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  1. #1
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    New SFPs in 'da house!

    Been reading in-depth Emile's posts on another forum about the SFPs that he found to be the best-sounding SFPs, and what he recommends for use with the Taiko Extreme. So, today I got in two of 'em in to try out.

    I got these from Planet Technology Corp., and they are 1000Base-LX single-mode SFPs from MGB-TLX that support transmission up to 20KM over 9/125 fiber.





    I also got in some Corning LC/LC 9/125 fiber to try out as well vs. the Tripp-Lite LC/LC fiber I'm currently using (which has been working fine).


    Going to start out with the optical transceivers first, and then when I get a chance, I'll install the run of the new Corning fiber. Stay tuned...
    Last edited by Puma Cat; March 10, 2023 at 08:01 PM. Reason: edit

  2. #2
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Well, I replaced the Finisar 850 nM transceivers with the 1310 nM Planet Tech MGB-TLX optical transceivers, and I couldn't get the Lumin P1 to see the music server via my EtherREGEN. It may be that the Lumin, the EtherREGEN or both are not compatible with this specification of optical transceiver, OR...that the Tripp-Lite fiber I was using was not compatible.

    So, that experiment was a bust.

    Next thing I'll try is using the Corning 9/125 fiber with the Finisar transceivers and see if that works.

  3. #3
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Okay, update: I just installed the run of Corning Plenum 9/125 fiber; I've got both runs installed next to each other, so I can actually compare different mfrs/specifications of fiber. Both are going to the Finisar 850 nM optical transceivers at this point, and it's working now, compared to using the 1310 nM transceivers with the Tripp-Lite 62.5/125 fiber.

    Stay tuned, more experiments to come...

  4. #4
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Success! After installing the Corning 9/125 fiber I just installed the MGB-TLX 1310 nM optical transceivers, and I'm back up and running! These transceivers sound smoother and sweeter than the Finisar 800nM transceivers when used with the Corning 9/125 fiber, so I suspect there is an transceiver x fiber interaction that is audible.

    Sounds really nice: "smoother and sweeter" than the previous set-up, "airier", and the bass has more definition and body as well.

    Bottom-line: SFP optical transceivers (and very likely, LC/LC fiber)...sound different. Welcome to high-end audio. Doh!

  5. #5
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Success! After installing the Corning 9/125 fiber I just installed the MGB-TLX 1310 nM optical transceivers, and I'm back up and running! These transceivers sound smoother and sweeter than the Finisar 800nM transceivers when used with the Corning 9/125 fiber, so I suspect there is an transceiver x fiber interaction that is audible.

    Sounds really nice: "smoother and sweeter" than the previous set-up, "airier", and the bass has more definition and body as well.

    Bottom-line: SFP optical transceivers (and very likely, LC/LC fiber)...sound different. Welcome to high-end audio. Doh!
    Thanks for sharing!
    "We are all billionaires because of the huge piles sweet dough rolling in from our participation in the ongoing campaign to suck your collective brains through a stirrer-straw." - PTA Editorial Staff

  6. #6
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Bottom-line: SFP optical transceivers (and very likely, LC/LC fiber)...sound different. Welcome to high-end audio. Doh!
    Yeah SFPs definitely sound different. At one time I used those Planet Tech SFPs you mentioned. They disappeared better than a few others I tried. I ultimately landed on Finisar FTLF1324P2BTL, which were discontinued a while ago. These vanished even further.

    I have not experimented with optical fiber. Iíve used only this which is made from 9/125 Corning optical fiber.
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  7. #7
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Hey Kenny,
    I've heard good things about the Finisar FTLX1475D3BCL and the Finisar 1318. The guy that makes the AfterDark master clocks really liked the FTLX1475D3BCL.

    When I first got my ER, I was using TP-Link SFPs and having consistency issues with connectivity in ER's SFP cage. If I just touched ER, sometimes it would "disconnect" or connect intermittently, and I'd have drop outs. Alex sent me a GTek SFP transceiver that was much more reliable. Then I got some Finisar 850nM ones, and those clearly sounded better than the GTek, and that's what I was using up until today. They're compatible with 62.5/125 fiber, but apparently, not with 9/125 fiber.

    i may get a pair of one or the other, or both, and try 'em. Nice thing is they're both compatible with the Corning 9/125 LC/LC single-mode fiber.

    Ha! That's the same 9/125 fiber I just got in as well. I ran it alongside the Tripp-Lite I've been using so far.

