Which is the best Buy: Shielded and Unshielded Ethernet Cables?


#1

The cable is so cheap just buy a spool of solid conductor Cat5e STP and a terminating tool kit. Make your own. Easy. STP covers all bases.


#2

I have tried Cat 5e, Cat 6 and a shielded Cat 7 Ethernet cable with my DSD-DAC using TIDAL/Roon. I can surely say that the Cat 7 cable provided a significant sonic improvement above the others which I then moved to my P10 and DMP for album art. The Cat 7 cable is not expensive. I think I paid about $25.00 for a 25 footer… Certainly worth the investment.


#3

Just get some cat6 from Blue Jean Cables. They’re at least tested to meet spec before being mailed out.


#4

Shielded cat. cables can in fact make things worse, because it can introduce ground loops if both ends are terminated to ground in the RJ45 connector of the connected units.


#5

FWIW - I’m pretty sure the first post is from a shill - first time poster, in the wrong forum, very non-specific and the 2nd post (which I deleted) was from known shill answering the first post with many links to a cable company… In the past they’ve posted pictures with cables which are inches in diameter, clearly they aren’t paying attention to the sites they spam.

[Edit: The original poster spamed us again, so I nuked the first post - the title is still correct and there’s no particular reason to delete the thread.]


#6

Thanks, Ted.


#7
Ted Smith said

FWIW - I’m pretty sure the first post is from a shill - first time poster, in the wrong forum, very non-specific and the 2nd post (which I deleted) was from known shill answering the first post with many links to a cable company…


I was wondering about that when I first read the post.

#8
Frode said

Shielded cat. cables can in fact make things worse, because it can introduce ground loops if both ends are terminated to ground in the RJ45 connector of the connected units.


This was mentioned elsewhere in another topic by somebody who purchased an AudioQuest network cable. The shield drain should only be grounded with the RJ45 at one end.

#9
brodricj said

This was mentioned elsewhere in another topic by somebody who purchased an AudioQuest network cable. The shield drain should only be grounded with the RJ45 at one end.

Yes, but how will this be controlled inside network devices?

Also, the specs never identify these things, so you have to measure it. Normally a wall wart with DC output is delivered, so this is at least something to hold on to. But this also means that a screen may be of no use nevertheless from a noise suppressing perspective (because the shield may be open in both ends if the ground does not connect with chassis or earth in the wall outlet).


#10

I have been hearing good things about the Tera Grand Cat 7 cables. They are not expensive.

http://www.teragrand.com/CAT7-Network-Cables-s/132.htm?searching=Y&sort=7&cat=132&show=30&page=1

If anyone tries them, I would like to know what you think.


#11
jeffstarr said

I have been hearing good things about the Tera Grand Cat 7 cables. They are not expensive.

http://www.teragrand.com/CAT7-Network-Cables-s/132.htm?searching=Y&sort=7&cat=132&show=30&page=1

If anyone tries them, I would like to know what you think.


Yes… This is exactly the Cat 7 cable I mentioned in my previous post. I can only say that it was immediately obvious that it was an improvement above the Cat 6 and 5e that I had installed previously and have had no complaints in 3+ months… Purchased on Amazon… Very inexpensive and very much worth it.

#12

What if your shielded cat.x cable is open in both ends?

Then the shield is of no use. One need to drain the radiated noise that ‘enters’ the shield.


#13

If anyone is interested, there is a fairly simple and straight forward method to lift the ground from one or both ends of a standard shielded Cat7 ethernet cable (I used the Tera Grand cable but seems work on most). I am not sure if it will impact the SQ, but if anyone is interested, I will try to post pics. Please let me know.

David


#14

We are always interested. :slight_smile:

Please post pictures when you get a chance.


#15

Here are some basic instructions for lifting the ground on a Cat7 connector (like the Tera Grand). You can do it to one or both ends.

Pry up one side of the metal retainer with a sharp knife or exacto (enough to get a small screwdriver under) (pic2)

Use a small screwdriver to lift it more (enough to get a small needle nose under) (pic 3)

Pull up and twist gently with the needle nose (this will take some effort since you will be breaking the connection from the internal ground (pic 4)

Cut the loose piece away with small scissors, it is thin and easy to cut (just the piece sticking up, not the side) (pic 6)

Repeat the other side, use an emery board or file to smooth the metal cut and clean with alcohol (pic 7)

This should remove the ground from the metal casing. It took me under 5 min. You can check continuity of the remaining metal casing to the

metal casing on the other end of the cable. I would only do this on a low cost Cat 7 cable.

1-1.jpg2-1.jpg3-1.jpg4-1.jpg5-1.jpg6-1.jpg7-1.jpg


#16

If you want to buy a tubeless tyre, I guess it is easier to buy it without the tube in the first place rather than removing the tube inside…(?)

I just can’t see the point with removing the screen in both ends if the cable is not part of a fixed installation.


#17

I should have been more specific about the potential of this process. It removes the ground between the two connected devices, eliminating ground loop potential This process maintains the overall outer shield/screen as well as the shield on each of the 4 twisted pairs which help to reject EMI and RFI interference. To remove the ground from a single end or both ends has been discussed on these forums. I have tried both ways but I’m sticking to one end for now.


#18

Thanks for your reply, but my exact point was that you don’t achieve any noise suppression when the ground is disconnected in both ends. If you leave it connected in one end only, you might achieve what you are looking for both with regard to noise suppression AND ground loop avoidance. This however depends on whether the Cat.x ground is connected or not in your network device, because you need to drain the noise one way or another to a place with low resistance to ground. An open connection in both ends won’t give you this.


#19

Frode, I agree with you completely sir. I leave the ground connected on the network device side.


#20

Good to hear, David.

The problem with noise and grounding is that it actually makes sense to do things the way you originally intended, however if one take a degree in Electronics, one will find that things are actually not working quite the way you might imagined it to work. Also, there is always a risk of making an antenna if a cable sees a high impedance, i.e. open circuit in both ends.