Shielded Ethernet cable suggestions to cure ground loop like hum

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Currently running a Bluesound Node 3. I feel the very best digital transmission over Ethernet is better than wireless. My problem is the wireless router is about 25-30' from the Bluesound Node 3 in my main rig.

I recently purchased a well reviewed and well built 30' Ethernet cable from Amazon (inexpensive). I plugged it in and got a hum, like a ground loop hum out of one speaker. I was really perplexed since this is digital transmission.

So my questions are who makes a reasonably priced well shielded Ethernet cable at about 30' and secondly why would this ground loop like hum be present. The E cable does lay parallel over I/C and power cables.

I need some ideas as well as vendors that sell a heavily shielded Ethernet cable in a 30' length. I am assuming better shielding will solve my issue. A search on Amazon specifically for "shielded Ethernet cable" bring up thousands with no rhyme or reason as to how or if they are more shielded than a "normal" E cable. Am willing to spend up a bit, but I'm not paying several hundred.

H9
"Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
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  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,028
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    30 ft is pretty long.... Anyway to move your modem closer? There are also mesh systems that have direct ethernet outs on the hubs. I ran mine that way before direct wiring from the modem and main hub and the sound quality was very similar.

    I am running the audiolund reference ethernet which is heavily shielded and worked great.

    Can't explain what would be causing your him but I will say 30 ft is a good distance
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Nesmith98
    Nesmith98 Posts: 214
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    Here is a link to a Blue Jeans Cable article about ethernet cables that is pretty good. They tested quite a few cables and most didn't fair too well. https://bluejeanscable.com/articles/is-your-cat6-a-dog.htm


    I bought a roll of Commscope Systimax CAT6a off of eBay and have been slowly but surely running it thru my house. It seems like it's a good USA made cable and I did notice a slight increase in internet speed by using it. Although I have no real way to test it and can't say much for the audio side of things. You may be able to find a Commscope patch chord on eBay pretty cheap.
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 3,004
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    I bought a custom-made 30' cable from BJC after having drop-outs and buffering issues with store-bought cables, and haven't had any issues since.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
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  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,184
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    jdjohn wrote: »
    I bought a custom-made 30' cable from BJC after having drop-outs and buffering issues with store-bought cables, and haven't had any issues since.

    Thank you for that comment. I have started to be plagued with song interruption on Qobuz and TIDAL (less often on tidal) where at some point in the song it skips to the next song! It is intermittent but can put you on edge not knowing when it might happen next. This is with Squeezebox Touch with Logitech Media Server on a PC. I'm questioning my cable and seems like it is something to try, along with swapping in a different SBT that I have.
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • SCompRacer
    SCompRacer Posts: 8,352
    edited October 2022
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    BJC tests their CAT cables with a pricey Fluke DTX-1800 cable tester. They provide a report with your purchase. It's like insurance that the cable you buy has met parameters versus untested store bought. It's not just the wires, it is testing termination as well. And the cables won't break your bank. A BJC data cable solved a problem I had exporting DSD from a modded Denon 3910 to my DAC back in 2013.

    It you want shielded CAT cable, you need STP or shielded twisted pair. STP has the four individual pairs of wires wrapped in foil followed by a foil wrap over them. Unsure if BJ sells STP CAT cable.


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    Post edited by SCompRacer on
    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS * Roon * Gustard R26 DAC / Singxer SU-6 DDC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *
  • SCompRacer
    SCompRacer Posts: 8,352
    edited October 2022
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    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS * Roon * Gustard R26 DAC / Singxer SU-6 DDC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 13,132
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    Brock,
    I can order and ship a Belden 25' sheilded CAT6+ directly from my distributers whse. They show 13 in stock in the IL whse...cost plus shipping
    C6F1106025

    --Ron

    rgjitvmlk4pp.png


    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • DaveHo
    DaveHo Posts: 3,480
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    Was going to recommend BJC. I use several.
    Never an issue. See others beat me to it. 30' really isn't long for an Ethernet cable.
  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,446
    edited October 2022
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    Maybe I missed this detail, but did you try moving the ethernet cable up and away from signal and power cables just as a test? I'm not sure any issue there would present as hum, since it's digital, as you mention. I think it would be more along the lines of packet hiccups, but still doesn't seem likely. This does sound like ground loop.

