Sablon Ethernet - 2020 model

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
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#1
My Sablon ethernet cable has been a relatively unglamorous member of the product range for several years now. Pretty much unchanged since inception, bar a tweak in Summer 2018, yet it has typically been preferred to top models from mainstream manufacturers costing twice as much.

Just as I managed to achieve some great upgrades to the usb cable over the Christmas holiday season, the present lockdown period has given me the opportunity to turn my attention to the ethernet cable.

Following a similar approach to before, I went back to the basics and evaluated a variety of different cabling options to check out developments. Some of the options assessed included a high spec Cat 8, a silver plated Cat 7 and a handmade option using the same superb conductor as the usb cable. None of these outperformed my existing cable, so clearly that made it through to the next round.

Shielding. Not something I typically like however ethernet cables tend to benefit on account of the exceptionally high frequencies they carry. I therefore added a fifth layer to the cable. Small incremental uptick, with the noisefloor being reduced. No bad effects, so a good move overall. Next!

So what’s left to look at? Only the plugs and since I already used the Telegaertners surely that was good enough?!? Seemingly not….as it appears they had recently released an enhanced Cat 8 specification model whilst my eye was off the ball.

Ok but what exactly does that mean? Well, Cat 8 has a bandwidth of 2GHZ which is FOUR times that of the original Cat 6A / 500MHZ ones. Ultimately these measurements are meaningless in isolation, however since my cable was already gigahertz capable these plugs truly uncorked its potential!

Sonically speaking, the noisefloor has tumbled which confers more detail and an extended dynamic range with greater slam. The presence and density are significantly improved, with more dimensionality and palpable tonal texture. Ambient / micro details have more solidity and ‘pop’. All these aspects are evident in abundance within just 24hrs from new and develop incrementally as time subsequently passes. Gorgeous and mellifluous. Bombastic and musical as hell, the energy and grainlessness are really quite impressive. If anything, the delta of this reworking is larger than I managed to achieve on the usb cable...this one will keep your enjoying your music!

They say that every day is a school day, so what has this process taught me? Well, in this particular application technical specifications appear to trump conductor material. Up to a point that is as to achieve Cat 8 spec involves twisting the conductors tighter, which to my ear also had the side-effect of strangling the life out of the cable. The superb conductor I use elsewhere in my range was a fail in this application, so I wouldn’t be seduced by conductor material / purity claims for this type of cable.

But what about the Gigas? There are two at play here, gigabits are the speed of the signal and gigahertz which is the bandwidth of the signal that is being passed through. Need I say more about which is the more important?!? The latter, bandwidth, determines the quality of the signal you get to hear.

Price wise, there’s a bit more cost in parts and time however it will remain in the mid three hundreds, inclusive of worldwide shipping and a 10% discount for multiple / repeat orders. As a consumer I hate add-on charges, especially when you get stiffed with inflated shipping costs, so I suspect others do too.

As the time taken to rebuild existing cables is greater than making new ones and often requires two way international shipping, I will offer concessionary pricing to existing owners.

Shipping from early May, I already have several demo cables in circulation so drop me a pm / email to see if we can schedule an audition.
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
560
234
130
London, UK
#2
And just like it’s brother in the range, the Usb2020, it carries all the hallmarks of a Sablon cable. That way with density and projection of musical emotion; the perfectly balanced extension of bandwidth and the ease in which music comes across without any pretence or artifice. Another winner and a perfect match to the other cables in the range and in my system compliments the fibre optic link I added to the network.

thanks again Mark for keeping busy and pushing things ever more forward.

blue58
 
Likes: Sablon Audio
Dec 8, 2019
31
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#3
Demo cable arrived yesterday (thank you Mark!) Burning in now, hope to get some critical listening soon. If this is anything like the 2020 USB cable, it's going to be special.
 

romaz

Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2015
100
547
128
#5
Sablon Ethernet.jpeg

I've had a chance to evaluate the new Sablon Ethernet cable (on the left) for the past few weeks. I was not made aware of the design differences until now and aside from the different color covering, they appear identical including the Telegartner RJ45 connectors:

Sablon Ethernet 2.jpeg

As for the SQ differences between the 2, the differences are easily evident. Two words come to mind, "clarity" and "dimensionality." There is better detail articulation easily evident in voices. This comes through not just in music but also when watching movies. This clarity further translates into a more faithful timbral rendering and tonal saturation. The purity and richness of a solo cello really shines through with this cable.

