Cardas Clear Network CAT 7 vs Audioquest Vodka RJ/E ethernet cable

Save your money & buy music.  Ethernet upgrades are not good value for money,  boutique cables especially so,  you can pay a lot of bucks for something that gives very little.  OK it might sound better than a cheepie/damaged Cat5,  but a $5 Cat6 can do the same.    

 

Oh gawd, here we go - the posh ethernet cable debate!

For the record, I use Audioquest Vodka between NDS and Unitiserve and between NDS and switch, and Audioquest Cinnamon everywhere else except the long rung to the iMac which is Belkin Cat6.

IMHO Cinnamon provides decent VFM in SQ terms but Vodka is very expensive. One of the Vodka cables I use (the longest one) was sent to me by the dealer at the price of Cinnamon equivalent length. I had in fact ordered Cinnamon - I think they had ran out of Cinnamon and did me a favour. Vodka does bring about a SQ improvement over Cinnamon but I am not sure it is worth the considerable extra cost.

What I will say is that all the subsequent black box and (analog) cable upgrades have provided significant uplifts in SQ. What part expensive ethernet cables play in this is anyone's guess. I certainly have no plans to do AB ethernet cable tests to find out.

I would however be interested to hear your findings.

Slap a few chokes around the Ethernet patch lead... Does wonders on tidying up common mode noise on even the most basic cables.

Try and use cables that have the category markings (as opposed to only marketing stuff)  on the jacket... then, assuming it's not illegal/counterfeit, it will conform to the required physical characteristics. For a short run (patch lead) a Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable with its connectors will be fine. You can choose shielded or non shielded variants for the cables to suite.. but you need to spend no more than a few pounds at most for a cable.. try a few and see.

Simon

In the thread title it mentions Cardas and Audioquest, yet in the post itself, Vertere is mentioned, so it's not clear what is actually being considered. 

Out of interest I looked up the Vertere cable, to find that it costs £1,350 for a 1m length. Compared to that, Audioquest Vodka is positively bargain basement. 

At the risk of being tedious, I'd say what I always say in response to the OP's threads - get a bloody power supply. It will make more difference than a million Vertere Ethernet cables. 

+1 to Simon and HH.

For the record I use a 3m Chord C-Stream (£55) from the switch to the streamer (with Würt Electronic ferrite chokes), and generic Cat6 cables for the rest of the network (also with ferrite chokes).  They're also routed so that they don't lie close to and parallel with mains cables.

In addition all the SMPS I have also have ferrite chokes on both the mains input and dc output leads.

Also a word of warning to the OP about grounding. My Auduioquest cables are shielded and as a consequence I had too many grounding points in my audio network. From memory It should only have one grounding point but shielded cables provide one at each black box connection. I therefore had to take one grounding point out (at the Unitiserve using a Lindy unshielded adaptor - if you do a search on here you will find the thread that covered this). Many thanks to Mike-B for advising on this.

Apologies to the OP if the grounding requirement of ethernet cabling are known to him, but the simple act of getting the grounding right made a significant difference to SQ - possibly more than a very posh ethernet cable might (or might not) make.

I too have several ferrite chokes installed.

(BTW, my auto spelling checker changed 'ferrite chokes' to 'ferret cakes' which are definitely not required). 

Yes ferrets definitely don't work.  I know about ferrets and they're little kleptomaniacs - they'll steal and stash anything from potatoes (stashed upstairs in a wardrobe) to car keys (stashed under the freezer).  Let them loose on your network and I'm sure they'll even steal the network data packets!

Further to the point about grounding, Nigel's point is well made.

I use a screened cable from the switch to the streamer, but all the other cables are Cat6 UTP (i.e. unscreened).  As the switch itself isn't connected to ground, this ensures that audio system itself (through my streamer as I don't have a Naim CD player) is the one and only ground point.

Please check bluesjeans cables for VFM, spending more is sneak oil, specially vodka, i have custom made belden cables with vodka like connectors you may order them whatever quality and cat you want, connectors are rather expensive vs standart ones like 2€ vs 11€ but nothing compare to what you pay for Vodka.   Bluejeans are using belden as well. 

probably audioquest buying them from someone, 

I believe even nasa isnusing less expensive cables than any audiophile cable 

@nigelb @Mike-B you mentioned the Lindy Ethernet adapter, which is unshielded, in order to get rid of one more grounding point. I too have Audioquest ethernet cables (diamonds) and am really interested in trying the adapter.

Do you have a specific link for the adapter? There are a few adaptes on the lindy website and I dont want to buy the wrong one...

Thank you very much for your help!

benett posted:

@nigelb @Mike-B you mentioned the Lindy Ethernet adapter, which is unshielded, in order to get rid of one more grounding point. I too have Audioquest ethernet cables (diamonds) and am really interested in trying the adapter.

Do you have a specific link for the adapter? There are a few adaptes on the lindy website and I dont want to buy the wrong one...

Thank you very much for your help!

I bought the Lindy female to male adapter that has a 90 degree bend. This bend was helpful as my UnitiServe that has that adapter in it's ethernet socket is on its own shelf towards the back with the bend pointing downwards so the ethernet cable comes up from the floor to plug into the adapter. This arrangement puts less strain on the adapter and hence its connection into the US. Make sure the Lindy adapter you order has an all plastic socket on one end and an all plastic plug on the other, so you can be sure it is isolating the shiedls on the cables and the metal sockets on the streamer or server.

I hope that helps

Hi Bennet,  The Lindy adaptor we use are UTP 90 degree angled Male/Female,  they are "handed"  one version is "up" the other is "down",  or maybe it might be left & right.  You need to visualise the RJ45 port plug locking clip & match to your particular application needs.  I can't post the Lindy www link as its not allowed on the forum,  but the part numbers are 71150 & 71151  

 

Wow, thank you so much for your fast reply! I will try this one and post my experiences. As I said, I use two diamond cables between NAS and switch and PS Audio Directstream and it sounds a bit "overdamped". Hope to get some air back/overtones...

benett posted:

Wow, thank you so much for your fast reply! I will try this one and post my experiences. As I said, I use two diamond cables between NAS and switch and PS Audio Directstream and it sounds a bit "overdamped". Hope to get some air back/overtones...

Thats similar to the experience I had using 2 vodkas. Try replacing one cable with a different brand/model as the difference can be surprising.

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