Author Topic: should I get better Ethernet cables?  (Read 1091 times)

Offline Nick B

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should I get better Ethernet cables?
« on: May 30, 2021, 01:59:56 PM »
I’ve got out of the box regular cheapie Ethernet cables for the TV to ASUS router connection and for the wall to router connection. I really don’t care much about video quality, but if I can improve it a bit, great. But I’m more interested in the wall to router connection. I had toyed with the idea of trying an Innuos Mini Zen 3 which would have required a good Ethernet cable, but I think I’ll just stay wireless as I like the Auralic Mini with dedicated LPS.

So…. is it worth it to replace both the TV cable and wall Ethernet cables? My budget for the TV cable would be small… for the wall cable much bigger … maybe > $100 if I could squeeze better sound out of my already good-sounding system 🎶

Suggestions welcome  :thumb:
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Offline rollo

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2021, 05:21:49 PM »
Not if your budget is $100. Keep what you have. Maybe a shielded version if yours is not. If you can shorten to 1.5 mtr TWL period.

charles
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Offline Nick B

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 06:36:08 PM »
Charles,

As I have never bought an upgraded quality ethernet cable before, I was trying to get a feel if it was worth it to get better quality cables for the applications I stated above. Let’s say I expanded my budget to $300 to $400, is it worth it to spend that amount, for example, for an ethernet cable from the wall to my wireless router? is that going to result in any improvement whatsoever or a significant improvement in the sound of Tidal and Qobuz that is streamed wirelessly to my Auralic Mini?
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Offline tmazz

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2021, 11:20:46 PM »
Nick I ran a hardwire Ethernet cable to my Bluesound  Node to replace the WiFi connection using standard CAT 5 cable, nothing fancy. The reason for doing this was that I was starting to get occasional dropouts when playing 192 FLAC files located on my computer. I the hardwired connection solved the dropout problem, but I can't say that I remember noticing any kind of SQ improvement other than the freedom from dropouts. I have not tried any kind of audiophile ethernet cable in this application because it would be cost prohibitive since this is a 30ft run of cable.

Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline tmazz

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2021, 11:28:58 PM »
Charles, a question for you that is somewhat off topic , but still related to this thread. If I am correct when you talk about using the TWL Ethernet cable, you are using it as a digital interconnect between components, correct?

So my question is this, when Innuous provides ports for Ethernet connections between components, are the running standard Ethernet protocol signals over them or is it just an RJ45 connector that is used to send a proprietary digital signal over a standard Ethernet cable?

Or in other words, is the signal that comes out of they port the same protocol that is used to talk to routers and computers, or is it an audio specific digital format?

Just curious. :-k
Remember, it's all about the music........

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• Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
• DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline Nick B

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2021, 12:26:18 AM »
Nick I ran a hardwire Ethernet cable to my Bluesound  Node to replace the WiFi connection using standard CAT 5 cable, nothing fancy. The reason for doing this was that I was starting to get occasional dropouts when playing 192 FLAC files located on my computer. I the hardwired connection solved the dropout problem, but I can't say that I remember noticing any kind of SQ improvement other than the freedom from dropouts. I have not tried any kind of audiophile ethernet cable in this application because it would be cost prohibitive since this is a 30ft run of cable.

Tom, thanks for your comments. If your cable solved your dropout problem, I wonder what improvement an excellent quality Ethernet cable would yield. Maybe an interesting experiment at 6’ or less, but 30’ 😳

My situation is I receive a tower transmission to my dish on the roof and they ran a new cable from there (of what quality?) to the outlet. So could I get any benefit using a good/very good Ethernet cable to my router? The data coming in can’t be improved, but I imagine it could be corrupted further with the very poor quality Ethernet cable I’m using. So if the router then will transmit less corrupted data to my Aries mini streamer,  my system might sound better?? Is there any/some logic to this?

