Monoprice Cat8.....inexpensive and if you don't like them you're not out much.
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You know how when you had analogue TV the picture used to get better or worse depending on your aerial, cables, interference, noise, etc? But your digital TV either has a perfect picture or no picture at all?
Same with audio over Ethernet compared to analogue. It’s the way Ethernet works. If there is audio at the other end at all, it is a perfect reconstruction of the signal. Any noise is not part of the signal and is ignored.
All Ethernet cables “sound” the same if they pass a signal at all.
@antigrunge I find it so amusing that the people that are least informed think they are the smartest people in the room. You might try looking up ’Dunning-Kruger Effect’
Here’s a commentary from someone that actually designs digital audio equipment on some factors that affect the sound of digital audio. tl;dr: Bits are bits, BUT there are types of interference outside just looking at the integrity of the digital signal data.
Bob Stuart, Meridian Audio
Want more? Here’s some commentary from Gordon Rankin (introduced the digital audio world to asynchronous USB transfer): https://darko.audio/2016/05/gordon-rankin-on-why-usb-audio-quality-varies/
As for myself, my hearing works just fine. So, a +5 on the Supra Cat 8 cable from me as well. And yes, I listened to it extensively versus an AmazonBasics Cat 6 cable. And also got my 15 y.o. son who doesn’t give a hoot about cables to give me his thoughts as well. Maybe his opinion is a +6 for the Supra cable.
FWIW, these were my listening notes of the Supra cable vs a AmazonBasics Cat 6 cable:
Just an introspective observation of how I was involuntarily reacting to the Supra vs AmazonBasics cable:
I was listening to both on Sunday night and one interesting observation that I had was that I had a serious case of 'Let's hear that again' when the Supra cable was in my system and ending up listening to the same track 3 or 4 times. I was pretty tired when I was listening on Sunday night and the AmazonBasics cable didn't seem to have that same effect on me. In fact, I was literally falling asleep when the Amazon cable was in, but putting the Supra cable in would perk me up.
But I suggest you get a basic Ethernet cable and a nicer cable, perhaps the Supra Cat 8 cable which only costs $60-70. Listen to both. Ask your spouse or significant other if there is ANY difference at all between the cables. If not, keep the cheaper cable and you'll then know for sure that you either can't hear a difference and/or those of us advocating for more expensive Ethernet cables are just full of it.
Calvin - if you buy this Ethernet cable, which seems to modify the data, don’t use it as part of the network you use to make the payment online, will you!
Or is this cable so miraculous that it can tell the difference between the packets of data that carry your financial data from the packets that carry your audio data, and will let the former pass through unmodified, but will change the latter?
The digital data is not changed. It works better because it lets in less interference. Read what I wrote. Sound quality is impacted by "a variety of interferences including data-induced jitter, other process-induced jitter, (and) common- and differential-mode electromagnetic noise." While you’re at it, you might benefit from looking up ’Dunning-Kruger Effect’
@antigrunge2 All good. I do find the comments of the bits-are-bits crowd to be amusing in their absolute conviction in their correctness due to their lack of knowledge. (kind of like the Flat Earther of audio). In all fairness, I don't expect everyone to hear a difference between cables, but if people are going to argue based on theory, let's at least have all the facts on the table.
Switching one Cat6 cable for another of the same rating or higher should have no difference at all if you don’t have a serious fault somewhere in your system. If your streamer/dac or whichever unpacker the cable is connected to can’t filter the tiny amount of interference you get over a short run in a gentle environment like a house you’ve got a serious problem in your system. The whole point of Ethernet and its protocols is to keep the data the same and to ignore the noise. The problem is not the cable. That recommended filter is a sticking plaster covering a problem you need to solve - basically, if the amount of interference you are experiencing is defeating your hardware, you need new hardware, not a new cable.
What I find amazing is that what Bob Stuart and Gordon Rankin say on the topic counts for nought in @bluemoodriver’s world. Stubbornly doctrinaire against better science, init?
Unfortunately a common trait among ‘scientists’ it seems...
Here s another one for you @bluemoodriver: why do you think the filter I was referencing was originally designed? To improve the accuracy of scientific medical instruments! Go figure! But that was obviously done in error because the lab had a fundamental flaw.....
These guys who say Ethernet cables do not make a difference:
1) Typically say nothing makes a difference. Of course other than room treatments and to a certain extent speakers, which of course everyone agrees
2) They have sorry a** systems, if any at all
Here you go, I said it. Harsh but true.
Having said this, using a good Ethernet cable will NOT make your $50 China DAC sound like a $10,000 DAC. Let’s be realistic about the impact of Ethernet cables
For those still on fence for Ethernet cables, give this a shot:
I almost never recommend anything China, but I do recommend Ghent. Great build quality at very affordable prices. Fast shipping from China too
There aren’t many places left where “led by science, engineering and objective evidence” is a term of derision!
