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Mini Optical cable recommendations...
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jay.money
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Mini Optical cable recommendations... Reply with quote

I'm looking for a high(er) quality optical cable for my mini. It's main purpose in life is serving music to my mid - fi 2 channel stereo and my goal is to eek out every bit of audio quality from it. To that end, i've purshased a stand alone DAC and was hoping to compliment them both with a mid quality optical connection.

The best (looking) quality cable I've come across is the Belkin one that Apple pushes. Anyone using anything else? Maybe something that doesn't come with a snap on adapter?
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Doug Eldred
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a quantity of one, I went for a good price on a Monster cable, with the snap-on mini-TOSlink adapter you don't seem to want. If you only have two channels, why do you need optical? "Just" stereo would seem to be sufficient.

Doug
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jay.money
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems I'm caught in a bit of an identity crisis. I'm an aspiring audiophile that wants all the modern conveniences I can get my hands on...

As such, I've decided that I want to serve my music from the mini rather than have discreet components for playing CD's or LP's. The audio quality from the Mini's DAC and mini plug aren't that good, so I'm going to introduce a (mid - fi) audiophile quality stand alone DAC. It's all being run through a NAD Integrated Amp and some and NHT speakers.

Multi channel is not the only reason to use digital audio...

So, are the little snap on adapters available on their own, or do I have to buy a cable that has one?
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Doug Eldred
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can buy the snap-on connectors separately, and they're pretty cheap IIRC. Actually, I thought the Monster cable (billed as an iPod or AirPort Express optical cable) was mini at one end and normal TOSlink at the other, but what I got was a regular TOSlink-TOSlink cable and the adapter. Check some of the forum sponsors, I think I've seen inexpensive adapters there, or sites such as Monster, maybe Radio Shack, etc.

Doug
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jay.money
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, a Monster would be fine if it was mini tos to standard tos.

2nd choice would be snappy thing on a regular, decent quality standard tos.

Thanks Doug.

Any other suggestions appreciated. Can anyone confirm the mini tos to standard tos Monster cable? I've never come across any cable that is mini to standard by design...
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Doug Eldred
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jay.money wrote:
Yeah, a Monster would be fine if it was mini tos to standard tos.

2nd choice would be snappy thing on a regular, decent quality standard tos.

Thanks Doug.

Any other suggestions appreciated. Can anyone confirm the mini tos to standard tos Monster cable? I've never come across any cable that is mini to standard by design...


Mine sure wasn't, but it works fine.

Doug
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jay.money
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just dug around the Monster site....

Looks like the one I want is the Monster Interlink Lightspeed 100 (ILS100TM-1M). It comes in Tos to Tos & Tos to Mini Tos versions...

Thanks again Doug.
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Emiel L
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A monster cable may be a waste of money. With digital cables, especially the optical ones, quality does not matter so much. If the signal arrives in working order at the DAC, it's good enough and a more expensive cable won't improve the sound quality (unlike analog cables, where a good cable does improve sound)...
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Din
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For under $30 (+ shipping) you can get a really decent quality glass toslink cable plus the mini adapter. This is the same glass optical cable a lot of other companies brand as their own and sell for about 3X as much.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&Partnumber=180-951

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&Partnumber=180-968

Monster stuff is priced beyond what its worth. As long as a toslink cable is constructed well, about the only real quaity difference will be a glass vs. plastic one.

What DACs are you looking at?

Din
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jay.money
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Din, Thanks for the suggestions. I couldn't wait for the mail order, so for now, I settled for the Belkin one that the folks over at Apple are pushing. I am also a member of Emiel's camp. I'm not totally convinced that digital cable has any affect on sonics (although I've read posts from many that are convinced).

I picked up a Birdland Odeon Lite DAC. It's somewhat obscure and not much to look at, but does a great job. Huge improvement to the sound coming out of the Mac.

This is my first venture in to "PC" music (other than my Ipod & some early day Napster downloads). I'm no audiophile, but with some of the higher bitrate rips (mine are 256k VBR), mid grade amp & DAC will produce decent sonics. I'm not going to go deliver this message to the folks over at Stereophile or the Absolute Sound, but my Mid Fi needs are definitely met.
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johnodd4
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you have a optical port if not i would recommend the external 5.1 surround sound option for mac there are several sound systems avilible now
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jay.money wrote:
I'm no audiophile, but with some of the higher bitrate rips (mine are 256k VBR), mid grade amp & DAC will produce decent sonics. I'm not going to go deliver this message to the folks over at Stereophile or the Absolute Sound, but my Mid Fi needs are definitely met.


I like your attitude.

I have a friend that listens to head slamming death metal music all day long, every day on speakers with 12" drivers, that he bought from a pawn shop for $100. His needs are met as well.

Don't tell that to the guys at Absolute Sound/Stereophile either.

My needs are met with this.

I used to be into the high volumes, but now I'm into higher quality, with a full range of sound at lower volumes. I'm just running analog output to the amp. I'd be real interested in hearing the difference a DAC makes on a decent system.

I'm glad you are happy.

Can you post a pic? In particular, I'd like to see the audio equipment.
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jay.money
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice setup, Bill. If I'm not mistaken, thats a Denon mini receiver you've got there. Nice unit. I was looking at those as well as the Denon faux surround 2 channel systems, S 301 I think it was called. What are the speakers you're running?

I settled on a NAD 325BEE Integrated Amp and DVD player instead. My mission has been maximum WAF. I'm out of town all week but will try get some pics up next week.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a Yamaha amp. The speakers and sub are Sinclair. Sinclair Audio is a Canadian manufacturer.

It works for me and it doesn't take up much more space than my previous computer speakers. Being that my computer is the hub of my home entertainment, I feel it's justified. I don't even have my home stereo hooked up any longer. This little set-up is loud enough to fill the house. I wouldn't throw parties with it, but those days are over anyhow Smile

What do you mean that you settled on an amp and a DVD player? Did you give up on the mini as a audio server?
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jay.money
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the DVD does movies. The monitor is a 37" Sharp Aquos. Mini serves music. I'll get some pics up.
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