Ethernet Cables in for evaluation

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

  1. james

    james Summon The Queen

    Location:
    Annapolis
    Look, let’s say Ethernet cables defy physics and can somehow be audibly different from one another....even if that’s true, surely we have bigger things to worry about like chemtrails and the Illuminati.
     
  2. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    You guys that can’t hear the difference are probably using normal air in your listening room. I suggest AudiophileAir as a replacement atmosphere product, it will lift those veils.
     
  3. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Im usng my audiophle ethernt cble to pst ‘tis in fact.
     
  4. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    I did some additional listening yesterday and the Audioquest Vodka was nicer to listen to that the WW Starlight. Both are very quiet, and have good transparency, resolution and articulation of instrumental and vocal tone colors, but the AQ Vodka presents a more fully-fleshed out presentation. Instruments are more "solid" and voices have more texture and nuance. I'm going to go back to my datum, the AQ Cinnamon today for comparison, and then will swap in the WW Starlight and Vodka again on a broader range of content.
     
    LeeS likes this.
  5. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Hi Rill,
    You're correct, I am only doing an evaluation of the cables in the "final segment", from downstream FMC to Sonore. I have a reference Ethernet cable for the upstream FMC that is not being changed.

    I wouldn't worry about the Vodka sounding forward; it does not sound forward to me at all. Its a very nice-sounding cable; comparable in audio quality to the Audioquest Diamond. If some folks think that the AQ Vodka Ethernet is forward, it could be due the USB cable they were using. Until I got my Shunyata Alpha USB, there was a subset of digital content I had that was a bit "digital" and forward-sounding, e.g. Louis Armstron's trumpet in Ella and Louis. With the Alpha USB, all that digital hardness and harshness present in some content is completely gone, replaced with a much sweeter and more natural sound-quality.

    Of the three I've listened to in this set of evaluations, the AQ Vokda is my favorite, but I have to go back and compare it to the Cinnamon, which is a very nice-sounding cable for the price. I also have a Supra Cat 8 cable that should arrive by the end of this coming week.

    If you need to do a long run of Ethernet cable and require bulk cable for that, I would really recommend that you not do a long run of Ethernet cable; rather get two fiber media convertors, e.g. TP-Link, and use a run Tripp-Lite fiber for your long run; it will be considerably cheaper (a 7 M run of SC/SC fiber costs all of $16), AND it will considerably clean up the noise floor in the Ethernet cables (EMI/RF) and also provide galvanic isolation. You can then install the Ethernet cable of your choice in the last meter from the downstream FMC to your streamer or network bridge. I would say installing my run of fiber gave me 20-25% of the sonic improvements that the Shunyata Alpha USB provided.
     
  6. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    It is, actually.
     
  7. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    The best thing one can do with respect to using computers to stream music files (e.g. Mac Minis, Windows laptops, NUCs, etc) is to simply move them OUT and as far away from the audio rack as possible. My Mac Mini is at the other end of the house. Made for a significant reduction in noise.
     
  8. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    I have the Series 8 here as well. Don't get me wrong, its nice, I could live with it, but I personally prefer the AQ Vodka...

    BTW, what are you using for your Network Bridge?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  9. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Ok, let's see the data?
     
  10. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    First speaker position: REW Trace of actual, measured my in-room response with a NIST-traceable calibrated microphone. These measurements were taken as part of a statistically-based Design of Experiments (DOE) conducted to integrate my REL sub into the system.

    [​IMG]

    Same speaker, repositioned...

    [​IMG]

    That's enough of that digression. Back to the topic at-hand....
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  11. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    i'm not sure what you're trying to demonstrate.. Speaker position affecting sound? Is anyone questioning that?
     
  12. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Ok, cool. I just have the Bridge plugged straight into an ATT fiber router. Have accounts with Tidal and Qobuz. Like them both. Using Roon to control now but will be adding the new Mosaic app from dCS today.

    My Roon Core device is the latest macbook pro which works great.
     
