Ethernet cable. Cat6 or 6a

Ordered as above. Thanks for the info and advice. I will keep following if the debates continue.

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It’s not really worth bothering following the science vs. magic debate.

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You have lost your time. When you will receive later the Blue Jeans cat 6a, you will realize that standard cat 6 sound crap. Or not, if you are very very lucky to find the right one.
As often, someone who shows his technical knowledge will be more trusted by other.
Hopefully, the cables you ordered cost nothing.

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Indeed. I originally ordered BJC Cat6, following technical advice from a variety of people, including the owner of BJC. When others here and elsewhere reported finding Cat6a sounded better, my curiosity eventually got the better of me and - like you - I found the Cat6a sounded much better in my system.

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I agree that it would be helpful if people said more about their systems when commenting on cables, switches etc. It would, however, be equally helpful if they mentioned their musical taste and sonic preferences. Someone looking for a dramatic soundstage and strong detail effects for electronica, for example, could be looking for something very different from a lover of string quartets who hankers for purity of instrumental timbre…

Excellent plan - I think that’s the best way to go.
The Magic Patch Leads from Cable Monkey are excellent and worth every penny over cheaper leads.

@Michaelb - I did outline my musical tastes in an earlier thread - please click here if interested

My view, FWIW, is unless there’s a statistically significant stratified random sample of listeners agreeing one digital cable is better than another then results of one person’s listening tests aren’t useful to another in determining which they’d prefer (if any) - different room, different systems, different ears. Posts about the resuklts may be interesting if explained well, as indeed yours are.

I’d expect an expert listener to be able to tell which cable is in use by listening in the way a wine connoisseur can tell the vintage and grape variety by tasting. I doubt there are many who could. However, the way to know if one prefers New Zealand Savinugon Blanc to the same wine from an expensive French vineyard is to taste it. And so with cables - listen rather than taste.

I have heard cables from two of the often recommended audiophile cable assemblers and neither impressed. I’ve reached the point that if there are better cables than ones I’m using I’ve ceased to care as I’m more than happy with what I have.

Good point. Also relevant of course is whether people like their music as close as possible to the recording, or whether they like the colouration some things may introduce. (A bit like some people prefer highly coloured speakers over neutral ones, exaggerated mid bass conveying more of the rhythm, or the changes imparted by MQA compared to the unadulterated hi res file.)

I recall one description of the effect of ground-plane RF modulation in a DAC causing ground plane modulation of the analogue signal which apparently some people perceive as sounding ‘brighter’ - which in turn some people prefer. And RF or other electrical noise superimposed on the digital signal entering a susceptible DAC is precisely the sort of thing that network cables and switches may alter, either adding, blocking or filtering selectively, so potentially affecting perceived ‘brightness’ - and to one person that may sound better, to another it may sound worse!

I was referring to standard cheap cat 6 in general, vs the cat 6a of Blue Jeans.

I have ordered BJC cat6a to use between the NAS - switch - 272 surely these are the most important areas to use better cables. The other bog standard cat6 cables are for the rest of my network and won’t influence audio replay. Unless a cat6a would be beneficial between router and switch?

For me yes, even between router and switch.
Sorry if I didn’t understood well what you have ordered.

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If you’re playing music from your NAS through your Switch to your 272 then music data will not go near your router. You could disconnect your router while playing music and not using the Internet if you wished - although if you are using your router for WiFi then a wireless control point (iPad etc) will not work.

If bog standard = Cable Monkey Magic Path Leads then these are excellent and do meet the standard. I have used their Connectix equivalents in mission critical applications and they have always been first class. In respect of meeting the standard they are better than the audiophile cables I’ve tried. My advice is to avoid cheap Made in China cables from large online retailers (for anything not just audio).

These are the standard ones I have ordered for the rest of the network. I presume they are the ones you suggested. BJC cat6 between router and switch and cat6a etc etc.


Yes, for the money, difficult to find better than Blue Jeans cat 6a. Or perhaps Design a cable , but have not tested.
Personally I use Audioquest vodka 1m from router to switch and Audioquest diamond X 2, 0,75 m, from streamer and Melco.
Another league for me, but 30 times more expensive.
However with a more than 20k source, 2k on Ethernet cables and switch/ Linear ps is not absurd.

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Yes they are - great choice.

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How do the Magic patch leads from Cable Monkey compare to the magic patch leads from Audioquest (Vodka, Diamond etc.) and the Chord company (Sarum, Music etc.)?

The digital domain all seems like magic to me, beats me how it all works. Its all sprinkled with magic dust as far as I can tell.

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It’s easy.

Repeat after me…
One plus one is two.
Two plus two is four.
Four plus four is…

= music???

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 the Strauss filter