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!


Well made and well-shielded, not-junk ethernet cables are essential for carrying any data from point A to B. They need to meet modern standards too, as Ethernet speeds are not the same today as they were years ago. However, the stupid expensive ones are just that-- stupid. They are transmitting digital data not analog signals and will not sound better despite of all of the wild claims made by manufacturers. No one will be able to tell the difference in any true blind A-B comparison. So yes, a well-made cable should deliver data packets with fewer errors, which get corrected upon delivery BTW, but to equate the price of ethernet cables with sound quality is just more audiophile nonsense.

They are transmitting digital data not analog signals- False

If you tap into your ethernet cable do you see 0's and 1's?  You do not.  You see a square wave ranging from 5-80 MHz.  A square wave is.....wait for it.... ANALOG.  It is a wave.  It is shaped different than a sine wave but it is a wave.  It is analog.  Now since the square wave is interpreted at the receiving end as 1's and 0's it is not as susceptible to analog noise- ie. static and hiss, but the square wave's weakness is distortion causing timing and phase shifts.  And EMI or RFI can get in the line and ride all the way into your DAC, and that will affect the performance of a D/A convertor.  

No one will be able to tell the difference- False.  Better cables do a better job at interference noise rejection.  That is quite noticeable to the performance of D/A convertors, especially since lower cost DACs and music servers have little to no noise rejection on their inputs.  The higher end, more expensive DACs and Music servers have better noise rejection, isolation of the incoming signal and more often now, re-clocking.  At least they should.


Well Put! Just one problem though. They (cable sellers) are not cable manufacturers. Just like us they buy digital/data cables on amazon/ebay under $10/pc and add jacket (and heat shrink tubing) in someone’s garage or warehouse and sell them for hundreds of dollars.


We know digital/data signals are stepping/square waves in the form of discrete values, but you call those signals ANALOG? Furthermore... "the square wave’s weakness is distortion causing timing and phase shifts. And EMI or RFI can get in the line and ride all the way into your DAC"

I actually want to learn more about it. Can you give us reference links or citations or some other source of the information?

Thank you.

Network audio relies on error free bulk data transfer. When the musical data is transferred from the source to the destination the data is broken up into thousands of small data packet/frames. Each chunk of data has an associated checksum. If timing or phase errors occur causing one or more bits to be received incorrectly the checksum will fail, the packet will be discarded and eventually re-transmitted. Once a packet/frame is received at the destination it will be copied and moved around in system memory multiple times. The data will eventually be reassembled in system memory and then the process of generating an analog signal will begin.

Some one on the internet ran an experiment where he/she wrapped an electrical cable around an Ethernet cable and measured a small 60 Hz signal coming out the DAC. When the electrical cable was removed the 60 Hz signal disappeared. Maybe some one here can reproduce that experiment.