Jump to content

Ethernet System for Audio: putting it all together


Recommended Posts

29 minutes ago, barbz127 said:

Curious to give it a go.

I have watched it done on my cables by the person who assembled  the cables.  For him it was simple.  8 cables done in less than an hour.

 

 

 

However, it will depend on whether you can easily get to the cable end of the plug.  With some cables the heat shrink covering on the cable may cover part of the end of the plug.  Then life gets interesting in removing the heat shrink.  If the heat shrink is not an issue, I will try get some simple instructions to explain how the plug comes apart.  The plugs are to some extent fragile so you have to be careful with the screw driver.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites



2 hours ago, barbz127 said:

Is anyone aware of somewhere I can find the instructions to remove the grounding at one end of a cable terminated with telegarter connectors?

 

Curious to give it a go.

 

Thankyou

Got to the end of this to see how the connector and wire are assembled and you will see where the shield is,and therefore what to cut off or cover up so the headshell does not contact the shield.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ll put below my findings over the last year. While different components may alleviate some of these issues I believe any system no matter how good will benefit from getting these fundamentals right. 
 

Ground your network switches. this reduced a lot of noise for my system. Obviously something on the network was injecting or earthing badly. 
 

don’t use shielded network cable. It will just transfer earthing issues from one components to another. Standard unshielded cat6 is perfect. Aim for solid core and PE insulator. 
 

good network cable improves SQ. At least from the switch to your streamer. 
 

put a switch before your streamer. Don’t need to spend crazy audiophile money to start. The benefit comes from actually putting one in. 

clock is the next important thing in a switch. Again. Just having a half decent one in the switch is 99% of the gain. 
 

DO NOT USE WIFI for streaming. Can’t stress this enough. It fks with the high frequencies. Your server, streamer should be hardwired on the same network somehow. 
 

The next thing i want to work out is how much servers affect the SQ when they connect to a streamer. I.e you are NOT using them to play into a dac. It is obvious server/players have a high impact when connected directly into a dac. Not sure when they are just feeding a streamer particularly when connected through a few switches. 
 

if anyone has played around with this config if they can shed a bit of light. 
 

I currently have a 12v Mac mini feeding a streaming dac and want to try a half decent server to see if it improves in this situation. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, DanFi said:

don’t use shielded network cable. It will just transfer earthing issues from one components to another. Standard unshielded cat6 is perfect. Aim for solid core and PE insulator. 

My recent experience is that a shielded cable with the shield discounted at one end provides a significant benefit.  The disconnection prevents the transfer of noise and interference etc.

3 hours ago, DanFi said:

Not sure when they are just feeding a streamer particularly when connected through a few switches. 

 As you say start with one switch. Over time add another switch and build the network.  Two for me was better than one. As is three better than two.  If you count the Paul Pang quad switch as four I now have seven switches.   I have enough now.

 

One thing you did not mention in your post was network speed.  Slow is better.  Also the quality of the power supply can impact the outcome.

John

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Assisi said:

I have watched it done on my cables by the person who assembled  the cables.  For him it was simple.  8 cables done in less than an hour.

 

However, it will depend on whether you can easily get to the cable end of the plug.  With some cables the heat shrink covering on the cable may cover part of the end of the plug.  Then life gets interesting in removing the heat shrink.  If the heat shrink is not an issue, I will try get some simple instructions to explain how the plug comes apart.  The plugs are to some extent fragile so you have to be careful with the screw driver.

John

I gave this a go last night.  I have 2 of the same Acoustic Revive (red) cables terminated with telegartner RJ45 plugs.  I disconnected the shield at one end of one of the cables.  It was not difficult, but a bit fiddly.  Comparing them back to back today, I do agree that the cable with the shield disconnected sounds a bit better.  I have other Ethernet cable options that are still better sounding, but it is worth trying out disconnecting the shield at one end as John suggests.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites



6 hours ago, DanFi said:

I’ll put below my findings over the last year. While different components may alleviate some of these issues I believe any system no matter how good will benefit from getting these fundamentals right. 
 

