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How Deep Does The Rabbit Hole Go?


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This is the wildest¬†trip I have ever been on, and I have to say, I am liking it. I took the red pill ūüí䬆

I’ve been auditioning  a few new additions to my system, and the results are more than intriguing.

‚ÄėI purchased a pair of Bonn N8 Silent Angel switches¬†and a Bonn Forester F1 power supply a few months ago, with very¬†positive results, but that was¬†just the beginning of this journey. ‚úÖ

Silent Angel sells their C7 Ethernet cables, and so I thought I would try a complete set of them for my whole streaming network. Results are outstanding. ✅

‚ÄėWhy not use a better mains lead for the Forester F1 power supply that feeds the switches than the stock mains lead. Nice ¬†‚úÖ

Then the Canadian distributor for Silent Angel products sent over 4 distinctly different pairs of  DC mains cables to audition, that power the Forester F1 power supply. These DC power leads supplies 5V to each of the 2 switches from its linear power supply. The 4 pairs of supplied Bastei DC cables to audition, pictured below are Orange (copper positive, copper negative leads), Zebra Plaid (copper positive and silver negative leads), BlackTiramisu (silver positive and copper negative leads) and finally Snowy White (silver positive and silver negative leads)  ✅

What was most surprising was the distinct differences in sound quality between the different cables. The Orange (copper/copper) was smooth and balanced but not as detailed as the others. It was also the least expensive. The Zebra Plaid was my least favourite, and just did not sound right. The Black Tiramisu had the best of the Orange (copper/copper), but with more detail and the best balance. The Snowy White (silver/silver) was the most detailed, but a slight touch of brightness, even after more than 50 hours of run-in. I purchased the Black Tiramisu DC cables, as that was the best overall sound quality for my ears. ✅

‚ÄėBut wait, those 2 switches and Forester F1 power supply need to be isolated from EMI? I¬†¬†designed and had¬†built at a metal shop, a set of pure copper shielding (pictured below) ¬†that now covers both switches and the Forester F1 power supply. ¬† ¬†‚úÖ

How deep does the rabbit hole go? ¬†ūüėĄ

Optical cables, fuses? 

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Have you tried moving the switches away from the power supply to reduce magnetic induction from its transformer? Regards Andrew 

Edited by andrew s
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4 hours ago, glevethan said:
  • This page was last edited on 9 August 2008, at 15:04.

Is this information still actual ? And what about other brands ? 

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6 hours ago, andrew s said:

Have you tried moving the switches away from the power supply to reduce magnetic induction from its transformer? Regards Andrew 

I don’t have the room behind my cabinet to move them further away from each other, therefore the copper shielding cabinets stacked on top of each other.

‚ÄėMy biggest concern was possible effects of the Forester F1 power supply as well as the proximity of mains leads near my other components¬†

Thunder Data also make a single unit Bonn N16 that incorporates the 2 switches and Forester F1 power supply all in one box. 

2 hours ago, LudwigD said:
  • This page was last edited on 9 August 2008, at 15:04.

Is this information still actual ? And what about other brands ? 

There have been a lot of new products on the market  in the last 13 years.  

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2 hours ago, LudwigD said:
  • This page was last edited on 9 August 2008, at 15:04.

Is this information still actual ? And what about other brands ? 

The Netgear FS108 (recommended by Linn) is still available, for only $20! I would think that network switches have become commodities and are priced accordingly. I'm sure there are other brands out there that would work just fine, and the list are ones that Linn tried out themselves. But $20? Is there really a need to "shop around?"

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The answer is the rabbit hole goes way deeper than anyone really wants it to, as well as branches off into all sorts of directions, so one must tread carefully lest one get veered too far off course only to get lost out in the ether somewhere, never to return...

