Blog: Chord Company Launch English Electric 8Switch Network Switch

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Chord Company Launch English Electric 8Switch Network Switch


In the world of streaming music, there is a belief that digital signals by their nature are immune to the failings of analogue transmission – but it’s not that simple – and even the most hardened digital sceptic may be surprised at what can be achieved with a high specification Ethernet switch.

Listening to streamed music is not just about measurements and numbers. While both elements have important roles during product design and development, the real test for music lovers is how it sounds…

The 8switch by English Electric (a Chord Company brand), is an 8 port GbE Ethernet switch modified and upgraded to our specific requirements for high-performance music streaming networks.


What’s inside?

The 8Switch is a high-quality eight-port GbE Ethernet switch designed to deliver high-quality sound from music streamed over a network. Cosseted by a high-quality machined aluminium enclosure, which offers excellent protection from both acoustic and electrical noise, the 8Switch comprises eight audio-grade 100/1000 Base-T gigabit Ethernet ports, with high and low electrical noise isolation, reducing troublesome data issues when streaming music over a network.

A discreet LED display on the front panel includes power, alarm and the link status/speed for each of the eight ports. Resonance-damping feet are also featured to help decouple the 8Switch from unwanted mechanical vibration. Each 8Switch is also supplied with a Chord Company C-Stream digital streaming cable (0.75m) worth £40.

With data switches requiring high-speed power supplies, negating the use of linear power devices due to their speed limitations, English Electric’s engineers set about improving the power signal by using an extremely high-quality wall supply. The advanced medical-grade power adaptor permits an optimum-quality network signal, driven by high-accuracy clock technology and has been designed to reduce electrical noise from AC sources, and prevent mains quality issues from affecting network signals. The 8Switch also boasts high power efficiency, a no-load power consumption of < 0.075 W, plus protection from short circuit, overload and over-voltage.



8Switch core technologies

The 8Switch is driven by a customised TCXO (Temperature Compensation Crystal Oscillator) with accuracy rated at 0.1ppm: far higher than normal crystals and higher than a normal TCXO, allowing the 8Switch to generate higher-accuracy network signals, which in turn, help provide more stable music-data transmission.

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 reduce noise further from the digital circuit. Compared to a standard IT network switch, music lovers can expect increased performance and a lower jitter measurement, up to 90 per cent less!


Casing & Power Supply

The machined aluminium enclosure offers excellent protection from both acoustic and electrical noise.

The minimal LED display on the front panel includes power, alarm and the link status/speed for each of the 8 ports.

The medical-grade power adaptor has been designed to reduce electrical noise from AC power and prevent mains quality issues from affecting the network signals. It also boasts high power efficiency, a no-load power consumption < 0.075W and protection from short circuit, overload and over-voltage.

Switches require high speed power supplies so we could not opt for a linear power source due to their speed limitations. We set about improving the power signal by using an extremely high-quality wall supply. This clean supply permits an optimum quality network signal, driven by high-accuracy TCXO clock technology.


For more information about the English Electric 8Switch Network Switch call us on 01482 223096 or email shop@fanthorpes.co.uk

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