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Is there a "better" Network cable?


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I have finally connected to the NBN, and have some reasonable internet speed. 40 vs the old 6.1 with a tailwind!

 

So at long last, I can stream youtube into my music room.!!!!  To achieve this, I am going to go hard wired with a network cable about 15m long, to get from my 105 Oppo to the modem.

 

My question - are there differences you can see and hear re quality of network cables?  I figure I might as well put a good one in over a $10 one - if it exists.

 

If you are one of those people that cannot hear any differences in cables - power to you!  However, please be courteous and refrain from any and all disparaging comments to those of us that do.

 

OK - so tell me what is out there - what you have found.

 

Thanks, Red.

 

 

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I'm not fussy. Lagavulin-16 and a Monte Cristo 3 will do for now. 

Hi Red   No disparaging comments here mate I think a CAT6A cable would suit you fine they are as good as you'll need for the Oppo the Officeworks gear is fine as @Jeddie has said even the on

I use Blue Jeans cables, they are performance tested after being built, the tests results are sent with the cable, and they sound great.

Hi Red

 

No disparaging comments here mate I think a CAT6A cable would suit you fine they are as good as you'll need for the Oppo the Officeworks gear is fine as @Jeddie has said even the ones from MSY are fine I've been using them for years without any trouble, through my home network I've done music as well as HD movies streaming over a 40 metre run of the older CAT6e with no problems.

 

Sound wise may be a different kettle of fish when they are being used with components like the EtherRegen  https://uptoneaudio.com/products/etherregen but I believe with your Oppo as long as you buy a decent well made cable you won't have any sound or connectivity issues at 15m long you shouldn't have to spend more than $40 to $50

 

These look fine as an example nice thick cable reasonable connectors  

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CAT6A-10Gbps-Certified-Ethernet-Network-Cables-Pure-Copper-Core-10M-15M-20M-30M/233672109779?hash=item3667f16ed3:g:sw0AAOSwjQRfK~Y9&frcectupt=true

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I use Blue Jeans cables, they are performance tested after being built, the tests results are sent with the cable, and they sound great.

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I am a believer in getting a cleaner, less noisy, network for audio. For your 20m run, suggest using Ethernet over optical using these

https://cplonline.com.au/networking/routers/ubiquiti-er-x-sfp-edgerouter-x-6port-au.html (2 off)

https://www.fs.com/au/products/75327.html (2 off)

https://www.fs.com/au/products/40205.html

 

For Ethernet cables, get Monoprice CAT6 from Amazon.  Avoid cables with metal plugs where the shields are tied. You may accidentally create a circuit to transmit noise.

 

All of the above are standard, better quality network components. Then the rabbit hole opens up. You can replace one of the Ubiquity with an EtherREGEN, get better power supplies or get an audiophile Ethernet cable.

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I agree with suggestions for fibre over than length.  It will isolate from downstream noise, and not pick up noise enroute. Its most likely the best SQ for money over that distance.

 

The EdgeRouter X SFP was quite an improvemet over the stock iinet router it replaced in my ethernet system.  And I gather it can be configured as a switch only for at the Oppo end of the fibre, so you can also plug your tv etc into it.  Alternatively a media convertor for $30 at the Oppo end will work too.

 

Ethernet cable for the last leg to Oppo - pick a price point you can justify, take a deep breath and then check out this ...

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

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6 hours ago, Red MacKay said:

Better cable

It depends on what you're trying to do/solve.

 

There's very few reasons why a network cable could actually have an effect on the audio .... and they all depends on the design of the connected equipment (essentially.... "are they susceptible to electrical noise being injected though the ethernet socket?").

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6 hours ago, Red MacKay said:

I have finally connected to the NBN, and have some reasonable internet speed. 40 vs the old 6.1 with a tailwind!

 

So at long last, I can stream youtube into my music room.!!!! To achieve this, I am going to go hard wired with a network cable about 15m long, to get from my 105 Oppo to the modem.

