Thunder Data, the company behind Silent Angel, is releasing a power supply for the Bonn N8 switch with the Silent Angel Forester F1 , as an upgrade on the wall plug in the box. This power supply is suitable for powering two switches at the same time or a switch and a Raspberry Pi. Neatly executed in a metal housing, equal in width to the Bonn N8, but higher and deeper. The short version of the following: whoever is happy with his Bonn N8 ethernet switch, there are many among our readers, given the numbers sold according to retailers and importer, can now make another big step forward for the same amount.
Of course we are again on thin ice, because prejudices say: “a switch cannot make a difference, let alone the power supply of a switch”. If you are convinced of this, then further reading is pointless. When in doubt: continue.
Silent Angel Forester F1: black and small
The Silent Angel Forester F1 linear power supply claims features such as a total absence of noise and the prevention of corrupt data, and it always supplies enough power. In the box you will find the power supply, a power cord, two 60cm connection cables for switches with 5.5mm x 2.1mm DC plugs and a USB cable for powering a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with USB to micro-USB type C The Forester F1 features:
– An encapsulated toroidal transformer
– A symmetrically designed circuit
– Fast MOSFET semiconductors with low intrinsic noise
– EMI filter
– Dual outputs, also via USB
– Dampened metal housing
A toroidal transformer offers the advantage of a smaller stray field compared to another type of transformer, can deliver a lot of current quickly, is efficient and has a smaller size. A symmetrical current circuit, as in any balanced circuit, eliminates its own noise because the two parts operate in opposite phase. MOSFETs monitor the output voltage and ensure that it is kept stable at 5 volts. According to Silent Angel, a MOSFET reacts faster than a normally deployed voltage controller, so the ripple in the output voltage is less. The F1 measures 155 x 115 x 58mm and weighs 1.3kg. It supplies 2x 5 Volt at 2A, as LEDs has 2x status and 2x overload. The power supply is only available in black. The Forester F1 consumes only 3 to 4 Watts with one switch connected, which is not much more than the wall plug.- already extensively tested – and set at € 395.
In my small listening room, a Bonn N8 is connected to an AudioQuest Niagara 1200 mains filter and in the center of the meter cupboard, where my Roon NUC is also located, is a second Bonn N8 fed via an Isotek EVO3 Sirius filter, always with its own Bonn N8 mains supply. Ethernet cables are AudioQuest Carbon between the switches and AudioQuest Vodka to the equipment. I listen with a Metrum Ambre Roon endpoint, a Metrum Adagio DAC, CODA CSib V1 integrated amplifier and Falcon LS3 / 5a speakers. Most relevant is to swap the supplied Bonn wall plug with the F1 power supply in the listening room. Of course I also try it out with the switch in the hall closet.
From the box to the wall plug
What happens if I replace the regular Bonn N8 power supply with the Forester F1? It is remarkable, although that is not possible at all and cannot be demonstrated with a decibel meter, that the music seems to play louder. The following is the total tranquility that gives voice and each instrument more space, creates its own place in the space and gets closer to the listener. Both closer and further away thanks to the increased depth in the stereo image. Height placement and width make no difference.
The separation of voices and instruments makes second voices distance themselves from the first, so easily that I wonder what there is to get out of the total system. On a scale from 1 to 10, impact is normally at 8 in this system, which now certainly rises to 9 – despite the small reflectors. It is not even so much an increase in details, space, depth or timbre, the Forester F1 creates an impression where everything is bigger, more intense, brighter, more interesting and more colorful. From HD television to Ultra HD. The grain becomes finer, the background quieter, the experience increases further in a beautiful system.
If I remove the Forester F1, a gray veil arises that I have never been so aware of and which until now could only be lifted with a Melco S100 ethernet switch with a SBooster power supply. The stereo image shrinks without the F1, music flows into each other, and electronically created space in recordings becomes irritating rather than interesting. Music gets busy, closes, is a lot less interesting. Is the set suddenly not beautiful anymore? Oh yes, built up with love and effort it is still more than worth sitting here – but it can be better again. The price of 395 euros for the upgrade actually contrasts sharply with the price of, for example, upgrading my speaker cables, power supply and even recently the crossover filters in the speakers. Things that sometimes cost a lot more and did not always make such a difference.
Then I change the standard Silent Angel wall plug for the Forester F1 in the hallway – with a perceptible effect, but to a lesser extent than when I took the switch from the set. The win rate is somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, no higher. The question is whether the expenditure of just under four hundred euros for a switch elsewhere in my network is justified. Is the F1 on the switch at the streamer mandatory in my setup, the hall will come another time. I much prefer to hang the F1 on the switch next to the set for maximum profit.
Always that flow
Whatever you try with audio, the power supply is always an essential part. In all cases, poor nutrition will lead to an inadequate result, a healthy diet to a good result, optimal nutrition to more realism, experience, deeper timbre and finesse. It is still a strange and inexplicable fact for many that a network switch affects an audio system with streaming, it becomes even more inscrutable that even the power supply of a switch can make a significant difference.
Silent Angel supplies a switch that has become popular, for which the brand has now developed an upgrade in the form of the Forester F1 power supply. I cannot explain the improvement in the display in almost all areas, let alone measure it, but I can observe it very clearly. In short, if you are happy with the Silent Angel Bonn N8 Ethernet switch and want to take a step forward with your streaming audio system, consider the Silent Angel Forester F1. Only try if you have the money, I’ve already fallen.
PLUS POINTS of SILENT ANGEL FORESTER F1
- Richer sound
- More definition
- Larger stereo image
- Better power cord possible
MINUSES of SILENT ANGEL FORESTER F1
- Slightly higher power consumption than the wall plug