Taiko Audio Extreme Switch

Christiaan Punter

Well-Known Member
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Introduction

Housed in a beautiful 22 x 22 x 5 cm / 9 x 9 x 2 inch solid copper chassis, the Taiko Audio Extreme Switch reduces noise by cleaning the network and offloading processing from the Extreme music server to the Switch.

The Extreme Switch is designed to work most effectively with the Extreme Music Server. The sound quality can be further elevated by adding the Extreme Router and/or the Extreme DC Power Distributor or one of our upcoming BPS solutions.

The Switch is most effective with our Extreme Music Server but can also be used with other manufacturer’s servers or streamers.

Power

The Switch is powered by any normal 12-19V DC power supply. A standard wall-wart power supply is included, which will provide superb sonic results. However, a higher-end power supply will provide further improvements. The best current solution is to add the Extreme DC Power Distributor. This allows you to power both the Extreme Switch and Router from the same power supply while offering improved performance over 2 separate power supplies.

For the ultimate Sound Quality, the Switch may also be powered by our new to-be-released Taiko Audio BPS (Battery Power Supply).

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Ports and connections
  • 1 SFP+ port, intended to use as the Switch Input. This slot can be fitted with either an RJ-45 (Copper) or Fiber connector module. Please insert the module with the contacts facing down. Note that this SFP port only works with 1Gb connections. It will not work with 100mbit connections.
  • 1 SFP+ port, intended to be used as the Switch Output. This slot can be fitted with either an RJ-45 connector module, a Fiber connector module, or a DAC Cable in a variety of lengths ranging from 0,5 – 7m. Please insert the module or cable with the contacts facing down. Note that this SFP port only works with 1Gb connections. It will not work with 100mbit connections.
Specifications
  • Power input: 12-19V DC. (12V is the optimal voltage)
  • Current draw at 12V: 100mA natively. Note that the total current draw depends on the supplied voltage.
  • Earth Screw: M6 with 4mm hex screwdriver hole (use screw length and or washers as needed)
  • Power Connector Dimensions: 2.5 inner / 5.5 outer / 11.3mm length (14mm recommended)
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 6 cm (with feet)
  • Weight: 14.8 Kg / 32.6 lbs

Extreme Switch PCB top side

Switch PCB 44bd4356-ebd2-4ef2-a262-2c5b830fb90c_Crop.jpg


Extreme Switch PCB bottom side

Switch PCB under 65c54ea6-5938-402a-8d7c-1d9681ebac76_Rear_crop.jpg


Power and connection indicator

For Sound Quality reasons, the Switch does not have an external LED indicator. However, it does have internal LEDs next to each SFP port to indicate that the port is connected and active. You can see the internal LED by looking through the side of the SFP connector and into the Switch if the surrounding is not too brightly lit.

Switch LED Inside (circle).jpg

This indicator LED will be on no matter if the associated port is connected with a DAC cable or an SFP/RJ45 Adaptor with a regular Ethernet cable connected.


Extreme Switch Connections

Connections temp Screen Grab_crop.jpg

How to connect the Extreme Switch and Extreme Router

Router Connection Schematic_v3_crop zonder header.jpg

Why did we select the SFP interface instead of the usual RJ45?

The ethernet cabling system that we use in our homes is designed to transport large amounts of data at high speeds over an as economical as possible cabling system. For this to work, block coding and error correction enable data to pass through a cheap (economical) cable and connector system without error. The block encoding requires reading the data block into the transmitter, running a mathematical function on the data, and sending the encoded data over the link. The opposite happens at the receiving end, and error correction is applied.

To provide an indication of the processing overhead, this is standardized to take 2.6 microseconds, where the actual data transfer latency is 0.1 microseconds for fiber and 0.3 microseconds for copper (or times 8.6 for copper and times 26 for fiber). But more important is the increase in power consumption which is between 5 and 25 times higher for RJ45 over SFP (for EACH port).

At first glance, SFP fiber appears to be the ideal solution. Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward as an SFP fiber module, which converts an electrical signal into an optical signal and uses a substantial amount of power. A single fiber SFP module consumes more power than our entire switch design, and the additional noise this generates is multiple times higher than that of the switch itself.

Inside the system, there is an accumulation of several types of noise:
  • Processing noise
  • Noise generated by power consumption (and associated heat)
  • Interface noise
We have managed to achieve the absolute lowest possible noise by minimizing these 3 by designing a Network Card and Switch by producing the lowest possible noise, consuming the lowest possible power, and with the least possible processing overhead around using a so-called DAC SFP cable between Network card and Switch.

What is a DAC cable?

A Direct Attach Copper cable or a “DAC cable” is an Industry-Standard Twinax copper cable terminated with SFP connectors that connects directly the SFP ports (or line cards) within active equipment, such as switches, routers, servers or data storage devices, in a data network.

