In the AudioQuest room I got to hear another cable comparison but this time we're talking about Ethernet. I know, be still my beating heart of darkness. The Naim UnitiServer and Naim NDX Network Player were connected via Ethernet. Our host who shall remain nameless (and headless to protect his identity) swapped between the AudioQuest Forest RJ45-G CAT5e Ethernet Cable ($39/2m) and a standard RJ 45 router cable (essentially free).

We were listening to the Q-Tip track "Life Is Better" from Nora Jones' Featuring Nora Jones that features a nice break beat and with the stock RJ 45 cable that break beat sounds broke—it was clearly impossible to unwind the complex bass line and the sudden start/stop tripped over itself sounding, well, broken. With the AQ Forest that same exact piece of music was unraveled and sounded more fluid. There were some other differences most notably the intro's synth-bell sounds were somewhat stunted with the stock cable and rang out more with the AQ.

Next, and here's the part that everyone will enjoy, Mr. X swapped in an older, discontinued and more expensive RJ45 cable—from AudioQuest (AQ RJ45G) which retailed for something like $60 when available. The bass went back to tripping up on the complexity and the ringing out rung out less. Progress!

Of course I'm not suggesting that the laws of nature and man have been superseded, I'm only sharing the differences I heard in the AudioQuest room and admit that I may have been unduly influenced by any number of pseudo-psychological factors including but not limited to excessive hunger, PTAD (post-traumatic audiophile disorder), the power of suggestion, expectation bias, tiny movements of my head causing huge sonic shifts in the presentation, aleatoricism and alchemy.