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Ansuz Acoustics PowerSwitch A2 – Part 1

26.02.2021 // Wolfgang Kemper

This review not only deals with the Ansuz switch and its sonic effects when setting up a LAN network, but also the question of the sequence in which a home audio network has to be set up in order to gradually obtain musical enhancement.

Maybe you feel the same way as I do. At some point, in addition to sourcing music in analogue or in digital form through the CD player, I started to implement computer hi-fi as another sound source for listening to high-resolution music files in my system. It is commonly known that there exist two ways to get there. One of them is the one I chose with the music originating in my computer, while being controlled by a player software, running via USB to the D/A converter, and taking the optional detour through a reclocker for means of sonic improvement. Alternatively, the musically superior way, according to prevailing opinions, would use a streamer hardware to source music from a NAS, an integrated hard disk, a computer or a high-quality server via the home network.

In its outward appearance, the much cheaper Ansuz PowerSwitch A2 is identical to the wickedly expensive D-TC Supreme
In its outward appearance, the much cheaper Ansuz PowerSwitch A2 is identical to the wickedly expensive D-TC Supreme

My personal way is quite easy to accomplish and can already be upgraded with a high-quality USB cable. Apart from that, it doesn't require much mental or material effort, neither with an Apple nor with a Windows computer. My colleague Roland Dietl, who is very well versed in digital matters, once said in a review a few months ago that a good CD player can sound better if you take a sloppy approach to music streaming. At that point, at the latest, I asked myself which sequence of setup steps is advisable when building up a music network, since we have to consider that there are various variables in play: router, cables, external linear power supplies, streaming bridge and the currently somewhat hyped device category LAN switch. Therefor is a good reason, however, because there are now a number of switches in various price categories populating the market that are particularly suitable for audio applications. The second cheapest switch of the noble Danish audio company Ansuz has taken seat as my mainstay to explore a reasonable approach to the matter, which fortunately should turn out of not being so complicated at all.

As a source for the internet I am at the mercy of a Telekom hybrid router, which in turn cannot be replaced by another device and, according to the operating instructions, must not be improved with a better external power supply. Since the countryside with its pitiful reception conditions forces me to hinge on this DSL/LTE technology, by having seldomly at best four (!) Mbit of download rate, I, as an enthusiastic Qobuz user, have to rely on a feature that, to my knowledge, only Audirvana Plus offers in this form. This versatile player software runs on my computer under Windows 10 Professional, which is optimized for audio applications with AudiophileOptimizer 3 and used solely for music. In order to listen to high-res files, I need a data buffer that I can easily generate with Audirvana by using the pause button or by moving back the progress bar when dropouts due to the bad Telekom data supply interrupt the music flow. Unfortunately, neither Roon nor the sonically excellent internet streaming software from Highresaudio.com offer this option.

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