DAC Cable 4X3A4806_1600pix.jpg


SFP - RJ45 Adapter Modules

Modules are available to convert an SFP port to an RJ45 port to allow the use of regular Ethernet cables.

SFP-RJ45 Module_4X3A4807_1600pix.jpg

SFP-RJ45 Module_4X3A4808_1600pix.jpg

1Gbit Network Requirement

SFP modules and -ports are designed for a single speed and do not exist in a dual-speed configuration. The SFP modules and ports that we use in our Taiko Audio products are specified to work only at 1Gb.
  • Extreme Router RJ45 ports: 100Mb and 1Gb
  • Extreme Router SFP/DAC port: 1Gb only
What this means is that any network interfaces upstream of the Taiko Audio Extreme Switch or Network Card, such as generic routers or switches, must be 1 Gb. For the Taiko Audio Extreme Router, the same holds true when it concerns devices connected to its SFP/DAC port.

For the upstream network that feeds the Router via RJ45, there is no 1Gb requirement, and the network may be 100Mb or 1Gb. This is also true for a MESH router with a (lower than 1Gb-) wifi source.

Please note that some Ethernet cables are restricted to 100Mbit (as opposed to Gigabit), which will also be incompatible.


More info can be found on the Taiko Audio Website

Taiko Audio Extreme Extreme Switch Product Page
Taiko Audio Downloads Section
 
Last edited:

Tuckia

Well-Known Member
Jun 3, 2019
471
729
180
Almost 4 months since the original post and there is no switch love? I’m sure there is but it’s not the latest shiny new object in the Taiko catalog anymore. So I’ll share.

I received my switch over two months ago. It made an immediate profound improvement and then I didn’t touch it. Recently it started staring back at me from its 2” thick walnut shelf so I took the hint. I repurposed three DiD’s (Daedalus isolation devices) and hit play. The articulation improved markedly across the spectrum in a balanced manner. Bass is more present with definition and drive. Didn’t expect to find this much low lying fruit in 30 seconds. It’s a remarkable device. Don’t forget the footers.
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2012
1,061
3,138
1,445
Almost 4 months since the original post and there is no switch love? I’m sure there is but it’s not the latest shiny new object in the Taiko catalog anymore. So I’ll share.

I received my switch over two months ago. It made an immediate profound improvement and then I didn’t touch it. Recently it started staring back at me from its 2” thick walnut shelf so I took the hint. I repurposed three DiD’s (Daedalus isolation devices) and hit play. The articulation improved markedly across the spectrum in a balanced manner. Bass is more present with definition and drive. Didn’t expect to find this much low lying fruit in 30 seconds. It’s a remarkable device. Don’t forget the footers.
Well, I posted my impressions back when the switch arrived, but that was in the one huge Taiko Extreme thread here.

I thought and still think the switch provides the bigger bang for the sonic buck compared to the router, which is not to diss the router, which is a very nice addition in its own right.

I haven't played with isolation other than to get all the Taiko network devices off the floor and up onto a laminated bamboo board, supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS devices. That tweak was a very nice improvement in articulation, perhaps similar to what you've just experienced.

Steve Z
 
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Tuckia

Well-Known Member
Jun 3, 2019
471
729
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Yes, possibly a similar experience. No doubt the switch is sensitive to the support so I imagine some tuning can be done with this.

Interesting that you find the router having less impact. Suppose it depends on everyone’s unique environment. I have not pulled the trigger on the router/DCD package yet. Considering the cost, the Olympus may be the better value. But it’s all inevitable.

Looks like you’ve been busy. CJ amplification. The 27A implies you are going higher efficiency? Care to elaborate, or do the subs alone satisfy you? :p I thought the 27A could be a good match here. Might try that yet.
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2012
1,061
3,138
1,445
Yes, possibly a similar experience. No doubt the switch is sensitive to the support so I imagine some tuning can be done with this.

Interesting that you find the router having less impact. Suppose it depends on everyone’s unique environment. I have not pulled the trigger on the router/DCD package yet. Considering the cost, the Olympus may be the better value. But it’s all inevitable.

Looks like you’ve been busy. CJ amplification. The 27A implies you are going higher efficiency? Care to elaborate, or do the subs alone satisfy you? :p I thought the 27A could be a good match here. Might try that yet.
In fairness to the router I added it after the switch and I haven't removed the switch to see what things sounded like with just the router. But I didn't hear the magnitude of step change I did when first adding the switch alone. Perhaps diminishing returns. However the router does much more by providing additional connection points and dedicated Wifi.

