Value of a premium Ethernet cable

In my current setup, digital music from a Roon ROCK NUC server travels through an Uptone Audio EtherRegen and a short link of fiber, thence to a long stretch of ordinary contractor-grade Cat 5a cable, and finally to a dCS Bartók streaming DAC.


At substantial effort and expense, I could rearrange things so the final length of Ethernet would be replaced by a single run of something like an Audioquest Vodka Ethernet cable. I'm wondering if anyone has experience of whether this is worth the trouble and expense. Well mostly the expense; the "trouble" is the hobby part of it.



Comparing Ethernet to fibre is not straightforward: much depends on the FMCs and their power supplies. Often fibre is accused of being somewhat bland relative to an optimal ethernet connection; conversely getting an optimal ethernet connection takes a lot more effort. If your streamer accepts it, fibre is the easier, but may not be the better solution. (btw, I do not understand where you use the ethernet connection, I assume from the end post FMC to the streamer?) 

@antigrunge2 thanks for your insight…my set up is:  mesh router-ethernet-FMC-fiber-FMC-ethernet-Bricasti M5 network streamer-USB-Dac….both FMC’s on LPS and Bricasti has built in LPS.  I have tried different quality ethernet cables within this set up and couldn’t discern any SQ difference.  Is that due to fiber doing it’s job or just my system not up to the task? Thanks


your streamer is good, if you feel like experimenting, get an Lhyaudio SW-6 or Uptone Etherregen in lieu of the second FMC. It MAY, and I don’t say it will - improve SQ through the built in ethernet isolator plus reclocker and thereby make differences more audible.

I'm sure I'll get flamed, but...the file delivered to your streamer is bit checked and once the streamer has what it needs it plays whatever it was sent, no matter what cable delivered it. 

Cables matter, I am not a cable naysayer, but if you can stream 4K video successfully over wifi, then an audio file is a piece of cake, so a decent quality ethernet cable (I use Blue Jeans) is all you need. 

Power supplies, downstream cables, the DAC etc. all matter - more.



the bits are bits argument has been roundly defeated. Along with the bits travel ground level and EFI/RFI interferences that wreak havoc with the shape of the sine wave being transmitted leading to serious issues at the D/A conversion stage with deleterious outcomes on SQ. Cables and clocking matter.