1. Time for some upgrades in server hardware and software to enhance security and take AK to the next level. Please contribute what you can to sales@audiokarma.org at PayPal.com - Thanks from the AK Team
    Dismiss Notice

Ethernet cables - now I'm a believer

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by RichPA, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Replaced the ethernet cables between my Sonos Connect and server and the router today, with Blue Jeans Cable BJC C6AP Cat6a cables. I was trying to address dropouts, but to my surprise the sound actually improved. BJC's info on ethernet cables is worth a read: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/data-cables/index.htm
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. eljr

    eljr Koyaanisqatsi

    Messages:
    18,555
    nice post

    thanks
     
  3. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    28,444
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    That's great Rich, I'm gald SQ as well as funtion and looks improved. Some can't or will not alow themselves understand this but that's ok.

    I bet you got a bit more listening in today as well:thmbsp:
     
  4. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,103
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Funny how that cabling thing works, eh Rich?

    Congrats!
     
  5. onemug

    onemug AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,941
    Location:
    Southern California
    Thanks for the tip.

    The sound improved, is it working for the dropouts also?

    btw, I have the Sonos Connect also. Started streaming Deezer Elite since last Sept. I'm okay on dropouts but hadn't given any thought about improving the stock cable. Small price to experiment with. I would think streaming at 1411...it couldn't hurt. Any thoughts?
     
  6. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Haven't had a single dropout since I changed the cables, but it's only one day so far. Deezer Elite and Tidal work great for me, though at home I mostly listen to flac files from the server.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. MudSlideSlim

    MudSlideSlim Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    The Cat 6a is touted as a major improvement over the 6, higher frequency, lower cross talk and lower EMI. Some have argued it requires a better router to take full advantage of its improvements. Also the newer RJ45 plugs seem to be more robust with better shielding but harder to install. When I have drop out issues it is often the plug which don't seem to last.

    Rick, how has the sound improved?
     
  8. Njoy-Music

    Njoy-Music Old Time Rock & Roll

    Messages:
    1,562
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Something to consider as well is not allowing any coils in your line. Went to a seminar many moons ago about how even a small amount of looping excess cable will impact signal strength. Reasons were way over my head but it boiled down to acting in such a way it creates all sorts of interference in the signals causing drop outs and reducing signal strength. And apparently it happens in any cable carrying a steady signal shielded or not.

    These guys were all the gurus at the local university who did the testing, measurements and experiments. Something to think about anyway.
     
  9. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Besides losing the dropouts, the bass seems tighter and the soundstage deeper. I think these probably result from less noise - there was no obvious noise before, but there's a sense that the system is now quieter.
     
  10. 71CNY

    71CNY Active Member

    Messages:
    435
    Location:
    South Dakota
    How can the sound be better when the signal is sent digitally, or am I missing something?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  11. Dingman

    Dingman Do you know where your towel is? Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,399
    Location:
    Des Moines, Ia
    I have upgraded most of the ethernet in then house, and also used 6a for speaker wire. I can't comment that I've found any improvement.

    But, I could envision an improvement (and I am a bit familiar with TCP protocol and how the packets are checked and resent if needed) under specific circumstances.

    Basically, if the network is dropping packets and the end device doesn't store (buffer) enough packets to be able to deliver a interruption free audio stream.

    At that point, upgrading the end device would solve the issue. Or, keep the "poor performing" end device and correct the packet loss, same effect.

    No doubt about it, packet loss that requires packets to be resent, will cause dropouts in the audio, it the end device doesn't handle it well, or "quickly".

    On the flip side, if the network isn't dropping packets, upgrading from cat5 to cat6a will make no difference to the end device or to your audio stream.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. davidb1

    davidb1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,495
    Location:
    Sandy Springs GA
    Jitter, timing errors, corrupted data.
     
    Pio1980 likes this.
  13. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

    Messages:
    5,627
    Location:
    home of the GM Tech Center
    Each ethernet frame carries a CRC-32 checksum, which is an error-detecting code used in networks and storage devices to detect accidental changes to data. Blocks of data entering these systems get a short check value attached, based on the remainder of their contents. On retrieval the calculation is repeated, and corrective action is taken against data corruption if the check values do not match. Frames received with incorrect checksums are discarded by the receiver hardware. Ethernet is very resilient, and will function properly even when in close proximity to power mains. The internet, or our modern lifestyles for that matter, wouldn't be possible without error correction over digital data transmissions.

