Ethernet cables - YOUR LISTENING Shooutout Summary

Hi everyone

Ok, I know. But I think it’s time we have a grown up thread on Ethernet cables - seriously, I believe we can. Why would I otherwise do this to you in the face of all recent misfortune?

I suggest the following fairly simple additional rules to adhere to for this thread in particular. Please ONLY participate if you agree:

DO:

1. ONLY share YOUR ACTUAL LISTENING experience in YOUR system (no general thoughts, reviews or what others said). This does not necessarily need to be an A-B straight testing or all on the same day, no blind testing required (but welcome, of course).

2. ONLY comment on SOUND quality (not cost, value for money, technical specs discussion etc.)

3. Share the top 1-3 KEY SOUND CHARACTERISTICS that stand out for you for each cable (not long descriptions). Clearly, what you hear is relative to the cables your compare and specific to your mix. Keep it simple.

4. Provide SOME DETAIL - at a minimum: where the ethernet cable comes from (e.g. which switch), the cable model and length, and where it goes to (e.g. which streamer)

5. State your TOP PREFERENCE or if you would like to rank/score the cables you have tried in order of preference, and what made you choose your favourite, if you have one

DO NOT:

1. If you have not heard any difference (or very little etc.), just state it but do not explain that this is because it’s not possible to hear a difference (and why). No general statements on the topic of cables (only share your experience (see DOs N1)

2. Do not challenge others’ listening experience, expertise or preference (but ask clarification questions by all means). There are no opinion leaders and super experts in this thread

3. Do not doubt anyone’s system ability to reveal differences

4. Do not engage to reply to posts that you feel do not adhere to above rules to “fix” it, just move on

Ok, I managed more DOs than DON"Ts, good start. I am sure not perfect, may be somewhat overlapping here and there, but hope you get the idea.

… Let’s go.


So, let me start with mine as an example to show what I have in mind:

All my impressions are from cables between a Chord EE 8switch and NDX2. I pulled out several cables I am using around the house. Not compared in a single session, no blind testing:

  • No Name 5e, 1 metre (a generic cable I found for reference) - does the job, but feels clearly quieter and dull compared to the rest

  • Audioquest Forest, 3 metres - more detail and life than No Name, feels a bit harsh with some recordings? very acceptable.

  • Audioquest Cinnamon, 8 metres - similar to Forest, not much to separate, may be better mids?

  • Audioquest Vodka 0.75 metre - very likeable, nice full, round tones and may be best pianos, top end feels bright rather than transparent

  • Chord C-Stream, 1 metre - no particular flaws, not particularly exciting either, could live with it in a brighter system? I once previously had a Chord Epic, which I remember I liked, but somehow this one reminded me that the Epic too was not really … well, exciting. I would like to listen to the Signature?

  • Wireworld Starlight, 1 metre and 2 metres - feels a bit flatter than the Vodka? Best upper mids and highs - transparent and light, great long decays, no harsh brightness. Could not hear any difference between 1M and 2M

My choice between these - the Starlight, for the balance, air and transparency at the top end, lifting the music with no harshness! Next - Vodka, next may be C-Stream but not sure?

I may add a cable or two over the next days … if the thread survives!

That’s it. Your turn. Keep it simple and enjoy the thread, hope useful too!

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Qed to chord c stream via Cisco 2960. The chord sounds more natural with slightly better bass

5 metres of chord c stream from router to tp link switch then 1.5 metres of Audioquest vodka to Melco n100 Then 0.75 metre Melco own to my nd5xs2. Sounds good to me! Most recent addition was the chord c stream as the distance from router to hi fi is greater since room rearranging, it replaced an ordinary cable and it lifted t the sound just a little bit more.

:small_blue_diamond:@PatM,…Excellent,.OP takes the helm :+1:t2:.

Hope it works this time.
Really looking forward to reading about all the REAL ACTUAL LISTENING REVIEWS/EXPERIENCE,.which you write in your simple rules.

