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audio reviews: A Toslink vs

By: Sony
The debate

What follows was inspired as much by purely selfish reasons as it was intended to serve your edification. You see, during the review of the Birdland Audio Odeon-Ag, I felt inspired to investigate its Toslink interface. Why? Because this brand-new reference DAC allots two of its four inputs to this allegedly fatally flawed interface. Perusing designer Gilles Gameiro's website, I noted that in his personal reference system, he tosses the link to the Odeon himself. This stopped me cold in my deeply entrenched, warm'n'fuzzy tracks of Toslink slamming.

If this optical connection was as inferior to RCA-carried S/PDIF as common consensus has it - why did Mr. Gameiro choose it for his personal reference system when he had a choice? What did he know that I didn't?

To identify superior Toslink cable - not something I had ever bothered with before - a quick query on Audio Asylum generated three strong recommendations. Two of them I could procure: The WireWorld SuperNova III+ and - compliments of the very supportive Robert Stein of The Cable Company - Van Den Hul's Optocoupler.

Inmates who owned either felt they were among the best of their kind. Hence the cards of today's poker session wouldn't be unfairly stacked, as could be concluded if some el-cheapo excuse for a proper Toslink got badly trashed by my resident Acoustic Zen "squared" or TARA Labs RSC.

To push the envelope, audio gentleman Robert Stein included one AudioOne Reference Toslink. On the house side of the card table, he dropped off an Ensemble Digiflux.

Then my site's wonderfully inspired graphic design mistress Nobuko got hip to this wired get-together. She FedEx'd over her personal...



3.5mm Stereo to RCA Audio Cable, 3.5mm Stereo Male to Dual RCA Male (Right and Left), 50 foot - Metal Braided Male Splitter Fiber Converter Amplifier RCA Connector Wire
Speakers (VoojoStore)
  • Converts: Converts back and forth between RCA Left/Right Male Plugs and 3.5mm Stereo Male Plug
  • End 1: RCA Left/Right Male Plugs
  • End 2: 3.5mm Stereo Male Plug
  • Length: 50 feet
3.5mm Stereo to RCA Audio Cable, 3.5mm Stereo Male to Dual RCA Male (Right and Left), 50 foot - Metal Braided Male Splitter Fiber Converter Amplifier RCA Connector Wire
Speakers (VoojoStore)
  • Converts: Converts back and forth between RCA Left/Right Male Plugs and 3.5mm Stereo Male Plug
  • End 1: RCA Left/Right Male Plugs
  • End 2: 3.5mm Stereo Male Plug
  • Length: 50 feet
TNP Products TNP Digital to Analog Audio Converter Box Adapter - Converts Optical Coaxial or SPDIF Toslink Signal to Stereo RCA L/R (Red/White) Sound Signal
BISS (TNP Products)
  • Converts Coaxial or Toslink Optical digital audio to analog RCA L/R audio output simultaneously.
  • 24-bit S/PDIF incoming bit stream on left and right channels
  • electromagnetic-noise-free transmission, Plug and Play, Easy to install
  • Auto sensing input selection with priority given to SPDIF; disable / disconnect SPDIF input for coaxial
  • Provides electromagnetic-noise-free transmission
VoojoStore RCA Audio / Video Cable, 3 RCA Male, 6 foot - Digital Coax Dvi D RCA Theater VGA Monitor Wire Connector
Speakers (VoojoStore)
  • End 1: RCA Composite Video Male Plug Plus Audio L/R RCA Male Plugs
  • End 2: RCA Composite Video Male Plug Plus Audio L/R RCA Male Plugs
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Color: Black
VoojoStore XLR Male to 1/4 Inch Mono Male Audio Cable, 50 foot - Metal Braided Male Splitter Fiber Converter Amplifier RCA Connector Wire
Speakers (VoojoStore)
  • Converts: Converts back and forth between XLR Male Plug and 1/4 inch Mono Male Plug
  • End 1: XLR Male Plug
  • End 2: 1/4 inch Mono Male Plug
  • Length: 50 feet



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