General Asylum

General audio topics that don't fit into specific categories.

Return to General Asylum


Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

REVIEW: Lifatech Silflex Cable

47.147.56.52

Posted on March 12, 2017 at 13:12:49
mr.bear
Audiophile

Posts: 3825
Joined: November 13, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 18, 2003
Model: Silflex
Category: Cable
Suggested Retail Price: $100/6ft.
Description: Lifatech Toslink Silflex Glass Fiber Cables
Manufacturer URL: Lifatech

Review by mr.bear on March 12, 2017 at 13:12:50
IP Address: 47.147.56.52
Add Your Review
for the Silflex


I recently replaced a Monoprice 'deluxe' 2m Toslink with a Lifatech 6' Silflex Premium Optical Interconnect. The Silflex connects the optical output of my Sony UHP-H1 Universal Disc Player to a Lexicon MC-12. I found the Silflex distinctly improved the sound: it's smoother, less etched and edgy, with less annoying gunk that seems to equate to "digital artifacts" in my experience. SACDs sound 3-dimensional with a stable, deep soundstage that was missing before. The extraordinary build quality of the cable and the knowledge that it is highly engineered are worthy of note. The manufacturer claims a 470-strand glass fiber bundle and a fine optical polish. It's beautifully made cable in any case and extraordinarily flexible and light. The 6' Toslink cost under $100 delivered and arrived 2 days from my order. A comparison between this unit and the much costlier AQ glass cables would be interesting (with a sidebar about why AQ offer 7 different grades of cables, 5 of which are plastic!) I suspect the differences between the Silflex and the high-zoot AQ's will be evanescent. This Lifatech sounds quite good, delivering excellent cost/performance even in my modest-resolution system.

So who is Lifatech? Apparently a super-tech-y maker of medical equipment that incorporates advanced glass fiber optical cables. They claim 35 years of experience in the development and production of advanced medical stuff like "miniature pediatric bronchial scopes" etc. [Hope I never need one of them!]. "The optical borosilicate fibers utilized in all of Lifatec USA's products are manufactured by our partner company, LiFaTeC GmbH, located in Huttenberg-Rechtenbach, Germany" First-class service from this small firm in upstate NY.

Is Toslink for you? It's not for everybody and not for every piece of gear. Some stuff, however, sounds better IMHO using Toslink than coax. If you want to find out you have to experiment and it's definitely worth owning a length of this Silflex to have around to play with; using cheap plastic fibers doesn't make for a reasonable comparison.


Product Weakness: None
Product Strengths: Cost/performance, great sound, very flexible, excellent build quality


Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: Adcom 5003
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Lexicon MC-12
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Sony UHP-H1
Speakers: Thiel CS3, Focal Cobalt sub
Cables/Interconnects: Lifatech Silflex Toslink
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Jazz Classical
Room Size (LxWxH): 30 x 20 x 10
Room Comments/Treatments: none
Time Period/Length of Audition: 1 week
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): N/A
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner


 

Hide full thread outline!
    ...
RE: REVIEW: Lifatech Silflex Cable, posted on March 12, 2017 at 17:45:35
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12497
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
I've never read a report that another glass Toslink cable performs better than the Lifatec Silflex Glass Toslink cable, only that some prefer the more polite sounding (smoother) characteristic of POF (Plastic Optical Fiber) Toslink cables which tend to sound comparatively bloated, less coherent, less resolving than the Lifatec glass Toslink, IME. In some cases, it could be that a particular digital component features a poorly designed/implemented switch-mode PSU as the culprit, or caused by another aspect within the signal chain, or just a listener dependent issue/preference. YMMV

 

RE: REVIEW: Lifatech Silflex Cable, posted on March 12, 2017 at 18:10:47
samoore
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Joined: December 22, 1999
I have a one meter Silflex optical cable. I am very happy with its build quality and sound, especially for the price. I recommend giving them a try.
Remember, it's all about the music.

 

Recently bought one. Awaiting its arrival. nt, posted on March 14, 2017 at 04:12:44
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5114
Location: Ryedale
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004

Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

I like mine, posted on March 14, 2017 at 20:37:12
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16916
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
rec by Duster , quite pleased


ET
ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE:How..., posted on March 15, 2017 at 08:12:01
Todd A.
Audiophile

Posts: 543
Location: Minnesota
Joined: July 30, 2013
...would you compare it to the performance of a typical digital coax cable?

 

Got it. Sounds okay so far. , posted on March 18, 2017 at 10:59:05
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5114
Location: Ryedale
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004
Need to give the digital-to-optical circuits time to break-in I suppose, as I've never used them. I2S still reigns supreme but more time needed for extensive listening.

More defined and more clarity in the lower registers than I recall from optical. But much is changed in my system since then. Nice to have this alternative.


Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

Optical v I2S, posted on March 22, 2017 at 04:53:24
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5114
Location: Ryedale
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004
The Lifatec sounds pretty good. Has resolution and 'bite' and satisfactory tonal discrimination up top. Tones are accurate and realistic.

Down below is pretty good for an optical cable too. Reasonable amounts of weight conveyed and overall, rhythmically secure.

That said, the Lifatec / optical link trades away bass articulation and drama when compared to the I2S link (Blue Jean, CAT7). The 1704Ks' way with dramatic, unmitigated bass definition and 'sonic architecture' comes more to the fore with the I2S link.

I have some Belden 8042 coming soon, and can compare that alongside on the same DAC for more insight. I should also note that the I2S upsamples the signal to 96kHz to the DAC, which (to my mind) adds complexity and could make it worse (although easier on the digital filter, presumably).

UPDATE: drama and excellent inner resolution gaining ground with Lifatec in place. Bass still a little rounder and less deep than I2S. But tones more realistic and less 'noisy' than I2S. Interesting.


Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

Page processed in 0.026 seconds.