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Hi folks

I just thought I would share some experience and welcome others to do the same about Exakt links.

My Akurate Exaktbox10/1 came with a 1.5m generic Cat5e from my dealer to get me going. A few days later I dug out an old Belkin Cat6 UTP at 0.5m to better suit my setup and prevent it dropping near other unshielded cables. DSM and Exaktbox are top of the stack with amps below. I could not discern any notable difference.

As a believer in AudioQuest’s digital offerings, I use their Cat7’s between my NAS to my switch, as the final from a Switch’s to music and AV sources and also their HDMI’s. I thought I would try their Cat6 UTP offering. This is seemingly only available as a custom length. So, I ordered 0.5m to be made up. £8.50 plus postage… Much cheaper than Blue Jeans in the UK.

https://www.futureshop.co.uk/audioquest-cat6-pearl-rj-e-ethernet-cable-custom

I listened to my system for about an hour this morning through the Belkin to warm it up and baseline my ear. My dealer Tunedemed my system largelywith Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt. So, this was my last song played before switching in the Audioquest and the first afterwards.

With the AudioQuest Cat 6 I perceived a slight shift towards the lower frequencies, better bass and a consequential perception of a tamed top end.

This is a cheap custom cable in the UK and may be worth a try for you good people out in Linn Land.

System:

Netgear GS105 - AudioQuest Cinnamon Cat7 - Majik DSM/2 - Akurate Exaktbox 10/1 - Linn Silvers - Majik 6100/1 & Majik 4100/1 - Majik 140’s with Plinth upgrade.

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Get ready for the “expectation bias” crowd to try and publicly shame you. The cables do make a difference to the sound. I am glad you have found a nice improvement.🙏👍🎼🎶🎶🎵🎶🥳

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Eldarboy said:

Get ready for the “expectation bias” crowd to try and publicly shame you. The cables do make a difference to the sound. I am glad you have found a nice improvement.🙏👍🎼🎶🎶🎵🎶🥳

Yes, my chin is well stuck out… Ready for the hits. lol

Oddly, I perceived much more of a difference with AudioQuest Cat7’s in picture quality than Audio.

In the Network implementation I though the AudioQuest Cat7 only brought slightly more detail and top end clarity to audio systems.

In Exakt implementation using the AudioQuest Cat6 the bass seems to be favoured. Contrary to my expectations…

I’m just listening to Prince - When Doves Cry and the drums and space are great.

I feel that soundstage has also improved. But, I’m only about a month into Exakt and all music is better, especially in the spacing. 

Edited by Rich9600
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Always a great topic and great to hear about your experience.  I am in the 'believers' crowd and I believe in my setup cables made a difference (Exakt as well). I say 'believe' because I've made the mistake of making several upgrades and changes at the same time and would need to reverse engineer to see the impact of each change individually but too lazy for that as it really all sounds very good as is. I did hear a clear improvement when I installed a CAT8 cable with additional copper shielding between my switch (EtherRegen) and my Systemhub.

I've applied additional copper shielding on most cables and spent a lot of time making sure that my CAT cables/Exakt links are not close to outlets and power outlets.

FYI, there are 1 or 2 really lengthy threads on this topic already, you might want to check them out as the include a lot of information. If i have time today, will look them up and paste the links here. To Eldarboy's point, a very 'loaded' topic ;-).

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I had a similar experience back when I was sorting out my ExaktLinks. Ended up with BJC Cat 5e and Cat 6a. Linn recommend good quality Cat 5 or 6. I put emphasis on the "good quality" bit as it is sometimes overlooked.

You've probably seen this article. It could explain why your generic cables had room for improvement.

https://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/is-your-cat6-a-dog.htm

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Posted (edited)

Blue Jeans Cables or Connectix for me. I tried AQ Vodka and sent it back. I did order QED aerial cables from the shop linked above, but they couldn’t supply and asked if I’d accept expensive AQ cables at a bargain price. I regret agreeing as these were poorly made and packaged. I can’t be certain, but they may have been a return. I wonder about a policy of return if you don’t like them. What happens to returns? Are they skipped ? They don’t seem to sell used cables, but if somebody has tried them then they’re second hand and should be sold at half the price. if you’ve bought AQ and are happy that’s great, but they’re not for me.