In all frankness it never ceases to amaze me how many different accessories, tweaks, and gizmos are out there. Some only cost very little, like ensuring that any RG6 F-connectors one might be using to couple the cables feeding your TV box or cable internet modem are 3GHz rated. Others can get quite expensive, like switches that actually provide a benefit in terms of implementing a local area network for a specific purpose. Not too sure about a $500-$600 switch claiming "audiophile" performance which does not even have a management console. With respect to how it might affect the sound quality, that is a moot point given that I can purchase any number of switches for that price which actually allow me to segment a network properly, as well as turn unused ports off in software (how about that?), not to mention have a proper IEC power inlet for a much more robust transformer designed for commercial use. 

Also I'd suggest a Netgear GS108 instead of the FS108, for what it's worth. Best to keep everything gigabit if possible, even if the device only uses Fast Ethernet.

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Having been surprised by the benefits of making similar changes over the past few months, I'd say experiment away. It's all part of the fun, costs little to try and sometimes pays off handsomely. 

The whole point of experimenting is to find out something you don't know. By all means, test the results as rigorously as possible, but don't limit your options on theoretical grounds.

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It is always great to try new stuff for improved SQ: and this is where the "hobby" part of our shared passion is to be found. In many respects, my system  seems to be on the "point of diminishing returns". As well, all of these improvements are to enhance the direct objective: to listen to the music. I always focus on the music part and, perhaps, my "seeking and trying" involves new recordings and new sounds, but I admit to the occasional moments of playing around with things [cables, SO V2, placements, etc.] to scratch the itch of the "audiophile". I suppose it is a balanced path I try to tread....or try to.

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Hi @Paulssurround! Thanks for sharing, interesting as always. I am curious why do you have 2 of these switches? What do you have connected to it if i may ask? I have the EtherRegen which is connected directly to my router, with one CAT cable to my streamer. I do have 2 switches but this is for all my non-music streaming connections. 

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On 17/07/2021 at 13:23, Elad Repooc said:

The answer is the rabbit hole goes way deeper than anyone really wants it to, as well as branches off into all sorts of directions, so one must tread carefully lest one get veered too far off course only to get lost out in the ether somewhere, never to return...

In all frankness it never ceases to amaze me how many different accessories, tweaks, and gizmos are out there. Some only cost very little, like ensuring that any RG6 F-connectors one might be using to couple the cables feeding your TV box or cable internet modem are 3GHz rated. Others can get quite expensive, like switches that actually provide a benefit in terms of implementing a local area network for a specific purpose. Not too sure about a $500-$600 switch claiming "audiophile" performance which does not even have a management console. With respect to how it might affect the sound quality, that is a moot point given that I can purchase any number of switches for that price which actually allow me to segment a network properly, as well as turn unused ports off in software (how about that?), not to mention have a proper IEC power inlet for a much more robust transformer designed for commercial use. 

Also I'd suggest a Netgear GS108 instead of the FS108, for what it's worth. Best to keep everything gigabit if possible, even if the device only uses Fast Ethernet.

Good points, message received.

20 hours ago, Newton John said:

Having been surprised by the benefits of making similar changes over the past few months, I'd say experiment away. It's all part of the fun, costs little to try and sometimes pays off handsomely. 

The whole point of experimenting is to find out something you don't know. By all means, test the results as rigorously as possible, but don't limit your options on theoretical grounds.

I agree fully

It has been a fascinating experience on every level for both you and I, with the rewards and gained knowledge well worth the journey. The sense of discovery and astonishment has been jaw dropping, opening up a new world of performance, that would not have been attainable otherwise

Given that all the products were on loan for extended auditions in my system, the risk was zero

15 hours ago, Eldarboy said:

It is always great to try new stuff for improved SQ: and this is where the "hobby" part of our shared passion is to be found. In many respects, my system  seems to be on the "point of diminishing returns". As well, all of these improvements are to enhance the direct objective: to listen to the music. I always focus on the music part and, perhaps, my "seeking and trying" involves new recordings and new sounds, but I admit to the occasional moments of playing around with things [cables, SO V2, placements, etc.] to scratch the itch of the "audiophile". I suppose it is a balanced path I try to tread....or try to.

Great comments

This ‚Äúhobby‚Ä̬†has brought so much enjoyment and entertainment¬†to my world, and bring me much closer to the music¬†

‚ÄėJust when I think things could not get better, finding another level of enjoyment has been astonishing.

