Just in case.....

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Just in case anyone needs to be reminded, using a Toslink digital cable to get from a Sonos Connect to a Schiit Modi Uber really sucks. ;)

Going back to a nice Coax RCA digital cable brought everything back into focus.

Toslink = distant, diffuse, withdrawn, boring, opaque. Definitely not "Good Ears". ;)

Just thought you'd like to know. ;)

All just my opinion. :)
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
That's been my experience using Toslink to anything from anything. I have no idea why but...yuck. The only thing I use it for is sound out of my TV to my DAC.
@JohnVF , this has been exactly my experience as well. It’s a prime example of 1’s and 0’s sounding very different and has reinforced my belief that cables DO matter.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
@JohnVF @MikeT. - I thought I was losing it when I swapped out the Canare 75 ohm Coax RCA cable for the Toslink. The living room system went from being pretty cool to real uninvolving.

Figured that maybe you have to break in a Toslink cable so I let the Sonos Connect play some huge playlist on repeat into the Schoit Modi Uber for a few days. Nope.....still very uninvolving.

Put the 75 ohm Canare cable back in and everything snapped back into focus. Sweet and involving. :)

I really wanted the Toslink to work as the Schiit Modi Uber only has one Coax digital input (plus one Toslink and one USB) and I want to run both the Sony Universal player and Sonos Connect into the Modi Uber and be able to switch between them using the Modi Uber.

But nooooooooo..........

belushi.jpg
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
I’ll go out on a limb here and say there’s even differences between Toslink cables. The first one I bought, early in my foray into digital, was a $20 Radioshack which didn’t sound bad, so up the ladder I went and WOW was I disappointed. $200 VDH fell totally flat.
With a bit more experimentation, I tried a 75ohm AudioQuest, big improvement and then more ladder climbing until I landed on Black Cat Silverstar, best I’ve heard in my system. No more Toslink.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I had results from downright awful to not bad at all with toslink. Where I ended up was with a 0.5M Wireworld glass toslink from Mac Mini to PS Audio DLIII. For my purposes, glass is where it's at. If one needs toslink.

I had initially tried to buy a VdH OptoCoupler but the distributor ignored my shop's order and wouldn't fulfill it. They ignored my emails and calls too.

That's history now...
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I’ll go out on a limb here and say there’s even differences between Toslink cables.
Absolutely there are, not the least of which is mentioned in the post above by @airdronian in the form of actual borosilicate glass fibers rather than plastic ones. There is no question this kind of Toslink cable actually sounds better, but it's also at least somewhat fragile and needs to be treated more carefully compared to a plastic fiber optic cable. It's also far more expensive, though the Supernova 7 referred to above (great cable) is quite reasonable compared to the stupid $499 ask for the similar glass Toslink offering from AudioQuest.

Many years ago I came across Lifatec USA, a division of LiFaTeC GmbH based in Germany, I forget who originally turned me on to them.

At that time they did not market glass cables for the audio industry, they were purely supplying the medical and industrial sectors, though if you called them they would take a special order for one of their cables with Toslink and/or MiniPlug connectors. They would even do special orders for cables with Toslink on one end, and an ST connector on the other, as certain disc transports with ST output are actually compatible with the Toslink input on a DAC.

Fast forward to now and Lifatec USA have direct ordering from their ecommerce platform, with payment via PayPal, and their web page clearly markets the cables for use in Toslink connected audio systems. These cables are hand terminated in Syracuse NY, and feature precision machined connectors on a bundle of 470 high-grade German glass fibers. No middle man dealer or distributor mark-up.

I can't recommend these glass Toslink cables highly enough, especially since there are almost no other high quality glass Toslink cables available at all, let alone ones offered with a MiniPlug (the Wireworld Supernova 7 above being a notable exception).

I also have a couple of now discontinued Amphenol glass Toslink cables which I suspect were made by Lifatec, however those were only ever offered with standard Toslink connectors (ditto the AudioQuest until very recently) and so require an adapter for use with the 3.5mm sized MiniPlug optical ports on Chromecast Audio, Airport Express, Mac computers, and various PCs including Sony Vaio.

Sadly, the sonic end results will vary based on whether or not the partnering equipment actually uses genuine 15Mbps Toshiba optical modules. Many manufacturers cut that corner and use cheap knock-off Chinese optical modules in their equipment, which is what gives Toslink an unwarranted bad name. You can only easily tell which manufacturers aren't cutting that corner by their transmission specs, if they say their Toslink port is capable of 24-bit/192kHz (or even 24/96) that is a clear indication they are using the real McCoy.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
I had results from downright awful to not bad at all with toslink. Where I ended up was with a 0.5M Wireworld glass toslink from Mac Mini to PS Audio DLIII. For my purposes, glass is where it's at. If one needs toslink.

I had initially tried to buy a VdH OptoCoupler but the distributor ignored my shop's order and wouldn't fulfill it. They ignored my emails and calls too.

That's history now...
VDH Optocoupler is the one I tried, yuck. Sometimes things work out!
 
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