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  #31  
Old 07-17-2019, 04:56 PM
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So, I've been auditioning the new Shunyata Ethernet cables for some time now, from Venom to Alpha and finally to Sigma. I'll post my first impressions here of the Venom and Alpha Ethernet cables in the context of the other cables I've evaluated in this thread, which I had on-hand at the same time I was evaluting beta versions of the Venom and Alpha Ethernet cables. Of these other cables, the one I had preferred up to this point was the Audioquest Vodka, which, as Banter had mentioned, is nice, enjoyable and musical Ethernet cable.

Now for Shunyata Venom: I’m very reluctant to use terms with superlatives because I strive for my impressions/insights/observations to be objective and provide credibility and most importantly, allow end-users to make informed buying decisions, but sometimes a new product offering enters the market and completely re-sets the bar. A number of us have observed this with the new Shunyata Research USB cables. The new Shunyata Research Ethernet cables just extend that degree of improvement, verisimilitude and "engagement" even further up the digital streaming chain. Time after time, after installing the Shunyata Venom Ethernet, this cable is so superior to the other cables in this evaluation, in all respects, that it was...not even close. As Ivan would say, its not even in the same zip code! (I love that analogy). Virtually everything is better: the noise floor is notably significantly lower, the musical and vocal presentation is much more life-like, fullsome, clearer, richer, more transparent and detailed, but not etched or strident in any way, just airy, open, extended and gorgeous. The presentation is more "there" in the room with you. There is more immediacy to the presentation, and its much more engaging to listen to. The reknown Shunyata “listening ease” is there. The soundstage is significantly wider, deeper, and spacious but more fully defined and accurately rendered as well. String bass, e.g. Ray Brown’s virtuosity on bass on "Cry Me a River" on the wonderful Soular Energy had a beautifully articulated, textured and nuanced interplay with Gene Nelson's sublime piano playing (if you don't have this album...get it! ). Melody Gardot’s "So We Meet Again My Heartache" on My One and Only Thrill, is even more fully defined, articulated. All the subtle textures from her voice, phrasing and breathing are notably more natural and finely articulated than the Wireworld (which sounds a bit dry and 2-dimensional), as well as being “rounder” and more “tactile”-sounding. The cable that was closet to the Venom was the AQ Vodka, which is a fine-sounding cable, but its a distant second as there is just so more "you are there" there with the Venom.

Using an analogy from digital photography, its like looking at a digital 8-bit JPEG photograph from an APS-C camera on a on a laptop display with an 8-bit LUT vs a 16-bit RAW medium-format Fuji GFX50 photograph on an Eizo ColorEdge display with a 14-bit LUT. There is much more "there" there, in all respects. I know its a cliché, but the Shunayta Venom Ethernet cable sounds so much more like the classic goal of reproducing a live musical presentation with respect to any musical attribute you care to discuss than the other Ethernet cables, that it was almost...comical. I remember one evening that I literally laughed out after swapping in the Shunyata Venom Ethernet after listening to the Vodka. The overall presentation has the best attributes of fine analog reproduction as well the performance characteristics (eg. greater dynamic range, lower noise floor, etc) of a truly excellent digital system. While the Venom is the "entry" model in the Shunyata Ethernet line, don't let its price fool you. At $295 for 1.5M, its $150 less expensive than 1.5 M of Audioquest Vodka, but its performance and overall musical presentation is significantly superior. I'm sure Guilliaume would agree.

Summing up: The musical presentation on the whole is so much more natural and life-like its analogous to the difference between listening to a singer on a stereo system vs. the singer in the room with you.

My next post will be my observations on the Shunyata Alpha Ethernet cable.
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 07-17-2019 at 05:10 PM.
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  #32  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:29 PM
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Seems like the Venom is of extreme value, excited to hear more as you move up the line.
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  #33  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by For The Love of Music View Post
Seems like the Venom is of extreme value, excited to hear more as you move up the line.
HI Ed,
Yes, for the price of $295/1.5M, the Venom is a superb value with respect to performance for the price. The other cables build on the strong foundation provided by the Venom.
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  #34  
Old 07-18-2019, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
Hi Banter,

The reasons that we can hear differences in Ethernet cables is not with respect to their abilit to deliver signal, its their ability to deal with all the different types and classes of noise that gets layered on top of the signal.
Puma Cat, agree with you all the way, but am still shaking my head, since I also audtioned the "songs" offline from buffer - after disconnection the cable. And I will say it again in a very layman term - it appeared the better cable downloaded "better sounding bits".

If possible, please do add this one more critaria in your experiments.

Yogi.
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  #35  
Old 07-18-2019, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banter View Post
Puma Cat, agree with you all the way, but am still shaking my head, since I also audtioned the "songs" offline from buffer - after disconnection the cable. And I will say it again in a very layman term - it appeared the better cable downloaded "better sounding bits".

If possible, please do add this one more critaria in your experiments.

Yogi.
Hi Yogi,
Unfortunately, with my streaming setup and network bridge, I can't do that. There's no "buffer" functionality in my setup, if that is what you were referring to.

But I fully understand fully why the better cable downloaded "better sounding bits"; its not the bits themselves that are better, its the noise "layered on top of the bits" that you're hearing from the generic and lower spec Ethernet cables.

I'll expound more on that tomorrow.

Tonight I am going to listen to my new Harbeths!

Cheers,
Stephen aka PC
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 07-18-2019 at 12:47 AM.
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  #36  
Old 07-18-2019, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Poppyhome View Post
Non-believer hear........................unless you identify blindfolded and consistently pick correctly.

Ron
I did and a better cable sounds better! Period!

I do not understand it. I wish somebody would put a Fluke Analyzer on these cables and explain what is going on. It will do a very detailed packet analysis.

Or put a spectrum analyzer to see what is happening in the frequency domain.

Yogi.
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PMC Fact 12

Tidal -> Aurender S10 -> Accuphase DC-37 -> Accuphase E-470 -> Monitor Audio GX200

Tidal -> Aurender S10 -> MD108T Signature DAC -> Mcintosh C1100 ->McIntosh MC452 -> JBL 4344

Last edited by Banter; 07-18-2019 at 01:05 AM.
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  #37  
Old 07-18-2019, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banter View Post
I did and a better cable sounds better! Period!

I do not understand it. I wish somebody would put a Fluke Analyzer on these cables and explain what is going on. It will do a very detailed packet analysis.

Or put a spectrum analyzer to see what is happening in the frequency domain.

Yogi.
Its got nothing to do with the packets....this is where some of my IT professional friends that are also audiophiles cannot come to terms with the fact that different Ethernet cables sound...different. They wrestle with what's actually going on because their thinking is "constrained" because they are only thinking about it terms of IT applications, where the output is "discrete". Its no different than trying to use quantum mechanics or the Standard Model to explain...gravity.

That is not what is going on here.
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 07-18-2019 at 01:27 AM.
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  #38  
Old 07-18-2019, 09:33 AM
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Default Ethernet cables in for audition

Yogi notes that the ‘downloaded bits’ sound better with the better cable, even when the cable is disconnected and the music is playing from a buffer.

This is a very interesting observation because ultimately it eliminated cause/effect of the EMI performance of the cable, leaving nothing but the bits, and Ethernet with CRC and retransmission on error is indeed bit perfect.

I can’t explain that one. I’ll add it to list.
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Last edited by W9TR; 07-18-2019 at 09:35 AM.
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  #39  
Old 07-18-2019, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
Yogi notes that the ‘downloaded bits’ sound better with the better cable, even when the cable is disconnected and the music is playing from a buffer.

This is a very interesting observation because ultimately it eliminated cause/effect of the EMI performance of the cable, leaving nothing but the bits, and Ethernet with CRC and retransmission on error is indeed bit perfect.

I can’t explain that one. I’ll add it to list.
Streaming services and their apps give two hoots about CRC. They do not re-transmit - if you missed a few frames on Netflix, they do not care - they just keep streaming. My observation on Tidal is same. A computer file transmission will be 99.9 percent bit perfect. Not so with streaming services.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Yogi.
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Aurender A10 -> Ref 6 -> GS150 > PMC Fact 12

Aurender A10 -> -> E470 > PMC Fact 12

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PMC Fact 12

Tidal -> Aurender S10 -> Accuphase DC-37 -> Accuphase E-470 -> Monitor Audio GX200

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  #40  
Old 07-18-2019, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
Yogi notes that the ‘downloaded bits’ sound better with the better cable, even when the cable is disconnected and the music is playing from a buffer.

This is a very interesting observation because ultimately it eliminated cause/effect of the EMI performance of the cable, leaving nothing but the bits, and Ethernet with CRC and retransmission on error is indeed bit perfect.

I can’t explain that one. I’ll add it to list.
The issue is.....its not the bits. The bits are just math; what gets transmitted from source to DAC are....analog square waves, and these are not "perfect" anymore...they're "smudged" much like a smudged fingerprint due to the impact of noise factors and lack of galvanic isolation on the Ethernet cables used to transmit them, the RJ45 jacks, and even the winding of the isolation transformers in switches and RJ45 jacks. Also the clocks that sent them from source (e.g. music server or computer) to distination and any components (e.g. routers or switches) along the path create addditional degration of the analog square waves. Then there is the impact of low- and high-impedance AC leakage currents from switch-mode power supplies on the analog square waves, as well.
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 07-18-2019 at 02:59 PM.
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