Country of Origin


M12 Switch Magic

This review first appeared in June 2019 on By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of Dawid Grzyb or Telegärtner- Ed.

Reviewer: Dawid Grzyb
Sources: FIDATA HFAS-S10U, LampizatOr Pacific
USB: iFi audio iGalvanic3.0, micro iUSB3.0, 3 x Mercury cables
Preamplifier: Accuphase C-2150
Amplifier: Accuphase P-4500
Speakers: Boenicke Audio W8
Interconnects: Audiomica Laboratory Erys Excellence
Speaker cables: Audiomica Laboratory Ceres Excellence, LessLoss C-MARC
Power delivery: Gigawatt PC-3 SE EVO+, Gigawatt PF-2 + Gigawatt LC-2 MK2 + Forza AudioWorks Noir Concept/Audiomica Laboratory Ness Excellence, LessLoss C-Marc
Rack: Franck Audio Accessories Wood Block Rack
Music: NativeDSD
Retail price of reviewed components in EU (incl. VAT): €2'550

Several years back, the fancy notion of audiophile network components tickling many a hifi enthusiast would have been very odd to put it mildly. But today that's no longer the case. To find out why LAN devices such as this Telegärtner M12 Switch Magic are getting more popular is my job so let's dig in.

In the beginning, hifi is quite straightforward. It doesn't take much to start out in this hobby. It's when one decides to go deeper that more and more layers await discovery. The search for new items to upgrade their sound quality can take unaware consumers to truly bizarre places which aren't occupied by the usual suspects of speakers, amps and sources. This bottomless pit is also where today's product lives. That's because it's a network switch. Most people will struggle to call it audio related to begin with, much less a proper audiophile's tool. If you've been wondering whether such an item can fit our description, my review's goal is to address this matter head on. Granted, this assignment would have fallen outside my comfort zone not more than several months back. It tackles a very specific network subject which many won't view associated with sound quality at all. Routers along with smartphones or tablets create handy wireless UI schemes, hence are no more than convenient LAN bits not directly involved in the signal path.

That's because in network-based hifi, the music stream often doesn't run through routers to make calling such devices critical for sound quality seem silly. Which in fact was my mind set for years. Then getting introduced to one inconspicuous item in late 2018 was all it took to see how inaccurate my view had been. So let's backtrack to the fidata HFLC network cable I reviewed. Its impact on my setup was very audible which left me puzzled. Eventually all the pieces formed a mental picture which made a lot of sense. My old SMPS-powered Linksys WRT160N router passed its electrical noise via direct connection to fidata's HFAS1-XS20U storage/streamer whereas the same maker's HFLC cable kept contamination at bay to an audible degree.

Despite of its usage having not even been optimal in my setup, the Japanese cable still proved surprisingly potent. This educational experience not only reminded me yet again that in audio everything matters including connections apparently not crucial but it also incentivized me to pursue more network components in the future. Today is that day.