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#238115 - 2015-07-26 19:23 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Rolski]
Registered: 2003-09-02
Posts: 296
Bee Offline
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Bee Offline
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Registered: 2003-09-02
Posts: 296
Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
Are there also audiophile grade switches too? It would seem strange to upgrade cables if the switch is also not optimised.


Thanks, Edd
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#238116 - 2015-07-26 19:25 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Carl]
Registered: 2011-04-27
Posts: 90
DaveyC Offline
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Posts: 90
Loc: Bristol, UK
Originally Posted By Carl
Originally Posted By Ronnie
... I do wonder if this thread of "Ethernet Cables" is the best thread to post your observations??
I can understand why as this topic is a bit of a muddle with existing discussions on both Eithernet network and SpeakerLink use cases. I'll have a look at splitting it out into two topics with appropriate titles.

In the meantime I've changed the topic title to accommodate both.
Hi Carl,

I humbly suggest that, based on my experience (and that of a few others on the forum) of experimenting with RJ45 cables in both TCPIP and non-TCPIP applications, we should positively avoid the split.

I spent several hours experimenting with various things at a friend's house yesterday, to very good effect. The last thing we did was to add a short AQ Vodka cable (loaned by Sevenoaks Bristol) between switch & MD600. We very nearly didn't bother, as we were a bit knackered and both agreed beforehand that we expected little, if any change. What we heard was certainly on a par with what I heard when I moved to Vodkas on my Speakerlink runs. Being both baffled and excited, I spent a few hours doing similar things to my own system today.

No question whatsoever, the gain is there and it's not subtle. My findings are that the general characteristics of the gains heard in a Speakerlink application are faithfully carried over into Ethernet applications where TCPIP is in play.

In the presence of TCPIP, this may seem mad, bonkers and slightly frightening, but it's very true, and there is plenty of quite basic science to support the finding. Again, I’d caveat my experience in that my system is very well sorted, so it may be that the impact is less obvious in standard systems where there has been no effort to optimise the overall setup. The fact that the same happens in both environments is certainly worthy of discussion and it’d be a shame to separate the two.

By the way, to anyone who'd like to find out whether I'm just plain bonkers, you’d be very welcome to drop by my place in Bristol for a listen and a glass of wine.

PS what happened to that rather nice idea about visiting other forum members for a listen …?

Dave


808v5, MD600 & DSP7200.1
Dedicated audio mains supply
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#238117 - 2015-07-26 19:36 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Bee]
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 Bee
Are there also audiophile grade switches too? It would seem strange to upgrade cables if the switch is also not optimised.
Hi Bee,

Sorry for the sudden raft of posts. Very good point - I too have been thinking about switches for some time. The potential is clear: crappy wall-wart power supplies squirting 500kHz RF into your switch and network, no grounding, minimal RF protection etc. all point to the possibility of better switches.

I've experimented quite extensively (and painfully) with a professional grade switch in the last three weeks, with a built in linear power supply, soldered power connections and proper earthing via an IEC connector. I'm not going to make any suggestions, as I can't yet create consistent and substantial results.

I've been tearing my hair out wondering why I'm not getting any substantial gains from a device that is so clearly electrically superior, but all I've really got are some subtle gains, always offset by some bigger losses.

That said, I finally got the switch to work well in my system this evening, but that was after a lot of buggering about with earthing, balanced power and lots of head-banging.

I'll let you know if I get to a point of getting substantial gains that are repeatable. So far, nothing on the scale of gains to be had from Ethernet cable changes. My gut feel is that the switch may turn out not to be a big contributor, but I need to take my own council and hold my opinion for now ...

Cheers
Dave


808v5, MD600 & DSP7200.1
Dedicated audio mains supply
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#238118 - 2015-07-26 19:57 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: DaveyC]
Registered: 2001-01-08
Posts: 4,124
Ronnie Offline
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Ronnie Offline
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Registered: 2001-01-08
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Loc: UK
Originally Posted By DaveyC
My findings are that the general characteristics of the gains heard in a Speakerlink application are faithfully carried over into Ethernet applications where TCPIP is in play.Dave
And there are many here who have likewise experimented with alleged 'better quality' Ethernet cabling and found zero differences... always assuming that Shielded and Screened Cables are used... and that all streaming audio components are on a dedicated switch to avoid impact [RFI/EMI] from other activities elsewhere on the network
Originally Posted By DaveyC
In the presence of TCPIP, this may seem mad, bonkers and slightly frightening, but it's very true, and there is plenty of quite basic science to support the finding.
"Science" involves the process of "Peer Reviewing"... so if you could please point at any Peer Reviewed & Independent articles which claim that 'better' Ethernet cables improve the Ethernet data transmission itself??

