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dbastin

Ethernet cables for audio - Part A: List of cables, related info & experiences

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To accompany threads about Ethernet switches, tweaks, here is one of three threads about Ethernet Cables.

  • These are listed from highest to lowest cost. 
  • Prices are for about 1m and what I could find as a guide, not best price
  • AU$ is simply conversion from US$, £ or € - excluding shipping and import costs. 
  • Cost range is once again staggering - upto $30k.
  • This list is just for information - not my recommendations.  
  • Feel free to post your personal experience with any cable listed, eg. you upgraded to one of these listed.
  • I created a template to help post your experiences.
  • Comparisons between these cables would also be of interest.
  • Also feel free to advise where to read other peoples' experience with these cables (eg. on other forums).
  • I will add to this list and include links to reviews if I am made aware.
  • Let's try not to clutter this up with technical debates.  
  • If you wish to advise or read about why these shouldn't work, then I've created Part B for that purpose. 
  • I've also created Part C for Fibre Optical ethernet connections.
  • Please be civil and respectful to keep this resource open, and not moved into the Great Debate sub forum

 

In terms of cost, I suggest consider these cables as you would interconnects.  I suspect pricing is guided by the improvements the cable has on a system's sound quality, rather than the cost of materials and comparisons to generic ethernet data cables.  The price is the designers/manufacturors reward for achieving those improvements.

 

Some stats

  • Currently 80 cables + a few combinations with SOtM ISO Cat6.
  • Median price is about $5k
  • 60% of the cables are between $200 and $2000, the median of which is $900
  • Even with this median nearly half the cables are over $900 - $2000.

 

The List:

 

$2000 - $10300 (14)

 

  • Anzus Acoustics D-TC Supreme
  • €6.600 AU$10300
  • (DT-C powerbox or powerswitch mandatory - €23000 and €12000 respectively)

 

 

 

  • Anzus Acoustics D-TC
  • €4.400 AU$7200
  • (DT-C powerbox or powerswitch mandatory - €23000 and €12000 respectively)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Anzus Acoustics D2
  • €2.160 AU$3500
  • (upgradable with DT-C powerbox or powerswitch - €23000 and €12000 respectively)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Combos with SOtM ISO Cat6 (favourites trialled by Audio Bacon)

https://audiobacon.net/2017/07/09/sotm-iso-cat6-special-edition-the-flavors-of-audiophile-ethernet/

 

  • SOtM dCBL-CAT7 -> iSO-CAT6 -> dCBL-CAT7
  • US $1350 AU$2000

 

  • SOtM dCBL-CAT7 -> iSO-CAT6 -> Purist Audio Design CAT7 
  • US$1200 AU$1775

 

  • SOtM ISO CAT 6 special edition (ie. filter + 3 different short cables)
  • AU$1650

 

  • SOtM SE Black Cable -> iSO-CAT6 -> dCBL-CAT7
  • US$1000 AU$1475

 

$1400 - $2000 (8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$800 - 1200 (14)

 

 

  • Anzus Acoustics A2
  • €860 AU$1140

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SOtM SE Black Cable -> iSO-CAT6 -> SE Black Cable (combo tested by Audio Bacon)
  • US$650 AU$960

 

 

 

 

 

 

$500 - $750 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sablon Audio Panatela Reserva
  • US$350 AU $520
  • Audio Bacon says quite a bit better than SOtM Cat 6.

 

 

  • Purist Audio Design
  • US$350 AU$510

 

 

 

Uñder $500 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undèr $200 (13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dbastin
Tinkering and improving

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You have put in some serious work into this and hopefully it will be worth it.

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I have purchased the Shunyata Sigma Ethernet cable. I will report back when it arrives and I have evaluated it.

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Thanks for this resource - very useful. I'm testing the DH Labs "Reunion" next week (when it comes in). Likewise, will report back.

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Here's a template people may wish to use to report their trials

 

New Cable:

Connected upstream to:

Upgraded from:

Switch:

Other downstream:

Other cables you considered:

Reason for your choice:

Links to info about the new cable:

Your comments/observations:

 

Unfortunately I cant seem to cut and paste into posts using PC/Explorer, but can with Google Chrome.

