Another step forward: cat8 lan cable

Hi there, I have replaced all my previous ethernet cables with cat 8 from wireworld (flat, wide and red, a nightmare to get unnoticed in the living room)… BUT
What a difference it makes on streaming, very remarkable to these ears!
Anyone had the same experience? Maybe the higher speed specifications make the music flow faster and with more timing and ease…

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(And should probably go into the Ethernet cables listening thread)

This will be interesting…

Yes I tried there Starlight it went back to shop as it made very little if any difference, initially I thought it did change and sounded brighter but after extensive listening and returning to my stock cable it hadn’t and it was not worth the £200+ for it at all and it was incredibly inflexible and the connectors are awful.

As for higher speed spec affecting musical flow no your streaming is limited to 100mb/s connection so its a bit moot and won’t affect musical flow at all. These companies flogging all these streaming cables seem to keep upping the catergory numbers just for the sake of it as it looks impressive. There is no need for shielded ethernet in a domestic environment and certainly no need for cat8.

My experience is that it brought an improvement of greater transparency and prat which I felt had been reduced through the ER journey.
I changed all the cables in one go: fiber modem to router, router to ER, ER to ND 555. Please note that I think the 100 Mbp/s are only out of the ER? So I cannot say which of the 3 made the difference…
For 2 weeks it really wasn’t perceptible, but now as said, I feel the end result is a step up. At least worth to try if anyone has a chance with the ability to return the goods.

The ER does 1 Gbit but the Naim streamers do only 100 MBit
CORRECTION: Somehow I read EE, not ER. The ER does 100 on the B-side (Gbit on the A-side), but it does not matter with a Naim streamer as they do 100 anyway

Yes, ultimately, whatever the reason (of course we always like to have a reason), …it works. This is what I try to say, so worth a try.

Could the increased speed/characteristics matter “upstream” from the ER meaning from fiber modem to router and from router to ER…One of these days I need to switch back the old cables one by one to see…

I guarantee you that the speed makes no difference. Even 24bit/196Khz stereo uncompressed is slightly below 10 MBit/s data rate (though it’s close and you’d want 100). Furthermore, the new Naim streamers have a 50 MB RAM buffer and buffer more than a track. All the actual playing is from RAM. In a TCP/IP network, each packet that is sent over the network has a number. There is absolutely no problem with speed, order of packets, or data loss. After all I can send you this message or a computer program and you can still read/use it on your end

For other possible reasons for hearing a difference I recommend the endless discussions in the “ethernet cable listening” thread, where your thread would have fit well

And I believe you completely. So maybe it is something else in this cable (what are the other parameters that have been enhanced under cat8?) that does it compared to my previous one. After all PatM seems also to have reached the same conclusion.

While the current on the cable is interpreted as digital data, the actual physical reality is that it is still an analog electrical wave that is transmitted over the cable. So, a hypothesis is that the cable might transmit RF noise and/or have whatever other electrical effects. At least that’s one hypothesis that has been discussed in the other thread. I have no idea if it has any footing in reality :slight_smile:

I do use an EE switch and despite my skepticism I thought I heard a change, but I have not done any comparisons yet because I’m happy listening to music for the time being … maybe later

It will be nothing to do with Speed, but most likely coupled loading and noise effects of the serial lines in your Ethernet cable interacting with your streamer… which I suspect you are using with an inbuilt DAC?

Things to consider…

Ethernet sink earth wire / shielding… if it’s end to end be mindful of earth loops

100BaseT connection duplex uses 4 cables, 2 in each direction. 1000BaseT uses 8 cables, 4 in each each direction…
Net result less modulation energy is used in 100 Mbps connection resulting in potentially less serial modulation noise than 1Gbps… 100Mbps is the way to go for lower noise.

Given the above you will likely different Ethernet cables of all Cat specifications offer differing presentations into streamers with inbuilt DACs… choose the ones that sound best… but don’t forget in this regard price is no indicator of sonic preference.

An alternate is to decouple DAC from streamer, and then Ethernet cables, switches etc become almost if not completely transparent as I have found.

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Do Naim streamers not buffer data before playing?

They do spool audio sample data… not really relevant with respect to the thread though… what are you trying to question?

Whether or not Naim streamers stored data before playing that’s all

Naim streamers spool data as they start playing, and retain a spool of sample data in memory which can last for a minute or so… depending on the application. UPnP retains a large sample store, where as Roon uses a minimal store for example.

Though it’s worth remembering the streamer network buffers is quite seperate and different from the sample spool memory. The sample spool memory fills as fast as the server allows subject to the application.

All streamers have a buffer of some kind, some have larger one than others. You would not get decent playback without one. They increased it on the newer models one of the reasons the streaming side is more stable from internet sources.

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