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Mini-Toslink cables


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I was reading through some of the older posts and came across questions from yourself and others regarding sources for Toslink cables with mini-Toslink ends that are native, i.e. NOT an adapter.


Van den hul Optocoupler




I've not tried this cable, but it is available with mini-Toslink on one or both ends.



FWIW, Audioquest also make a mini-Toslink adapter - $5 at Audio Advisor.






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What exactly does any of this *mean*? ...


From: http://www.vandenhul.com/p_B42.aspx ...




With The OPTOCOUPLER Mk II we are convinced to have one of the best optical fiber cables available on the audio and video market.

The most important benefits of optical signal transmission are obvious; Never any noise or interference caused by external electrical and/or magnetic signals, and optical fibres are free from any deterioration.


What makes the Van den Hul OPTOCOUPLER Mk II special is the fact that both ends of the single fiber are shaped in the form of a convex (spherical) lens. This has many advantages:

The OPTOCOUPLER Mk II’s lens shaped input and output surfaces produce an extra focusing of the light beam. Light entering the cable at an angle is focused and therefore undergoes 50% less wall reflections per unit length inside the fiber (i.e. the light path is shorter). This not only reduces the loss of light intensity (attenuation) (even when the cable is being bent), but also the time difference of travel between the light rays traversing the fiber at various angles (so-called modal dispersion) is much reduced; A pulse of light traversing the optical fiber therefore undergoes less time-smear and this in effect reduces the amount of jitter distortion experienced at your D/A converter.

The OPTOCOUPLER Mk II’s convex shaped fiber ends furthermore bring about a better controlled fiber top surface contacting the optical transmitter and receiver-end. In this way optical insertion losses are reduced to a minimum.

Regarding the cable itself we guarantee a minimum transfer capacity of 250 Megabit/second.


All in all the Van den Hul OPTOCOUPLER Mk II forms a perfect high bandwidth, low-loss and low jitter optical connection, able to serve you with a very high sound and/or picture resolution at an unsurpassed definition."


And from review at Hifi Choice, issue 207 ...


"Van den Hul Optocoupler (optical interconnect)

It would be unlike van den Hul to make a completely ‘me too’ cable, and

although there’s not much room for manoeuvre with Toslink leads, the Dutch

maven has done his best. The Optocoupler has domed ends to the fibre,

which according to vdH leads to better focussed light within the fibre and

hence less ‘modal dispersion’ and lower jitter. That appears to make sense:

modal dispersion is indeed the bugbear of large-diameter plastic fibres of the

type universally used in Toslink leads, and it places limits on data rate and

transmission distance. vdH claims that the lead is good for 250Mbit/s, which,

in the absence of Toslink transmitters and receivers capable of anything like

that rate, we’ll have to take on trust for now. Construction is much like other

‘upmarket’ Toslink leads, with metal-bodied plugs, though these give a

particularly tight fit in sockets (perhaps a bit too tight - Toslink sockets are

not very robust). 3.5mm ‘miniplugs’ are an option.

Sound quality

Of all the optical leads, this seemed the only one that was clearly

differentiated from the others. Even so, differences are not vast, but there is a greater amount of detail on offer right

across the spectrum, approaching that of some electrical leads. Bass is extended and quite strong, though not quite as

tuneful as with electrical connections, and although voices (especially choral) still lack some precision they are better

defined and easier to understand than with the other optical leads. Imaging is certainly no worse than with the others,

perhaps just a shade better, and climaxes are a touch cleaner, which also makes for a better sense of scale. Overall, there

is a greater sense of ease to the sound and any kind of music is easier to follow and to listen to for long periods.


Although it’s hard to get wildly enthusiastic about this lead, it does achieve a better performance than competing

products. That should make it a good choice for connecting gear that lacks an electrical digital output, and as such it

seems appropriate to recommend it. "




Finally, how much is this bugger? I can't find an MSRP anywhere.

If it's under $200, I'll buy one, and take volunteers for

reasonable ABX testing. Any volunteer's only expense will be shipping, one way,

to the next tester. Testing parameters to be described by my friend

and former colleague who conducted ABX testing, based on his PhD qualifications,

for a major US telco for over 30 years. He is now retired, and hence has plenty of free time, and little reason to live. ( kidding about the second part ).

So, who want's to put short money against the gibberish above?

( Ashley, if he's interested and/or willing to participate, must present reasonable documentation that he is current on his meds. ;-) )






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It looks like marketing hype to me,

followed by reviewer gibberish.


I thought I saw a price of around 70 or 80 Euros.


Nice idea for a community testing scenario.


Testing the mini-Toslink-ended cable might be problematic

due to lack of high quality sources that use mini-Toslink,

but perhaps you are suggesting the standard-ended variety.


If so, I'd suggest trying the Wireworld Supernova 5+,

which costs about $125.











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my favorite part of the review:


"... climaxes are a touch cleaner, which also makes for a better sense of scale."


Oh ... baby.


So ... 80 euros is ... who can keep up with currency markets recently ...

roughly $150 USD nowadays?


If yes, and if I can find a place to order online, I'll do it.

Any advice on how I can find a place to order online, state-side?





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I second the cables from Lifatec. I have the 2 meter one and it sounds great going from my Macbook to ADM9s. I compared it briefly to an Audioquest with an adaptor, and thought the Lifatec was much better for a lot less money. Although to be fair, the Audioquest was longer so that might have had something to do with it.


ADM9.1s ,2.0 Ghz Mac Mini, Panasonic BD-35 blu-ray player.

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Why test a $150 cable against a $125 cable? I think the real question is not, can we hear $25? but can we hear digital cables, period. Test it against the cheapest toslink cable at Radio Shack or Best Buy. I'd offer to do it, but I'm sure my system is not resolving enough to reveal the differences.




I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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I was not clear at all, sorry.


I was assuming the 'Van de Hul climactic cable', versus a

$15 optical cable ( from R. Shack, as I happen to own ),

and would ship the tawdry cable along with

the orgasmic cable, to any ABX volunteers.








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