Ground your network switches. this reduced a lot of noise for my system. Obviously something on the network was injecting or earthing badly. 
 

don’t use shielded network cable. It will just transfer earthing issues from one components to another. Standard unshielded cat6 is perfect. Aim for solid core and PE insulator. 
 

good network cable improves SQ. At least from the switch to your streamer. 
 

put a switch before your streamer. Don’t need to spend crazy audiophile money to start. The benefit comes from actually putting one in. 

clock is the next important thing in a switch. Again. Just having a half decent one in the switch is 99% of the gain. 
 

DO NOT USE WIFI for streaming. Can’t stress this enough. It fks with the high frequencies. Your server, streamer should be hardwired on the same network somehow. 
 

The next thing i want to work out is how much servers affect the SQ when they connect to a streamer. I.e you are NOT using them to play into a dac. It is obvious server/players have a high impact when connected directly into a dac. Not sure when they are just feeding a streamer particularly when connected through a few switches. 
 

if anyone has played around with this config if they can shed a bit of light. 
 

I currently have a 12v Mac mini feeding a streaming dac and want to try a half decent server to see if it improves in this situation. 

 

There’s a lot to unpack in that, DanFi.  I was going to write a long post addressing your points individually, but I’ve instead decided to keep things more brief.

 

Firstly, whilst I definitely agree the old adage “everything matters” applies to streaming audio, the problem is that the extent to which certain things matter is very variable.  It depends very much on the system, the person, the room, the music.  As such, I think making broad sweeping statements and generalisations about streaming can be problematic.  For instance, @dbastin strongly advocates for the use of wifi in his system, and by all reports finds it better than wired.

 

Secondly, with regards to the effect of the server (independent of the streamer) on sound quality, I would say that in my experience with various Antipodes devices the server is a critical part of the chain for sound quality.  Not everyone will find improvements with server tweaks/upgrades (see point one, above), but I find the server to be an equally important contributor to sound quality as the streamer and interface from streamer to DAC.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried to use optical in my network several times in the past.  I gave up as I had connection issues which probably were all to do with me.  Plus, when there was connection, my perception was that whilst there was a clean aspect to the sound there was a possible small but perceptible loss of dynamics.  With the recent step up because of the shield disconnections in my LAN cables I decided to try optical again.

 

 

Both the Melco and the SOtM switches have optical connection.  I decided to connect them via optical.  My previous optical connection was with different switches.  The connection between the two switches above worked immediately.  Initially I did not consider that there was a benefit even though the dynamics seemed fine.  During the day it seemed that the two SFPs settled and there more detail.  I noticed that there was more in the sound stage.  Background instruments became slightly more obvious.

 

 

Optical is going to be bit more work in progress to determine the best options.  For example, which switch is first and which follows.  I also have a Sonore opticalRendu to play with.  I am also curious as to whether attenuation is a benefit, the amount and on which leg of the optical cable.   Interesting times ahead.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, DanFi said:

Ground your network switches.

Thanks for sharing your experiences here for other to consider.

 

I agree with the point about grounding.

 

8 hours ago, DanFi said:

don’t use shielded network cable. It will just transfer earthing issues from one components to another. Standard unshielded cat6 is perfect. Aim for solid core and PE insulator

I reckon it depends on the cable design.  And then on what it is connecting.

8 hours ago, DanFi said:

good network cable improves SQ. At least from the switch to your streamer

Agree, but be careful with the shield and compatabilty with what it is connecting.

 

8 hours ago, DanFi said:

DO NOT USE WIFI for streaming

Umm, many people would disagree, for instance Auralic owners. But again there are many variables.

 

So far I think wifi to Devialet Pro is quite incredible.

 

8 hours ago, DanFi said:

The next thing i want to work out is how much servers affect the SQ

Server quality can make a big difference if the noise floor is low enough to reveal (eg. via reducing noise with power conditioner and network optimisation).

