A new wireless bridge and ethernet cable.

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Mike Hughes

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With apologies to those of you who frequent other forums and may see similar there from me. I’m seeking advice from as large a pool as possible.

Having moved on from my Naim source I’ve spent much of the last year enjoying music more than I have in years. Still through Naim amplification. This despite using a very cheap wireless bridge recommended by a dealer as a way to get going. Outside of ludicrous amounts of music listening I’ve spent time to get the right resting place for 2,000 CDs and have finally purchased a separate solution for the covers/booklets so that they are accessible from under the sofa. So, it’s finally time to move forward on other matters.

Located next to the pre and streamer this cheap wireless bridge introduces audible noise into the system. It can’t be located elsewhere as it relies on a piece of very short and hard-wired piece of CAT 5. To make this worse I’ve run out of sockets and it currently shares a power socket with my Chord DAC. Extra sockets are not practical. Even if they were they don’t solve the noise issue.

A run of ethernet from router to streamer would be ideal but can’t be done without a level of upheaval that would be unacceptable to all given other works which need to be funded this year and next. I appreciate that someone will always post with the best of intentions that “nevertheless if you could just run ethernet from…” but it really is off the table.

Now, I could in theory go to something like an Innuos PhoenixNET; plug it in on the other side of the living room (sorry, “lounge” with a 3m run of ethernet across the front of fireplace but it seems to me that the more sensible first step is to replace the bridge with something better quality; plug that in the other side of the living room and run some ethernet from that.

I already have Chord Epic from streamer to DAC and from DAC to the 202 so the obvious choice of ethernet would also be Epic. However, it strikes me that my better first step would be a relocated and new, good quality bridge accompanied by relatively cheap ethernet (3m at most I think) to see how that impacts the audible noise and sound quality in general.

Best options on the former appear to be TP-Link. Best options on the latter appear to be… well I’m not sure. Where I come unstuck is that TP-Link have an array of available devices which is utterly bewildering. I have certain criteria but even when applied I remain bewildered. Any help to narrow down my choices would be much appreciated as would thoughts on cheap cables. Ideally I’d not want this to descend into a discussion on cables.

Current broadband is a rock solid 145Mbps. At peak there are, I think, up to 21 devices using wireless broadband.

My focus is very much on a good workable bridge. The ethernet cable, any ethernet cable, cannot be any worse than the thing attached to the current bridge so, whilst advice on cheap cable would be great my feeling is that the bridge is the priority.

The location for the new bridge will be very visible. I don’t want anything too big as we’re talking a run of sockets which already struggle to accommodate TV, DVD and a Sky Q box. I also don’t want anything with very conspicuous flashing lights. Current bridge ceaselessly flashes blue and green but is at least hidden from view via Blu Tac down the side of my Hutter rack.

Two reasons re: the flashing lights. Firstly, Mrs. H. will complain if there is something constantly flashing away conspicuously whilst trying to relax, watch TV or listening to music. Secondly, one of my eye conditions means my vision will be constantly drawn to said flashing lights.

So, having spewed all that, which TP-Link device and why? Anyone with experience of decent alternatives with Naim amplification would also be helpful. I get a sense TP-Link are both the best and rather prolific. If you think otherwise then by all means offer alternatives.

Edit: from the few responses elsewhere I need to spell out that a switch is neither practical nor a priority at this point. No spare sockets in the current location else the DAC and bridge would not be sharing a power socket.

 
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DomT

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Ah well. Answered elsewhere.
I actually am in a similar situation. As this is the only forum that I use perhaps you would be so kind as to share a link to the answer or copy it hear please? Many thanks 

 

paulkebab

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If your bridge is 5V you could get a mains to twin 5V USB outlet and use that for your bridge and a switch. Cover any flashing lights with insulating tape. If the bridge will allow it, split the 2.4g and 5g wireless network and prioritise your system to 5g, plus any others that might need that. If not it's time to get one that will, which you might need to do if the noise persists.

I might be completely up the wrong tree but hopefully not.

 

DomT

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I actually am in a similar situation. As this is the only forum that I use perhaps you would be so kind as to share a link to the answer or copy it hear please? Many thanks 
And a google search does not show your thread elsewhere.

 

lindsayt

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I'm trying to get my head round what you are actually asking for advice on?

Are you looking for recommendations on Ethernet cables?

If you're running out of power sockets, why not put more in? Through whichever safe method is best for you.

When it comes to home networking hardware, I like Cisco and HP Procurve business grade equipment. Because that's the stuff I've worked with for 20 years. And they are well engineered and you can buy them used for peanuts compared to the original cost.

When it comes to home IT networks, I'd be very wary of taking any advice from hi-fi dealers. They're hi-fi dealers, not certified network engineers!

 

Mike Hughes

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Which just goes to show that Google is not the world :)

Anyway, thanks for your responses. 
 

In terms of long term solutions to noise in general the answer is clearly that a switch will be required. That, for me, will likely be an Innuos PhoenixNET given that my source is Innuos.it’s also so,e way down the line as I will be doing g some box reduction and leaving Naim for valves first. 

This specific issue though is about noise generated by the proximity of the existing cheap bridge to the pre and source. Noise generated largely I think by the nasty blue and green lights within. Move it away from said devices and that noise goes. However, “move it away” actually means leave it hanging in mid air off 8cm of hardwired ethernet. The power cable falls out. Blah blah blah. 

