I have a mobile 5G modem/switch, is it possible to get gold plated air to the local 5g tower? The maximum speed I can get is 125Mb/sec, although it is near 80Mb/sec most of the time.
Not sure if that touch of sarcasm was needed do you based on the original request? Or was it meant to be funny? Comments like that could put people off generating a topic for conversation.
@broad_bean It was a serious point, that cables to the modem do not make a difference, I use Cat6 cables, standard ones over my home network from the switch. Cat6 merely because they can handle faster speeds for future proofing. I have tried the expensive cables, done a blind test, and could not tell any difference. I guess I would think the more expensive ones sounded better to convince myself. Titan STYX mains cables on my 200 poweramp, and the preamp power supply I could hear a difference, especially when I reverted to the previous standard Naim ones.
Nihilism and exquisite humour aside, some of these cables can be quite low quality and it could actually be a good idea (or at least no harm) trying something no-nonsense and possibly better e.g. like this fairly decent quality one from Designacable … I am not sure I heard a difference (and I don’t think I even tried to) but I kept it in anyway.
sorry, hope I am not misleading, is it not the cable from the wall box to the router being discussed here - here is its connector next to what I believe is referred to as “ethernet” rj/45?
The photo that @garcon posted seems to show a cable fitted with RJ11 connectors. It may be CAT5e cable being used but only 4 cores are used in this application.
Oh sorry for me being the one who made it confusing, it looked different here on the phone screen. Thanks for correcting, I’ll delete it
Could well be, I wouldn’t know but it works
No it’s a simple phone cable, RJ11 to RJ11
That’s a Cat5e, so not shielded, just twisted pair vs. the freebie
Cat 5e is a type of cable that can support data at 1000 Mbps. It can come as shielded or non shielded
The “freebie” (the white one)
I think I have a Cat6 of supposedly a better make RJ11 somewhere too
The Belden CatSnake Cat5e (which is what was shown) is not shielded
Here’s the thing guys. The broadband signal coming into your house has made it through multiple data centres and travelled hundreds maybe thousands of kilometres through very cheap cable, junction boxes etc. So is our job to make that signal even worse by adding household noise, or make it better through some careful networking arrangements?
The question is; if I have a perfect bitstream arriving in the house, is it sufficient simply to connect the hi-fi through a length of properly specified wire and confirm that the stream arriving at the hi-fi is still bit perfect?
If all I was doing with that bit stream is some data processing tasks, then clearly a bit perfect copy of the bitstream is sufficient, absolutely adequate….nothing more needed.
But data processing isn’t all we’re doing….we go on to convert that bit stream to analog music which we listen to very carefully, desiring perfection and therein lies the problem, as it seems that our ears/brain are very susceptible to changes to that bit-stream….not to the bit pattern itself….that’s bit perfect….rather to the fabric from which the bit stream is made.
What is a bit stream? 1s and 0s right? Wrong. A bit stream is simply a stream of time constrained voltage changes, where a polarity change within a time window = 1 and no change = 0. And what I’m saying is that the ‘condition’ of that voltage stream….how perfectly it is executed and how much noise and time deviations are included VERY MUCH affects the quality of the analog signal coming out of the DAC and onwards to our ears.
Our ears seem to be extremely sensitive to changes in the fabric of the bitstream….namely the amount of time inaccuracies and deviations from perfect timing, the amount of high frequency noise, the amount the components that make up the network are subject to resonance and vibration, cable losses and most importantly of all, the quality of the DC power supplies that drive the network.
In analog music, the key to great sound lies in ensuring that no noise is picked up or injected into the analog signal. In digital, the key to great sound is in ensuring that the structure of the bit stream is as close to perfect as possible, with no interfering high frequency noise or time deviations. And the great thing about digital is that the bit stream can be cleaned and refined as its passes along the network. Every network component has the ability to either enhance or degrade the sound quality, because the bit stream pattern is only part of the equation when it comes to using a bit stream to create music. The closer the bit stream is to having perfect construction (no noise, no time deviations) the more perfectly the bit stream is converted to music in our brain.
All the above is based purely and solely on my experience. I have been around hi-fi for close on 50 years and throughout that time I have built and upgraded systems to achieve my version of perfection….which for me is music where there’s nothing whatsoever I don’t like, where my attention is immediately hooked and effortlessly retained and where my pleasure centres are bombarding me with beautiful sensations generated by the music. I have owned some top kit and top systems including fully optimized LP12 sitting on Mana Phase XX stands, with SBLs and a 4 pack or ‘bariks and a 6 pack of 135s. I have had all-tube systems, Extremas, Guarneri Homage, AG Trios etc. I have treated rooms, mains, sources, vibration control and have made investments in any part of the system that I felt would improve sound quality. And I have never some across a part of the system where I could generate such large, very significant, fundamental and reliable improvements like I can with the network. Perfect your network, get a great DAC, amp and speakers and you’ll be amazed at the sound quality that system delivers.
