What Ethernet cable are you using into you streamer?


I use Audioquest Vodka to introduce some noise in my dCS gear…Believe me, the output escaping the loudspeakers to my ears is a very nice noise :slight_smile:

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Do you mean that your network switch is 20m away from your dCS component and/or to be reached via a cable run outside of the house?

The unshielded cable we are talking about is specific to the connection between network switch and dCS component, not necessarily between , say, router and switch. If that 20m is not connected directly to the dCS component then a shielded cable may be preferable if the external run may be subject to electrical interference. If there is no problem with significant interference then the length should still be fine with Cat.5e ( which is UTP).

However an unshielded ethernet cable uses twisted pairs and will intrinsically have a good rejection of interference ( I would guess including fields from 240v lines nearby i have loads of 240v cables virtually touching my Cat.5e ethernet cables behind my system rack - no problems). I wonder if you are trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist ?

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Thank you for picking up on this,

I agree, don’t think there is a problem here a such. I am trying to future proof against problems from interference as from experience they rear up once everything is installed and redecorated which I’m in the middle of.

Yes, the router is approx 20m away, if I install a switch it would only serve the DCS as there isn’t anything else networked nearby. I wasn’t sure what purpose the switch would serve in this scenario but I think I’m getting it now?

Is the premise that the run from the switch is short so the risk of interference is minimal. Not using shielded on this run omits the connection of the gound of the DCS with the ground of something with a messy switched power supply.

My understanding is that In my case, the best option would be a cable from the router to a switch near the DCS via outdoor shielded and then a shorter run of unshielded 2m (ish) to the DCS this would have the minimum risk of any interference in future.

Use of a separate switch is not strictly necessary and would have no intrinsic advantage by it being near to the dCS or near to the router.

The subject of switches is generally another audio rabbit hole to fall down but basically many hold that the switch part of a typical router ( especially those provided by ISPs) is not as good as a dedicated network switch and some go further in claiming that some network switches sound better than others though objective evidence for this is in short supply. That includes the argument about using linear v. switching PS. NB: I do use a network switch and one that is claimed to sound better than the average . My ears confirm this but my brain (such that it is) disagrees :thinking:.

Although 20m is a longer distance than many have from router ( or switch) to the dCS component it is not all that far in networking terms and you should not have any problems. The recommended maximum distance for CAT.5e is 100m ( including any length between router and switch).

As you do not have a problem I would say that it is best not to guess what one in the future may turn out to be and what steps may remedy it.

I appreciate your decor considerations but given the unknown future would only advise that it is prudent not to do anything that cannot be easily undone. For example I do not advise burying cables in channels cut in walls then plastering over. As soon as you do this you will find that the next piece of equipment you install needs a different sort of cable :grinning:.

If you go for an external route then this may require drilling holes in walls or window frames. Fine but ensure that the cable you choose is suitable for external use. Many plastics ( such as used in cable sheathing) can be negatively affected by UV light, for example. However you may even end up finding that the external route may be more prone to interference than an internal one. Like when my friend found that the field behind his house had become a furniture construction factory though I think he is more concerned about physical rather than electrical noise.

If it were me then I would stick to internal routing ( as that seems simpler) and if I didn’t want cables showing I might install the cable in a conduit running above the skirting board . In fact I believe that you can get faux skirting boards that contain cable management . At least then you can get comparatively easy access to the cable should you want to change for any reason.

I hope that makes some sort of sense.


Truth be told, I use an Audioquest Diamond RJ/E as the last leg into my Vivaldi Upsampler (though it doesn’t actually produce any audible benefits since the streams are already bit-perfect with just a normal Ethernet Cat5 cable :wink:).

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Sometimes it’s nice just having a fine tool in hand. It can be inspiring and comforting. I’ve got a couple of nice levels and hammers, but no one, not even Helen Keller, could mistake me for a carpenter.

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Exactly! :grin: (plus the Diamond RJ/E measures so well, I just had to use it).

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Total sense, I now understand (ish), although seeing a bit of conduit in the lounge might send me over the edge. :woozy_face:

I’m no electrician but I’ll leave you with this.

Presumably, an audio grade switch has a very good power supply, ditto a better router and ditto a non-audio grade but better switch, this has been discussed before.

Just checked my setup, I have a relatively inexpensive Chord C-steam audio grade network cable which is shielded like many audio network cables, the metal fittings at either end of the cable are connected, the DCS chassis is connected to the switch chassis, I checked on multimeter. whilst this is ill-advised by DCS is it feasible that this setup could somehow do something on the 240v side affecting the signal through the amplifier circuits, hence the benefit.

I To avoid repetition the reason for using unshielded cables has been discussed at length earlier in this thread. Nothing to do with 240V.

For best results you need to use a UTP cable which the Chord C-stream is not it being Cat.7. ( S/FTP). Coincidentally Chord C-Stream was the first ethernet cable I ever used whilst auditioning a non-dCS component :slightly_smiling_face:

I would suggest these which I have just installed in my Vivaldi system replacing the earlier, more costly, shielded cables I was using and, to my surprise, improving upon them audibly after a little burn-in time ( also much cheaper than the Chord cable):

Alright, we should help each other on this forum. You almost feel guilty of having this Audioquest cable, then If you send me your Audioquest Diamond I will send you a Cat5 cable, just tell me the length you need ? :joy:


I did have the Audioquest Diamond for two years.(very good)
Now I have the Sigma Ethernet Cable ( much better)

How and why is it better?