Edited by Nestor Turton
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6 hours ago, Nestor Turton said:

Blue Jeans Cables or Connectix for me. I tried AQ Vodka and sent it back. I did order QED aerial cables from the shop linked above, but they couldn’t supply and asked if I’d accept expensive AQ cables at a bargain price. I regret agreeing as these were poorly made and packaged. I can’t be certain, but they may have been a return. I wonder about a policy of return if you don’t like them. What happens to returns? Are they skipped ? They don’ seem to sell used cables, but if somebody has tried them then they’re second hand and should be sold at half the price. if you’ve bought AQ and are happy that’s great, but they’re not for me.

I stopped at the AQ Cinnamon level in the last network link. You are not the first to report poorly of the next tier Vodka. I read it can be harsh sounding in Audio.

Silver in the cable doesn’t seem to like Linn. Before buying my first Linn Silver I was using a Linn Black, but was missing top end. I swapped in a Chord Co Chameleon Silver Plus (silver plated wires) and got too much top end… Linn Silvers re-balanced the system.

AQ Forest and Cinnamon have increasing silver plating, but the Vodka has a fair bit more.

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16 hours ago, akamatsu said:

I had a similar experience back when I was sorting out my ExaktLinks. Ended up with BJC Cat 5e and Cat 6a. Linn recommend good quality Cat 5 or 6. I put emphasis on the "good quality" bit as it is sometimes overlooked.

You've probably seen this article. It could explain why your generic cables had room for improvement.

https://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/is-your-cat6-a-dog.htm

I think I may have to geek out and order a Cat6 from these guys for pure experimentation. 

The custom AQ Cat6 has swept to 600Hz on the jacket so exceeds Cat6. Though, custom terminated… Good day vs bad day… No mention of testing by the vendor…

I had a long custom AQ Forrest that became surplus to requirements and I cut up and DIY re-terminated that. Reasonably easy to get a working connection with the right tools. But, I now wonder as to the quality of my work. These DIY cables are in my internet chain but not my last Audio chain anywhere. I have ran my own Cat6 Ethernet and installed wall plates round the house. I was only able to test speed not quality and got the Gigabit claimed. Switches seem to re-clock and fix issues… Each DIY run has a switch at the end, installed wire leading out cut up Forrest then to the switch. 

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22 hours ago, Eldarboy said:

Get ready for the “expectation bias” crowd to try and publicly shame you. The cables do make a difference to the sound. I am glad you have found a nice improvement.🙏👍🎼🎶🎶🎵🎶🥳

I think some of us find it hard to attribute tonal differences, that we have probably experienced with analogue interconnects, to an Ethernet cable.  It’s more like imo that a reduction or increase in unwanted noise alongside the digital signal might affect the DAC or other circuitry within.  A reduction in RFI has been associated with a smoother sound and clearer bass, if I recall correctly. 

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12 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

A reduction in RFI has been associated with a smoother sound and clearer bass, if I recall correctly. 

Is the corollary of that an increase in RFI could be perceived as a ‘brighter’ sound and ‘fatter’ bass?

’troll

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Just now, Moomintroll said:

Is the corollary of that an increase in RFI could be perceived as a ‘brighter’ sound and ‘fatter’ bass?

’troll

Well, increased ‘detail’ is associated with intermodulation distortion, I gather.  I’m not sure about fatter bass, nor whether that is the opposite of smoother.

These are not Ethernet cables, but digital signal connections, and there’s some detailed reviews and measurements too.  You’ll soon see a theme about a smoother and darker sound.  I’ve not heard them myself and I’m not sure if it would translate to Ethernet but it might relate to the OP’s experience. I’ve followed their development because they’re made by a fellow Wammer.  https://www.wavehighfidelity.com/home-2

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On 14/05/2021 at 00:25, Tyke said:

Just ordered a Chord Music streaming cable for my new Organik DSM. Anyone used it?

Think you could use two tin cans and some waxed string and it would still sound good 😣

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Craigas said:

Think you could use two tin cans and some waxed string and it would still sound good 😣

On 14/05/2021 at 08:25, Tyke said:

Just ordered a Chord Music streaming cable for my new Organik DSM. Anyone used it?

Chord Music will probably work, but it doesn’t meet Linn’s recommendation which is to use Cat 5e, 6 or 6a.

Chord Music doesn’t qualify for a Category rating as far as I know, but as long as you can return it if it doesn’t cut the mustard then why not give it a punt.

I’ve not bothered trying lots of cables and simply followed Linn’s advice. I did splash out on Blue Jeans Cat 5e for my Exakt link between Urika II and ADSM and to connect ADSM to my HP Switch. Otherwise I use Connectix Magic Patch Leads, which are Cat 6a compliant. I have been lucky in that I was able to test all cables in my network for compliance and so far it has been very stable and problem free.

Edited by Nestor Turton
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