Connection from router to streamer.

We've all seen the discussion on analog vs digital, and cables.  But what about the source TO the streamer.  I have a Bluesound Vault - which I love, and I have it wired directly to my router so I don't have the added question of sound quality over wifi.  

I have spent hundreds (if not thousands) on cables from the tt to the amp, better speaker cables, upgraded cable from the streamer to the amp, etc, but I still use the old coax from the router to the streamer.  Isn't this kind of nullifying the other upgraded cables since the signal is already compromised from the initial source?


Like all components you must consider the quality of the component. The better the component, the more important the interconnect.

I have had streamers at the$1K, 3K, 5K, 10K, and now my streamer is $22K. In general the better the component the more you get out of the connection wire. I will say that in the case of streamers, the better they are, the more they make up for poor network.

My Aurrender W20SE streamer ($22K… yes it is worth every penny in sound quality) is connected to a wall wart wifi extender, but with a high quality Ethernet cable to that. Yes, the Ethernet cable mattered.

My rule of thumb is, in general, streamer = DAC = preamp = amp in investment and wires should be around 10% of components to be optimal. They must be carefully chosen to be compatible, But that has worked for me multiple times.

“I still use the old coax from the router to the streamer”

I believe you’re referring to LAN (ethernet) cable not good ole COAX. For a source like Vault, head over to Amazon and purchase LINKUP - Cat8 Ethernet Patch Cable in 22AWG (yellow sleeve). Mind you, this cable is pretty stiff, if you prefer a flexible cable, try the 26AWG version (blue sleeve).

Not mystifying to me.  I use an Audioquest silver plated cable in that location.  I use silver plated for all digital signals.

A computer network is a computer network no matter the application. For streaming the key thing is that the network is able to provide the music data stream fast enough to avoid dropouts or delays or prevent the streamer from switching to lower resolution to help it deliver data for analog conversion fast enough.

Otherwise the other aspect maybe worth consideration is if noise picked up on the network wire somehow leaks into the streamer’s music making circuitry where the analog music is made and causes jitter. Most good streamers should do a good job of isolating the music making circuit from the data network. So the key is a good quality streamer and modern jitter resistant DAC which is a fairly common thing these days. Do the homework when buying.  Sites that test streamers and DACs for things like jitter are great resources to help with buying decisions  

Trying to make a computer network itself “sound better” by reducing inherent noise at source is possible but not something I would worry about personally in most cases, but of course I know there are those who will. So do whatever seems to work but all that should be needed is a streamer that is truly good quality and designed to not let noise on the network leak into its music making circuitry and/or a modern jitter resistant DAC.