help_outline Skip to main content

San Francisco Audiophile Foundation

News / Articles

My new inexpensive Fiber/Ethernet Bridge

John Hughes | Published on 5/29/2023

My new inexpensive Fiber/Ethernet Bridge

By  John Hughes

I first started using and recommending to our music server customers putting in a "Fiber Bridge" (Ethernet > Fiber > Ethernet) in 2005 when I was working with VRS Audio Solutions,  So I am well aware of the sonic benefits of isolating the noise that is carried on ethernet.  The last one I put in my system was about 5 years ago and I used the cheapest switch/media boxes and fiber I could find ( think it cost me $60).  I added a cheap LPS to the switch on the clean side of the network, which did make a small difference at the time. I also use high quality Cat8 cables with Telegartner plugs on every run from my cable router.  

I've been reading up on the newer technologies and specs that keen audiophiles here, in the AfterDark forum, and other places have been saying makes a significant difference.  Seems the Finisar SFP+ optical modules are the best and Commscope single mode fiber.  I was able to purchase a set on Ebay delivered for about $120.  I chose a switch that had two ethernet ports so I can have clean data not only to my Lumin U2 Mini w/LPS, but I can also now connect my Nvidia Shield Video Streamer w/LPS as well.    Today I got all the parts and swapped this for my older boxes and fiber, I used the same power supplies since all these boxes are speced the same in this regard. It worked instantly and I was up and running.  

At first it sounded a bit rough, but after 8 hours I can clearly hear a difference. There is a significant improvement in air, space, soundstage, treble refinement.  The acoustic envelope around instruments/voices has become much clearer. It will be interesting to see if it improves even more with time.   The Shield also sounds clearer, though its not nearly as dramatic. Once I get settled with these I may look at upgrades to more audiophile bits and pieces.  But its well worth the money already.