Acoustic Research Optical (Toslink) Cable Speaker Cables

4.5/5 (26 Reviews) MSRP : $26.95


Product Description

Interconnect cable for audio/video equipment with digital input and output jacks.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mccalley a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Take it from an engineer, here are a few points:

- It is not very likely video would be effected by an SPDIF cable. There is the possibility of noise and issues related to grounding coming across a copper cable. There is also the possibility that the circuit components that handle those interfaces generate noise on the board or within the same system that decodes the digital signal, so it depends on your system.

- Digital is digital is digital. Whether it comes over optical or copper, has gold or platinum connectors, the word "Monster" printed on it or whatever, it is exactly the same signal and can be measured as such. If the cable is long enough or bad enough, bit error can occur. This would sound clearly like a problem and not some slight degradation of sound quality.

- There are different digital formats and rates of data transfer. These can make a difference. Generally, the higher data rate, the more depth and separation in the audio. With some poking through menus on your source and possibly on your receiver you should be able to identify if you are using PCM, DD, DTS or AC3 at 48 or 96kbps. Ideally, you would be transferring raw data from your source to your receiver, where presumably you would have the best decoder.

- Assuming you have a good source (DVD and Super Audio isn’t bad), sound is most likely to be compromised first in the decoder, then with noise creeping in before amplification, then in poor amplification, some in transmission (picture wasted $$ on 1” thick Monster cable – 8 gauge copper should be sufficient), some in the crossover circuitry and then, of course, the quality of the speaker. Lots of places to compromise sound and at each stop there are several levels of quality…all of come after the digital transmission part and begin with decoding. Cables should be last on the list for improving sound.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by woofus a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: July 8, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I am only a casual listener who is just starting into this crazy hi-fi world, but like this cable a lot. I use it on my PS2, and it is a lot better than the in the box A/V cables. I tried to test it against my sony DVD player which uses a coax cable, it didn't sound as good, but then again it is a new player and is far superior in picture as well. Still it was a bargain compared to monster toslinks, and it inproved my gaming sound a lot.

Kenwood 6050 reciever (only 1 optical input)
Sony Dvp-ns325 DVD/CD/MP3
Bose 301 IV (not bad, but have Wharfedales in mail)

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   best buy



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by casey_love a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I recently upgraded to a NAD S500 CD player with optical link and off went my Chord Optichord from my DVD home theatre set up. I replaced the DVD toslink with ARs and frankly the AR is not at par with Chord's. I also tested it on the NAD CD and noticed the same. AR's sonic abilities is inferior to the Chord's and Kiri Tekanawa just does not sound as good as when I use my Chord. Having said all this, the AR cable is good enough for DVD and I would stick to the Chord optichord on my NAD.

PIONEER 895TX A/V Receiver
Pioneer DV-533 DVD Player
B&W 602 S3 front
B&W 601 S3 surround
Yamaha YST305 active sub
Tannoy MXc Center
NAD C270 Power Amp
NAD S500 CD Player

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Sanlyn a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 7, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Have seen remarks here that "all optical cables sound alike" because "they all transmit 0's and 1's," etc. That's true, but it's also true that coax transmits the same 0's and 1's. Coax cables sound different, and so do opticals. It's not digits, folks, it's the materials used, echoes, resonance, impedance matching, clock timing/jitter, etc., etc. These AR's do have a cleaner, clearer, more detailed sound than their more expensive Monster Lightspeed counterparts (which are generally awful). Considering the price, this AR cable is quite good; a clean high end, nice midrange, very decent soundstage in width and depth. There are rave reviews here for these AR's - I can't justify a 4 or 5 rating here. On high end equipment, they sound clean but too lean, the very low end being detailed and tight but not as 'there' as the rest of the spectrum. A (very) mild hardness in the upper midrange, especially on female voices. The lead-in of instrumental attack is a little sloppy (piano, drums, guitar, etc.), often making some piano keys sound as if they need to be screwed down tighter or something. On lesser audio systems (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) the AR's did acquit themselves quite well. Give them a 4 in cheapo systems, but with mid-fi or higher their faults become amplified. Still, at $35 they present a good, well-focused soundstage and sounded mighty nice on my older (cheapo) system, which typically had bloated bass and wiry highs that this cable handled well. For high-end gear, unfortunately, they won't do. I have to add points to the AR's overall rating, however, because of their very good DVD picture playback. In that respect, the AR's were far superior in DVD playback to the over-priced junk being sold by Monster nowadays. On my audio system I have better, pricier cables, but these AR's have found a permanent home on my Toshiba DVD video player.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   The Wiz



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by adrian rorvik a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Marantz SR6200 AV Receiver

I have read the reviews on this site and elsewhere and pretty much agree, but there are a few things others haven't mentioned. Firstly the thing is a dog to operate. I previously owned a Denon 3801. What a difference when it came to operation! The Denon was a pleasure, with a great remote. One didn't have to bring up the on screen display to change settings (it was displayed on the amp), the signal wasn't muted and the whole thing was a lot more intuitive. With the Marantz the rear centre channel seems an afterthought since distance cannot be set and there is no subwoofer level adjust on the terrible remote.Also no adjustments (i.e Balance) in stereo mode.

I, for a long time, felt the Marantz was blown away in movie performance by the Denon, but the new Denon 3802 costs nearly twice as much as the Marantz in South Africa. Please note I said WAS. Recently I rewired my speakers via the sub, set the setup to no sub and use the S. Direct feature. Do yourself a big favour and try this. In stereo it adds dimension and clarity and in home theatre use it is like removing a veil. You simply HAVE to try this otherwise you're not hearing what this receiver can do. The SR6200 is great value for money in my part of the world.It certainly is THE receiver for anyone wanting the best of both worlds- control and power in movie mode and great sounding stereo.Another big plus is the SRS Labs CS5.1 which puts even Dolby Prologic 2 in the shade. No contest there.Bear in mind that the only difference between the SR6200 and the more expensive SR7200 is 192khz decoding, multi-room and a better remote.

System includes; Paradigm monitor 3's; p front and rear, Paradigm CC350, B&W ASW1000 sub, Marantz 6000OSEKI cd player, sony DVD, MOnster and AR cables

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Purchased At:   insurance replaced




Reviews 1 - 5 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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