Ethernet patch

Hi all,l have just replaced my cheepie cat5e ethernet patch lead to mu-so for blue jeans cat 6a. And it sounds really thin, I mean where has that bass gone. Also volume seems quieter, do these leads need time to run in. Thought a better lead would give better results.

Volume seems quieter is positive - it’s an indication that the system is less noisy - you’ve lowered the noise floor.
Increase the volume to see if the bass comes back.

The Ethernet Switch and Cables Mania thread may contain the answer… But you’ll need a lot of patience and time to find and decipher it, so maybe your new thread focussed on that specific subject is better!

I can’t give you an answer, however the effect, if any, of different ethernet cables is likely to depend on the specifics of the network, the electromagnetic environment it is in, the specific streamer or DAC, and of course the individual’s ears and how revealing is his or her system/room. A well made genuine ethernet cable such as the Blue Jeans should be capable of reliably and accurately conveying all the digital data. A cheapie patch cord may well do so just as well, though not better. Boutique cables - and there are some that are extremely expensive - will be no better at conveying the data, indeed if they don’t comply with the ethernet standard there may be a risk of data corruption, though I have no idea if any suffer from that. Where different cables may well differ is in their resistance to picking up or conveying spurious electrical (e.g. RF) noise that if it gets into the DAC can cause a degradation of the analog audio, presumably through some form of modulation effect, the effect depending on the susceptibility of the DAC, some being very susceptible and others pretty much immune. Such a difference could apply between the two cables you have used - but if so, which is actually better in your overall system/setup is for your ears to decide.

MMky’s advice may be appropriate, but otherwise just swap about and compare. Blind testing can help, getting someone else to do the swapping (noting if a different volume setting is needed for the same loudness and tweaking that when changing, and sometimes of course pretending to change but not).

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I would have replied that, but IB beat me too it!

It’s also worth trying a used Cisco Catalyst switch (e.g. a 2960 series switch & make sure the vendor has done a factory reset on it - it should cost about £50 to £70) and then trying range of standard Cat5 / Cat5e / Cat6 / Cat6a Ethernet cables (i.e. not the expensive ‘boutique’ cables unless you can borrow then on a trial basis first) to see which works best.

Note that you need to experiment with the cable after installing the Cisco switch as the effect an Ethernet cable has on the system depends on what device is connected at both ends.

If you are streaming music across the internet, the data packets are passing through many different devices and cables. None of them are going to affect the bits in the packet before it arrives and is unpacked into RAM. These bits define the analogue musical signal which is generated by your DAC. From that point forward, cables matter.

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The cable from the switch to the box that contains the DAC also matters, as, with the digital bits carrying the data, there’s also a load on analogue noise carried along with them in the analogue signal that represents/carries the digital data, and this analogue noise then gets coupled into the analogue circuitry.

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The digital bits are encoded in an analogue signal which the cable conducts to the ethernet interface of the streamer. It’s down to the design of the streaming device to keep this away from the analogue signal parh.

It’s a know fact of electrical / electronic engineering that it’s impossible to prevent coupling between circuits.

Yes good design can reduce it, but a good degree of reduction is the best that can ever be achieved, “keeping it away” is quite impossible.

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Have to admit I am using wifi so no cable at all!
My professional background is electronics, coding and network engineering.

But the RF interference form the WiFi transciever will also couple into the analogue electronics to some degree!

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Well it might do but it’s inside the Naim box so I can’t change it. And we are talking about a wifi carrier frequency of 2.5Ghz. Do you switch off your mobile phone to improve your audio system?

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I love it when someone says ‘I’m an engineer and therefore ‘know’ that these cables cannot possibly make a difference’. What overweening nonsense. I have a PhD in zoology and a Basic Food Hygiene Certificate. I also have an ear on each side of my head and an open mind. And I’ve tried these things and I know they make a difference. But of course I’m not an engineer so cannot possibly be right. It’s all in my mind.


Absolutely, that’s how hearing works, as a zoologist you know that!

•According to me,.a Top-Notch post…!!!

•Hungryhalibut,.but you know well,that some in the “Ethernet Switch and Cables Mania”-thread,.and also other threads.
Are of the perception,.that you should not trust your ears :wink:.
This,.if it is not supplemented by Technical Specifications and Measurement Results.


Well - actually… :bear:



No, I just leave it in a different room.

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That is what I do. I noticed when several friends visit for music sessions with their phones addictively-attached to them my system noise-floor is higher with a bit more smudge-smear. It is a small but audible effect - why have it if you don’t have too?
I don’t mention this to friends as they may have a fit if I suggest they can’t have their phone on them - but further experimentation showed I prefer mine, when I’m alone and playing music - off out and away!


:small_blue_diamond:Love it,…that’s really Attention To Detail…!!!

Darkebear,.I think you and I are on the same “planet”,when it comes to this :wink:.

In tests,evaluations above all,.I always check that anything that can “interfere” is closed/rejected in the house
Yes,.this also means freezer and refrigerator etc.


I have ferrites on their cables!

:small_blue_diamond::grin::grin: Love this too.!!!

@Xanthe,.I think you and me,.and even Darkebear,may need to seek help for our “Mania” :rofl:.