, there’s nothing that can make the sound good, by filters, power supplies etc. So keep the router in its comfortzone. Do not connect noisy equipment directly to the router. I would isolate the WAN and 1 LAN by an ethernet isolator. From the ethernet isolator directly to a switch for even better isolation. From there the network can be built. What I never will do again is connect a fiber converter directly at a router port.

    I will give the IFI another week before I can compare it with the Pink Faun isolator.