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In search for the best sounding router


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#1 Marcin_gps

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:45 AM

Hi Guys, 

 

2 days ago I bricked my usual router which is the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X. it is by far the best sounding router I've tried so far. As a temporary solution I had to connect the old router which was Buffalo WZR-1750DHP and what happened was a drastic degradation of the sound. Everything became lighter and drier, there was a big loss of dynamics, the bass lost it's texture, the  image became smudged. It was quite shocking as the router is in a different room, on a different AC grid, it is used only as a wired router (no wifi - for wifi I have a separate Access Point), the router is powered by a linear PSU (the same it powered the Ubiquitii). So the router  was  the only variable. 

 

What is surprising  that the difference is with local files directly on my Audio PC - no streaming, no loading of music tracks off a NAS, no transfer of music related bytes on the network. Just control packets between Bubble UPnP on my tablet and JPLAY FEMTO on my  Audio PC. 

 

If I had enough space, I'd assemble a PC with JCAT NET Card and a linear  PSU to act as a router. 

 

What are you guys using as routers? 

 

Regards, 

Marcin


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#2 taxman2

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:22 AM

That is very interesting! I am using Apple Extreme with a separate LPS. I've replaced the ordinary LPS two months ago and the sound improved dramatically. I've also replaced the ordinary LPS of the ethernet switch with the LPS of the SU-1, since I've no longer needed it after removing it from SU-1 case. The SU-1 is fed from an ultra low noise LPS. From the same I feed all three JPlay cards. One thing for sure - everyone must take very good care of all power supplies.

Now I've got a total of five very good LPS and intend to get to more.


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Furman Elite 10i (power conditioner), JPlay Femto, Audiophile Optimizer, Process Lasso Pro, Fidelizer Pro, 2 x fanless mini PC, Control PC - WS 2019 core -16GB RAM, Audio PC - WS 2019 core 8GB RAM, JCAT USB Card, 2 x JCAT Femto Net Cards, 3 x 100VA Ultra Low Noise LPS, JCAT Isolator, SU-1 with external LPS, Gustard X-20 (modified), Audia Flight Pre Mk III (dual mono class A preamp), Audia Flight FL50 Mk IV(dual mono class A amplifier), Focal Electra 1008BE;


#3 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:25 AM

Hello

My suggestion is that you try the following
an intel socket M-ITX MB with ECC memories as well as an Intel I350T2 or Jcat femto ,. SSD or A good fast SLC USB stick  16GB 

in a little M-ITX chassis
pico or hdplex AC / DC ATX and a good LPS

Pfsense FW software, no major differences from Ubiquiti to handle,
You will be surprised how much better it will sound to your old Ubiquiti,

has been using it for years and has not yet found anything that sounds better !!

 

 

https://www.pfsense.org/download/


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I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#4 bodiebill

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 01:59 PM

Hello

My suggestion is that you try the following
an intel socket M-ITX MB with ECC memories as well as an Intel I350T2 or Jcat femto ,. SSD or A good fast SLC USB stick  16GB 

in a little M-ITX chassis
pico or hdplex AC / DC ATX and a good LPS

Pfsense FW software, no major differences from Ubiquiti to handle,
You will be surprised how much better it will sound to your old Ubiquiti,

has been using it for years and has not yet found anything that sounds better !!

 

 

https://www.pfsense.org/download/

 

Some report that properly installed fiber makes systems operate and sound better. I guess the sound part is a question of taste.


xigmanas or local hd => Streacom FC8 PC i7 16GB RAM Windows 10, Audirvana+ / HQPlayer => optically isolated ethernet => either DSD256 => renderer HDPlex H1.S i3 8GB RAM powered by SBooster 19V with GentooPlayer (Linux), mpd+upmpdcli or NAA, ramdisk => Regen USB=> Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Lampizator Lite 7 Amanero or PCM 176kHz => i5 8GB Server 2016 core, AO, FP, JPLAY FEMTO => Regen USB => Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Audiophilleo 1 => Audio Aéro Prestige => Lightspeed Attenuator => power amp Cayin A-88T (modified) => speakers Spendor SP100 + 2x REL T5  / Taket H2 + TR2 / Hifiman HE-6; HDPlex LPSU