 

For example, I have Antipodes EX with its Direct out ethernet to a wifi access point that is solely used to connect to Devialet Pro.  I often hear  changes/improvements when roon tweaks its software, and easily hear the difference between decrapifier things plugged into the EX spare USB, d8fferent ground cables, etc).  In addition, Antipodes EX and CX owners claim the Oladra upgrade (new bios software and new psu) is a significant improvement.  And these examples are not even considering changing the actual server.

 

It is likely the Mac mini is a big source of noise.  I would suggest inserting that into the network as far upstream and/or as isolated (eg. by its wifi or fibre) from the streamer as possible.  And even thought that will Isolate its noise from the endpoint, its self generated noise will probably still be detrimental to its processing of audio data in a way that is audible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Stereophilus said:

Comparing them back to back today, I do agree that the cable with the shield disconnected sounds a bit better.  I have other Ethernet cable options that are still better sounding, but it is worth trying out disconnecting the shield at one end as John suggests

Well done. 

 

To assist with the general discussion here, it might be helpful to share what devices you were connecting with the cable and if they are grounded (other than just to AC earth).

 

It is possible the result and degree of difference will vary depending on what devices a cable is connected to.

 

7 hours ago, Stereophilus said:

 I have other Ethernet cable options that are still better sounding

This probably illustrates how the design and materials used in cables, and the designer's choice of how shields are used and terminated, is a complete package that delivers a particular result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, dbastin said:

Well done. 

 

To assist with the general discussion here, it might be helpful to share what devices you were connecting with the cable and if they are grounded (other than just to AC earth).

 

It is possible the result and degree of difference will vary depending on what devices a cable is connected to.

 

This probably illustrates how the design and materials used in cables, and the designer's choice of how shields are used and terminated, is a complete package that delivers a particular result.

Hopefully the attached image explains it succinctly.  
 

The router is a bog-standard ISP supplied one, mainly because I was getting internet connection dropouts with the others I tried.  There are 2 links of Cat6 Ethernet from the router to the hifi room and from there I use an RJ45 series connector to link an AIM NA7 cable to a Curious Ethernet which connects to the hifi room switch (Renolabs).  This link is the most sensitive to cable changes.  I have tried all sorts of different cables (and combinations of cables using the series connector) in this position.  This is the position I compared the Acoustic Revive Red cables.

 

The Atlas Mavros USB cable has a built in ground connection cable at the DAC end which is attached to the Shunyata Denali 6000S v2 for grounding.
 

02919C97-E774-4687-A96E-896651F3E8CC.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



34 minutes ago, Stereophilus said:

RJ45 series connector

 

Do you mean one of these which seems to also be called a coupler?

image.png.dc2bf4faa7b85c63761f82b4775d7949.png

Audiobacon review of SOtM ISO CAT noted that filter is also handy for joining 2 cables to blend their sound.

 

It's interesting you are not using the CX-EX in series with the CX's direct out ethernet port.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, dbastin said:

 

Do you mean one of these which seems to also be called a coupler?

image.png.dc2bf4faa7b85c63761f82b4775d7949.png

Audiobacon review of SOtM ISO CAT noted that filter is also handy for joining 2 cables to blend their sound.

 

It's interesting you are not using the CX-EX in series with the CX's direct out ethernet port.

Yes, that is what I’m using, and yes, it does seem to “blend” the sound of the 2 cables.

 

I have tried the CX-EX in series recently.  It is a subtlety different sound compared to having the Renolabs in between.  For now, I prefer the setup as it is shown above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Stereophilus said:

... which connects to the hifi room switch (Renolabs).  This link is the most sensitive to cable changes.  I have tried all sorts of different cables (and combinations of cables using the series connector) in this position. 

Me too!  🤚  

 

I have switched over to the Renolabs because it is self contained and simple, with the switch, linear power supply and clock in one box.  Much as I admire Dean's  @dbastin efforts in trying various switches, clocks, cables, filters etc and envy John's @Assisi  brood of switches (have lost count!), I could not bring myself to break my simplicity mantra and settled for 1 box.

