Ethernet Cable and USB type


Ouch! £679 for 0.75m!


no regret however, for me it works! better than 2 different cat 7 i had before, and better vs vodka or meicord opal. In another league definitely. I need only 2X 0,75m.


I asked my Dealer why when they had the option to use USB or Ethernet to connect a music server to ND555 they preferred the Ethernet - they said it sounded better. I had a few demos and although I’d not say exhaustively conclusive it did always give better timing and clarity via Ethernet. My opinion is that Ethernet offers a balanced connection so you get better potential isolation, depending on the cable you choose, as the screen may bridge the boxes.

My own experiments so far have let me to prefer old CAT5 cable over CAT7 and CAT6 types which tend respectively toward harsh or bland in my system. I’m sure someone has made a better cable but a couple of HiFi ones I heard did not merit purchase and just added zing and unwanted chrome to the sound and lost the organic neutrality I get with CAT5.

I aim eventually to try CAT5e of a few different lengths to see if I can improve on what I use at present (1m CAT5). I’ll also try some expensive other Ethernet HiFi cable to see if they are better and worth it.

But some of this is taste - I’ve been told that some people prefer a brighter presentation that for me verges on unlistenable - and also the removal of some low-level and especially low-frequency music info that seems to beneficially be rendered on my system can elsewhere sound dull and overbearing - so you may choose a cable depending on the signature of the rest of your system and personal preference of music presentation.

But nice to know a cable costing almost nothing keeps things going here. :bear:



Just for the record, I didn’t suggest that metal connectors in ethernet cables can cause sibilance. In fact I have experienced good results with posh Audioquest cables (Cinnamon and Vodka) but the impact of boutiques ethernet cables seems to be both ‘system’ and ‘personal preference’ dependent, hence the varied responses from many on here.

I only wish I got the best sound from cheap CAT5 cables, alas not for me.


I just found and tried CAT5e cable about the same length (just over 1m) and first impressions are good, in that it has not lost focus (like the CAT6 did) or gained an overlay of glare (like the CAT7) of previous Ethernet cables I tied into the ND555.

It still surprised me there are any differences but they are there and easy to hear. The CAT5e shares the homogeneous ‘togetherness’ quality of the CAT5 but seems a bit clearer without losing anything. These tests sometimes take a day or two when there are extra gains to decide if over time there are also losses. We tend (or more specifically I tend) to immediately hear any positive changes but omissions of music rendering at low-level sometimes takes time to realise - usually I find I’m not enjoying the music as much - replace the ‘upgrade’ and immediately hear what was wrong.

But so far so good - hopefully CAT5e is not so far from CAT5 in spec that there should be negative differences.
The music is presented in a full nothing held-back way that I personally prefer and that sits well with the Active system which can handle that.
Some of the other cables - in fact all so far - seems to ‘constrain’ the music as if it has to behave itself and I find that tiresome over time - like a band that is playing too up-tight until they relax and let things flow.



I strongly advise against audiophile streaming cables (AQ Forest is very poor for example when Fluke tested) and get a proper fully qualified Ethernet cable. Blue Jeans Cables will supply one with a Fluke test certificate. Admittedly they are not cheap: a cat 5e 1m patch lead will set you back £7 and cat 6a will set you back £14. They use Sentinel RJ45 plugs. There are other brands available and, if in the UK, Cable Monkey are very helpful and can supply excellent cables. BJC ships worldwide.

{if anybody is wondering I have Ethernet cables in a range of colours and can detect no audible difference between the colours, though it would not surprise me in the least if a reviewer in HiFi Comic claimed he could}

In general, from my experience, there is not only no advantage from buying expensive cables, but also they can make things sound worse.

Still that’s only my opinion and the best way to find out for sure is try yourself and see. You can usually return cables and get your money back if they are unsuitable.

If you decide to run Coax between Zen & Nova then I’d go for Canare.


Today I moved an Innuos Zenith mk 2 into the digital rack and incorporated an Audiophilleo + PurePower both mk 2 (it’s a high quality USB to spdif converter) into position behind and on the BNC input of my nDAC. This converter is brilliant.

I have a Cisco 2960 8be switch. I tried my AQ Forest Ethernet first as I wanted a longer cable. Lots of detail still but not so good in the mid to higher frequencies. I then found a 3m cat 5 and Urika! Actually better than the one metre I started with. The sound difference is not subtle. The Ethernet switch, NAS and hub are on the dirty ring main. The dirty things like the NAS are on the hub. The Innuos is now on the clean switch and powered by the dedicated supply because it has three medical grade Linear Power Supplies inside.

When your system is finely tuned it responds noticeably to things being wrong. It’s not worth getting uptight that others have contrary experiences.

As Chrissu said start with the basics and try options with the help of your friendly dealer.



:small_blue_diamond: Audiolabs Silver,…This came from USA today,I’ll try it against my Audioquest Diamond 0,75m.

Audiolabs Silver is 1,25m.

