Taiko Audio Extreme Router

Christiaan Punter

Well-Known Member
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Introduction

Housed in a beautiful 22 x 22 x 5 cm / 9 x 9 x 2 inch solid copper chassis, the Taiko Audio Extreme Router yields a significant lowering of noise using two mechanisms. First, it controls the amount and flow of data by creating a dedicated audio-only network for the Extreme Music Server. Secondarily, it allows the user’s Control Point (usually a tablet) to connect to its built-in Wi-Fi functionality for controlling the Extreme Music Server. The Wi-Fi functionality has been very carefully implemented and optimized for the best Sound Quality. With these combined techniques, the Extreme Music Server is isolated from the traffic generated by the home network.

The Extreme Router is pre-configured for Port-Forwarding to enable the use of tablets via your regular existing Wi-Fi Access Point to control Roon on the Extreme Music Server and stream to an external Roon Endpoint, if desired. However, the best performance is obtained by connecting the control device to the Extreme Router’s built-in Wi-Fi. The Router can also be configured to enable VNC, TeamViewer, and File Sharing, but this has not been implemented by default.

The Extreme Router is designed to work in tandem with the Extreme Switch to yield a stunning combined increase in sound quality. The sound quality can be even further elevated by adding the Extreme DC Power Distributor or one of our upcoming BPS solutions.

The Extreme Router (and Switch) are most effective with our Extreme Music Server, but the combo can also be used with other manufacturer’s servers or streamers.

Features
  • The Router creates a separate clean Audio-only network in series with (connected downstream of) your Internet Service Provider-supplied modem/router or any other router
  • By connecting an external USB drive, the Router can serve as a NAS for music storage
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Ports and connections
  • 1 SFP port that can accept a DAC cable. Note that this SFP port only works with 1Gb connections. It will not work with 100mbit connections
  • 4 RJ45 ports, of which 3 can be used when the DAC port is enabled. Note that the 4th RJ45 port on the far right cannot be used simultaneously with the SFP port
  • 1 USB port that can be used to connect SSD- or HDD drives to enable using the Router as a NAS for music storage
  • Factory Reset button
Power

The Router is powered by any normal 12-19V DC power supply. A standard wall-wart power supply is included, which will provide superb sonic results. However, a higher-end power supply will provide further improvements. The best current solution is to add the Extreme DC Power Distributor. This allows you to power both the Extreme Switch and Router from the same power supply while offering improved performance over 2 separate power supplies.

For the ultimate in Sound Quality, the Router may also be powered by our new to-be-released Taiko Audio BPS (Battery Power Supply).

Router LEDs

The Router has 2 LEDs that indicate the system status.

Router_LEDS_4X3A4159_1600pix.jpg
The Green ‘POWER’ LED indicates that power is on and the Router is starting.

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The Orange ‘ON’ LED indicates that the Router is ready for use.

Specifications


Power input: 12-19V DC. (12V is the optimal voltage)

Current draw at 12V: 500mA natively. Note that the total current draw depends on the supplied voltage.

Earth Screw: M6 with 4mm hex screwdriver hole (use screw length and or washers as needed)

Product Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 6 cm (with feet)

Connector Dimensions: 2.5 inner / 5.5 outer / 11.3mm length (14mm recommended)

Weight: 13.1 Kg / 28.7 lbs


Extreme Router PCB Top Side

Router PCB 06182e02-0c44-48d4-9448-1d98d92fb07e_crop.jpg


Extreme Router PCB Bottom Side

Router PCB Under 0a0172ed-ab58-40e1-9418-40c3155ca1af_crop.jpg


How to connect the Extreme Switch and Extreme Router

Router Connection Schematic_v3_crop zonder header.jpg

Wi-Fi Connectivity Diagram

Taiko Extreme Router Wi-Fi Diagram 4 CP edit.png

Why did we select the SFP interface instead of the usual RJ45?


The ethernet cabling system that we use in our homes is designed to transport large amounts of data at high speeds over an as economical as possible cabling system. For this to work, block coding and error correction enable data to pass through a cheap (economical) cable and connector system without error. The block encoding requires reading the data block into the transmitter, running a mathematical function on the data, and sending the encoded data over the link. The opposite happens at the receiving end, and error correction is applied.

To provide an indication of the processing overhead, this is standardized to take 2.6 microseconds, where the actual data transfer latency is 0.1 microseconds for fiber and 0.3 microseconds for copper (or times 8.6 for copper and times 26 for fiber). But more important is the increase in power consumption, which is between 5 and 25 times higher for RJ45 over SFP (for EACH port).

