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Tara Labs The One Digital
2 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
Description: Coaxial digital cable


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by John Lum a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 18, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Transports: Theta Jade; CAL Delta
DACs: Theta DS Pro Basic IIIa; Cobalt 307

I have added the DFGS, so think of this as a follow-up.

I had thought that The One Digital (TOD) was excellent, all by itself. Well, well, well...I added the DFGS, and all I can say is that this is the best digital coax I've ever experienced. It simply gets out of the way between your digital components, and lets them shine.

Don't ask me how TOD + DFGS sound. I'll leave that to others. Instead, let's go back to the summer of 1985. I had just graduated from junior high. For some dumb reason, I signed up for Oceanography, whose recommended prerequisites were Bio and Chem.

So on the first day of summer school, I was scared out of my wits. After all, this was my first entry into the vast world of high school. It turned out that I was, of course, the only freshman in that Oceanography class. There were but two sophomores, and the rest of the class consisted of juniors and seniors.

On the second day of class, we had the dreaded swim test. Now, I'm a good swimmer. But I had to march down to the locker room, and change into my swimwear. Um, the other guys in the class really made me feel small. And when we met up with the girls, I was toast. The girls were, uh, much more mature than I. They certainly were much more developed than the girls from my own grade. At any rate, I was completely overwhelmed and intimidated. I simply could not handle it.

After school, I rushed home to watch the Robotech trilogy unfold. This was before we had a VCR. Robotech was so engaging, and I didn't want to miss an episode. [While most people liked Macross the best, my favorite of the three was The New Generation].

And then I had basketball practice in the evening. Somebody always brought a boombox, and I vividly recall all the great pop hits of the time.

As I look back at that summer of '85, I think the album I listened to the most was Tears For Fears' "Songs From The Big Chair." ...Well, well, what do we have here? Mobile Fidelity has now re-issued their gold CD of that album.

And now that I have added DFGS to TOD, digital separates have never sounded better. Indeed, when I put on Mobile Fidelity's "Songs From The Big Chair," never before have I been so effortlessly and transparently transported back to that magical summer of '85.

If you are lucky enough to get TOD and DFGS, be warned that you may find yourself transported back in time. For some of you, that may or may not be a good thing ;-) But for me, every time I hear Tears For Fears' "The Working Hour," it's as though I shaved the last fourteen years off my life. If you want to revisit and enjoy your past (while maintaining your current wisdom and intelligence), Tara Labs' TOD and DFGS are your Fountain of Youth.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by John Lum a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 1, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Transports: Theta Jade and Data Basic II; CAL Delta; NAD 5000 CD playerDACs: Theta DS Pro Basic IIIa and Pro Prime IIa; Cobalt 307
Other digital cables: Kimber KS-2020; Illuminations D-60; Tara Labs Air 75 Digital; MIT Reference and T3; XLO Reference Type 4 (older version); AudioQuest Digital Pro and Video Z; HAVE/Canare Digiflex Gold I

The Tara Labs The One Digital is, by far, the most expensive digital cable I've tried. But now, the question is: Is The One Digital (I'll call it TOD for short) superior to everything out there, or does everything else suck?

Like any good cable, TOD simply gets out of the way. You will hear what your digital components really sound like. And this is a good thing. I never knew what my transports and DACs were capable of, until I hooked up TOD.

So how does TOD sound, you ask? Boy, that's a tough one to answer. IMO, it doesn't have much of a "sound." If TOD is in your system, you'll know by what is Does NOT do. It does not have a bloated midbass. It does not add dirt, constrict the soundstage, or blur image outlines. Nor does it add sweetness, gee-whiz dynamics, or anything else euphonic. Everything seems in the right proportion. Nothing really sticks out, so that you'd say, "A-ha, it's TOD!" If I do have a nit to pick, it's that ultimate macro dynamics seem a touch restrained. But I don't know if that's a function of CDs themselves. Other audiophiles have written to me that they find XLO's Limited Edition a tad better in this regard.

Nevertheless, even if you have ratty digital separates, TOD will bring out their best. I've searched for years for the right digital cable. It always seemed like I was trading one compromise for another. No longer. With TOD, my search has ended.

The answer to the question above? Yes, TOD is better, in every parameter, than everything else out there. Comparatively and in absolute terms, all the other digital data links suck. Once you hear TOD, you'll want to deduct one star from all the other digital cables' ratings. Of course, Tara Labs' The One Digital gets a five-star rating. It's not just highly recommended, it is, for now, the best at any price, in any criterion.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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