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Shunyata Research Designing Silent Systems for recording, film and music

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  #31  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:40 AM
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Hi G,

Yes, agree completely. When I was evaluating different cables, I used the Venom in a number of different placements, from server to switch, switch to upstream FMC and even from downstream FMC to network bridge, and it worked superbly in all those positions and was considerably better than the other cables I had in for audition at the time.



I have a friend who needs 3 Ethernet cables in his configuration, and a fixed budget. Rather than spending his budget on a Venom from server to switch and Alpha from downstream FMC to network bridge, and another brand from switch to upstream FMC, he's going to use the same budget and put three Venom Ethernet cables in all three positions.




Have your buddy consider not doing them all at once to know what each does in performance - using nice straight through proved to me a benefit.
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  #32  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:53 AM
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Have your buddy consider not doing them all at once to know what each does in performance - using nice straight through proved to me a benefit.
Yes, he's going to do that. He's pretty systematic.
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  #33  
Old 08-22-2019, 12:54 PM
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Puma,
You're brave to wade into the waters of the Hoffman forum with your ethernet cable thread! They're not too receptive to the assertion that one can hear a difference between ethernet cables. Has anyone reached out to visit and hear for themselves?
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  #34  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:41 PM
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Puma,
You're brave to wade into the waters of the Hoffman forum with your ethernet cable thread! They're not too receptive to the assertion that one can hear a difference between ethernet cables. Has anyone reached out to visit and hear for themselves?


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  #35  
Old 08-22-2019, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rnrmf1971 View Post
Puma,
You're brave to wade into the waters of the Hoffman forum with your ethernet cable thread! They're not too receptive to the assertion that one can hear a difference between ethernet cables. Has anyone reached out to visit and hear for themselves?
Thanks.

Yeah, I knew what the "waters" would be when I started the evaluation thread, so I was pretty sure they would cr*p all over it.

Some folks have reached out to me personally via PMs to say they feel bad about folks cr*pping all over what is simply a set of listening evaluations.

The "community" if you could call it that (its actually more like an assemblage of warring tribes) has gotten much worse over the years.

When the "objectivists" ask for the data supporting the claim that cables matter, I alway turn it around, since they are "data-driven objectivists", and ask them to provide the data with the appropriate p-values that fails to reject the null hypothesis (which is the statistically proper way to phrase that they don't matter).

All I ever hear is...crickets.

Some years ago, I posted on SHF my Design of Experiments analysis showing the integration of my REL sub-woofer to my 2-channel main loudspeakers. I did a series of actual, in-room real-time measurements and analyzed the data using a 3-factor, replicated, full-factorial Design of Experiments to determine where to set the control factors to achieve the optimal functional response.

I posted my results using the statistical package, JMP:



Someone jumped on and said that that was all bullish*t because it was, as he put it, "a model" and "nothing more than mental m*sturbation."

Another Six Sigma Black Belt jumped in and said, "No, you don't understand, PC's DOE is based on actual, real in-room measured data".

He still didn't get it. A friend of mine said that what that guy didn't understand was that he was bringing a knife to an intellectual gun fight.

I've come to the conclusion that some things (including audio reproduction) are explained by things, factors, or transformations that many folks cannot, or in some cases, are not willing, to understand; their minds explode. Most folks believe that we live a very large, expanding "cosmological universe". They don't know that we live in a 4th Dimensional projection of an E8 quasi-crystal Lie Group (best visualized as a Gosset polytope).

Even Einstein didn't want to believe in quantum entanglement; he called it "spooky action at a distance". There are still physicists that don't want to believe that the conciousness of a human "observer" of a double-slit experiment can collapse the wave function of light with 5 Sigma statistical significance (computer "observation" doesn't collapse the wave function).

Some folks work at one level, other people work at another level altogether.

Just ask Malcolm Gladwell.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy", Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 08-22-2019 at 04:23 PM.
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  #36  
Old 08-22-2019, 09:06 PM
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You nailed it, Ivan!

Best,
Stephen
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  #37  
Old 09-18-2019, 06:04 AM
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Ok guys - I thought I’d share my experiences after a week of trialling the Alpha and Sigma Ethernet cables against my existing $10 Cat 5e cable.