At first glance, SFP fiber appears to be the ideal solution. Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward as an SFP fiber module, which converts an electrical signal into an optical signal and uses a substantial amount of power. A single fiber SFP module consumes more power than our entire switch design, and the additional noise this generates is multiple times higher than that of the switch itself.

Inside the system, there is an accumulation of several types of noise:
  • Processing noise
  • Noise generated by power consumption (and associated heat)
  • Interface noise
We have managed to achieve the absolute lowest possible noise by minimizing these 3 by designing a Network Card and Switch by producing the lowest possible noise, consuming the lowest possible power, and with the least possible processing overhead around using a so-called DAC SFP cable between Network card and Switch.

What is a DAC cable?

A Direct Attach Copper cable or a “DAC cable” is an Industry-Standard Twinax copper cable terminated with SFP connectors that connects directly the SFP ports (or line cards) within active equipment, such as switches, routers, servers or data storage devices, in a data network.

DAC Cable 4X3A4806_1600pix.jpg

SFP - RJ45 Adapter Modules

Modules are available to convert an SFP port to an RJ45 port to allow the use of regular Ethernet cables, where DAC cables are not an option.

SFP-RJ45 Module_4X3A4807_1600pix.jpg


Factory Reset
The Extreme Router is Plug & Play; a reset should not be required. However, if you have made custom settings and want to revert to default settings, the router can easily be reset using the procedure below.
  • Hold down the ‘Factory Reset’ button and keep it down. Simultaneously press the ‘Reset’ button for 2 seconds. Keep the ‘Factory Reset’ button down.
  • The orange ‘ON’ LED will come on, but keep pressing the Factory Reset button.
  • Next, the orange ‘ON’ LED will start flashing. When it finished flashing, let go of the ‘Factory Reset’.

More info can be found on the Taiko Audio Website

Taiko Audio Extreme Extreme Router Product Page
Taiko Audio Downloads Section
 
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dminches

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For those of you who haven't performed the router firmware upgrade I highly recommend that you do. It has made the 2.4 GHz radio completely reliable and, for me, much stronger. I am now able to access the Extreme via wifi from outside my music room.

The upgrade itself takes less than a minute.
 
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Rhapsody

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Hi Christian, If you have the switch/rotuer/dcd and a user only uses Roon. Does it make a sonic difference if you access Roon through the home network vs going to the Taiko network to access Roon?....thx
 

Taiko Audio

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Hi Christian, If you have the switch/rotuer/dcd and a user only uses Roon. Does it make a sonic difference if you access Roon through the home network vs going to the Taiko network to access Roon?....thx

I hear a difference. The question is if it’s an acceptable compromise for practical usability in your home. It still sounds massively better here controlling it from the upstream network then without using the router at all.
 
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Rhapsody

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I hear a difference. The question is if it’s an acceptable compromise for practical usability in your home. It still sounds massively better here controlling it from the upstream network then without using the router at all.
It's a subtle difference for me if I can really tell at all. If you access Roon from the home network but connecting through the router via the switch/router you are still getting the advantage of the router even if you use the home network to play Roon, correct?????????:)
 

Taiko Audio

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It's a subtle difference for me if I can really tell at all. If you access Roon from the home network but connecting through the router via the switch/router you are still getting the advantage of the router even if you use the home network to play Roon, correct?????????:)

Yes correct!
 
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Rhapsody

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dminches

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Just to be clear, both of you are saying (Emile more than Bob) that the sound is better if you access Roon via your home network (via port forwarding) than via the router directly? If so, is this due to the fact that there is little to no actively on the router wifi and thus no power increase?
 

Rhapsody

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Just to be clear, both of you are saying (Emile more than Bob) that the sound is better if you access Roon via your home network (via port forwarding) than via the router directly? If so, is this due to the fact that there is little to no actively on the router wifi and thus no power increase?
I'm not using port forwarding. I am just opening Roon from my home network and playing it. That's not port forwarding, is it? I never set up port forwarding, which you have to do, correct?
 

Rhapsody

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I'm not using port forwarding. I am just opening Roon from my home network and playing it. That's not port forwarding, is it? I never set up port forwarding, which you have to do, correct?
As you can tell I am confused with this:)
 

dminches

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I'm not using port forwarding. I am just opening Roon from my home network and playing it. That's not port forwarding, is it? I never set up port forwarding, which you have to do, correct?