Here We Go…
/Peder :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m a bit different as most of my music is stored on an internal 1TB M2 SSD in my NUC so almost all my streaming is video and audio combined but I have tried to optimise this the best I can.
What I use is 3m Supra Cat 8 with Telegartner plugs to connect my NUC straight to my Virgin Superhub 1 with IFI psu. I’ve tried a lot of combinations but this is what gives me the most realistic sound :scream:
I was bitten by the switch bug and have now tried cheap TP link, netgear and cisco ones and two Cisco 2960’s. All the switches have made my system sound harsher and more fatiguing so have been removed.
I have not tried two Cisco 2960’s together as some seem to prefer. The first 2960 was chucked in the bin as it actually made my system sound worse so I thought it was faulty. Then purchased another new old stock one and it sounded excactly the same :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
On the cable front, in various combinations with and without switches I’ve tried generic CAT5E, CAT6, Supra CAT8 with Telegartner plugs, Designacable Catsnake and Supra CAT8 with Supra plugs. The Supra CAT 8 with Telegartner plugs gives me the most full bodied sound so has stayed.
I’ve given up messing with my setup for over 6 months and now dread the day I have to replace my Superhub as might have to go through all this again :sob:
To me there appears to be no one size fits all solution that suits everybody and it’s all system dependant.

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I’ll give this thread one week before implosion!

Good luck Pat, I hope it survives.

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@andreweverard is going to sum this up by the sound of it in the latest Hifi Critic magazine. :+1:t2:

I’m just one cog in the wheel of what is a pretty extensive piece in the subject.

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Maybe 3 days…

Your findings maybe my next purchase, it’s on your head! No pressure! :crazy_face::joy:

No seriously, I am looking forward to your findings.
:+1:t2:

I plan on trying a Shunyata Ethernet cable soon. Impressed with some of their other stuff I have.

Cat6a BJC Cisco 2690. Better that no-name cable into net gear switch. It’s been said before, but it’s better.

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I hope your proof reading ensures everyone on the forum is happy…best of luck Andrew😉

It’s going to be worded like Boris Johnson’s statement…

It’s better, it’s not better,
It shouldn’t be but it is,
It’s maybe but depends,
It’s not but it most definitely is! :rofl:

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My preferences for cables I’ve tried at home are below.

Switches: HP ProCurve, transports: Mac mini & Sonore microRendu, electronics: Chord Blu2>DAVE>Etude on Naim Fraim, speakers: Magnepan.

  1. Blue Jeans Cables Cat 5e
  2. BT Connectix Cat 6a (aka Magic Patch Lead)
  3. Supra Cat 8
  4. Duronic Cat 6a
  5. Audioquest Vodka

No apparent difference between BJC Ca5e & BT Connectix Cat 6a. Supra & Duronic were also fine, but didn’t like terminators so was uneasy with them. Didn’t like AQ Vodka. .

(Attended comparison of Chord Company streaming cables at HiFi show & preferred C-Stream to more expensive offerings; it was hard to hear differences & demo system was too bright for my taste).

My final choice is to use BT Connectix Cat 6a for my LAN and BJC Cat 5e patch leads to connect HiFi to LAN.

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The OP has written what rules apply,and they are easy to understand.

But interesting that it was different results in soundquality,.with the same cable,but with different contacts.
This I think was never tested in the long…
“Ethernet Switch and Cables Mania”-thread.

/Peder🙂

Interesting how few people so far have followed the request to give full information… I have nothing to contribute myself as I haven’t compared cables - but then my only serious playing is from my own store which is in the same box as the renderer, so not going across a network at all.

However, if the OP would accept an additional suggestion, it would be good to know if any experiences have been confirmed blind in any way, to give objectivity.

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So far 14 out of 18 posts broke the OPs rules (including this one).

But that will become 14 out of 17 when Tibeerio deletes his post.

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Well, there’s a challenge and a half :wink:

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