For those using Ethernet to your DAC

#1
Interesting findings with the help of other forums. BTW, I tried this both wired Ethernet and WIFI.

1) I tried several types of Ethernet isolators and found them to improve things, some better than others. The 1GHz versions were not always better than the lower B/W versions. I use CAT7 cables with them.

2) Then I improved the power to my router by powering with a fast reacting LPS. Big improvement.

3) Finally, I tied the earth ground from the power cord of the LPS to the DC common of the LPS. This made yet another improvement.

These three things elevated the Ethernet playback with my Overdrive SX DAC well above the performance with my XMOS USB interface with galvanic isolation. Both of these interfaces (USB and Ethernet) have identical clocking circuitry and clocks. I don't believe there is anything more I can do to USB to make it better. It just eventually hit the wall.

The Ethernet was able to go further. I was always a USB proponent, having designed 6 generations, but now I'm going Ethernet 100%.

Just thought I might share this.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#2
Did you try glass from the router to the dac with an LPS for the Media Converter closest to DAC? (I have this system for my incoming DAC.) I am curious if you compared this approach to the options you tried.
 
#3
Did you try glass from the router to the dac with an LPS for the Media Converter closest to DAC? (I have this system for my incoming DAC.) I am curious if you compared this approach to the options you tried.
I have not tried glass Ethernet extender, but I have a customer using this. It's a good solution if your WIFI does not reach your DAC. He will be trying my WIFI soon, so we will see if this is better than the optical.

One customer sent me an AC power-line Ethernet extender, so I will be trying that soon. Problem with that is the AC converter that drives Ethernet to the DAC is powered from the wall outlet, so it cannot be easily changed to LPS.

The Ethernet media converter is inside the DAC, so its all linear regulators, Hynes-technology that I have licensed.

I can use WIFI or wired Ethernet and they both have the same quality as long as I use the fast reacting LPS with the WIFI converter or the router (when wired).

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#4
I have not tried glass Ethernet extender, but I have a customer using this. It's a good solution if your WIFI does not reach your DAC. He will be trying my WIFI soon, so we will see if this is better than the optical.

One customer sent me an AC power-line Ethernet extender, so I will be trying that soon. Problem with that is the AC converter that drives Ethernet to the DAC is powered from the wall outlet, so it cannot be easily changed to LPS.

The Ethernet media converter is inside the DAC, so its all linear regulators, Hynes-technology that I have licensed.

I can use WIFI or wired Ethernet and they both have the same quality as long as I use the fast reacting LPS with the WIFI converter or the router (when wired).

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Thanks Steve. A couple of thoughts/questions:

First Bold - Keep us posted on the results. I was not aware wifi can approach glass.

Second Bold - Aren't regular AC line really dirty? I use this approach for my internet access on PC's and such but never considered it for audio.

Third Bold - I have heard wifi picks up a lot of noise at the conversion point but I have never tried it personally. Again, it will be interesting to get the results of a direct comparison to fiber.
 
May 19, 2014
693
0
16
Round Rock, TX
#5
Interesting findings with the help of other forums. BTW, I tried this both wired Ethernet and WIFI.

1) I tried several types of Ethernet isolators and found them to improve things, some better than others. The 1GHz versions were not always better than the lower B/W versions. I use CAT7 cables with them.

2) Then I improved the power to my router by powering with a fast reacting LPS. Big improvement.

3) Finally, I tied the earth ground from the power cord of the LPS to the DC common of the LPS. This made yet another improvement.

These three things elevated the Ethernet playback with my Overdrive SX DAC well above the performance with my XMOS USB interface with galvanic isolation. Both of these interfaces (USB and Ethernet) have identical clocking circuitry and clocks. I don't believe there is anything more I can do to USB to make it better. It just eventually hit the wall.

The Ethernet was able to go further. I was always a USB proponent, having designed 6 generations, but now I'm going Ethernet 100%.

Just thought I might share this.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Great to hear, thanks. I found using a LPSU (HDPLex) to power my switch (not router) yielded sonic benefits. Haven't tried the router yet. Which ethernet isolator did you like best?
 
Jun 22, 2013
188
0
0
Soquel, CA
#6
Steve,
If your cable box or router or Wifi converter has LEDs on it then create a switch on the device so you can turn them off when listening (usually they are just indicating it works.....once it is working they are no longer needed). LEDs have tons of noise that is easily heard. Another thing is to damp all connections with constrained layer damping material and also try the Graphene contact enhancer from Mad Scientist on the Ethernet connections, etc. If you have a cable box and router then both should be on LPS power supplies and all LEDs removed and all contacts damped and enhanced.

