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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:41 pm 
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I am hoping someone can explain it in plain words, I have a DAC, which has three digital inputs and one of them is marked "ST OPT", I am told that I need an st glass optical cable and that it sounds the best.

I am having a hard time finding that cable, even a picture of it, the question is does it really sound fantastic?

At this time, I am using coaxial on RCA, cause my transport has that only.

I have been searching the net and I see mostly super high price tag attached transport/cd players with st glass optical output. Are there any players without the high price tag which offer the glass optical output?

What is your experience as far as SQ is concerned, does this kind of digital connection indeed superior then AES/EBU and Coaxial RCA?

I Thank you all for your time.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:02 pm 
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ST Optical (or ST/BFOC) is an enterprise data and telcom type connector that was adopted by high end audio some time in the 90’s, but has fallen out of favour due to it’s expense. I personally do not have experience with the interface from an audio perspective – networking yes. I do not think one can guarantee it to be superior in sound quality to any other interface for there are too many variables involved. The interface is now rare in the audio industry for I believe it carries a pretty hefty royalty in comparison. Not to mention the added complexity of the needed transmit and receivers. It is also not as robust as the other interfaces.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:13 pm 
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I am using the ST optical glass on my Enlightened Audio Designs T-1000 transport feeding an Enlightened Audio Designs DSP 7000 MKII .And yes it is head and shoulders better than the coax and toslink connections . I purchased my St Glass cable from Noble Electronics in the USA . They do mods repairs and upgrades and specialize in EAD products . The only other transport/dac combo I have come across that offer the ST Glass was an older Mark Levinson model . Give Noble Elec a call they keep the cables in stock .


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:27 pm 
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The cables are not what carries the expense. One can purchase a ST cable from a computer store that specializes in enterprise networking for around $30+/- depending on length. It is the interface and implementation on the components that can get expensive which is why it is usually only seen on SOTA type products, and mostly older products from the late 90's to mid to late 2000's


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:34 pm 
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-----------------Optical connection = No ground loop issues . If telecom uses it it might just be be better at something ?


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 7:24 pm 
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doctortube wrote:
-----------------Optical connection = No ground loop issues . If telecom uses it it might just be be better at something ?


Plus not being susceptible to outside interference, no termination impedance mismatch and less signal loss over MUCH greater distances. For data transmission it is way superior than what SPDIF or AES/EBU has to offer. But the transmission of digital audio does not use the interface anywhere near to its full potential. The downside is the added complexity of the circuit that, along with it’s needed licence/royalty fee’s, can add a significant cost to the product. Which is probably why we do not see it being used anymore. And like everything, it needs to be properly implemented.

Plus this is not an audio interface by design. It is dated and slowly falling out of favour to more robust optical type connections.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 10:24 pm 
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I use it as my primary choice on my Accuphase DP90/DC91 combo and yes it is superior to any other choices of connections( I have them all on these machines) It is kind of hard to get these days, but you can order it to e made. Wadia actually also have it as number one choice for their gear and EMM Labs and DCS and Esoteric too.....the cable looks like this. Ebay has some generic ones....and you may also look at this, but be aware...http://www.auralsymphonics.com/optimism ... 02015.html


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 5:21 am 
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Hi
Two of the dac I own from the 90s ,use the ST connection. One is the Mark Levinson Number 35 ,and the other is a Sonic Frontiers SFD2 MK2.
Best
George


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:17 am 
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It was the favored link in all Wadia digital connection.
Did a comparison some years ago and it was the better sounding one followed by AES EBU/XLR, SPDIF/RCA or BNC and Toslink.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:17 am 
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I also own a SF Dac with this input but have not been able to source a toslink to st cable except a custom one that was cost prohibitive . Has any one used the st input in this config on a SF Dac ?


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:39 am 
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doctortube wrote:
I also own a SF Dac with this input but have not been able to source a toslink to st cable except a custom one that was cost prohibitive . Has any one used the st input in this config on a SF Dac ?


Didn’t think this was even possible. Google turned up 1 TOSLINK to ST cable which came with a warning.

Quote:
WARNING: Toslink and ST receivers and transmitters are often incompatible (and were never intended to be compatible). For this reason, we cannot offer a warranty or returns on Toslink/ST cables.


Even if the cable was within a reasonable cost, one does have to question the benefits, if any. You will only be as strong as your weakest link. Besides, ST Optical does not improve audio – that is impossible! If properly implemented it just degrades less than other formats.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:12 am 
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sthomas1049 wrote:
doctortube wrote:
I also own a SF Dac with this input but have not been able to source a toslink to st cable except a custom one that was cost prohibitive . Has any one used the st input in this config on a SF Dac ?


Didn’t think this was even possible. Google turned up 1 TOSLINK to ST cable which came with a warning.

Quote:
WARNING: Toslink and ST receivers and transmitters are often incompatible (and were never intended to be compatible). For this reason, we cannot offer a warranty or returns on Toslink/ST cables.


Even if the cable was within a reasonable cost, one does have to question the benefits, if any. You will only be as strong as your weakest link. Besides, ST Optical does not improve audio – that is impossible! If properly implemented it just degrades less than other formats.

Sounds pretty much like what I found almost two decades ago . It seem like a lot of money to gamble on the chance of it working or not . If any one has tried this with a Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 MKII I would like to know how it worked out for you .


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:25 am 
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Op,

After reading the first 11 posts it seems that two things maybe discussed here. The first being a special interface that was/is offered on more expensive gear in which I have no direct experience. The second being an optical cable made of glass fibers that I do have experience.

I have a Nordost optical Whitelight Glass Toslink cable that is truly special. I would buy many more if I could. I bought mine here on CAM. It is a fantastic cable.

My 2 cents input,

Audiois1st

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Audiois1st wrote:
Op,

After reading the first 11 posts it seems that two things maybe discussed here. The first being a special interface that was/is offered on more expensive gear in which I have no direct experience. The second being an optical cable made of glass fibers that I do have experience.

I have a Nordost optical Whitelight Glass Toslink cable that is truly special. I would buy many more if I could. I bought mine here on CAM. It is a fantastic cable.

My 2 cents input,

Audiois1st


Hi
I have the same cable by Nordost Whitelight (Toslink glass fiber) and your impressions echoes mine. A very good cable indeed.
George

-- 23 May 2018 22:02 --

doctortube wrote:
sthomas1049 wrote:
doctortube wrote:
I also own a SF Dac with this input but have not been able to source a toslink to st cable except a custom one that was cost prohibitive . Has any one used the st input in this config on a SF Dac ?


Didn’t think this was even possible. Google turned up 1 TOSLINK to ST cable which came with a warning.

Quote:
WARNING: Toslink and ST receivers and transmitters are often incompatible (and were never intended to be compatible). For this reason, we cannot offer a warranty or returns on Toslink/ST cables.


Even if the cable was within a reasonable cost, one does have to question the benefits, if any. You will only be as strong as your weakest link. Besides, ST Optical does not improve audio – that is impossible! If properly implemented it just degrades less than other formats.

Sounds pretty much like what I found almost two decades ago . It seem like a lot of money to gamble on the chance of it working or not . If any one has tried this with a Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 MKII I would like to know how it worked out for you .


In this case ,why don't you look for a SF SFT-1 cd transport to pair with your SFD-1 MK2 .They both use the ST connection.
George


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Yiorgos said

In this case ,why don't you look for a SF SFT-1 cd transport to pair with your SFD-1 MK2 .They both use the ST connection.
George


This would only facilitate one player , but a toslink to st cable would facilitate most any player or toslink digital source and give one more usable input on the DAC .


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