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#235886 - 2015-05-30 15:28 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2011-04-27
Posts: 90
DaveyC Offline
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DaveyC Offline
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Registered: 2011-04-27
Posts: 90
Loc: Bristol, UK
Originally Posted By Ian
Originally Posted By DaveyC
It's been a while since I posted here, but seeing the brave comments from Mwiebelhaus and Crion, based on their experience, I thought I'd share my own experience with Ethernet cables.
I think the use of different cables affecting audio presentation for SpeakerLink audio connections is largely accepted, it is the use of exotic cables over appropriately specified network cabling for network use that is debatable.

In the case of Crion, his network test was vs. a UTP cable, hardly a fair comparison as in some circumstances, omitting any form of shielding as per a UTP cable may not be appropriate for the job as it allows EMI ingress into the chain, again, an accepted issue. I don't know if he ever repeated using a shielded or screened cable.

Iirc that Mwiebelhaus comment was regarding SpeakerLink.


Hi Ian,

Agreed, intuition suggests reduced benefits or no benefits running audiophile Ethernet cables on a network link running TCPIP.

In spite of my own intuition, I've had surprising experiences in playing around with the link from MD600 to 808. The first was last year, was when I put a GISO in the last 30cm of the network cable run before the 808 (gains similar in nature to those from the AQ Vodkas). Just a couple of weeks ago, I borrowed a second GISO from a friend and put it in the Ethernet chain immediately up-stream of the MD600 (i.e. between switch & MD600). I had a hunch that there might be some gain, but the reality was a much bigger gain than putting in the first GISO. This was obviously an easy and completely cost-free test, but the scale of improvement really threw me.

How this might be true, against well-founded expectation with TCPIP in play, ties back to a thread we had going a year or so back. It talked about RF carried on the four twisted-pair signal conductors and on inner and outer screens in an Ethernet cable. Given what TCPIP does (explained in detail by Ronnie) I can only assume that the gains in an Ethernet network link are down to removing substantial amounts of RF noise that has made its way into the network at various points. While TCPIP is impregnable in preserving the integrity of the packet data stream, it doesn't operate at all in the analogue signal domain, and would therefore allow RF noise (on both signal and screen conductors) to propagate into audio devices and onwards down the food chain, at undiminished amplitude.

I'm no RF expert, audio engineer or high-frequency cable designer, but my gut feel is that RF noise inside audio devices does much more damage to music than we might expect, to the extent that merely achieving a CAT 6 or CAT 7 standard on a cable falls some way short of the optimum when it comes to limiting RF ingress along the full length of the chain. This would explain why two GISOs can have such a big impact. While this could explain what I heard, I'm still very surprised by the extent of the gain.

BTW the impact of the AQ Vodkas was very noticeable before adding the second GISO, but became much more dramatic after adding it. I ran another test with the second GISO in place, moving from Vodkas (between 808v5 & DSPs) back to CAT 7 and back to Vodka. My friend who'd brought over the second GISO was with me at the time and it was one of those instant-grin experiences when we put the Vodkas back in. So it looks like the gains from the Vodkas where much more apparent with the further reduction in noise and general grunge that the second GISO brought about.

The impact of the second GISO really gets me thinking about the extent to which RF impacts the music. I've spent several years putting a lot of thought and effort into getting rid of RF in the mains and other signal cables, all to good effect, but this experience suggests I may be less far down the road than I thought :-(


808v5, MD600 & DSP7200.1
Dedicated audio mains supply
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#235887 - 2015-05-30 15:38 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: DaveyC]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,660
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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I find it a plausible hypothesis that deleterious effects might be RFI bourne down network cables into hi-fi equipment, rather than this being a network packet issue - although I have no test for this, it seems reasonable.

Perhaps I didn't notice a difference because I was already using high quality shielded network cable, and went to an even higher grade to troubleshoot a glitch in the network dropping. Alternatively, does your 808 have ID40 or ID41 - the latter, which my 818 has, did specifically include revisions to combat this type of interference, iirc.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#235918 - 2015-05-31 14:17 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: DaveyC]
Registered: 2012-04-01
Posts: 97
CharlieU Offline
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Let me help you get further down your road. RF energy is everywhere and you can't avoid it. You don't help the problem if you have a wireless network, a microwave oven or digital devices in your home. RFI can wreak havoc with your music, but only if the manufacturer of the equipment didn't properly shield and ground the RF sensitive components. Can you believe that some crazies (like me) attach antennas to bring more RF into their gear just to listen to radio stations? Even if you are in a lead lined room, the digital components of your audio gear are generating RF that can be harmful to unit they are in and others near it. The question again is how well it's manufactured.

When you are talking about Cat 5e or 6 ethernet cable, there are differences in the quality of cable. However, they are all designed to be able to carry a 1Gbs data signal for 100 meters with no loss. There are some that are specially designed to be used in environments that have extreme RF noise levels. This typically isn't your normal home or even a computer data center. Can they bring more RFI in to your equipment? Yes. Is it something to worry about? Considering the amount of self generated RFI in digital equipment, this is a pittance and not worth worrying about.

Now to help you down your road. Tubes! Dump all that digital stuff and go pure analog. No RF to worry about. You can move to a different obsession with tube swapping to reach that audio nirvana. If you are too heavily invested in digital, then your only choice is to swap out the copper connections for fiber optics. Hope this helped.


QNAP, MS600, MS200, Anthem AVM 50v, B&W 804S, JL Fathom 113 (2)
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#235930 - 2015-05-31 20:36 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2011-04-27
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DaveyC Offline
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DaveyC Offline
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Hi,

Yes, certainly makes sense to look at things this way. Yes, my 808v5 does have the ID41 card. I think this stuff is all down to how much RF is getting in, at what levels and where.

