Ethernet Cables, shielded or not?

I’ve just bought 12m of Ethernet cable Viablue EP-7 to replace an old LAN cable with alluminium conductors used to connect my router FritzBox 7530 and my Bluesound Node 2. I’m waiting to receive a NDX2 and I’m preparing a better LAN cable. At the beginning I’ll use the Nas function of the router with a SSD connected through its USB plug but in a second stage I would like to add a dedicated switch and Nas. Should I connect the 12m Viablue EP-7 with its shield in the plugs and sockets or should I disconnect the shield and use it like a normal U/UTP cable. I read that shield in some case can be worst than better. Is the RJ45 plug of NDX2 equipped with ground to put earthed the screen or not? Anyway what is the best solution to proceed?
Sorry but my skills about this topic are very very basis :grinning:

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Do you have the tools to be able to terminate this to cat7 standard? and test it afterwards? (fluke?)

This might help.

A ready made and tested cat6 patch cable from bluejeans or designacable is all you need, but as you’ve bought the cable already, try to terminate it to cat7 standard if you can.

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Typically shielded ethernet is only specified in very noise areas where there is a lot of RFI. Typically as long as cat 5 or 6 is not laid next to in long lengths, even 230v mains its not an issue. The 4 pairs in an ethernet cable are essentially old school telephone tech. Each pair is twisted to prevent emi/rfi anyway. So shielded cat 7 or 8 or whatever is not usually required at home. Or even most office environments.

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I’ve already done a patch cable with it with Telegartner plugs. I though to terminate this calble to the standard wall plug cat6A with the possibility to have also the shield connected. I can also test the connection with fluke, I can borrow it from a friend.

You don’t need a screen in a typical domestic environment, but no harm to try it, some claim it sounds better, others say its best without, I suspect its both system & environmental dependant.
I’m concerned that you appear to be installing your own the RJ45 plugs, not a good idea unless you really know what you’re doing & have the right tools. Far better to buy a ready made patch cord & better still one that is actually tested for conformance to its claimed Cat standard, the only people that do this (AFAIA) is MeiCord & Blue Jeans Cables.
MeiCord are unscreened Cat-6, BJC have both screened & unscreened Cat-6 but the screened version does not connect to a RJ45 shroud, BJC use only unshrouded plugs & the screen is left floating.
All Naim RJ45 ethernet sockets are grounded.


I use Telegartner plugs which are tool free. It’s very easy to terminate.

I’ll check it also with Fluke instrument. My concern is more about wall plug.

Not sure how cat 7 et al work with their shielding, but typically the shielding wants to be grounded away from the device. I.e. the cable is directional with the shielding grounded at one end, and this is the end that would go into the switch rather than the ndx2.

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You could use RJ45 sockets which are wired a bit like Telephone sockets. You then use a short cable to router/switch/device.

I would personally not run Ethernet parallel to and close to mains cable for any significant distance. 400mm is probably ok.


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I have a dedicate cable trunk in the concrete for Lan. My router is at my home entrance and I’ll use 12m of Viablue EP-7 to reach the hi fi room. Fritz Box is not equipped with shieleded Rj45 plugs but in the future I can use a dedicate Cisco switch connected to the router and Lan cable for hi fi system linked to the cisco and not to Fritz box.

I personally wouldn’t bother with shielded cable or connecting it … it doesn’t add much if anything for the very low speeds we use with our streamers and adds complexities.
The cables themselves are twisted which is like a form of shielding anyway.

As far wiring up connectors, choose whether you want a Cat 6 or Cat 5e connector and practice a few times. It is quite simple and easy to do once you have practiced a few times as with many things… modern RJ45 crimping tools with specialised connectors are very easy to use… and you can ensure you have the correct lengths, important for home infrastructure wiring. For short patching leads I would buy ready made leads as you only need short specific lengths.

Do get an Ethernet cable continuity checker, that is very important… they are only a few pounds, you don’t need anything fancy… it simply confirms the pin outs and correct crimping… there is a lot of mystique around Ethernet wiring, especially in the consumer space, and it really is rather straightforward and robust… perhaps it’s because there are normally 8 cables and you typically use a crimping jig.

I would steer clear of Cat 7 and Cat 7A, they are not popular cables for Ethernet , and there are issues over Cat 7 connectors… I would use Cat6A or Cat 8, if Cat 6 or 5e is not good enough, both of which are specified to RJ45 connectors… but for home use Cat5e or Cat 6 I suggest is fine.


I’m not sure if this will work, you will need a UPnP server running on your network. Maybe easier to connect the drive to a USB port on the NDX2

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I think I’ll crimp my Cable Viablue EP-7 like a simple U/UTP without connecting the shield in the wall socket behind my HiFi system. At the router side I have two option, connect the cable to a wall socket and use another short patch cable to connect to the router or use the same Viablue EP-7 directly connected to the router by means of the telegartner plug without any interruption given by the wall socket but passing through an holes of the wall plate avoiding any further socket. Probably this is the best solution. After that I should borrow the Fluke instrument to test the plugs!!!

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I think fs dot com are also tested. And not charging audiophile prices, I’ve used them professionally.

I’ve tried some of the screened and non-screened Ethernet cables and i prefer the non- screened ones, such as the multi-stranded MeiCord Cat 6. Easily good enough and gives a bigger and more spacious sound than all of the rest. They come certified too, showing you all of the test results, not that i understand any of it, but it’s nice to know they’ve gone that extra mile to make sure the cables are all correct and have made the grade as intended.

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Interesting, not heard of the company before, very sensible pricing & nice to see they conformance test their patch cords.
Maybe you’ve started a new forum fave-rave. :scream:

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At the moment I would use the new NDX2 with this basic configuration

In a few time I like to move to a dedicate Nas and Router and I’m evaluating the two option here below. Nas and router away from the hi fi system or close? From the logistic point of view I like more to keep them away but from the SQ point of view there is a difference?

Case 1

Case 2

Based on the final configuration I’ll buy also the patch cord at the right lenght.
Any suggestion about the best configuration?

I’ve had more or less the same as both your case 1 & 2
… i.e. the NAS & switch in another room & then all in the same room.
Both have some + & - … IME I concluded that …

I started with the same as your case 1
The distance between NDX2 & NAS/switch is in theory/probably better for SQ, not that I noticed anything.
Will the 11m cable be a patch cable & go thru a hole in the wall or via a wall socket? wall sockets can/maybe effect optimum performance/SQ

I’ve had the same as your case 2 for the last 6 years
The short cables allow easier/cheaper experiments with different cables (if that floats your boat)
The flashing LED’s & NAS noise in the room might be an issue. In my case the LED’s & slight NAS noise are well contained in a cabinet.

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Case 2 is how I implemented the connection to my 272. I use a Fritzbox as well, but I didn’t want to experiment with an old Cisco and bought a Bonn N8 in stead. My Cat5e cable runs straight to the 272. I mounted the C45 plugs myself without any problem. I am very happy with the sound quality, both streaming from Qobuz and high res from my Synology with MinimServer.

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At the moment my intention is to connect the 11m cable thru a hole in the wall at FritzBox side and via a wall socket at NDX2 side. I’ll check the connection through a Fluke test after the installation. Anyway Case 2 seems to be better but frankly speaking I like more case 1 in order to have a cleaner system in the hi fi room. Nas should be there without any additional case to limit the noise.

Actually I don’t have any information about audiophile switches. I read that Cisco 2960 are usually suggested but I believe there are any alternative solution without spendind much more but buying a new product with two years warranty.