Innuos with Rockport, Soulution, and Lampizator plus Stromtank, TAOC, and Transparent

Anyone who knows these brands senses the potential for great sound in this room. Great sound in and of itself, however, was not the system’s raison d’être. Rather, the resolution and quality of components were a means to an end during a demonstration of the ability of the Innuos PhoenixNet audiophile network switch ($4349) to enhance the sound of the Innuos Pulsar Network music player ($7999).

I never expected to hear how diminished a 16/44.1 file of Holly Cole’s "Bright Shiny Day" sounded when the PhoenixNet switch was removed from the equipment chain. With it, we gained, depth, rounder images, significantly more air and transparency, and more credible bass. The differences were anything but subtle.

"The switch reclocks the ethernet signal," Innuos's Amelia Santos explained. "It blocks network traffic, reducing network and electrical noise."

Further comparisons during Chris Stapleton’s "Death Row" and Madeleine Peyroux’s fabulous "Tango 'til They’re Sore" left me anything but. Doing their part: Lampizator Horizon DAC ($49,000), Soulution 325 preamplifier ($28,225) and 511 stereo amplifier ($41,975), Rockport Technologies Atria II loudspeakers ($38,000/pair), Stromtank SEQ-5 power strip ($4875), and TAOC CSR series Rack, and Transparent cabling.