Ethernet patch panel and network switch question


I have an ethernet patch panel in my office that I'm running ethernet to my Antipodes K40 music server.  I've been reading a lot about the NA EVO ethernet passive filter and am on the verge of pulling the trigger.  However, it seems that everyone recommends a network switch from the router.  My router is 2 floors down into the basement.  Do I need to run a switch from the patch panel on the wall to the ENO and then to the K40?  Do I need a switch at all?  TBH, I have no idea what the switch would do.  I'm asking b/c lots of folks are talking about the benefits of using a switch before the ENO.  Thanks.



You don't need to do any of this in my opinion. Is your system currently performing well as-is? What problem are you trying to solve? If you are happy with it just leave it alone as most of these suggestions from an IT standpoint are in no way going to improve the sound. Keep it simple as the more items you add the greater chance of introducing issues, distortion or more points of failure.

If you want to try a mod that actually may improve your streaming network, check out the following article in Absolute Sound:

How To Optimize Digital Streaming With Optical Fiber - Page 2 of 2 - The Absolute Sound

Having a fiber Ethernet connection between your network switch and steamer will eliminate any RF or eddy currents over a copper Ethernet patch cable. I have found this to work very well and is a low cost/high benefit mod.


I would also look at what brand and model router and switch you are using. On my network I am using Cisco SG350-20 switches which are intelligent or managed switches. Although harder to setup that a non-intelligent switch, have ports which can be setup for a direct fiber connection, they are typically higher quality and provide network statistics which can be used to monitor the health of you network environment. also take a look at what router you are using. There may be an opportunity to upgrade it as well depending on its age and quality level. 

Unless you need to connect other LAN components in your office (which need to communicate to each other), a network switch is likely ’overkill’ for your specific application (i.e. solely for the Antipodes K40).

However, if you are prioritizing sound quality improvements it may make a difference. Make sure you are using decent LAN cable from your basement’s router to the office. Hopefully you are doing that already. If you are not, then I recommend doing so first...before you start adding on passive filters, a switch, etc. [Note: go direct from the router (I'm assuming you have an extra LAN port on it) to the K40. In other words, do not run that cable via your patch panel]

@nmolnar ’s suggestion to look into a fiber optic solution is a good one.

There are many ways to approach this. I believe you will be able to improve your sound quality. One example, having a separate (dedicated) network for your music streaming (separate from your other home and office requirements).

THank you, gentlemen.  Unfortunately, running a separate LAN cable to the office for music isn't doable in this scenario.  If you're saying the ENO is a no-go, I will continue to enjoy my music as is.  It certainly sounds pretty damn good.  I was just hoping to improve upon it a bit.



@wtb Bill, I was addressing the switch specifically.

No harm in trying out the passive ENO, or any other for that matter.

In your situation, I would choose an active filter. Primarily since (I assuming) your patch panel is using standard install wiring; it is an unnecessary added ’interface’: and because it is likely ’more detrimental’ than you realize: for music.

The last point is why I suggested running a fresh and direct line. What makes that not doable, in your situation?

Our building was constructed in 1790 and later added onto in the late 1960s.  Quite attrative.  It was later bought and completely rehabbed by someone a few years prior to me purchasing the building.  They made the unfortunate error of foaming the entire building for insulation and failed to run any conduit to encapsulate LAN wiring.  ALL electrical and networking wires are foamed in place.  This has caused problems for us as we can't upgrade anything.  We can't fish a line b/c everything is hard foam insulated.  It's the only downside of owning this building.  So, that in a nutshell is why I can't run a LAN from downstairs in the basement where our network is located, to my personal office on the 2nd floor.  It's been an issue since I bought the building last year and we still haven't found an acceptable work around.




Network Acoustics ENO comes with a 30 days money back guarantee. The only way for you to know if adding a ENO provides audible improvements between patch panel and K40 is by trying it. If you don’t hear any audible improvements, send it back. Every system is unique so results from passive filters and switch greatly varies. I would suggest you to try ENO first and then approach the Ethernet switch upgrade. 

IME, fibre optic benefits are not fully realized unless your router and server (K40)  are optimized for optical network. 

Thanks.  I'm going to give it a shot based on everything I've heard on Audiogon so far.  



Given your building’s history and restrictions....

It’s been an issue since I bought the building last year and we still haven’t found an acceptable work around. 

ALL electrical and networking wires are foamed in place.  This has caused problems for us as we can't upgrade anything.


Have you given thought to setting up a Mesh Network? It’s a solution for the audio side (and has broader application if you want it to).

Run a short length of ethernet cable from the Mesh Network Satellite to your K40.

The K40 was one of the options I was considering. It’s a great unit. I have a feeling it’s potential is being hobbled by your current setup.

You can still use the ENO filter after the Satellite, should you want to and should it add to overall performance.

A mesh solidifies WiFi coverage. Often a short Ethernet from the mesh node outperforms a long cable as far as induced noise.

I thought a patch bay was a switch. If it's performing well enough don,'t worry about it.

@wtb run a google search

What is a mesh network?


Do you have a modem that feeds your router or a router that is both modem and router? I’m assuming a modem since you are running your ethernet lines through the patch panel. Assuming along these lines: Modem - Managed Switch - Patch Panel (in the basement).

If you have a modem:

Modem > Mesh Router (into the unit’s WAN;  this can be in your basement or elsewhere if you have an available direct line to your modem > Mesh Satellite (this will sit in your office) > Mesh Satellite’s LAN port > Antipodes K40

[Note: some Mesh Satellites are set up identical to the main unit, in other words they also have a WAN connection option]

Since I don’t know your ISP (and type; cable/fiber/other) and what type of router you are using, PM me with specific info.

There are a number of brands of Mesh Routers available. I use Netgear’s Orbi Pro for my audio network. I also have the ASUS AX6600. You will find a number of summary comparisons, reviews, and quick pointers for best model for specific application online.