4m Toslink required - Are the super cheap ones OK for the job?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by NeilF, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. NeilF

    NeilF
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    Seems you can get 4m or 5m one off ebay for a few pounds (eg: £3.50)... Are they OK at this length? What length do they start needing consideration/care?
     
  2. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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    I managed to find a 5 meter glass core cable (which sound better apparently) on ebay for only £30, if you go to a dealer and ask for the same thing it would cost hundreds !

    I think the brand is Cable Talk, i've have excellent results with mine, not compared it to a cheap one cause i don't have a 5 meter run.

    If your interested i'll try to find the seller.
     
  3. NeilF

    NeilF
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    How can a digital link sound better? Surely it either sounds or it doesn't? Much like say an HDMI cable? It either works or not...
     
  4. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    TOSLINK mostly just work ...... is £3.50 a big risk?
     
  5. NeilF

    NeilF
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    According to our friend above they make a difference to the audio?

    If they just work or don't work (like HDMI) and 5m is not a long distance for toslink then I'll just get a cheapy... However if they do make a difference and 5m can be an issue then I'd rather be educated in knowing that...
     
  6. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    He would be wrong then, they work or they don't, that's what digital signals are all about.
    Of courst there are some people who claim that a digital cable can pick out a few LSBs to throw away without ever ditching a MSB ...... all bonkers IMHO.
     
  7. NeilF

    NeilF
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    That's what I thought... So as long as 5m isn't the point at which quality makes a diffence (eg: sort of like 10m for HMDI), then super cheapy one it is :clap:

    Thanks! I'll order one now...

    Out of interest what on earth is the point of gold plated toslink? Is it as stupid as gold plated USB? :)
     
  8. JohnWH

    JohnWH
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    Digital audio interconnects do actually carry an analogue component in the form of the timing information for the data that is being transmitted, it is possible to degrade the signal sufficently to effect the recovery of this timing information without effecting the data. So the its "digital" argument doesn't strictly apply.

    Also to be fair to the Reuben.F he did not claim to have witnessed any difference.

    John.
     
  9. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    Gold is very soft, so it makes a better electrical connection ... I can only imagine that the ad-men don't understand that TOSLINK is not an electrical connection (or more likely they think the general public don't know).

    Many people think jitter is irrelevant.
     
  10. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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    Ahh, here we go again :rolleyes:

    All i'm saying is that glass cores are "said" to sound better, no, i've not done any comparisons.

    This nothing like HDMI, fiber optic carries light, not elecricity !

    @ NeilF, you won't suffer losses like HDMI over long distances, go for a cheap cable if you like, i personally wanted the best out of my settup so spent a bit more on a "cheap glass" cable :)

    Those how think i'm talking non-sense should check your facts before making assumptions, why do you think philips used a glass lens (rather than plastic) in probably the best laser mech ever made, the CDM9 Pro.
     
  11. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    So the flim flam men could sell it to you at a premium price.
    I would have used a diamond lens and sold it for even more.
     
  12. NeilF

    NeilF
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    Just imagine if it was gold plated as well :)
     
  13. JohnWH

    JohnWH
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    To be blunt, many people haven't got a clue what they're talking about!

    This said jitter is a manageble problem these days and any half decent high end dac is pretty much imune to jitter, the £600 Benchmark dac1 for one comes to mind. Unfortunatly most people are not running dacs with this type of technology, but then again they're also not running systems that would make the effects of jitter particularily obvious.

    At the end of the day it IS possible for a particularily bad digital audio interconnect to effect sound quality in ways beyond the oft claimed works/doesn't work scenario, however it is quite hard to get one that is that bad. And, if you have a high end system and think you can here differences between digital interconnects then I would suggest its time to buy a new DAC!

    Cheers,
    John.
     
  14. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    So we agree!
    Jitter is pretty much irrelevant.
     
  15. JohnWH

    JohnWH
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    We most definitely do not agree, jitter is relevent unless you have a way of defeating it.

    What we might agree on is that interconnects typically have little if any effect on jitter.

    John.
     
  16. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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    AFAIK, there are only a few Dac's that can do this, Dac1 as mentioned, the £2k Chord Dac, and a few others i forget.

    I have to say its the first time i've heard anyone say "jitter is irrelevent".
     
  17. JohnWH

    JohnWH
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    The Benchmark Dac1 is pretty much the best of the crop and is modestly proced as well due to it coming from a pro-audio background.

    I think the only people who say "jitter is irrelevent" are those that don't really understand it, although that said some take it to the opposite extreme for the same reason.

    John.
     
  18. davehk

    davehk
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    Tosh. The data is self-clocking so the clock gets skewed along with the data. The data is fed into a shift register in the receiver and then re-clocked out to the DAC using a stable, crystal controlled local clock. It is the stability and accuracy of this local clock that can affect the sound.
     
  19. NeilF

    NeilF
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    So basically the cable will work or not work? Not affect sound quality?
     
  20. JohnWH

    JohnWH
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    Err no. The clock must be recovered from the data using a PLL. You can't just use an underived local clock to clock the data into the dac as any small difference between the clock that was used to transmit the data and the local generated one will result in either data underrun or overrun. What you can do is use the data derived clock to clock the data into a couple of buffers and then use the buffer full/swap signal from those buffers to driver a second PLL, this will aeverage out any high frequency jitter components. Unfortunatley very few system include this type of technology. In addition to this the better dacs oversample by a significant amount which will tend to push any remaining harmonics caused by jitter out of band (this also has other benifits in the filter circuitry as well).

    John.
     
  21. JohnWH

    JohnWH
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    As I've said before, the cable is unlikely to effect the sound quality, but a particularily bad one can scrag with clock recovery sufficiently to impact SQ, any modestly price cable is however typically fine.

    John.
     
  22. norealplan

    norealplan
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    I've just moved my set up about due to getting a projector. I've replaced my 1m optical cable to a £3.80 8m one from ebay, and no difference :smashin:
     

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