    Cheers, and thanks for the input, my friend. It's helpful. 👍

  8. #8
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Hey Kenny,
    I've heard good things about the Finisar FTLX1475D3BCL and the Finisar 1318. The guy that makes the AfterDark master clocks really liked the FTLX1475D3BCL.
    I have tried only the Finisar 1318 out of those you mentioned. It was awfully close to the Finisar 1324 but I thought the top end made the 1318 less of a good fit, but if I never heard the 1324, I could have lived with the 1318. A pair of 1324s set me back only $19 off eBay so itís been really easy to sit tight with those.
    Digital: Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC
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  9. #9
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by kennyb123 View Post
    I have tried only the Finisar 1318 out of those you mentioned. It was awfully close to the Finisar 1324 but I thought the top end made the 1318 less of a good fit, but if I never heard the 1324, I could have lived with the 1318. A pair of 1324s set me back only $19 off eBay so itís been really easy to sit tight with those.
    Thanks, Kenny, very helpful. I'll see if I can snag a pair of the 1324s, you never know, someone may be selling them. In the interim, I may order some of the FTLX1475s and see what those do. I can certainly see how folks might use SFPs to "flavor to taste", which is certainly an interesting "hypothesis" given that "digital" theoretically was "immune" to all this stuff. But, from the perspective of a scientist, all data is useful as it provides a "context for understanding".

    Cheers, buddy!

  10. #10
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    I can certainly see how folks might use SFPs to "flavor to taste", which is certainly an interesting "hypothesis" given that "digital" theoretically was "immune" to all this stuff. But, from the perspective of a scientist, all data is useful as it provides a "context for understanding".
    We each have different sensitivities to noise and our systems react differently to noise as well. I had one loaned out my spare 1324s and spare 1318s. He ended up preferring the 1318s and I believe he purchased them from me.

    Power consumption does vary amongst SFPs. I believe it was lower power consumption that lead Emile to recommend that Planet Tech SFP at one time. He later recommended the 1324 for that same reason, if I remember correctly.

    I had been occasionally powering down my fiber span to see if I could hear differences. I did that by having my opticalModule plugged into a Kasa smart plug. It used to be that I heard a slight improvement with the network powered down. Adding the REF10 and having it provide a reference to the EtherRegen reduced the harm of having the network powered on. Upgrading the REF10 to SE120 either eliminated the difference or gave a slight advantage to having the network powered up. I mentioned that only as it also explains why Iíve held my ground with the 1324s.

    The most shocking thing Iíve encountered in this hobby was finding that I could hear the harm done by the upstream FMC and SFP. It certainly blew a hole in my belief that a span of fiber provides perfect isolation.
    Digital: Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC
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  11. #11
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by kennyb123 View Post
    We each have different sensitivities to noise and our systems react differently to noise as well. I had one loaned out my spare 1324s and spare 1318s. He ended up preferring the 1318s and I believe he purchased them from me.

    Power consumption does vary amongst SFPs. I believe it was lower power consumption that lead Emile to recommend that Planet Tech SFP at one time. He later recommended the 1324 for that same reason, if I remember correctly.

    I had been occasionally powering down my fiber span to see if I could hear differences. I did that by having my opticalModule plugged into a Kasa smart plug. It used to be that I heard a slight improvement with the network powered down. Adding the REF10 and having it provide a reference to the EtherRegen reduced the harm of having the network powered on. Upgrading the REF10 to SE120 either eliminated the difference or gave a slight advantage to having the network powered up. I mentioned that only as it also explains why Iíve held my ground with the 1324s.

    The most shocking thing Iíve encountered in this hobby was finding that I could hear the harm done by the upstream FMC and SFP. It certainly blew a hole in my belief that a span of fiber provides perfect isolation.
    Kenny, what are the REF10 and SE120 you're referring to?

  12. #12
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Kenny, what are the REF10 and SE120 you're referring to?
    Mutec REF10 reference clock and the upgraded REF10 SE120 version.

    MUTEC - Professional A/V and High-End Equipment - REF10

    MUTEC - Professional A/V and High-End Equipment - REF10 SE120
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  13. #13
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by kennyb123 View Post
    Ah, got it. Thanks, Kenny, these are Master clocks.

    FWIW, I added an AfterDark Master clock to my ER, and it made for quite an improvement. Powering it and the ER with the AfterDark LPS...

  14. #14
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Some notes on compatibility:

    1. If you're using 850nm SFP modules, they are usually multi mode, and therefore require a multi mode fiber. Your yellow fiber is single mode fiber (that goes with 1310nm SFP modules) - it is not supposed to be compatible with multi mode SFP modules.

    2. Note that some SFP modules you mentioned are SFP+ 10G, not the SFP 1G that Lumin supports. It is likely that SFP+ modules won't work when plugged into a Lumin P1 / X1 / U2 - I got one user feedback that this indeed does not work. I hope to do test this in the near future.
    Peter Lie
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  15. #15
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Have you tested OM4 fiber (which uses Corning 50/125 fiber) and/or compared it to OS2 (which uses Corning 9/125)?
    Rob
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  16. #16
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    Some notes on compatibility:

    1. If you're using 850nm SFP modules, they are usually multi mode, and therefore require a multi mode fiber. Your yellow fiber is single mode fiber (that goes with 1310nm SFP modules) - it is not supposed to be compatible with multi mode SFP modules.

