Best Audio Optical Fibre Cable (TOSLINK)?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by BrilliantBob, May 16, 2019 at 2:32 AM.

  1. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Use The VTF, Luke... Thread Starter

  2. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    I run exactly the same cable from my Tv to my DAC. Wouldn't know if it is any good as I never compared it to another and I am pretty sceptical about digital cables making a difference....
    SandAndGlass and BrilliantBob like this.
  3. Curiosity

    Curiosity Just A Boy

    United Kingdom
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  4. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    It's fiber optics. Yes, you need high quality. But isn't the same as copper wire. With copper you're moving elections. As electrons pass through any medium, the signal becomes distorted as each election is delivered in a different order than it was sent. With fiber optics you are sending data packets of information. The information is sent out as a packet. If the receiving side can reconstruct the data packet exactly as it was sent, there is no loss. So while I wouldn't buy the cheapest Toslink cable, but I doubt claims that a very expensive one is any better than a well made affordable cable. Mind you, this technology is used not only within audio systems, it's used in high tech communications systems were loss of data means people's jobs can't get done. There are drastic consequence if loss of data in a business environment happens. Fiber optics is one of the most reliable methods of transmitting data.
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  5. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Hama makes good quality fiber-optic cable using good stock. Hama manufactures some of its thousands of products directly and has some manufactured under contract. Hama is a medium-size buyer of plastic fiber and a small buyer of glass fiber.

    @vinylontubes is right about packet transmission, but the key to successful fiber-optic cable design is the quality (literally, how easily the fibers allow light to pass coherently with as little light loss as possible over a given length), gauge (the longer the cable, the larger the fiber bundle needs to be in order to compensate for some inevitable light loss), and suitability of materials for a given application (high flexibility for home audio generally means the use of plastic fibers, while permanent installations can make better use of less flexible glass fibers). Plastic or glass, the highest clarity determines quality too. Photons have an irritating habit of going in whatever direction they're heading, so even the best fiber-optic cable won't perform when its routed in sharp turns to get around components or to reach connectors.

    The quality of the tiny lenses bonded to each end of the fiber bundle and embedded in each connector is also a factor. The best-performing optical cables always use the best lenses. That's why it's always a good idea to keep the tip of each connector covered with the factory-supplied tip protector whenever a fiber-optic cable is disconnected. It's also a good idea to dust off the optical port on a component so that dust isn't picked up but the connector as it's being pushed into the port.

    I've tried and tested three different Hama fiber-optic cables over the past five or six years. They all performed exactly to spec. Competitively priced too. Still, all fiber-optic cables no matter what the price have to be treated gently.
  6. Wasabi

    Wasabi Well-Known Member

    Lutz, FL
    Go Lifatec.
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  7. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    North Yorkshire
    Also use Lifatec. Great optical cable.
  8. warp2600

    warp2600 Forum Resident

  9. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Use The VTF, Luke... Thread Starter

    Thanks for the info. This cable is 6 times more expensive but has superior performances.

    Next upgrade I will buy it.
  10. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    SF Bay Area, USA
    I may be wrong but I think this discussion is more related to S/PDIF over TOSLINK, so no packets and not much that can be done with error correction, the receiver has no control over the source, just real time transmission of audio data with an encoded clock, and subject to many problems. But generally very reliable, sure.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019 at 4:30 PM
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  11. dj_w

    dj_w Active Member

    Portland, Ore.
    Another vote for Lifatec. In addition to satisfying sound, the terminations are well-engineered and seem to make a better (and easier connection) than others I’ve tried.
  12. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    That is my thinking as well. So far as I know the data streams being sent over both of these mediums are identical. There are no error corrected packets. Toslink is neither Ethernet nor TCP/IP.

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