 

My question - are there differences you and can see and hear re quality of network cables?  I figure I might as well put a good one in over a $10 one - if it exists.

 

If you are one of those people that cannot hear any differences in cables - power to you!  However, please be courteous and refrain from any and all disparaging comments to those of us that do.

 

OK - so tell me what is out there - what you have found.

 

Thanks, Red.

 

 

 

Red

 

Happy to give you some 6a to run the distance. As it is free the price/performance rating can't be beat. Have both a silly long terminated cable and some reel. Actually have 6a and 5e on reel so you're welcome to run both and compare.

 

If you want to do truly spanky things with network cable then there's stuff to do beyond the cable and frankly @davewantsmoore is right, there's ways to abate network anything effects... the cheapest of which is just unplugging the cable. No cable/audiophile router/whatever is worth more than a local SSD on it's own power. 

 

As for 'what the cable can do' you'll do more in routing it intelligently than anything else. If you want to try some audiophile run, run a medical isolator (eBay $100 or so) for fun and maybe some CAT8 on the last if you're terminating to a wall jack (and by 'you're' we'd note that legally a licensed cabler should be doing this, but we digress). 

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7 hours ago, Red MacKay said:

My question - are there differences you and can see and hear re quality of network cables?  I figure I might as well put a good one in over a $10 one - if it exists.

Yes

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8 hours ago, Red MacKay said:

are there differences you and can see and hear re quality of network cables?

Honestly, no. As long as your cables are quality and competent and not faulty -- which can be a challenge given the number of fake ethernet cables on the market (seriously, I had a batch turn up that weren't even cat-3). You mention streaming youtube, which is going to be processed so heavily by the renderer that there really is no real relationship between what's on the wire and what's coming out the speakers. 

 

I would not use a cable that was $10 for 15 metres, because there would have to be something wrong with it to sell at that price (unless it was stolen!). 

 

The prior mention of Blue Jeans cables was pretty reasonable; they don't charge an unreasonable amount for a carefully made cable. I tend to buy all my patch leads from 4cabling.com.au because they ship quickly, charge a fair price and have never shipped me a bad cable (last order: 200+ cables). They also come in funky colours, because red cables make the frames go faster and purple cables are more mellow. Orange cables bring out the midrange, blue cables can be harsh on the high end. Ahem. Couldn't resist. 

 

*IF* you're going to get a cabler to do an in-wall install for you, I'd consider getting a fibre run at the same time for future-proofing, but if your devices are getting measurable noise from ethernet something is wrong. Probably because someone skipped on the isolation transformer in their PHY implementation, but one can get isolators pretty easily. Or there's a dirty power cable running right next to the ethernet run. Or RF pollution. 

 

It concerns me that there is a growing market preying on people, selling insane ethernet switches with magical external clocks and the like. Ethernet frames land in an RX buffer and the ethernet driver then copies that buffer to RAM and then does something with it, like copy it to another chunk of memory for an application to decode the FLAC, process the audio, copy that to another bit of memory before copying it into an audio driver buffer and then ... yeah, a predatory industry. I'll buy the fibre for noise isolation story, because that can make sense especially with long runs. I'm surprised highly expensive streamers and bridges haven't included simple fibre connections from the get-go, given they cost so little to implement these days. PS Audio Bridge2 is over $1k and they couldn't squeeze an SFP slot in there? But I digress ...

 

 

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No - no complications for my audio visual.

run a really simple setup and have no desire to add more boxes for better quality.

 

For me all I have is HDMI output from the laptop into the 105, out of the 105 HDMI into the projector and SPDIF out of the 105 into my DAC and that into my 2CH pre.

 

So yes, if I can get a network cable that gives me a little more than a bog standard one, then yes, that is what I am looking for.  So $15 for 15m will be rubbish.  Good info to know.  A Blue Jeans one might be worth a try.

