Upgraded Switch and/or Fiber Optic Implementation

Upraded Switch, Fiber Optic Modules, or Both...

  • Upgraded Switch

    Votes: 6 18.2%
  • Fiber Optic Modules

    Votes: 5 15.2%
  • Both

    Votes: 22 66.7%

  • Total voters


Jan 2, 2023
We all travel our own journey in the still fast-moving world of digital audio. In the area of switches and fiber, since my previous post here, I modified my digital set-up by moving my server and all peripherals into a separate network area/room and provided a fiber break to all audio components (i.e., both server and streamer). My streamer (used as a Roon endpoint) and DAC are located in another room along with the rest of my system.

A short Ethernet cable connects my base router (mesh system) to a pair of Bonn N8 switches, which then connect both the server and streamer to my network. I provided a fiber break before the server using two FMCs, and also a fiber connection to my Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical streamer through Sonore's opticalModule and then 45 feet of fiber to my system room, with Finisar SFPs at both ends. Everything at the network end is powered by LPSs from a single dedicated 20A line.

In summary, I do not hear a noticeable change resulting from the switches and also no reliably noticeable differences/improvement resulting from the fiber, but it does sound good so the fiber may be positively contributing.

What did make a reliably noticeable improvement to the sound I am hearing was the addition of the Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical streamer, which replaced Metrum's Ambre. That streamer (serving as a Roon endpoint) has improved the sound of each of the four DACs I have recently had here. The sound of my SMc DAC-2, which only accepts a coax input, achieved similar improvements (to those I heard from the three USB DACs) by using Sonore's ultraDigital to convert the USB signal from the streamer to S/PDIF coax.
I like the idea of separating out your audio system from non-audio components and the optical breaks you've incorporated.

Re "I do not hear a noticeable change", would you humour me for a moment? I have read your description a couple of times but am struggling to understand what is where. Would it be possible to describe your audio chain, starting from the router and ending with your streamer, along these lines? (cable lengths and types for illustration only, let's assume one of your 3 x USB DACs):

Base router (mesh system) > 0.5m Cat6 ethernet cable > Bonn N8 > 0.5m Cat8 > Bonn N8 > FMC/5m fiber/FMC> Sonore Optical Module > Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical streamer > 2m USB> DAC.

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