If you want a cable that is physically flexible and can be routed through relatively sharp turns without fracturing the way glass-based cables might, and/or if you don’t want to spend a great deal of money, I would suggest this Analysis Plus cable. I’ve used it with fine results in a relatively non-critical application (listening to Internet radio via a Squeezebox). The Cable Company offers it at slightly lower prices than those shown at the link.
Not sure what your point is, Dweller, but I sense some sarcasm. I note, btw, that the glass cable Kijanki referred to specifies a minimum bend radius of "only 50 mm (about 2 inches)." I have no way of knowing exactly what the corresponding figure may be for the non-glass Analysis Plus cable I suggested, but having worked with that cable I suspect it is a good deal smaller than 2 inches, if it has any practical limit at all. And I note that AP’s description states that "unlike glass, it will not microscopically fracture when flexed."
If you can shed further light on the issue in a constructive manner I’m certainly willing to learn.
So, someone who doesn't make glass fiber cable say's theirs is better because it doesn't "fracture" if you bend it? No vested interest there (do you believe everything you read?). Also, the Wireworld isn't a single "large" filament but many smaller filaments. Lastly I can't imagine a single fiber cable "fracturing" unless you tied it in a knot and yanked as hard as you could. How many Toslink failures have you read about on this forum?
As a point of information, the glass cable Kijanki referred to, that has a specified minimum bend radius of "only 50 mm (about 2 inches)," is described as being "constructed from 280 individual strands of glass for maximum flexibility," which is only about 17% fewer than the 338 strands used in your Wireworld cable (for which no specification of minimum bend radius is provided).
Thank you for the clarification of your previous response. Regards,
3rds on the Unique glass Toslink. Learned about it on A'gon a couple years ago in another thread. Also available from Amazon. $27 (includes $6 shipping) for a 6 foot length.
Supplier info (Unique Products On-line) from the Amazon site:
The clearest and cleanest possible signal is transferred through the 280 individual stands of glass. Unlike most consumer grade optical cable that use plastic fiber optics, this cable uses real glass fiber optics and mirror polished ends for the highest possible quality data transmission. Glass fiber optic transmission allows amazing clarity reproduction, ultra spatial effects and dynamic impact. It’s ideal for use with DVD, DVD Audio, SACD, CD, D-VHS, game console, Dolby Digital and DTS professional audio applications. Sophisticated mirror polishing techniques are employed to make the clearest end possible resulting in less error and maximum signal transfer. 24K gold plated collet provides rigidity and maintains cable fiber placement. Precision-machined connector housing corrects for common tolerance errors within optical jacks. 6 mm, soft-flexible PVC jacket protects the delicate fiber core. Features: Precision molded plug and durable 24k gold plated plug ends Constructed from 280 individual strands of glass for maximum flexibility Bend radius is only 50 mm (about 2 inches) This cables ensures the least signal loss and least jitter possible Allows highest resolution digital audio transmission Widest bandwidth transmission and frequency response Tuned spectral attenuation for optimum signal admittance and low loss Precision polished TOSLINK core end for wider bandwidth with lower insertion loss Multi-shielding protection from damage and interference Glass Toslink Cables are new, in factory sealed poly bag
Hi Mesch...a price of only $27 should definitely allow some experimentation to compare sound quality. Plus, it's through Amazon so returns are pretty painless. A 2" bend radius seems pretty tight to me, way more stress than I've put on mine (I think!). Don't know what the OP needs routing-wise. I'll just point out for the record that kijanki & Jedi were the ones to re-introduce this Unique glass fiber option here. Not sure who in that thread from a couple of years ago "discovered" it...wasn't me.
I currently have a cheap $7.99 cable from Amazon that I use:
I decided - what the heck - let’s go all out and purchase an expensive cable to see if anything improves. Just placed an order for the Lifatec Silflex for $76. ($76 is really going all out for me, for a toslink cable...)
I plan to do some blind testing with my wife’s help. Let’s see if I can tell any improvement.
Going to be running the cables between a Peachtree Nova 220SE and a Bluesound Node. The amp will be driving a pair of B&W CM9S2 speakers. Between the amp and the speakers, I'm running a pair of Signalcable Classics, at $110 a pair.
Ghost, yes it would seem that a 2” radius would make this cable be quite accommodating for most setups.Yes, I agree. It’s always good when a specific quantitative perspective can be obtained on things that are matters of degree. My perception has been that lack of such information frequently leads to unnecessary and often less than pleasant disagreements in forum discussions.
Thanks to Kijanki for initially calling attention to this cable, and to the detailed specifications that are provided for it.
I’ll add that although I don’t have any special expertise when it comes to fiber-optics, my expectation would be that a bend radius that is more severe than is specified for a given cable would not necessarily result in outright failure. I would expect the more likely result would be some marginal degradation of performance, resulting from partial or complete fracture of just some of the many strands that are within such cables. The anecdotal indications that have appeared over the years that glass tends to often provide superior sonic results compared to plastic cables would seem to suggest that optical transmission in audio applications is not an all or nothing thing, but that instead some sort of a performance continuum exists.
Al, I bought two of these cables many years ago and still use them today. I've never tried a plastic Toslink but I suspect it would work exactly the same, especially with my jitter supressing DAC. Yes, decisions are often based on anecdotal evidence. There is a little of black magic in this hobby and placebo effect - strongly supported by the law of proportionality (For $10k amp you need at least $100 wall outlet). I have lost common sense long time ago.
Kijanki, agreed on all counts, aside from the last sentence :-)
I would add, with respect to the mention of "a little of black magic in this hobby and placebo effect," that there are probably also many cases in which effects are correctly perceived but are not attributed to the correct variable. With the correct variable often being unrecognized due to some combination of inadequately thorough methodology in the evaluation, and/or technical misconception. That said, though, as I'm sure you'll agree a substantial body of anecdotal evidence, taken with a modest quantity of grains of salt, can often provide significant value.
I ve been using glass fiber Lifatec for about 5 years as well as german JIB glass , and sys concept plastic from Canada... They are all quality cables, as I ve compared them to the Cardas clear , Goldmund Lineal, and Ensemble coaxial cables in my very revealing system... Of course each cable is system dependent and it takes some time to tell the differences....
xti16, you're welcome. Cutting ground loops is great but Toslink sometimes is worse than coax. It is a system thing. What works for somebody might not work for you. Optical drivers have slow slew rate (transition time) making transition recognition moment susceptible to internal system noise (producing jitter), but at the same time Toslink is free from transmission line effects, from electromagnetic or capacitive coupling of electrical noise and from ground loops. Clean power supply (conditioner) could be beneficial with Toslink.
I have both the Unique Products glass toslink and the Wireworld (I think I have the 6) and have done comparisons. While the U.P is an incredible value and produces excellent sound, the Wireworld is superior in terms of sound, materials and construction. The improvement is sound is quite discernible on fine high end equipment but maybe not very discernible on routine equipment.
Just an update- I decided the components for connection would be my Primare CD32 & Wyred 4 Sound DAC.
After extensive research I chose the Lifatec cable which I've installed today & it's superb. Excellent inner detail & mid frequency retrieval.
Also Nik from Lifatec has been extremely cordial & helpful.