It's so Ethereal

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Classicrock
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Classicrock »

Fretless wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:48 pm
Finally settling down for a serious blast to see what's going on.

One odd thing was that the Sonos devices had no IP troubles and maintained their access to the NAS, however the units running Volumio needed to be reconnected to the storage library.

The first that got fired up was the least 'audio' system that I have, which is in the kitchen - a JVC minisystem with a Sonos Connect running off the WiFi. Currently on repeat there is Floyd's 'Momentary Lapse of Reason'. Whilst cooking up some chicken risotto I heard a certain improvement in the SQ in terms of control and clarity. Surprising, in that this unit is a fair distance from the NAS and not even on the Silent Angel switch circuits at all (the NAS is)

So now we're on the main rig and the Gods of Snake Oil and/or Quantum Mechanics appear to be smiling benevolently upon me. I can report that this network switching unit does have a definite impact on audio quality. The only way I can describe it is that it sounds like somebody replaced the whole system with something 5x more expensive! Really!

The recent rounds of Tinkerboard and Wyrd improvements have had me listening very critically to the setup and overall performance has just been severely cranked up, and not just by a mere notch or two. There is a sense of relaxed refinement that I haven't heard here before. Instruments/voices are more 'in the room' with a 3D tactile presence. Black Silent Space in-between.

Some reviewers go on about 'micro-detail' and now I finally get what they mean. Tiny little audible scraps and inflections that are perceptible where they previously were not.

Like the Wyrd, cleaning the electrical mush out of the USB link, the Silent Angel switch is doing a similar job in the Ethernet connection. Allowing the music datastream to flow without distortion or disruption.

This thing has just arrived but - bottom line looks to be that those using streaming devices as primary audio sources should certainly be considering the Silent Angel network switch as a serious sonic upgrade.

Oh, and it costs about the same as a 1.5m length of Audioquest Vodka ethernet cable. :grin:
There is a lot of electrical shit transferred through a wired network so maybe results are not so surprising. I'm wondering how this compares to a well implemented wireless network where direct electrical connections are eliminated between source and playback?
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by CN211276 »

nilsatisnisioptimum wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:15 pm
What troubles me with the video is no matter how good the switch and it's shielded cables are the cable between the router and link block is the standard cable that comes with the router and I find that puzzling. Whilst I haven't looked is there such a thing as a purpose designed audio router because my approach leans towards all or nothing subject to obvious budget constraints
Good point about a purpose designed audio router. I would like to improve on my bog standard Sky router but am a bit in the dark.
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ JB, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

nilsatisnisioptimum wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:15 pm
What troubles me with the video is no matter how good the switch and it's shielded cables are the cable between the router and link block is the standard cable that comes with the router and I find that puzzling. Whilst I haven't looked is there such a thing as a purpose designed audio router because my approach leans towards all or nothing subject to obvious budget constraints
The Silent Angel switch is intended for placement between router and A/V system and so solves that problem.
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by nilsatisnisioptimum »

Fretless wrote:
The Silent Angel switch is intended for placement between router and A/V system and so solves that problem.
And my education continues 😁 Thanks for the update 👍
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

Been doing a lot of thinking this afternoon ('and about time') - what is going on here?

Data is data. If the 1's and 0's are being sent in the right order then it shouldn't make the slightest bit of difference what happens along the way as long as they are received properly. And that is what 'bit-perfect' is all about.

So, assuming that the integrity of this datastream is intact - why am I hearing significant differences in the audio reproduction?

We have all spent a lot of time training our audiophile ears to detect subtle nuances and variations in what we hear. Our lovingly-assembled systems are intimately familiar to us and reveal any changes, no matter how small.

These variations in digital playback are being caused by the equipment. Non-audio computer technology forced into use as music sources. With all the additional hi-tech extras like noisy internal power systems and electromagnetic fields from processors, etc. It is all a nightmare for the delicately balanced world of audiophile listening.

Ethernet connections are rugged. Meant to get large amounts of data over long distances. Works great but there is a lot of electrical noise in the cabling around the data. That noise is transmitted from device to device and the receiving end has to process the data whilst being influenced by the accompanying disruptions. Okay for a PC perhaps, but a music streamer may well suffer from the extra workload and not quite work as well as it should/could.

Same with USB, the cables carry a significant power cord to drive external devices. And that power is usually not very carefully generated. Current is current, right?

So in this new frontier of network audio and streaming sources, we have to cope with equipment that is doing its best to transmit data, but in a noisy environment. And, as audiophiles, noise is our business - the right noise, that is.

So the last 2 additions to my setup, the Schiit Wyrd and Silent Angel switch, are both doing the same thing. Picking up the datastream. Checking it and passing it on as precisely as they can. And cleaning all of the extraneous noise out of the accompanying threads in the cabling. Ensuring that not only the bits get delivered correctly but that the receiving devices don't get unnecessarily upset by any unpleasantness that could be sent along as well.

That's why I think that things are sounding so damn good, anyway.

:grin:
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by scotty38 »

I just struggle to believe we suffer with noisy switches yet the government, the military, financial institutions, scientific institutions. hospitals and universities of every country in the world seem to manage just fine with them.....

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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

The datastream is fine. It's the other stuff that screws up the sound - and only us poor audiofools are having any problems.
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by CN211276 »

Not much about the Silent Angel on the Internet, so it seems to be quite recent. The users manual is quite sparse but I have the gist of how it is connected. Google turned up a favourable users report on the Naim forum. I am becoming intrigued.
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ JB, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP:Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo, AQ Carbon.
Analogue: Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP.
Second System:NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA SSC, Arcam Miniblink or Mojo.
Out:Oppo PM3, AQ DF Red, ifi OTG.

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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

It is a very new product. There is a lot of info on Dutch hifi sites (in Dutch).

Maybe Google translate will help with this review:

https://www.hifi.nl/artikel/28188/Revie ... tches.html
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: It's so Ethereal

Unread post by Fretless »

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n95pGUQTvOk

Here is Hans Beekhuyzen's video review (in English)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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