Ethernet Cables and Sound

Hi All, and @Excalibur
I ended up on the forum and learned a lot!! Alex Crispi (owner of Uptone) set me on the right path and it turns out that the “audiophile” ethernet cable I was using just stopped working - weird, but a no-name ethernet cable worked.
Here’s where it gets interesting… following Alex’s advice, I ended up using the etherREGEN B port to my Bridge II which sounds better than my entire Matrix set up - but ONLY after I removed the USB cable from my Nucleus+ (also on advice from Alex). I’m kinda devastated, after spending heaps on the Matrix set up (Matrix, Farad 3 with upgraded DC cable, RAL HDMI, then replaced by AQ Dragon 48).
So, the upshot is that the etherREGEN is working fine - my mis-diagnosis. I didn’t expect that an ethernet cable that had been working fine would fail, but that’s the only part of the chain that isn’t working.


For those that feel too aggressively that Ethernet cables don’t matter with error correction, be careful. I moved a PC monitor to my wife’s system, but used a different Display Port cable. I put a different monitor in my system and used the old cable I was using at 165 Hz refresh rate and moved the “new” cable to my wife’s system. Remember too that new PC monitors can go to 240 Hz and DP 1.3 and DP 1.4 provide the extra bandwidth required for 240Hz at 1440p. Get a new gen DP DP1.4 revision cable!

I put the DP (unknown claimed spec compliance) cable in they sent and the display that was running at 165 Hz now won’t run over 85 Hz! Yep, the infamous screen flashing stuff. Even at 85 Hz, the screen would flash an error every few minutes. Only at 60 Hz would it remain steady and not have error blanks.

I figure that the new monitor, being a 165 Hz display, the manufacturer would send a VESA certified DP design cable to run at that speed so why not use it? I figure they like defective monitor returns when it is the cable! Stupid is as stupid does seem applicable?

I ordered a VESA certified DP cable and bingo, we now are running 165 Hz no problems at all. The cables are SHORT (1-1.5 meter) so how can they really change things? They do if the cable is outside the FEC (Forward Error Correction) recovery systems built-into the NIC system. We can only dig data at about an -6dB ACR ratio (signal is 6 dB below the noise floor) but that is the limitation! Use a small AWG wire, poor shielding and poor RL (insulation dimensional consistency) and we can screw it up for sure. The offending cable used too small an AWG (I cut it up) and was also too long for that AWG size. The RL performance can only be tested for.

Cable does matter even for digital if the error correction parameters are overstepped. FEC isn’t always going to get your digit, so do you feel lucky punk, well do 'ya? I did, I got punked out, OUCH. You really don’t want error correction active much as this means you are running near empty on BW overhead.



Have to correct myself - the Ethernet cable IS working again, and back to being connected to my ER. So, not sure what happened before with the ER/cable combo when my sound stopped (system worked without ER), but it’s all functioning again.

I bought this heat sink set up from After Dark, which has definitely cooked it down, especially if I run a fan over it

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