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NO Sound - iRiver H140 / iBasso D10 via optical - HELP! - Page 2

post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
Go to a Mac store and try it out on a laptop with the optical out.


I don't know if it was something you said, but it triggered another thought in my head..... I must be having a bad week and not thinking very well.

I have two audio systems in my house. For various reasons, the best receiver (my Pioneer Elite) is not hooked up to a CD player. So, I was tinkering with my Optical in Toslink on my Pioneer elite Reciever yesterday with my H140 - which worked - even with the incorrect optical cable for the H140 (see above).
My Pioneer Eliter receiver is in my formal living room.

Today, I remembered I have a Sony CD Jukebox on my other older receiver in my den. It is hard to dig out to get to the back of the CD player the way I have it set up in a book shelf, but sure enough, it has a digital audio out.

Guess what? - I hooked the Sony CD player up with Toslink to Toslink cable on my D10 (with Toslink connected and headphones connected prior to turning on the D10) and........ instant music.

Great for sure, but now I am even more confused!

So, I immediately go back and hook my H140 with my custom SysConcept cable together with the D10 (start H140 playing music, confirm red light, hook up optical connect in proper order prior to turning on the D10) and ..... still no music.

So, at this point, I have confirmed the H140 works and I have confirmed the D10 along with it's optical in, DAC and Amp all work.

I have to assume if using the optical in that by default, the D10 has to use both its DAC and Amp - safe assumption.

So, the only possible remaining "problem spot" (I can think of) is the SysConcept $70+ cable.

But, I am pretty shocked about that. Considering how much tolerance my Pioneer Receiver had in picking up the optical signal from the H140 when the H140 did not even have the Toslink cable properly connected in the Mini-Optical jack.

Side note: Next DAP maker that makes an optical out unit needs to stick with Toslink optical connector. Mini optical connectors appear to be obsolete or similarly impossible to come by.

When I hook up my SysConcept optical cable to the H140 only I can "Easily" and "Clearly" see a pretty strong red light.

Just now out of curiosity, I ran a few light transmission test on the SysConcept Optical Mini to Toslink cable (nothing scientific - as I don't have equipment for anything scientific on an optical connector) - But, I used a cheap, but sufficiently powerful LED flashlight and directed the light in both sides of the connector - the light coming out of the opposite side in both cases was quite bright.... I don't know if that means much, but it sure seems to be transmitting light and quite well - best I can tell (????)

So, now that I know all of this and confirmed I "Have" been trying to turn it on correctly (correct connection and sequence of connecting and turning on), what else could be going wrong????

Over the last couple of days, I have probably tried connecting and turning on the H140 to the D10 40 - 50 times now. So many times I had to recharge both earlier today.

This is a bit crazy.

Naturally, now I am leaning towards believing the fault most likely is the SysConcept cable. But, that just seems so highly improbable.

Any other ideas or thoughts?????

It has been a rough week for many other than audio reasons. I think I must be loosing my mind. But, this seems like it should be pretty darn simple and somehow - I don't get it.

post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by HiFlight View Post
Try the iRiver/D10 with only headphones plugged in on the front and the optical toslink on the rear. No USB, no Coax.

Hey Ron. Thanks for jumping in.

The way you suggest to try is pretty much the only way I have been trying.

I tried "twice" yesterday.
Once with a mini connecter by itself plugged into the Aux in/out of the D10 to see if that might trigger something. And once with the iPod connected - which played iPod music as the D10 has done in the past. But, no H140 music at that time.

I did not expect that to be right or to work.

I have never hooked anything to the coax on the D10.

I have used the D10 via USB from my computer many times with success while waiting for the H140 and optical cable. But, I have never had USB connected on about 40 - 50 attempts while trying to get the optical connection between the H140 and D10 to work..

To me, the only logical and appropriate way to connect would be as you said:

Headphones plugged into front of D10
Optical jack plugged into Optical Line out of H140 (Mini Optical connection) to Toslink optical connection on D10

NOTHING else has been connnected on every other attempt.

