RANS-1 Hi-Fi Pig Review
Monday, 9th August 2021
Following the excellent reviews of the RANS-1 from Hi-Fi+ and Hi-Fi Critic, online review site Hi-Fi Pig has been putting the network switch through its paces.
A principled approach
The reviewer begins by observing how, over the past year, there has been a growth in the availability of dedicated network switches for the audiophile market. “I have found the inclusion of such a switch to make significant improvements to my system”, he says, and notes that “Russ has produced a switch following his established principles of lowering noise and optimising the PSU”.
It’s also pleasing to hear that he appreciates the subtle design and compact size of the RANS-1: “I have to say aesthetically the RANS-1 was breath of fresh air. My system is set up in a shared living space and I can tuck it away in the corner, on a cabinet and it blends in nicely”.
The switch was tested in a setup consisting of Melco NA1/2 EX server, Moon 280D DAC, Moon 600i amp and Totem Forest Signature speakers along with a Chord Hugo2/2Go portable DAC/Streamer.
His initial reaction was one of surprise at how noticeable the effect of including the RANS-1 was on other components:
“as well as improving the performance of music streamed from cloud services, such as Qobuz, the benefits of having less noise in the network also gave sonic improvements from my Melco network server.”
Auditioning the RANS-1
Auditioning the RANS-1, he found that the effect reminded him of Russ’s demo systems at audio shows, recalling that the music gained a “relaxed, yet detailed and full-bodied character, that would rise and fall only to the demands of the music played”. Listening via the switch he reported that “this was also my first impression of the RANS-1”.
Click here to learn more about RANS-1
Fundamentally, the Russ Andrews device was "more resolving and full-bodied, without hampering the system’s abilities when playing more attacking music" and, compared to his existing audiophile network switch, there was also “more sense of space and air".
Streaming Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela’s Rejoice in 24/96, compared to yet another, similarly priced, audiophile switch, “the RANS-1’s more relaxed and resolving presentation” was evident, and “the music seemed to possess equally good timing qualities, but you had to listen for those attributes, rather than them being pointed out”.
The “sense of ambience and acoustic space was better resolved via the RANS-1”, he continues, “with the drums having very slightly more sense of body” . Moving onto another Qobuz 24/44.1 stream, this time Agnes Obel’s Citizen of Glass, he suggested that the RANS-1 gave instruments “more body and slightly more ambience”.
In conclusion, he writes that the switch is well built and subtly attractive, and says he “really enjoyed the performance of the RANS-1... It is certainly a step above the entry-level audiophile switch I have been using [and] holds its own with the competition at the higher price point”.
A “worthy addition to the expanding audiophile switch market” that “will delight both RA’s already contented customers and draw in new buyers, who simply love what it does for the performance of their networked systems.
For me, it looks great and delivered first-class results”.
Publication date: 4 August 2021
Read the full Hi-Fi Pig review here:
Click here to buy RANS-1
Click here to read about the Hi-Fi Critic review
Click here to read about the Hi-Fi+ review
Written By Simon Dalton