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Some thoughts on Ethernet streaming and power

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I thought I would post a collection of thoughts here, based on some recent experience and change in my exclusively streaming hifi setup.  My setup and prior journey are detailed  here:

The recent upgrades to my setup include: 

Mola Mola Makua streaming board upgrade to allow Ethernet input;

Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS;

Shunyata Denali 6000S v2 addition, replacing PS Audio P10 power plant;

Rockport Cygnus speakers replacing PMC MB2se.


The prior upgrade of the Makua had allowed me to compare its USB input to a built in streaming input.  My quest to “perfect” digital streaming prior to this had involved multiple USB cables, an Uptone IsoRegen (for USB), Uptone EtherRegen, multiple Gieseler LPSUs, optical Ethernet media converters with iFi iPower SMPS, a JCAT USB-LAN ground conditioner, some Audioquest Cinnamon Ethernet cables, and the Antipodes CX+EX combo.


The streaming input on the Makua bested anything I could do via USB, allowing me to re-home the Antipodes EX, the USB cables and the IsoRegen.


Both the Denali and the Uptone JS-2 arrived prior to the Rockports, and they were added to the system without much “critical listening”.  This was done in the knowledge that the arrival of the Rockports would change the system and it would also allow for some burn in time on both components before evaluation.


The Rockports arrived 3 weeks ago and having got them settled and positioned perfectly now, I decided to review the streaming setup.  I went for simplicity and stripped out all the tweaks, and went with basic cat5e cable from the wall to the Antipodes CX, and a short cat5e from the CX to the Makua.  I did this Friday night, and frankly, I was amazed that it sounded so good.  I went about adding components slowly (EtherRegen, JS-2 LPS, Optical converter)... No improvements... just the same great sound.  Not that I was complaining, but I was a bit surprised.


On Saturday I had a bit of a brainwave and I took out the Denali.  The CX, Makua and JS-2 each got their own wall socket instead.  And there it was.  It wasn’t bad, but the sound was flat and lacked the focus and delicacy I’m used to.  I proceeded to add the EtherRegen, different Ethernet cables, and the optical converter.  With each variation there was some change in the sound.  I’ll best honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time doing this.  I added the Denali back in on Saturday evening.  It has not been moved out since!


Today (Sunday) I have been using the Denali and seeing if any combination of power supplies, optical converters or switches will make a difference.  The answer is very little!  So having taken a weekend to enjoy some music and evaluate my Ethernet streaming I came to a surprising conclusion - the Denali 6000s v2 power conditioner seemed to remove most of the susceptibility (vulnerability) to streamed music sounding flat and uninvolving.  I’m going to take some more time to listen to things and re-evaluate slowly, but I thought I would post this finding for others to consider and comment on.






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