When I compared the original Sablon Ethernet cable against the SOtM dCBL-CAT7, I found the SOtM cable to sound more dimensional with more air around voices and instruments. The new Sablon cable has largely narrowed that gap. The SOtM cable sounds more liquid but also more smeared. The clarity of this new Sablon is really exquisite. The new Sablon sounds a touch more forward with greater immediacy and liveliness than the SOtM cable where you feel you are sitting in the first few rows and this is very much my personal preference. This new Sablon Ethernet cable is exceptional.
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
866
452
203
#6
Romaz, you're making me blush lol
 

austinpop

Active Member
May 23, 2017
31
53
33
Austin, TX
#7
I just shipped the Sablon 2020 Ethernet demo cable to the next lucky recipient.

I compared this Sablon 2020 to my favorite budget cable, the Supra Cat 8, along with my current reference, SOtM dCBL-Cat7. The Supra is a nice step up from generic cables, but the Sablon runs circles around it. There is a much larger sense of space. While the Supra has a warm tonality and good texture, the Sablon 2020 is much more articulate, crisper, and with quicker transients.

When comparing with the SOtM, things get more interesting. Both the SOtM and the Sablon 2020 are outstanding. The Sablon is more open with better texture and density. Transients are also much crisper. The SOtM does have a rather seductive smoothness and liquidity I enjoy, and on some music, the Sablon initially seemed a tad energetic in the top end. I wondered if this was a burn in issue, so I gave it another week. Indeed, with more burn in time, that top-end energy has dissipated. As @romaz said, The new Sablon sounds a touch more forward with greater immediacy and liveliness than the SOtM cable, and I agree with him!

Mark has another winner on his hands.
 
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Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
866
452
203
#8
Thanks for your kind words Rajiv!
 

kimurastanley

Active Member
Mar 16, 2019
99
100
35
Singapore
#9
Just received the demo ethernet cable. The one I received has the same design as the previous one. Cant differentiate between the 2 easily :)

First impression: good clarity and more expressive. Greater sense of depth.
To me, it has similar sounding as the usb cable.

Will continue to run in and report back
 
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Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
866
452
203
#10
That’s a promising start for a brand new cable Pang and it will metaphorically explode with dimensionality and musical energy after just 24hrs of burn in.

You can tell the difference between this model and the original by the form factor of the plugs, as they use different clamping mechanism. The old one has a clip on the top and is rectangular whereas the new one has a round screw collar.

Romaz commented on the colour and the first couple of beta testing cables I made featured a black carbon infused techflex cover. This is rather expensive in the size needed for the lan cable so I spoke with the Techflex support team to ascertain its shielding properties to be told that they were minimal and they didn’t have any data.

Rather than add 10% to the price for something which doesn’t add to performance, I dropped it for the production model as I wanted to hit a more aggressive price point for a wider demographic.
 
Likes: RGMD11
Feb 21, 2017
16
10
18
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
#11
Well, with great reluctance I have been asked to send the demo 2020 ethernet cable to the next lucky user. I hate moving backwards but fortunately I am sure Mark will provide a replacement cable(s) soon.

In comparison to the current (2019?) ethernet cable I found the new version has seemingly created a quieter background (less noise?). It is not a significant difference however it is easily heard in my system. That is, as soon as I inserted the newer model the lower noise floor provided greater clarity, slightly better detail and a soundstage that became more defined. I repeated this comparison several times and my findings were consistent.

When you weigh the cost of this new cable relative to the benefit it provides, the value proposition really is quite remarkable. I have paid much more and received less.

I'll take 2.
 
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Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
866
452
203
#12
Several people have been asking me whether I will be offering an M12 terminated version to upgrade their Gold switches and I will indeed. A couple of pairs of demo cables will be available for audition in a week or so.
 
