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 Post subject: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:46 pm 
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Posts: 161
Location: Queen Charlotte, BC, CA
I have been happily using a Belkin Synapse Platinum Pro digital coax cable, as sold on CAM for $120. It was a definite upgrade from a
Sonic Wave cable, to my ears. It connects a Teac PD-H600 CD player to a Cambridge Stream Magic 6 Network player. Recently a friend lent me an Atlas Opus and it seems better than the Belkin in regard to definition and bass response.

Atlas does not market the Opus cables anymore and there are not a lot of them on the second hand market. The Ascent Ultra seems to be Atlas's replacement for the Opus, but it would be over $400 to order a 1.5 metre pair from England and I do not see any on the second hand market.

Does anyone have experience with another digital coax cable with RCA plugs that is (a) definitely better than the Belkin and (b) as good or better than the Opus. I am hoping for a price that is less than $200 but might go as high as $300 if angels appear in my living room to play the trumpets. Second hand is OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:44 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I've heard the Atlas Opus in my system and owned the Belkin.

PLus I've owned about 8 other digital S/PDIF cables

See if you can find a 2, 3 or 4 meter Tributaries V1 silver plated triple shielded video cable.
These have a yellow jacket.
Recall, video cables also have a 75 ohm termination impedance.

OR a Monarchy DR-1

The Atlas Opus, Tributaries mentioned, and the Monarchy, are all about on par with each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
I have tried a number of different digital cables over the years. In my previous Teac transport, Aragon D2A2 dac, the best digital cable was...(wait for it)...Toslink! I used a Kimber Kable toslink for years and was better in my setup an any digital cable. Toslink is inexpensive and well worth a try.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:07 pm
Posts: 4632
Location: Welland, ON, CA
UHF magazine used to sell the Atlas Opus digital cable in their store. I would contact them, they may still have one or two kicking around. Its a long shot, but you never know.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Posts: 1243
Location: Burlington, ON, CA
An excellent coax cable is the Chord audio Clearway - and it should fit in the $300 range. The tougher part is finding a dealer in Canada - you could try My Kind of Music, ebay might have some listed, and "The CableCo" sells it as well (google the website - US based but ships). 1.5 metres is the ideal length for coax cables - try to purchase in that length. The Audioquest Cinnamon is an entirely decent coax as well for only $100 - a bit on the polite side though. The Clearway is definitely worth the extra money.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
I listened to the Atlas Opus and its replacement, the Mavros digital, side by side.

They don't sound quite the same. The Opus was a bit lusher, the Mavros a bit cooler, but they are both excellent. The Mavros, however, is a current model !

Of course, an Opus would likely be a good deal cheaper, since it is only available second hand.

The only coax cable I've heard which was definitely better than either the Opus or Mavros, was half of a pair of Teo Audio interconnects ( their entry-level version, but not the Game Changer ). This was also the only time I've heard a digital cable 1 metre long sound the equal, for coherence, of a 1.5-metre length. An Opus or Mavros will do better at 1.5m.

Edit : I've now tried a new Teo purpose-built S/PDIF coax which is superior to the one I mention above.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:39 pm 
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Location: Lethbridge, AB, CA
Sent pm.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Location: Welland, ON, CA
To the OP.

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... tal-cable/

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:01 pm 
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Posts: 161
Location: Queen Charlotte, BC, CA
Thank you for those informed replies, and to the two gentlemen who offered to sell me Opus cables. The add which was posted was done that way so that I could give the seller feedback.
Having been through an expensive few years of analogue cable upgrades, I did not want to go that route with a digital cable.
The Atlas digital cables seem to get the best reviews overall, so purchasing one does not leave me feeling that I am missing anything. I can not afford a TEO. Especial thanks to lontano53 for helping me out.
The Clearways were under consideration and I did a search for Monarchies and Tributaries. What I found was that there were not a lot of "high end" second hand digital cables for sale in the 1.5 metre length.
No optical output on that particular TEAC CD player.
To add to this thread, it would be interesting to know if anyone has experience with DH Labs, Van Den Hul, or any other premium digital coax cables. I thought that the Van Den Huls looked very promising.
Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:19 am 
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
My experience with van den Hul is that it is very system dependent. My friend had it his setup, sounded great. We tried it in my transport- dac setup, not good. Some of this is trial and error unfortunately. Since we do not know all the details of your system, nor have we heard it, the internet can only offer "suggestions".


