DirectStream better without Uptone Regen?


Hi Ted, Do you mean the driver called Remote Audio (WASAPI) ? I tried that and all other driver selections and they all failed immediately stating the standard “44.1khz mode not supported by driver” error. Never mind I’ll see if I can source another usb 2 optical adaptor. Thank you very much for your time, you must be a very busy. Since going USB I really appreciate the Dac quality. Looking forward to the next update whenever that is :slight_smile:


I understand. I knew why you were using the hub. I do not have any DSD files. There is no reason I feel I need to up sample. So toslink is fine for me.


Aloha Ted,

On my Mac, the headphone jack is also an optical toslink output. Given this, is there any reason to buy a USB -> Toslink converter? Does the converter allow higher sample rates than just running a direct toslink cable to the DSJ?

Or can the same optical sonic advantages discussed in this thread by achieved with a direct MacBook Pro to DSJ optical cable?



Ted - also, when you suggest the lower end audioquest toslink, are you referring to Forrest or Cinnamon as being able to handle DSD and 192?



In a handwaving sense anything that outputs TOSLink should sound similar - generalizations like that aren’t often really true, but they are closer with TOSLink than with wired connections (of almost any type.)

Some TOSLink outputs are too cheap to be able to pass 176.4 or 192k but most that I’ve come across do (with a reasonable cable.)

My AudioQuest cables are older so I don’t know exactly what the current equivalent cables are, but both their older cheap single core plastic and their slightly more expensive multicore plastic (say $89 15 years ago) worked fine for me. I was told that it’s more how clean the cuts are on the ends of the cable (i.e. how well they mate with your connectors) that makes the biggest difference - I don’t have any experience or special knowledge that would contradict that.


Aloha Ted,

Any thoughts on plastic vs glass Toslink?

Has anyone tried the reasonably Lifatec glass cables?

Also, has anyone tried Toslink with their DS or DSJ and preferred USB?



For use for a DS and of a reasonable length, plastic TOSLink should be fine: as I alluded to above it more the quality of the ends that matters. Certainly glass will more likely pass the high rates, but that may be more to the quality of the cable than the material used. You don’t have to go nuts, but the cheapo TOSLink cables that come with Blu-Ray, DVD, VCRs ( :slight_smile: ) often won’t pass the higher frequencies. I have a budget cable that somehow manages to pass 176.4k but not 192k.


Thanks Ted. The Lifatec are inexpensive, 1 meter is $99 for glass…


Sounds good, they at least care about the terminations.


I have learned that at least with Macs, only some Macs in the 2013 - 2015 range output 192 or DSD DoP via Toslink. The newer ones only go to 96 and don’t do DSD. I have a 2013 MacBook Pro, so I’m ok…


Old guy story here…

Yes it is all in the terminations… so right you are.

I remember back in the 80s when AT&T was rolling out their premises glass cabling system. None of the cable installation companies knew how to do this and given the crazy strong union environment, they would have no subbing etc… I chuckled at witnessing an AT&T engineer in a three piece suite (common dress when you worked in NYC financial services at that time) teaching a union cable-guy to terminate glass on to their ST connectors.

They were terminating at an intermediate distribution frame (IDF) in a closet (room actually) in a new 49 story office tower in Manhattan. It was filthy from ongoing construction… (I had a three-piece suit, hard hat, and badge where I could ride the external elevators… I was doing IT planning back then). The AT&T guy was trying to communicate… funny… the Local 3 cable-guy was sitting on an overturned bucket… yes, butt-crak on full display, … smoking a cigarette with a big mug of coffee… peering into a glass fiber inspection tool (I kind of microscope). I couldn’t stop chuckling…

Anywho… terminating glass is not a simple thing… you don’t cut it… if you did, it shatters and you have an end that disperses light all over the place. AT&T had a cutting tool that while you pull a single trigger, it performed a complex manouver… it scored the glass … just a super tiny nick… then cleaved it. Pretty high-tech. The end was fairly straight, but was not 100 % flat and still had the nick… so you then inserted the end into the ferrell of the ST termination plug (it was a hollow piece of ceramic), with an epoxy, and then you polished the tip in another special tool. The abrasive in the tool would polish the glass down flat and flush to the ceramic surface but the abrasive was designed to be softer than the ceramic … the ceramic would not polish. Then you put the whole thing into the microscope tool and examined … by the way the light reflected off of the polished surface, you could see if you had a good termination.

Yes, every fiber had to be field terminated like this.

Bruce in Philly


Oh, another bit of glass fiber trivia… you can intercept fiber optic signals… spycraft.

First, how light travels in the fiber… the fiber is actually a two-layer… more accuratly, a two-property fiber. When the fiber is created, a single billet of glass is doped with a proprietary “soot”. The soot is applied to the outer surface of the billet which is then heated until taffy, and then using gravity, pulled down into a fiber. The soot combines with the outer surface of the fiber thus changing index of refraction… this in essence, creates a “tube” within the fiber that the light travels. The light doesn’t really travel straight… or more accurately, the fiber will bend so the light has to bounce within the tube… bouncing because of the internal surface created by the soot. Kinda like a bullet down a barrel… (this bouncing in relationship to the wavelength fired from a laser or LED requires a fiber to used with an optimum frequency aka mode… this is part of the fiber spec).

Well… did you notice when you look at a placid pond… if you are down low, the surface is a mirror… if you stand, the mirror breaks, and you see down through the surface… same for light in a fiber… the mirroring holds it in… so getting to my point on spycraft.

To intercept a fiber signal, you strip the rubber or whatever casing is on the fiber and expose a section, then carefully, you bend the fiber… you bend it until the angle stops the reflecting and the light will then shoot out the side of the fiber. If you bend to far, the fiber breaks and you are discovered. With the light (the signal) shooting out, you can read it, but now you must regen it back into the fiber at a steep angle (to not reflect off and out, and send the light on its way bouncing along inside the fiber.

Plastic is a similar animal… but when you bend, you don’t break it, but it will cloud and reduce the power and continuity of the waves. You still should treat plastic cables carefully.

Cool stuff.

Bruce in Philly


Fascinating information. Thanks!


OK, one more quick story… I had a tour of of one of AT&Ts network control centers circa 1990 for global long-lines in NJ. Max cool… no really, max cool. They had a map of the planet … wall of screens… that showed line status in and out of all the worl’s countries… commie contries showed all red as their internal systems could not handle the demands. Anywho, the guide mentioned one of AT&T’s projects going on at the time: wait for it… gonna be big… they were laying a fiber-optic ring on the ocean floor … around Africa! Holly cripes!

Bruce in Philly