    In the context of computer networks, jitter is the variation in latency as measured in the variability over time of the packet latency across a network. A network with constant latency has no variation, thus, no jitter. Packet jitter is expressed as an average of the deviation from the network mean latency. A typical home network won't experience jitter unless it's under an abnormally heavy load, as the network latency is typically constant. Internet data transmissions will have it, because the latency from source to destination can and will vary greatly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    Wildcat, I LIKE MUSIC and Bill Ferris like this.
  14. JP

    JP 7480 74111110101115

    Messages:
    2,521
    Location:
    NYC and Brookfield, CT
    Not that jitter or 'timing issues' (I'm not sure what is meant by that) can ever come in to play anyway with all the re-chunking and buffering that has to occur getting the data from the NIC to the DAC.
     
  15. MudSlideSlim

    MudSlideSlim Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Signal sent digitally, with all their error correction checks for data corruption are not completely immune to transmission errors which some call crosstalk and others call jitter and bit rate errors, etc. That's why we have cable evolving from Cat 5 to Cat 6 to Cat 6a, etc. Bandwidths increases, insulation improves, etc; all to form a 'more perfect union.' Wait a minute is something is perfect how can it get more perfect? The rub is that transmissions aren't always perfect in practice, maybe in theory and maybe to our ears, but that kind of frames the debate.
     
  16. JP

    JP 7480 74111110101115

    Messages:
    2,521
    Location:
    NYC and Brookfield, CT
    In practice with properly working cables and equipment built to specification the system is practically immune. The type of environment it'd take to cause an issue won't be found in the average home, nor the average commercial or industrial environment.

    Transmission errors, jitter, crosstalk, BER, etc. are all well defined terms. Jitter and crosstalk are not transmission errors. Crosstalk over a certain threshold may cause transmission errors, but it's existence (and it always exists in this case) is not a transmission error. Jitter doesn't apply to the physical layer.

    Cat 6 and 6a were created to address specific advancements, namely increased bandwidth (10Gb) and all the things that need to happen to use that bandwidth reliably. If the system is working no amount of cable swapping is going to make any difference in regards to ethernet frames being delivered across the wire, i.e. using 6a for a 100/1000Mb link will offer no improvement.
     
    awillia6 and chicks like this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. MudSlideSlim

    MudSlideSlim Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    JA You are right, I was oversimplifying, I should have said as you did "Crosstalk over a certain threshold may cause transmission errors" Below that threshold is where lots of snake oil comes from above it is where progress is made. Jitter, in my simple way of thinking has more to do with congestion, queuing and other challenges of receiving packages data; again after a threshold it can degrade audio quality just like transmission errors can, even though they are two different things. Thanks for being more precise.

    I was trying to through a little sand into the bit perfect argument.
     
  18. Smallies

    Smallies Super Member

    Messages:
    1,114
    Location:
    NH
    Finally dumped the cheapo yellow cable with my modem for an Audioquest cinnamon and it is a huge upgrade. Every praise one could have for a magic cable applies here, heck the highs are even smoother. It's louder too, clipped my Gungnir dac right on a Gilmour guitar crescendo. Had to sober up before I realised what had happened. Saw Wireworld offering their cat8 cable in bulk for $20/meter I think but it went bye bye.
     
  19. Smallies

    Smallies Super Member

    Messages:
    1,114
    Location:
    NH
  20. Guest125

    Guest125 Active Member

    Messages:
    353
    When it comes to ethernet, the greatest thing you have to worry about is ingress into the cable. Shielded interconnect cable is the best to reject EMI/RFI, or enclosed in metal conduit, especially in an electrically noisy environment like close proximity, or on the same electrical leg as switching supplies and plasma TV. You'll know it's shielded cable when it has a metal shell around the RJ45 w/drain lead soldered to it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018

Share This Page