ADOT’s new suite of audiophile-grade optical fibre kits deliver better sound quality from audio streaming
ADOT MC01 media convertor hifi network website 1

ADOT (Audiophile Digital Optical Technology) is a new company with a direct connection to Melco Syncrets in Japan, specialising in optical fibre upgrade kits for better sound quality when streaming music over networks.

ADOT’s technology optimises the functionality of audio over fibre. The company’s plug ‘n’ play optical fibre upgrade kits introduce high-quality fibre in place of the noisy copper found in Ethernet connections, effectively isolating hi-fi systems from interference. The kits are placed between residential routers and hi-fi systems, and allow the technology to isolate audio networks from residential networks.

The kits are based around ADOT’s MC01 media convertor, which converts the (copper) RJ45 Ethernet cable from the router, to a high-quality SFP fibre connection. Streaming devices already equipped with an SFP input, such as the Melco Audio S100 data switch, can readily accept the fibre connection, however, other devices can also benefit, simply by adding a second MC01 media convertor linked via optical fibre cable.

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The ADOT project is led by Melco Audio’s Surrey-based UK and European distributor, ADMM, to optimise the functionality of audio over fibre. ADMM, along with a team of Melco users and technology partners worked to establish the best performance from the technology, knowing that the total isolation of copper-based networks using optical fibre brings immediate sound quality benefits.

ADOT technology is fundamentally straightforward: the Ethernet cable from the router, which normally connects to data switches feeding hi-fi systems, is ‘broken’ by the insertion of a media converter which converts copper to fibre, which gives the isolation, before the data is converted back to copper, but without any noise or interference.

Three ADOT kit options are available: MC01 Kit 1, 2 and 3. Each comprises a MC01 media convertor, a 1.5 m Duplex fibre cable, plus a matched pair of Duplex SFP fibre adapters. The MC02 kit adds a linear power supply and the MC03 kit adds a custom-built PLiXiR low-noise power supply with three-stage noise reduction.

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Above: (left) Melco Audio S100 data switch with direct SFP connection and one MC01 media convertor; (right) Melco Audio N100 digital music library (without direct SFP connection) using two MC01 media convertors.

About the fibre

The fibre has to match the design parameters of the SFP adapters, so the supplied Duplex fibre is paired with the SFP adapters. Connectivity of the fibre adapters is critical and so the terminations are all factory-made in clean-room conditions and 1.5 m lengths mean that the devices can be tucked out of the way, behind hi-fi systems.

The fibre is less than 3 mm in diameter and is ideally suited for making the connection between routers and hi-fi systems, even in the largest homes or even between buildings (there is a limit of several hundred metres for the fibre link). ADOT can supply standard lengths of optical fibre up to 50 m, or supply custom cables up to 200 m; all are clean-room-assembled and supplied with individual performance tables.

The MC01 media convertor is constructed to Enterprise Standards, extending to the massive Ethernet magnetics that couple to the copper part of the network.
Additional information: The benefits of upgrading to fibre ADOT’s engineers recognise that analogue audio is delicate, but digital audio is equally as delicate and data needs to be treated with great respect to deliver the full potential of today’s high-resolution digital music.

Behind the 1’s and 0’s, the electrical signals are still analogue and are susceptible to influence from noise and interference. Additionally, noise damages the integrity of pulse edges: the uncertain transition point of a noisy pulse edge results in timing errors and jitter.

Audio designers go to great lengths to minimise noise problems within hardware, but external influences are a different matter. Network-connected components are at risk from noise and interference, as well as malformed data. Using a high-performance audiophile data switch, such as the Melco S100, ensures that the data is as pristine as possible and switch management ensures that errant data packets are not presented to the hi-fi system.

But, the Ethernet cabling is still a risk, being connected to noisy IT-type devices in the home, plus the cable is also an effective antenna, capturing EMC from the environment. Copper wire, used for Ethernet cables, is effective at conducting data, but is equally effective at conducting all manner of interference as well.
The solution is to break the conducted signal, including any interference and isolate the hi-fi system. By using fibre optics, the data can still be communicated to the digital components, but without the risk of introducing any conducted interference and noise.

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Price and availability

All ADOT kits are available now via ADMM (Audiophile Digital Music Masters), the Melco distributor, and supplied with a two-year warranty. 

MC01 Kit 1 £349

MC01 Kit 2 £399

MC01 Kit 3 £750; additional MCO1 convertor (to allow use of a device that does not have SFP port) £179
ADOT fibre is available in 5 m, 10 m, 15 m and custom lengths of up to 200 m from £20