With so many choices for Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems, Music Servers, Music Streamers and Gigabit capable Ethernet Switches in use with audiophiles today, too often the interconnecting cables that marry these devices get overlooked with an, “any old Ethernet cable will do” attitude. Each of the devices listed above demand consistently high-speed data transfers, low latency, timing accuracy, vanishingly low jitter and cross talk…and have an intolerance for physical data errors (CRC Errors and Collisions). On their own, these devices will perform as expected and as designed but will only perform to the level that the Ethernet Cables linked between them can support. An improperly built, seasoned/aging or lesser Category rated Ethernet Cable can easily become a bottleneck that affects system wide audio performance. Knowing this, you can quickly understand the need for a high end Ethernet Cable that’s built for the task.
The Avanti Audio Vivace series Category 7 (CAT7) S/FTP Ethernet cables are capable of supporting throughput/transfer speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second. The 10 Gig standard is possible due to the 5-shield design of CAT7 over lesser Category cable standards. With the Vivace CAT7 Ethernet cables, each of the four pairs of 26-gauge OFC high purity stranded copper conductors are individually shielded with their own foil wrap (+four shields) and then all four pairs are surrounded by a full coverage silver plated copper braided shield (+one overall shield). This combination of shielding schemas both block and eliminate cable pair cross talk and EMI/RFI intrusion and interference.
Lifted Shield Directional Cable Design
Our CAT7 Ethernet cables are directional in design with regards to how the overall braided shield is terminated on each end of the cable and connectors. So impressed with the performance and low noise floor of ourdirectional Analog RCA cables, we're using the same engineering design principal with our Vivace CAT7 Ethernet cables too. The concept is to attach the overall braided shield within the cable to the shell of the RJ-45 Connector on the "upstream" source end of the cable assembly only. We then lift (detach) the shield on the "downstream" destination end of the cable and connector shell. In other words, there isn't continuity between the two metallic connector shells on either end of the assembled cable. This design creates an "upstream" drain point for RFI/EMI noise & interference without the added risk of tying dis-similar chassis ground potentials together between say, an Internet router and a music streamer or server. In many cases, a user’s router and their stereo gear will be connected to different power outlets or even entirely different A/C circuits within the home. In these cases, if the overall shield is terminated to the connector shells/bodies on both ends of the cable, there's a possibility that doing so would introduce ground hum, ground loops or other anomalies into the signal path by tying two different ground potentials together across this link. By terminating the shield to the metal connector body on the upstream end only (in this scenario the router) and floating it on the downstream end (in this scenario a streamer or music server) the shield acts as a barrier to EMI/RFI along the entire cable length and as a drain to shed noise and leave it at the router ground point.
When you install the Vivace CAT7 Ethernet cables into your system, align the cable with the Avanti Audio logo "arrow" pointing from your "upstream"source device (e.g., router/switch) to your "downstream" destination device (e.g., streamer or server) for best performance.
NOTE: We currently don't have the ability to pre-condition the Vivace CAT7 Ethernet cables prior to shipment like we do with our other analog cables. There's a great number of opinions whether the pre-conditioning of Ethernet cables is even necessary. We'd rather stay out of this argument and as such, our completed Vivace Ethernet cables are supplied to our customers without pre-conditioning.
Our Ethernet cables are directional in design. Simply align the Avanti Audio logo on the cables with the "arrow" originating from your "upstream" source device toward your"downstream "destination device. E.g., Internet Router/Switch LAN port ---> LAN port on Streamer, Server, etc.
NOTE: Regarding Vivace CAT7 Ethernet Cable "connector tab orientation" for 1.5M or shorter cables
Though the Vivace CAT7 Ethernet cables are quite flexible when bent into a loop, due to their CAT standard design, they don't allow much "twist" in the cable to orient the connector tabs to mating equipment (the connector tabs being the release arm portion of the connector that you depress to disconnect the cable from gear).
Our standard build for these 1.5M and shorter Ethernet cables is to orient the tabs at the 12 o'clock position on one end of the cable and at the 6 o'clock position on the opposite end of the cable. This will allow a user to connect the cable to mating gear/components that live on two different vertically oriented shelves in a rack assuming the components themselves both have the female RJ-45 jack installed/oriented at the 12 o'clock position for the tabs. This is quite typical for many streamers, routers, switches, etc.
However, if you require a different orientation on the cable connector tabs, please let me know (during checkout you can leave a "note") what gear the 1.5M length or less cables are intended to connect to and the location of the gear (side by side -or- one piece of equipment sits above or below the other, etc.) such that I can build the cable with the connectors oriented correctly without adding strain or stress on the cable or your gear for your application. Feel free to shoot me a picture or two in an Email of the gear/components showing the relationship to each other if that's an easier method of communication for you.