PhoenixNET Impressions
Nov 21, 2022 at 1:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 106

F208Frank

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Posts
1,355
Likes
1,122
Location
New York
This device does not get enough love, I hear crickets chirping!
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 1:20 PM Post #3 of 106

BassicScience

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
1,374
Likes
2,618
A $3,800 4 port network switch limited to 100Mbps?

I'm rarely surprised in this hobby any more, but this...
I guarantee you that anyone buying this switch couldn't care less about its specs... or how Ethernet actually works. It's strictly a device for wealthy people who are too lazy to research what they buy beforehand. My attitude towards stuff like this is: if you can throw $4k in the trash and not miss it, it's none of my business how you spend it. For anyone else, don't waste your money on anything to do with Ethernet!
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 1:25 PM Post #4 of 106

Ciggavelli

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Posts
2,360
Likes
4,740
Location
Houston
I guarantee you that anyone buying this switch couldn't care less about its specs... or how Ethernet actually works. It's strictly a device for wealthy people who are too lazy to research what they buy beforehand. My attitude towards stuff like this is: if you can throw $4k in the trash and not miss it, it's none of my business how you spend it. For anyone else, don't waste your money on anything to do with Ethernet!
You're paying for the power supply really in this case.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 1:39 PM Post #5 of 106

bfreedma

The Hornet!
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Posts
3,149
Likes
2,449
I guarantee you that anyone buying this switch couldn't care less about its specs... or how Ethernet actually works. It's strictly a device for wealthy people who are too lazy to research what they buy beforehand. My attitude towards stuff like this is: if you can throw $4k in the trash and not miss it, it's none of my business how you spend it. For anyone else, don't waste your money on anything to do with Ethernet!

I agree in total.

Yet....

Very specific performance claims are going to be made by the people you describe, regardless of how Ethernet actually works or what is even possible within a packetized, buffered, error corrected digital transmission:

The bass was deeper, the mid-range more coherent, noise from a computer 4 Ethernet hops away was reduced. THIS IS A MUST BUY TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If people want to buy whatever and enjoy it, have at it. Just stop making performance claims attempting to drive others to the product whether its affordable for them or not.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 1:57 PM Post #6 of 106

BassicScience

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
1,374
Likes
2,618
You're paying for the power supply really in this case.
Dude, this switch is 100% a digital device. The power supply quality is completely irrelevant to its operation. The only salient difference might be grounding, but all ports (on switches and endpoint devices) are mandated by the Ethernet specification to be galvanically isolated. Hence, also not a factor here.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 2:13 PM Post #7 of 106

BassicScience

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
1,374
Likes
2,618
I agree in total.

Yet....

Very specific performance claims are going to be made by the people you describe, regardless of how Ethernet actually works or what is even possible within a packetized, buffered, error corrected digital transmission:

The bass was deeper, the mid-range more coherent, noise from a computer 4 Ethernet hops away was reduced. THIS IS A MUST BUY TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If people want to buy whatever and enjoy it, have at it. Just stop making performance claims attempting to drive others to the product whether its affordable for them or not.
It's probably easier to try and educate people (who might care) than to enforce manufacturers not making bogus claims. Common sense dictates (at the very least) that claims about audible differences be filtered through a lens of probability. Cables carrying an analog signal can absolutely affect frequency response in some instances (situation dependent). It's also plausible that USB cables/accessories might affect sonics if a DAC's USB port isn't galvanically isolated. There's simply no electrical or logical mechanism for Ethernet equipment to impact sonics, so those claims would need to be verified in a controlled setting for me to entertain them. I'd be willing to bet a very large amount of money they're 100% illusory.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 2:16 PM Post #8 of 106

bfreedma

The Hornet!
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Posts
3,149
Likes
2,449
It's probably easier to try and educate people (who might care) than to enforce manufacturers not making bogus claims. Common sense dictates (at the very least) that claims about audible differences be filtered through a lens of probability. Cables carrying an analog signal can absolutely affect frequency response in some instances (situation dependent). It's also plausible that USB cables/accessories might affect sonics if a DAC's USB port isn't galvanically isolated. There's simply no electrical or logical mechanism for Ethernet equipment to impact sonics, so those claims would need to be verified in a controlled setting for me to entertain them. I'd be willing to bet a very large amount of money they're 100% illusory.

