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New house - network/cabling suggestions?


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Guys,  I'm about to have new flooring put in and would appreciate guidance on cabling to future proof the family's media/music consumption as much as possible. 

 

Needs

-We want to remove any WiFi use.

-Listening room is currently the TV Room (including modem) which will continue

-Want to listen to music in front room (may relocate Turntable there)

-Kids will want to listen to music in their bedrooms soon

-Would also like to have wired Security cameras around house.

 

Current set-up in TV/Listening room
-Gigabit Internet with Comcast, Netgear CM1000 (Docsis 3.1), Synology Router RT2600ac, Synology NAS, Ultrarendu>W4S Dac-2>Mcintosh C46 Preamp>Job 225 amp>Salk Song Tower Speakers

 

Specific Questions:

-Any recommendations on Ethernet cable to future proof?

-Would XLR cabling from the Mcintosh degrade if it was around 36ft

-Any other equipment recommendations/tips based on your experience?

 

Thanks in advance.
 

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I did this a number of years back when Cat 5e was the bleeding edge.  Fortunately, I also did two things: 1) I also ran fiber everywhere i put Ethernet and 2) I put everything in PVC conduits so that I could re-run the cables if needed later.  In your case you might want to run fully shielded Cat7 capable cables in wall, but then be careful how you terminate them in terms of not having the shielding carry noise.  May also depend on how electrically "noisy" your environment is. 

 

I found I could not do without WiFi because a) the kids demanded it, b) I needed it for the security cameras, thermostats and other IOT devices, and c) I wanted to use handheld devices to control my system.  But I kept the WiFi routers away from the listening room.  

 

I went with business class hardware and did some mixing and matching of brands (which meant I had to learn how to manage everything myself because most IT firms I interviewed only wanted to program their favorite brand of equipment).  

 

Re your XLR question that is pretty long, but still way better than running speaker cables that distance.  I set mine up to split the distance, but my speaker cables (particularly to the rear channels on my surround system) are still longer than i would like. 

 

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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So glad I posted. Thanks for the helpful reply @sdolezalek I hadn't even considered fiber. Which cable did you opt for? A quick search suggests there are at least 3 types. 

You also mention terminating the Cat7 capables- can you tell me more about this? I was just thinking of running them from modem under floors and into a wall with an outlet so devices could plug in there.

 

Finally since most routers have 4 ethernet ports did you use some type of device to increase this number?

 

Curious if others have lessons learned from house wiring too....

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I'd be planning sockets in each room, then running wires back from each to one central location, like in attic space or a cupboard, leaving spare cable at that end so things can be plugged into different switches etc as required. Then you can choose how to connect everything there, and change things as you wish. There you might use one switch with lots of ports, or you might cascade multiple switches. The router will just be another device that has a lan cable running back to there.

 

As far as planning sockets in each room, any one socket could have a switch then plugged into it to allow more devices to plug in. So as long as you have a socket in each room, and on different sides of the room if you know you'll want to plug in items in different places in the room you will be good.

 

Remember if your Router is not going to live in that mission control cupboard, then you'll want a socket where that router is going to be for that to be plugged in.

 

Your Nas could live in that cupboard then and be out of the way.

 

If I have an area where I am going to run TV and Hifi then I would probably run at least two cables to there, so that one can be dedicated just for the hifi streaming and the other for everything else (a switch plugged into one of the sockets that might for example have a few ports that you could plug in TV, Bluray, Sky Box, Apple TV etc).

 

There's actually quite a lot to planning wiring a network if data throughput is key, but in a house that is relatively small and the network is quite small generally it is all quite easy. The bonus is it is usually quite easy (probably not as easy as people would like!) to run each and all of the sockets back to one central point and be prepared for that to be a bit spaghetti-like at first, but it will start to make sense. I'd label every cable too so I knew which socket it went to for troubleshooting ability later on.

 

It is difficult to explain the rest as there are so many options in how to then connect everything up (switches in the cupboard could well be multiple ones, or one big one, all will "work" anyway in basic terms), the important thing though is you are asking about the wiring and if you follow the above you won't have restricted your possibilities really.

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23 hours ago, trionfare said:

So glad I posted. Thanks for the helpful reply @sdolezalek I hadn't even considered fiber. Which cable did you opt for? A quick search suggests there are at least 3 types. 

You also mention terminating the Cat7 capables- can you tell me more about this? I was just thinking of running them from modem under floors and into a wall with an outlet so devices could plug in there.

 

Finally since most routers have 4 ethernet ports did you use some type of device to increase this number?

 

Curious if others have lessons learned from house wiring too....

 I used single mode fiber and had it run to all the same rooms as I ran Ethernet to.  Many rooms have two separate Ethernet lines, particularly those with entertainment units. 

 

Although MFIN posted above that you can cascade switches, my networking experts suggested that is good way to really slow down your network.  So in most cases equipment is direct wired through a "homerun" cable to a large distribution panel in my basement.  There the Ethernet wires are run into a 28 port Cisco business class switch.  I actually configured my network much like what Chris has done with his (as described here: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/ca/ca-academy/Network-Audio-Refresher/ ).  So I use an Arris SurfBoard Docsis Modem (SVG2482AC) that feeds into a TP-Link SafeStream TL-R600VPN Gigabit Broadband Desktop VPN Router, from there I run two subnetworks, one through a  TP-Link 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Easy Smart Switch | Managed Plus and the other through a Cisco SG200-26 Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch with 24 10/100/1000 Ports and 2 Combo Mini-GBIC Ports (SLM2024T-NA).  I use the Mini-GBIC Ports on the Cisco to run the fiber through to my NAA Appliance.  My Synology NAS is also connected into the Cisco Switch. 

