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.


@macg19 interesting how cables perform differently in different systems.  I compared Amazon cat 8 generic, BJ, Pangea SE and AQ Cin and could hear no discernible difference.  Returned them all kept Amazon. I have a Bricasti M5 network streamer with an  optical set up that might be the reason.  I did hear a difference between Wifi and cabled on my prior set up.  To each his own…

@tksteingraber I’ve got a good DAC and entry level streamer and I am going straight from a Cox Panoramic modem.

An optical switch or other audio-grade switch/filter and/or a very good streamer might render the Ethernet cable less important.


@lalitk No, thank you!

I'm not willing to spend a lot on digital at the moment after buying new speakers and amp in the last 2 months so to end up with a nice sonic upgrade for $130 is indeed a great outcome. 

Value Sonically:  ZERO. CAT-3 will do just fine. You almost can't get it so CAT-5 or 5+.  CAT 6 is what was 5+. 7 or 8 are marketing BS)  5+ has a specific bonding between pairs to keep their impedance consistent for 10G. Do you need 10G for audio?   Ethernet it packet based. Errors are fixed in the IP stack. Magic is not needed. 

Value for placebo satisfaction: Very high to some. If you believe, go for it. If it is real to you, great. 

Value for the economy: Makes someone else a lot of money and uses up what you should spend on speakers. 

Side note:    The ONLY cables that are in fact directional are either balanced cables with a isolated shield/cap bypass which can be used as a band aid for ground loop problems, or pure snake oil.  Directional? Audio is AC!