I am interested in opinions about whether the ethernet cable between S30 and S40 are worthy of an upgrade? (I know this could be controversial, but we only live once). I’m currently running the supplied 1.5m ethernet, despite the units being 0.2m apart on the same shelf.
All my ethernet cables upstream of the S40 have been upgraded, but when I tried a 0.5m cable (claimed to be pure silver, but it is not supplied from a known big brand source), it was really horrible. This is a bit out of my expertise, but I’m guessing it might be because it is a shielded cable? Are shielded cables between these units likely to be a problem?
In a different location that same ‘silver’ cable now sounds great to my ears (i.e. between switch and S40).
@Artoly Nor is ethernet cabling within my sphere but I do know that many say that shielded ethernet cables will have the shield connected to earth at both ends and so will conveniently provide a route for noise between the two devices. For this reason Cat8 etc is often advised to be avoided.
Having said that I see that the Antipodes ethernet cable supplied with my Oladra is Cat 6A S/FTP and this is therefore the shielded version of Cat 6A (6A can come as either unshielded or shielded). So I am guessing that Antipodes chose that construction for a reason so that might well trump what I said in my opening paragraph. Out of interest, if you look on your Antipodes supplied cable it should say what it is and it might be interesting to know that. Look for Cat 5 / 6 etc and any letters after that.
It might be best to wait for @MarkCole to enlighten us as to his view.
Thanks Nick. Cable writing is ‘CAT.6A S/FTP PATCH 3P VERIFIED TO …’, (followed by a lot more numbers/references), so it sounds like a similar general spec as your Oladra supplied cable. This probably shoots down my initial theory about shielding problems…Perhaps my ‘silver’ cable is just a badly made one that somehow works in some situations but not others, or perhaps Mark Cole will have a better idea.
Silver tends to take a very long time to burn in. If this cable is brand new, then you should run it in somewhere else on your network. But having said that, the Wireworld Platinum Starlight uses pure solid silver, and even with it well burned in, it just made the upper frequencies way too hot.
The final ethernet cable tends to matter the most, so I suspect that the one between the S30 and S40 will have the greatest sonic contribution.
There is nothing wrong with shielding - it’s more in how it’s shielded. When using an ethernet cable that has the shield connected at both ends, a path is provided for leakage current to pass. I think the likelihood of the S40 passing this to the S30 is low.
I’ve used the supplied stp cables and my homemade utp cables between my k30 and ex with no difference in sound. Both my Antipodes power cables are grounded. (I’ve changed the plugs so was able to confirm this). I believe they run the ethernet shield to chassis ground as well as the power ground. As long as both the units come from the same receptacle there should be no ground loops. If the ethernet cable feeding the server is stp and comes from a switch in another part of the house there could be ground loops. Utp cable or fibre feed to the server will eliminate this. Probably the supplied cable is stp in case of induced noise from other equipment to the server/player.
It’s good to hear that you have positive experiences staying with copper. I have not tried or researched fibre systems and have a 15m cable under the house to the modem (silver-coated copper). That is probably longer than recommended for ethernet, but it was the easy option and works well for me.
Yes it does take some effort and expense to implement fiber properly. In particular, the FMCs and SFPs have to be carefully selected. One can be rewarded with a lower noise floor if one takes those steps.
Thanks KennyB. I’ll leave that cable in its current location for a few weeks and then try swapping it around again. It’s odd that the difference was so dramatic between one side of the S40 and the other. Its current location it is not too hot for my liking.
Another of my unproven theories was that the twisting force needed to get the plugs in the right orientation between the two S units could have stressed/twisted the plug connections too much (it is quite a stiff, short cable and I’m sure Antipodes would not endorse placing units upside down to fix cable orientation
Short ethernet cables aren’t a good idea either. I believe it was the designer of the EtherRegen, John Swenson, who said that. He spent a good chunk of his professional career designing physical layer transceivers (PHY), so he would know. Shunyata’s standard length for ethernet is 1.5m so they likely believe this is the minimum length as well.
I swore off stiff cables a while back after having to send a DAC out to have the USB input repaired.
It’s another day, with different music, and a bit more time comparing … I found another Antipodes supplied ethernet cable and agree that the other pure silver cable is indeed brighter (both sides of the music server). I’m back with copper and suspect I will stay that way. I’ll leave the silver one connected to a PC for a while, but doubt it will ever sound better in my system.
I pushed the envelope on the connection in my oladra upgraded cx and ex stack a bit and has an Etheregen(ER) externally clocked by an AfterDark Double Emperor oxco clock.
I proceeded with this setup after learning that this had-been stack will never be further upgradeable with oxco clocks while 1.0m of Audio Revive LAN-1.0 TripleC cable runs from the cx server and ex player:
Excessively perhaps but past experience with upgraded clocks and ER to oxco yielded definitive SQ improvement to my ears.