As with everything in this hobby, the cables you use with your gear matters. And it’s not any different with the Innuos PhoenixNET. I’ve found that the the power and Ethernet cables used with the PhoenixNET primarily impacts the tonal color and density of the music.
As far as Ethernet cables, I’m using The Linear Solution Reference CAT7a as it provides a richer and denser tone. The stock cable had more of a grey glaze but was also more fibrous. In the end, I just preferred the fuller sound of the TLS. FWIW, the choice of input Ethernet cable seems carry more weight in my particular system.
Although a third party power cable isn’t necessary to reap the massive gains of the PhoenixNET, it could improve your listening experience. The stock power cable was leaner than this generic Dell server power cable I have on hand (they’re generic power cables that come with rack servers). The Dell server cable was far denser, fuller, and darker in sound. Vocals were more seated and far more inviting. Just more gravity coming from the phantom center. The downside is a more masked and coated top end with muted flair and shine.
In the end, I settled with the Snake River Audio Cottonmouth Signature for all my digital sources. Including the Innuos music server and Chord DAVE. The Snake River Audio cable had a truer, more natural tone while providing more tangibility and vibrance. This is especially with vocal recordings.
Again, you don’t need third party cables to get the massive sonic gains from the PhoenixNET. But it’s great if you want to tune to your tastes. If you want to get an idea of what type of power cable might work for you, check out my review here and Ethernet cables here.
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