    Puma Cat likes this.
  13. Archimago

    Archimago Forum Resident

    And if Randi's $1M could have been won, I bet AQ themselves would have been happy to bring forth their "golden ears", netted the cash and created a sensation for their remarkable cable technology!

    Yes, of course I have tried different cables in my system (and comparing switches); have a look here to see if anything changed between various lengths, categories, and switches and here if you think noise is such a big deal over ethernet. Also here's the results from intercontinental streaming. Of course this might not be your system (maybe some people have particularly noisy networks or something?!).

    Granted I never measured any of the AudioQuest, or Wireworld offerings and don't have any Cat8 cables around (never had a need, even short Cat5e and Cat6 are fine for 10GbE here at home), but I guess at some point I'll go down to the local dealer and see what he says about me borrowing some... Can't say I've ever heard a difference even between a 1' Cat6A vs. some of the cheapest Cat5e I had around here or even 50' of Cat6A.

    Since noise is not difficult to measure, I would love to see even one such demonstration of an issue that such cables fixed from say a hi-res DAC/streamer output.

    I know we're not supposed to be talking science here. But you did ask...
     
    JohnCarter17, Robert C and beowulf like this.
  14. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    When Peter McGrath set up my Alexias, one of the things we spent the time on was the speaker placement to the back wall, down to 1/8 of an inch. When we got it perfect everything just snapped into place. But that's a topic for another thread...
     
    unclefred likes this.
  15. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Yep, that is fully consistent with what Sterling Trayle and Bob Robbins have said about speaker placement. And, it's a topic for another thread.
     
    LeeS likes this.
  16. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Yep, my Roon Core is a Mac Mini that is at the other end of the house. Getting as far away from the audio rack made for a big improvement.

    What Network Bridge are you using, Lee?
     
    LeeS likes this.
  17. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The one on a card that goes with the PS Audio DirectStream DAC. Bartok still breaking in so reading the manual to set that up soon.
     
  18. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I also use Amarra Luxe on the mac for playback which I like a lot.
     
  19. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    You questioned it with you your comment, "I'll blow everyone's mind by moving their speakers a couple of inches. The difference is audibly measurable!" and, when I replied that it was measurable, your request to see the data.

    It is measurable, as shown with the data provided.

    Now, back on-topic.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
    William Barty likes this.
  20. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Ah, thanks, Lee. So, if I understand correctly, the PS Audio has a "slot" for a card that provides a network connection that enables a network bridge functionality.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  21. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I guess you missed the sarcasm. Carry on
     
    sublemon likes this.
  22. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    I’d find this conversation something more compelling than the convivial chatting among hobbyists if the OP deputized someone to swap the cables in and out without telling him what he is listening to, slipping in something like an Amazon Basics cable occasionally for good measure. The record of subjective evaluation correlated to the various unidentified cables used would be major hi-fi headline news if everything matched up perfectly with the “sighted” impressions we’re hearing about.

    Yes, we skeptics are an annoying skunk-at-the-picnic bunch, and stuff like “the Shunyata USB Alpha resulted in a huge, significant and top-flight component-level improvement in audio quality, literally on the order of installing a very high-end preamp” is basically irrefutable and harmless. Who am I to feel an affront when the bling wire magic hits some other audiophile’s brain pleasure center? I just wish I wasn’t haunted by the sense that an insult to truth is involved.
     
  23. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    No, I didn't miss it.

    And, carrying on is the order of the day...
     
  24. rill

    rill Well-Known Member

    Location:
    PA

    I will be interested to hear your thoughts on the Vodka vs. Cinnamon...

    I currently have a 1.5m from modem to the router and a 3m from router to streamer. I can easily move the router closer so a 1.5m would be fine.

    I do find it interesting that they clearly heard a difference in the first test, but couldn't really here a difference in the router to streamer scenario.
     
  25. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I think it's best to keep in mind that I feel an obligation to find audio products that help people get better sound, review them subjectively, and make recommendations on what works or doesn't work.

    It's also a fair observation that the worst systems I have heard are often from the measurements-only crowd. That's because what counts cannot always be measured and what can be measured doesn't always count.
     

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