The network has the capacity to stand the law of diminishing returns on its head, but only after you rethink the concept of value. For example, nearly all audiophiles would label it crazy to replace the SMPS on a ISP Modem worth maybe £150 with a £3000 power supply, but if that power supply delivers the equivalent of a $6000 amplifier, DAC or server upgrade then more audiophiles would agree it makes sense, once they’ve heard that upgrade for themselves. The key takeaway from this post is that the network has the ability/capability to hugely uplift SQ IF its well thought through, carefully designed and fully optimized. The closer to perfection you make the structure/fabric of the hi-fi’s data stream, the happier audiophile you’ll become.
One look behind the BT socket should tell you why you you don’t need anything better than the stock cable.
That would certainly be the conclusion I would reach if I wasn’t aware how dramatically the data stream could be improved in terms of ultimate sound quality.
The BT socket is a clear indication of the degree to which the data stream can be improved. A stock patch cable is certainly sufficient to play music and if that’s all you want, its perfect. But if you would like high quality music, in line with the rest of your investment in hi-fi equipment then the cable is the first place of many where the data stream can be improved.
Sorry I still don’t buy it.
You are looking at the digital signal encoded and transmitted over a copper twisted pair which runs between the street cabinet, either underground or via overhead cables with multiple joins. I can’t see how upgrading the last couple of feet between the socket and the modem is going to make any significant difference to the quality of the signal. Even if you are very close to the cabinet, your patch cable is a very insignificant percentage of the overall cable run. Luckily I have been on a true fibre connection for the last seven years. I still remember the horrors of ADSL, with line quality depending on the weather, BT finding wet joints on the pole, etc.
I won’t say anything and I’m sure this makes some people like @frenchrooster happy.
The last ethernet cable entering your streamer/dac has vastly more influence on SQ than the miles of cables before it because it’s an aerial and is also a conductor connected to the mains that enters the dac itself and thus brings various forms of EM noise directly into your dac.
Hi there SB1911,
You are absolutely correct about the quality of the data stream that’s arriving at your home. It’s been through data centres, travelled many miles of cables with junctions and switches, so what comes into your house is not in particularly great shape.
Conceptually a data stream comprises two components….the digital pattern itself, which you can think of as 1s and 0s (although they’re not) and the actual transport medium, which is a voltage stream or light stream, set on a time base.
Now lets say that the bit stream entering your home is passed on to your hi-fi without any changes or errors. What arrives at your hi-fi is called bit perfect, because the bits are unchanged…identical. IT folks will tell you that is all you need for perfect sound. Well my experience over many years tells me that it isn’t all I need. By far not. An untreated bit perfect stream will play music without error, interruptions or hiccups, but whether it sounds great is a very different question. What I have found is that the quality of the music…its rhythm, flow, detail, depth and whether it sounds dynamic, spontaneous and real very much depends not only on the bits, but on how well or badly the bits were created, how well and accurately they were timed and what else was included with the voltage stream by way of unrelated noise. It seems that while a DAC will accurately portray the music of a bit perfect stream, how that music sounds to us will be greatly impacted by just how perfect the bit stream reaching the DAC is. By perfect, I mean accurately timed, with no deviation and without HF noise from all the digital processes in the prior chain.
In analog, what you get is signal plus noise and because they’re both in the same form ie voltage, they’re inseparable. As a consequence you need to keep noise out of an analog signal. Digital on the other hand is different. Digital signals can be rebuilt, based on the digital pattern. If you know the time base and you know which bits are +ve and which -ve, you can rebuild the bitstream and this is exactly what happens in a network. The bitstream can be re-locked and the voltages can be regenerated so you can clean up a very poor quality data stream as it flows through your network. Your network can include cleaner, lower impedance and therefore more responsive DC supplies, improved (stability, accuracy, reproducibility) clocks, better isolation, and it can include measures to prevent the regeneration of noise, like EMI minimisation, better switching topology for lower network traffic, fewer CPU interrupts, lower noise switching chips, vibration/resonance control, better cable screening and a bunch more.
The bottom line is that its perfectly possible and indeed desirable to take the dirty, noise contaminated data stream your describe and polish it up to a state of near perfection before it enters the DAC. You will be handsomely rewarded for doing so.