Ethernet Cables in for evaluation

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

  1. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    His writing and information have helped provide me with more meaningful information to understand this subject than anything else I've read, so, no, I'm not going to stop referencing his work.
     
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  2. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    So I'll repeat the Supra Cat8 that you glowed about – disregarding the subsequent cable you mentioned – sounds no different to me than a good old Blue Jeans tested cable or even a cheap Monoprice cable.

    I personally suggest one just get a standard, tested Cat 5e or Cat6/6e cable and call it a day. I myself cannot hear a difference on my 100K system with a 15k digital front end. The $10 Monoprice is fine, the tested $20 Blue Jeans cable gives me more comfort, the $50/60 Supra Cat8 was (for me ) an inexpensive experiment. They all sound the same. That's my story and I'm sticking to it (and as a software engineering pro I have some reasonably competent understanding how IP and ethernet data transmission works). If you want some extra assurance buy a bag of RF chokes from Amazon for $8 and stick them on the ends of your ethernet cables near the DAC ethernet input. I did that and it still didn't sound any different. Go figure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  3. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    The Supra Cat8 can be fun on certain content with its very dynamic and lively presentation, but on the whole, I found these characteristics to be tiring over the long haul.

    The Belden was just....really bad. Unlistenable.

    The Shunyata Venom and Alpha Ethernet cables are so far in front of the all other cables I evaluated, including the AQ Vodka, that the other cables evaluated aren't even part of the discussion.
     
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  4. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    LOL

    I like you PC but you and I are really very much diametrically opposed on this topic. And yes, I read the post. I don't buy it. I think it's bonkers.
     
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  5. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    No worries...

    Yes, we are diametrically opposed on this....just like Tesla and Einstein were regarding quantum mechanics.

    And that's okay...
     
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  6. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    In this video, a pro audio engineer was able to successfully transmit 48 kHz AES digital audio through almost 1000 feet (300 meters) of CAT5 cable. 96 kHz was reliable up to ~330 feet (100 meters) and 192 kHz was reliable up to ~160 feet (50 meters). The CAT5 cable tests begin at 9:20 in the video.

     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  7. Ontheone

    Ontheone Drifting Towards the Dead Wax

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Anyone else chuckling at the irony of engaging in a diatribe that asserts that a $50 piece of wire is a complete waste of money while owning a $100K system???
     
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  8. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Cable threads always go this way. I don't know any science behind this, nor do I care.

    I'm willing to try them. I believe Puma cat is just relaying his experience with the different cables. I'm going to make up my own mind through listening.
     
  9. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    The problem with this thread is that some seem to have the idea that digital data is digital data, but it is Ethernet packet data with lots of stuff going on and has absolutely no semblance to digital audio. I think what many are trying to convey is that it is fine for someone to like something better and lord knows we are all in a hobby where many folks hear things that science can not explain, but for dealers or manufacturers to convey information that is just flat out incorrect needs to be corrected.

    We send non Ethernet data over Cat5 well over the 100m that is the spec for ethernet all the time. Cat5e is even certified for DMX data at 500m. It is a popular cable because it is cheap and easy to source. I see lots of RS-485 based system using it (DMX, ModBus, BACnet, etc) with great results.
     
  10. At last.
    Sense :)
     
  11. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania
    Mr. Syn and Mr. Ack agree. They give you a handshake. :cheers:

    Streaming a 196/24-bit wav file through a CAT5e Ethernet cable takes only 9 Mbit/s (0.9% of the CAT5e data transmission speed). 100 meters is the maximum allowable cable length before the signal will degrade. Good enough for home use with Gigabit internet connection. The CAT7 cable for home users it's like a John Deere tractor with F-22 Raptor engine. If the ISP gives only 1 GBit internet why someone want in his home 10/40 Gbit cables? A stupid idea that empties the wallets of the obsessed ignorants. Or maybe Guerilla marketing, who knows?
     