And I just tried again about another 5 times after finding out the D10 worked with my CD player. But, still no go.

post #18 of 53
The optical out of the iRiver or the optical receiver of the D10 may not be up to specifications. Often home stuff can run off of a less powerful signal but I have noticed that the D10 requires a good strong signal in. If you have any canned air maybe blow out each. The iRiver is fairly deep and could have some dust built up, hard to say.
post #19 of 53
Thread Starter 

The combo of the H140 and D10 is still not working, but I have gone back and "Double-Checked" the following:

H140 "IS" working as optical out playing music via Optical Toslink cable through Pioneer Received (*** This is "HAND" holding the incorrect Toslink optical connector barely inside the Mini Optical out port on the H140 and yet in spite of hand-holding the incorrect connector, it still EASILY works. - see pics)

**** What gets me is how EASILY the Pioneer receiver pics up the H140's optical signal when "HAND"-holding the Toslink connector. Notice the connector isn't even all the way in the hole. I could move the connector in and around the H140's optical out port and get perfect sound up until the connecter was just barely, but "COMPLETELY" out of the H140's optical out port.
And the signal was pretty much an All or nothing signal.

To me, this shows how much leniency there is in the optical signal. It works EASILY.


D10 "IS" working as Optical in DAC and Amp when connected via Optical Toslink Cable from Sony CD player to D10 via Toslink to Toslink optical cable. No picture. But, it comes right on instantly if connected first with optical cable and headphones then turn on the D10 power. Piece of cake. The D10 pics up the CD players optical signal 3 out of 3 times perfectly and instantly when turning on!


Re-Confirmed over and over - H140 and D10 with Sysconcept cable have a 100% "Failure" to play music. The ONLY sound I hear is the amp power turning on and off.


I took some pictures of the custom Sysconcept Optical connector:

Connector by itself (many here probably know about it):

Link: Sys Concept Inc. Fiber Optic Products Attenuators, Patch cords, Laser Diodes, Connectors, MP3, Toslink, Hybrid Adapter and more: Toslink MiniPlug 90-deg Precision Premium Optical Cable

Sysconcept Optical connector (Mini Optical to Toslink) shown connecting the H140 to D10:

3 pics trying to show red light out of Sysconcept optical connector when connected to the H140 (this is the light the D10 would receive):

With bright overhead light on (no camera flash):

With bright overhead light on, but partial shadow (no camera flash):

With overhead light off (no camera flash):

I am baffled.

As easily as the H140 works with the Pioneer - even with the incorrect connector and hand holding...

And as instantly and perfectly as the D10 works with a Sony CD player via Toslink optical connecter....

And with the amount of light I am seeing from the Sysconcept optical cable coming from the H140....

......What could be wrong?

post #20 of 53
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
The optical out of the iRiver or the optical receiver of the D10 may not be up to specifications. Often home stuff can run off of a less powerful signal but I have noticed that the D10 requires a good strong signal in.

Well... I guess that is possible. I am not sure "How" I would/could fix/resolve that problem or confirm that as a problem though.

Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
If you have any canned air maybe blow out each. The iRiver is fairly deep and could have some dust built up, hard to say.
Interesting you mention that.

When I received the optical connector from Sysconcept, I was about to connect it and I did notice a "bit" of grime around the "Side"-Walls of the optical out port of the H140. *** I should stress "small" amount of grime - looked like subtle marks made by rubbing copper on white.
At the time, I didn't know about turning on the "Optical out" signal in the menu of the H140 - so I couldn't see inside the port very well since it was so deep.

So, I called and talked to Joseph Kmiec at Sysconcept to get his recommendation on how I might best clean out any grime without damaging anything in the port.

He suggest blow it out as well. OR if that didn't work, he suggested using a lint free soft tip and 99% iso alcohol.

I didn't and don't have any dry canned air. I have an air compressor, but it tends to build up condensation and I didn't want to shoot any condensation down the port. So, I pulled all of the cotton off of Q-tips and only used the paper stick remaining portion of a Q-tip with 70% iso alcohol. I don't have 99% and the label said the remaining ingredients were water, so I figured it should be more than fine.

*** I was VERY careful to make sure I didn't insert the stick all the way to the bottom of the port. At the time, I could not see the bottom of the port, but I marked my cleaning tip just short of the length the Mini Optical tip inserts. So, I never cleaned all the way at the bottom of the port. I was too nervous about damaging anything. The grime was VERY mild. I just felt I should remove it rather than get it on my new $70 connector and compound any grime issues.