Likes: kimurastanley
Apr 23, 2020
8
8
3
58
#13
Timing is everything. I recently ordered an Uptone EtherRegen (delivery next week), and corresponded with Mark to learn more about his ethernet cable. Mark informed me that he recently updated his cable to the 2020 model and had one in stock if I was interested. I took him up on his offer. I currently use a Wireworld Starlight 8 ethernet cable. I received the 2020 edition of the ethernet cable yesterday afternoon. I immediately put it into my system to burn in the cable overnight. I did take a quick listen before leaving the room to see how much of a difference the cable would make before putting the EtherRegan into my system. To say my sound improved is an understatement. I have open-baffle panel speakers (Emerald Physics EP 4.7) that excel in providing holographic, airy vocals and an openness that makes music sound live. They sit five feet into my 21 x 17.5 x 7.5 foot dedicated listening room.

I already have a Sablon Panatela Reserva usb cable, so I expected a modest improvement with the ethernet cable. I was wrong. The new ethernet cable blew away my Wireworld cable. The Wireworld is not a bad cable, but it isn’t close to the Sablon. The differences I heard were:

Lower noise floor – this was the most notable difference compared to my old cable. With the lower noise floor, the music seemed to come to life. The dynamic range increased, the sound became more open and I could hear more layers in the music. More importantly, I became more emotionally engaged with the music.

Soundstage – much deeper and wider. This difference was most notable on vocals. The Panatela cable took things to another level. Whether I listened to jazz, rock or the blues, the effect was the same- a more realistic sound that made my speakers disappear with a larger stage.

Highs –The high end sounded smoother without sounding rounded off. I was able to listen to some of my less well-recorded music for a longer period of time without fatigue. And the good recordings sounded more fluid.

Bass – the bass was better defined and more three-dimensional. Open-baffle speakers often lack adequate low end “thump.” Though I have two subwoofers to complement my speakers, I noticed that the bass was tighter and weightier.

I am surprised at the difference the Sablon ethernet cable made. I also think it has good synergy with the Panatela USB cable- which is also a must buy in my book. I highly recommend this cable. Mark’s got a good thing going at Sablon Audio. This is one of the more significant upgrades I’ve made to my system. It’s an ethernet cable for crying out loud! And it’s not fully burned in yet. And I haven’t even put the EtherRegen into my system yet…
 

kimurastanley

Active Member
Mar 16, 2019
99
100
35
Singapore
#14
Timing is everything. I recently ordered an Uptone EtherRegen (delivery next week), and corresponded with Mark to learn more about his ethernet cable. Mark informed me that he recently updated his cable to the 2020 model and had one in stock if I was interested. I took him up on his offer. I currently use a Wireworld Starlight 8 ethernet cable. I received the 2020 edition of the ethernet cable yesterday afternoon. I immediately put it into my system to burn in the cable overnight. I did take a quick listen before leaving the room to see how much of a difference the cable would make before putting the EtherRegan into my system. To say my sound improved is an understatement. I have open-baffle panel speakers (Emerald Physics EP 4.7) that excel in providing holographic, airy vocals and an openness that makes music sound live. They sit five feet into my 21 x 17.5 x 7.5 foot dedicated listening room.

I already have a Sablon Panatela Reserva usb cable, so I expected a modest improvement with the ethernet cable. I was wrong. The new ethernet cable blew away my Wireworld cable. The Wireworld is not a bad cable, but it isn’t close to the Sablon. The differences I heard were:

Lower noise floor – this was the most notable difference compared to my old cable. With the lower noise floor, the music seemed to come to life. The dynamic range increased, the sound became more open and I could hear more layers in the music. More importantly, I became more emotionally engaged with the music.

Soundstage – much deeper and wider. This difference was most notable on vocals. The Panatela cable took things to another level. Whether I listened to jazz, rock or the blues, the effect was the same- a more realistic sound that made my speakers disappear with a larger stage.

Highs –The high end sounded smoother without sounding rounded off. I was able to listen to some of my less well-recorded music for a longer period of time without fatigue. And the good recordings sounded more fluid.