  12. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    folks should get their hands on a old hub (switch won’t work) and make a wireshark connection to their network and be amazed at how much is going on they don’t know about!
     
  13. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    or even just fire up wireshark in promiscuous mode to get a taste- that'll capture all packets on your segment.
     
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  14. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I have all house and equipment wired with shielded Cat6 cable. Longest run is 100 feet (from router to switch in living room). Never had any issues with even video dropouts running HD and 4K content, which is so much more demanding then audio. Got them from monoprice. Excellent quality cables, connectors as well.
    I remember "reviews" for $10K ethernet cables from audiostream. The funniest part -he used $20 old switch for his "evaluation"))). Of course those super expensive cables greatly improve imaging, soundstage became huge, blacks blacker and highs smooth as silk.
    Caused a lot of fun, quotes in regular press, finger pointing and I am sure eventually was the reason editor was fired.
     
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  15. rich100

    rich100 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Middle of England
  16. rich100

    rich100 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Middle of England
    I did actually, I quite liked the part about covering part of the PCB with epoxy or something - must be to keep the secret sauce a secret - or the fact it's just an imported generic PCB maybe I don't know. Snake Oil all the way I'm afraid.
     
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  17. Ontheone

    Ontheone Drifting Towards the Dead Wax

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Pretty interesting interview here with PS Audio's Ted Smith covering many digital topics; among them ethernet cables. Around the 30 minute mark he makes comments along the lines of what I've simply and empirically observed in my own system. 1) Cables make no difference in the bits that come across; 2) A good ethernet cable really only helps against jitter, ground loops, and by providing shielding; 3) Inherently, anything that transmits is also a receiver - a long linear, therefore noise picked up in the wire can get folded down into the audio.

    This all makes sense to me and is consistent with what I observe at home. It doesn't sound like bs to use well shielded ethernet cable.

    Here's the link: Ted Smith – PS Audio Legend: AudioStream Podcast No.8
     
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  18. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Clever! ;)
     
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  19. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    People were already arguing about the merits vs. drawbacks of using shielded Ethernet cables as far back as 1995, long before audiophiles even knew what Ethernet or CAT5 even was:

    Shielded and unshielded twisted-pair cable revisited
     
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  20. Ontheone

    Ontheone Drifting Towards the Dead Wax

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I'm not suggesting that the shielding benefit is a new argument. I'm simply suggesting that in the end it looks like shielding may be the ONLY benefit.
     
  21. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    The problem with shielded twisted pair cable is it has to be properly grounded to a patch panel or else rather then shielding against EMI it serves as an antenna that attracts it. So if you're just running STP between a normal switch/router and your gear, you have the potential to cause more problems then you solve.

    Of course, I'm rather skeptical that EMI is much of a problem outside of factories/etc, so you're probably fine, just not really accomplishing anything.
     
  22. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    What are your thoughts on using clip-on ferrite cores for RFI/EMI suppression? A Naim forum post by a network engineer recommended trying them, clipping one on the ethernet cable near the port on the streamer. They cost almost nothing.
     
  23. Paul_s

    Paul_s Forum Resident

    Cat 7 or 8 is pointless (and overkill) in a home environment; unless you're terminating both ends with the correct TERA connector and hardware. With just RJ45 termination you'll lose the benefits of Cat 7/8 cable.
    You'd be best sticking to Cat 6 and leave Cat 7 and 8 for data centres.

    However, if it sounds good to you then that's all that matters.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  24. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I am following advise of Auralic Aries Femto manufacturer and use WiFi for audio streaming from nearby dedicated WiFi point. I tried WiFi and cable, and I could not hear any difference whatsover. But keeping WiFi to Aries just as advised ))).
    For video content I use wired from switch to device, as I had dropouts in 4K content otherwise...
     
  25. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Strange thing about my home - 4K video streams just fine over WiFi, it's that pesky CD quality audio that drops out unless I use a wire. :crazy:
     

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