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Thread: Cables... advice on what digital cables to use

  1. #1
    Join Date: Feb 2019

    Location: Banbury

    Posts: 19
    I'm Dan.

    Default Cables... advice on what digital cables to use

    Hi everyone,

    Looking for some advice on digital audio cables as thereís quite a lot of conflicting info.

    So what is the consensus on Coaxial vs Toslink, specifically QED performance Coax vs either Qed performance optical or Fisual Hollywood Glass optical.

    Or would I be better of getting a better Coaxial cable?

    Source: Tidal upto 24/48Khz over UPnP or CD
    Renderer: Cambridge Audio CXUHD
    DAC: Beresford Caiman SEG 30 Inc Dorado

    2nd question

    Toslink to mini optical adapters, are they a bad idea (for my CCA)?

    Thanks
    Av System: Denon AVR-X4300h receiver - Cambridge Audio CXUHD UHD player - Mordaunt Short Mezzo 5C centre - Mordaunt Short Mezzo 6 rear's - Bk elec Monolith Plus sub.

    Shared Components: Beresford TC-7240 Switcher - Sony TA-n55es power amp - Home made 12v twin amp trigger device - Mordaunt Short Performance 6 front speakers

    Hifi System: Rotel RSP-1068 Pre-amp - Cambridge Audio Azur 551P phono pre-amp - Rega RP2 with MM carbon cart - Beresford Caiman SEG(30) & Dorado psu

  2. #2
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,348
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Hi Dan

    Rather than the brand of coax, the important parameter is the cables stated impedance.
    The characteristic impedance of the cable is created by having uniformity from inner conductor to outer shield
    with then inner conductor at exact spacing from the outer shield. We can see straight away a RCA at either end is
    not obeying this essential requirement. Rather digital links must be used with a BNC connector. But as usual
    the marketplace wins by offering basically silly RCA's for this purpose.
    .
    Coax is in the case of digital links is forced to usually 75 ohms by a fixed resistor, so the cable appears
    as having the cables characteristics impedance. If the resistor was not there the characteristic impedance
    is then tied to the length of cable requiring knowledge of wavelength. Whilst 75 ohms is common there
    is good reason to rebuild your equipment to use 50 ohm which is the broadcast standard. The lowering
    of impedance also lowers propensity for noise intrusion.

    In this regard coax wins hands down over toslink as it is being forced to be a transmission line
    ( although toslinks works and is convenient ) and obeys well known principles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_line

    In the circumstance of a digital link it is usually best to make your own, using high quality coax cable.
    which leads to converting your equipment ,or indeed buying equipment with a BNC already fitted.
    Which will be as rare as the proverbial you name it... so out with the soldering iron if you want it done properly.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 241
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    First i would ask which input gives the best SQ on the DAC, coax or toslink?

    Then chose a cable , looks like Beresford make a coaxial cable, this might be a good option for synergy.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 933
    I'm Dennis.

    Default

    "there’s quite a lot of conflicting info"

    What, in Hi-Fi choices, surely not so, I though it was all resolved with no conflicting views.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 57,139
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barwell1992 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Looking for some advice on digital audio cables as there’s quite a lot of conflicting info.

    So what is the consensus on Coaxial vs Toslink, specifically QED performance Coax vs either Qed performance optical or Fisual Hollywood Glass optical.

    Or would I be better of getting a better Coaxial cable?

    Source: Tidal upto 24/48Khz over UPnP or CD
    Renderer: Cambridge Audio CXUHD
    DAC: Beresford Caiman SEG 30 Inc Dorado

    2nd question

    Toslink to mini optical adapters, are they a bad idea (for my CCA)?

    Thanks
    if done well i doubt you will notice much difference. i use all 3 (usb too) and dont notice a lot of difference, if any.
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/PROJECT PHONOBOX DS2 USB - QUAD VENA 2 - IFI PURIFIER 2/TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK POWER AMPLIFIERS - LEAF HD BLUETOOTH - OPPO PM-3 PLANAR, SONY H900 & NURAPHONE HEADPHONES - ZBOOK/ IFI SILENCER/WIN10 PRO/AUDIRVANA 3 PLUS/TIDAL - SMSL M6 DAC & IFI SILENCER - RPI 3+, DIGIONE HAT/VOLUMIO2 - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN SPEAKERS - CABLE INC CHORD, MOGAMI, SUPRA & WIREWORLD

    **Men are not punished for their sins, but by them**
    ***SMILE, BE HAPPY***

  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2019

    Location: Banbury

    Posts: 19
    I'm Dan.

    Default

    Thanks for the replyís so far !


