Why are short Ethernet cables perceived as poor?

So why are short Ethernet cables, typically less than 1.0m, perceived as poor in a streaming context?

Is there a substantive technical reason for this? Shorter cables could make for a tidier network.

ATB, J

I read this about power cables sometimes but don’t remember me reading the same about Ethernet cables. What’s your source?

Not unsurprisingly, a cable manufacturer………

ATB, J

There’s a lot of stuff on www, conflicting opinions and much I suspect is just speculation & myth.

However reading the regs, plus some mnfts & other technical papers, there is not a specicfied minimum length for just the cable, but the regs ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1 do warn of achieving conformance stnds with FEXT (far end cross talk) on shorter links with minimally compliant components.

With home audio systems we are invariably talking of patch cords (ready made cables with RJ45 plugs) Getting a 0.5m patch cord certified is not easy, more so with minimally compliant cable and RJ45 plugs, more so when the twisted pair config is not maintained right up to the plug pin connection
But who actually certifies their patch chords ? BJC started issuing the test cert with each cable, plus one or two others followed.

2 Likes

I’ve seen several recommendation of 2.5m on BJC cables. I just thought “why not” and ordered that length for my new setup :slight_smile: Do I believe in it? I think not - but I needed about 2m anyway. And I have seen stranger advice.

Remember that an EE8 comes with a free 0.75m C-Stream cable. Since the EE8 is all about quality, then you might question would they really skimp on a bit of cheap cable if they new SQ would be adversely effected.

The most significant consideration as far as I am concerned is that the voltage drop is smaller in shorter lengths and so EMF strengths will be higher on the receiving twisted pairs.
The longer the cable, the bigger the voltage drop the less EMF in the receiving pairs.
If this is a consideration in your setup, you may find Cat5e cables also sound better than Cat6A. The voltage drop across 5e is larger because of the thinner gauge copper.
You may therefore find the optimum SQ is with a 100m Cat5e cable if a streamer or network DAC is sensitive to Ethernet noise.

1 Like

fs (dot) com does. I have used and use their cables both professionally and at home.

NB. There’s also fscables, which is a different company that because of the name has been confused with the fs I mentioned above. I have no experience with them.

1 Like