Whilst most audio tweaks aren't capable of night and day differences and the M12 was no different, I still found the magnitude of its effectiveness uncanny at times. Let's cast aside for a moment the usual noise gremlins which it got rid of as any proper cleaner should and shift focus to noticeable improvements in bass and imaging depth as that's what truly caught me off guard. With the generic LAN on the direct-connection job, everything downstairs was good to my ears. But past the very first in/out swap of the Japanese machine, the same range made the regular RJ45 cable seem hollow, texturally pale, less elastic and with extension nowhere near as low. Leonard Cohen's "Nevermind", Groove Armada's "I See You Baby" and a fair chunk of tribal music by Wardruna and Heilung left no room for guesswork. The white LAN cable revealed itself as bass bottleneck. Interestingly, the inherently calmer M12 had this particular bandwidth tighter, faster, more to the point and immediate. All this arrived at no cost which is my favourite price to pay.

The second and fatal blow that the M12 delivered was superior imaging. It all came down to how it wrapped air around vocals and instruments. Space more alive, three-dimensional, decontaminated and insightful fleshed out all the shapes and made them more easily visible in the process. That's what I call liquidity. With the Japanese switch, music simply flowed better, was more physical and felt better. At this point there was only one thing left to do. It was time to put the M12 Switch Magic against my daily USB link between fidata HFAS-S10U and LampizatOr Pacific DAC. Once I'd wrapped my head around the effectiveness of Telegärtner's switch, I needed to know how much better iFi audio's micro iUSB3.0 fronted by their iGalvanic3.0 and three connective Mercury cables were by comparison.

When the whole USB chain was replaced by a generic USB cable, the M12 was in use. To reverse the order, the switch was off and the generic RJ45 cable on duty with the USB setup back in place. This triangulation helped me grasp which of the two, USB or LAN hardware, was stronger in action. USB still had the upper hand but less so than expected. Many trained ears would most likely agree that USB netted the more agile leaner result whereas the M12 made music a bit slower, rounder and bassier. If I had to frame potency in numbers, USB would score 10, Telegärtner's switch a firm 8.