I thought the router came pre-configured so that Roon was accessible via one's home network. In order to do that I thought you need a port forwarding rule set up or there would be no way to access the Extreme since it is on a different subnet.

Of course, I could be wrong...
 

Rhapsody

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I thought the router came pre-configured so that Roon was accessible via one's home network. In order to do that I thought you need a port forwarding rule set up or there would be no way to access the Extreme since it is on a different subnet.

Of course, I could be wrong...
I DUNNO:) I did not set up anything other than the normal Taiko network. But I can access Roon on my home network. Maybe it was pre-configured??? But I have someone that installed his router yesterday. He has his router connected into the Extreme but didn't get his Taiko network set up yet and he can still play Roon from the home network.
 
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Taiko Audio

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Just to be clear, both of you are saying (Emile more than Bob) that the sound is better if you access Roon via your home network (via port forwarding) than via the router directly? If so, is this due to the fact that there is little to no actively on the router wifi and thus no power increase?

The other way around. Using the Taiko Audio Wi-Fi is best.
 

Taiko Audio

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I thought the router came pre-configured so that Roon was accessible via one's home network. In order to do that I thought you need a port forwarding rule set up or there would be no way to access the Extreme since it is on a different subnet.

Of course, I could be wrong...

The router is preconfigured to pass through Roon traffic. It’s not exactly the same as port forwarding as port forwarding requires knowledge of the destination IP address, which we don’t know.
 
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Rhapsody

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The reason that it is confusing to me is that with XDMS you MUST log onto the Taiko network to access XDMS. But with Roon, even though you are physically connected to the Extreme via the switch/router/dcd you can access Roon from the home network, WITHOUT port forwarding. PF would only be needed if you wanted to use ARC and play music away from your home.

The fact that in my system(s) that it is subtle if I can hear the difference at all, even though I know it should probably sound better when using the Taiko network, when accessing Roon via the Taiko network or my home network, makes me scratch my head.

Psychologically I want to jump onto the Taiko network to interface with Roon, but when I can't hear a difference from accessing Roon from my home network AND IT SOUNDS INCREDIBLE, I end up just accessing Roon from my home network, but of course running the hw connection through the switch/router.

If I was going to sit down and listen critically I would probably access Roon via the Taiko network and for everyday moving around the house I just use the home network to access Roon.

And the beat goes on......
 

Taiko Audio

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The reason that it is confusing to me is that with XDMS you MUST log onto the Taiko network to access XDMS. But with Roon, even though you are physically connected to the Extreme via the switch/router/dcd you can access Roon from the home network, WITHOUT port forwarding. PF would only be needed if you wanted to use ARC and play music away from your home.

The fact that in my system(s) that it is subtle if I can hear the difference at all, even though I know it should probably sound better when using the Taiko network, when accessing Roon via the Taiko network or my home network, makes me scratch my head.

Psychologically I want to jump onto the Taiko network to interface with Roon, but when I can't hear a difference from accessing Roon from my home network AND IT SOUNDS INCREDIBLE, I end up just accessing Roon from my home network, but of course running the hw connection through the switch/router.

If I was going to sit down and listen critically I would probably access Roon via the Taiko network and for everyday moving around the house I just use the home network to access Roon.

And the beat goes on......

The way the XDMS remote connects to the server is currently “dumb” IP address based. A smarter connection method will be incorporated in the future. That will allow us to pass it through the router like Roon now without setting up port forwarding to a fixed IP address.

But let’s get XDMS approved by Tidal first so that we can go from alpha to beta (which will also include the “NSM” sound quality enhancements of which the coding is as good as finished now).
 

dminches

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The other way around. Using the Taiko Audio Wi-Fi is best.

Ok, good. That’s how I have been accessing it. I got confused with your “upstream” and “downstream” comment. Thanks.
 
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VPN

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The way the XDMS remote connects to the server is currently “dumb” IP address based. A smarter connection method will be incorporated in the future. That will allow us to pass it through the router like Roon now without setting up port forwarding to a fixed IP address.

But let’s get XDMS approved by Tidal first so that we can go from alpha to beta (which will also include the “NSM” sound quality enhancements of which the coding is as good as finished now).
Dear Emile, without any guarantees, what is your expected timeframe for the Beta/NSM release?
 

Malcng

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It completely depends on Tidal approval, basically it’s currently out of our hands, all requirements are met / implemented. NSM coding is about finished.

Is Qobuz on the table, or is it Tidal only at this point?
 

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