Check my posting history - unfortunately, it presents clear evidence that educating people who have already bought into the manufacturers claims doesn't work in almost all cases.

To anyone who works in digital transmission with knowledge of Ethernet, its painfully obvious that the manufacturers claims are simply not possible. Again, this does not matter to the consumers of these products.

Edit - anyone concerned about USB isolation can solve that problem with a $10 powered USB hub. No need for a multi thousand dollar solution.
 
Last edited:
Nov 21, 2022 at 2:31 PM Post #9 of 106

BassicScience

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
1,374
Likes
2,618
Check my posting history - unfortunately, it presents clear evidence that educating people who have already bought into the manufacturers claims doesn't work in almost all cases.

To anyone who works in digital transmission with knowledge of Ethernet, its painfully obvious that the manufacturers claims are simply not possible. Again, this does not matter to the consumers of these products.

Edit - anyone concerned about USB isolation can solve that problem with a $10 powered USB hub. No need for a multi thousand dollar solution.
All true, but I'm not trying to educate people who don't want to be educated (been there, done that; it doesn't work), and life's too short to waste time or emotional energy on other people's purchasing decisions. I guess for people with a technical education, all of this stuff is obvious, but I don't think you need a B.S. in engineering to understand the basics, especially when it comes to digital components.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 3:30 PM Post #10 of 106

Ciggavelli

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Posts
2,360
Likes
4,740
Location
Houston
Dude, this switch is 100% a digital device. The power supply quality is completely irrelevant to its operation. The only salient difference might be grounding, but all ports (on switches and endpoint devices) are mandated by the Ethernet specification to be galvanically isolated. Hence, also not a factor here.
I don't own this product, I was just telling you why it is priced the way it is
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 4:01 PM Post #11 of 106

bfreedma

The Hornet!
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Posts
3,149
Likes
2,449
All true, but I'm not trying to educate people who don't want to be educated (been there, done that; it doesn't work), and life's too short to waste time or emotional energy on other people's purchasing decisions. I guess for people with a technical education, all of this stuff is obvious, but I don't think you need a B.S. in engineering to understand the basics, especially when it comes to digital components.

This is 2022 - facts are so 2010 - unfortunately, uneducated subjective opinions carry weight these days, regardless of the technical impossibilities.

That said, I agree - people can buy whatever they like for whatever reason they want. I only push back when (impossible) objective claims are made for the purpose of encouraging others to waste spend money.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 4:48 PM Post #12 of 106

BassicScience

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
1,374
Likes
2,618
This is 2022 - facts are so 2010 - unfortunately, uneducated subjective opinions carry weight these days, regardless of the technical impossibilities.

That said, I agree - people can buy whatever they like for whatever reason they want. I only push back when (impossible) objective claims are made for the purpose of encouraging others to waste spend money.
Snake oil in audio existed well before 2010, unfortunately. I find it interesting that no one markets expensive Ethernet switches under the pretext that, for example, your network printer will deliver crisper text and images with it. The temporal nature of hearing makes direct comparisons far less practical and reliable than comparing two images side by side, so people end up being more easily swayed by expectation bias in the context of audio.

FWIW, I would find it really interesting if any forum users who own this product would perform an informal experiment such as having a family member randomly put either the generic or designer switch (obviously obscured from view) in the user's system each listening session, and the user recording their guess as to which they had listened to. No pressure, no unnatural conditions. If they could demonstrate the ability to discern them blind over a statistically significant number of trials, they would finally shut all of us naysayers up. Sadly, I'm not expecting any volunteers.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 5:25 PM Post #13 of 106

Ciggavelli

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Posts
2,360
Likes
4,740
Location
Houston
I think there is another angle here. People at summit-fi want to maximize sound quality to the tenth of a percentage point. They may be buying this just because they have tweaks for every other part of their chain, and might think, sh!t why not get a tricked out ethernet switch? It can't hurt right?