#5 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 02:54 PM

Some report that properly installed fiber makes systems operate and sound better. I guess the sound part is a question of taste.

if you want fiber,

just replace intel i350T2 with a intel x720-da2,

 

but fiber draws much more power than regular cable


I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#6 bodiebill

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:09 PM

if you want fiber,

just replace intel i350T2 with a intel x720-da2,

 

Wouldn't 2 NIC's for a router be insufficient in most setups?


xigmanas or local hd => Streacom FC8 PC i7 16GB RAM Windows 10, Audirvana+ / HQPlayer => optically isolated ethernet => either DSD256 => renderer HDPlex H1.S i3 8GB RAM powered by SBooster 19V with GentooPlayer (Linux), mpd+upmpdcli or NAA, ramdisk => Regen USB=> Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Lampizator Lite 7 Amanero or PCM 176kHz => i5 8GB Server 2016 core, AO, FP, JPLAY FEMTO => Regen USB => Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Audiophilleo 1 => Audio Aéro Prestige => Lightspeed Attenuator => power amp Cayin A-88T (modified) => speakers Spendor SP100 + 2x REL T5  / Taket H2 + TR2 / Hifiman HE-6; HDPlex LPSU


#7 Thuan

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:47 PM

Building a new PC to act as router is a very intriguing idea to me. At least for now I'll consider an Ubiquity EdgeRouter X as per Marcin's experience. Don't laugh, I've been using Xfinity provided cable modem as router located in a different floor. A pair of FMCs and length of fiber cables bring Internet to listening room where a PPA Gigabit switch handles the incoming Internet and giving network services to dualPC and CD ripping PC.

Looks like there're rooms for improvements with my router configuration. Please feel free to offer further advice and suggestions. Thank you.
WS2019 Datacentercor 10.0.17763.437, dualPC, AO3 Beta 38 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, Fidata/BubbleUPnP.

#8 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:01 PM

Wouldn't 2 NIC's for a router be insufficient in most setups?

the motherboard is more involved if you have two separate NIC than one 2 port nic,
as the traffic would go from one nic to the other thru the PciE bus

 

and require even more power


I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#9 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:06 PM

Building a new PC to act as router is a very intriguing idea to me. At least for now I'll consider an Ubiquity EdgeRouter X as per Marcin's experience. Don't laugh, I've been using Xfinity provided cable modem as router located in a different floor. A pair of FMCs and length of fiber cables bring Internet to listening room where a PPA Gigabit switch handles the incoming Internet and giving network services to dualPC and CD ripping PC.

Looks like there're rooms for improvements with my router configuration. Please feel free to offer further advice and suggestions. Thank you.

a good start is a m-Itx MB with 2 intel i2xx series onboard nic and one x4 or x16 Pcie slot so you can expand to a better NIC in the future


I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#10 bodiebill

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:21 PM

Thanks Nobudy, I was referring to the number of connections. Only 2 ethernet connections on a router seems very limited.


xigmanas or local hd => Streacom FC8 PC i7 16GB RAM Windows 10, Audirvana+ / HQPlayer => optically isolated ethernet => either DSD256 => renderer HDPlex H1.S i3 8GB RAM powered by SBooster 19V with GentooPlayer (Linux), mpd+upmpdcli or NAA, ramdisk => Regen USB=> Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Lampizator Lite 7 Amanero or PCM 176kHz => i5 8GB Server 2016 core, AO, FP, JPLAY FEMTO => Regen USB => Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Audiophilleo 1 => Audio Aéro Prestige => Lightspeed Attenuator => power amp Cayin A-88T (modified) => speakers Spendor SP100 + 2x REL T5  / Taket H2 + TR2 / Hifiman HE-6; HDPlex LPSU


#11 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:26 PM

Thanks Nobudy, I was referring to the number of connections. Only 2 ethernet connections on a router seems very limited.

how come

a firewall should never act as a switch

one LAN  - to switch

and One  WAN

and perhaps one for opt/DMZ


I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#12 Marcin_gps

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:25 PM

Hello

My suggestion is that you try the following
an intel socket M-ITX MB with ECC memories as well as an Intel I350T2 or Jcat femto ,. SSD or A good fast SLC USB stick  16GB 

in a little M-ITX chassis
pico or hdplex AC / DC ATX and a good LPS

Pfsense FW software, no major differences from Ubiquiti to handle,
You will be surprised how much better it will sound to your old Ubiquiti,

has been using it for years and has not yet found anything that sounds better !!