The solution kindly offered elsewhere was obvious. All bridges produce some noise, to which the solution is a switch. However, instead of getting a new bridge, I am just moving mine to a spare socket on the other side of the room and running about 5m of cheap ethernet which will run female to male from the bridge; behind the speakers; discreetly in front of the fire place and, hopefully, for now… job done.

So, this.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ENFMV2I/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_YMR17FDCA0C8VARK8PRV

 
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lindsayt

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I give 5 metre lengths of Cat 5e cables away for free to friends and clients.

For longer lengths I buy reels / boxes of cables and put the ends on myself.

You can go fancier than Cat 5e. For example, Farnells do 5m lengths of Cat 8 cables for £16.19.

https://uk.farnell.com/c/cable-wire-cable-assemblies/cable-assemblies/ethernet-cables?lan-category=cat8

If you go on ebay, you can get 100 mbps 8 port Cisco business switches for £25 and 1000 mbps (gigabit) 8 port switches for £70. At those sort of prices in the context of a Naim system it's worth taking a punt.

 
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DomT

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My situation is slightly different but maybe someone can help. 

I will be using my Innuos Zen Mini in a room that only has WiFi. I have sold the Aries that was in that room to a wammer. It’s not possible to run a length of Ethernet directly  from the router.

I have read mentioned a few times that people use a WiFi bridge to offer an Ethernet connection to streamers that only work on Ethernet. I have also read that these WiFi bridges can introduce noise into the streamer.

So am hopeful that someone can a) recommend a WiFi bridge (or a router that works in bridge mode) and b) comment if Ethernet cables are all the same or not

Thanks

 

tuga

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All bridges produce some noise, to which the solution is a switch.
I have the opposite impression, that one of the advantages of a bridge is to reduce the amount of noise reaching the DAC.

I’ve used a Rapberry Pi, followed by a Cubox-I and recently replaced by a microRendu.

I prefer a wired network and local streaming so my network is dedicated and composed by a wired router and a switch with internal L-PSU.

 

lindsayt

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My situation is slightly different but maybe someone can help. 

I will be using my Innuos Zen Mini in a room that only has WiFi. I have sold the Aries that was in that room to a wammer. It’s not possible to run a length of Ethernet directly  from the router.

I have read mentioned a few times that people use a WiFi bridge to offer an Ethernet connection to streamers that only work on Ethernet. I have also read that these WiFi bridges can introduce noise into the streamer.

So am hopeful that someone can a) recommend a WiFi bridge (or a router that works in bridge mode) and b) comment if Ethernet cables are all the same or not

Thanks
I use Cisco AP's to extend the wireless network in my home. They seem to do the job reliably for the money you can buy them - used - off ebay. However they do need to be configured to work in a home network. Configuring them requires the right console cable and adapter (mine cost me about £15) and following some technical instruction - available off youtube.

There are differences between Ethernet cables. Different standards. Different construction. Cat 5e being a basic minimum standard of cable and one used in the vast majority of in-wall cabling in offices in the UK. As you go up from Cat5e to Cat6, 7, and 8 you get higher maximum data transmission speeds, or lengths for a given speed. And then you have fibre cables that can offer mind boggling data transmission speeds over kilometre lengths.

There have been reports of different Ethernet cables resulting in improvement to sound quality.

My suggestion in the context of a multi thousand pound audio system is to try a £16 Farnells Cat 8 cable and use that as a baseline to compare against any fancy audiophile patch cables.

For the more adventurous, there's fibre. Last time I looked a basic 1 gbps fibre home network could be put together for about £100ish upwards and 10 gbps fibre for £250ish upwards.

 
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Mike Hughes

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Dec 31, 2020
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My situation is slightly different but maybe someone can help. 

I will be using my Innuos Zen Mini in a room that only has WiFi. I have sold the Aries that was in that room to a wammer. It’s not possible to run a length of Ethernet directly  from the router.

I have read mentioned a few times that people use a WiFi bridge to offer an Ethernet connection to streamers that only work on Ethernet. I have also read that these WiFi bridges can introduce noise into the streamer.

So am hopeful that someone can a) recommend a WiFi bridge (or a router that works in bridge mode) and b) comment if Ethernet cables are all the same or not

Thanks
So, the recommendation I’ve been given was a TP-Link RE650. I’ve been using a cheap Vonets. The latter introduces noise but only, as I say above, audible noise because it’s hard-wired into about 8cm of cheap ethernet and so can’t be located away from black boxes. I’m sure there must be other noise beyond my hearing but that’s what switches are for. 

 
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Lurch

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So, the recommendation I’ve been given was a TP-Link RE650. I’ve been using a cheap Vonets. The latter introduces noise but only, as I say above, audible noise because it’s hard-wired into about 8cm of cheap ethernet and so can’t be located away from black boxes. I’m sure there must be other noise beyond my hearing but that’s what switches are for. 
Stick one of these on the end of the 8cm tail, then add what ever length you want ethernet cable in between it and the Vonets. That way you can move it where you want. 

Screenshot_20220113-192555.png

 

Mike Hughes

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Already gone with the item I linked to above. Essentially the same thing. Will be putting all in place later today.

 

Mike Hughes

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Made the move. All very straightforward. All extraneous noise from the bridge now gone but a clear gain on sound quality as the DAC finally has its own socket. A little too harsh for me at present on some recordings but the leap up in separating and clarity is superb. I shall let it settle and then look at either a PhoenixNET or more likely something like an ADOT fibre before sorting out a new amp.

 
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