Half Decent Optical Cable?
Jul 17, 2009 at 6:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21


100+ Head-Fier
Sep 25, 2008
I know that in most cases, spending big bucks on cables is a waste of money. But I have a question regardless.

I think most of us agree that for RCA Cables, Blue Jeans Cables are the best bang for your buck cables.

I was wondering if there was a similar consensus for Optical cables? Or Coax/TOSLink (S/PDIF?), either way my computer has both, and my DAC will have both.

I'm not looking to spend over 100 bucks, and preferably less than 50, but it is something that I expect to buy once, and never have to buy again :p

Thoughts? Suggestions?
Jul 17, 2009 at 7:39 PM Post #2 of 21
A little less than $100: For only $2.73 each when QTY 50+ purchased - PREMIUM 3FT Optical Toslink Cable w/ Metal Fancy Connector | Toslink to Toslink

You even get a "fancy" connector
Jul 17, 2009 at 7:50 PM Post #3 of 21
Haha. I was thinking Monoprice too. That's where I get 99% of my cables (esepcially HDMI cables!)

So, I take it there's no difference between optical cables in the same way there's no difference between HDMI cables? Either the signal gets through, or it doesn't?
Jul 17, 2009 at 8:52 PM Post #6 of 21
Jul 18, 2009 at 11:06 PM Post #9 of 21

Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's what I use. I would never spend more on one, as this is already glass.

Me too. Build quality is first rate, it'd glass, not plastic, and you won't find a better price. As long as it's glass, spending any more is a waste.
Jul 19, 2009 at 1:22 AM Post #12 of 21
Absolutely. When I was doing a bunch of reading into it a while back, I basically narrowed it down to this.
The purer the medium and the shorter the run through which the light travels, the less likely you are to have impurities or other anomalies which can disburse, block, or scatter parts of the light stream. Think of a CD with a small scratch on it. The light can read through the clear area just fine, but when it hits the scratch, it's scattered. Depending on how badly, it may or may not result in an error, and the player may or may not be able to fix it, but better not to have a scratched or dirty CD in the first place.

Glass apparently is more 'pure' than plastic as it applies to fiber optics, and the ends are able to be polished to a more durable, higher purity finish.
Whether any of this is in the least bit true, I don't know, but it kind of makes sense. Critical data fiber optic cable in telecommunications I think only uses glass, even over long distances.
I wouldn't bet a bunch of money on it, but I honestly did feel like I might have heard very slight improvement by going with Glass.
At $20 it's a hell of a lot better experiment than a $300 coax cable.
Jul 19, 2009 at 11:42 PM Post #13 of 21

Originally Posted by FirebottleRon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Anyone ever hear the stories about cheap glass cables breaking very easy? The optical standard calls for plastic right?

Sure glass strands can break, but if you are careful and do not bend the cable to a tiny diameter, you should be okay. I am not sure about the standard though.

This is why I love Bluejeans Cable, they even admit that glass optical cables are slightly better than what they sell in terms of optical purity. Their reasoning is that durability trumps a small optical inferiority. I have a lot of respect for a company that gives all the facts and lets the customer choose.
Jul 20, 2009 at 6:37 PM Post #14 of 21
Yeah BJC is awesome. But I'm gonna give this 15$ glass Toslink a shot as well. I use a Monster THX optical cable which I got on clearance for less than 10 bucks, been ok with it so far, but its longer than I would prefer.

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