I have been having a strange and unexpected problem with Toslink connections.
I listen exclusively to digital music these days, streaming either from my NAS or Qobuz.
I have three systems in different parts of the house. Two are BlueSound Node 2i into Naim DAC, and the third is BlueSound Node 2 into a first-generation Hugo.
For all three systems, I have for some years used QED Reference Optical Quartz cables to connect BlueSound to DAC, and these have been fine. Increasingly I listen to hi def files, but nothing higher than 24 / 192, and I don’t have many of these. Mostly I don’t go beyond 24 / 96.
Lately, one of my BlueSound units has been struggling with 24 / 192 music, with lots of dropouts, and another one has stopped playing them altogether. The third unit keeps playing the same 24 / 192 music with no problem, and all three units are fine at 24 / 96. It’s a mystery - something that was never a problem becomes a problem and, although it’s the same TYPE of cable from the same TYPE of unit, somehow the individual combination of cable and unit produces different results. All my streaming is via very robust ethernet throughout the house, and that’s not the problem.
The QED cables are rated for 24 /192, but not beyond. It’s only guesswork, but maybe over time some glass strands have broken in a couple of the cables and they are unable to reach their rated capacity.
I have one different cable (it came with the Hugo) that is rated to 24 / 384 I think, and if I use this cable I have no trouble in any of my systems.
All of which begs the question - if I have to replace cables, what are the best cables that I could be using?
From the BlueSound units I have a choice of Toslink or Coaxial connections - which is best? I have been told coaxial for the best sound - except that it allows electrical interference and won’t carry hi def signal.
I can’t ever see myself bothering with higher than 24 / 192, or at least not higher than 192 - higher bit rates would be good but they don’t seem to be so readily available. Ideally I’d like capability for up to 32 bit, and comfortably beyond 192 even if in practice I never go beyond it.
I thought I more or less understood all this stuff but recent experience has left me feeling very ignorant.