    Is your router a combo unit with the modem and router together with the service coax connected?

    Curious to see what you figure out.
    I disabled signatures.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,576
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    I've seen more ground loops from cable coax than I can count. If you can re-terminate the coax cable and not use the ground shield that should tell you immediately if it's the culprit. If not you can just re-terminate it just like normal and move on.
    Just like "directional" RCA interconnect cabled just leave the ground off the end that going into the modem/router should be telling.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 1,277
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    That's strange, I'm running about 60' of CAT5E and have no issues. The brand is Belden.
  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,446
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    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    I've seen more ground loops from cable coax than I can count. If you can re-terminate the coax cable and not use the ground shield that should tell you immediately if it's the culprit. If not you can just re-terminate it just like normal and move on.
    Just like "directional" RCA interconnect cabled just leave the ground off the end that going into the modem/router should be telling.

    I agree. Coax was what casied mine.
    If the hum is present without playing music, and if this ethernet cable is connected directly to a combo modem/router, simple disconnect of the coax and check for hum at the speaker would determine as well.
    I disabled signatures.
  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,446
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    *casied = caused when penned by mobile device keyboard without wearing glasses.
    I disabled signatures.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,576
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  • SCompRacer
    SCompRacer Posts: 8,352
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    msg wrote: »
    *casied = caused when penned by mobile device keyboard without wearing glasses.

    Glad it wasn't the urban meaning.... "If you have had someone lie right to your face, been completely foiled, fooled and left wondering what happened, then you my friend have been Casie'd."
    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS * Roon * Gustard R26 DAC / Singxer SU-6 DDC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *
  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,446
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    Insightful and LOL

    WTF is Brock?!?
    Someone needs to punch him in the nuts.
    I disabled signatures.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    I already sent the E cable back since it was an Amazon purchase. I'm not quite getting the relation to coax cable people are mentioning. My modem and router are separate units, albeit they sit close together.

    It was the weirdest sound to hear what sounds to me like a ground loop hum when the E cable was plugged into the Node 3 considering it's just packets of digital information. Music would play over the top of it, but it seemed to lose some dynamics. The hum was analog and I hope my unit isn't defective???

    Didn't matter what input I used on the pre-amp or volume setting, the hum was constant (out of 1 channel). I tore the rig apart thinking I have a bad MIT Shotgun IC (because that's what it sounded like). I even swapped in some older MIT T2 cables to eliminate a possible faulty IC. Same hum with different MIT cables.

    Disconnected the E cable the hum stopped, configured the Node 3 for wireless and it has performed flawlessly for weeks........not a single hiccup or dropped signal. I'd prefer Ethernet, but so far wireless is working perfectly. I'll try the Belden shielded and then the BJC shielded if that doesn't work.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
    edited October 2022
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    NM, still researching
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,028
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    DIGITAL CABLES MATTER.

    It's not just 1s and 0s.

    The end!
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    My comment about the digital packets was in reference to getting an analog hum over a digital cable. I am going to try what Rich (SCompRacer) suggested. An SFTP Cat6 cable from Amazon. Amazon has a great, easy return policy if it doesn't work and I can have it here in a day or 2 with Prime. I still haven't ruled out a defective Bluesound Node 3. That's not very likely, but still possible.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,184
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    I know this isn't the same situation, since it is a USB digital cable in this case, but before I got the SBT and I used to connect up to my ifi nano idsd DAC from my computer via USB cable, I used to get 8kHz packet noise spikes that was very annoying and because I was so attuned to hearing it, it destroyed my enjoyment of music (my guests barely heard it, except quiet between songs). It got worse the higher the amplification. Powering the DAC separately and not using the USB for the power did not cure the problem. The noise was coming through the digital wires of the USB because the computer digital output was contaminated with it, for whatever reason.

