Jump to content

Recommended Posts

22 minutes ago, TomJ said:

As I dont have and dont know an endpoint (streamer) with fiber interface, you need a fiber to ethernet converter - here we are again....

Yes, I agree it’s a challenge. You would need the opticalRendu and or the opticalModule and maybe / alternatively the EtherRegen. (Sonictransporter i9 possible also). Maybe additional power supplies. Hopefully things will move in the right direction before 2025.


Mikrotik has a nice $99 switch with 2 SFP+ ports. Problem there is they haven’t solved the problem with forcing 10GB modules into 1 GB. I have gotten 2 unofficial SW upgrade from them, but they’re not there yet. That is if you’re  into 10GB. Otherwise 1 GB modules works just fine in SFP+ (10GB) slots. 

 

If you ever go fiber, use Single Mode modules and the yellow cable with blue connectors. Not the items Sonore is offering. All their items works 100% with single mode 10GB modules. I’ve have them all up an running 10GB (in 1GB mode of cause). 
 

When it comes to ethernet cables, well known brands like Belden will suit you well. Look at blue jeans website as well. If you like to pay more, you can look at Gent Audio’s cable
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This network cable from premium brand Crystal Cable is similar to what you are exploring. It’s a 2 twisted pair (each pair isolated from each other). I have been intrigued by its design but never tried myself a DIY version for Ethernet. I have used the same technique with  DC cables for shielding each cable. Going back to the earlier Beldon video which showed change when the cables were flexed maybe a cable like this would benefit to have an outer sleeve on top to hold the 2 twisted pairs together more tightly. Or make sure the cable doesn’t move at all after it’s installed. I can’t comment on buffer loading during streaming of tidal but there is a similarity here with this Crystal cable to what you are exploring with 2 twisted pairs Tom and it seems interesting.

 

https://www.crystalcable.com/products/monet/monet-6/

 


Quote from Crystal Cable website:

 

MONET

The CrystalConnect Monet Network Cable features dual layer shielding with impedance matched fully shielded RJ-45 connectors.

Network cables carry digital information, and, just like all other digital cables in a system, the data transfer is incredibly sensitive to tiny variations in amplitude and spacing. These can rob drama and vitality from a performance by hiding musical nuances, bleaching colours, and flattening dynamic contrasts. It’s important to know that higher data rates are more vulnerable to external interference too. That’s why maintaining data integrity is more important than transfer speed when streaming music.

This new network cable protects the dynamic impacts and dramatic contrasts that make music come alive by preserving the most delicate details and textures in your music.

Technical description
To achieve the best sound, the CrystalConnect network cables utilize the 100BASE-TX specification which supports a maximum speed of 100Mbps. Because of this it is important to set the ports of smart network switches to the correct speed or on auto. This feature is usually found in the port configuration menu of the network switch.

D4F32AC1-4CFF-4069-90D4-C73EEBFEC4F9.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dan,

 

this is really interesting.

Are there any other information available (material, gauge, price etc?).

 

I have tried also an approach with single twisted pairs and separated shielding, which was not successful regarding sound quality compared with the unshielded version. 

 

3.jpg

 

P.S.: Just found this info: https://artsexcellence.com/crystalconnect-monet-network.html 1.899$ for 1m!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting looking switch you have.

 

I believe the material is a form of low crystal silver that Crystal cable use. without understanding fully I might think its like OCC silver.

 

I see your shielding is connected to the metal chassis of the RJ45 (grounded) there are of course differing opinions from many on grounding vs switch end grounding vs no grounding of the shield braid at all. Additionally if you don't have anything covering each of those metal shield braids they could be grounding each other, I am not sure on any impact here (positive or negative) but it seems logical to make cover each shield braid with nylon or something so one is not able to touch the other. Is that what you have done with the black cables? And are the black cables grounded at one or both ends? 

 

If you still have the materials you could try an ungrounded shield using John Swenson shielding technique.