5 hours ago, frans5508 said:

Hi @Paulssurround! Thanks for sharing, interesting as always. I am curious why do you have 2 of these switches? What do you have connected to it if i may ask? I have the EtherRegen which is connected directly to my router, with one CAT cable to my streamer. I do have 2 switches but this is for all my non-music streaming connections. 

Thanks Frans,

The 2 switches are there to isolate the music streaming data as much as possible from the rest of the traffic in the network

I have the first switch hooked up to my NAS, router, OPPO and TV. The second switch only handles music streaming, presumably with no other data streaming through it. The second switch is connected  directly from the first switch (port 8 out)to my second switch (port 1 into switch 2 to port 8 out, directly to the Ethernet in connection on the Akurate Hub.

‚ÄėThe Bonn Forester F1 power supply, powers both switches and mitigates the noise in the Ethernet cables carried along with the music streaming data. Background noise is significantly reduced and the digital edge is virtually eliminated. Sound quality is organic, realistic and sounds like analog.¬†

The Bonn Silent Angel C7 Ethernet cables are designed to be grounded internally, in a manner that further enhances the process described above. The overall combination provides the best sound quality I have ever heard in my system

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On 17/07/2021 at 10:16, andrew s said:

Have you tried moving the switches away from the power supply to reduce magnetic induction from its transformer? Regards Andrew 

An excellent suggestion.

These effects would reduce with distance according to the inverse square law. Therefore, moving equipment even a short distance away from transformers by say putting them on separate shelves in a rack may be effective. 

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3 hours ago, Paulssurround said:

Thanks Frans,

The 2 switches are there to isolate the music streaming data as much as possible from the rest of the traffic in the network

I have the first switch hooked up to my NAS, router, OPPO and TV. The second switch only handles music streaming, presumably with no other data streaming through it. The second switch is connected  directly from the first switch (port 8 out)to my second switch (port 1 into switch 2 to port 8 out, directly to the Ethernet in connection on the Akurate Hub.

‚ÄėThe Bonn Forester F1 power supply, powers both switches and mitigates the noise in the Ethernet cables carried along with the music streaming data. Background noise is significantly reduced and the digital edge is virtually eliminated. Sound quality is organic, realistic and sounds like analog.¬†

The Bonn Silent Angel C7 Ethernet cables are designed to be grounded internally, in a manner that further enhances the process described above. The overall combination provides the best sound quality I have ever heard in my system

That's super helpful. SImilar setup as mine in the sense that i have separated my music streaming from the rest but i have my EtherRegen directly connected to the router, separate from the other switch. In other words, my switches are independent from each other (but connected to the same router I have to double check). But in your case, as they're both 'audio graded' this doesn't matter. 

Do you have the F1 power supply hooked up to a EP Digiplug? 

Curious if the N8's are getting hot? It looks like you have good ventilation here due to the additional feet and the metal cases will function as a heat sink in a way but you might benefit from an additional heat sink on top.

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5 hours ago, frans5508 said:

That's super helpful. SImilar setup as mine in the sense that i have separated my music streaming from the rest but i have my EtherRegen directly connected to the router, separate from the other switch. In other words, my switches are independent from each other (but connected to the same router I have to double check). But in your case, as they're both 'audio graded' this doesn't matter. 

Do you have the F1 power supply hooked up to a EP Digiplug? 

Curious if the N8's are getting hot? It looks like you have good ventilation here due to the additional feet and the metal cases will function as a heat sink in a way but you might benefit from an additional heat sink on top.

Thank you for the suggestion Frans

My Bonn Forester F1 power supply is plugged into my Environmental Potentials wave form correction device

The Bonn N8 switches are actually not warm at all, and seem to have adequate ventilation 

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On 17/07/2021 at 13:23, Elad Repooc said:

Also I'd suggest a Netgear GS108 instead of the FS108, for what it's worth. Best to keep everything gigabit if possible, even if the device only uses Fast Ethernet.

That would be $40 then.

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