 

In each room there are the appropriate outlets for Ethernet and phone.  In most cases I have not yet terminated the fiber as I currently only use that for my sound system.  

 

On the Cat7 cables, you can benefit from the extra shielding, but you don't want the shielding to be the way that noise gets from one component to another.  

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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I should just say that the basis of what I wrote was in wiring multiple sockets back to one central point, and at that point you might use one switch with lots of ports, or you might cascade multiple switches.

 

If you want to fully see everything sorted as above, you'd want one socket for everything you could possibly use. If you can at least get one socket for everything that is key in the setup you will be most of the way there, meaning any cascading of switches would only be where you have used another switch in a room in order to get more ports.

 

The throughput due to multiple ports is true of course, but in many cases as we know we simply want to get internet access to something so it can do the odd update etc, many devices require nothing more than that in the real world.

 

Just as a quick example. If I have an extra switch in my lounge, and into that are plugged my Bluray, TV, DVD, Apple TV, and Sky box, then that's 5 things that won't suffer from bad throughput really, some of which are rarely even switched on. If it's easy enough to run 5 wires back to a central point and have 5 sockets for those in the lounge then it would be fine, but it might not be, and cost for some people will add up, maybe it's not practical either, so 1 socket for all those would do fine. (Also, we can tend to find we need more in future, so in my lounge I would imagine I'd want 8 sockets so I had some spare plus 2 for the hifi items...10 is a lot to do, and I'd see no real benefit over having 3).

 

What I am saying is you can do the approach @sdolezalek says for all the things you see as essential, the hifi things, the servers, the nas stuff etc, and you don't have to worry so much about non-essential stuff.

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This is incredibly useful info. Thank you both for the insights (and somehow I had missed that Networking set-up from Chris). Those audioquest cables look incredibly expensive in the article above. Which brands did you opt for in the end?

Also @sdolezalek are you using the fiber cables at the moment or are they just there for future proofing? Asking as I'm wondering if there is some way to transport standard Comcast internet service via fiber cables even if you don't have a Comcast fiber service.

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From a networking point I would find a central location to place the core networking of your home.  Moving the modem router is trivial.  I have the modem, my router and a 24 port switch located in the center of the basement of my home.  Most rooms of my home have at least a single CAT 5 cable (done several years ago)   I have one place where there is a second switch where there are six networking devices in the family room.  

 

Wired security cameras will need POE (Power Over Ethernet) and thus a pretty robust switch.  Also you do not want all that wiring in listening room. Plan for a additional POE devices over time if you are doing security. Today I would run at least Cat 6 and I might consider Cat 7.    I would try to run two cables to each room even if only one is needed.  

 

You will need WiFi in todays world.  I do not think it is as evil as it may have been made out to be.  That said I  would not have active WiFi in the racking of the stereo system.  

 

--RJF

 

 

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Thanks Bobfa. Talking to my wiring contractor this week hopefully.  My cable enters house in living room near my TV/Stereo, but I might try and relocate NAS, and wireless router to the study so only modem and switch are in audio rack.  I was thinking of validating low emf running through ethernet cables via a device like this https://www.amazon.com/Cornet-ED78S-Meter-ElectroMagnetic-Detector/dp/B00P67QLA0/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1517282976&sr=8-18&keywords=emf+meter unless you know of others I should be considering?

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Quote
  • So as long as you have a socket in each room, and on different sides of the room if you know you'll want to plug in items in different places in the room you will be good.

 

We're presently in the process of doing what you're doing.  Good information in this thread.  But I will add a slight clarification.  Some times you can lay an extension from one side to the other side of room.  However, if a door prevents you from easily laying extension cable from the outlet along the baseboard past it, put another outlet past the door.  Let doors, be your demarcation point for adding a new outlet not necessarily sides of the room.    

 

BTW, having built twice before (we did good with CAT cable 17-years ago),  this time, I was more concerned with getting clean mains power to my components than the low voltage issue which I had more of a clue about.  Thus, I have a concurrent thread running on Audiogon per whole/new house wiring that is more focused on the mains question.  I learned a lot from it, but more importantly, it clarified areas of my lack of knowledge or misinformation.  The thread is:  https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/whole-house-mains-wiring-ping-jea48-jim-all-others-for-your   

 

-Mike

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/17/2018 at 8:01 AM, sdolezalek said:

demanded it, b) I needed it for the security

I recommend the Audioquest Carbon Ethernet with or without Telegartner RJ45 plugs. It has 5% silver plated OFC and is actually cheaper than Audioquest Cinammon which is 1,25% silver plated but comes without plugs and the extra layer of insulation. Audioquest Vodka has 10% silver plated OFC but costs much more.

 

QED Performance Ethernet is also good,  it is cheaper but less detailed since it's OFC. Supra Ethernet is even cheaper, but brighter and tends to sound harsh. The AQ Carbon is a bulk ethernet cable and can be used for longer runs. QED and Supra are limited to 5m. I wouldn't recommend long ethernet cables anyway. I have the NAS and renderer (raspberry pi 3) connected in the same Tplink switch with each 1m of AQ Carbon Ethernet. 

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I would run Cat 7 cable everywhere as it is the up and coming standard and can be used for GB ethernet. I would also just have one place for the incoming and setup the Router's, etc. there. It makes it easier to deal with.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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