Firstly to note, I have never tried any alternative Ethernet cables and was somewhat sceptical about hearing any differences or improvement with the Shunyata cables. I am certainly a believer that cables do make a difference after migrating my system to all Shunyata power and digital cables and Wireworld speaker cables and interconnects but Ethernet cables I was quite dubious on!

I only focused on 1 Ethernet connection and that was between my router and Esoteric streamer given we have a 4G connection straight into the router. Fortunately the distance is short so the 1.5m option that Shunyata offers was sufficient.

I started the testing comparing my current cable with the Sigma cable because I wanted to make sure that if there was a difference, i would hear it straight away or not at all which would mean I could send them straight back to my dealer!

I made sure the system was well and truly warmed up, and then proceeded to play a few tracks that I knew intimately. Changing Ethernet cables was very quick and easy making short intervals between changes.

So was there a difference? Absolutely - not a major one, but definitely a difference. The Sigma presented a larger soundstage, imaging was more precise and a clarity and ‘realness’ to the sound that wasn’t there with the cheap cable. The noise floor was also notably lower, probably helped by the two filters contained in the Sigma cable.

To help validate my thoughts, I then asked my wife to change the cables around in no particular order and in all cases I was able to identify which cable was in place.

Now that my scepticism had been removed from the equation, I was keen to see what differences, if any, there were between the Sigma and Alpha cables. After comparing the same tracks, and a variety of other music over 2 days, there were differences, not night and day though, that you could hear between these two cables.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but what did surprise me was that the Alpha cable made the music present itself more forward while the Sigma cable made the sound slightly more recessed and laid back. At first it sounded like the soundstage was larger with the Alpha but it was more the way it presented itself. There was an ease and overall balance to the presentation with the Sigma that wasn’t quite the same with the Alpha. It was almost like with the Sigma you could crank the volume right up but it wasn’t in your face. the clarity and ‘real ness’ to the sound with both cables was sublime though!

Please don’t read this that the Alpha was harsh in any way, but for my ears (and my wife’s) we preferred the sound from the Sigma. In A/B testing after a couple of days of listening to both cables, we could both hear the difference in presentation between the cables which was interesting.

I suspect that depending on your set up and speakers, you may actually prefer the Alpha cable but the good thing is that either cable isn’t going to break the bank and the price jump from Alpha to Sigma isn’t huge, especially for those of us that have invested $$$ in our systems. There is also the cheaper Venom cable which I didn’t have the option of trialling.

So IMHO based on my system, Ethernet cables, at least when it comes to Shunyata, do make a difference and for those looking for a subtle but tangible improvement, I’d encourage you to at least trial one of Shunyata’s Ethernet cables.

Congrats to Caelin and his team at Shunyata - you guys are certainly setting a very high bar for others to achieve for the benefit of us who love our audio!
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  #38  
Old 09-18-2019, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Levitator View Post
Ok guys - I thought I’d share my experiences after a week of trialling the Alpha and Sigma Ethernet cables against my existing $10 Cat 5e cable.

Firstly to note, I have never tried any alternative Ethernet cables and was somewhat sceptical about hearing any differences or improvement with the Shunyata cables. I am certainly a believer that cables do make a difference after migrating my system to all Shunyata power and digital cables and Wireworld speaker cables and interconnects but Ethernet cables I was quite dubious on!

I only focused on 1 Ethernet connection and that was between my router and Esoteric streamer given we have a 4G connection straight into the router. Fortunately the distance is short so the 1.5m option that Shunyata offers was sufficient.

I started the testing comparing my current cable with the Sigma cable because I wanted to make sure that if there was a difference, i would hear it straight away or not at all which would mean I could send them straight back to my dealer!

I made sure the system was well and truly warmed up, and then proceeded to play a few tracks that I knew intimately. Changing Ethernet cables was very quick and easy making short intervals between changes.

So was there a difference? Absolutely - not a major one, but definitely a difference. The Sigma presented a larger soundstage, imaging was more precise and a clarity and ‘realness’ to the sound that wasn’t there with the cheap cable. The noise floor was also notably lower, probably helped by the two filters contained in the Sigma cable.

