Wireworld Starlight Cat8 Connector problem


(Steve Schaffer) #1

I don’t know if this is unique to the cable, but the Metz plug though it seems to “lock” into place does not actually make an electrical connection, unless pushed into the Nucleus female connection. Does not seem to happen with conventional, and cheaper plugs.

Any ideas on how best to keep the plug in place?


#2

Use regular plugs instead of snakeoil products? :grinning:


(Andrew P) #3

Use a properly terminated cable with a traditional RJ45 connector.

I’ve had no end of trouble with the Telegartner and Metz stye (answer to a question no one ever asked) connectors. I’ve seen several cases of poor connection due to the non-standard dimensions as well as a few cases where they’ve broken the jack on the connected component / switch.


(Steve Schaffer) #4

Never had any issue with the cables until I tried using them with the Nucleus. Something about the design of the female receptacle. A shame since these are excellent cables in all other respects…


(Steve Schaffer) #5

Thanks Andrew. Reviewed your comments with David Salz of Wireworld. They’ve been trying to find a Nucleus to test. I think they understand the specific issue I’ve run into with their cable using the Metz connector. And I’ll likely give the McGuyver toothpick “fix” a go, especially if I find the connector going astray.

p.s. I’m swapping out my dCS Network Bridge next week for the Vivaldi Upsampler. In reading the manual I’m a tad confused with respect to the appropriate settings for filters. I gather that for each bitrate I would choose a specific filter. In my case, while I’m awaiting a dCS Vivaldi DAC later this month, I’ll be using my existing Berkeley DAC. It will only support up to 192kbps PCM. So, I’m wondering what filters you recommend for Redbook and beyond. Seems as though I’d use Filter 2 for 44kbps. But maybe Filter 5 for getting to 176kbps is more appropriate. What’s odd is that the manual discusses the use of Filter 3 but it does not appear in the chart at all. And Filter 5 might work well in some instances, but I can’t figure out how you’d specify any filter other than 1 and 4 for a 48kbps source, based again on the chart.

Sorry for my confusion.

I’m not clear on what is meant by “For conversions with “x” filters”. Is this referring to the target DAC’s available filters?


(Andrew P) #6

If you need to use a toothpick to make it work then the cable DOES NOT even remotely meet anything resembling the 802.3 standard.

Seriously? A toothpick? This is some sort of joke, right?


(Steve Schaffer) #7

Hoping it dosn’t come to that :kissing_closed_eyes:

Can you help me with my forthcoming Vivaldi Upsampler questions?


(Andrew P) #8

Jesse is your man on that one. He’ll be in touch.


(Steve Schaffer) #9

OK. I guess when he’s back in town in a week. Surprised that the dCS manuals are so limited in descriptions, and so silo-ed. What with filters for both the Vivaldi Upsampler and the DAC but not manual for implementing the stack components together. Configuring becomes a bit like walking through a mine field, with no clear directions, and settings that could work at cross purposes if not fully understood…


(Andrew P) #10

They have internet in the UK. I’m 35,000ft over Newfoundland and I have internet. I’m sure he’ll be in touch soon.

This is what your dealer is supposed to help you with. They should be explaining the configuration options (at a minimum) and acting as a first line of support when you have questions. They should also be delivering and setting the system up for you.


(Steve Schaffer) #11

Well I’ll soon find out how much help I get. Most likely minimal. This unit came by way of Jesse. Used from prior owner who likely consolidated stack to a Vivaldi One. Seems it’s got a minor scratch, but otherwise intact.


(Alan McMillan) #12

Agreed. Why would anyone buy an ethernet cable for £100 plus in the first place, let alone one that has a non-standard plug on it that doesn’t work unless it has a toothpick forced in beside it? Jesus!


(Steve Schaffer) #13

Used many Wireworld products in the past, and have found them particularly great at minimizing system related noise. It’s not about the so-called bits-is-bits that many are stuck on, but lowering the system’s overall noise floor and other electrical interface anomalies. Their cabling design and implementation does this in my system. And I’m used to living with having to find ways to make cables behave, whether due to interface problems, excessive weight, etc.


(Tony) #14

Are you saying that the dCS kit (I hear it isn’t exactly cheap…) that you use is not immune to these ‘interface anomalies’?


(Steve Schaffer) #15

It’s all a chain from the power company through the system and finally into the speakers. Alleviating noise, along with vibration in and out of components is just one factor in trying to achieve great sound. 'Course room effects are yet another issue. It never ends…


(Andrew P) #16

Noise via Ethernet is a real thing, but the funny thing is that most audiophile cables are making the problem worse. The sad thing is that consumers are buying these things.