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Offline tmazz

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2021, 08:34:54 AM »
The Ethernet standard has a much more robust error detection and correction algorithms built into it than those protocols specifically designed for audio like S/PDIF, and for very good reason.
if a few bits in an audio stream get mangled, it's not that big of a deal and to the 99% of the people in the world who are not hard core audiophile, most likely not even audible. But if a few bits in a bank transfer get mangled that could be a huge deal, effecting millions of dollars. Ethernet systems work very hard at producing bit perfect communications in spite of the quality of the media doing the transmission.  So given that I am not sure there is much to be gained from the use of "premium" cable on the network side of your system. If you are in an area with lots of RFI, Charles' suggestion of shielded cable might be helpful, but other than that, I don't logically see any benefit from premium Ethernet cable, on the internet side of your device.

Now of course will all of that said, there are plenty of things in this hobby that do not follow "obvious logic" so while I don't expect there to be any big differences, I would not be surprised if there were.

With that in mind has anyone in the group tried an audiophile grade Ethernet cable to bring the network or internet signal into a streaming device like for example as a patch cord between a router or network switch and your streamer? and if so, what were the results?
Remember, it's all about the music........

• Nola Boxers
• Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
• DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline P.I.

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2021, 08:53:09 AM »
The Ethernet standard has a much more robust error detection and correction algorithms built into it than those protocols specifically designed for audio like S/PDIF, and for very good reason.
if a few bits in an audio stream get mangled, it's not that big of a deal and to the 99% of the people in the world who are not hard core audiophile, most likely not even audible. But if a few bits in a bank transfer get mangled that could be a huge deal, effecting millions of dollars. Ethernet systems work very hard at producing bit perfect communications in spite of the quality of the media doing the transmission.  So given that I am not sure there is much to be gained from the use of "premium" cable on the network side of your system. If you are in an area with lots of RFI, Charles' suggestion of shielded cable might be helpful, but other than that, I don't logically see any benefit from premium Ethernet cable, on the internet side of your device.

Now of course will all of that said, there are plenty of things in this hobby that do not follow "obvious logic" so while I don't expect there to be any big differences, I would not be surprised if there were.

With that in mind has anyone in the group tried an audiophile grade Ethernet cable to bring the network or internet signal into a streaming device like for example as a patch cord between a router or network switch and your streamer? and if so, what were the results?
There aren't "big differences", but there are differences.  Hopefully Pete will join in this discussion.  The Freedom cable has been very well received and reviewed:

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/a-new-twl-review-on-the-discrete-usb-and-freedom-ethernet-digital-cables.29967/
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Offline rollo

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2021, 10:49:04 AM »
Charles, a question for you that is somewhat off topic , but still related to this thread. If I am correct when you talk about using the TWL Ethernet cable, you are using it as a digital interconnect between components, correct?

So my question is this, when Innuous provides ports for Ethernet connections between components, are the running standard Ethernet protocol signals over them or is it just an RJ45 connector that is used to send a proprietary digital signal over a standard Ethernet cable?

Or in other words, is the signal that comes out of they port the same protocol that is used to talk to routers and computers, or is it an audio specific digital format?

Just curious. :-k


  I use the Ethernet cable in a dedicated I2S connection between Transport and DAC. Innuos runs standard Ethernet cable from Router to server. My comments relate to cable between transport and DAC not from Router to server. There I use a shielded 12' Monolith Cable.


charles
« Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 10:54:18 AM by rollo »
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
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Offline Nick B

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2021, 11:31:57 AM »
The Ethernet standard has a much more robust error detection and correction algorithms built into it than those protocols specifically designed for audio like S/PDIF, and for very good reason.
if a few bits in an audio stream get mangled, it's not that big of a deal and to the 99% of the people in the world who are not hard core audiophile, most likely not even audible. But if a few bits in a bank transfer get mangled that could be a huge deal, effecting millions of dollars. Ethernet systems work very hard at producing bit perfect communications in spite of the quality of the media doing the transmission.  So given that I am not sure there is much to be gained from the use of "premium" cable on the network side of your system. If you are in an area with lots of RFI, Charles' suggestion of shielded cable might be helpful, but other than that, I don't logically see any benefit from premium Ethernet cable, on the internet side of your device.

Now of course will all of that said, there are plenty of things in this hobby that do not follow "obvious logic" so while I don't expect there to be any big differences, I would not be surprised if there were.