More air and definition.
Just try it.
I use a fanless pc with Jcat USB and ethernet card/ 3 separate power supply’s.
Shunyata USB Sigma Cable.
Vivaldi DAC & Clock.
Roon and Tidal.

I am at a point where I am willing to be persuaded, so long as there is some explanation of why it should be better than what I have already. [And I’ve been persuaded, from Iconoclast analog cables to compliant digital cables to reference clocks; my checkbook is still a willing volunteer.] Whence should more air and definition derive? What gets through [or doesn’t get through] the Shunyata Sigma better than the AQ Diamond or a lowly BJC Cat 6? What in its design makes it superior? I have asked my dealer these questions and gotten pretty much the same response: “just try it.” That’s a recommendation, which I understand and accept at face value, but without an explanation.

I’ve been listening to the John Darko podcasts and really enjoying them. He speaks to a lot of Engineers who design and make audio equipment. I have noticed a common theme regarding measurements and specifications which is, they tell you nothing about how something sounds and how you will feel. One loudspeaker designer said he can’t measure any difference between loudspeaker cables but clearly they sound different and not just in tone.

My point? That’s why you have to “just try it” and go with your emotional feelings. It seems that’s what the most experienced designers do.


Ha. ha, I look a bit like your dealer?
Maybe because I also worked in a hi-fi business for 20 years?
Of course he knows better than anyone that you can explain it technically, but then the consumer says: Oh yes? I would like to hear if that is correct.
He and I skip that process and go straight to what it’s about: does it sound better in your own set or not?
And you have to spend the money and only you can judge whether what you hear about differences is worth the investment or not.
If you have the technical explanation you should look here:
You probably also know that Caelin Gabriel from Shunyata has an acquaintance that is beyond many audio enthusiasts, including me.
I have every confidence in him, but I want to hear for myself whether what he makes in my set comes into its own.
This Ethernet Sigma was a big improvement for me without exaggeration.
With a friend of mine who does not use Tidal, with a dCS Bartok, the improvement was not so great that he is considering purchasing it.
He thought his Audioquest Diamond sounded a bit warmer and therefore more beautiful.
Who is right? He, because it is his set.
For my ethernet connection to my Roon Core / player I also use something that I have not seen anyone else use.

With a normal Cat 5 cable from the Provider internet modem to a Nighthawk AC3200 Tri-Band Router.
Then with a Shunyata Sigma Ethernet Cable to a >
Devolo Gigagate Base that transmits a WiFi signal to a Devolo Gigagate Satellite.
Then with a Shunyata Sigma Ethernet Cable to the JCat Ethernet card in my Roon Core / player PC

I already hear everyone say: Don’t use WiFi because that is worse!!
But that way you get a perfect galvanic separation.
And I have had zero dropouts with this and achieved a download speed of 500 MBPS.
And, yes it sounds fantastic!!

Hi all, I’m using a Melco N1Z into my Bartok together with an Uptone Etherregen. So I have Melco Ethernet cables from wall socket (which goes back to my router upstairs) to ER, from N1Z to ER and from ER to Bartok. The cable to the Bartok is on the “clean” side of the ER. Hope that all makes sense…

In this kind of scenario, where the ER is already supposedly cleaning up the Ethernet connectivity, would you expect the Sigma to make a material difference, assuming I used it from the ER to the Bartok?

I realise this is hypothetical and ultimately I’d need to try it myself but I just wondered if anyone who has experience with the Sigma (or similar) would give be able to give a view?

Possibly opening a can of worms, I know…so go easy on me…

Thanks, Mike.

Yes because it does not meet the technical requirements of the dCS ethernet interface by being shielded and not being a certified CAt.x cable. So there will certainly be a difference. You may like it. You may equally like to connect the boxes using wet string. You are free to do so.

Why do contributors to this forum always recommend increasingly expensive solutions as if $, £, € provided the right answer instead of technical advice from the people that actually made the equipment?

As someone who also used a Melco N1 to my Vivaldi with Melco ethernet cables I have just spend less, not more, in following dCS’ advice by replacing the Melco cables with Cat.5e UTP ones and have found a significant audible improvement . As I have written elsewhere, when I say improvement I mean improvement i.e. everything, not just a single or selection of attributes.



I will try to explain you…Imagine the difference in sound between a clock with 5 femto second precision and a clock with 7 femto seconds precision, it sounds completely different, well, I guess, some people believe it… :joy:

Having said that…One day I buy the dCS Vivaldi clock…And if it doesn’t improve anything…I know two people on earth to whom I will complain :laughing:

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Hi Pete, can’t really argue with any of that - I guess my question was driven by the usual fear of missing out. I think I’ll take your advice and go no further with it, save my money for a more meaningful upgrade further down the line (maybe a Rossini…) and enjoy what I’ve got for a while!

Cheers, Mike.