Twisted-pair Ethernet is a differential (balanced) connection so typical EMI/RFI issues are addressed through common mode rejection. That isn’t to say that Ethernet is immune to this type of noise, but in a domestic application you have to be really haphazard in cable routing to get real issues here.

Twisted-pair Ethernet is galvanically isolated when unshielded cables are used. This is part of the Ethernet spec which mandates transformer coupling (or some other similar air gap isolation) for all PHYs. This is in place to break potential ground loops (which can be deadly in real-world implementations) as well as to avoid current leakage and spikes over Ethernet links.

Twisted-pair Ethernet is an extremely reliable transport mechanism as long as the specifications are followed to the letter. This includes cable geometry, connector design, and termination. Ignore any one of these and the quality of transmission (and the noise rejection properties of the transport suffer).

Here’s how audiophile cables tend to screw up Ethernet:

  • “Creative” cable geometries which don’t follow the spec and ultimately result in noise issues and signal reflections that do impact data transfer performance.

  • Non-standard (answer to the question no one ever asked) connectors which look impressive but have issues with maintaining a reliable connection, impedance mismatches, and a higher likelihood of damaging the component they’re plugged into.

  • Use of shielding without understanding how Ehternet works. With a fully connected shield you’ve now linked the ground planes of the stereo with the rest of the network. If noise is a concern the this is just stupid. With the shield floating or only connected at one end you now have a very effective antenna connected to the ground plane.

  • Product designs which are make to look and feel impressive in order to justify ridiculous costs. This includes cables that are so heavy they literally rip the Ethernet jacks off circuit boards, connectors which tend to wallow out the jacks on the components, and cables which have no chance if having proper geometry unless they’re kept perfectly straight.

Fun fact… most audiphile Ethernet cables don’t pass the certification for their advertised category (i.e. some audiophile CAT7 cables are lucky to pass CAT5 requirements). Many audiophile Ethernet cables don’t certify remotely close to any of the Ethernet standards… yet for some reason they cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

I’ve talked to a lot of audio cable manufacturers about Ethernet and the interesting thing is that none of them really understand how it works. They’re just trying to apply audio signal cable principles to a very different kind of connection. The good companies will admit that they don’t have the knowledge they need and hence their product offerings appear to be rather limited in scope (this list is very short).

Many report hearing sonic differences between different Ethernet cables and use this as a justification for purchase. If you’re happy with what you’re buying and feel that a cable provides a positive sonic change then there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s your money and system so if you’re happy then that’s great. Just don’t get caught up in the hype about noise reduction and magic dust. There’s a really good chance that the difference you’re hearing isn’t the result of noise reduction, just a change in the overall shape of the noise floor in your system.

Some notes here:

  1. Ethernet is so ubiquitous and important that there are legions of very accomplished engineers constantly improving the specs and requirements. This work is in support of the real-world applications of Ethernet which are far more important than anything audio-related. The thought that the audio industry is going to make real improvements here when most companies lack the equipment to do proper measurements is beyond laughable.

  2. This isn’t my opinion, it’s fact and based on actual understanding of IEEE 802.3 along with decades of experience in large scale data networking.

  3. dCS has no official recommendations for network cables as long as they meet the Ethernet spec, don’t damage the component, and certify at their listed category. When customers report issues that are beyond basic configuration problems the first thing we request is the replacement of all audiophile Ethernet cables with something less exotic (and more correct). You’d be surprised how often this resolves the problem.

  4. I have absolutely nothing against audiophile cables or the companies that make them. I do have an issue with products that are designed and marketed with an obvios ignorance toward their intended application.

We put a lot of effort into proper implementation of our Ethernet interfaces and can demonstrate excellent measured performance. We don’t violate standards so our Ethernet port shields are connected to the component’s ground plane. We go to great lengths to maintain a clean ground (which is especially critical in digital audio), but we can’t do anything when someone connects an antenna (poorly designed cable) to the Ethernet port.


(Fredrik) #17

I agree with you on buying expensive ethernetcables but Metz connectors apply to spec and I have used many of them in industrial applications without any problems. I have one connected in my NUC and that works without any problem.


#18

Are you saying Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Ethernet cables would work best for Audio?

Something like this?


#19

Exactly like that. Shielded cables without proper ground drain are actually WORSE – they become an antenna.


#20

Thanks!

So the Wireworld I have below not good?