Ric Schultz
tweakaudio.com
 
#7
Thanks Steve. A couple of thoughts/questions:

First Bold - Keep us posted on the results. I was not aware wifi can approach glass.
It's not a matter of the WIFI being as good as the glass, it's a matter of the glass being as good as the WIFI. The WIFI is already identical to a short wired CAT7 cable. This is why I plan to include the WIFI with the Overdrive SX DAC. It is more reliable than an unknown router and power supply that a customer will have.

Second Bold - Aren't regular AC line really dirty? I use this approach for my internet access on PC's and such but never considered it for audio.
Yes, but my LPS uses a Hynes regulator that rejects line noise. Besides, I also use a Plasmatron AC regulator.

Third Bold - I have heard wifi picks up a lot of noise at the conversion point but I have never tried it personally. Again, it will be interesting to get the results of a direct comparison to fiber.
No evidence of that. WIFI = Wired.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
#8
Great to hear, thanks. I found using a LPSU (HDPLex) to power my switch (not router) yielded sonic benefits. Haven't tried the router yet. Which ethernet isolator did you like best?
I like the EMO EN-70e. Use one to my smart TV also.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
#9
Steve,
If your cable box or router or Wifi converter has LEDs on it then create a switch on the device so you can turn them off when listening (usually they are just indicating it works.....once it is working they are no longer needed). LEDs have tons of noise that is easily heard. Another thing is to damp all connections with constrained layer damping material and also try the Graphene contact enhancer from Mad Scientist on the Ethernet connections, etc. If you have a cable box and router then both should be on LPS power supplies and all LEDs removed and all contacts damped and enhanced.

Ric Schultz
tweakaudio.com
I can turn off the WIFI when using wired. I'll give that a try to see if there is any difference. Thanks for the tips.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#11
It's not a matter of the WIFI being as good as the glass, it's a matter of the glass being as good as the WIFI. The WIFI is already identical to a short wired CAT7 cable. This is why I plan to include the WIFI with the Overdrive SX DAC. It is more reliable than an unknown router and power supply that a customer will have.



Yes, but my LPS uses a Hynes regulator that rejects line noise. Besides, I also use a Plasmatron AC regulator.



No evidence of that. WIFI = Wired.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
My point was Wired w/ Copper (be it AC or Cat 7) < Fiber in my experience and I have always heard WIFI < Wired. So if your WIFI = Wired that is new and exciting but it doesn't mean its better than fiber without results. That would even be more new and more exciting ergo my request to keep us informed on the results of your customer's tests.
 
Aug 18, 2013
26
0
0
Long Beach, CA
#12
My system consists of 20 ft Wi-Fi 5G ac to remote router extender. From there, 10 ft hardwired to switch. Also, hard music drive to the switch. I connect the switch with Audioquest Vodka to fiber and the output of the fiber with Vodka to my DCS Upsampler Ethernet port. The sound is quite amazing. I don’t know if this is the best way to do it, but it seems to work great for me.
 
#13
Steve,
I found numbers 2 and 3 on your list of discoveries quite important in my experiments as well. Vincent of Totaldac told me about number 2, and better grounded is how it sounded (pun intended).
True is what you say Obewan.

Steve N.
 
#14
My system consists of 20 ft Wi-Fi 5G ac to remote router extender. From there, 10 ft hardwired to switch. Also, hard music drive to the switch. I connect the switch with Audioquest Vodka to fiber and the output of the fiber with Vodka to my DCS Upsampler Ethernet port. The sound is quite amazing. I don’t know if this is the best way to do it, but it seems to work great for me.
The important thing here is the destination of the fiber circuit that drives Ethernet to the dCS via Vodka cable should be powered from a good LPS. Also an Ethernet isolator would not hurt in that cable.

What kind of fiber extender are you using?

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
Aug 18, 2013
26
0
0
Long Beach, CA
#15
The important thing here is the destination of the fiber circuit that drives Ethernet to the dCS via Vodka cable should be powered from a good LPS. Also an Ethernet isolator would not hurt in that cable.

What kind of fiber extender are you using?
Using TP-Link Gigabit Ethernet Media Converters, with iFi Ipower wall warts, Plex on the switch and drive. dCS Upsampler has galvanically isolated Ethernet input.
 
