Thank you all. I will try a plain Cat6 cable. Turning the Nucleus off and on only didn’t help. There is a difference in sound caused by unplugging and plugging back the ethernet cable to the Nucleus, but it does not always happen and does not seem always to be the same amount of change. I can only think that there is something not quite right about the connection. I’m human and am playing different music at different times so this isn’t scientific. As to why sound might deteriorate–perhaps I bumped the cable? I don’t know what a ground loop is.
As for what I have here. There is a TP link router, Starlight Cat8 Wireworld ethernet cable (the cables do have arrows for direction) to network switch (don’t know brand) Nucleus (not plus, running the update before the current one) attached to network switch with Starlight Cat 8. The Remote is a MacBook Pro 2021 14 inch (same update). An Aqua LinQ (HQPlayer embedded) is the streamer, attached to the network switch with same cable, and attached to Aqua Formula DAC with Platinum CAT 8 cable. Hope that is enough.
I’m not imagining the change in sound. Both of us have heard it, independently. I agree that it is odd. That is why I’ve asked for help. I’m really grateful
Transmission is handled by TCP/IP. If there are any errors during transmission, networking handles it. RAAT allows Roon to control endpoints; it send the music, but also can provide artwork or device controls.
As others have explained above, although they may physically fit the RJ45 socket on your home router or Nucleus, CAT 7 or 8 cables aren’t designed to work with those devices.
You’re effectively using the wrong cable for the job and the shielded / metal plugs on your CAT 8 cables are potentially causing you unwanted issues on your analog audio devices (ie. ground loops, the cable acting as an aerial if only connected at one end on poorly designed kit) as these devices weren’t designed to be used with shielded Ethernet cables.
By contrast the plastic RJ45 connectors on a bog-standard standard CAT 5e or CAT 6 cable ensure the units are isolated from each other as intended / designed.
CAT 5e or CAT 6 cables (not CAT 6e which uses shielded connectors) are what you should be using with your home router / Nucleus / streamer. With your current equipment the numbers 7 and 8 don’t mean better, it means a different and potentially incompatible standard that will potentially cause you issues.
Petrabytes of data is reliably transferred over millions of miles of CAT 6 and CAT 5e cables every second, it’s a pretty robust standard and far exceeds the requirements of Roon.
There IS a minimum length for Ethernet cables too at least between 2 devices. While very short patch cables exist they are intended normally to patch to a longer cable in a patch bay to elsewhere in a building.
This means both are connected through the cable shielding. This is correct for Cat7, where the connectors should be grounded at both ends. However, if your terminations, i.e., router, switch, streamer etc., do not support this, it won’t perform as intended, and is a waste of money.
Just a thought: is the Ethernet cable resting on carpet or some other surface? My thought is that their is some environmental influence that is being induced, over time, that is being transmitted, especially via the cables shield or other cable materials, and is being then transmitted by the connectors. Following others guidance use a well made CAT 6 UTP cable and see if that helps.
Magical thinking is deeply anchored in our collective unconscious…
(now wearing snowshoes on my asymmetrical isolation feet)
More wisdom from the crowd: “Stacks of walnut and maple wood flooring samples also make good supports. (These are the so-called tone woods, which impart a splash of pleasant seasoning. Other wood varieties, such as mahogany, pine, or bamboo, don’t sound as good.)” [from the review posted above]
Indeed. But does this ‘noise’ have any impact on SQ and, if so, how? With digital data, either it’s received, or it isn’t. You can’t have noisy bits or not noisy bits - they’re just bits. Any other noise that might be present in an ethernet cable will be rejected by any half-decent DAC or other item of networking gear. Noise, in the digital domain at least, is another of those audiophile myths, for which there are a lot of expensive solutions … it’s just the problem that’s missing.