• The Clearlink Optical offers obviously better sound quality than any USB connection or high end Toslink cable. It is also an exceptional-sounding alternative in situations where our ribbon interconnects are too delicate or shorter-than-needed. Though our Toslink cable is very thin, it is robustly constructed. You can walk on the cable if necessary and it is nearly cat-proof.
• Made from small diameter, single fiber optimized polymer material with ultra precision terminations of the highest sonic quality.
• Optical cable sound quality is very length sensitive. We exclusively offer a 14' cable for optimum sound quality that can easily coil down to 1½’. Shorter Toslinks sound substantially worse.
• Like speaker wire and interconnects, optical cables are highly directional. Every Clearview Optical is marked for best-sounding directionality.
• The default option for this cable is with standard Toslink terminations at both ends. If your source component requires a Mini Toslink connection, choose this option from the 'Terminations' dropdown menu. If your electronics required a Mini Toslink at the receiving end of the cable, please call (410)685-4618 to order and we will be happy to custom-terminate a Clearlink Optical with the correct directionality for your system.
30-day money back, price includes U.S. shipping. Additional charges apply for shipments outside the United States. Please email [email protected] to request an estimate, or call (410)685-4618.
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The digital music world is awash in bad-sounding Toslink cables and pitifully few that sound even acceptable by Mapleshade standards. When we found ourselves in serious need of a really good Toslink connection for our studio, we embarked on a lengthy set of listening experiments to develop an optical cable that could live up to our demanding expectations. Several hundred tests later, we arrived at the Clearlink Optical design which we guarantee to sound better than any high end Toslink available today — regardless of price.
In addition to components where Toslink is the only connection option, we recommend the Clearlink Optical in the following applications:
1. Use the Clearlink Optical to carry digital audio from your cable box to receiver to get sound significantly better than HDMI audio or coax (analog) audio—and particularly so for long runs.
2. Connecting your pre-2015 Apple TV audio using the Clearlink Optical instead of HDMI or WiFi wireless will be a major upgrade in sound quality for home theater or two channel.
3. The Clearlink Optical carrying digital music streams from any Mac desktop, laptop, iMac or Mac Mini with a Headphone Jack Out to your DAC sounds even better than using any USB cables (even our Clearlink USB) and way better than the analog signal out of the same headphone jack. NOTE: unbeknownst to many Mac owners, every Mac Headphone Out doubles as a digital SPDIF Out source for your DAC or receiver, requiring only that you insert a Mini Toslink plug rather than the standard, larger Toslink plug (we offer both standard and Mini Toslinks); the computer recognizes the mini Toslink and turns on the optical SPDIF transmitter. Unfortunately, Apple started omitting headphone jacks on laptops in 2016 and on iMACs in 2017. Mac desktops and Mac Minis still have headphone jacks with digital out.
4. In situations where our Digital Ribbon Interconnects are too delicate or shorter-than-needed, the Clearlink Optical is an exceptional-sounding alternative. Though our Toslink cable is very thin, it is robustly contructed. You can walk on the cable if necessary and it is nearly cat-proof.
Typical applications for which the Clearlink Optical is particularly well suited include:
1. To provide a superb sounding SPDIF digital interconnect between any Mac Mini, iMac, Macbook laptop or Mac desktop with a Headphone Out jack and any Toslink-equipped DAC—including your main stereo system DAC—use our Clearlink mini-Toslink. Unbeknownst to most Mac owners, the headphone jack on Mac devices doubles as a SPDIF digital output whenever a mini-Toslink is plugged into the jack (the computer detects the presence of the mini-Toslink plug and switches from analog outputs to digital out). Using the Clearlink SPDIF optical cable into the DAC’s Toslink In is always better sounding than the USB digital connection (when available on your Mac). A nice extra benefit is that you can remotely control the superb sound of your Mac-Toslink-DAC setup from any iPhone or iPad using any one of many remote apps. NOTE: unbeknownst to many Mac owners, every Mac Headphone Out doubles as a digital SPDIF Out source for your DAC or receiver, requiring only that you insert a Mini Toslink plug rather than the standard, larger Toslink plug (we offer both standard and Mini Toslinks); the computer recognizes the mini Toslink and turns on the optical SPDIF transmitter. Unfortunately, Apple started omitting headphone jacks on laptops in 2016 and on iMACs in 2017. Mac desktops and Mac Minis still have headphone jacks with digital out.
2. To get the best possible home theater or stereo sound out of any Airport Express or pre-2015 Apple TV, always use the device’s Toslink audio output to connect to your home theater receiver. This will provide major sonic upgrades over any HDMI or wireless connection into the receiver.
3. To get the best possible sounding audio out of your cable or satellite box, use the Toslink Out and Clearlink cable to connect to your home theater receiver’s Toslink Audio In. This always sounds better than using the HDMI to carry audio—and, if you have a high quality DAC in your receiver, the Clearlink also sounds better than any high end analog audio ICs out of the cable box. On the other hand, if your cable box has an RCA digital coax out—and if it is within 2 meters of your receiver, then you will get slightly better sound by using one of our Excalibur Digital Ribbon Interconnects.
4. For digital interconnect runs that are vulnerable to damage from cats or small children, the Clearlink Optical is far more damage resistant than either our Clearview Ultrathin or Excalibur Digital ICs—and better sounding than any conventional thick-jacketed high end digital RCA interconnect.
Decided to compare various big name brand Toslink cables against each other as well my current name brand XLR and RCA digital cables. This is being used between my Primare CD21 transport and PS Audio DirectStream DAC. Quite surprisingly, my experiences with the Mapleshades mirror Scotts. So they are a keeper for me. - Del, WA