Glass Toslink Recommendations (Lifatec, etc)

i have been so impressed with DH Labs wire cables in general…i compared it to the Wire World and AQ and find a slight, but definite advantage for DH Labs…there are so many chemical compositions to fiber optic glass, i don’t know which way is Up…since this cable was the best of the 3 substantial companies i heard…i just stopped there…

one thing that factored in my purchase is glass cable is fairly cheap to buy…and my sole use is for the cable signal…a not-the-best source…if i were using it for passing the signal from a transport to a DAC, i would have spent umpteen hours investigating further…but, it sounded so refined in my system, i looked no further…

the DH Labs cables are usually 25% off, on & off…check their site and the Cable Company’s site

Of course, this can be system specific. I had DH Labs T14 speaker cables for nearly 20 years, the same pair in my main system. I always thought highly of them, but found my system a bit bright, even though all my components were not known for being bright. I recently switched to Audioquest Rocket 33’s and the brightness has gone away. The overall sound, in my system, is more natural now.

Hey dancingsea. We are going off topic here, since the conversation is about TOSLink Optical cable, but you are right about speaker cables having different sonic characteristics. I used Audioquest in the past, but after I tried WireWorld Oasis 8, I would never go back to anything less than 11AWG. Next time I even will try 9 gauge wire. Audioquest cables are mostly on the narrow side of thickness, which is a problem for high current amps. I think the cable you are using is only 14AWG. If you have a high current amp, try 11AWG and thicker cables. Your bass will improve significantly compared to Audioquest rocket 33. Cheers!

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DH Labs just started a 15% off everything sale with code SUMMER15 and they also have 20% HDMI cables if anyone is interested. You may be able to get another 10% off by entering your email…not sure how that works with multiple promo codes, but it should work for the HDMI sale at least I would think.

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Thanks Rob, I tried the code and it works, but you cannot combine it with the 10% off email code. It’s the either or situation.

I still think Lifatec might have slight advantage over DH Labs with the 170 more strands. Besides, Lifatec glass fiber is made in Germany. It seems no-one has ever compared the two.

Regarding the cheap cable from Amazon, I actually bought that one with 280 strands first. Two of the strands were dead on arrival. I used a 10x watchmaker’s lupe to inspect it, and it didn’t shine on uniformly when connected to Optical Port. Half of the cable was dimmed. It’s good for it’s price, but definitely not in the same class as +$150 cables. The polishing on the end tips are very important in optical cables, and the Amazon Glass Toslink is not well polished.


I ordered LifaTec, and although the quality is good, it still doesn’t sound like a digital coax cable. I see that half of the cable won’t light up under the magnifier when connected to two different TosLink ports. The outer jacket is also very soft, extremely soft in fact that I am wondering if it would protect the glass fibers against sharp turns and outside pressure. Overall, I am not totally impressed with LifaTec build quality. The polishing on the optical tips are fantastic though. It is the best polish I’ve seen so far. I may get the Glass Master after all and compare the two.

I’ve used Lifatec for over eight years and with three major moves and have never encountered any durability or reliability issues. And they are the best sounding optical cables I have ever used in my systems. Lifatec can also be ordered still I believe with the metal protective casing, though I have never used those.

Thanks lonson, but it has been about two hours, and the cable already has folding marks on it. Also the fact that half of the cable, maybe 40%, doesn’t light up makes 470 strands construction kind of irrelevant. I am beginning to think maybe a solid plastic core is a better option. At least all of it will light up.

Sorry you are having these issues which are foreign to my experience.

It’s very hard to photograph because camera cannot show the correct contrast, but basically it’s like the patch below. Only bigger, about 30 to 40% of total area:

the truth is very good highly and properly polished POF is most usually better than the glass. for many reasons including that many of the glass fibers ultimately break, thus vastly reducing the throughput. Overall most engineers prefer very good POF. I know you were set on glass but I am trying to steer you the correct way. glass is not in fact better. It depends on the quality of the POF. NOT a $15 cable but a $200 one.

I got a DH Labs GlassMaster cable and it really is a big upgrade from the regular single core junk you find anywhere these days.

That said, I went ahead and ordered the 1300core cable from so I can compare the difference.
I did some research on this cable they use, and it’s actually manufactured in Japan by Asahi Kasei.

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Hmm… 217 lines up with AQ Vodka…

Yeah they probably buy spools of Asahi Kasei, rebrand it as their own and charge up the @SS for one that looks fancy.

I forgot to mention, this is what the GlassMaster looks like @ 200x when it’s not properly lit due to a faulty Toslink transmitter. The cable doesn’t sit in properly and the slightest touch will change the illumination pattern.