Ethernet Cables in for evaluation

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Puma Cat, May 17, 2019.

  1. rich100

    rich100 Forum Resident

    Middle of England
    This has nothing to do with packets sent over an ethernet cable between two IP endpoints. I acknowledge it might be an issue with USB cables,spdif etc, but not ethernet. If a signal passes through a switch, any switch, the signal is recreated, its what a switch is for as the standard dictates that the longest length is 100M inc patch leads so needs to be 'repeated' at layer 2. These packets are recreated also because they need to be re-encapsulated with relevant MAC headers as that's how switches manage to work and find paths at layer 2 and reduce the amount of collision domains.

    I get why people want to improve their kit, no doubt I have biases in things I buy that others might disagree with, but I get really annoyed at people that peddle this stuff, an audiophile switch for goodness sake I've seen it all now.

    Anyway, if it brings you pleasure good luck to you.

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  2. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    East Bay, CA
    Its got nothing to do with TCP/ has everything to do with what John Swenson discussed in the link I posted above. Did you read that?
  3. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    Midwest USA
    What the hell kind of system ate you talking about? I know for a fact that on my system – and just about any other one involving streaming over an ethernet cable – the audio is streamed from my NUC running Roon & Qobuz along with my FLAC file library (or from whatever, doesn't matter) to my Naim NDX2 using ethernet. That is precisely a TCP/IP transmission. There is no audio bitstream on the ethernet cable from Roon to NDX2, ever. Just IP packets. The NIC on the NUC and the NIC on the NDX2 negotiate the IP transmission. The NDX2 recreates the bitstream from the IP packets it receives over ethernet to start buffering the audio for playback.

    There is no audio bitstream on the ethernet cable. None! It doesn't happen!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  4. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Vallejo, CA
    It’s true that digital signals are transferred via an analog waveform as he says. Because after all, we can’t literally send 1’s and 0’s over copper wire. The problem is he stops there because that’s what is convenient for his argument. The fact that on both ends of the cable the data is in the form of IP packets would get in the way of things so he’s determined it isn’t relevant.

    Again, best to just leave it be.
  5. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    East Bay, CA
    Did you read the posts by John Swenson?
  6. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    East Bay, CA
    The fact there are packets and error correction in the IP protocol is not the issue. The issue is the impact of EMI, RFI, the lack of galvanic isolation, crap clocks in routers and switches, etc., and....low-impedance and high-impedance leakage currents from SMPS' *and* common mode noise all of which is overlaid onto the analog square waves that causes jitter, timing errors, and clock phase noise. All of which is audible.

    Read the articles I posted links to by John Swenson.
  7. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    John Swanson, John Swanson, John Swanson ----- rahhh hooo hooo! Are you a parrot?

    I've heard the expression the someone only "parrots what they've read"

    Can nobody else have an opinion or fact on the matter, other than John Swanson?
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  8. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    East Bay, CA
    I've cited John Swenson because his posts are the most accurate and informative I've found describing why the factors I've cited above have an audible impact on streaming digital content. If you find other articles by audio designers with the professional credentials and digital product design experience comparable to Swenson's regarding this subject-matter, feel free to post them, I'll read them.
  9. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Yes, but it feels to me like anyone who has feedback or an input is corrected and pointed toward your John Swanson articles so they can learn and see the light.

    There are other people than you and John Swanson who understand the technology.
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  10. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    It also my be that the poster’s Naim equipment makes the cable irrelevant. I have heard that streamer at a dealer. I was impressed
    Josquin des Prez likes this.
  11. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    East Bay, CA
    That's great! Post links so we can read them and be a better informed community.
  12. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    Oh geez.. Not this conversation again. o_O
    JohnCarter17 likes this.
  13. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Post links. Because nobody can be believed or know anything without a link.
    JohnCarter17 likes this.
  14. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    Then you've just proved that you have absolutely no idea how TCP/IP data packets work.

    Just look in the server closet of any radio station. It's full of cheap, nasty data-grade Ethernet cables, some hundreds of feet long, running throughout the building. And somehow the music they play manages to get through all of that just fine, even including the link from the studio to the transmitter, which is now often done via AES67 Audio over Ethernet (IP): AES67 - Wikipedia

    So if a radio station can plug an Audio over Ethernet connection directly into a 50,000-watt transmitter using crappy ordinary CAT5 cable without causing any problems, you're absolutely not going to have any problems with it at home.

    For example, here's the equipment rack at 50,000-watt Nashville radio station 650 WSM. The Axia network links the studio to the transmitter via AES67 Audio Over Ethernet:
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  15. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    The first two paragraphs you’ve written don’t contains facts of any kind that can be applied to digital audio in anything other than a speculative sense. It’s all disjointed theory that has been repeatedly debunked. I think you made a mistake by posting it.

    In his article at the link you posted, Kevin Deal wrote “(...) Because "digital signals" are high-frequency analog signals, cable design matters. This is why there are different Cat levels of Ethernet cable, and why cheap USB cables often don’t work with high-speed devices. Shielding a cable can damp energy peaks in the signal or cause non-linear distortions, and so designing a digital cable is most certainly not an “on or off” engineering task.”

