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Using Crane Song Avocet IIa to feed speakers with built in DAC via AES? Monitor Controllers
Old 24th February 2019
  #1
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Using Crane Song Avocet IIa to feed speakers with built in DAC via AES?

So I have an Avocet IIa and Dutch & Dutch 8c's that have built in DAC's and I would like to bypass the DAC in the Avocet and just have the speakers connected digitally. I've scoured the manual and it APPEARS this is possible via the DB25 accessory cable using the digital meter output. My guess is that the current inputs I use for monitoring various sources (DAW Digital1, Digital2, etc) will just be routed directly to the speaker instead of running through the convertor and then routed to the analog Speaker Outs. I'm also concerned that maybe the Digital Meter outs won't be routed to the main volume knob but I couldn't really find anything in the manual about that :/

I'm curious if anyone has successful done this and if there is anything I need to know when setting this up. Jumper settings, DB25 pinouts, etc. Or maybe it's not even possible? I really can't tell for sure!
Old 24th February 2019
  #2
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Contact David Hill. He’ll tell you.
Digital meter never ran through variable so you won’t have any volume control.

Last edited by pentagon; 24th February 2019 at 08:31 PM.. Reason: brain freeze. "Crane" should have been Hill
Old 24th February 2019
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Contact David Crane. He’ll tell you.
Digital meter never ran through variable so you won’t have any volume control.
I emailed Dave Hill with my inquiry as well. I’m very curious if this is possible and if so how, so I figured I’d see if any of my fellow GS members have figured this out and can offer any insight

Last edited by shelterr; 24th February 2019 at 06:26 AM..
Old 24th February 2019
  #4
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I'm interested in hearing the answer.

I have my Avocet connected to monitors which have analog inputs and digital inputs. I'm currently using their analog inputs.

It would be ideal to skip these DAC and ADC stages, but I suspect the practical difference won't be a game changer.
Old 24th February 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny T View Post
I'm interested in hearing the answer.

I have my Avocet connected to monitors which have analog inputs and digital inputs. I'm currently using their analog inputs.

It would be ideal to skip these DAC and ADC stages, but I suspect the practical difference won't be a game changer.
The practical difference is not needing any DAC for all of your various sources, which to me seems like big deal. The DAC in the Avocet is alright but it’s not my favorite I’ve used/heard but any other DAC I get will only run Pro Tools and not computer audio/iTunes for referencing other things. Since the DAC in the speakers has never bothered me before (and is mandatory to access these monitors that I love anyway) and I can still easily hear the differences in various DACs when going through it, the idea of eliminating that extra step/variable is very exciting to me. Everything would be uniform with the actual least possible coloration.
Old 25th February 2019
  #6
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Agree. Hopefully we’ll see more high end monitor controllers contain aes out/thru with digital volume control to feed monitors with digital inputs such as D&D and Kii. While also maintaining standard analog facilities. Good luck. Hope you find a solution that works for you.
Old 26th February 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Agree. Hopefully we’ll see more high end monitor controllers contain aes out/thru with digital volume control to feed monitors with digital inputs such as D&D and Kii. While also maintaining standard analog facilities. Good luck. Hope you find a solution that works for you.
The DAD AX32 (maybe also the DX32) will do it. But obviously it's overkill for just a monitor controller. Also the Crockwood I believe. I used an Avid MTRX (rebadged AX32) with a Solaris, using the unattenuated outputs from the Solaris.
Old 27th February 2019
  #8
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I’m starting to get the vibe that this just isn’t possible. I’ll be pretty disappointed if not because the Avocet sounds great and I love the volume knob.
Old 27th February 2019
  #9
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I am using UAD Apollo x16 and I control digital level for D&Ds and Genelecs via its monitoring section using Griffin Powermate. Flawless solution.
Old 27th February 2019
  #10
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Hasn't Dave Hill gotten back to you?
I'd love to see his answer here
Old 27th February 2019
  #11
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I think controller functionality is limited to DA conversion, I have a somewhat faint memory reading that a couple of years ago when researching the unit.

It would have been the previous (non Quantum) model, things may have changed since then.
Old 28th February 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midmost View Post
Hasn't Dave Hill gotten back to you?
I'd love to see his answer here
He has not. I’ll certainly update this thread with any info I get from him or anyone else.
Old 1st March 2019
  #13
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Just heard back from Dave Hill. Not possible :(

I'm aware there are other ways to do this and I'd rather not ditch the Avocet if it's avoidable, but I'm gonna have to look into my options at this point. I basically need a digital router with Lightpipe and AES inputs that are easy to toggle between to receive signal from my Mac Tower and Pro Tools, and then an AES volume knob that feeds the 8c's. I've got some ideas but if anyone has gone down this road and has some experience it would be greatly appreciated
Old 2nd March 2019
  #14
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BMC-2 | Monitor Controllers | Signal Processors | TC Electronic | Categories | MUSIC Group - TC Electronic)

Easiest solution. The SPDIF is actually AES3 for both ins and outs so it just needs adapter cables (and you can ignore the D/A converters) to receive and control AES signal

