Comparing wired and wireless

I´m in the process of making my ND5 xs wired. My system is nac202, nap200dr, napsc, Hicap dr and all naimcables. Speakers are Spendor D9.

I´ve now tried a few different variations. Wifi, router connected directly to wall outlet were the broadband comes in to the house through fiber. I tried with a noname cable that came with my Nighthawk 7000. Sounds fine. then tried through dedicated recently installed cat6 solid core connected to router, with belden from wall to ND5, sounds worse, not as free and airy, less music. Then moved router to my system and connected it to a recently installed ethernetport with noname and wi-fi, sounds not as good as wireless from basement with router connected directly to the fiber. Then connected belden between router and nd5, a bit better but still not as good as wi-fi from basement. Now playing with router in basement connected through belden to fiber and wi-fi to nd5.

So all the worst sounding were with the recently installed cat 6, from basement to livingroom. About 10 meters. The 2 most satisfying variations being the ones with the router in the basement connected with Witherspoon belden or the noname and sending the signal via wi-fi to the ND5. Differences are not subtle but between noname and belden connecting router and fiber it´s a question of more or less music with corresponding less or more hifi if you get what I mean.

First off, how are these differences even possible and how can I get wired to sound better than wireless? I want the stability it gives.

Best regards

Try adding a decent switch in-between the incoming cable and the streamer.

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I found CAT5e sounded significantly musically better than CAT6 (dead lifeless) and CAT7 (harsh and all HiFi no music). The basic CAT5e was more musical of the commercial cables I tried and a few others found similar and OK if just runs of a few meters are needed.

The ‘HiFi’ cables can sound better, but some are IMO worse than CAT5e - but I liked the Audiquest Cinnamon.

I use wired Ethernet over WiFi for a number of reasons - but essentially my system is better musically with the Wired Ethernet. I even plug my iPad controller onto the Wired Ethernet via adapter dongle and prefer that - albeit more clumsy operation.


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Unfortunatelly my system is more musical wirelessly. But not if the router is placed in the livingroom. It might be due to the installed cat6 that runs from the basement to the livingroom. I´ll try to get a hold on a cat5e cable to investigate further.

I´m reluctant to use a switch for aestethic reasons. I really dislike how the router and cables associated disrupt the harmony of my livingroom and particularly the space where the system is situated.

One of the truly astonishing results, for me at least, is the fact that the system sounds better when the router is connected to the thingy transforming the optical signal to electrical, i.e. the basement where the broadband signal enters the house. It´s also interesting that it sounds different when I change ethernet cable, thingy to router.

The problem I have is that it´s not stable when connected like that. I get random dropouts in the beginning of some tunes.

Reading these forum plages you shouldn’t really be surprised by your findings. As far as switches etc, then really these should be tucked away out of sight or even in a NER… certainly unless there was good reason to, I would not have in the music room. Simply run the Ethernet lead from your streamer to where ever the switch is. Treat the Ethernet lead like your antenna wiring for your satellite/terrestrial TV or Radio. You may well find the longer the Ethernet lead the better it sounds anyway… you have to 100 metres to play with… and it sounds like the longer runs to your basement are working well

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Since english is not my first language I might have been a bit confusing in my comments. It´s actually wireless from the basement that sounds the most musical. Hence, there is no long run of ethernet connected, only a 1,5 m cable between the internet access point in the basement and the Netgear nighthawk 7000 router

Now I myself am confused (again). I mistook the big soundstage for more musical and though very exciting soundwise it´s actually less musically satisfying than wired with a cat5e that I found in my sons room. And as a disclamer, I must ad, that this is for now. Obviously my view of this might and probably will change😁. The least musically satisfying, right now, is the belden catsnake terminated, at the local hifi store, with some fancy (costly) rj45 connectors. This, also, might change (my view, that is😁). The cable is said to need some burn in. Time will tell😁

As of now, the router is back in the basement then 10 meters of installed ethernetcable cat6, shielded ending with an outlet in the livingroom. Then a run of 3 meters of the belden catsnake. I´ll simply leave it at that for a few days and then assess.

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