 

I remember when my Dad first got NBN in Tassie and they had all sorts of trouble with it till they replaced the original cat 6 cable that was installed with another different type cat 6 and it instantly fixed all the issues.

 

Thanks everyone for your input.

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A couple of years ago there was a market flood of counterfeit ethernet cables from China. They managed to end up in the normal retail chain through PC shops and the like. They looked like normal patch leads, but when you cut them open the insides were untwisted cable and string to add bulk. Wasted a couple of hours of my time as I was building a cluster and the interconnects kept going up and down and dropping packets like crazy. 

 

Even the category 5 standards are quite exacting -- only a very small amount of untwisted cable permitted and it's really easy to terminate a cable in a way that'll work but won't pass on the fancy test equipment. I don't make my own patch leads any more since one can buy them at a fair price these days.

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Before we all project an audiophile lens on cost, a 20m run of CAT6 terminated is $25 at 4cabling.

 

Bought off the roll unterminated it is indeed $10 or so.

 

No need to spend big. 

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8 hours ago, PCOWandre said:

You mention streaming youtube, which is going to be processed so heavily by the renderer that there really is no real relationship between what's on the wire and what's coming out the speakers. 

What's on the wire is very important.... but there is a) typically zero error... and b ) errors are transmitted.

 

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4 hours ago, AudioGeek said:

I setup an oppo 105 at my parents place years ago. The supplied wifi dongle works perfectly for youtube, netflix etc.

A dongle?  Alas - no dongle with my used 105 when I got it.

 

Last night being impatient, I thought I'd get a datum to work from, so I setup my laptop in the music room and tried the wireless connection.

 

I am quite surprised how well it worked and not one buffereing or drop out all night and I finally turned it off just after 2am...  Sound was 7/10, picture quality 6/10. (compared to a standard Bluray)

 

No 4K or Stan, Nettfliks or any other pay tv here.

 

I have had several offers of assistance from members like Riccardo and Mark and I shall follow them up when we are out of Stage 4.

 

Thanks must also be given to @dbastin for the comprehensive list of network cables he has compliled previous.  A lot of research shared there!

 

Thanks to everyone that has chimed in too.

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Just set up my tv  with a fire stick  with ethernet adapter  +hifi in garage 

 

Purchased a 20 metre  One from lindy  cat7   ordered pm brisbane  one day 

Delivered  Melbourne am the next 

 

Works great and Im thinking better than altronics or ebay  

Least you can be sure it is what they say  

 

Reasonable price  

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On 29/08/2020 at 2:08 PM, Red MacKay said:

 

My question - are there differences you can see and hear re quality of network cables?  I figure I might as well put a good one in over a $10 one - if it exists. 

 

The answer is no difference. As long the cable you are using is a certified Cat 6 or 5 cable. And it doesn't exceeds the maximum length specified by Ethernet standard. Cat 6. Cat is 55M and 100M for Cat5e. 

Edited by ChupaChups
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On 30/08/2020 at 1:38 PM, ChupaChups said:

The answer is no difference. As long the cable you are using is a certified Cat 6 or 5 cable. And it doesn't exceeds the maximum length specified by Ethernet standard. Cat 6. Cat is 55M and 100M for Cat5e. 

Australian standard specs are 90m m link plus 5m tail at each end to give 100m total distance.  A certified cat 6 or cat 6A will manage these distances with no degradation in performance.  There are many many environments where these length limits are stretched to the max (eg schools and corporate environments) and these cables still pass compliance testing.  We often have video over cat (HdBaseT) runs that are 70 -90 m and as long as a high quality cable is used then we have no issues.  Not sure where the 55m length you state is derived from.  Can you be a kind soul and elaborate please as i am very interested where it is stated to be 55m. 

eg   https://www.belden.com/blog/smart-building/whats-the-real-cat-6a-cable-distance-limit-and-why-does-it-matter

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Dudes.  The specs will assure data is transmitted without fault from the cable.  And that's fine for things that are not sensitive to noise.  But alas, audio is affected by noise and it somehow permeates through networks.  That is one problem- with many solutions, some better than others.