To help validate my thoughts, I then asked my wife to change the cables around in no particular order and in all cases I was able to identify which cable was in place.

Now that my scepticism had been removed from the equation, I was keen to see what differences, if any, there were between the Sigma and Alpha cables. After comparing the same tracks, and a variety of other music over 2 days, there were differences, not night and day though, that you could hear between these two cables.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but what did surprise me was that the Alpha cable made the music present itself more forward while the Sigma cable made the sound slightly more recessed and laid back. At first it sounded like the soundstage was larger with the Alpha but it was more the way it presented itself. There was an ease and overall balance to the presentation with the Sigma that wasn’t quite the same with the Alpha. It was almost like with the Sigma you could crank the volume right up but it wasn’t in your face. the clarity and ‘real ness’ to the sound with both cables was sublime though!

Please don’t read this that the Alpha was harsh in any way, but for my ears (and my wife’s) we preferred the sound from the Sigma. In A/B testing after a couple of days of listening to both cables, we could both hear the difference in presentation between the cables which was interesting.

I suspect that depending on your set up and speakers, you may actually prefer the Alpha cable but the good thing is that either cable isn’t going to break the bank and the price jump from Alpha to Sigma isn’t huge, especially for those of us that have invested $$$ in our systems. There is also the cheaper Venom cable which I didn’t have the option of trialling.

So IMHO based on my system, Ethernet cables, at least when it comes to Shunyata, do make a difference and for those looking for a subtle but tangible improvement, I’d encourage you to at least trial one of Shunyata’s Ethernet cables.

Congrats to Caelin and his team at Shunyata - you guys are certainly setting a very high bar for others to achieve for the benefit of us who love our audio!
Levitator,
Thanks for adding your experiences and comments to this thread. Your observations are consistent with mine. Though I think (can't be positive, of course), I may have heard a larger degree of improvement with the Shunyata Ethernet cables than you may have. Below are possibly the reasons this may be the case:

From the studies I've done, I've come to the conclusion that with respect to digital streaming "front ends", virtually EVERYTHING matters. Configuration design, number of devices, types of devices, power supplies for those devices and grounding. With number the devices I have in my configuration chain, I have to use four Ethernet cables in my configuration instead of just one.

And from the studies I've done, I've come to the conclusion that "copper Ethernet" cables and generic routers, Ethernet switches, and the dreaded switch mode power supplies can potentially be very "dirty" devices when it comes to introducing, and susceptibility to, noise factors. For IT applications, where the output is strictly binary, this has no practical downsides; either the font gets printed, the email sent, or the pixel displayed on the monitor or not, and with the error correction protocols, everything usually works.

But digital music streaming is not discrete binary data output, its continuous signal transimission, and its dependent on passing, with a high degree of signal integrity, analog square waves from a source (e.g. a Roon Core playing digital file content) ultimately to a D/A convertor, and in this functional flow, signal integrity and particularly, timing, matter and matter in a big way.

Given that copper Ethernet cables pass analog square waves as electrical voltages, copper Ethernet is susceptible to noise factors e.g. RFI and EMI and common-mode noise. Furthermore, the if the power supplies powering routers, cable modems, FMCs, computers, and network bridges use switch-mode power supplies (as almost all of these do), these are insidious for adding both low- and high-impedance AC leakage currents, which have been documented as contributing to increased jitter, and just as importantly, clock phase noise.

With four copper Ethernet cables in my configuration, I'm likely more susceptible to these noise components that are "overlaid" on top of the analog square wave signal, and this may be why I heard fairly notable improvements when I installed the Shunyata Ethernet cables over the generic or other brands, e.g. AQ and Wireworld that I evaluated. I think Shunyata and Caelin really understand just what is going on with these noise components and their impact, and have developed Ethernet cables that mitigate and attenuate them so that using these cables "does no harm" to the signal integrity. For example, Caelin has mentioned to me that he tests for AC leakage currents as part of the product development process and he was the first person to describe for me the impact that common-mode noise has in digital signal tranmission. Before that, I had not encountered an Ethernet cable manufacturer that understood this and was addressing it in a specfic manner in their Ethernet cable design embodiments.

