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  1. #31
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    AQ Diamond Ethernet

    Quote Originally Posted by AJR View Post

    I know this had been done to death but can anyone point me to a convincing article/blog/post which explains the science/theory/thinking/explanatiom behind how it is possible that digital ethernet cables can produce different sounds? :
    Have often wondered that myself... Here's a post from elsewhere on the AQ Diamond LAN cable that includes measurements of certain parameters that might explain the differences between different LAN cables and how such parameters might affect the sound when different cables are used in different systems.

    Ironically, while measuring better, the poster found that the AQ Diamond made no audible difference in his system. For context, he has the Vivaldi stack.

    [quote author=AndrewC link=topic=264926.msg1242455#msg1242455 date=1516497130]
    Lots of fun testing out the Audioquest RJ/E Ethernet cable out yesterday. I actually thought it’d take me longer to come to some conclusion, but I’ll cut to the chase first; the Audioquest RJ/E Ethernet cable makes no audible difference in my system that I can tell…. BUT! Call me a convert, it’s staying in my system … Read on for why;

    I started off with a few basic checks on the RJ/E as a standard Ethernet data cable using my Ethernet test-set and Switch at home, including Bit Error Rate test (BER), throughput, jitter, latency etc, the thing works perfectly fine and measures like any other 1.5m long Ethernet cable. In any case, even a $2 Ethernet cable is unlikely to demonstrate any problems - as an FYI, my main Juniper Ethernet switch at home currently has an uptime of 221 days, there are ZERO errors on any of it’s 8 connected ports, some literally with junk freebie Ethernet cables connected. So, as far as 1s & 0s are concerned, the Audioquest RJ/E is no different than any standard shielded Ethernet cables - Non-Audiophile, Computer “data is data” types and Amazon reviewers can rejoice

    (Totally error-free Ethernet transmission stats from my switch)




    But, as quite a few of us Audiophiles have come to increasingly realise, with digital cables, in an audiophile context, it’s in the area of “noise suppression” quality where things start to make a big difference, especially when connected to noisy compute platforms with poor PSUs and noisy ground etc etc. My Ethernet test-set can also perform a Time-Domain-Reflectometer (TDR) test - typically designed to measure cable lengths and/or to locate cable breaks using a digital pulse launched into an open cable and measuring the reflection response signal in the analog domain - just for kicks I ran a TDR test on the AQ RJ/E vs. Nexans LANMark CAT6A which produced an interesting result. As these cables are pretty short (1-1.5 meter), my test-set could only show the summed reflected portion of the test pulse… have a look;





    (X-axis is the estimated cable length in Meters, Y-axis is the summation of the test pulse & reflected response amplitude, normalised to +/- 100).

    Any guesses which is which? ;D Two big differences; even with such a short cable, clearly one has a better “slew-rate” than the other, suggesting better (lower) capacitive characteristics. And it also has a tight grouping of the impulse reflection responses suggesting equal performance of the 4 twisted pairs of wires inside the cable. Of course this doesn’t automatically mean that the RJ/E is going to “sound” better, but it does suggest it has significantly better material/construction.

    That gave me the idea to use my Ethernet Toner test-kit to compare how well each cable’s shield works. Big difference! With any cheapo Ethernet UTP cable, the Toner Probe - basically an inductive amplifier - can pick up the square-pulse’s harmonics from almost a foot away from the cable. With the Nexans, it’s about 10-15cm.

    (Ethernet Toner Probe sounding off near the Nexans CAT6A).



    With the AQ RJ/E though, I virtually had to touch the cable with the Probe before it sounded off. Not only that, the AQ RJ/E performed differently depending on which end was plugged into the tone generator… meaning the cable is objectively directional (exactly as advertised by Audioquest, at least with respect to it’s shielding anyway). Of course properly connected quality shielded Ethernet cables don’t generally radiate harmonics, but cheapo ones do!! And will impact imaging/separation if they’re laying near small-signal analog cables.

    Once again, this doesn’t automatically mean that the RJ/E will “sound” better in a system, but it does prove that the cable is well shielded and likely somewhat immune to EMI/RFI, and will not radiate Ethernet bitstream harmonics out to the rest of my cables/system. Whether this better shielding is due to cable construction or Audioquest’s DBS, I can’t really tell - while testing, I totally missed that I can actually unplug the DBS battery and see how it performs… but now that it’s in my system, I’m not touching it for a few days. The point though, the Nexans are properly shielded/foiled cables (S/FTP CAT6A), so something’s definitely better with AQ RJ/E.

    (My regular go-to test tracks for DSD128 streaming over Ethernet, @ merely 11.28Mbps, over a 10Gb/600MHz capable Ethernet cable... talk about overkill )

    [img width=400]http://i68.tinypic.com/s3h7hg.jpg[/img]

    All that said, the RJ/E doesn’t appear to deliver any sonic benefits while in my audio system, I suspect because my Upsampler/DAC’s Ethernet port is already well isolated via Fibre and an Ethernet isolator dongle, plus its quite far apart from the other system cables which are also mostly well shielded and well dressed anyway, so perhaps not surprising. But I’m impressed enough with what I’ve seen/heard that I’m keeping it in my system (might as well, for it’s crazy price! ;D)

    The RJ/E reviews online are mostly at either extremes; those like arstechnica or amazon calling the RJ/E snake oil or ridiculing it, vs. audiophiles raving about it... none bothered to include any empirical test in either the digital or analog domains to support their conclusions...:. As usual, the truth lies somewhere in-between. Like most things, it’s impact is totally system dependent on your personal setup.

    So, YMMV, but highly recommended for anyone serious about this stuff
    [/quote]

  2. #32
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    Re: AQ Diamond Ethernet

    All this Ethernet cable stuff is the main reason why I stay with a direct attached USB on my Lumin versus getting a NAS.
    Bud

    Lumin S1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon for source, Denali 2000 (2) for amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

  3. #33
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    Re: AQ Diamond Ethernet

    “dodgy cookies”?
    Power Conditioning and Filters: Nordost QRT Power Product Line
    Cables, Isolation, Reflection and Absorbtion: Nordost Reference Power & Interconnects, HRS M3X Platforms, HRS Damping Plates, Stillpoint’s Isolators and Vicoustic Room Treatments
    Power & Sound: D’Agostino Pre-Amplifier to D’Agostino Momentum Mono’s driving Wilson Alexia’s
    Source: Aurender N10, PS Audio Direct Stream and Memory Player

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  5. #34
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    Re: AQ Diamond Ethernet

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    “dodgy cookies”?

    Not as prevalent as they used to be.... So I've heard like!

  6. #35
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    Re: AQ Diamond Ethernet

    Especially not where I live!
    Source: Synology NAS + Tidal
    Playback: Lumin T1
    Amp: Gryphon Diablo 300
    Speakers: Magico S3 MkII
    Cables: MIT SL-Matrix: 36 IC + 70 SCs; AQ Diamond & Vodka EC
    Power: AQ Niagara 5000 + AQ Tornado PCs
    Headphones (travel): Sennheiser Momentum + Chord Mojo

 

 
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