 

I have a well developed network of quite high performance gear.  At the end is an Antipodes EX which has a very low noise direct ethernet output, and appears to have its own independent chip, clock and circuit.  From there to end point is a cable that retails for US$1k with a high performance:price ratio. However, I think its safe to say even non-believers would be bewildered by the degree of improvement putting a Gigafoilv4 in that last leg makes.

 

The moral ... the specs are just the baseline, but experimentation will show there is so much more to be gained.

 

Its like being on a rollercoast in the pitch black. Exciting, wild and unpredictable.  you just need to decide how how to pay for the ticket.

 

Enjoy the ride.

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24 minutes ago, dbastin said:

.....From there to end point is a cable that retails for US$1k with a high performance:price ratio. However, I think its safe to say even non-believers would be bewildered by the degree of improvement putting a Gigafoilv4 in that last leg makes.

 

Gigafoilv4 - US$550

 

Just did a quick bit of research and it indeed looks a great product and will be looked at later down the track.

Right now I can't justify it and a Teddy Pardo LPS, as I mainly just want to watch streamed movies and the like.

 

rmpfyf donated me a standard 6e cable last week, that I have yet to try.  (you can't rush these things) 👍

 

I was quite surprised at the quality and lack of dropouts with simple wifi actually.  The bottleneck for quality here clearly is the graphics card in the laptop, so I will need to move to a good media box before I can see any improvement at all.

 

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

I terminated some 30m runs of Cat5e that manages 10GBE at full speed between work computers and NAS.  Nothing special to achieve in my limited experience because it worked first time...but I can certainly see why the more sophisticated Cat6 is warranted in some situations especially where the network cabling is prone to interference.

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1 hour ago, Red MacKay said:

Gigafoilv4 - US$55 ... it indeed looks a great product and will be looked at later down the track.

Right now I can't justify it.

I wasn't suggesting you get one, but was making the point that even in my well developed ethernet system there was still considerable gains to be made.  BTW, I have EtherRegen (ER) immediately before my EX. The ER is serving as just an isolator - 1 x fibre in, 1 x Ethernet out - and I'd say for that purpose Gigafoilv4 brings greater benefits than ER.

 

I previously found wifi better than cat 5e, but the further improvement say Wireworld Platinum gained over wifi is quite significant by comparison to the improvement wifi provided.  But that may be moot point if the audio/video gear wont reveal it.

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I'm curious .. where is this industrial grade noise coming from? My switches are all monitored so I get alarms if they start recording CRC error counts, and I'm not getting problems on the cable run across the back yard even while MIG welding less than five metres from the cable. The isolation is one solution, but it might be masking a real problem like a bad motor in your HVAC or an appliance radiating noise way in excess of acceptable limits.

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4 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

6 hours ago, rawl99 said:

Australian standard specs are 90m m link plus 5m tail at each end to give 100m total distance.  A certified cat 6 or cat 6A will manage these distances with no degradation in performance.  There are many many environments where these length limits are stretched to the max (eg schools and corporate environments) and these cables still pass compliance testing.  We often have video over cat (HdBaseT) runs that are 70 -90 m and as long as a high quality cable is used then we have no issues.  Not sure where the 55m length you state is derived from.  Can you be a kind soul and elaborate please as i am very interested where it is stated to be 55m. 

eg   https://www.belden.com/blog/smart-building/whats-the-real-cat-6a-cable-distance-limit-and-why-does-it-matter

As mentioned elsewhere, 10Gb network at 55m and I did get my source from wiki. For average home networks most will probably be on a Gigabit network,  with that in mind 100m theoretical limit is it, taking into account one should keep the max length at around 90-96 meters with various terminations in place. 

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On 29/08/2020 at 2:08 PM, Red MacKay said:

My question - are there differences you can see and hear re quality of network cables? 

