I am running an UltraRendu powered by an Sbooster LPS. Software Audirvana + converting PCM to DSD128.
Ethernet path is wireless from Macbook to Modem/Router to FMC pair mod’d by SoTm. FMC’s are both powered by Jameco 5V linear wall warts.
I demo’d three pairs of Ethernet cables from cable company.
Wireworld Starlight Cat 8.
Audioquest Vodka Cat 7
Cardas Cat 7
All were compared to the stock cable I was using, Belden 6a.
I started out yesterday with the Wireworld without even listening to the stock. I cranked the SGCD to 35 resulting in about 88db sound levels. Normally I don’t crank the system that loud but it sounded really good. Didn’t know if it was the cable or maybe i was in the mood for loud.
Then I changed to the Vodka. Well… at 35 I walked away and within 5 seconds I was rushing back to the SGCD to turn it down 8 or 10 notches. There was a very brittle sound character that was not musical at all. Very bad sounding… i could not imaging listening to this system long term like this.
Switch back to Belden… the harshness is gone from the Vodka but much of the body I had perceived with the Wireworld wasn’t there. I wasn’t sure if the WW was better or if the AQ Vodka just screwed up my perception by being so bad sounding.
Switch to Cardas… not abrasive like the Vodka but again a little too much high frequency emphasis with lack of body.
Back and forth and back and forth… I would rank the Wireworld as a distant winner, this was a night and day difference that no one can miss. Smooth highs, nice body, a new full midrange that was previously lacking, and a live sound! 2nd is a draw between the $20 Belden and the $365 Cardas… these are different but I’m not sure which is better. Last is the Vodka which was a music killer for me… analytical way too agressive with the highs… sibilance off the charts.
I don’t know why the WW sounds so different. It could be the Cat8 but I’m also suspecting the non-twisted geometry and use of triple shielding. They say it reduces skew in the signal. Who knows, I just know this is the equivalent as a power cable change or greater to my ears in my system going with the Wireworld. The difference between the Cardas and Belden was maybe much more subtle… and the AQ was awful which I was not expecting.