 

 

https://www.pfsense.org/download/

 

Yes, that was exaclty what I've been thinking about  - thanks for confirming :)

I looked at router OS and apparently there are many different available. Have you compared them too? 

 

Cheers, 
Marcin



#13 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:36 PM

Yes, that was exaclty what I've been thinking about  - thanks for confirming :)

I looked at router OS and apparently there are many different available. Have you compared them too? 

 

 

yes I have
and an prefer Pfsense,
easier to manage,
better compatibility list to hardware,
more updates/security patches
have used it for many years on different hardware without any major problem


I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#14 Thuan

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:37 PM

I like the idea and your actual implementation. My next project, challenging but rewarding, is about to begin.
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WS2019 Datacentercor 10.0.17763.437, dualPC, AO3 Beta 38 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, Fidata/BubbleUPnP.

#15 Marcin_gps

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:38 PM

yes I have
and an prefer Pfsense,
easier to manage,
better compatibility list to hardware,
more updates/security patches
have used it for many years on different hardware without any major problem

Thanks!



#16 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:44 PM

Thanks!

you're welcome


I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#17 Nobudy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:52 PM

excellent guide how to install,
but you can skip the post how to write the iso to a usb,
much easier with rufus USB

 

as I assume most will use a Windows computer to write the iso file to a USB stick

 

https://www.tecmint....irewall-router/


I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers


#18 bodiebill

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:01 PM

how come

a firewall should never act as a switch

one LAN  - to switch

and One  WAN

and perhaps one for opt/DMZ

 

ah, clear, thanks!


xigmanas or local hd => Streacom FC8 PC i7 16GB RAM Windows 10, Audirvana+ / HQPlayer => optically isolated ethernet => either DSD256 => renderer HDPlex H1.S i3 8GB RAM powered by SBooster 19V with GentooPlayer (Linux), mpd+upmpdcli or NAA, ramdisk => Regen USB=> Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Lampizator Lite 7 Amanero or PCM 176kHz => i5 8GB Server 2016 core, AO, FP, JPLAY FEMTO => Regen USB => Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Audiophilleo 1 => Audio Aéro Prestige => Lightspeed Attenuator => power amp Cayin A-88T (modified) => speakers Spendor SP100 + 2x REL T5  / Taket H2 + TR2 / Hifiman HE-6; HDPlex LPSU


#19 taxman2

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:34 PM

Could anyone tell me what's the SQ difference between a normal router and this staff.


Furman Elite 10i (power conditioner), JPlay Femto, Audiophile Optimizer, Process Lasso Pro, Fidelizer Pro, 2 x fanless mini PC, Control PC - WS 2019 core -16GB RAM, Audio PC - WS 2019 core 8GB RAM, JCAT USB Card, 2 x JCAT Femto Net Cards, 3 x 100VA Ultra Low Noise LPS, JCAT Isolator, SU-1 with external LPS, Gustard X-20 (modified), Audia Flight Pre Mk III (dual mono class A preamp), Audia Flight FL50 Mk IV(dual mono class A amplifier), Focal Electra 1008BE;


#20 Thuan

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:27 AM

I've quickly set up an experimental PC router on an i7 laptop. Everything went fine except for Wifi that stopped me from using tablets to control and play music, basically because I don't at this moment know how to set up wifi. JplayMini playback SQ is pretty good considering the less than optimal setup. This has been an educational experiment to say the least, thank you Nobudy.

For the time being, I'm going back to Xfinity/FMC configuration.
WS2019 Datacentercor 10.0.17763.437, dualPC, AO3 Beta 38 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, Fidata/BubbleUPnP.




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