Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Network

Reviews

Review English Electric EE1 – Network Filter

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...

Background

Alpha Labs – Audiophile Clocks and Network Switches

Audiophile or 'audiophool'? We're going to talk about 'audiophile' clocks in switches. And we do that the Alpha Audio way. In other words: listening......

Video

Alpha Labs – Another experiment with switches and Jitter

Okay... we did some experiements with this before. But with the new RF Shielding box the measurements are much more stable. So, time for...
Description

A streaming audio system cannot do without a solid data network. We are only too happy to test routers, NAS devices and most importantly: switches. Not only because we’re just nerds, but also to explain to you what you need to stream in optimal quality!

Sound influence

It was long thought that a network had no sound influence. This is because the data stream remains intact and a network port is galvanically decoupled. This is all true, but still a fair amount of noise leaks in through the ethernet port. We have measured that. This – mostly common mode – noise affects the streamer’s performance. And perhaps the rest of the chain.

Research

We have done a great deal of research into the influence of switches, cables and other network tweaks. During that research – or rather, multiple investigations – it quickly became apparent that the data goes perfectly from A to B. There is absolutely no data loss. Also with cheaper cables and switches.

The big difference, however, is the noise that a switch causes. This noise goes through the cable(s) and also the ground into the streamer. And there it affects the clocking and thus the conversion from digital to analog.

One of the biggest influencers – pun intended – is the power supply. If the power supply is noisy, there is no saving it. Again, the power supply is the most important link in the chain.

Measurable

The noise caused by a switch is measurable. So is the influence on a streamer. Of course, some streamers are better designed and thus more resistant to these influences. But the fact is: it almost always makes sense to pay attention to the network. However, believe your ears and not the manufacturers’ marketing stories. Just borrow a few switches and compare them.

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