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QED Reference Optical Quartz (0.6m - 3m)


Reference Optical Quartz

QED's superior Toslink Optical digital audio interconnect cable made with real glass

Reference Optical Quartz is the first of its kind, consisting of 210 separate boro-silicate glass fibres. The cable allows you to experience stunning sound when connecting DACs, TV's, CD players and Blu-Ray players to amplifiers or receivers because it has a much higher bandwidth and only 1/10th of the attenuation of traditional acrylic fibres. Reference Optical Quartz vastly exceeds the demands for high definition multi-channel digital audio with a bandwidth of over 150MHz which is totally unaffected by bending the cable.




QED's new Glasscore™ technology employs multiple fibre bundles of ultra-fine boro-silicate glass optical fibres (GOF) of no more than 50um each to make up the 1 mm diameter necessary to conform to the Toslink standard connectors. Because the fibres are so small the different paths taken by the light rays are similar in length virtually eliminating the timing error and introducing less distortion and jitter. This has the effect of increasing bandwidth and the accuracy of the data transmission.


The quartz fibres are coated with a cladding of low Refractive Index to guide the light signal.


This vastly exceeds the demands for high definition multi-channel HD digital audio. In contrast to conventional acrylic glass optical cables quartz glass cables can deliver signals up to and including 24bit/192kHz with very low jitter .

Reference Optical Quartz can provide a much higher bandwidth than a single acrylic glass fibre with 1/10th of the attenuation.


QED have calculated that jitter (distortions caused by timing differences between the different light paths) in conventional optical cables could typically reach up to 145ps. In Reference Optical Quartz, timing errors are virtually eliminated, introducing less distortion, jitter and ultra low loss < 0.03 dB/m.


Unique boro-silicate glass construction

Highly flexible 210 x 50 micron optical fibre bundle

Bandwidth >150MHz

Ultra low jitter

Stepped refractive index

Ultra low loss < 0.03 dB/m

24 & 32 bit high resolution audio compatible.

QED Lifetime Guarantee


Digital Optical Audio cables are now used widely to connect audio source equipment such as TV's, CD players and Blu-Ray players to amplifiers or receivers. There are many advantages to using the optical output from your source equipment. The optical output provides complete electrical isolation between equipment eliminating ground loops and noise induced by large external voltages or currents. With fast digital signalling using twisted pair copper cables, problems such as near end crosstalk can cause distortion of the signal; these problems are eliminated by using the digital optical connection option.

Because of the very short distances and relatively slow data signalling speeds of the Toslink system it is possible to use very inexpensive plastic optical fibres (POF) made of an acrylic glass material known as PMMA (Polymethyl-methacrylate). These are usually 1 mm in diameter to fit the Toslink connector and of course their extra width only exacerbates the time smearing or jitter caused by the multi-modes within the fibre. Calculations have shown that a typical 1m cable with a PMMA fibre of refractive index 1.5 and a critical angle of 76 degrees has the potential to introduce jitter

of up to 145ps into the SPDIF signal. These plastic optical fibres (POF) account for virtually all commercially available Digital Optical Audio cables available today.

The alternative to this situation adopted by QED in our new Glasscore™ technology cable is to employ multiple fibre bundles of ultra-fine boro-silicate glass optical fibres (GOF) of no more than 50um each (thinner than a human hair see below) to make up the 1 mm diameter necessary to conform to the Toslink standard connectors. In the new QED Reference Optical Quartz cable there are 210 such fibres each of which guide the light along a much tighter path making the different modes much more uniform than in the larger diameter single fibres.

Because the range of angles of incidence at which the light is accepted at the aperture of the cable is smaller and the critical angle of internal reflection in the glass is larger than in POF fibres the range of different paths taken by the light is reduced. In this way short data pulses are no longer artificially elongated or smeared by the physical process of travelling along the cable.


Each fibre is thinner than a human hair. 210 fibres of 50um each are required to make

up the 1 mm diameter necessary to conform to the Toslink standard connectors.



A typical optical fibre is made of an acrylic glass material known as PMMA (Polymethyl-methacrylate). This acrylic core allows the light to take many different length paths through it. Timing differences are introduced - accounting for typically up to 145ps of Jitter.

Signal losses also occur when light is incident above the Critical Angle and is not reflected back (Yellow).


Reference Optical Quartz has in excess of 210 Glasscore™ fibres each thinner than a human hair. This ensures ultra low jitter because the smaller numerical aperture reduces the range of angles of acceptance leading to straighter signal paths.



Glasscore™ Technology

Instead of using traditional low performance polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) plastic optical fibres (POF) which come as a single 1 mm OD fibre the cable incorporates 210+ boro-silcate glass optical fibres (GOF) which give improved jitter performance and higher bandwidth capability. 24 & 32 bit high resolution audio compatible.

Ultra Low Jitter

Ultra Low Jitter

Jitter is the undesired deviation from true periodicity of an assumed periodic signal in electronics and telecommunications, often in relation to a reference clock source. A cable displaying ultra low jitter has been measured at
typically 30ps.

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Local collection is available (please contact us to check availability and to book your collection slot) from our demo room.

Certain product(s) are not stock items. Where items are special order - you'll receive your package the next day from when stock arrives. We'll let you know the rough ETA on placing your order but please do contact us if your order is urgent.

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