Ethernet cables

Hello everybody!

I would like to have your opinions about Ethernet cables. I recently saw some silly expensive Ethernet cables! Do you think it is worth spending a huge amount for a cable which transfers data? Your thoughts please! 
Thank you!


I do not believe in audible differences between 2 properly made Ethernet cables of Cat6 or better. What I do believe in is never using the absolute cheapest example either. So I settled on Belden cat 6e. Belden individually tests each cable to ensure it’s up to proper spec. I chose cat 6e over 7 or 8 because there’s some evidence that the extra shielding in 7-8 can potentially cause ground loop issues. And cat 6e avoids this and is WAY faster than your music is streaming. It’s my opinion you can’t do better for an Ethernet cable. And it’s about $30 shipped.


By all means spend $2000 on a data cable if you just like having cool, expensive cables. Nothing wrong with that if you can afford it. But I do not think your $2000 Ethernet cable is getting you any actual advantages. 


Not many spend $2000 on an ethernet cable. Those who do, will have systems to match. And the effect of the cable would be noticeable compared to the Belden.

The Belden is a reasonable start.

My Triode Wire Labs ’Freedom’ have also been good value, in keeping with my system cost.

Going down the digital path for several years now, I've made a number of changes from DAC's to music-server/streamers, and the cabling that goes along with them.  There has been a lot of good information rendered in this topic.  What I have found on my digital journey is that while cabling does make a noticeable difference, getting a good solid digital equipment foundation is more important, then honing it with the right support components like cables.  The DAC changes I've made seem to have made the most noticeable difference in sound improvement.  Then going to a better music-server/streamer and re-clocking the USB signal certainly improved the sound.  Then I worked on improving the USB signal from the server to the DAC with different cables.  The improvement in streaming in my system happened last not with a new streamer but with changes upstream in the digital signal.  When I listened to the exact same song loaded onto my music-server/streamer, then streamed from QoBuz that same song through the same device, the streamed music left something to be desired.  Adding in an Ethernet re-generator from the modem to the music-server/streamer brought the listening between the two sources much closer and difficult to discern.  At that point, I felt that changing out the Ethernet cabling would be next., so I tried an Ethernet cable that was notably more expensive than my present rather inexpensive one and I noticed a slight improvement in micro-detail bringing the music experience to what I was hearing just from the loaded music on the music-server.  At this point, I don't think I can improve the sound from either music loaded on the music-server or the streamed music unless I start changing out equipment in the digital path.  (like a DAC or music-server/streamer)  What this experimentation taught me was getting better USB and Ethernet clocking/lowering jitter, and noise reduction made the most difference and allowed me to then hone-in on other changes like cabling to squeeze out the remaining sonic improvement.  In essence, get your digital components the best you can, then do your tweaking with cables...  

Yes of course they matter and so many here with good systems can hear that.  Easy to ignore those that can not hear it.  But what really matters is the LAST ethernet cable going into your streamer.  I use good but reasonably priced Link-Up 22 g cat 8 from Amazon for my long runs from computer room to music systems.  Then I have a Network Acoustics Muon Pro filter between that and the streamer.  One of the reasons this Muon works so well is the fixed high end ethernet cable coming out of it and going into the streamer.   I use no cheap wall couplings and run the long wires through the wall directly to the Muon.  It sounds better than without it.  I also just upgraded the very stock 13" piece of ethernet cable INSIDE the Grimm MU1 with a Kubala Sosna Realization ethernet cable.  Wow.  So much smoother and fuller sounding.  See, the cheap cable was AFTER the Muon Pro and again degrading the sound.  You don't have to rewire the whole house (although i did with the Link-Up vs the old cheap wire), just put a meter or two of nice wire right before the streamer.   Use a good coupler, like JCAT Net Isolator, not a cheap wall plate.  Or, consider the Muon Filter as this helps in a couple of mysterious ways, one being the quality cable.

it is never worth spending a 'huge' amount of money on any cable, lan cables included - relative to the rest of your system, your major components

but it IS absolutely worth spending a decent/reasonable amount of money to make sure you have good quality cables, well constructed, using quality materials

how much is reasonable? it depends on your ears your system your spending power....