I don't want to derail the thread but indeed I'm going for higher efficiency speakers, hopefully sooner rather than later. The subs are nice and I love a big bottom -- who doesn't? -- but it's getting a little boring here, and dragging my AV speakers into the living room just isn't cutting it.

When I read that Emile had the CJ ART88 and ART108A in his reference system it piqued my interest, but 16 KT88s running in class A is a total non-starter in my home. The ART27A though -- my goodness, I understand what all the fuss is about. And it's 36 wpc actually did a credible job driving the Wilson Alexx while I had them.

I now return you to the regularly scheduled Taiko switch program. . .

Steve Z
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
896
682
1,155
London, UK
Almost 4 months since the original post and there is no switch love? I’m sure there is but it’s not the latest shiny new object in the Taiko catalog anymore. So I’ll share.

I received my switch over two months ago. It made an immediate profound improvement and then I didn’t touch it. Recently it started staring back at me from its 2” thick walnut shelf so I took the hint. I repurposed three DiD’s (Daedalus isolation devices) and hit play. The articulation improved markedly across the spectrum in a balanced manner. Bass is more present with definition and drive. Didn’t expect to find this much low lying fruit in 30 seconds. It’s a remarkable device. Don’t forget the footers.
My switch has been in for about 4 weeks powered by Paul Hynes SR4 and a Gotham DC cable. At the same time I obviously installed the new Network card and ran the script successfully.

I’ve been chatting to Ted recently because I didn’t hear a ”profound” or “magnitude of step change” and wondered why not. As far as we know it’s all correctly installed and running perfectly however I estimate an uptick of about 10%. Less than changing my ISP to FTTP with a new router.

I read Christian’s recommendation for footers but only have roller bearings, old RDC cones and sorbothane footers to try.

The switch currently sits on laminated wooden shelf of Rogoz rack and has RJ45 unshielded Cat6 input.

I’m not knocking the switch at all, just wanting the best out of it, and very grateful for Emile and Ed’s help getting me this far on my journey.

Btw, Running XDMS-NSM.

cheers
Blue58
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
896
682
1,155
London, UK
Well I had the chance to try the 3 different sets of footers underneath the switch today and the result wasn’t what I expected based on Christian’s trials and results.

I could not detect any difference between them !

By comparison it’s easy to hear the difference between Default and Alternative in Dac settings but footer changes, no.

So it’s back to stock feet and one less variable to worry about.
 
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engadin

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2022
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Well I had the chance to try the 3 different sets of footers underneath the switch today and the result wasn’t what I expected based on Christian’s trials and results.

I could not detect any difference between them !

By comparison it’s easy to hear the difference between Default and Alternative in Dac settings but footer changes, no.

So it’s back to stock feet and one less variable to worry about.
Which footers on what kind of shelf did you try?
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
896
682
1,155
London, UK
Which footers on what kind of shelf did you try?
These 3 , Titanium Aurios, Sorbothane and Clearlight cones and it‘s on a Rogoz BBB Audio rack (laminated wood).
And I’m not about to try anything that costs more than a 5* holiday
IMG_1103.jpeg
 

MarkusBarkus

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2021
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...I like the EVPs from AVRoomservice under the switch, although I spent zero time auditioning footers there. For me, isolation is a best-practice, so I isolate all of my equipment. I even have EVPs under the Daiza platform supporting the Extreme.
 
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Christiaan Punter

Well-Known Member
These 3 , Titanium Aurios, Sorbothane and Clearlight cones and it‘s on a Rogoz BBB Audio rack (laminated wood).
And I’m not about to try anything that costs more than a 5* holiday
View attachment 126712
I've not heard the Rogoz racks in a controlled environment, but their impact may be larger than that of footers, so the rack's effect or character effectively overshadows the footers' relatively small effects. While I stand by my earlier observations, to be fair, they are not earth-shattering in amplitude. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to experiment with footers to get the last few percent of performance tweaked to your specific listening needs.
 
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DW101

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2022
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It's been a while since I listened to my system unfortunately (roll on July) but I remember being able to easily discern differences between support materials just using the supplied copper feet on the Switch, varying between wide-open / looser sounding <> tight / focus, basically what I recall @Christiaan Punter described.

I'm not sure I'd back myself to put precise numbers on it, but I think I broadly agree with the original Taiko estimates, I'd say Router was a little less coming after the Switch, but the bottom line is I wouldn't want to be without either - or DCD for that matter (until Taiko battery supplies arrive). I was personally very impressed by the DCD, I feed it with a Uptone Audio JS2 and feel that it's the best DC power quality I have had by some margin (far better than e.g. both Uptone UltraCap 1.2 and ldover regulators powered by the same JS2).

I absolutely agree that the Switch will handsomely repay some care and attention to supports and power supply.
 

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