 

One thing different to all of you is that I do not have the desire to get the best possible Ethernet setup.  My ultimate is NO Ethernet.  Let me explain.  I am using SnakeOil as my music OS and it can load music to a Ram disk.  Playing music off the Ram Disk is the equivalent of having no Ethernet.  It became the benchmark for comparing my various Ethernet tweaks prior to settling on the Renolabs.

 

It is, of course, not possible to use Qobuz without Ethernet, hence the Renolabs.  For the same music (assuming they had the same masters), from good to best: Qobuz music, music on NAS, music on Ram Disk.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Snoopy8 said:

Me too!  🤚  

 

I have switched over to the Renolabs because it is self contained and simple, with the switch, linear power supply and clock in one box.  Much as I admire Dean's  @dbastin efforts in trying various switches, clocks, cables, filters etc and envy John's @Assisi  brood of switches (have lost count!), I could not bring myself to break my simplicity mantra and settled for 1 box.

 

One thing different to all of you is that I do not have the desire to get the best possible Ethernet setup.  My ultimate is NO Ethernet.  Let me explain.  I am using SnakeOil as my music OS and it can load music to a Ram disk.  Playing music off the Ram Disk is the equivalent of having no Ethernet.  It became the benchmark for comparing my various Ethernet tweaks prior to settling on the Renolabs.

 

It is, of course, not possible to use Qobuz without Ethernet, hence the Renolabs.  For the same music (assuming they had the same masters), from good to best: Qobuz music, music on NAS, music on Ram Disk.

Yes, I am a hifi minimalist at heart too.  The Renolabs switch certainly helps in that mindset.

 

If you want no ethernet then maybe look at buying and downloading all the albums you dont already own off Qobuz.  I dont think i could do that though... I just love new music discovery through Roon too much.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Stereophilus said:

Yes, I am a hifi minimalist at heart too.  The Renolabs switch certainly helps in that mindset.

 

If you want no ethernet then maybe look at buying and downloading all the albums you dont already own off Qobuz.  I dont think i could do that though... I just love new music discovery through Roon too much.

New music discovery is not my priority, hence happy to "potter around" with the convenient but not necessarily the absolutely best Ethernet switch.

 

I do have something that made a significant SQ difference, much more than any Ethernet switch, cable, tweak, Ram disk etc. could deliver.   It would take this thread OT, hence I will post a new thread soon.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



17 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

I do have something that made a significant SQ difference, much more than any Ethernet switch, cable, tweak, Ram disk etc. could deliver.   It would take this thread OT, hence I will post a new thread soon.

 

Oooh, can we have a hint ? 😜

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

I do have something that made a significant SQ difference, much more than any Ethernet switch, cable, tweak, Ram disk etc. could deliver.   It would take this thread OT, hence I will post a new thread soon.

@Snoopy8 Very nice - Subscribed. However, if the turntable is what your new discovery, I'm not going back. 😁

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

New music discovery is not my priority, hence happy to "potter around" with the convenient but not necessarily the absolutely best Ethernet switch.

 

I do have something that made a significant SQ difference, much more than any Ethernet switch, cable, tweak, Ram disk etc. could deliver.   It would take this thread OT, hence I will post a new thread soon.

 

CNC case, OCXO, LPS. LHY is a subsidiary of Jay's audio. 

https://www.beatechnik.com/product-page/lhy-sw-8

Anyone compared one of these v's renolabs? 

 

Looks decent:

image.png.b1808a7c1ab9450b03b7cdf015a022ed.png

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

Me too!  🤚  

 

I have switched over to the Renolabs because it is self contained and simple, with the switch, linear power supply and clock in one box.  Much as I admire Dean's  @dbastin efforts in trying various switches, clocks, cables, filters etc and envy John's @Assisi  brood of switches (have lost count!), I could not bring myself to break my simplicity mantra and settled for 1 box.