    So Mr. Deal thinks that a dumb, linear conductor or bundle of conductors and foil or braided shielding (or plastic insulation - it is regularly unclear in these articles what the writers are talking about because they frequently interchange the words “shielding” and “insulation” even though the words have very different meanings in electronics) can induce or be induced to produce non-linear distortion. That notion is ridiculous because at home audio frequencies and cable lengths such a thing is impossible.

    Believe the product-supporting marketing articles produced by Swenson and Deal to support all of the Uptone products if you want. It is only to support products they’re pushing that bona fide engineers skirt reality and risk their reputations by making statements that are laughed at by their peers. Their peers just shake their heads at the clever juxtapositions, one of the best example of which is introducing the idea of waveforms carried by digital audio cables. That one word - “waveforms” - is the trigger that makes any number of audiophiles start engaging in associative thinking and wallet opening to acquire Uptone products. After all, waveforms are an analog concept and analog signals are subject to all sorts of nasty EMI and RFI, n’est ce pas? And that in turn must mean that all of the mountainous stack of analog accessories and alleged cable ‘solutions’ must necessarily then apply to digital audio, right?

    Mr. Deal also contradicts himself. Different “cat levels of ethernet” as he puts it also include various types of progressively more protective shielding (something which Mr. Deal is apparently unaware) for a variety of good electrical reasons that have been established, tested, proven and ratified cooperatively by the engineering organizations charged with doing such things around the world. Deal states that shielding a cable can “damp energy peaks” and “cause non-linear distortions”, something which can only be true in demonstrably bizarre circumstances that simply cannot exist at home audio frequencies, cable lengths and environments. Deal (and possibly Swenson too) use the proven marketing technique of cherry-picking facts irrelevant to home audio cables, electronics, environments and distances and inserting them into marketing collateral as though they are directly related. It’s a despicable practice, and no less reprehensible than suggesting skin effect is a concern in audio interconnects and speaker cables at the absurdly short distances and the frequencies of home audio compared to the enormous distances and high tensions of long distance transmission cables in which skin effect does occur.

    Shame on Deal and Swenson for co-opting themselves in order to sell products. Engineers should conduct themselves far more ethically, IMO.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  16. Ontheone

    Ontheone Drifting Towards the Dead Wax

    People who spend $60 on an ethernet cable may be considered obsessive. People who sign up to a forum just to berate others are obsessive in an ugly way.
  17. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Now THAT was a good read and educational.

    @Puma Cat -- how would you respond to that in your OWN words, without referencing John Swanson as your trap door?
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  18. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    I'm still reading all the earlier post trying not to get sucked into the debate and further derail the topic.

    Here is my current list of 5 to test;
    Venom Shunyata
    Core 2 Synergistic Research
    RJ/E Cinnamon Audioquest
    Galileo SX Synergistic Research or Streaming Cable Chord Company
    Ethernet Active SE Synergistic Research (used)
  19. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    I think that post by @Agitater should be required reading for all who enter the thread --- OP maybe you could make it a "sticky" at the top of the thread?
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  20. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Actually, I think the OP's post are what is derailing the thread personally........
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  21. Ontheone

    Ontheone Drifting Towards the Dead Wax

    My own observations with my system suggest any actual sonic difference with ethernet cables is going to be RF noise (or lack of) entering via the cable. With my system on and no music playing I can get different levels of 60hz hum (likely transformer hum) depending on how I move my ethernet cable around (no other changes - just moving the cable). I have found I need to be careful with it's placement near the large toroidal transformers in my tube amp. Other than the RF issue, which speaks to cable shielding, I suspect there is no difference in how the digital is being sent or received. Better shielded ethernet cable could make a difference in my system, but if your system is devoid of any RF issue I suspect it would be a waste of money spending a lot on ethernet cable.
  22. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    East Bay, CA
    It's my thread,

    Its off-topic for a thread discussing Ethernet cable evaluation.
  23. Archimago

    Archimago Forum Resident

    Just to speak to this and Swenson.

    Years ago, when he introduced the REGEN and started his "Tech Corner", not just myself but also others challenged him on his beliefs that the device made any difference. Notice how vague his language is on that page. Essentially nothing there is linked to demonstrable facts, figures, diagrams, etc. to suggest the presence of any tangible anomaly!

    Not once in the discussion back in 2015 was he able to describe how he came to his conclusions. He was not able to produce or discuss the testing he made to demonstrate the effect he spoke of. There was no ability to show any "before" or "after" effect from his product. Despite suggestions that UpTone was going to release some measurements to demonstrate improvements, as far as I can tell, nothing of the sort ever surfaced. If anything, independent testing confirmed at best stuff like the REGEN made no difference - which is exactly what one would predict despite all the words and claims.

    I know this is an ethernet discussion thread. Carry on... Please say no more about Mr. Swenson or drag out his beliefs/theories as he appears to have nothing but hollow words.
  24. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Forum Resident

    United States
    Look, everyone. This thread was initiated by a professional scientist. That’s all I had to read.
    JohnCarter17 and Shawn like this.
  25. Yet another conversation about Wire.
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