I just finished reading Hans Beekhuyzen's Kindle book on file based audio. This is what he said about where your router should go.
"Like cell phones, Wi-Fi uses radio frequencies that might cause interference in your stereo. Try to keep the Wi-Fi access point as far as possible from the hifiequipment and always use well shielded audio, power and network cables on your hifi. If Wi-Fi is your only choice, you’d rather hope you’re in an area that has little Wi-Fi traffic."
i don't think I have heard about this before and was wondering if this really makes a difference. I'm tempted to move my router and modem to another room to test but wanted to poll everyone to see if they have done this.
It's not just the router, but the wall wart too. Those little switching supplies need to be kept far outside your audio chain.
And... it depends. If you search the forums, several cases of severe noise caused by Wi-Fi routers and devices like home security systems. This is usually worse than mere tweaking, but really noticeable noise issues that is beyond the usual voodoo of tweaks and cable lifters.
I try to keep all my audio stuff using hard-wired Ethernet, in part due to Wi Fi congestion. Streaming movies or music can become erratic.
I have never really tested whether or not wireless causes interference or degradation with audio equipment. However, I will tell you that wireless will definitely reduce your sound quality for streaming (whether it's internet or a local DLNA server). Even though your wireless router/network can be high speed, it's the latency on the network packets that kills you and causes the streaming software to drop down to lower sample rates, etc. Hard-wired Ethernet is always going to be superior.
Had exactly the opposite experience re: distance of router/modem when using Ethernet connection to streamer. Started out with r/m in laundry room far away from my listening room using new 75’ generic CAT6 cable from r/m to Aurender. Sound quality was meh and lots of dropouts listening to Tidal.
Moved r/m to listening room with 1 meter Purist Audio Ethernet cable and sound quality was night and day better. Even when using a 1 meter generic CAT7 Ethernet cable the sound was n&d better than the long Ethernet cable, just not as refined, clean, black and extended as with the PA cable.
Wallwart p/s and power cable from r/m was carefully isolated and plugged into completed isolated AC receptacle/circuit as I believe that Erik nailed it re: the power supply being the major source of noise.
I keep my router in a room upstairs. It is very far from my audio system and I use wireless to access much digital music. I have a cd player and DAC when I listen to CDs. I have power strips (hospital grade) and low noise which are pretty far from my components. This setup is the best I have found for sound. I have zero power conditioning, but my room is acoustically ideal for the type of music I have and speakers I use.
To Randy's point, I keep my computer audio front end and router/modem electrically isolated from and around 10+ feet away from my analog gear using 20' long XLR IC's from DAC to preamp.
I got better sound using wireless than from a long Ethernet cable. Can't really buy that with all of the RF from phones/wireless devices shooting through the air that the location of the router/modem (to avoid RF noise) is that critical. As stated before, it is more likely the noisy power supplies in consumer computer-related gear that creates the sonic issues and that can be managed. YMMV.
I have considered that, jmw. Dunno at this point if I will go that far or if that will help substantially.
I started with simply making sure that the noisy switching power supplies and their accompanying DC cords are routed carefully away from all other cables/gear as much as possible. Second, plugging those noisy power supplies into a receptacle fed by an isolated dedicated AC line (at least not shared with the rest of my audio gear). Third, covering those power supplies and DC cords with EMI/RF shielding fabric I bought through Amazon (cheap).
Toying with the idea of adding SR Tranquility base(s) to create a field of protection around the most sensitive components, but now just using Shakti stones on top of DAC and its external power supply.
re: linear power supply - an oft used solution to noise injection problems for DACs; but first try a DC power cord (no, don't waste money on a spendy AC power cord for your amp) a DC power cord that is made up in a star-quad wiring configuration.
I believe Ghent sells these or you can make your own.
Highly recommend a LPS for routers, just installed the W4S LPS 1 on my router and it made a big improvement in the back ground, tonality and ambience to the music. Its just sounds right. I also run optical and have the FMC, Net work switch on a separate LPS 1.
Thank you tecknik. You are the first (that I aware of) to address this directly. It makes sense since the digital signal is passing through the router and its audio-band noise elimination is likely pedestrian at best.
also depends on where you live if your in a high density area or a large condo building don't worry about it as your being flooded by all sorts of high frequencies from everyone one else anyway. rural areas not as much, but still there is really very few places on this planet now that don't have some radio interference. you could always build a faraday cage and get shielded com wires, I know some one that built a dedicated audio building and shielded the whole building... no cell phone in that room haha.
That said i've used radio wave scanning tech in the military and you'd be shocked at how much we are being hit with on a constant basis.
did I mention our sun.... biggest emitter in the solar system...
Do what you can but don't go nuts over it shielded wires and good placement is all you need.
Good post glennewdick. I am already nuts so little danger.
I read on another forum re: LPS on router and one contributor recommended adding ferrite filters to the DC lines coming from switching power supplies. I remembered that I had a few in a box in my closet and retrieved them. Clamped them on. No cost. Another crazy tweak.