    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    In the circumstance of a digital link it is usually best to make your own, using high quality coax cable.
    which leads to converting your equipment ,or indeed buying equipment with a BNC already fitted.
    Which will be as rare as the proverbial you name it... so out with the soldering iron if you want it done properly.
    Very interesting, if my equipment were older it would defiantly be on the cards to crack out the iron, however not sure I fancy doing it in a 2 month old £700 Bit of kit.

    If it had to be Toslink VS RCA would you sway towards Toslink ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Discopants View Post
    First i would ask which input gives the best SQ on the DAC, coax or toslink?

    Then chose a cable , looks like Beresford make a coaxial cable, this might be a good option for synergy.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Iíve messaged Mr Beresford him self about something else so Iíll also ask these questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    "thereís quite a lot of conflicting info"

    What, in Hi-Fi choices, surely not so, I though it was all resolved with no conflicting views.
    maybe I should just buy what the magazines say I should buy
    Av System: Denon AVR-X4300h receiver - Cambridge Audio CXUHD UHD player - Mordaunt Short Mezzo 5C centre - Mordaunt Short Mezzo 6 rear's - Bk elec Monolith Plus sub.

    Shared Components: Beresford TC-7240 Switcher - Sony TA-n55es power amp - Home made 12v twin amp trigger device - Mordaunt Short Performance 6 front speakers

    Hifi System: Rotel RSP-1068 Pre-amp - Cambridge Audio Azur 551P phono pre-amp - Rega RP2 with MM carbon cart - Beresford Caiman SEG(30) & Dorado psu

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2019

    Location: Banbury

    Posts: 19
    I'm Dan.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    if done well i doubt you will notice much difference. i use all 3 (usb too) and dont notice a lot of difference, if any.
    To be honest that’s what I’ve always thought. Just sanity checking really, I know swapping the plastic Toslink cable for glass is an easy win as it seems clear cut that glass is better.
    Av System: Denon AVR-X4300h receiver - Cambridge Audio CXUHD UHD player - Mordaunt Short Mezzo 5C centre - Mordaunt Short Mezzo 6 rear's - Bk elec Monolith Plus sub.

    Shared Components: Beresford TC-7240 Switcher - Sony TA-n55es power amp - Home made 12v twin amp trigger device - Mordaunt Short Performance 6 front speakers

    Hifi System: Rotel RSP-1068 Pre-amp - Cambridge Audio Azur 551P phono pre-amp - Rega RP2 with MM carbon cart - Beresford Caiman SEG(30) & Dorado psu

  8. #8
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 57,139
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barwell1992 View Post
    To be honest that’s what I’ve always thought. Just sanity checking really, I know swapping the plastic Toslink cable for glass is an easy win as it seems clear cut that glass is better.
    yup, i used a fisual glass one for a while. currently not tho as ive misplaced it a well made one of any type is fine. its as much to do with how well the ends are cut n polished
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/PROJECT PHONOBOX DS2 USB - QUAD VENA 2 - IFI PURIFIER 2/TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK POWER AMPLIFIERS - LEAF HD BLUETOOTH - OPPO PM-3 PLANAR, SONY H900 & NURAPHONE HEADPHONES - ZBOOK/ IFI SILENCER/WIN10 PRO/AUDIRVANA 3 PLUS/TIDAL - SMSL M6 DAC & IFI SILENCER - RPI 3+, DIGIONE HAT/VOLUMIO2 - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN SPEAKERS - CABLE INC CHORD, MOGAMI, SUPRA & WIREWORLD

    **Men are not punished for their sins, but by them**
    ***SMILE, BE HAPPY***

  9. #9
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,348
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Yes given the industries wrong choice with using RCA connectors vs BNC the correct choice to terminate digital cables, Toslink
    has much appeal. which begs the question is there anything that can be done to improve it. Possibly ensuring no radiated red frequency light
    escapes at the junction points. The junction points too might be improved by focussing the light beam - to a degree this is already done,
    via the fittings, but I think could be improved upon with encapsulation. Also the receiving and sending conversion I do not think is optimized
    for light transfer,rather just borrowed from the coax way of doing digital transfer. Might be a future topic in the DIY section. to discuss.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 241
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    Yes given the industries wrong choice with using RCA connectors vs BNC the correct choice to terminate digital cables, Toslink
    has much appeal. which begs the question is there anything that can be done to improve it. Possibly ensuring no radiated red frequency light
    escapes at the junction points. The junction points too might be improved by focussing the light beam - to a degree this is already done,
    via the fittings, but I think could be improved upon with encapsulation. Also the receiving and sending conversion I do not think is optimized
    for light transfer,rather just borrowed from the coax way of doing digital transfer. Might be a future topic in the DIY section. to discuss.
    Ive got a chord mojo , generally accepted sound quality of inputs in the mojo owning community is USB > coax> optical and this is backed up by a hierarchy of sampling rates supported. So I donít think a single rule can be applied to all circumstances.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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