It's generally accepted that RFI/EMI migration to the DAC is the only means by which Audio Quality can be impacted... a process that has nothing to do with the efficacy of Ethernet and TCP/IP transmission.

And RFI/EMI mitigation is something that can quite easily and cheaply be achieved rather than spending unnecessarily large amounts amounts of money on Ethernet cables for which there is simply zero Peer Reviewing available.

The 'transmission' of Audio Data via Analog, SPDIF and AES / EBU methods ALL can benefit [to varying degrees] from properly constructed cables [i.e. properly constructed and high retail prices are not always the same thing]... but audio data transfer by Ethernet Packets and IP addressing is a different matter.


-
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#238119 - 2015-07-26 20:11 Re: Ethernet cables [Re: Ronnie]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,271
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Ian Offline
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Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,271
Loc: Surrey, England, UK
Following on from Ronnies post linking the the cable teardown, Im looking forward to the results from this. Maybe for the first time I will read something scientifically verifiable to prove that AQ/data could be affected by (other than poorly designed, badly constructed, out of specification, maliciously treated, poorly deployed or simply faulty) network data cables, something that the last 30+ years experience in computer networking have failed to reveal. Or maybe not...

I've heard some huge differences in AQ and the only thing that has changed between the listening experiences was time of day, posture or wellbeing, oh, and the odd glass of alcohol.


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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#238120 - 2015-07-26 20:31 Re: Ethernet cables [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
More wine is always a good idea ... smile

I never do any serious listing unless I've had at least shix bottles.


808v5, MD600 & DSP7200.1
Dedicated audio mains supply
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#238129 - 2015-07-27 08:19 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Ronnie]
Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,809
Asa Post Offline
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Asa Post Offline
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Registered: 2008-02-29
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Loc: Devon, UK
Originally Posted By Ronnie
Thanks for posting those very interesting observations Asa

However, I do wonder if this thread of "Ethernet Cables" is the best thread to post your observations??

Pedantic I know, but still importantly IMHO... you used all the cables mentioned as AES/EBU Digital cables to connect your 808 to your D8kSE's.

And as you know, in that application, none of Ethernet's inherent advantages of Check-Sums; Error Correction and Data Retransmission would then be used in the "Speakerlink" connection from 808v5 to DSP's.

It doesn't change the validity of your findings in any way... but it is worth stating again that while your findings are certainly relevant to audio data transferred via AES/EBU... but may not apply to audio data transferred via Ethernet protocols.


I agree with your points and of course understand the difference between an Ethernet cable and a SpeakerLink cable. The confusion to which you refer is of course heightened by Chord explicitly labelling their cables as Ethernet. I have merely been using their Ethernet cables for SpeakerLink purposes.

Should you borrow some cables for SpeakerLink purposes you need to specify that they are being used as SpeakerLink. I have been told that Meridian do not use standard configuration for the connections.

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#238130 - 2015-07-27 08:27 Re: Ethernet cables [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2008-02-29
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Asa Post Offline
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Asa Post Offline
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Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,809
Loc: Devon, UK
Originally Posted By Ian
Following on from Ronnies post linking the the cable teardown, Im looking forward to the results from this. Maybe for the first time I will read something scientifically verifiable to prove that AQ/data could be affected by (other than poorly designed, badly constructed, out of specification, maliciously treated, poorly deployed or simply faulty) network data cables, something that the last 30+ years experience in computer networking have failed to reveal. Or maybe not...

I've heard some huge differences in AQ and the only thing that has changed between the listening experiences was time of day, posture or wellbeing, oh, and the odd glass of alcohol.
I note your scepticism. But please note that my post concerned cables used as SpeakerLink. And I did not find any benefits from using Audioquest Vodka. And, unlike you, I certainly did not resort to vodka or any other alcohol. So, why not borrow some cables and decide for yourself rather than merely read other people's findings?

