Diamond Optical Cable
The audio frontier is all abuzz these days with the pleasure possible though HDMI, USB, FireWire® and Ethernet connections. However, these current generation digital technologies are only part of the...
The audio frontier is all abuzz these days with the pleasure possible though HDMI, USB, FireWire® and Ethernet connections. However, these current generation digital technologies are only part of the story, just as the challenge of designing, manufacturing and choosing the best analog interconnects and speaker cables is as important as ever. The S/P-DIF (Sony® Philips Digital InterFace), which arrived in 1983 along with the CD, is still very much a part of our world today. S/P-DIF is transmitted through Digital Coax and Toslink fiber optics (EIA-J), making them still some of the most important cables in electronic entertainment.
- AudioQuest Diamond Optical Cable
- Length: 0.75m
- 280 Narrow-Aperture Quartz (Fused-Silica) Fibers
- Low-Jitter (Digital Timing Errors)
- Precision Polished Fiber Ends
- Conductors: Multi-Fiber (280 Quartz Fibers)
- Colour: Black/silver braid
For these many reasons, AudioQuest has refined and renewed our line of serious high performance OptiLink cables. All models and all lengths are now available Toslink to Toslink and Toslink to 3.5mm Mini Optical.
When the question is "how can a fiber-optic cable change the sound?"... the answer is easier to explain than for almost any other type of cable. If the light source were a coherent laser, firing into a vacuum, all the light would stay straight, arriving at its destination at the same time. Even if the LED light source in a Toslink system were coherent, the light entering a fiber-optic cable is scattered and dispersed by imperfections and impurities in the fiber. This can be measured as a loss of amplitude... but amplitude is not the problem, a 50% true loss would have no effect on sound quality.
The problem is that the dispersed light does get through the cable, but only after it has taken a longer path, like a pool ball bouncing off the side-rails, causing it to arrive later. This delayed part of the signal prevents the computer charged with decoding this information from being able to decode properly, or even at all. The inability to decode shows first at higher frequencies (not audio frequencies, this is a mono stream of digital audio information), so reduced bandwidth is a measurable signature of light being dispersed by a fiber. The punch line: The less dispersion in the fiber, the less distortion in the final analog audio signal presented to our ears.
There is another serious dispersal mechanism in the Toslink system. The fiber is a relatively huge 1.0mm in diameter, and the LED light source is also relatively large, spraying light into the fiber at many different angles. Even if the fiber were absolutely perfect, the signal would be spread across time because light rays entering at different angles take different length paths and arrives with different amounts of delay.
The almost complete solution to this problem is to use hundreds of much smaller fibers in a 1.0mm bundle. Because each fiber is limited as to what angle of input can enter the fiber, there is far less variety, and far less dispersion over time. This narrow-aperture effect is similar to how a pin-hole camera can take a picture without a lens... by letting in light at only a very limited range of angles, a picture can be taken, whereas removing the lens from a wider aperture would make photography impossible. Less light gets through a multi-fiber cable, but the light that does get into the fibers comes out within in a much smaller time-envelope.
So there is one problem, the dispersion of light across time... and two avenues towards a better result: less dispersion in the fiber (better polymers and ultimately quartz), and less dispersion by filtering the input angle. How simple is that! Listen and enjoy.
The pioneering cable designer and manufacturer AudioQuest has been the largest cable supplier to the high-end specialist market for many years. Created in 1980 by Bill Low, AudioQuest is focused on the design and development of cables and is well known for the use of multiple connectors in their range of speaker cables. These high-end cables have been built using Bill’s understanding of the mechanisms that cause distortion in cable and have used technology to create superior sounding cables.
AudioQuest has always based its products on performance and sound quality and have taken the design and development of cables and turned it into an art form. Over the years the range of cables has evolved from audio only to data cables, video and digital cables. These cables have been built from the ground up based on the same low distortion principles as the original audio cables.
The results are truly superb with cables that are able to elevate a sound system by reducing distortion and providing a much clearer, harmonious and expressive tone. AudioQuest is sold in over sixty countries worldwide and is the cable of choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike.