Valley of "audiophile" ethernet cables

People who spend $100 on an Ethernet patch cable may be considered obsessive. People who sign up to a forum just to discuss said cables (even if they put an opposing spin on the discussion) are equally obsessive. I am here to talk about Roon!

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You’ll find that takes intellectual honesty. Something I’ve seen lacking in the subjectivist crowd.

My inbox remains empty in this regard.

You should check out the threads @CA where tracks were ADC’d from 315 foot of generic CAT5e and a $340 12 foot WireWorld Starlight CAT8 3 meter and a $700 Nordost Heimdall 2 one meter.

Not a single one that took a crack at the tracks could pick out when one cable was used vs another.

Any ways I’ve $10,000 to your $2000 with your biases controlled for. Shoot me an email when you’ve worked up the nerve. I’ll send you the details.


@dabassgoesboomboom -

I wish some one would take this guy up on his offer (and win).

In principle, I don’t disagree with what he says.

It’s just the freaking obnoxious way he says it.

Really, what’s the point of all this vitriol?



I don’t think @dabassgoesboomboom is advocating the use of expensive cables. The posts by John Swenson are talking about SMPS leakage noise. I don’t see John Swenson’s company selling expensive cables either.


If not, why does he post what he post?
Respect to Mark_Brown for his fight against this audiophile dupery.


I thought about playing for the other team and then I could just tell people how either their hearing, their system, or both suck.

How their ignorance is actually saving them money by allowing them to just get a HTiB.

Because that treatment of people getting into this hobby and looking for solid advice is right up there with MLK, Ghandi, and Mother Teresa :roll_eyes:

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Fair enough. I think some of the attitude is unnecessary, but point taken.

Let me ask what you use for an endpoint, because smarmy endpoints are my pet peeve.

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Hi mate

I genuinely love the passion shown by you and others, on this topic. But this topic is not one of life and death, fortunately.

I quoted your comment that hinted that the little transformers in ethernet isolate against everything - if that’s not what you were hinting then I sincerely apologize in advance.

My linked posts are just to someone who is highly qualified and respected, who is doing his own personal research at the moment and finding that things like leakage currents “sail right through” those little transformers.

I just love learning more about this hobby that we all love. Maybe things aren’t as we’ve all assumed all along - like this topic of the transformers in etherner cables. So I follow peoples like John’s personal research really closely. And for fun.

I just like the learning and the science. And I wish everyone could disagree in a more friendly manner, like me and my mate @xxx have disagreed often but still joke here and there because this is all about enjoying music at the end - not life and death. It’s supposed to be fun. (PS Slim: I haven’t forgotten, you haven’t left the dark side just yet… I told you it wouldn’t easy and you’d always come back :smile:)

The topic of blind tests and whether we’d hear a difference is something else altogether and I’m not sure why I’ve been singled out here. I was one of the first in this thread to hint that BJC’s (their Belden 10GX series cables in particular) are all I really need.

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Ya I wish the points could be made in a friendlier manner. Frankie had the answer all this time:

We are talking about copper interconnects. When you bring up leakage currents in this context my mind immediately goes to the thought “is the poster stating that one copper RJE is going to filter out those leakage currents more than some other in spec copper based RJE”.

John thinks:

  1. Most boutique Ethernet cable manufacturers are clueless (Arstechnica sending out the $350 one meter AQ Vodka out for CAT6A validation were it passed only in the margin, so not a clear pass, bears this out).

  2. Ethernet cables aren’t going to make any audible difference

  3. If they do, and he’s skeptical about this, it’s by sheer randomness.

Worried about leakage currents? Go wireless. It’s affordable, easy to implement, and sounds great.

My first set of speakers were DIY Karlson Horns in 87. There is a lot of outright crookedness in this hobby / industry.

I’m a CCNP, MCSE, 3COM, Banyan Vines, the list goes on. I’m a hobbyist builder and speaker designer. This is my line in the sand. It wasn’t HDMI, it wasn’t USB, but it is Ethernet as I simply am a material expert from punch down to core routing and switching. I’ve implemented AVB and Dante on Cisco/Intel.

I’ll stand toe to toe with any one that thinks RJE’s that meet the spec matter SQ wise. Period.


Hey @dabassgoesboomboom -

Didja see this new shiny object? :laughing:

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I did Slim! I got the Uptone version, Iso Regen. Very similar but the iFi doesn’t need an external power supply which is cool. I’ve given my Iso Regen to my old man (my dad in case anyone else is reading this) because it’s cured the pops and crackles with native DSD256 from his Pi3, like we discussed in the iDAC2 thread.

Go on Slim, hit the order button. I know you want to :blush:

Tried an audioquest forest between router and roon core pc. Absolutely no difference whatsoever compared to the standard cat5 it replaced. Totally not worth the 75 euro’s. Ethernet cable subject closed for me.

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The “little transformers” on Ethernet cables are intended to block common mode RF. They don’t galvanically isolate the equipment.

"Ethernet ports are transformer coupled. "

I am certain this is wrong! You’re saying each of the 4 TP’s is transformer isolated at every port? Crack open a typical cheap 8 port switch, I don’t think you’ll find 32 transformers.

Actually they are. But they are in DIL packages with each package representing a transformer with multiple windings. Other methods can be applied also like the isolation chips so popular in USB isolation gear but the principle is the same.


Yes they are. You’ll find Dual and Quadport packages. Many rated to 1500V

It’s what you think is certain, that simply isn’t.

I doubt you would lose $10,000 except by some awful statistical fluke, an elaborate cheating scheme (that amount of money would certainly make it worthwhile for someone to come up with one, if he could) or divine retribution for deadly sin #4, hubris. But your attitude is certainly not going to make any converts, or lure any takers.

A smaller amount, so as not to discourage someone from risking losing a fortune by shear bad luck, and less arrogance, may get results.

As a recovering audiophile I’ve got a couple of ‘audiophile’ ethernet cables knocking about so I thought I’d pass on my own observations of trying out three different ethernet cables, this afternoon, directly into my KEF LS50W’s (courtesy of Roon’s latest update). The big shootout:

generic 3m Cat6 cable that came with the KEFs (black, suitably dull for a stock cable)

a 1.5m DIY cable from some guy in Germany that I bought off e-bay for £40 (looks pretty, like a snake, with those enormous RJ45 connectors at either end like the AQ Vodka)

0.5m AudioQuest Cinnamon cable that my mate gave me in return for a couple of pints (gold-plated, red/black weave, and with… errr… directional arrows telling me which way to plug the cable in… but isn’t it bi-directional???)

Here’s my view after listening to several tracks I know well… the 3m cable is a noticeably harsher in the highs than the AQ Cinnamon… Nah, just kidding. There’s no difference at all. Seriously. None.