I mean I have an EtherREGEN and a fancy ethernet cable for that exact reason. I haven't upgraded to the PhoenixNET, because I mainly listen to local files and I don't really even know how it could help me, even if it were to work or not. I have the PhoenixUSB and it does make a big noticeable difference. Innuos is probably capitalizing off the good reviews and customer feedback from the PhoenixUSB with the PhoenixNet.

Also, just because it doesn't make logical sense that something should work doesn't mean it doesn't work. People make innovations all of the time that defy previously held beliefs about technology.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 5:50 PM Post #14 of 106

BassicScience

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
1,374
Likes
2,618
I think there is another angle here. People at summit-fi want to maximize sound quality to the tenth of a percentage point. They may be buying this just because they have tweaks for every other part of their chain, and might think, sh!t why not get a tricked out ethernet switch? It can't hurt right?

I mean I have an EtherREGEN and a fancy ethernet cable for that exact reason. I haven't upgraded to the PhoenixNET, because I mainly listen to local files and I don't really even know how it could help me, even if it were to work or not. I have the PhoenixUSB and it does make a big noticeable difference. Innuos is probably capitalizing off the good reviews and customer feedback from the PhoenixUSB with the PhoenixNet.

Also, just because it doesn't make logical sense that something should work doesn't mean it doesn't work. People make innovations all of the time that defy previously held beliefs about technology.
As stated earlier, I'm totally fine with how anyone chooses to spend their money on audio gear. Even if they only imagine they're hearing a difference (where none actually exists), it may be worth the money to them. OTOH, there are people who do care that money spent on their system is actually doing something tangible, or who have a limited budget and are trying to figure out how to get the most bang for their bucks. For those people, posting glowing reviews about improvements that you may be imagining is doing them a disservice.

I don't want to get into the whole "technology/science doesn't understand everything" detour. In the context of this product, everything is thoroughly understood. Why don't you volunteer to do the experiment I proposed above with your EtherREGEN and/or fancy Ethernet cable? Don't you have any intellectual curiosity to find out if they're actually affecting the sound quality of your system? You'd literally be advancing audio science if you could prove they are.
 
Nov 21, 2022 at 6:00 PM Post #15 of 106

Ciggavelli

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Posts
2,360
Likes
4,740
Location
Houston
As stated earlier, I'm totally fine with how anyone chooses to spend their money on audio gear. Even if they only imagine they're hearing a difference (where none actually exists), it may be worth the money to them. OTOH, there are people who do care that money spent on their system is actually doing something tangible, or who have a limited budget and are trying to figure out how to get the most bang for their bucks. For those people, posting glowing reviews about improvements that you may be imagining is doing them a disservice.

I don't want to get into the whole "technology/science doesn't understand everything" detour. In the context of this product, everything is thoroughly understood. Why don't you volunteer to do the experiment I proposed above with your EtherREGEN and/or fancy Ethernet cable? Don't you have any intellectual curiosity to find out if they're actually affecting the sound quality of your system? You'd literally be advancing audio science if you could prove they are.
Because I'm going to come back and tell you they don't have trained or experienced ears. Like non-audiophiles may prefer Bose headphones on Beats over say the Focal Utopia or Abyss 1266 TCs

Also, you are assuming that people will trust that you know what you are talking about. People who don't have a background in electrical engineering or whatever are either going to blindly follow you or listen with their ears. If they hear a difference, be that imagined or not, it doesn't matter what you have to say. Basically, it all boils down to who do you trust?

I don't personally think the ethernet switch I have is making a big difference or even a difference at all. It's really hard to tell. I just keep it in because I have it. It's also a reason I haven't felt the need to upgrade to the PhoneixNet. I'm fortunate enough to be able to try these little experiments out. But really, I don't know enough about the science to know if what you are saying is true or not. But I do know enough general science to know that science gets things wrong often and adjusts accordingly. It's kind of the whole point of science to constantly evolve based upon new findings. Who am I to believe? You, the manufacturer, my perhaps faulty subjective ears? There really are no good answers.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top