As a scientist, its really clear to me that Shunyata Research really thinks things through thoroughly and with their deep scientific and engineering expertise, can develop specific products for that specific appliciation that really maximize signal performance while minimizing the impact of noise. And I see this in their product development across the board, not just Ethernet cables, but power cords, power distributors, USB cables, etc, etc.

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  #39  
Old 09-18-2019, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitator View Post
Ok guys - I thought I’d share my experiences after a week of trialling the Alpha and Sigma Ethernet cables against my existing $10 Cat 5e cable.

Firstly to note, I have never tried any alternative Ethernet cables and was somewhat sceptical about hearing any differences or improvement with the Shunyata cables. I am certainly a believer that cables do make a difference after migrating my system to all Shunyata power and digital cables and Wireworld speaker cables and interconnects but Ethernet cables I was quite dubious on!

I only focused on 1 Ethernet connection and that was between my router and Esoteric streamer given we have a 4G connection straight into the router. Fortunately the distance is short so the 1.5m option that Shunyata offers was sufficient.

I started the testing comparing my current cable with the Sigma cable because I wanted to make sure that if there was a difference, i would hear it straight away or not at all which would mean I could send them straight back to my dealer!

I made sure the system was well and truly warmed up, and then proceeded to play a few tracks that I knew intimately. Changing Ethernet cables was very quick and easy making short intervals between changes.

So was there a difference? Absolutely - not a major one, but definitely a difference. The Sigma presented a larger soundstage, imaging was more precise and a clarity and ‘realness’ to the sound that wasn’t there with the cheap cable. The noise floor was also notably lower, probably helped by the two filters contained in the Sigma cable.

To help validate my thoughts, I then asked my wife to change the cables around in no particular order and in all cases I was able to identify which cable was in place.

Now that my scepticism had been removed from the equation, I was keen to see what differences, if any, there were between the Sigma and Alpha cables. After comparing the same tracks, and a variety of other music over 2 days, there were differences, not night and day though, that you could hear between these two cables.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but what did surprise me was that the Alpha cable made the music present itself more forward while the Sigma cable made the sound slightly more recessed and laid back. At first it sounded like the soundstage was larger with the Alpha but it was more the way it presented itself. There was an ease and overall balance to the presentation with the Sigma that wasn’t quite the same with the Alpha. It was almost like with the Sigma you could crank the volume right up but it wasn’t in your face. the clarity and ‘real ness’ to the sound with both cables was sublime though!

Please don’t read this that the Alpha was harsh in any way, but for my ears (and my wife’s) we preferred the sound from the Sigma. In A/B testing after a couple of days of listening to both cables, we could both hear the difference in presentation between the cables which was interesting.

I suspect that depending on your set up and speakers, you may actually prefer the Alpha cable but the good thing is that either cable isn’t going to break the bank and the price jump from Alpha to Sigma isn’t huge, especially for those of us that have invested $$$ in our systems. There is also the cheaper Venom cable which I didn’t have the option of trialling.

So IMHO based on my system, Ethernet cables, at least when it comes to Shunyata, do make a difference and for those looking for a subtle but tangible improvement, I’d encourage you to at least trial one of Shunyata’s Ethernet cables.

Congrats to Caelin and his team at Shunyata - you guys are certainly setting a very high bar for others to achieve for the benefit of us who love our audio!
One last point: if your router uses a switch mode power supply, you may want to consider getting a Shunyata Venom 14 Digital power cord for it. You might also consider getting a Venom NR-V12 for your Esoteric streamer as well. The NR-V12 on your streamer would bring quite a notable improvement, I'd predict.

These will lower the noise floor even further, and may allow you to discern the impact of the Ethernet cable to an even larger extent.
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  #40  
Old 09-18-2019, 11:36 PM
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Thanks Stephen for the tips - I’m using an Alpha NR cable on my esoteric streamer and when I did instal it there is no question it made quite a difference! Not sure about my router but will have a closer look...
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