    2. Note that some SFP modules you mentioned are SFP+ 10G, not the SFP 1G that Lumin supports. It is likely that SFP+ modules won't work when plugged into a Lumin P1 / X1 / U2 - I got one user feedback that this indeed does not work. I hope to do test this in the near future.
    Hi Peter,
    That's very useful information, thank you, Peter. That would explain why the 1310nM modules didn't work with the orange Tripp-Lite 62.5/125mm fiber then, very likely it's multi-mode fiber.

    I'm presently using the yellow Corning 9/126 fiber you recommended with the 1310 nM single-mode SFP modules; it's working well.

  17. #17
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    Have you tested OM4 fiber (which uses Corning 50/125 fiber) and/or compared it to OS2 (which uses Corning 9/125)?
    Hi Rob,
    Are you asking me?

    No, I haven't. I've only been using Tripp-Lite 62.5/125 fiber since setting up my optical system back in 2019, and most recently, Finisar FTLF8519P3BNL SFP optical transceivers with that. That had provided the best connectivity and the Finisar tranceivers provided the best audio quality. I had all sorts of connectivity problems using a TP-Link SFP in the EtherREGEN's SFP cage.

    I installed the Corning 9/125 single-mode fiber (and appropriate 1310 nM SFPs), based on Peter's recommendation of a fiber specification for use with the P1.

  18. #18

    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    I recently entered the sfp world with an Afterdark rosanna diretta optical to usb bridge that uses the diretta network audio protocol asio driver. it made me order some sfp's, some fiber cable and a switch with sfp.

    I really like the improvement in sound the afterdark bridge provides. just cleaner and blacker background. lol I'm not good at flowery srajan ebaen type descriptions

    I can confirm the finisar 1318pbtl work with this yellow 9/125 single mode cable

    "BEYONDTECH LC to LC Fiber Patch Cable Single Mode Duplex - 3m (9.84ft) - 9/125um OS1 LSZH (2 Pack) PureOptics Cable Series" on amazon

  19. #19
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Read elsewhere that the Planet Tech MGB-T40 single-mode SFPs are quite an improvement over the MGB-TLX SFPs I've been using since transition from multi-mode to single-mode fiber for use with my Lumin P1*.

    So....going to run an A/B and see how the new MGB-T40 SFPs pan out...stay tuned.

    *-based on Peter Lie's recommendation of using Corning 9/125 LX/LX single-mode fiber with the Lumin P1.

  20. #20
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    OK clueless old non-tech guy here.

    Do SFPs plug into the ethernet port of 2 pieces of equipment? Thus allowing you to use fiber between the 2 pieces of equipment?

    Thanks
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  21. #21
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Quote Originally Posted by brad225 View Post
    OK clueless old non-tech guy here.

    Do SFPs plug into the ethernet port of 2 pieces of equipment? Thus allowing you to use fiber between the 2 pieces of equipment?

    Thanks
    Hi Brad,
    No, the SFPs are actually a specific class of optical transceivers: Small Form-factor, Pluggable. This type of SFPs are usually of two main types: LC/LC or SC/SC. The LC/LC type of SFPs are the specification typically increasingly used for high-end audio applications, e.g. by mfs. e.g. Lumin, Uptone, Sonore, SOtM, Taiko, etc. Here's an LC/LC SFP shown here. They come in different types e.g. multi-mode 850nM, single-mode 1310nM, and are rated to transmit data for different distances/applications.



    They plug directly in to what is referred to as an "SFP cage", which is the specification for the receiver port for this class of optical transceiver. They are not compatible with RJ45 Ethernet ports, which are completely different, and they are also not the same type of optical connection as TOSLINK, which, if memory serves, are limited to 24/96.

    Here's a pic of an SFP cage on the back of an Ethernet switch...


    Optical has a number of advantages over copper ethernet, including being smaller, thinner, lighter and less expensive to dress than Ethernet, will provide (depending on the spec of the SFP) data over longer distances with less "loss", and most importantly for audio applications, does not pass low-source and high-source impedance leakage current, which have turned out to significant noise factors for digital "streaming" applications where audio quality is of importance. It's also considerably less expensive than running audiophile-grade Ethernet cables over long runs from say, a remote server room to an audio rack. A 30M (~100 ft) run of LC/LC optical fiber only costs about 30 bucks or so.



    So, here's EtherREGEN (aka ER), which the Mac Mini Roon Core in the "remote server room" is connected to via a Sigma Ethernet cable, and with the yellow 9/125 Corning fiber connected to the LC/LC SFP.


    The LC/LC SFP with the yellow 9/125 Corning fiber runs OUT of ER in the remote server room over to the SFP cage of he Lumin P1 in the main audio rack in the listening area; shown in the photo below.

  22. #22
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    Re: New SFPs in 'da house!

    Thanks, that make sense now.
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra, DIY PCOCC interconnects, speaker cables and power cords with Furutech terminations. Blue Jeans CAT 6's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

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