Or you could use what PMC does for their now digitally fed speakers (a rebranded StudioComm unit). Lots of options from them for digital loudspeaker control (but at a higher price point)
StudioComm Loudspeaker Monitor Control Archives - Studio Technologies, Inc.
Old 2nd March 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
BMC-2 | Monitor Controllers | Signal Processors | TC Electronic | Categories | MUSIC Group - TC Electronic)

Easiest solution. The SPDIF is actually AES3 for both ins and outs so it just needs adapter cables (and you can ignore the D/A converters) to receive and control AES signal

Or you could use what PMC does for their now digitally fed speakers (a rebranded StudioComm unit). Lots of options from them for digital loudspeaker control (but at a higher price point)
StudioComm Loudspeaker Monitor Control Archives - Studio Technologies, Inc.
How is the volume knob on this, feel wise? And is there anything to be lost by using the adapter cables? I actually have a pair of Mogami SPDIF to AES cables from back in the day, but they really didn't sound as good as connecting directly to an AES XLR input.

Last edited by shelterr; 6th March 2019 at 06:19 PM..
Old 2nd March 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelterr View Post
How is the volume knob on this, feel wise? And is there anything to be lost by using the adapter cables? I actually have a paid of Mogami SPDIF to AES cables from back in the day, but they really didn't sound as good as connecting directly to an AES XLR input.
The volume knob has a subtle step feel so it's easy to track the digital adjustments (also it is responsive to acceleration as digital knobs should be.) It's much like the System 6000 control knobs.

As for the AES/SPDIF. This is an actual AES3-ID setup. It's the same as AES3 for 75ohm cable (long run). That's unlike true S/PDIF that technically uses slightly different standards from AES3. Basically, AES3-ID to AES3 110ohm is the exact same but AES3-ID can run on longer lines due to 75ohm. However SPDIF and AES3 are near the same format but not exactly the same.
So with AES3ID to AES3 adaption you are running true AES.
Old 2nd March 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
FWIF,

if the theme is AES to «digital» speakers in a practical way (digital volume etc.) I have seen two interesting options, one simple and one elaborate:

SIMPLE: DAT RS 05

ELABORATE: m908 – Grace Design

I haven’t tested them but I think they both look good (aesthetically) and have specs of interest to any «digital» chain. The Grace looks grace indeed (you would need to ask them if they can provide a box without the analog circuitry, though, for a lower price).
Old 2nd March 2019
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
The volume knob has a subtle step feel so it's easy to track the digital adjustments (also it is responsive to acceleration as digital knobs should be.) It's much like the System 6000 control knobs.

As for the AES/SPDIF. This is an actual AES3-ID setup. It's the same as AES3 for 75ohm cable (long run). That's unlike true S/PDIF that technically uses slightly different standards from AES3. Basically, AES3-ID to AES3 110ohm is the exact same but AES3-ID can run on longer lines due to 75ohm. However SPDIF and AES3 are near the same format but not exactly the same.
So with AES3ID to AES3 adaption you are running true AES.
Thank you so much for the info!

So I ordered a BMC-2 but now I am unsure where to buy the correct AES3 to AES3ID cable/adapter for running from the BMC-2 to my speakers. Any ideas on that?

EDIT: So It turns out I already have Mogami AES to 75ohm cables with the correct ends to interface with the BMC-2. I used to use them to connect my Lavry Blues to my Digi 002 via SPDIF back in the day, but I'm guessing that since the BMC-2 can actually receive the AES3ID signal that these cables are exactly what I need. Is that correct?

It's basically a 3ft version of this cable

Dangerous D-Box Digital Input Cable | Made from Mogami 2964 & Amphenol Gold & Neutrik Gold Connectors | Pro Audio LA

Last edited by shelterr; 2nd March 2019 at 08:19 PM..
Old 2nd March 2019
  #19
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I use a lot of AESID equipment integrated into my system because it is the dominate form of AES for the broadcast/broadcast audio market.

The way I'd hook it up is

BMC2 out > RCA to BNC 75ohm adapter > BNC Coaxial 75ohm short cable (6") > Neutrik NADITBNC-M adapter > Long AES XLR 110ohm cable to speakers

BMC2 in < RCA to BNC 75ohm adapter < BNC Coaxial 75 ohm short cable (6") < Neutrik NADITBNC-F adapter < Long AES XLR 110ohm cable to source

You could not use the RCA to BNC adapter plugs and just have a BNC 75 ohm coaxial short cable wired with BNC on one end and RCA on the other, but BNC is a locking connector (nothing will get loose) and the RCA/BNC adapters are pretty standard, so it's easier to use an adapter.

I use the Neutrik adapters (have about 20 in use) but Canare also makes a similar item. I find the Neutriks generally better built (the spring latch for the XLR release)
NADITBNC-M | Neutrik
NADITBNC-F | Neutrik
Old 2nd March 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
I use a lot of AESID equipment integrated into my system because it is the dominate form of AES for the broadcast/broadcast audio market.