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:41 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
If I may say so, very wise to hold out for the 1.5m length.

dcrossle wrote:
What I found was that there were not a lot of "high end" second hand digital cables for sale in the 1.5 metre length.


The length compensates for the jitter-inducing effects of an impedance mismatch between the transport output and the DAC input. Such a mismatch is the rule rather than an exception, according to ex-Intel engineer Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio.

I have encountered only two exceptions to the 1.5-metre length as optimum. These were both Teo Audio cables ; one of their strengths is said in an online review to be impedance matching.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:50 am 
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Location: Queen Charlotte, BC, CA
Thanks again.
Here is the complete system chain: Teac PD-H600 CD player to Cambridge Stream Magic 6 V2 streamer/decoder to Rega Cursa Preamp to Rotel RB-1091 Class D mono blocks. The speakers are the L&R speakers from a 1980 vintage JBL L212 system. There are 2 SVS SB 1000's (small 12" sealed subs running in stereo from 50 Hz to 70 Hz) and a single SVS PB12-NSD (large 12" ported sub running in mono from 30 Hz to 50 Hz).

There is also a Rega RB-40 turntable, an old Yamaha FM tuner, and a seldom used Nakamichi cassette deck.

The cables are: Atlas Opus Digital (now) from CD to streamer, Morrow MA4 with copper Eichmans from streamer to preamp, Lavricable Ultimates from preamp to mono blocks, Audio Research 10 AWG speaker wire, and Take 5 Audio 1505F subwoofer cables.

Harrison Labs Hi-Pass filters @ 30 Hz, 50 Hz, and 70 Hz are used to control the low frequency roll offs for the subs and the L&R speakers.
(My "normal" friend's eyes tend to start glazing over, somewhere in the first sentence.)

Using 3 subwoofers is an accident of availability and affordability, more than design. The JBL's have volume controls for the mid-ranges and tweeters. With those, and all the the subwoofer controls, there is lots of opportunity for adjustment. With 3 subs, much adjustment is necessary but they now sound pretty good.

Since installing the Opus cable I have turned up the tweeters a little and turned down the volumes on the SB 1000's one notch. I think those adjustments were needed anyway, but the cleaner signal through the Opus made the need more apparent. To my ears the system sounds almost perfect.....at least until a new tweak is discovered.

This is a bit of a digression from the digital cable topic, but this is the best system which I am working with. There is also another backup system and they are interconnected.


Last edited by dcrossle on Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:51 am 
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Posts: 1774
Location: Kingston, ON, CA
One of the reasons that Wire is replaced by the +10x more capable optical systems (in the realm of long [or short] lines of transmission) is that the optical cable medium is amorphous to a certain extent and also a quasi-liquid. Long story.

The Liquid metal is fully fluid, and mildly resistive, which as a combination, allows for a better form of in-situ impedance matching, at termination and in the given specific local spot in the cable/fluid itself.

Solid wire is in a frozen lattice form and is effectively highly polarized, as well as having a very high impedance differential from the fields involved vs the wire's inclusion and handling of said fields.

The fluid metal is quite a bit higher in impedance compared to wire, and is incidentally dynamic to some degree in it's handling of high accelerations of signal. The fluid dances with the signal... the signal is not forced to go down a washboard road with no suspension, like it is when using wire as a transmission 'medium/path/channel/guide' (this is how it works, in general terms).

The given fluid metal RCA digital cable is made with nothing more than an nominal relation to coaxial 75ohm design concerns. We flip a nickel at the spec, essentially. The spec is rendered partially irrelevant due to it's origins vs how the fluid functions.

The audio oriented Teo cables, are so far off the idea of a proper 75 ohm coaxial cable, that it is practically ludicrous to think they would work at all. But they do....

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Opus
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:48 pm
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
Quote:
(My "normal" friend's eyes tend to start glazing over, somewhere in the first sentence.)

I have two categories of friends: friends and "stereo buddies" :wink: . I have met several "stereo buddies" via CAM and can discuss cables and speakers for hours. I must admit it is handy to have "stereo buddies" when you need an extra set of ears to pick out issues with your system. :D


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