But, now that I have the Optical out red light lit up, I can see in the port much better.... Probably burning out my retinas though. - Is that some sort of Laser light???

Anyway, I tried to get some pictures of the light and the interior of the port to see how clean - hopefully, the pics would show more than I could see with my eyes and at much less risk to my eyes if that is laser light... My eyes do seem a bit funny at the moment. - hopefully no damage and that will pass.

Anyway, from the pics, the light sure seems strong and bright and the port looks pretty clean to me:

Looks bright to me (?????):

Inside the H140's Optical out port:

In the last two pics, it seems to me I can clearly enough see the bottom of the port and the light source. I am impressed I could get that good a picture with my camera. To me, it all looks both Clean and bright. (?????).

Any thoughts?

post #21 of 53
Have you tried another Toslink to mini-plug connector besides the Sysconcept?
post #22 of 53
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post
Have you tried another Toslink to mini-plug connector besides the Sysconcept?

No.... That is the only Toslink to Mini-plug Optical connector I have.
And that specific cable (Toslink to Mini-plug) seems to be a VERY small niche application item. I can't imagine I would need another for any other application. So, I justified the one specifically made to connect the H140 to the D10.

However, because of this recent inability to get the combo working, I actually did both "Look" and call around to see if I could find another such cable or Toslink to Mini-plug adaptor - since I have one other Toslink to Toslink cable. I checked quite a few places including: Radio Shack (didn't have a clue what I was talking about), Fry's, Best Buy and one other small electronics store.

Sysconcept sells the adapter for $2.50 USD. But, Sysconcept is in Canada. I am in Houston, Texas. It took almost two weeks to get that cable through the mail. And he shipped it the day after I ordered. So, service from Sysconcept seemed very good. I talked to Joseph Kmiec from Sysconcept on the phone a couple of times and via email a couple of times. He seemed very eager to help. I went through Sysconcept because of recommendations and high praise from people on Head-fi. I hope the issue doesn't come down to the connector as Joseph's help so far has been stellar.

That said, that little 31mm long cable cost over $70 with shipping. It should be solid 14k gold at that price. I sort of expect good service and in return, I assume Sysconcept makes a reasonable profit on such a small customized niche item. I can buy 10 foot + Toslink cables all day long for under $10.

More importantly, for $70, I again hope the issue isn't that connector. If it is, I am sure Joseph would make good on it. He seems very likely to be VERY good at wanting customers satisfied.
But, at the price I paid for that connector, I would expect a TOP-Quality connector that was tested and passed with PERFECT high marks.

I may order one of those adapters for future possible use connecting my H140 to my home receiver. But, it isn't a high priority and I was hoping to find a solution to this issue without waiting 2 weeks.

post #23 of 53
I bought 2 different FO cables from Sysconcept, including adapters and they are all good. I have an iHP-120 and a D10 and they all work fine with the cables. However, in your case, the only cable you have not tried to swap with a different cable is the Toslink-miniplug. If you are interested, I can send you one of my Toslink-miniplug cable that I bought from Sysconcept to check your setup.
post #24 of 53
I know that to make the custom connector takes a bit of time and isn't as easy as it looks.
post #25 of 53
Hey DDW, mini toslink adapters aren't that hard to find. There are a lot of them on eBay and even most of the Hifi stores sell them. Even Sony sell it in their high street retail outlets.
post #26 of 53
True...many prepackaged cheap toslink cables actually come with them (in the past I've noticed that Phillips and Magnavox branded cables at KMart/Walmart came with some).
post #27 of 53
Thread Starter 
Well.... I did physically search a few stores (Radio Shack, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Conn's, Office Depot) and called a few others (Fry's and two local stores) - so, probably about 8 different stores as mentioned above with no luck. There are a couple other options in Houston that were recommended, but they were far away. Houston is a large city. I live way north of Houston. Many parts of Houston are 30 - 45 miles one way. So, a LONG trip for a $3 - $10 item. I would probably just purchase online at some point rather than drive 60+ miles round trip. Gas is too expensive to rationally justify the trip.

I was actually at Target yesterday and after all of the other places I visited physically, I didn't think they had a chance at having one, but if Wolfen has seen at KMart/Walmart, I should probably check....... I took a minute to check online: Target has only two listed that I could find that indicate available in stores, but neither mention anything about any type of adapter in their description. Walmart has 31 hits for "Toslink", but "ALL" say "Online Only". I will probably still check around a bit more.

I am not sure how interested I am to spend $12 - $15 for a Toslink cable at a retail store - with HOPES of just finding an adapter that I need, if I can just buy the adapter online and shipped for less than $3.00.

Wuwhere, thanks for the offers, but it should cost less to purchase and have shipped (found one for $2.79 shipped on ebay) than shipping yours back and forth. And just as fast (most likely) at that point. But, I do appreciate the generosity and helpful spirit.

Before purchasing on ebay, I will double-check my options locally.
I have been VERY eager to get this rig up and going and was hoping for instant solution/gratification.


I guess most feel that the "Cable" is likely the problem at this point (?????)

Or does anyone think there is a possibility that the source light signal from the H140's optical out might be too weak?

Or sesitivity of light receiver on the D10 optical in port to low?

It seems it must be one of those 3 options at this point (?????).

post #28 of 53
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
I know that to make the custom connector takes a bit of time and isn't as easy as it looks.

Fair enough. I wasn't intirely trying to bash what I paid for it. I acknowledge that the one I purchased was specifically made to be as small as possible and to fit a portable rig "Specifically" the H140 to D10 combo. It is a "Custom Made" cable.

My goal for my rig is for portable carry. So, minimizing cables is worth "some" extra money. But, I still consider that HIGH dollar for an optical cable even if custom made.

Further, as I tried to be clear about before, I REALLY did feel Joseph's help and attitude to try to be helpful and provide as best a product as he can "seemed" very apparent. For that I am appreciative and greatful.

But, I am not sure I would be able to stop myself from being a "bit" disappointed if in the end I pay $70 for a cable that doesn't work.

Granted, I feel very confident Joseph would try to make it right, send me a replacement, etc. and if the cable is the issue, I am sure in the end it will be worked out and all will be fine.

I just feel that if I am paying that high a price for such a small "Custom Made" cable, it should be "tested" for "Optimal" performance (Optimal light transmission ???) before being shipped.

AND considering it is custom made "Precision Premium", "Super Polished", "High transmissivity", "Precision termination", etc. etc. AND such a "relatively" HIGH dollar connector, it should perform "Better" than the MUCH cheaper cables that are mass produced and readily available. All of the above reasons used to "imply" premium and "Better" are also part of the justification for the premium cost.

At this point, I don't feel I have 100% determined the entire fault lies with the cable - since John suggested: "The optical out of the iRiver or the optical receiver of the D10 may not be up to specifications". And I am not 100% sure how to test/determine all of that other than to keep tinkering with different cables and adapters.

But unfortunately, all of this testing and tinkering just costs me "MORE" time and money.... which starts to "possibly" degrade the justification of the $70 cable even more (*** I guess I have to stress "possibly" ?????)

Does anyone know of any other method or test to test the optical out power of the H140 or optical receiver of the D10 to confirm if they are up to specs - whatever those specs should be?


post #29 of 53
I agree, I would be disappointed also and frustrated. I have the same cable with no problems, which doesn't mean anything but unless the cable was bent hard I can't figure out why it doesn't work. With the bright light transmission you are seeing it would seem to be working. I say this because I had another optical that I accidently abused a few times and it quit working. I could see light transmission but it was noticeable dimmer. While not scientific it was a difference that was fairly self explanatory.
post #30 of 53
Fiber optic cables require special care, unlike wired cables. Here's why:

"Optical fibers require special care during installation to ensure reliable
operation. Installation guidelines regarding minimum bend radius, tensile
loads, twisting, squeezing, or pinching of cable must be followed. Cable
connectors should be protected from contamination and scratching at all
times. Violation of any of these parameters causes increased attenuation or
permanent damage to the cable."

Even if light is present, you don't know the quality of that light.
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