 

One thing different to all of you is that I do not have the desire to get the best possible Ethernet setup.  My ultimate is NO Ethernet.  Let me explain.  I am using SnakeOil as my music OS and it can load music to a Ram disk.  Playing music off the Ram Disk is the equivalent of having no Ethernet.  It became the benchmark for comparing my various Ethernet tweaks prior to settling on the Renolabs.

 

It is, of course, not possible to use Qobuz without Ethernet, hence the Renolabs.  For the same music (assuming they had the same masters), from good to best: Qobuz music, music on NAS, music on Ram Disk.

 

Many years ago I ran software called MQn play, which did ram loading. 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mqn-minimalist-wasapi-wav-c-memory-player-integrated-with-foobar2000.657920/page-2

DOS prompt playback. 

Sounded great. 

 

I just use Roon these days. 

 

Edited by Grizaudio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Grizaudio said:

 

CNC case, OCXO, LPS. LHY is a subsidiary of Jay's audio. 

https://www.beatechnik.com/product-page/lhy-sw-8

Anyone compared one of these v's renolabs? 

 

Looks decent:

image.png.b1808a7c1ab9450b03b7cdf015a022ed.png

It looks well-designed. There are few VDC filter modifications at every dc stepping down conversion. renolabs internal looks a bit tidied—both deploying similar OEM switchboards. 

Renolabs has gone up in price recently. I may consider getting one for a trial. Thanks for posting. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Its looks much better value than the Chord or Bonn8 for similar money. Considering grabbing one. 

The insides are https://www.linksys.com/gb/lgs108-8-port-business-desktop-gigabit-switch/LGS108-UK.html.... A $50 switch. 

So the money is in the LPS, and clock board, CNC case. Its up to the individual whether this is value or not, alot of value seems to be on the OCXO mod. 

 

A few cheaper optioins for those on a budget>

 

NO LPS. but that's easy to fix. About $150 aud. TCXO not OCXO. 

http://ifan.vn/switch-audiophile/switch-netgear-prosafe-gs108-ban-nang-cap-clock.html

 

Teradak, based on GS105E 5-port Netgear. OXCO. 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004462804027.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.35905ffdVLUfNL&algo_pvid=04d1b058-8f05-4f3c-9158-124d8fb7826c&algo_exp_id=04d1b058-8f05-4f3c-9158-124d8fb7826c-1&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id"%3A"12000029255434032"}&pdp_npi=2%40dis!AUD!253.7!228.33!!!!!%402101d91e16605560933302383ecd33!12000029255434032!sea&curPageLogUid=BasaiYdreL5t

 

Edited by Grizaudio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Grizaudio said:

Its looks much better value than the Chord or Bonn8 for similar money. 

I'll probably grab one. 

 

The insides are https://www.linksys.com/gb/lgs108-8-port-business-desktop-gigabit-switch/LGS108-UK.html

Essentially a $50 switch. 

So the money is in the LPS, and clock board, CNC case. 

Up to the individual whether this is value or not. 

 

I founds this cheap option...... NO LPS. but that's easy to fix. About $150 aud. TCXO not OCXO. 

http://ifan.vn/switch-audiophile/switch-netgear-prosafe-gs108-ban-nang-cap-clock.html

Interestingly I do have few exact oven-baked clock currently at hand. 

This is my version from a DIYer background. F4553AF7-E11F-46D9-87C4-843A11911065.thumb.jpeg.b3bf8b0582180e466e1bc7498dee99d4.jpeg

410CA568-329A-4CBA-B7D3-649295FF04D6.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, JB82 said:

Oooh, can we have a hint ? 😜

Patience, young grasshopper! 😁

 

56 minutes ago, AccuMagi said:

@Snoopy8 Very nice - Subscribed. However, if the turntable is what your new discovery, I'm not going back. 😁

Never a turntable. I made a conscious decision not to go there.

----

 

It is something that is not new and not Ethernet related (hence new thread). It may disappoint some of you but it made me go Wow! It was the sound I was looking for.  I will post probably tomorrow...

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...
To Top