|DH Labs Digital Cables Review|
|Home Theater Accessories AV Cables|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Thursday, 21 July 2011|
Page 2 of 2
Set Up & Listening:
I decided to first check out the BNC cable by hooking up my Naim CD player to the Bryston BDA-1. As reported in my BDA-1 review, the combination was stellar, and I believe the D-75 was a major contributing factor. The quiet backgrounds and immaculately outlined sonic images were easy to hear and the excellent balance the D-75 brought to the table obvious, as was its superiority over lesser cables i had tried previously. I was extremely pleased and wondered to myself what some mega buck digital cables from other companies could do better, and how they could to justify their prices.
I then spent some time with the D-75 terminated with phono plugs and the Deluxe Toslink. According to DH Labs, the Deluxe Toslink “incorporates many performance-enhancing features. By combining a very high-speed transmission optical fiber capable of handling over 150 Mbps with a Precision Focus Cladding, special flexible PVC protective jacket and a state-of-the-art connector, ultimate performance is guaranteed. A 24K gold-plated Exact Fit Center Ferrule keeps the optical fiber perfectly centered within the connector housing, and the convex, precision polished tip assures maximum data transfer to the receiving diode. All of this adds up to an optical cable that can even handle demanding 24 bit / 96 Khz digital signals with ease.”
I plugged both cables in to the Squezebox Touch. I toggled between both the coaxial and Toslink inputs on the BDA-1 to compare, and hard a time picking a winner in the end. As noted above, a lot of engineering went into the Deluxe Toslink, and in years past, audiophiles have always considered optical sub optimal, but I think that has changed in a big way. The advantages of optical are that it is not susceptible to ground loop noise and generally immune to environmental noise. In a product like the Squeezebox Touch, with a wal wart switching power supply, this may be beneficial. After extensive listening, I found myself preferring the coaxial about 60% of the time, but I don’t consider this a clear victory. As I said, at times it was a dead heat. Credit must also be given to the BDA-1 which seems to do an excellent job eliminating jitter, which to my mind should minimize differences between really good cables.
For more information, visit DH Labs online.
D-75 with BNC connectors-1 meter: $100 ($12.50 for each connector)
Deluxe Toslink optical digital cable-1 meter: $45
Cd Player: Naim CD5 XS with Flatcap 2X,
Cd Player: Marantz 5003, audiolab 8200