Optical Cable WTF???

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Optical Cable WTF???

Postby josh porter » Thu May 29, 2008 3:48 pm

So a guy came into the store today and he asked me if we had any 3.5mm optical cables. i asked him what it was for and we googled it and came up with this description from the web "Connect external speakers, headphones, or optical digital audio equipment. The headphone / line output jack accommodates optical digital audio output, analog audio output with a 24-bit, 44.1-192 kHz D/A converter, digital audio output up to 24-bit stereo and 44.1-192 kHz sampling rate and supporting encoded digital audio output (AC3 and DTS). For analog headphone / line output a standard audio cable with 3.5mm metal plug should be used. For digital audio, a standard Toslink cable with a Toslink mini-plug adapter can be used." so then we searched for Toslink mini-plug adapter and we got this:

Image

any thoughts on this would be great
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu May 29, 2008 4:08 pm

Your post is a bit confusing. What exactly was the "optical cable" actually being connected to, and for?

Toslink optical cables are used extensively for connecting digital audio devices for both the SPDIF and ADAT "Lightpipe" formats. Many Toslink cables that I've purchased come with the "mini" adapter included.

More info?
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Postby josh porter » Thu May 29, 2008 4:30 pm

hes using it to go from his mac to his television. sorry for the confusion about the post. it made sense to me but thats probably because i had all the info on the situation
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu May 29, 2008 4:34 pm

His Mac must be outputting SP/DIF?
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu May 29, 2008 4:57 pm

josh porter wrote:hes using it to go from his mac to his television. ...
So are both of these devices using Toslink connections? Is that all he's looking for or am I not understanding?

It's obviously SPDIF connections. Most consumer devices are either RCA coaxial, or Toslink SPDIF from what I've seen.

Is it not just a standard Toslink cable he's looking for?

http://www.thesource.ca/estore/product. ... ct=4218713
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Postby macrae11 » Thu May 29, 2008 6:26 pm

Malcolm is right. Most new consumer TV's and receivers have an optical digital input these days. All he needs is a regular toslink cable. Although not a monster cable, as then you might as well just rip your money up and throw it away. I get a kick when the guys at future shop try to up sell me optical cables saying, "it's thicker so it passes more signal which sounds better".
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu May 29, 2008 6:50 pm

macrae11 wrote:...Although not a monster cable, as then you might as well just rip your money up and throw it away. I get a kick when the guys at future shop try to up sell me optical cables saying, "it's thicker so it passes more signal which sounds better".
I'm telling you, I totally check out the dollar stores for cables and adapters for stuff like that. I have found great deals on Toslink cables, and 75ohm RCA cables for digital audio for much less than what some of the retailers want for their stuff. I have found both RCA and Phillips brand cables for under 5 dollars. Some of the el-cheapo specials I have found seem to be better construction than some of the top dollar options I have purchased.

I remember when Warren bought a pair of RCA cables for SPDIF connections at the theatre, which included arrows for the direction in which they were to be connected... :roll: I don't remember exactly how much they were, but it was scandalous.
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Postby Alain Benoit » Thu May 29, 2008 7:38 pm

Dont confuse TOSLINK with 3.5 mm optical.
3.5 mm optical is shaped exactly like an 1/8' TRS audio connector and plugs into an 1/8" analog audio JACK that happens to have an LED behind it driven with a S/P-DIF signal or a phototransistor driving a S/P-DIF circuit.

Get it?

Old portable MD players had this as an input jack to save space. Think of it as a analog/digital combo jack.

So those adaptors abovementioned retrofit the connector from 3.5 mm to TOSLINK. I have a patch cable at the studio that has TOSLINK on one end and 3.5mm optical on the other and I used it way back to transfer data from my CD or DAT player to my MD device.

Anyhoot I digress............
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu May 29, 2008 7:47 pm

From what he describes, those adapters pictured are the opposite gender in which he would need. Many Toslink cables actually include the female Toslink-Male 3.5mm adapters.

Like we've established, you need to be very specific as to what you need on both ends of your cable.

I have never actually seen a dedicated 3.5mm cable, only adapted Toslink cables, but I'm usually slumming it...
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Postby josh porter » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:30 am

Malcolm Boyce wrote:
josh porter wrote:hes using it to go from his mac to his television. ...

http://www.thesource.ca/estore/product. ... ct=4218713


thanks for the website where i can find some toslink cables... :oops:
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