Bass – the bass was better defined and more three-dimensional. Open-baffle speakers often lack adequate low end “thump.” Though I have two subwoofers to complement my speakers, I noticed that the bass was tighter and weightier.

I am surprised at the difference the Sablon ethernet cable made. I also think it has good synergy with the Panatela USB cable- which is also a must buy in my book. I highly recommend this cable. Mark’s got a good thing going at Sablon Audio. This is one of the more significant upgrades I’ve made to my system. It’s an ethernet cable for crying out loud! And it’s not fully burned in yet. And I haven’t even put the EtherRegen into my system yet…
Timing is everything. I recently ordered an Uptone EtherRegen (delivery next week), and corresponded with Mark to learn more about his ethernet cable. Mark informed me that he recently updated his cable to the 2020 model and had one in stock if I was interested. I took him up on his offer. I currently use a Wireworld Starlight 8 ethernet cable. I received the 2020 edition of the ethernet cable yesterday afternoon. I immediately put it into my system to burn in the cable overnight. I did take a quick listen before leaving the room to see how much of a difference the cable would make before putting the EtherRegan into my system. To say my sound improved is an understatement. I have open-baffle panel speakers (Emerald Physics EP 4.7) that excel in providing holographic, airy vocals and an openness that makes music sound live. They sit five feet into my 21 x 17.5 x 7.5 foot dedicated listening room.

I already have a Sablon Panatela Reserva usb cable, so I expected a modest improvement with the ethernet cable. I was wrong. The new ethernet cable blew away my Wireworld cable. The Wireworld is not a bad cable, but it isn’t close to the Sablon. The differences I heard were:

Lower noise floor – this was the most notable difference compared to my old cable. With the lower noise floor, the music seemed to come to life. The dynamic range increased, the sound became more open and I could hear more layers in the music. More importantly, I became more emotionally engaged with the music.

Soundstage – much deeper and wider. This difference was most notable on vocals. The Panatela cable took things to another level. Whether I listened to jazz, rock or the blues, the effect was the same- a more realistic sound that made my speakers disappear with a larger stage.

Highs –The high end sounded smoother without sounding rounded off. I was able to listen to some of my less well-recorded music for a longer period of time without fatigue. And the good recordings sounded more fluid.

Bass – the bass was better defined and more three-dimensional. Open-baffle speakers often lack adequate low end “thump.” Though I have two subwoofers to complement my speakers, I noticed that the bass was tighter and weightier.

I am surprised at the difference the Sablon ethernet cable made. I also think it has good synergy with the Panatela USB cable- which is also a must buy in my book. I highly recommend this cable. Mark’s got a good thing going at Sablon Audio. This is one of the more significant upgrades I’ve made to my system. It’s an ethernet cable for crying out loud! And it’s not fully burned in yet. And I haven’t even put the EtherRegen into my system yet…
I previously compared WW starlight with the previous version of sablon Ethernet. IMO, the old version of sablon already excels in sound depth and more holographic. And the 2020 ethernet brings that improvement to another level.

The other interesting point I find is the prev sablon ethernet (and USB) has slight roll off of highs. The new one HF is more extended without sounding edgy which is a big Plus for me in my system. And I think that also contributes to the improved liveliness (with lower noise floor) which has been reported repeatedly by fellow users.
 

adamaley

Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2016
350
280
93
Minnetonka, MN
#15
Mark's new Ethernet cable was an obvious improvement on his original in my system. It's getting cliche to talk about the reduced noise floor when it comes to Sablon cables.

I had introduced an etherRegen into my system a few months ago, so I used the new cable as the final one going from the etherRegen into my ultrarendu endpoint.

I experienced improved clarity across the board, a slightly wider soundstage, but maybe more of the sounds on the outer boundaries being more solidified and tactile.

Bass notes were even more tuneful and the sound was more powerful yet controlled. High frequencies seemed extended yet smoother at the same time.

Kudos to Mark for the continuous improvement of his line of cables. That the improvements are always substantial and worthwhile, cannot be taken for granted I'm this industry.

Thanks for the demo, and I'll be placing my order soon.
 