Now you have said that “guitars sound faster” I’m convinced. You are right. That’s all that’s needed - now the cable you selected and installed with an expectation that the sound will improve has reported by you to improve the sound by making the guitars sound faster, it proves that science, engineering and objective evidence is stupid.
With some notable exceptions like Doug S and Audio2design, too much of this forum is a dead end of the worst sort of audiophilia. The sort that causes our hobby to be derided and the people in it mocked.
So carry on with suggesting science, engineering and objective evidence is a reason to be dismissive and rude. Ignore your confirmation biases, your aged ears, the placebo, blind testing, and measurement.
And then complain that young people don’t join you in your hobby. You wonder why?
May I kindly suggest you stay away, then?
Two real authorities in digital product development make the scientific argument that more things matter than the Bits-are-Bits nonsense you are espousing and you still deride people capable of hearing that as charlatans. Enough is enough, my last comment on this obstructionist tosh.
Well, I recently was provided with a high enough speed internet to allow hi-rez music streaming. I am about to purchase a Bluesound streamer to be connected to router via ethernet cable. I purchased the Monoprice Cat8 cable as it was of higher quality than the most basic yet very inexpensive. I am new to streaming and have much to learn. I consider the Monoprice 'entry level'. Once I have become familiar with the Bluesound via ethernet as played in my system I then will consider options to improve sound, probably by improving the cable. The Supre8 seems like a good candidate.
@mesch That’s a sensible approach. That’s what I did with digital cables and power as well over the past year as I was open to WHETHER cables and power make a difference, but wanted to spend as little as possible for a given level of subjective sound quality. This is what I listened to in my own system (with cables loaned by friends so I had no out-of-pocket expense for listening to these other than the Jitterbug that I had already and Supra Cat 8 cable). My objective was to figure out how little I could spend and still get pretty decent sound.
First up was the generic HP USB printer cable, because ’bits-are-bits’ right? That cheap HP cable sounded absolutely horrible and opened my eyes to the impact of cables on a system. Perceptions were: Sound feels shut-in and veiled. Trailing edge of notes have an overhang. Treble is a bit harsh. Bass sounds tubby
Low priced products that were pretty good:
+1. I really like starting with equipment that is inexpensive, because I don’t subscribe to the view that more expensive must be better & my hearing seems to bear that out. However, sometimes expensive equipment truly is better, but even then I want to hear the level of improvement from an inexpensive baseline to figure out the cost-benefit of spending more. At a certain point in audio spending, the difference becomes the difference between good and better rather than good vs not good. 'Good enough' is still tremendously enjoyable for me & why there is a lot of audio equipment that I would get before even considering upgrading from the already high bar of the Supra Cat 8 cable. Not to mention that I would rather use my limited time to listen to music than play with equipment.
I can definitely tell that the Supra Cat 8 cable is most definitely worth $65 ($50 more than a basic cable) and probably one of the best values I’ve found to improve sound quality. The Phasure Lush USB cable is more expensive at $200-250, but I’m willing to spend on that as well given the sonic benefits I’ve experienced. I do think that the marginal returns most likely decrease as prices go up even higher. A $1000+ cable would have to work some sort of miracle to justify my spending that much. Maybe down the road, but I still have to consider value when spending on a working person’s budget with kids about to go to college.
+2. Exactly my thoughts. Been there done that. Many years ago. Whether you continue to experiment with everything down the road, including with cables, it depends on how passionate you remain with the hobby
I suggest you the Viablue cable in Ethernet, it works perfectly and brings a neutrality on the sound scene
if you are a handyman you can make them yourself
I suggest the LINKUP CAT8. It made difference on my system after install on my system. Each cable is tested and its results is sent jointly with the package.
It sounds great. Previously I was skeptical about ethernet cables making difference on sound.
The anti-folks are just cheap. Acknowledging the effect of cables (digital in particular) would set off a round of cognitive dissonance.
"To achieve scientific perfection in audio, I would have to spend more money on digital cables." Denial avoids the problem.
It is interesting that many science based deniers admit that this or that could make a difference with a digital cable, but that "better" more expensive cables don't. Not cognitive dissonance anymore, just flawed logic and science.
For sure. The only science that definitively works is the trying of different cables to actually hear the effect on sound quality. Your ears are the only scientific measuring device you need.
I have ethernet cables made by three manufacturers. Monoprice Cat 5e, Cable Matters Cat 8, and Supra 8+. As you step up from MP to CM to Supra, the sound just gets better. Yes, the MP 5e is pretty good, but by the time you get to Supra 8+, it has become more realistic. I plan to try the ghentaudio Cat 8 in the future.
I have three Ghent Ethernet cables. And I have tried many other cables from many more mainstream manufacturers. IMO, for the price the Ghent Ethernet cables are an exceptional value. For about eighty buck all in shipped from China, I recommend anyone staying on the fences try one.
Here is his Belden one made with Metz connectors: http://ghentaudio.com/pc/et11.html