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.


a sine wave in a digital file

*the digital representation of a sine wave in a digital file

The difference between a trash amazon ethernet cable and a Audioquest Cinnamon is substantial.

The difference between a Cinnamon and a Diamond Audioquest on my rig is not so substantial (quite subtle actually).

Essentially, it comes down to the resolution of you room+rig (the pre-requisite), i.e., how nitpicky you want to be. To improve a room’s resolution, it costs a lot for treatments that actually work. But, the latter tends to trump any gains from the likes of cables by a lot.

I accept that many believe digital music is 1s and 0s arriving at the DAC.

This hasn't been anywhere near my experience.  The best explainer I've found which can explain the impact of noise, jitter and phase noise on digital signals is this Hans Beekhuyzen video:


@lollipopguild Interesting video and I read the white paper, thanks for sharing.

I am not one that believes digital music is just 1s and 0s arriving at the DAC. As an example, my BS Node 130 sounded obviously better with an LPS upgrade, which is actually discussed in the video (AC leakage). I use a Zavfino PC for my DAC, Zavfino interconnects and USB cable. The USB cable sounded much better than a pricey SPIDF cable. The DAC is on Symposium Roller Blocks and a Svelte base.

The etherREGEN device looks interesting.

@deep_333 I didn't hear any obvious difference streaming over WiFi vs. ethernet, but I will a/b test this more closely for fun. 

I have ordered an AQ Cinnamon ethernet cable. I'll compare it with my Blue Jeans Belden cable and report back. I can return it if I don't hear any difference.   

Don't dismiss the LHY SW-8 or their new SW-6 Network Switch.  Very good performance for the money.  The SW-8 was a step up from using a fiber optic link for me.  The fiber optic link was a big step up from a direct ethernet connection from router to music server/streamer.  Not only that but I found the SW-8 does wonders for streaming video on my TV.  The picture looks like a photograph in motion.

The silver plated wire in the AQ Cinnamon and the Pangea SE ethernet cables make a difference too.  The Pangea and the AQ Cinnamon Ethernet cables were very close to my ears.  The Pangea are directional too but are not marked.  In one direction the highs were harsh and unpleasant but in the other direction the cables sound good.  It was not a subtle difference.  With the Pangea SE connected backwards, a $5 ethernet cable will outperform it.  I am not overstating that.