 

Have a read of that thread and maybe search John Swenson on the AudiphileStyle search section for other links to the discussion around shields isolated at both ends with a wire soldered on the outside. it applies to anything shielded it seems but if you believe it works or not.... there is only one way to find out ;)

 

I have done this technique on my DC cables and a network cable from my router to my network switch using Viablue Silver plated cable with Telegartner RJ45. I can't say it's better than the one end grounded technique but it's certainly not worse. (for me both end grounded is a worse sound quality) A picture of my DIY Network cable using Viablue Silver plated cable showing shielding isolated but linked end to end by a piece of bell wire (both ends look the same as you can see) second pic is a DC cable using Neotech 16AWG OCC copper cable for the power and the shield loop is using the same cable. You might need to dig through the above thread before fully understanding Johns technique.

 

long story shorter - Try isolating your shield braiding at both ends of the cable and connect shield braid with a thin cable end to end making sure no bare wire connects to either metal RJ45 termination. as you have 2 shields, one on each twisted pair it seems to make sense to run one cable down each shield.

 

PS. ignore the colour coding of the RJ45 push fit connection, the cables are matched end to end but the colours on the push fit field connection of the Telegartner are not (it was an odd one out of a batch I bought)

 

IMG_1171.jpeg

IMG_1135.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Don,

 

the Switch is an IP67 industrial switch which ist completely encapsulated with resin and only on 100baseT level.

 

I have also tried the JSSG shielding, but also here, the unshielded version has more details.

 

 

Regarding your cable: Do you use both wire (red + black) for JSSG?

I also read about cables that use 2 GND systems for shielding to improve EMI resistance:

The outer shield is only connected to earth (PE) on the switch side and the inner shield of the twisted pairs is connected to the GND system of the end device.

Ever heard of this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't heard of the 2 grounding system - you keep one end grounded to one

2 hours ago, TomJ said:

I also read about cables that use 2 GND systems for shielding to improve EMI resistance:

The outer shield is only connected to earth (PE) on the switch side and the inner shield of the twisted pairs is connected to the GND system of the end device.

Ever heard of this?

I haven't read about this - assuming both shield are separated by a layer of something to stop them grounding each other? do you have a link to the topic?

 

My head tells me that having no ground to the end device (EG switch to dac, so no shield connected to ground on the dac side) would at least help to carry some interference away from the Dac where as connecting it might work as an antenna to put some interference into the dac. Maybe the technique works with other types of equipment though and has a different advantage where cables run in hi noise areas so I would be interested to read.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TomJ said:

Have you ever tried to remove the shielding from the viablue cat cable?

No I haven't tried this and I don't have any cable left or would be trying it now for sure, the cable is quite nice quality, it slightly better than SUPRA in that it brings a bit more detail and a bit more air to everything.

 

I have in the "to do" list a DIY test on ethernet cables which is why this topic you started interested me and I would like to join the conversation. I would like to try making up a Neotech silver and gold 24awg terminated into Telegartner for the last section of the network from switch to Dac / Amp. I had put it off due to the expense of 8M of cable but if its only 4 cables for 2 twisted pairs its much more palatable a cost (still a lot ££ but I already have the Telegartners already).

https://www.hificollective.co.uk/wires/neotech-AG-GD-silver-gold-wire-teflon.html

 

I am settling / burning in a whole network change for the time being so it will need to wait as I want to explore that big change with everything I have at the moment. But when I do get round to it in a month or so I will definitely try without shielding first, then with 3M copper tape covered by Nylon (the tape holds the twists in place so they don't move (giving a little effect of the Beldon bonded I guess but not as secure as the beldon), then with copper braid over the top and a nylon outer to finish, something like the Crystal Monet.

 

I see sense in the first 2 out of 3 network cables in my chain from ISP modem-Router-Switch-Dac could be shielded because of how they pass power cabling, PSU's and other electrical equipment but the 3rd and final ethernet to the Dac has a bit more space around it and here maybe its worth experimenting to see if unshielded or low shielded works or doesnt.

