Optical Cable

Does anyone use an optical cable from their TV to Naim, and if so please could you give me a reccoemendation? Is it worth spending money on an optical cable or not?

Yep. The most important thing is the mechanical soundness of the cable and the way it is installed to ensure a good connection. It’s not as simple as works-or-doesn’t. “Lost bits” are a thing and degrade the sound quality. I experienced a dramatic improvement by making a clamp/bracket that screws to the back of the TV that pushes the cable firmly upwards into the (downwards-facing) socket. The mechanical hold of the cable-socket by itself wasn’t enough.

My advice, spend enough to get quality manufacturing, but don’t necessarily believe the snake-oil claims. Take care with installation.

Hi Richard

I do not have a TV connected to my hifi, but for several years I ran an optical cable from my Macmini to my nDAC. The cable I used was a Wireworld Supernova 7. In that application it was noticeably superior to the el cheapo optical cable I first tried. Whether the the same would apply in your context I’m not sure but it showed me the value of a good optical cable.

Roger

Yes, I have it between Sony & Naim NDX, 7.5m & a tortuous route.
Taking advice from an IT friend he advised not to go overboard with spending as the limiting factor is the Toslink ends. I looked for some indication that the SQ was good & good flexibility was important.
I chose a brand called deleyCON & bought from Amazon, about £10 if I remember.
Compared with other Toslink cables I’ve used this looks & feels well made & unlike many is a good firm fit in the Toslink sockets

We have one from the telly to the 272. It’s 6m long and cost about a tenner. Works fine.

I use the Wireworld also. It uses glass fibers rather than plastic. Good connectors and it sounds great. Back in the day the hot setup was “ATT Glass Fiber” the ATT used ceramic Male terminations and a locking bayonet type female ends call ST Much better than Toslink.

The main weaknesses with the Toslink optical cable are the interface and the connectors - in particular the tolerances can be pretty wide, so the fit can vary. So, as Winky and Mike advise above, ensuring a good fitting connection is key.

My advice is not to go overboard with an optical cable, but maybe get a few inexpensive but reliable ones to try out.

I just bought a 6m one off of the river for £6 by Kabel direct , works fine between cable box and QB2 .

Definitely agree with advice given.

I would add Naim kit has first class optical inputs. Having moved my DAC from Naim to Chord, one thing I did notice was the drop in quality of Toslink connections and my only solution I found was to use an optical to Toslink converter.

However with the Naim DAC and a good TV then it may be worth getting a high quality Toskink. I would recommend QED Toslink cables - the entry level one is around £25 for a metre and has low jitter (70 ps) - the higher quality glass ones are about £100 and have very low jitter (30 ps), but unless you have an exceptional TV I doubt you’d notice the difference.

If you try a QED and are not happy with it then you can return it for a refund. QED are made in UK.

Wireworld’s SuperNova is also very good (made in USA).

Maplin used to sell a superb UK made optical cable, but alas this very fine shop is no more as too many people bought cheap and not very cheerful imports from China online: don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got 'till it’s gone.

Last year I tried a QED Reference Optical Quartz cable from my tv and it sounded ok. Whilst in the trial phase, I tried a Wireworld Supernova 7 and that sounded quite a bit better. This all became irrelevant, as I tried the sound from the analogue output with an Audioquest Sydney cable and difference was huge, so both opticals went back.

Just to note, I tried a Wireworld hdmi cable which was pretty expensive and it was so bad it wouldn’t even pass a full 4k signal (even though it claimed it would). So not convinced on Wireworld’s overall quality.

I use an Audioquest Cinnamon optical cable from the skybox to Ndac. After some recommendations on this forum in the past and reading reviews.
Haven’t had any issues. I can’t tell any weaknesses in sound. Has a slim profile that makes it easy to dress amongst my other fitted cables.

Based on a recommendation from Head Engineer of Chord, Rob Watts, and given the very tight fit of the Hugo’s optical port, I purchased the KabelDirekt Optical Digital Pro Series from Amazon for $10. I’m very pleased so far - the physical fit is outstanding. In higher price ranges, I highly recommend the Chord Company C-lite optical and the DH Labs Glass Master optical, both of which I used between my television and ND5 XS2.

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That’s very useful to know - thanks

Currently using a Lifatec glass optical cable, nicely engineered and made in the US.

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