OK - so tell me what is out there - what you have found.

@Red MacKay,

To me the answer to your question is an unequivocal yes!  The are some posts in this thread that say no.  There are many comments in this forum and others that also say no.  Those who say no are denying themselves the pleasure of an enhanced listening experience.  Until you try you will never know. 

 

 

I have various cables up to Audioquest Diamond Level.  Recently I have acquired some cables that I write about in another thread.  The results are seriously wonderful.  They are worth every sinle cent that they cost.  The price is approx $470 for a one metre cable.

 

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/302259-ethernet-cables-for-audio-part-a-list-of-cables-related-info-experiences/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-4604337

 

 

The cables are made at Sound Gallery in Melbourne from Acoustic Revive cable and Telegartner Plugs imported from Japan.

https://www.soundgallery.com.au/

 

John

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4 hours ago, acg said:

I terminated some 30m runs of Cat5e that manages 10GBE at full speed between work computers and NAS.

Sure... digital is very robust.

 

These standards aren't to specify that it "definitely won't work beyond X" .... but more of a guide to what loss/hz, etc. are going to be general barriers.    Well made (and trminated) cable can usually go a lot faster.

 

4 hours ago, acg said:

network cabling is prone to interference.

Yep, high density installations, and in noisy environments, eg. data cetres, things get more picky.

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2 hours ago, PCOWandre said:

where is this industrial grade noise coming from?

Excellent question. I gather its nothing to do with data reliability/faults.

 

Uptone Audio suggests some is 'phase noise'. Plenty to read on that website.

 

The rest ... my guess and assumption going forward is anything connected to the network generates and passes on noise.  So even in a very simple stripped back network there is still a few devices - nbn box, router, switch and anything else connected (eg. TVs, PCs, etc). All these devices, their electronics and their PSUs generate and collect environmental noise.  Their PSUs let noise in from the power grid unless they all have power conditioners.

 

And then there is radiated noise from the environment.  It permeates cable sheilding and the chassis of devices connected to the network.

 

So the answer is probably noise comes from everywhere.  If we dont assume this, it will sneak in.

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4 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Excellent question. I gather its nothing to do with data reliability/faults.

 

Uptone Audio suggests some is 'phase noise'. Plenty to read on that website.

 

The rest ... my guess and assumption going forward is anything connected to the network generates and passes on noise.  So even in a very simple stripped back network there is still a few devices - nbn box, router, switch and anything else connected (eg. TVs, PCs, etc). All these devices, their electronics and their PSUs generate and collect environmental noise.  Their PSUs let noise in from the power grid unless they all have power conditioners.

 

And then there is radiated noise from the environment.  It permeates cable sheilding and the chassis of devices connected to the network.

 

So the answer is probably noise comes from everywhere.  If we dont assume this, it will sneak in.

 

I find these comments to be well intended but I'm uneasy with the execution. 

 

There's a lot of mention of 'noise' but not a lot on 'what it does'. 

 

I've got my own theories to these ends, though I'd think anyone with a handle on this much will get a very decent result on reasonable dollars.

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On 29/08/2020 at 2:08 PM, Red MacKay said:

My question - are there differences you can see and hear re quality of network cables?

No. See, yes, they look flash and expensive. Hear, no. Once you get to the minimum requirements to actually meet specifications, any perceived audio improvement is all power of suggestion. The problem of network related noise comes from the source, and the cable can only faithfully transmit the noise. Cables are - barring a few exceptions - NOT filters.

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On 29/08/2020 at 4:30 PM, dbastin said:

The EdgeRouter X SFP was quite an improvemet over the stock iinet router it replaced in my ethernet system.  And I gather it can be configured as a switch only for at the Oppo end of the fibre, so you can also plug your tv etc into it.  Alternatively a media convertor for $30 at the Oppo end will work too.

 

I've found the same.  The X SFP really lifted things for me especially as I've upgraded the cables, but over several months I've found it really unstable ... the number of soft & hard resets I've had to do makes me want to just turf it through the window. ...  For the moment It's easier to go back to a crappy DLink switch from Officeworks :( ..... sounds bland but it's reliable !

 

So, any suggestions from the learned folk for an equivalent unit to the X SFP around the same cost from a different manufacturer would be welcome !

 

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45 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Uptone Audio suggests some is 'phase noise'. Plenty to read on that website.

Plenty to read, not much to learn. A lot of it seems to be the sort of babble I'd normally associate with selling "Himalayan salt lamps" or Shakti sticks. 

 

Ethernet is a might resilient thing. Every tightly twisted pair is balanced and should terminate on a transformer, converting all that common mode noise ("all that" being micro or perhaps millivolts) to a tiny amount of heat. For noise to be a real problem, there would have to be large amounts of it.

 

Now, I have seen noise crop up from time to time that does annoy ethernet -- a bad motor in an air handling unit managed to to spew enough noise on startup to annoy some nearby equipment. But we wouldn't have noticed that interference if we weren't monitoring the switches because it was so short TCP took care of it.

 

An IP stack with audio over TCP (like 99% of music platforms) is just immune to all but a complete degradation in network behaviour. By the time a sample of audio makes it out of a device, that data has been already sitting around in memory for a number of seconds. 

 

So the only noise that leaves would be something that passes the signal transformer and gets into the rest of the equipment, which would have to be huge. That level of huge should be findable, it'd have to be in the area of an old GSM mobile near a cable, a radio transmitter (keep ya CB away from ya hifi), relay contacts acting as a spark gap, welding, motor brush noise, something like that. And that sort of noise should be hunted down back to the source and eliminated because it's probably a sign of something rather bad happening.

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2 minutes ago, lumholtzii said:

So, any suggestions from the learned folk for an equivalent unit to the X SFP around the same cost from a different manufacturer would be welcome !

Mikrotik. Their stuff is reliable, cheap, configurable and nowhere near as annoying as Ubiquiti (and I like Ubiquiti, don't get me wrong, but their stuff is a PITA in so many ways). No fans, no mess, no fuss.

 

https://mikrotik.com/product/hex_s

 

Retail $US69, SFP cage and you can do all sorts of fun things with it, including terminating VPNs and handling VLANs reliably. They're also extremely power supply tolerant, so you can toss the wall-wart and go with a better-looking PSU if you like. 

 

I see Mikrotik products as handy little problem-solvers that one can stuff into a network to deal with headaches. Don't leave home without one. 

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Just now, PCOWandre said:

Mikrotik. Their stuff is reliable, cheap, configurable and nowhere near as annoying as Ubiquiti (and I like Ubiquiti, don't get me wrong, but their stuff is a PITA in so many ways). No fans, no mess, no fuss.

 

https://mikrotik.com/product/hex_s

 

Retail $US69, SFP cage and you can do all sorts of fun things with it, including terminating VPNs and handling VLANs reliably. They're also extremely power supply tolerant, so you can toss the wall-wart and go with a better-looking PSU if you like. 

 

I see Mikrotik products as handy little problem-solvers that one can stuff into a network to deal with headaches. Don't leave home without one. 

Great !  Thanks for that :)   I could see that the Ubiquiti unit was great at least in theory.  I'm reasonably tech savvy but it was PITA as you say.   I was also not far off getting a 24v lps for the X SFP but now glad I didn't.

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@PCOWandre I'd agree on the Mikrotik - power user here - wouldn't go too hard on Ubiquiti. The tech capabilities and hardware designs aren't too dissimilar and whilst you can do a lot more ultimately with Mikrotik, the learning curve isn't trivial. Neither Ubiquiti nor Mikrotik are carrier-grade or going to spit out signals on par (shape or jitter) with carrier-grade solutions. 

 

Jitter is a real thing. Ethernet is designed so that it's not a problem insofar as the data getting to the right place faithfully. 

 

Phase noise is commonly used to characterise jitter and I feel Swenson panders to an audience when the points are simple: 

  • If you have an endpoint that has a performance characteristic sensitive to the periodicity (regularity) with which data arrives, Ethernet jitter can be a thing, and,
  • If you have an endpoint that has a performance characteristic sensitive to power quality factors conducted along anything connected to it, Ethernet can be a carrier.

 

Plenty of scope for Ethernet to be a factor though the solutions IMHO are a great deal simpler and more established than what's being communicated and (frankly) sold.

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7 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

I'd agree on the Mikrotik - power user here - wouldn't go too hard on Ubiquiti. The tech capabilities and hardware designs aren't too dissimilar and whilst you can do a lot more ultimately with Mikrotik, the learning curve isn't trivial.

My gripe wasn't about its capabilities so much as it would disappear from the network and become in accessible.  Trying to access it directly post factory resets similarly frustrating.   Out it goes ...

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11 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

Jitter is a real thing. Ethernet is designed so that it's not a problem insofar as the data getting to the right place faithfully. 

Jitter just doesn't exist in any medium where the data is copied across multiple buffers before anything happens to it. The IP stack would take care of that even if the hardware has special. Timing and order can matter on ethernet workloads -- bad ethernet combined with a real time streaming (telephony, old school video) where everything is on UDP and late packets are discarded -- will suck because a late packet is useless for telephony. But streaming music uses such huge buffers and low data rates and TCP so the whole thing would work on rusty 10 megabit coax. 

 

Ultimately, I think companies like AudioQuest -- and I'll call them by name, having seen video of some of their presentations are shows/conferences where the sales weasel actually outright lies to the audience again and again and again -- these outfits will dream up absolutely anything to try to sell more product. Honestly, I had a joke around with mates about 20 years ago about the idea of selling Audiophile Ethernet, Denon did it and got roundly mocked and suddenly there's a product category filled with snake oil. Then about ten years ago I joked about the ideal of selling high end managed switches (Juniper, Cisco) as Audiophile Switches and now that's a product category with some truly amazing snake oil rubbed on it. No, I didn't enter either market since I have some morals (and didn't want to attach my name to what seemed to be a scam). 

 

It makes me angry as an IT professional and it makes me angry as a HiFi enthusiast because I see predatory companies taking advantage of people who can't be expected to understand how ethernet or IP networking actually works. Honestly, in 2020 I'm still stopping to explain ethernet autonegotiation to people from time to time. The whole anti-reality of it belongs in the same bucket as people howling at 5G towers for 'causing COVID' or telling people to cure cancer with rose quartz or cure multiple sclerosis with juice cleanses.

 

And truly, the worst thing? The actual network improvements that might be made get overshadowed by thousand dollar cables and magical clocked switches and voodoo. Want to keep noise out of your system? Get some fibre into it, sure, I can buy that. But if we're going to look at improvements in networking, how about:

 

  • Moving all your security-nightmare audio kit to a dedicated VLAN?
  • Applying some QoS/policy routing to keep WAN links from getting flooded.
  • Building real, reliable, bitperfect audio playing using mpd on reasonable hardware instead of hackjobs on Raspberry Pis.
  • Less suckful UPNP implementations to drag value out of older but still perfectly serviceable equipment?
  • Putting a damn quad card in the NAS and running point-to-point and losing the switches and security problems and VLANs entirely.

.. instead of the IP networking equivalent of the "Clever Little Clock" or baggies of pebbles taped to RCA leads. 

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27 minutes ago, lumholtzii said:

it would disappear from the network and become in accessible

I've got a Ubiquiti "ToughSwitch" in a warehouse doing exactly this. It's only running a few access points in a lockdown-empty building, but it goes up and down alarming all day long. As soon as that needs to work again, it'll be replaced with a Cisco and tossed from a high place to a crunchy landing.

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