 

Alternatively people can simply Quote the template and fill in what they wish - example below.

Edited by dbastin

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26 minutes ago, dbastin said:

New Cable:  Wireworld Starlight Platinum Cat 8 (Series 7) 1m & 0.5m (bought used on US AudioMart/Audiogon)

Connected upstream to:  Devialet Pro 220 & Antipodes Edge (Roon)

Upgraded from:  WW Starlight Cat 8 (Series 7)

Switch:  iinet Bob lite Belken modem functioning as switch and WIFI AP - hi end LPS, Shunyata ztron Alpha power cable, and Akiko USB tuning stick

Other downstream:  several metres of garden variety Cat 5e - to iinet Bob lite and then to main iinet modem

Other cables you considered:  Synergistic Research Atmosphere, AQ Diamond, Shunyata, SOtM - hard to find on used market.

Reason for your choice: to see what difference change to solid silver conductors made - ie. same insulation and connectors as WW Starlight.  Read reviews and observations in forums and by dealers.

Links to info about the new cable:  in the List

Your comments/observations:  Yes solid silver conductors did make a big difference (go figure), so much more info coming thru, such change in tonal signature I had to do a bit of EQ/re-tune some of the system a bit. A lot more and better midrange but a bit less sparkle high end than Starlight.  BUT ... I'm not concluding on this until I upgrade switch.

 

Edited by dbastin

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New Cable:  Wireworld Starlight Cat 8 (Series 7) 1m (bought from SNA)

Connected upstream to:  Devialet Pro 220  (Roon)

Upgraded from:  air - Wifi

Switch:  iinet Bob lite Belken modem functioning as switch and WIFI AP (40cm from Devialet Pro) - hi end LPS, Shunyata ztron Alpha power cable

Other downstream:  several metres of garden variety Cat 5e - to iinet Bob lite and then to main iinet modem

Other cables you considered:  garden variety Cat 7 or 8.

Reason for your choice: to see what difference change to sheilded cable made - before wifi I used Cat 5e.   Read reviews and observations in forums and by dealers.

Links to info about the new cable:  in the List

Your comments/observations:  WiFi is crap!  This is SO much better!

Edited by dbastin

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New Cable: DH Labs Reunion (CAT8 - silver/copper, from Reference Sound in Melb)

Connected upstream to: Audiophonics LVDS (I2S) streamer (with processing done via Roon Rock, also connected to the LAN), which connects via Shunyata Venom HDMI for I2S signal to PS Audio Stellar Gain DAC/pre, and PS Audio S300 amp, and Krix Neuphonix MkI loudspeakers

Upgraded from: stock ethernet, and AudioQuest Cinnamon (still in use to the Rock)

Switch: Google Mesh Wi-fi point

Other downstream: Short stock ethernet CAT 6(?) from NBN modem to Google Mesh Wi-fi primary point

Other cables you considered: AudioQuest Diamond

Reason for your choice: Availability, good price point, curiosity

Links to info about the new cable: https://silversonic.com/products/digital-cables/reunion-cat8-ethernet/

Your comments/observations: I wasn't sure I'd hear much of a difference, to be honest. But I have. Significant improvement over the stock ethernet cable, and definite improvement over the AQ Cinnamon. Differences include greater presence, greater musical coherence, more "pop and wow" factor (more detail, I guess), better bass definition, increased sound stage, more atmospheric, especially depth, and more distinct placement of instruments/voices in the space. I'm no audio reviewer, but that's a summation of what I'm hearing after a few days.

 

I don't know whether "burn in" is a thing with ethernet cables - I guess I'll find out. All I've managed (aside from some hours of music listening) is a few runs of the Purist Audio Design Enhancer signal material to help "get things moving" through the wires. All that said, after trialling, I bought the cable. The system sounds better with it, and that's what matters.

Edited by PMAAMP

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Wow....how much??