 

One of my purchased ethernets (not DIY by me) is an odd one - its silver 95% copper 5% (basically a sterling silver which is not regarded as an audiophile material but I was open to experiment with it).  The twisted pairs are wrapped in copper tape and then a carbon "infused" braid over the top with cat8 Telegartner Rj45s. The constructions seems to be lighter on shielding (the carbon is probably only an 80% coverage) for the very reason you discuss in that it may be beneficial not to over shield an ethernet as long as the cable is not passing through a "noisy" area. I don't have a pure silver to compare it too though. As "the last cable" I like it, do I love it? I don't know yet, but if you daisy chain 2 of these sterling cables they become too bright which I expect is down to the sterling silver so:

 

Router (silver ethernet) Switch (silver ethernet) Dac / Amp = too bright but lots of detail

Router (Viablue ethernet) Switch (silver ethernet) Dac / Amp = good tonal balance and good detail... well for the time being as I would like to experiment more here once the network is broken in, I expect I have some gains to be made in getting the cables right. I would like to match all cables by manufacturing as much as possible in the network. I am thinking Neotech OOC copper for the first 2 and the final Neotech ethernet a DIY OOC silver/Gold and experiment with shielding here on the DIY one.

 

http://wp.neotechcable.com/ethernet-cable_up-occ-copper/

 

I realise some of this is a little off topic with ethernet cable matching rather than shielding but it all comes together. Its unlikely we just have one single ethernet cable and so with small, medium or large networks this type of 2 twisted pair unshielded or shielded cable might only work in one area of the network or it may not be good at all for some.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2021 at 2:13 PM, plissken said:

Not that I want to contribute to taking a perfectly good cable and ensuring that it goes out of spec but that's not Belden Bonded. Belden make both types just like car manufacturers make many models for different needs.

Huh! Is there an actual use case for unbonded cable?

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2021 at 4:02 PM, TomJ said:

As I dont have and dont know an endpoint (streamer) with fiber interface, you need a fiber to ethernet converter - here we are again....

fitlet2, opticalRendu, clearfog, lumin ... all SFP inputs

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/4/2021 at 3:52 PM, LondonDan said:

No I haven't tried this and I don't have any cable left or would be trying it now for sure, the cable is quite nice quality, it slightly better than SUPRA in that it brings a bit more detail and a bit more air to everything.

 

I have in the "to do" list a DIY test on ethernet cables which is why this topic you started interested me and I would like to join the conversation. I would like to try making up a Neotech silver and gold 24awg terminated into Telegartner for the last section of the network from switch to Dac / Amp. I had put it off due to the expense of 8M of cable but if its only 4 cables for 2 twisted pairs its much more palatable a cost (still a lot ££ but I already have the Telegartners already).

https://www.hificollective.co.uk/wires/neotech-AG-GD-silver-gold-wire-teflon.html

 

I am settling / burning in a whole network change for the time being so it will need to wait as I want to explore that big change with everything I have at the moment. But when I do get round to it in a month or so I will definitely try without shielding first, then with 3M copper tape covered by Nylon (the tape holds the twists in place so they don't move (giving a little effect of the Beldon bonded I guess but not as secure as the beldon), then with copper braid over the top and a nylon outer to finish, something like the Crystal Monet.

 

I see sense in the first 2 out of 3 network cables in my chain from ISP modem-Router-Switch-Dac could be shielded because of how they pass power cabling, PSU's and other electrical equipment but the 3rd and final ethernet to the Dac has a bit more space around it and here maybe its worth experimenting to see if unshielded or low shielded works or doesnt.