With that in mind has anyone in the group tried an audiophile grade Ethernet cable to bring the network or internet signal into a streaming device like for example as a patch cord between a router or network switch and your streamer? and if so, what were the results?
There aren't "big differences", but there are differences.  Hopefully Pete will join in this discussion.  The Freedom cable has been very well received and reviewed:

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/a-new-twl-review-on-the-discrete-usb-and-freedom-ethernet-digital-cables.29967/

Dave, I thought you’d lean this way. Thx for that link. I’m hoping that our engineer from TWL can give us his thoughts on my particular situation  :thumb:
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Offline Nick B

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2021, 11:33:13 AM »
The Ethernet standard has a much more robust error detection and correction algorithms built into it than those protocols specifically designed for audio like S/PDIF, and for very good reason.
if a few bits in an audio stream get mangled, it's not that big of a deal and to the 99% of the people in the world who are not hard core audiophile, most likely not even audible. But if a few bits in a bank transfer get mangled that could be a huge deal, effecting millions of dollars. Ethernet systems work very hard at producing bit perfect communications in spite of the quality of the media doing the transmission.  So given that I am not sure there is much to be gained from the use of "premium" cable on the network side of your system. If you are in an area with lots of RFI, Charles' suggestion of shielded cable might be helpful, but other than that, I don't logically see any benefit from premium Ethernet cable, on the internet side of your device.

Now of course will all of that said, there are plenty of things in this hobby that do not follow "obvious logic" so while I don't expect there to be any big differences, I would not be surprised if there were.

With that in mind has anyone in the group tried an audiophile grade Ethernet cable to bring the network or internet signal into a streaming device like for example as a patch cord between a router or network switch and your streamer? and if so, what were the results?

Did not know it is a much stricter protocol. Glad I’m asking some questions.
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Supratek Chardonnay preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy & Wywires cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline Nick B

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2021, 11:40:11 AM »
Charles, a question for you that is somewhat off topic , but still related to this thread. If I am correct when you talk about using the TWL Ethernet cable, you are using it as a digital interconnect between components, correct?

So my question is this, when Innuous provides ports for Ethernet connections between components, are the running standard Ethernet protocol signals over them or is it just an RJ45 connector that is used to send a proprietary digital signal over a standard Ethernet cable?

Or in other words, is the signal that comes out of they port the same protocol that is used to talk to routers and computers, or is it an audio specific digital format?

Just curious. :-k


  I use the Ethernet cable in a dedicated I2S connection between Transport and DAC. Innuos runs standard Ethernet cable from Router to server. My comments relate to cable between transport and DAC not from Router to server. There I use a shielded 12' Monolith Cable.


charles

Yes, I understand your setup. I’m looking at Monoprice and other sources.
Nick
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Supratek Chardonnay preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy & Wywires cables
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PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline Jack

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2021, 05:08:46 PM »
Nick

The best of the "inexpensive" Ethernet cables is reputed to be the ones from Blue Jeans Cable that come with their individual test report.  Model is BJC C6AP.
The one from Supra are also good but about twice the price.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2021, 05:30:37 PM »
Nick

The best of the "inexpensive" Ethernet cables is reputed to be the ones from Blue Jeans Cable that come with their individual test report.  Model is BJC C6AP.
The one from Supra are also good but about twice the price.

Jack,
That’s a nice price ($12 for 5’) and is worth it to experiment a bit. It would be nice if the video was a bit sharper… I only use one TV. If I could expect a decent improvement on audio,  I’d pay quite a bit more. I’ll be taking a look at Supra as well.
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
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Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy & Wywires cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
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Offline Nick B

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Re: should I get better Ethernet cables?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2021, 05:59:33 PM »
Reading up a bit more on this, the Supra is a Cat 8 and the TWL is a Cat 6. Here’s a review of the Supra
https://audiobacon.net/2017/05/31/supra-cat8-ethernet-cable-review-an-amazing-spotify-and-tidal-experience/amp/

Another cable is mentioned in the review….the very pricey sotm. Here’s that review.
https://audiobacon.net/2017/03/16/sotm-dcbl-cat7-review/amp/

https://sotm-usa.com/collections/high-performance-cables/products/sotm-dcbl-cat7-lan-cable

It would be interesting to compare the sotm and the TWL. It all makes for interesting reading reading.. at least for me 🤔
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Supratek Chardonnay preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy & Wywires cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS