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Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
2017-09-30, 22:29
Post: #21
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-09-30 22:20)DavidHB Wrote:  Before I respond directly to Mike, I need to come clean on one point. There is a Chord C-stream cable in my system. It serves as the 'umbilical' between my KEDSM and my Akruate Exaktbox 10. Does it improve the sound of the system compared with a bog standard Cat 5 cable? I have no idea.

Why, then, did I install it? (1) I was making a major investment - the upgrade to Exakt. (2) Sunbeam had reported that using that cable fixed an issue in his system, which had a similar specification to mine. (3) I was installing the cable under the carpet and did not want to change it any time soon. (4) The cost of the cable, which is one of Chord's less outrageously priced products, was small in comparison to the total investment. In other words, I installed the cable for risk management rather than sound quality reasons.

On with the response.

(2017-09-30 21:03)MikeSpragg Wrote:  The problem remains insofar as that changing one cable (in this case, ethernet) appears to be making a difference when, in fact, the type of interference alluded to should also travel up through mains cable, speaker cable (back fed), other interconnects etc. Why isn’t this the case ? Why do people claim better when, for the most part, it should be a reduction of other artefacts such as crackle & hum ending up in the speakers, rather than data changes.

Thinking in system terms, all connectors and cables in audio and other electronic systems create issues of one kind or another. There are in fact specialist cables for all the applications you mention, and, as my signature makes clear, I use some of them, but not others. Every one of these decisions was made in terms of benefit to the whole system versus cost. I apply the same logic in relation to Ethernet connections, which is why I still use standard patch cables from my (Cat 6 wired) wall sockets to the DSM, switches, NAS and computer.

I'm disappointed that you still mention data changes. I thought we were clear that the integrity of the data is almost certainly not in question here, and that any claim to the contrary should be regarded with great scepticism.

(2017-09-30 21:03)MikeSpragg Wrote:  If you look at the spec of the c chord - it mentions cable relief (as if squishing the data !) as being a selling point. It ain’t - and I’m sure you’d agree with that. It [/b]mentions nothing about suppression or how it would. It’s this snake oil that maddens me !

The Chord product descriptions on the website are almost completely lacking in real technical content, patronising and, frankly, sick-making. They offer virtually no cost/benefit justification of the product. I have found almost nothing on that site that might induce me to buy a Chord Cable product. But for Sunbeam's report, I probably would not have done so.

David

I'm sorry, now switched to iPad and can't chop out portions. Sorry, that shouldn't have said data - but "other".

But, I'm intrigued with one point. You say "umbilical" ... in which case can't you simply overlay a standard cat cable over the carpet temporarily as a test. What problem did it appear to resolve ?

It's also exact - which, strictly speaking, uses the same infrastructure but isn't Ethernet so that may explain an apples/orange effect ?

Regards, Mike
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2017-09-30, 23:00 (This post was last modified: 2017-09-30 23:06 by DavidHB.)
Post: #22
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-09-30 22:29)MikeSpragg Wrote:  But, I'm intrigued with one point. You say "umbilical" ... in which case can't you simply overlay a standard cat cable over the carpet temporarily as a test. What problem did it appear to resolve?

I haven't done the experiment; there have been lots of others that interested me more. As I said, I didn't put in the Chord cable to prove anything; it was a 'just in case' thing. My system has now moved on, in that I have a different DSM, so I am no longer in a position to try and reproduce Sunbeam's original problem. And, as per the plan, the Chord cable is still under the carpet, and it's staying there.

(2017-09-30 22:29)MikeSpragg Wrote:  It's also Exakt - which, strictly speaking, uses the same infrastructure but isn't Ethernet so that may explain an apples/orange effect ?

Exakt is Ethernet (both cables and protocol), but not TCP/IP. The transmission protocol is proprietary Linn and AFAIK not publicly documented. The issues with noise and (possibly) jitter would be the same as with a standard network connection to the DS/DSM, but, I would think, in a potentially more sensitive part of the system. I acknowledge that this runs counter to the advice that Linn give on the subject, but anyone who has seen the mangrove forest of cabling associated with an Exaktbox and 10 channels of amplification will appreciate that shielding the poor Ethernet cable that has to go through it all is not necessarily a daft thing to do.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
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2017-10-01, 05:07
Post: #23
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
Sorry Mike, but I have to disagree with your logic and explanations.

I am not a computer guy, but I know something about sound quality.

I have heard tremendous improvements in many Linn systems that have installed better quality Ethernet cables.

The improvements in sound quality were not subtle, and were in many cases quite significant.

I have only one expensive Chord Anthem Ethernet cable, between my switch and the AEDSM, and it definitely improves overall sound quality.

I have also tried Audioquest Diamond and Vodka Ethernet cables in my system, on trial for several weeks, to good effect. They had provided improvements in sound quality over the standard Cat5 or Cat6 cables.



For the rest of my network cabling, I use relatively inexpensive Cat6 shielded twisted pair cabling, attached with custom RJ45 connectors. One of the Linn dealers tried many combinations of Ethernet cables, with many different brands of RJ45 connectors and tested the combinations of cables and connectors on different audiophile customers. Using blind studies, the audience agreed that one combination sounded significantly better than the rest.

So I bought enough of those individual cables to do my network for music streaming.

Then I went on to add my own aluminum shielding to the outside of the standard sheathed Cat6 cable.

The sound quality took a huge leap forward again, compared to the Ethernet cable without extra shielding, in detail, transparency and musicality.

There are also abundant differences in sound quality if your Ethernet cables are too close to a mains cable. I noticed that if I physically separate the Ethernet cables away from the mains cables, that I get a huge improvement in bass , mids and highs clarity, separation of instruments, and background noise.

Whether you have a Sneaky, Majik, Akurate or Klimax level streamer, they all are presumably carrying the same digital data, yet there are marked differences in sound quality. Why is that?

Clearly, there is a lot more going on than just streaming of digital bits down a cable.

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2017-10-01, 07:05
Post: #24
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
I don't think Wiltshireman quite realised the can of worms he was opening...
Smile
What fun.

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2017-10-01, 11:28
Post: #25
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-09-30 21:25)Music at Home Wrote:  This Texas Instruments white paper describes the way that the quality/construction of an ethernet cable and mismatches in terminations can cause an imbalance in the differential signal carried by a twisted pair resulting in the generation of noise within the cable. It goes on to say that the network connector can become a source for radiating that noise into the chassis of the system.

http://www.ti.com/lit/an/snla107a/snla107a.pdf

As this is talking about 'data generated' noise, it's clear that this is different to the sort of common mode noise that might also get picked up by a mains cable. It's describing a mechanism for why Ethernet cables can make a difference to the amount of noise entering a system.

Music at Home, that was a cracking read!!!

Thank you. Cool

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2017-10-01, 12:00
Post: #26
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-10-01 11:28)PeteA Wrote:  Music at Home, that was a cracking read!!!

Thank you. Cool

Indeed

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2017-10-02, 02:12 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-02 02:13 by Wat.)
Post: #27
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-09-30 22:20)DavidHB Wrote:  The Chord product descriptions on the website are almost completely lacking in real technical content, patronising and, frankly, sick-making. They offer virtually no cost/benefit justification of the product. I have found almost nothing on that site that might induce me to buy a Chord Cable product.

David

I agree entirely.

Personally, I’ve found or heard nothing whatsoever that might induce me to buy a Chord Cable product. Still as long as it’s try before you buy then a perspective buyer can judge for themselves. My choice would be Blue Jeans or Supra Ethernet cables as these meet the required specifications, but any genuine Cat 5e or better should work perfectly well.

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2017-10-02, 11:29
Post: #28
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-10-02 02:12)Wat Wrote:  ... but any genuine Cat 5e or better should work perfectly well.

I think that what Paul (whose ears we have reason to trust) and the TI paper that has been linked to give us food for thought, in a way that the Chord website does not. My current belief is that, while changing Ethernet cables can affect the sound of a system, the nature and degree of any difference will be situation-dependent. Unless and until we understand the mechanism by which such change comes about, experimenting with cables will be a potentially costly hit and miss affair.

In these circumstances, unless there are particular reasons for doing otherwise (such as, in my case, difficulty of installation), it is sensible to start with ordinary patch cables, and only upgrade to something more expensive if there is a real reason to do so. This is what Sunbeam, for example, did, and I don't think that he regrets doing things that way.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
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2017-10-02, 11:36 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-02 11:40 by MikeSpragg.)
Post: #29
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-10-01 05:07)Paulssurround Wrote:  Sorry Mike, but I have to disagree with your logic and explanations.

I am not a computer guy, but I know something about sound quality.

I have heard tremendous improvements in many Linn systems that have installed better quality Ethernet cables.

That's fine - you're entitled to your opinion as much as I am. But, I do know several things that might assist in changing your mind:

1) No-one has an explanation
2) Looking at the Linn factory, all their cabling is quite standard
3) Linn don't recommend it (and that's the manufacturer)
4) It doesn't make sense - other than noise of some form
5) No-one can prove anything
6) This is personal bias

So, we're left with two things - personal opinion/bias and (in the case of AQ) a lot of bluster.

End of subject for me, I really don't care. Much more important things to worry about !

Regards, Mike
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2017-10-02, 11:41 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-02 12:13 by sunbeamgls.)
Post: #30
RE: Chord Cable Co Streaming Cable.
(2017-10-02 11:36)MikeSpragg Wrote:  
(2017-10-01 05:07)Paulssurround Wrote:  Sorry Mike, but I have to disagree with your logic and explanations.

I am not a computer guy, but I know something about sound quality.

I have heard tremendous improvements in many Linn systems that have installed better quality Ethernet cables.

That's fine - you're entitled to your opinion as much as I am. But, I do know several things that might assist in changing your mind:

1) No-one has an explanation
2) Looking at the Linn factory, all their cabling is quite standard
3) Linn don't recommend it (and that's the manufacturer)
4) It doesn't make sense - other than noise of some form
5) No-one can prove anything
6) This is personal bias

So, we're left with two things - personal opinion/bias and (in the case of AQ) a lot of bluster.

End of subject for me, I really don't care !

Nope, you're left with the one thing that you're choosing to ignore due to some personal opinion/bias, just like most people suffer from opinion/bias Smile

I'm not sure that 1 and 5 are correct, given the TI paper.
Item 3 isn't my take - its not that Linn don't recommend it as that would imply a published message. What they actually say is that they think it doesn't matter. I wonder what the Linn staff use at home. The marketing message is often different to the reality - Exakt DSMs not sounding different is one example of where the message is different to the reality.

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