 

One of my purchased ethernets (not DIY by me) is an odd one - its silver 95% copper 5% (basically a sterling silver which is not regarded as an audiophile material but I was open to experiment with it).  The twisted pairs are wrapped in copper tape and then a carbon "infused" braid over the top with cat8 Telegartner Rj45s. The constructions seems to be lighter on shielding (the carbon is probably only an 80% coverage) for the very reason you discuss in that it may be beneficial not to over shield an ethernet as long as the cable is not passing through a "noisy" area. I don't have a pure silver to compare it too though. As "the last cable" I like it, do I love it? I don't know yet, but if you daisy chain 2 of these sterling cables they become too bright which I expect is down to the sterling silver so:

 

Router (silver ethernet) Switch (silver ethernet) Dac / Amp = too bright but lots of detail

Router (Viablue ethernet) Switch (silver ethernet) Dac / Amp = good tonal balance and good detail... well for the time being as I would like to experiment more here once the network is broken in, I expect I have some gains to be made in getting the cables right. I would like to match all cables by manufacturing as much as possible in the network. I am thinking Neotech OOC copper for the first 2 and the final Neotech ethernet a DIY OOC silver/Gold and experiment with shielding here on the DIY one.

 

http://wp.neotechcable.com/ethernet-cable_up-occ-copper/

 

I realise some of this is a little off topic with ethernet cable matching rather than shielding but it all comes together. Its unlikely we just have one single ethernet cable and so with small, medium or large networks this type of 2 twisted pair unshielded or shielded cable might only work in one area of the network or it may not be good at all for some.

 

Hi Dan,

 

to try the stripped cable approach you can just make a test with a 5 € CAT5 cable by stripping the outer isolation and cut the unused twisted pairs.

I practice this only in my music room, as I have horizontal CAT6a in the wall for structured cabling in the house.

 

Have you ever used an ethernet isolator?

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, jabbr said:

Huh! Is there an actual use case for unbonded cable?

 

Cost. Ethernet only cares how the end of the cable spec is met:

 

Gamechanger Copper CAT6/POE 200M and hits spec

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2021 at 9:28 PM, TomJ said:

Have you ever used an ethernet isolator?

No I’ve not used one (yet). for isolation I turned my ISP hub into modem mode going to edge router where WiFi access point also connected then from there into Ediscreation Extreme network switch. This is the link I use the Viablue JSSG Ethernet. Then from there into dac /amp. The ediscreation has a grounding on/off switch per socket on the switch but even if I un ground the viablue cable I don’t notice any difference. It seems the already ungrounded diy Ethernet is already doing a good job ( or the grounding on / off is marginal impact for me and I can’t notice ). Pic below - I can’t say for sure how the on off grounding works and it’s still new so haven’t experimented much yet.

 

Tom I was interested to try a short fiber section as an isolation too. Your inline Ethernet isolator  looks like a cost effective trial though
 

As for the stripped back Ethernet I will try it, I am for away couple weeks now though. 
 

did you order your 100ohm cables yet or try another diy?

EC1E40EA-7D3D-4A77-BA00-33D09C2EAE41.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LondonDan said:

No I’ve not used one (yet). for isolation I turned my ISP hub into modem mode going to edge router where WiFi access point also connected then from there into Ediscreation Extreme network switch. This is the link I use the Viablue JSSG Ethernet. Then from there into dac /amp. The ediscreation has a grounding on/off switch per socket on the switch but even if I un ground the viablue cable I don’t notice any difference. It seems the already ungrounded diy Ethernet is already doing a good job ( or the grounding on / off is marginal impact for me and I can’t notice ). Pic below - I can’t say for sure how the on off grounding works and it’s still new so haven’t experimented much yet.

 

Tom I was interested to try a short fiber section as an isolation too. Your inline Ethernet isolator  looks like a cost effective trial though
 

As for the stripped back Ethernet I will try it, I am for away couple weeks now though. 
 

did you order your 100ohm cables yet or try another diy?

Interesting Switch - never heard of this.

 

The Gore 100 Ohm cable should arrive this weak - will report.

Regarding the isolator, you should, if you use this, try this little mod: https://www.aktives-hoeren.de/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12225&p=205858&hilit=delock#p205858

Sorry, its German - please use google translate ;-)

You should ground the isolator with the grounding of the switch.

 

As more I read and experiment about the topic of improvement of ethernet streaming, i come more to the conclusion that it is not the more precision time frames of the clocks, that improves the sound, but more the accuracy of the signal regarding voltage stability. 

If this is the case, filters can do a lot here. 

 

Here is a test of an filter / cable combination, which seems to outperform the EtherRegen:

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the DeLock work with 2twisted pairs on input or 4 like a standard ethernet? (2 on output to dac makes sense)

 

https://www.amazon.de/DeLock-62619-DrNetzteilucker-grau/dp/B00WZ3QHVQ

 

https://www.mini-itx.de/media/products/DE-62620_62620-deutsch.pdf

 

I read a review (amazon review ;) but saying that the DeLock works best only with short cable, Tom what is your experience? 

 

I see your Mod, easy enough to do thanks. I am not sure about filters as I wonder what a chip isolator filter does to the SQ - you might win something but you also might lose something? I am open of course to the theory. the Eno looks different entirely but is chasing the same goal to reduce network associated noise.

 

seems similar to Jcat Net isolator?? but no ground screw on the Cat

 

https://jcat.eu/product/net-isolator-gigabit-network-isolator/

 

Do we think that fiber connection does some of the same as a net isolator or with fiber is some noise is converted to fiber signal and back again at the end of the fiber? (genuine question). its clear fiber can't pic up RFI etc that cable can pick up but what kind of noise could be converted to fiber... any good articles on this or forum threads if anyone knows?

 

image.png.5aa606ec6eae2b1f4ae901641328f599.png

 

image.thumb.png.e55d169e9e712e35823f5ca8c623a6e5.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dan,

 

the JCat is (in my opinion) a relabeled EMO EN-1005+: https://emosystems.de/en/shop/emosafe-network-isolators/self-enclosed/en-1005/

This is a medical grade isolator.

 

Yes, the shorter the cable is, the stronger the improvement with the Delock. You can also place several Delocks in your chain: one Delock in front of each node. I use a short CAT cable stub - you can see in my mod.

The problem with fiber is, that you need mostly a converter back to ethernet and here we are again. It can help to cancel noise of your home network, but the converter will once again produce noise. So an isolator makes also sense in a fiber setup.

I was in contact with a DAC developer and he mentioned, that fiber converters produce much noise on the ethernet - it was only a statement without details.

 

Regarding filtering: The transformer chips used by the Delock has per line a common mode chokes (in the medical grade isolators there are no common mode chokes) and a transformer. The common mode choke is a filter regarding time symmetry of TX/RX+ and TX/RX-. With the earthing of my mod, differences in the signal (Ethernet 100BaseT is differential) will be lowered and the voltage symmetry will be improved. I think it will not be eliminated due to the tolerances of the transformers.

I think that these differences are the main reason regarding sound ,because these will travel inside the endpoint and influence the following components.

 

The Delock is by fare not perfect - there and in most other isolators are resistors for termination missing, which could negativ influence the signal. There is much potential for improvements. But regarding the step you can do with this device regarding the effort, it seems to me most interesting thing at the moment.

 

By the way - I am developing currently a filter which is a few steps above the Delock.

 

Kind regards,

 

Eric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I have now tried basic patch cable (5e and 1m length) and then the same cable stripped to 2 twisted pairs with no outer sleeve.

 

There is a subtle difference, stripped cable has a tiny bit more detail and open sound on strings especially, vocals I find pretty much the same both versions. What I don't know is that the impact of having less twisted pairs (2 instead of 4) and potential crosstalk or is the no sheathing changing the sound... or both

 

After some time going through the PS audio thread with ex Beldon Engineers and others comments (thanks Eric for pointing the way to that thread) it seems that as you remove any sleeving and or shielding the impedance changes from the cable design specs which is supposed to be as close to 100 as possible as per the Gore cable in earlier post here. so removing the sheathing and 2 twisted pairs in increasing the impedance (to what 115-125?) and its likely that that alone is having an impact on perceived sound plus then the benefit or negative of less shielding vs EMI interference. While this seems to be opening a can of worms if you know the expression, it explains a lot in my thoughts of how cables can sound slightly different one to another because of:

 

Cable material - copper / silver / OOC

Cable termination - material of RJ45 and connection security (some RJ45 terminals claps only make a little pin prick through the cable to make connection)

Cable impedance in the design of the cable.