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#238131 - 2015-07-27 08:34 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Asa Post]
Registered: 2001-01-08
Posts: 4,124
Ronnie Offline
Vogon Civil Servant
Ronnie Offline
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Registered: 2001-01-08
Posts: 4,124
Loc: UK
Hi Asa
My post above wasn't written so much towards yourself as it was to others reading this thread, who may not understand the distinction between Speakerlink and 'true' Ethernet use

I can understand the manufacturers labelling these cables as "Ethernet", as that is mainly what they will be used as......does anyone know of any other Manufacturer who uses Ethernet cables to carry a Balanced AES signal??........even as an interconnect between rack components??........or even if there are other Speakers out there that accept Ethernet / Speakerlink connections??

I wonder about Meridian's Speakerlink connections being "different".......they market their two cables as Cat 5 and Cat 7.......so changing the Connections would compromise this claim??

So am I correct in saying that if I ask Chord for an Anthem cable.......and tell them that it's for a Speakerlink application......that they will give me a different cable, compared to if I asked for an Anthem cable for Ethernet duty??

If so, do you have any idea how the connections differ??


-
Edited by Ronnie; 2015-07-27 08:38.
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#238132 - 2015-07-27 08:35 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Ronnie]
Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,809
Asa Post Offline
Knows where his towel is
Asa Post Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,809
Loc: Devon, UK
Originally Posted By Ronnie
Thanks for posting those very interesting observations Asa

However, I do wonder if this thread of "Ethernet Cables" is the best thread to post your observations??

Pedantic I know, but still importantly IMHO... you used all the cables mentioned as AES/EBU Digital cables to connect your 808 to your D8kSE's.

And as you know, in that application, none of Ethernet's inherent advantages of Check-Sums; Error Correction and Data Retransmission would then be used in the "Speakerlink" connection from 808v5 to DSP's.

It doesn't change the validity of your findings in any way... but it is worth stating again that while your findings are certainly relevant to audio data transferred via AES/EBU... but may not apply to audio data transferred via Ethernet protocols.


Just to make explicitly clear, I have not tried exotic Ethernet cables of any brand or description between my router and computer or from my computer to my 808/861, though I am interested to hear from those who have. Nor have I experimented with an exotic USB cable from my computers to my 808/861 (two completely separate systems).

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#238133 - 2015-07-27 08:39 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Ronnie]
Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,809
Asa Post Offline
Knows where his towel is
Asa Post Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,809
Loc: Devon, UK
Originally Posted By Ronnie
Hi Asa
My post above wasn't written so much towards yourself as it was to others reading this thread, who may not understand the distinction between Speakerlink and 'true' Ethernet use

I can understand the manufacturers labelling these cables as "Ethernet", as that is mainly what they will be used as......does anyone know of any other Manufacturer who uses Ethernet cables to carry a Balanced AED signal??........even as an interconnect between rack components??........or even if there are other Speakers out there that accept Ethernet / Speakerlink connections??

I wonder about Meridian's Speakerlink connections being "different".......they market their two cables as Cat 5 and Cat 7.......so changing the Connections would compromise this claim??

So am I correct in saying that if I ask Chord for an Anthem cable.......and tell them that it's for a Speakerlink application......that they will give me a different one, compared to if I asked for an Anthem cable for Ethernet duty??

If so, do you have any idea how the connections differ??


Hi Ronnie

I was writing my further clarification as you were posting your further thoughts. As you can see you have anticipated some of the points I make.

As for other companies, I do not know how Linn and Dynaudio connect up their "digital" speakers.

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#238134 - 2015-07-27 08:48 Re: RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases) [Re: Asa Post]
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
I think it's unlikely the pinouts on Meridian's Speakerlink cable are different to standard cat 5/6+ (as far as my knowledge goes neither is cat7 as this requires very different connectors?). This is based on experience when I used the flat cat5 SL cable between my switch/MC200/818 after I sold my 5200SLs. It worked perfectly.

I should add that I've heard significant differences between analogue cables over the years, very small differences between SPDIF, and Speakerlink (when feeding DSP from endpoint), but none at all in Ethernet (network) configuration. E.g., used as pure network cable I can't hear a difference between £200+ of Meridian SL cable and the (well constructed, good quality) Cat 6+ wires I now use in its place for this application (the SL wires are much too long and look messy, so they're in the cupboard!).


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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