Then of course, the big question is the extent to which the various gadgets can remove the RF.

As to how much you hear the influence, I guess it's down to your system, how much effort you've put into setting it up, the environment (lots of RF generating devices etc) and how offended your ears are by the effect of RF.

For sure, this has really got me thinking now.


808v5, MD600 & DSP7200.1
Dedicated audio mains supply
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#235956 - 2015-06-01 11:59 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: DaveyC]
Registered: 2004-01-12
Posts: 2,262
Crion Offline
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Crion Offline
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Registered: 2004-01-12
Posts: 2,262
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanks for sharing DaveyC. I was wondering if a Giso-GB near the store/core would be beneficial in addition to the manufacturer recommended placement @ID41.

Recently I also added additional chassi-grounding cables (small spade under a chassi screw) and connected it to my mains filtering with central ground post. I actually thought this would be a waste of time but since it was a part of my mains filtering package I took the bait.

Additional grounding affected all my Meridian components soundcharacter, I started with front DSP speakers and evaluated. Then connected the 861v8, evaluated, then connected the BD-Streamer and evalutated. After a few days connected the HD621 and evaluated. The mains filter is the Shunyata Triton V2, I use one for the front DSP speakers and one for front-end Preamp/Source/HD621.

If I would characterize the chassi grounding procedure result it would be with some initial sibilance that later toned down. Greater flow, truer texture, truer attack and decay of piano, a little more pluck on strings, more presence on vocals, omnipresent bass, better integration between mains/center. In other words, Very nice!

I'm not saying everyone should rush out and buy a Triton v2 mains filtering with built-in grounding posts. But I do think this warrants more investigation of additional chassigrounding for those inclined.




Future ID80 with video owner!
DSP8000SE, DSP7200SEHC, DSP5200SE sides, DSP7200SE rears, 861v8/ID41, MC200, Sim2 HT380 T2 1080P, Stewart Cinecurve 2.35:1, XEIT CM-5E Anamorphic lens, HDI Dune BD Prime 3.0 with Wireworld Platinum HDMI -> HD621 -> Audioquest Diamond RJ45. Shunyata Sigma Digital@861v8.
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#235963 - 2015-06-01 12:50 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Crion]
Registered: 2002-02-14
Posts: 8,298
ncpl Offline
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ncpl Offline

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Registered: 2002-02-14
Posts: 8,298
Loc: Surrey, UK
Crion,

I haven't found that the GISO makes much difference at all in front of the ID41. I think therefore that the ID41 is designed well to deal with RFI.
I would expect other devices to benefit more though with the GISO. It seems a well built little unit.

I haven't gotten around to putting my GISO on the sale board yet but will do at some time.


Rgds,
Nick

#15SE
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#235984 - 2015-06-01 18:02 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Crion]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,660
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,660
Loc: South UK
Crion - I can identify with all of that, having been a Russ Andrews Super Purifier Block user for years. It has a dedicated earthing terminal which I run to star earthing rods in the back garden with very low impedance cable (in addition to the standard mains earthing of course). The difference when the dedicated earth is unplugged is noticeable. You can also chassis earth each piece of equipment, as you've suggested, but it depends on the specific piece of gear as to whether this provides benefit or not, very much a suck it and see thing.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#236043 - 2015-06-02 22:02 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2012-06-08
Posts: 253
Kerry Offline
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Posts: 253
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Meridian SpeakerLink cables are basically SPDIF cables, are they not? I have a special cable made that plugs into the SpeakerLink jack of my MS600 and the other end has an XLR termination that plugs into the AES input of my DAC.

I've heard pretty big differences in sound in SPDIF cables over the years, so I'm not surprised you are hearing this difference in sound between different cables.


Roon, MS600, Simaudio 780D, Simaudio P-8/W-8 and Revel Studio 2s
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#236047 - 2015-06-03 05:31 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Kerry]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,271
Ian Offline
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Ian Offline
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Loc: Surrey, England, UK
SpeakerLink is basically AES/EBU, i.e. balanced digital the sort of cables that are run for x00m in studios and venues including as spaghetti.


Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#236065 - 2015-06-03 13:36 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2012-06-08
Posts: 253
Kerry Offline
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Kerry Offline
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Thanks for the correction Ian, that's why I meant to say. With this type of cable, different brands will alter the sound in different ways.


Roon, MS600, Simaudio 780D, Simaudio P-8/W-8 and Revel Studio 2s
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#236068 - 2015-06-03 15:24 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Kerry]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,660
3dit0r Offline
Working on the ultimate question
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 1,660
Loc: South UK
There was a thread some time back discussing this, but I can't find it now - however, although Speakerlink uses an AES/EBU cable type, it is still transmitted as SPDIF down it (so it's technically SPDIF over AES/EBU). At least that was my understanding of the conclusions.

Edit - found the previous thread MS200 Toslink / SpeakerLink to Coax Conversion Options, just in case it's of interest.


818v3, DSP7200.2, Oppo BDP-95, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Russ Andrews/Kimber Mains Supplies, Cables and Supports, GIK Acoustics Room Treatments
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#236071 - 2015-06-03 16:55 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,271
Ian Offline
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Ian Offline
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Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,271
Loc: Surrey, England, UK
The data format of SPDIF and AES/? Is identical except for one data bit present in both but has different meaning. AES is basically professional, SPDIF is consumer of same thing but some consumer restrictions in SPDIF are not present in AES.


Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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