    So digital wires can definitely carry or pickup an analog noise signal, despite the 1s and 0s thing seeming to proclude that. The quality of the source is a factor.

    Maybe the router is a factor?
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,446
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    So weird, Brock, I was completely expecting this to be a case of a combo modem/router and coax.
    The coax factor - coax is a common cause of ground loop hum, especially in cases where the cable comes into the house with a separate ground than the home main power. In situations like this, if one pulls the coax from the system, the system usually goes quiet.

    What I really don't understand is why it was only one speaker. In my case of coax GLH, it was both speakers.

    That ethernet cable you had - did it have metal sheathing on the connectors, by chance.
    How about the cable from your modem to your router?
    Lastly, does your cable come into the house on the same ground as your main power, or its own?

    You're still getting nut punched. Just because.
    I disabled signatures.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    Yes, more troubleshooting is in order if the shielded E cable still exhibits the same issues.

    Thanks everyone

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    I just received a different Ethernet cable.

    Cable Matter brand, shielded (SSTP/SFTP) - braiding and double foil. We'll see if this solves the hum issue. Not sure I'll have time this weekend to install, but I'll report back when I do.

    The diameter seems similar to a standard E cable, but it does seem heavier.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
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    How long of a distance is your cable ground from the incoming cable connection?

    If it's more than 10', consider getting the cable connection moved to where it is close to the whole home ground. (Where it enters the home)

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    Tom, say that again? The outside cable (junction) box is mounted to the side of the house where the outside power line is grounded and uses the same ground bar. Coax then runs out of the cable junction box about 8' where it enters the house for connection.

    I will say I did have my Squeezebox Touch hard wired with Ethernet for awhile, but then went back to wireless. It sat in the exact same spot as the Node 3 does. I had no issues with the SQB.

    I am not ruling out a defective Node 3, but I don't think it's very likely........but anything is possible.

    I am hoping this better shielded cable will make the difference.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
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    My apologies. You are good to go.

    Basically, I was saying that you do not want your incoming cable to be (for instance) on the other side of the house, with a long ground to the house ground. You want your cable ground to be as close as possible to the whole home house ground (as the cable enters the home).

    I hope this makes sense.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    My apologies. You are good to go.

    Basically, I was saying that you do not want your incoming cable to be (for instance) on the other side of the house, with a long ground to the house ground. You want your cable ground to be as close as possible to the whole home house ground (as the cable enters the home).

    I hope this makes sense.

    Tom

    No apologies, we are on the same page. Thanks for response.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    I ordered a new ethernet cable, using @SCompRacer chart he provided. I bought one that is heavilt shielded thinking that was the issue. I didn't install it right away, but it finally did today. Same level of hum.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HEM5YJE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

    I moved the e cable away from power cords, no difference. I bypassed the wireless router and plugged directly into the cable modem no difference.

    Remembered I had an extra one of these that I use on my home PC..........and the what I assume is a ground loop hum, is gone. I didn't even connect the ground wire.

    https://www.l-com.com/surge-protector-tripp-lite-premium-rj45-network-surge-suppressor?gclid=CjwKCAiA2rOeBhAsEiwA2Pl7Q_gocw3_wfQBrMOQdaJFRCC61UnPCKN4Nv-gOaVPurVYF2CsqX6myRoCzXoQAvD_BwE

    6l9ed0j85451.png

    WTF is going on here? Why would 2 different ethernet cables exhibit the same issue?

    I'll be doing some critical listening to see the Tripplite in the mix makes an audible difference.

    SMH......I've never ever had any ground loop issues. On a digital transmission cable no less.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    No other feedback?

    Not sure I want yet another connection in the line if I don't need it.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!