I also use Wi-Fi from a two box set - modem & router - both with cheap wall warts. These are located in another room - on another circuit. It never occurred to me to try a LPS there. It certainly makes sense since I use them on all my other digital components. Just happen to have an extra one available - along with a decent power cord. The SQ seems to have a bit more body - the piano, a bit more harmonics - vocals, a bit more texture.
If you are using cable then shorter is definitely better. Power supply to the hub (router/modem) makes a difference. Try using a higher grade switch as well and again use a better power supply to that switch. AQVOX make a dedicated audio switch which improves SQ.
There is quite a choice of better dc power supplies on the market a number of which I am currently testing. Sbooster, King Rex, MCRU, Uptone, HDplex, Paul Haynes, Kennith Lieu, Fidelizer are some of the brands.
kalali, every dc power supply I have tried sounds different. So make sure the voltage and power rating is correct for the unit and then listen. I have tried three different supplies to the Lumin D1 player, the Sbooster was the best out of those three (12v supply). That's not to say that is the best because I haven't tried the Uptone LPS1 or Paul Haynes power supplies yet.
With regard to the Aqvox switch it comes with a wall mart type ps which Aqvox say has been optimised for the job. However, I'm finding a sound quality improvement with an alternative ( and more expensive) King Rex ps (5v). I am going to test the Uptone next week. There is currently a thread devoted to this switch on Devialet Chat but perhaps I should start one here? An Aqvox customer in Spain has tested the switch with the very expensive Kenneth Lieu ps, which according to his view improved dynamics but he found the standard ps to have a better and more natural balance (discussion over on Audio Shark).
I am currently using a 12v Sbooster to the IP hub, which has again improved SQ.
A number of people say that Paul Haynes makes some of the best dc power supplies.
Dave, Paul Haynes is still making ps, he moved production back to his Scottish island base, so I understand.
Uptone is limited power and only 5 to 9 v. You can run them in series to get 12v. Sbooster is good value. Made in the Netherlands and retails for £250 in the UK. King Rex is £350. Uptone £450. I believe the Paul Haynes ps are around £600. Does it get better the more you spend, this is what I'm trying to find out.
Adding a LPS to the modem/router hub for WiFi streaming has been a surprise revelation. Essentially, it is the source to the source. I’ve now auditioned 6 different power cords - each with a different sonic signature. More or less, each one maintains its sonic signature as when plugged directly into the streamer or DAC’s LPS. Yet, IME, that sonic signature seems to be even more pronounced when used on the LPS for the modem/router - kind of like on steroids. Only auditioning will determine what PC works best for your system and your ears. My system is relatively hi-res - very sensitive to cabling and power. When I auditioned a Sablon Robusto with the modem/router LPS, it was if my rig just downed a triple shot of expresso. Way too intense!
Within my budget, I’ve been very satisfied with the regulated 12vdc power supplies made by Astron: Astron RS-4A or Astron SL-11R - using this copper wire and this connector to make an umbilical cord. Voltage can be precisely set to 12vdc by dialing a wheel found under the cover. Used Astron’s can easily be found on Ebay. Avoid the ones with the captured power cord. Get those with an IEC inlet. You can even upgrade the fuse, if you wish.
Steakster, thanks. I have also found improvements with a better ps to the hub. Currently this is by Sbooster a Dutch company. Also works well with the Lumin D1 player.
As regards something even more exotic, I have been in touch with Paul Heynes and he has confirmed he is still making power supplies. He sent me a long list of various types and options, prices ranging from about £300 to £1800. The more expensive options include silver wiring and dual rails for better SQ. I have heard good things about Paul's power supplies.
There are a lot of great LPS available today I just chose the W4S for their versatility , the ability to hook up 4 different units instead of using 4 different wall warts or 4 different LPS, Currently the one W4S comes in handy powering my FMC, Aqvox switch and Optical TV line. The 2nd W4S and mentioned previously handles the router. I have found its very important and effects the SQ having high quality Ethernet cables vs the standard cables supplied from the Manufacturer like the basic PC from manufacturers are cheap and effect the SQ of the overall system. Mike Lavigne once stated, once you reach a certain level in a high end system the improvements are small but so important to the overall SQ. Boy is that the truth. Every little step regardless of cable, PS, isolation, room acoustics ,component makes an improvement. My system is Ethernet based and high quality Ethernet cables have definitely made an improvement . I would very much like to get my hands on a Paul Haynes PS one day as Im sure they well further improve upon the SQ in any high end system.
In regards to the router being in a separate room my access point ( router are in the same room just 10 meters from my system and on a different power line, I have an isolation transformer running my system with digital and analog on different dedicated lines.
I have found from reading about this on CA that running Ethernet with optical ( Isolated lines ) have made a huge impact on SQ and highly recommend it with anyone using an ethernet based system.
I realize this is a conversation from a couple if years ago, however, I just read it for the first time recently and decided to see if some if the advice contained within would help my system and I can say that it most certainly did.
My WiFi modem/router is still close to my system rack, but I moved its power cord and also a couple of other various switching power supplies for the cooling fan, Roku and Aptx Bluetooth receiver I use when I am looking for something new to add to my Tidal playlist to a separate power conditioner I had and plugged it into a separate outlet and I am very, very pleased with the results.
I may try an isolation transformer later but I am really enjoying this essentially free improvement.
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