"Prophecy CryoSilver™ Reference CAT8+/RJ-45 i2s Ethernet Digital Link cable

Completely new, updated design for 2018. Whereas our previous design is widely considered the gold standard,this revision takes performance to a whole new level.

Deep cryogenic treated 5N pure solid core CryoSilver™ conductors, Big Air™ dielectrics, Mil. Spec. shieldings (solid and braided OFC). Finest ultra high quality premium German-made heavy cast solid metal shell connector.
The connector is extremely effective at providing outstanding shielding characteristics,while its high mass reduces the unwanted affects of vibration,and is extremely rugged and well made for many years of trouble-free servic.
Compared to the frail and delicate nature of typical low-cost RJ-45 connectors.

The interior cavity is potted by our injection process with an aerospace dielectric compound, further reducing vibration and resonance, and increasing reliability through providing mechanical stress relief.
Internal solderless terminations are treated with Walker Audio Extreme SST™ contact enhancer during cable fabrication.
Ceramic MicroSphere™ conduit for dissipation of vibration and resonance…
Anthony Perrotta of Perrotta Consulting, North American distributor for North Star Design, says our RJ-45 i2s Ethernet cable aptly outperforms the >$2K White Gold i2s cable commissioned by North Star Design.
Also available in our unshielded version for applications where so recommended (such as with certain MSB units)."

There will be some interesting days :stuck_out_tongue:.

/Peder :slightly_smiling_face:


:small_blue_diamond: And here is my,…AudioQuest Diamond 0,75 cm.



Oh no….it is ethernet cablegate all over again!

It will end in tears, it always does.

Anyway, my ethernet cable is bigger than yours, so there!


Arriving hopefully tomorrow :thinking:
Will post findings versus the Chord Sarum and prior Indigo also tried Supra, Amazon, old Sky lead.


If you ignore the marketing guff (and Synergistic seem to lead the field here) then you could achieve the same by fiddling around with some bog standard off the shelf Ethernet cables. CAT 5E, 6 and 7 have the potential to sound slightly ‘different’, as do shielded vs non shielded. Pick up a few ferrite cores too and experiment with them on the cables. Plenty of fun to be had (if that floats your boat) and at considerably less cost - icing on the cake differences rather than night and day of course…


:small_blue_diamond: NigelB,…I don’t really understand your comment,when members here write 30-40 posts or more about expensive Sony NW-WM1Z,or FOCAL UTOPIA…or even more expensive ND555.
Then I see no comments that you wrote…

“Anyway, my Ethernet cable is bigger than yours, so there!”

:black_small_square:NigelB,….So you’ll probably have to explain,…I don’t know how to interpret your post.

:small_blue_diamond: NigelB,…If I will interpret your post in my way so I experience it strange and rude.



Fortunately in New Zealand, we only have regular cables, so the choice is easy.


Peder, its called british humour, a joke. HiFi & life around this forum is never so serious.


Well I did get a few likes from my comments, so I guess some out there got my sense of humour. It appears that it went over your head though.

You must interpret my comments how you wish but I can assure you there was no intention to be rude.

I do however find your final comment a little rude, if I am honest.


Understandably, not everyone understands British humour which sometimes boarders on the sarcastic, and as Peder did, took the comments the wrong way. His seemingly rude comments back only reflected his lack of understanding. It’s an international forum so allowances must be made. Rich


Very funny (assume it’s made up and not a real product), but I fear some people really believe such marketing and buy these things. Crafty last sentence as MSB specifically advises against such cables with its kit. I use Sonore µRendu who again advise using qualified Ethernet cables and say cables like the above (if they were real) will degrade performance because of metal contacts.

As connections move from analogue to digital, it is a worry for those live by selling esoteric cables. Whereas arguments for expensive analogue cables can seem plausible and a signal can degrade in this environment could have Creedence, in a digital world such things no longer apply. So marketers have to become even more inventive with their words - I love the phrases “ceramic microsphere conduit” and “extreme SST contact enhancer”. But the sentence “the interior cavity is potted by our injection process with an aerospace dielectric compound” takes the biscuit for me.

In UK, Advertising Standards has stopped some companies calling their network cables, Ethernet cables. This because they do not come up to standard - hence their use of the phrase “streaming cables”. I’ve no idea how these Fluke test, but a report would be interesting to see.

It is individual choice what they buy, of course, but as we say in UK “caveat emptor”.



But let’s not take this hobby/pastime/interest of ours too seriously. I do find the forum very informative but I also appreciate its entertainment value too. So I am all for keeping it light, polite and occasionally humorous.

I understand that some of our overseas forumites (and even some domestic ones) might not always ‘get’ or appreciate the British sense of humour, which occasionally can boarder on sarcasm, I will admit… All I would say that if a comment is not understood, then seek clarification and do not immediately assume the author is being rude.


I guess the late and great Tommy Cooper never quite became successful in Scandinavia…your avatar is the clue for us Brits. Keep it up Nigel.