#16
Using TP-Link Gigabit Ethernet Media Converters, with iFi Ipower wall warts, Plex on the switch and drive. dCS Upsampler has galvanically isolated Ethernet input.
All Ethernet is galvanically isolated, but that does not prevent "leakage" IME. This is why we use isolators and grounded Linear power supplies.

If your TP-Link converter on the destination end has a wall-wart, the DC common (negative side of the plug) of the wall-wart output should be tied to the earth ground of the outlet it's plugged into. If it's ungrounded, then I would find another LPS. This is the most important thing; to connect DC common to earth ground at the last Ethernet driver device before your DAC/Upsampler. You could also kludge a connection to earth ground if you like the LPS.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

mribob

New Member
May 8, 2017
11
0
0
Agoura, CA
#17
Steve: Not sure how to implement the LPS on an ethernet switch, or to connect DC common to ground for my ethernet driver device going to dCS bridge/Vivaldi dac. I am not to computer or tech savvy. Please PM me to help educate me, and to perhaps provide guidance on what products I might need to purchase to achieve a quieter and less noisy sound.
Thanks,
Bob P
 
#18
Interesting findings with the help of other forums. BTW, I tried this both wired Ethernet and WIFI.

1) I tried several types of Ethernet isolators and found them to improve things, some better than others. The 1GHz versions were not always better than the lower B/W versions. I use CAT7 cables with them.

2) Then I improved the power to my router by powering with a fast reacting LPS. Big improvement.

3) Finally, I tied the earth ground from the power cord of the LPS to the DC common of the LPS. This made yet another improvement.

These three things elevated the Ethernet playback with my Overdrive SX DAC well above the performance with my XMOS USB interface with galvanic isolation. Both of these interfaces (USB and Ethernet) have identical clocking circuitry and clocks. I don't believe there is anything more I can do to USB to make it better. It just eventually hit the wall.

The Ethernet was able to go further. I was always a USB proponent, having designed 6 generations, but now I'm going Ethernet 100%.

Just thought I might share this.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Wow, respect Steve. I had an Offramp5 and at that time it was damb good. I dropped USB last year for Rednet and Dante hard wired to my DAC, so no wifi or router or switch, just the Rednet. I also took out the SMPS in it and replaced it internally with a nice LPS. Then powered my Mac Mini with 12V DC from another LPS, and send data as 1000Bare T Ethernet out. My cable is only .5 meters, and the Rednet then outputs SPDIF and reclocks it. Compared to USB it is miles ahead. Way better than my previous CDPs.
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#19
It's not a matter of the WIFI being as good as the glass, it's a matter of the glass being as good as the WIFI. The WIFI is already identical to a short wired CAT7 cable. This is why I plan to include the WIFI with the Overdrive SX DAC. It is more reliable than an unknown router and power supply that a customer will have.


No evidence of that. WIFI = Wired.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
My point was Wired w/ Copper (be it AC or Cat 7) < Fiber in my experience and I have always heard WIFI < Wired. So if your WIFI = Wired that is new and exciting but it doesn't mean its better than fiber without results. That would even be more new and more exciting ergo my request to keep us informed on the results of your customer's tests.
Steve, I am curious about your comment bolded above. So all of the people on CA who have implemented glass isolation systems with LPS on the fiber media converters because it tested far superior to wired ethernet with isolators (glass not being a conductor) are wrong and should go back to where they were before? What kind of isolators are you referring to that have taken things so far forward in such a short time and what wireless converters are superior to the best fiber media converters relative to conversion noise, lag, etc.?
 
#20
Steve, I am curious about your comment bolded above. So all of the people on CA who have implemented glass isolation systems with LPS on the fiber media converters because it tested far superior to wired ethernet with isolators (glass not being a conductor) are wrong and should go back to where they were before? What kind of isolators are you referring to that have taken things so far forward in such a short time and what wireless converters are superior to the best fiber media converters relative to conversion noise, lag, etc.?
Yes, they are wrong. With the right grounded LPS and isolator on the right router or switch, the wired solution should be superior or at least identical. If it's identical, why put all of this unnecessary hardware in the chain?

This is where we are talking apples and oranges. If an optical to Ethernet converter has a better power supply or better output stage than the router or switch, then it will sound better. That is probably what is happening. The solution is to make the wired solution sound better by powering with the right grounded LPS and the right isolator and using the right router or switch. These devices are not all equal in performance. My own router sounds better than my Cisco switch. The isolator actually has a small effect compared to the grounded LPS BTW.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio