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.



If you think you are getting noise into your analog system via the Ethernet, I suggest you have a crappy Ethernet NIC so you are expecting magic cables to fix a bad design.

I’m sure I was getting noise from my Panoramic modem that the streamer is plugged into directly.

The magic Ethernet cable cost $130, came with a 60 day no questions asked return policy and absolutely sounded better than the $20 Belden cable.

No placebo effect, and my bias was in fact against the magic cable - I wanted to send it back.

Tomorrow I will be trying out a black-magic Ethernet cable to compare with the magic cable, also returnable.

Either way this was a low cost solution that didn’t require another powered device that I have no room and no spare outlets for.

Yes, there is abundance of snake oil in this industry but there are also plenty of really effective reasonably priced products.


@macg19 try giving a value Amazon optical set up a try.  Under $100 without LPS. Couple hundred with an LPS. Some like it others don’t and it’s returnable.  Worked wonders for me. Set up is  router-ethernet cable- FMC-Optical cable- 2nd Fmc - best ethernet cable- streamer. 

FMC Need 2:  

Optical cable Need 1:
LPS Optional but worth it , powers 2 FMC’s need 2 cords.


So far, no one has alluded on which type of Ethernet cable is better than others for high end audio.

Jussi Laako - the owner of Signalyst (HQPlayer - a product that I like) has done a lot of research on the pre-DAC part of the signal and signal transfer.

He recommends using CAT6 / 6A U/UTP (plastic connector ends. No shielded cables like STP or F/FTP).

No one has eluded because in truth, CAT-3 is more than what is needed.  This is just another "reaching for magic" topic by well meaning folks who do not understand how Ethernet works.  That extends to a lot of equipment makers apparently. 

Cost has come down, so no harm in running 6a if it makes you feel good and future proofs you. 

Another Freddy. @tvrgeek just let people do what they want to do. Why do you have to piss in everyone's Wheaties?