Impact Acoustics Velocity S-Video Full Review
Transporting audio and video signals via light is certainly flirting with the sharp edge of technology. While TOSLINK (and AT & T ST) optical connections are nothing new, there is much that is new in the way they are implemented. From the earliest days where plastic fibers delivered a barely adequate 6MHz bandwidth sufficient for two channel PCM the current state-of-the-art boasts multiple fibers of pure quartz or crystal clear plastic capable of delivering bandwidths greater than 10MHz and with the ability to accommodate multi-channel signals encrypted with Dolby Digital or DTS algorithms. I recently had the opportunity to examine two TOSLINK products from Impact Acoustics ; the Velocity and the SonicWave series respectively. This article will examine the former.
Velocity is positioned as an entry-level product by Impact Acoustics. After viewing the build quality and materials used, you would never know it. I am always looking for quality inexpensive cables to recommend to our readers, I asked Impact Acoustics to send me a sample cable. What I got in return wasn't what I expected. Instead of the common flimsy TOSLINK cable whose ends tend to fall off the component at the slight movement or jostle, Impact Acoustics employed a sturdy TOSLINK cable with quality rubber grip compression connectors that snap into place once connected to your gear. This cable is almost identical in feel, fit and function of ones from the BIG brand names in the industry selling for twice the price - and without the free S-Video cable thrown in!
The folks at Impact Acoustics must believe that too much is barely enough. In addition to offering an affordable quality TOSLINK interconnect, Impact Acoustics throws in a great S-Video cable to sweeten the deal. Upon closer inspection I found this cable was well terminated with a very good solder joint and added plastic crimp stiffener to avoid faulty connections after plugging and unplugging this cable multiple times (such is the story of a reviewers life). According to Impact Acoustics , the S-Video portion of this composite interconnect assembly is 100% double shielded using both a braid and a foil for immunity to RFI and EMI. The geometry of the internal Y and C conductors is optimized to maintain a 75-ohm characteristic impedance, ensuring the delivery of a quality signal. This is a product that defines convenience while simultaneously delivering performance and value.
This bundled cable solution seems ideal for the gamer who wishes to connect their PS-2, X-Box or equivalent to their home theater systems. Indeed it was initially designed as an interconnect solution specifically for gaming systems. It does equally well for home theater enthusiasts who haven't yet taken the plunge into HDTV and wish to connect their DVD players via a slightly-better-than-composite video connection while also serving their digital surround needs. In my application I simply spread these cables apart using the TOSLINK for my CD changer and S-Video for my DVR box from Dish Network. Impact Acoustics also sells both pieces separately, so you don't have to split the assembly if your (more or less permanent) installation doesn't require both types of conductor.
Impact Acoustics chose the name Velocity for this product wisely because at this price point, and given their high quality and value, these products will surely sell fast. Highly recommended!
The Score Card
The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:
Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating
Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.
Audioholics Rating Scale
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- — Very Good
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- — Fair
- — Poor
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