KLIAVS 2014: The QED cables used in the shootout

The QED reference co-ax (with purple jacket) and Toslink cables used in the tests. These were sourced from CMY.


By Lam Seng Fatt


Quite a number of people who took part in the shootout between the co-ax and Toslink cables admitted that the connections were “very close” in terms of sound quality.


A few exclaimed in disbelief when they found out that their preferred cable turned out to be Toslink.


It just goes to show that Toslink technology has improved very much in the past few years and audiophiles should not look down on it. Toslink is a viable alternative to co-ax and it can even be superior to co-ax.


Actually, if you examine the results, co-ax was the winner but it had the minority vote (doesn’t that remind you of the 13th General Elections?). Less than 50% of the participants voted for co-ax – it won only 48% of the votes. The majority either preferred Toslink (31%) or sat on the fence and abstained from voting.


In this post, I shall provide more details about the two test cables which were sourced from CMY.


They are from QED’s reference series; thus they are QED’s best cables.


The QED reference co-ax cable uses silver-plated 99.999% oxygen-free copper for low signal attenuation. Its construction is optimised for true 75 Ohm impedance for very low jitter. It has triple screening and the plugs feature an eight-leaf 24K gold RCA ground ring for stable ground connection.


The QED reference Toslink uses a medical grade fibre optic core, PMMA acrylic glass plastic optical fibre,
flourinated polymer cladding material, Kevlar fibre Fillers for enhanced strain relief and gold-plated connectors.


I have to add that the QED reference Toslink cable we used for the shootout was from the previous generation as QED’s current generation flagship Toslink cable uses 210 separate boro-silicate glass fibres.


I am quite certain that if we had used the QED glass reference Toslink, the results would be different…




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