Dedicated cable modem for audio


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2019
So I had a client make a understandable mistake. He hooked a Switch X directly to a cable modem and hooked his server and renderer to the switch X. The switch X has NAT so worked like a router no problem.

He tried to hook his house to the other port on the Arris S33 modem. This did not work.. I explained that cable co's only give you one IP for residential accounts and so you can only have one device connected.

He rearranged things and did cable modem S33 > Home router > Switch X > Audio gear..

He reported that his sound quality with the Switch X hooked directly to the modem with nothing else in the house hooked up sounded much better. It was still better then his prev switch, but the dedicated modem hook up was amazing..

So I just tried that myself. I have not only a S33 but I also have AT&T fiber. So I played with both fiber and docsis ( cable )....

So, he is right, a dedicated setup with its own modem is best for sure. WHY is a hard question to answer technically.

I also found that there were differences in fiber VS copper ( cable ).. SUrprizingly the S33 sounded better then the fiber BGW320-505. Which is not what I expected as the latency on the fiber connection is way better and jitter is lower. Not to mention the fiber modem is isolated. I feed both from old school restored Lambda linears.

So I wanted to post about this because if your serious about music rendering you should explore a dedicated connection VS plugging into your house network.

Others must have done this already right ? I just had not heard of anyone doing it.
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...I have cable/copper into the house, which serves everything requiring internet.

But...I also have a fiber service which is only used for audio. So 55 bucks a month for dedicated audio. Taiko server and iPad control "head" is the only thing on this line for Qobuz and local files.

Here, I find the dedicated fiber line to the *house* sounds best for audio, but I run Cat6 from modem to Taiko switch. ISP Modem is on LPS. And I have Taiko switch and DDC on LPS feeding that switch. A dedicated AC line is used for the network power; opposite phase as the audio.

I also have a modified (PF oxco) Buffalo switch between the modem and Taiko switch (copper in/out), but I should probably try removing that PFBuffalo, according to Emile.

I settled on this set-up after trying MM and SM fiber run to the Taiko switch, and BJC Cat6 and custom cryo-ed ethernet cable to the Taiko switch. I have swapped around and listened to several configs of the long (35') run from server closet to audio room. Some things I expected to be better were not, or not definitively, IMO. Really, until you try things in situ, you may not know what's best, or best for your environment/gear/ears.

Added benefit of two service providers: in the event of big outage, I could swap to run everything on one or the other ISP temporarily.
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