The way I'd hook it up is

BMC2 out > RCA to BNC 75ohm adapter > BNC Coaxial 75ohm short cable (6") > Neutrik NADITBNC-M adapter > Long AES XLR 110ohm cable to speakers

BMC2 in < RCA to BNC 75ohm adapter < BNC Coaxial 75 ohm short cable (6") < Neutrik NADITBNC-F adapter < Long AES XLR 110ohm cable to source

You could not use the RCA to BNC adapter plugs and just have a BNC 75 ohm coaxial short cable wired with BNC on one end and RCA on the other, but BNC is a locking connector (nothing will get loose) and the RCA/BNC adapters are pretty standard, so it's easier to use an adapter.

I use the Neutrik adapters (have about 20 in use) but Canare also makes a similar item. I find the Neutriks generally better built (the spring latch for the XLR release)
NADITBNC-M | Neutrik
NADITBNC-F | Neutrik
This is good to know!

So this will sound identical to if I was just using an AES XLR cable? Part of me has considered the Lake People DAT RS 05 simply because it has AES XLR I/O but the BMC-2 Features are better and it's less than half the price.

Also, would the cables I already have work as well? I want to test out this system to see of it will really replace my beloved Avocet IIa but I'd rather not get too deep into buying a bunch of adapters and cables if I'm just going to end up returning them. But if the cables I have are going to make my comparison unfair, I'll just order the adapters I have and return everything if it doesn't work out.
Old 2nd March 2019
  #21
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Yes. Identical. AES3ID exists only because Broadcast audio places already had 75ohm laid in everywhere (almost exclusively coaxial 50ohm and 75ohm) and so the AES standards committee adapted AES3 to run over longer distances at 75ohm. The signal is exactly the same.

You can use your current cables. The only big thing is the run from the BMC2 to the impedance adapter needs to be all 75ohm cabling and then after the adapter, all 110ohm. Keep those things right and you are fine.
(Standard RCA is 75ohm, Standard AES3 XLR is 110ohm, Coaxial cabling/BNC connectors comes in different impedances so you have to make sure you are using 75 ohm there)
Old 2nd March 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Yes. Identical. AES3ID exists only because Broadcast audio places already had 75ohm laid in everywhere (almost exclusively coaxial 50ohm and 75ohm) and so the AES standards committee adapted AES3 to run over longer distances at 75ohm. The signal is exactly the same.

You can use your current cables. The only big thing is the run from the BMC2 to the impedance adapter needs to be all 75ohm cabling and then after the adapter, all 110ohm. Keep those things right and you are fine.
(Standard RCA is 75ohm, Standard AES3 XLR is 110ohm, Coaxial cabling/BNC connectors comes in different impedances so you have to make sure you are using 75 ohm there)
So if I just extend the XLR end of my cable (which is like the one in the link I posted) by plugging into a standard 110 ohm Mogami AES XLR cable to reach the speakers, it will be just as good as the way you described as the adapters? There isn't a transformer in my cable so I guess I just want to be sure it's actually converting 110ohm to 75ohm properly. When I used it before it was just for SPDIF, which didn't sound great, but I assume that was the fault of SPDIF connection on my Digi 002 and not the cable itself. Or maybe my cable is JUST 75ohm and won't properly convert it.

Sorry for all of the questions! I just don't want to make incorrect assumptions about the BMC-2 and the whole idea of running the 8c's digital because of a mistake on my end
Old 2nd March 2019
  #23
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No. the cable you linked to is wrong. I missed you had posted that link.
The cable you linked to is just a 75ohm cable that runs unbalanced to a 3 pin connector (XLR). That isn't right for this.

You need a 75 ohm to 110 ohm adapter. There's no way around that.
You need a 75 ohm cable (RCA or Coaxial) that runs to an impedance transformer that makes it 110ohm where you can then hook a standard AES3 XLR 110ohm cable (and that continues to your speakers or source)
Old 2nd March 2019
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
No. the cable you linked to is wrong. I missed you had posted that link.
The cable you linked to is just a 75ohm cable that runs unbalanced to a 3 pin connector (XLR). That isn't right for this.

You need a 75 ohm to 110 ohm adapter. There's no way around that.
You need a 75 ohm cable (RCA or Coaxial) that runs to an impedance transformer that makes it 110ohm where you can then hook a standard AES3 XLR 110ohm cable (and that continues to your speakers or source)
So if I got the Neutrik Male and Female 110 ohm to 75 ohm adapters you linked to and one of each of these I would be all set? (obviously I would need regular AES XLR cables and two coax cables, and I have those already)

https://www.amazon.com/Hosa-NBR-253-...ay&sr=8-7&th=1

https://www.amazon.com/Hosa-NBR-253-...ay&sr=8-7&th=1
Old 2nd March 2019
  #25
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You need two Male RCA to Female BNC (second of your links) adapters. Not one of each

BNC coaxial patch cables are always male on both ends and RCA equipment-mounted inputs and outputs always use female connectors.
(the BNC side of the Neutrik impedance transformers are also both female no matter if the XLR side is male or female)
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