AudioQuest Cinnamon OptiLink Fiber Optic Digital Audio Cable The audio frontier is all abuzz these days with the pleasure possible though HDMI USB FireWire? and Ethernet connections. However these current generation digital technologies are only part of the story just as the challenge of designing manufacturing and choosing the best analog interconnects and speaker cables is as important as ever. The S/P-DIF (Sony? Philips Digital InterFace) which arrived in 1983 along with the CD is still very much a part of our world today. S/P-DIF is transmitted through Digital Coax and Toslink fiber optics (EIA-J) making them still some of the most important cables in electronic entertainment. While thanks to HDMI Toslink is not so often used to connect a DVD player to an A/V receiver Toslink connectors are common on cable-boxes TV sets subwoofers all sorts of products. And now the 3.5mm Mini Optical connector also somewhat incorrectly known as Mini-Toslink is everywhere from the 3.5mm dual-purpose headphone jack on a Mac laptop to inputs on some of the finest portables. For these many reasons AudioQuest has refined and renewed their line of serious high performance OptiLink cables. All models and all lengths are now available Toslink to Toslink and Toslink to 3.5mm Mini Optical. When the question is how can a fiber-optic cable change the sound? the answer is easier to explain than for almost any other type of cable. If the light source were a coherent laser firing into a vacuum all the light would stay straight arriving at its destination at the same time. Even if the LED light source in a Toslink system were coherent the light entering a fiber-optic cable is scattered and dispersed by imperfections and impurities in the fiber. This can be measured as a loss of amplitude but amplitude is not the problem a 50% true loss would have no effect on sound quality. The problem is that the dispersed light does get through the cable but only after it has taken a longer path like a pool ball bouncing off the side-rails causing it to arrive later. This delayed part of the signal prevents the computer charged with decoding this information from being able to decode properly or even at all. The inability to decode shows first at higher frequencies (not audio frequencies this is a mono stream of digital audio information) so reduced bandwidth is a measurable signature of light being dispersed by a fiber. The punch line: The less dispersion in the fiber the less distortion in the final analog audio signal presented to their ears. There is another serious dispersal mechanism in the Toslink system. The fiber is a relatively huge 1.0mm in diameter and the LED light source is also relatively large spraying light into the fiber at many different angles. Even if the fiber were absolutely perfect the signal would be spread across time because light rays entering at different angles take different length paths and arrives with different amounts of delay. The almost complete solution to this problem is to use hundreds of much smaller fibers in a 1.0mm bundle. Because each fiber is limited as to what angle of input can enter the fiber there is far less variety and far less dispersion over time. This narrow-aperture effect is similar to how a pin-hole camera can take a picture without a lens by letting in light at only a very limited range of angles a picture can be taken whereas removing the lens from a wider aperture would make photography impossible. Less light gets through a multi-fiber cable but the light that does get into the fibers comes out within in a much smaller time-envelope. So there is one problem the dispersion of light across time and two avenues towards a better result: less dispersion in the fiber (better polymers and ultimately quartz) and less dispersion by filtering the input angle. How simple is that! Listen and enjoy.
Return and Tax Policies
You can return an item within the first 30 days from the shipping date. We'll gladly exchange it or give you a refund for the full amount of the merchandise-whichever you prefer. All returned or exchanged items must be in their original box and include packing material, manuals, and all accessories. Customers are responsible for return shipping costs and a 10% restocking fee will be collected on all opened items unless shipped damaged or defective and must be reported within 24 hours upon receiving the product. When your returned product arrives at Abt, either a refund will be issued or we will exchange your product and send a new one out to you. If you have received a defective unit, some manufacturers may require one service call to diagnose the issue.
- 15 day limit on the return of camcorders, digital cameras, GPS navigation, PDAs, portable DVD players, computers & accessories, sunglasses and watches.
- 10% restocking fee for all opened items unless damaged or defective.
- Opened satellite boxes & systems (or activated cards) may not be returned. Exchanges can be done through the manufacturer.
- No returns on opened computer software, video games and gaming systems.
- Perishable items (water filters, coffee beans, etc.) cannot be returned.
- Free shipping (and reduced shipping) promos do not apply to return/exchange shipping on freighted items (50 lbs or more).
How To Return
1. Call us at 1-800-914-1892 to request a RA (Return Authorization) number. Items cannot be returned and will not be accepted if you do not include a RA number. If you think an item you ordered might be defective, please call Abt technical support at 1-800-914-1892. Often, they can help you solve setup and installation problems by troubleshooting with you over the phone. If it turns out you do need to return a product, call the Abt customer service department at 1-800-914-1892 and have your invoice number ready.
2. Pack up your merchandise. The item should be returned in the manufacturer's box with all accessories (manual, remote, wires, etc.) along with a copy of your original invoice. Please use the original outside box. A safely packaged and complete return is less likely to incur damage or a restocking fee. Please contact us for instructions on how to pack oversized or freighted items.
3. Attach the appropriate shipping labels. Remove old shipping labels or mark out the original tracking numbers before attaching the new shipping labels. We recommend that you use UPS Ground Service "Insured." To find the nearest UPS location, please call (800) PICK-UPS. If you live within the Chicago area, you can return or exchange your merchandise directly at our store.
Refusing A Package
If you should place an order with Abt and then refuse a package for any reason other than damage to the package, please know that you will receive a refund for the amount of your original transaction less any shipping charges we incurred in getting the package to you originally as well as the cost of the return shipping.
Abt does not collect sales tax on any item ordered to customers outside our normal truck delivery area. If you live within Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana or Michigan, you will incur taxes at the rates listed. IL residents pay 8.75% sales tax, WI sales tax is determined by delivery point (5% to 6.1%), IN residents pay 7% sales tax, and MI residents pay 6% sales tax. You may be required to remit sales tax to your local taxing authority.