 

I've just bought the Supra Cat 8 recommended by Audio Bacon so I'll be interested if I hear any diff Vs my generics; according to his website I should so fingers crossed.

 

Reading the review on AB, I'd like to try the SOtM Black SE but it doesn't look like you can buy it seperately...well I coujldnt find it?

 

Cheers

Matt

 

 

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19 hours ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

I'd like to try the SOtM Black SE but it doesn't look like you can buy it seperately...well I coujldnt find it?

When I enquired with Crux Audio I recall they said it is possible to buy a single Black cable. Audio Bacon has also noted the Linear Solution ethernet cable as excellent value.  From reading a fair bit of Audio Bacon I gather Audio Bacon reference ethernet cables have been SOtM Cat 7, Synergistic Reserach Atmosphere Reference and most recently JCAT Signature.

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I'll see how the Supra Cat 8 performs Vs the 10% silver Cat 8 from Canada. All the others on Audio Bacon are just too expensive for me right now.

 

But I just found this so maybe I'll keep a look out for the The Linear Solutions cable.

 

image.png.bd06e65b88639050b20e6f326beae5a0.png

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@mattjtaylor2809

That's what I was referring to.

 

I'm curious what cable the Canadian is using.  

 

Pure silver conductors appear to be best, ie WW Platinum, PAD and now JCat Signature.  The rest seems to be clever combinations of shielding, grounding, dielectrics and sometimes unique geometry.  And ocassionally a clever filter sych as Shunyata and Synergistic Research.

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New Cable: DH Labs Reunion Cat 8

Connected upstream to: Kii three/BXT system and Sony HAP-Z1ES.

Upgraded from: Stock Kii cables.

Switch: N/A

Other downstream: Curious USB evolved.

Other cables you considered: Nordstrom Heimdall 2- but probably too expensive for an initial shot over the bow.

Reason for your choice: @PMAAMP ‘s recommendation above. Good feedback/comments online. Price.

Links to info about the new cable:

Your comments/observations: Build quality is very nice compared to stock CAT cables. They are a bit physically stiff, which is a bit of a negative, but very minor. Sound quality increase; frankly a bit shocking how much better this is in the context of the Kii system. Initial thoughts are that I am very impressed considering the relatively low cost, even for a 2 and 5 metre cable together, ie around one 5th of the cost of the Nordost Heimdall 2 equivelant. sound quality difference includes, bigger soundstage, much better bass, smoother sound without loss of detail, more organic less digital.

 

Thanks @dbastin and @PMAAMP for this thread and recommendation which spurred me to upgrade the cables, which I assumed would make a very negligible difference.

C643275A-B045-40F9-B187-992811B2E8FF.jpeg

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New Cable: Cardas Clear Cat7

Connected upstream to: NAD M12

Upgraded from: Bluejeans Cat6

Switch: N/A

Other downstream: Bluejeans from modem, + long runs of generic

Other cables you considered: Sotm Cat6, Wireworld platinum

Reason for your choice: experience with Cardas, flexibility of the cable itself, a really good used price, perfect length 

Links to info about the new cable: https://www.dedicatedaudio.com/products/cardas-clear-c7-audiophile-ethernet-cable?variant=26105465475 (it actually has more info on the cable than the Cardas site)

Your comments/observations:

I got the Bluejeans with a view to it getting the signal through without any problems (http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/is-your-cat6-a-dog.htm) and for its flexibility in the cable itself. They come with individualised compliance testing results for each cable.

 

I was interested in whether there might be an audio difference between Ethernet cables. Various forum debates suggested the Wireworld platinum was great, but it never seemed available in the size I wanted and it's rather expensive if taking a punt on whether an Ethernet cable will make a difference, or fit! 

 

The Cardas cable itself is quite flexible and fitted easily enough. I found it was quite soft and spacey to start with, a bit dull even. Gradually it found its way and locked into things. It's more relaxing and melodic than the Bluejeans and brings a whole lot more body to the music in my set up. So a keeper for me!

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@44maloo  would love to hear what you think about that shunyata sigma ethernet cable.  care to share?

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