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Podcast #43 – Do ‘audiophile’ network switches REALLY sound better?

  • Chatting with Michael Lavorgna on the phone two and half weeks ago, he told me that of the stack of Silent Angel hardware he’d recently reviewed for Twittering Machines, only the Bonn N8 network switch (€549) left him cold. “It didn’t really do anything that I could tell”, he said (or words to that effect). What Lavorgna didn’t know at the time of our New Year’s conversation was that I too had experienced the Silent Angel Bonn N8.

    I’d purchased the Silent Angel switch on a what-the-hell moment three years ago, inserted it into my hi-fi system and waited for the audible lift. Expectation bias, according to some, would have already hog-tied my conscious mind and driven it out of state: I would hear a difference even if none were present because I had expected to hear a difference. Lucky for me, expectation bias had kidnapped the wrong man. I noted no audible difference between the Silent Angel Bonn N8 and the outgoing €25 tp-link switch. A week later, I cut back to the €25 tp-link (albeit for a day) but with no hit to sound quality. I tried a different network streamer and performed the A/B test again. Still nothing. Why was expectation bias failing to cast its reportedly irresistible spell on me? Three years down the line, why had it not seduced Lavorgna?

    I suggested to Michael that our collective findings with the Bonn N8 could form the basis of a podcast conversation. Into the mix I would add my thoughts on recent reports from the UK about vinyl and CD sales and Lavorgna would discuss his forthcoming phono stage review extravaganza.

    Listen via SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn or the embedded player below:

    👉🏻As mentioned in this episode…

    Sony and FiiO portable players

    totaldac d1 unity, d1 triunity and d1 sublime

    PS Audio DirectStream DAC MK2

    Silent Angel Genesis Word Clock

    Silent Angel Bonn N8

    10 hi-fi products I am keen to review this year

    Did vinyl REALLY outsell CDs in the UK last year?

    Jonathan Wilson – Rare Birds (2018)

    Giacinto Scelsi: Natura Renovatur (2006)

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    I’ll have to go sideways…

    NAD’s CS1 is a more affordable Spotify, Tidal & Roon endpoint