Shielding effect on EMI

Shielding effect on internal reflections

Shielding effect on the cable Impedance 

 

The major point here that is not often discussed is impedance. If a twisted pair is designed at one impedance, adding a second, 3rd and 4th twisted pair changes that impedance so the final outcome needs to be designed with the required impedance after combining the cables not as single twisted pairs. then PVC or whatever sheathing has some impact too and shielding has even more impact.

 

 

Screenshot 2021-07-22 at 13.00.39.png

Screenshot 2021-07-22 at 13.00.24.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dan,

 

really nice description of your journey!

At the moment I am a bit busy - therefor I will keep it short - but more to come!

 

Regarding the single 100 Ohm Gore cables I have to say, that these play pretty well. 

gore.thumb.jpg.c7ad60c94a1a71d1e8c1143c4a276ec8.jpg

 

Regarding impedance, I think, that there is no shift because of the shielding and they are not close to each other.

 

But regarding resolution and details the stripped 2x2 23AWG cable is still better.

Here a picture (but with 2x RJ45 instead of M12 connector). The twisted pairs are from a CAT6 cable.CAT.thumb.jpg.16a524b7ba9c387c3eb87dad8740a908.jpg

 

But why?

  • Is it the missing outer isolation with its dielectric?
  • Less crosstalk? 
  • Reduction of capacity of the removed pairs?

As I learned in the PS Audio thread from grandmaster of the Belden CAT cable Galen Gareis, the structure of the cables also has an effect on the impedance. As Dan has already mentioned, a twisted pair that is set up as 4 pairs still has 100 ohms, when it is free in the air it has almost 125 ohms.
So by leaving out the other wires, I increased the impedance, which of course affects the signal quality. Is the impedance a main reason for the differences in sound between the cables?

I also learned in the PS Audio thread that building a CAT cable is not that easy in terms of impedance. The individual twisted pairs influence each other, but the shielding also has a considerable share.

Many of the audiophile cables on the market are not sold with test protocols. What if they are all imperfect in terms of impedance and the differences in sound result from this?
The structure of the shielding is also not very easy with regard to internal reflections and can have an influence if used naively.

 

When thinking about how the sound changes come about, I first thought of asymmetries in the voltage on the data line. Ethernet is a differential signal, so the difference between the two data lines of a twisted pair should always be zero. However, due to EMI effects and inaccuracies, this is usually not the case. It was suspected that these differences would become "noise" in the end device.
I built several filters out of Ethernet transformers, studied their circuit and built mean derivatives of the voltage differences to GND with the success that the sound became more and more spatial.

What I then learned, however, is that the differential Ethernet signal in the end device is processed into a signal by a differential amplifier, so that the theory of voltage differences had to be discarded.

 

The sound difference may be due to the fact that the high-frequency Ethernet signal, which has approx.31.25 MHz at 100baseT, is influencing the audio signal under certain conditions and then, although the frequency is itself inaudible to the ear, at a overlay has an effect. I had an experience with a power bank that had an effect similar to that of my 2x2 cables. More space and more depth. In terms of current noise, the power bank is pretty much the worst thing, because it uses a very cheap switching regulator that also generates high-frequency spikes. I havent seen any audio signal measurement with resolution up to 30 Mhz yet. 

 

What if the actually perceived improvements are actually caused by a deterioration and peaks in the signal?

 

Incorrect impedance with Ethernet cables results in a bad signal. Perhaps the wrong impedance of cables, as well as reflections caused by the insertion of an isolator / filter or wrong connectors, distort the signal in such a way that more spikes/peaks are generated and a sound improvement is perceived.

 

Since I want to get to the bottom of the matter and find it very difficult with snake oil theories, I have currently bought a high-resolution oscilloscope with 1Ghz resolution and will now start to make measurements - results will follow.

 

But as I said, I'm a bit busy right now, so this won't be today or tomorrow.

 

Regards,

 

Tom Eric

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...