Likes: Sablon Audio
Apr 9, 2019
3
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#16
Greetings everyone

I'm new to the What's Best Forum and to the world of Sablon cables, but I wanted to share my first experience with one of Mark's products, the new 2020 USB cable. Colour me impressed. Replacing an Audioquest Coffee USB cable, the Sablon USB cable made a FAR bigger difference to the sound quality of my system than I could have predicted.

Everything just sounds better, but if I could highlight a few traits in particular they would be;
  • Increased dynamics: The quiet is quieter and the loud is louder. There is a sense of increased dynamic range - musical crescendos have more heft and impact without the music hardening or the soundstage constricting. Equally, quieter passages of music are notable for the sense of instruments emerging from a noise free background - there's nothing there but the music, which leads me to...

  • Increased transparency: There is an uncanny ability to be able to follow the lines of individual elements within a busy mix, while at the same time the tonal qualities of instruments has been enhanced. The clever trick here is that this is never at the expense of musical flow, which leads me to...

  • Increased coherence: There is a stronger sense of being immersed in the music and the ebb and flow of the performance. The ability to pinpoint individual elements of a performance without losing sight of the musical whole is impressive, which leads me to...

  • Less digital 'glare': There is an organic quality to music produced via the Sablon USB cable. I hear fewer digital artefacts, sweeter highs and less sibilance, with increased treble extension and air. Cymbals shimmer and ring like cymbals should, rather than being a generic 'splash', while a fine layer of hardness has been removed from the mid-range.
Truly a stunning achievement and it's now got me very curious about the rest of the Sablon cable range, which is probably all part of Mark's cunning plan. :)

For those interested, the USB cable connects an Antipodes Audio DX server to a Kinki Studio DAC-1. Amplification duties are provided by a pre-production sample of the JAVA Hi-Fi Single Shot integrated amplifier, with sound waves generated by Totem Acoustic Mani-2 Signature speakers.
 

StefanT

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2014
14
2
53
#17
Greetings everyone

I'm new to the What's Best Forum and to the world of Sablon cables, but I wanted to share my first experience with one of Mark's products, the new 2020 USB cable..
.
Very good report. Can I suggest you write this in the USB cable thread instead so interested people can find it. This is the thread about the new ethernet cable.
 
Likes: Javaman
Apr 9, 2019
3
7
5
52
#18
Very good report. Can I suggest you write this in the USB cable thread instead so interested people can find it. This is the thread about the new ethernet cable.
Oops, newbie mistake. I thought I WAS writing in the USB cable thread. I had two tabs open - one about the ethernet cable and one about the USB cable and I've inadvertently posted in the wrong thread. Mea culpa and will replicate in the correct thread. :)
 
Likes: StefanT
Dec 8, 2019
31
58
20
50
#19
Just finished up auditioning the 2020 ethernet cable as part of a much larger auditioning and network optimization effort. Absolutely outstanding cable. My experience is completely aligned with what others have reported here. Between the 2020 USB cable and the 2020 ethernet cable, Mark is on an absolute roll and hitting it WAY out of the park. Couple more tests to do, then I'll be very reluctantly sending this demo cable forward (and getting in the queue for one of my own). Thank you Mark for the opportunity to hear this latest gem, and whatever secret sauce you've found during this stay at home time, keep cranking these updates out!
 

RGMD11

Active Member
Mar 30, 2017
56
40
35
#20
Just finished up auditioning the 2020 ethernet cable as part of a much larger auditioning and network optimization effort. Absolutely outstanding cable. My experience is completely aligned with what others have reported here. Between the 2020 USB cable and the 2020 ethernet cable, Mark is on an absolute roll and hitting it WAY out of the park. Couple more tests to do, then I'll be very reluctantly sending this demo cable forward (and getting in the queue for one of my own). Thank you Mark for the opportunity to hear this latest gem, and whatever secret sauce you've found during this stay at home time, keep cranking these updates out!
Same happened to me a while back when I bought the previous version, truly outstanding cable especially for the price, and now this newer cable has further piqued my interest, will have to try and divert some pennies away soon.
 
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