English Electric (Chord Company) 16Switch Ethernet Switch
An audio-grade two-zone 16-port or 2 x 8 port switch with TXCO clocks in a machined aluminum enclosure
Audiophiles buy streaming digital sources with low-noise external power supplies, high-quality clocks, and high-bandwidth DACs that can reproduce the tiniest whisper, and then connect a noisy $12 wall-wart-powered product directly in the signal path. Anyone who has focused on optimizing their digital system will know that network upgrades make significant improvements to sound quality.
These improvements come from better clocking, lower noise, and better noise rejection. They are heard as blacker backgrounds, better inner detail, microdynamics, and greater ease and musical flow.
A dual-zone switch
The English Electric 16switch is an audio grade 16-port gigabit streaming network switch made by the Chord Company (a cable company not to be confused with Chord Electronics, which makes DACs).
It is a two-zone, dual power supply Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) device which brings the proven benefits of the 8Switch to larger networks and features 2x independent rows of eight high-quality Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can be used as two independent eight-way switches or connected and used as one 16-way device.
The 16Switch is also supplied with rack-mount brackets and bolts to allow mounting in a 19-inch rack (1U height). When rack-mounted, the case has both front and rear rack-mounting locations, allowing the sockets to be either forward- or rear-facing in the installation.
Suitable for home networks
The discreet front-panel LED display includes power, alarm, link status and link speed for the 16 ports; the 100/1000 Base-T Gigabit Ethernet ports are suitable for all home network appliances.
With data switches requiring high-speed power supplies, the use of linear power devices is negated, due to speed limitations. The 16Switch stays with this philosophy and each zone is powered by its own high-quality low-noise power supply. These advanced A/V-grade power supplies permit an optimum-quality network signal, with each zone being driven by high-accuracy clock technology which has been designed to reduce electrical noise from AC sources, and significantly reduce mains quality issues from affecting network signals. The 16Switch also boasts high power efficiency, a no-load power consumption of < 0.075 W, plus protection from short circuit, overload and over-voltages for each zone.
Listening to streamed music is not just about measurements and numbers. We believe the 16Switch’s performance can surprise even the most hardened digital skeptic. The improved network signal quality can deliver significant benefits in music and video playback, whether streamed or via NAS drives.
Powered by a customized TCXO (Temperature Compensation Crystal Oscillator), accuracy is 0.1 ppm – far higher than normal crystals and higher than a normal TCXO, allowing the 16Switch to generate higher accuracy network signals. Jitter is reduced by as much as 90% over a conventional switch.
The power supply and clock generation circuits each have two electrical noise isolation circuits which ensure stable network signals. An EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) absorber helps to further reduce the noise from the digital circuit.
The machined aluminum enclosure offers excellent protection against both acoustic and electrical noise. The A/V-grade power adaptor has been designed to reduce electrical noise from AC power and prevent mains quality issues from affecting the network signals.
- A/V-grade PSU
- Custom TCXO clocking
- Sixteen shielded Ethernet ports
- Can also function as two 8-port switches
- Free Chord Company C-Stream digital streaming cable, 0.75 m