EnKlein Technology and Innovation

Digital Source Challenges

Digital sources are widespread in the 21st century.  They have benefitted from the technical renaissance. However, not all communication technology is equal.  This is not a discussion on a vendor's implementation prowess.

 This is a commentary on transmission medium and protocols. This falls within ISO-OSI  models layers 1 through 4, also known as the transport model.  This is the main reason Dave K often refers to cabling as “Transport,” implying the lower levels of the model. Very few people understand that ISO-OSI Is a standardized model for effective communication between engineers and scientists. Let the coders dispute the relevance of layers 5-7 in modern application development.

Let’s simplify everything by creating two groups based on the physical layout; one is called point-to-point, and the other is multipoint.


  • Point-to-point has the advantage of isolation from a network.  The transmission lines are between two devices only. This group includes fiber optic, SPDIF,  AES/EBU, and USB 2.0, which are common in audio systems.

  • Multipoint has the advantage of multiple devices sharing the same transport medium where all devices can interact. Let's add ethernet to this group, as it is the most readily available physical implementation.

Ethernet uses the TCP/IP stack and has the highest possible bitrate and capacity in high-fidelity equipment, as commercial-grade fiber optic is out of reach.  Ethernet has an internal issue at its core, not a typo.  The fact that two or more devices can talk concurrently on a simplex network has disastrous results for streaming music and video.  This event is called a collision. When a collision is detected, all devices on the network stop communicating for a randomly generated period to avoid more collisions! Yes, your data stream is interrupted.  Ethernet collision increases as more devices are added to the network.  Some people may think they are safe as they have multiple “Switches” in their network.  A managed switch/router only repeats data along an ethernet path when the address corresponds to a device on the leg of the network.  The truth is you would have to know how to administer the network and be able to afford a managed switch.  Most devices repeat messages along the chain.  

Ethernet with a few devices can stream up to 40% of the bandwidth with another catch.  Low-cost cabling and devices can create false collision detections.  This happens more than you would anticipate, even on commercial systems.  The industry doesn’t like customers to realize that 40% of the total available bitrate is limiting.  The industry responds by increasing data rates, ever notice the data rates are intentionally backward compatible and may support 1/10/100/1000 Mbps devices.  The service falls to the rate of the slowest device on the network segment.  This is not advertised in large print for the same reason online consumer agreements are so long and detailed that we click ok.  You get what you pay for if…

EnKlein Ethernet cabling is designed to reduce false collisions by entering a zero reference point in the cable grounding design. We can assist your dealer with recommended switches, routers, and access points to meet your end client's needs.  Often, the straightforward implementation of the EnKlein ethernet cable between the access point and streamer is enough.

Point to Point is another popular and effective communication technique with simplex, half, and complete duplex varieties. Protocol control is often used to prevent data collisions. However, the metallic interfaces are prone to acting as EMI absorption antenna.  Think about it: a dipole antenna is two parallel wires.  

Geometry is crucial for digital transport, possibly not in the way you imagine.  Picture your favorite digital cable with highly visible geometric curves.

Do you remember Einstein’s famous relativity discussions; imagine yourself as the size of an electron; can you see the twists?  No, for the same reason, people standing on the ground reckoned the earth was flat until science proved otherwise. Understanding the nature of perspective observation is essential to comprehending wave and particle physics. 

The point-to-point transceiver in your equipment must have clarity to determine the nature of a symbol transmitted along your digital cabling.  Introducing a new term or symbol, think of the computer 1s and 0s as positive, negative, or nothing. Nothing is the space between symbols.  Your transceiver has to determine the value to recreate the music readily. When the transceiver is uncertain, the packet of data is lost!  This is not conducive to high-quality streaming!

EnKlein Digital cables are designed utilizing multiple perspective measurements and their relationship in 5 dimensions to engineer exemplary construction techniques and material requirements for every use case.

This website abides by Google/YouTube policies for embedded videos.  Please see our privacy policy for details.