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.


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.

@macg19 I can highly recommend the EtherRegen. Version 1 of it has just been made available again for a limited run. You'll have to move quickly to grab one. 

Version 2 is still work in progress

@lollipopguild @tonywinga @deep_333 

I tried the Pangea Premier SE and the AQ Cinnamon this weekend. I was using a Blue Jeans (Belken) Cat 6 ($20).

I also had a closer listen to WiFi.

I REALLY wanted to send the AQ  back, so if there was any bias...

  • The SE was a minor improvement over the BJ, hard to qualify that statement in any detail but I guess a little more "presence". There was no difference in directionality and I could find no documentation that this cable is directional.
  • WiFi and the BJ were about the same (compared directly to the AQ cable)
  • The AQ surprised me; I liked the bass response better, it was fuller (I thought I read in the EtherRegen white paper or the video, that some of the issues with interference are more likely to effect lower frequencies?) and overall I thought the music had a bit more "sparkle" (detail?).

The AQ Cinnamon is staying.

So, I definitely learned something from this thread; that everything matters EVEN ethernet cables and you don't have to have a $10K+ digital front end to hear it. 

But no, I will not be trying the AQ Diamond.

Congratulations are in order but you also have my condolences as you go deeper down the rabbit hole.  Actually it can save you money in the long run   Streaming sounds so good now I don’t need to always buy the record or CD- or download  

I always hope to be able to send back some new cable or component.   It doesn’t happen often. 

Cables just work.  The cable makers know something but they hold their cards pretty close to their vest. They don’t give away much about how their cables work. 

From Pangea

Any of our cables that have directional requirements have an arrow on one of the terminations pieces. That one is the side for output. If there’s no arrow, there’s no direction.