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Sound Devices 552 AES to SPDIF??? Thoughts, suggests...
Old 18th August 2011
Sound Devices 552 AES to SPDIF??? Thoughts, suggests...

Okay, I have a Sound Devices 552 (very nice!) and it will send the audio out via XLR in AES digital. The only digital input I have on my interface is via RCA jack SPDIF. I want to convert from AES to SPDIF using something like this: Mercenary Audio - Neutrik Digital Transformers

I have a number of questions that I am hoping people with more knowledge on this can answer.

#1 are the converters in the Sound Devices 552 any good? I have read that the AD converters in some of their gear are pretty wonderful, but I have not been able to find out if the boxes all use the same converters or not. I might just need to send SD an email and find out directly, but I am pretty sure a rep for that company is here on GS...

#2 is there anything I should be aware of when going from AES to SPDIF? Are there any distortion or quality degradation issues?

#3 is there a limitation to the audio sampling rates when using this method--I can only go to 24 bit, 96kHz, right? Or will I be limited even further than that?

And of course if some knowledgeable people think of anything else I should be considering, please respond. Obviously I do not have my XLR to RCA/ AES to SPDIF converter yet, otherwise I would probably just try it out and listen to the results.

Oh yes, I am going into a Presonus Firepod on the SPDIF receiving side of this plan. I fully expect that the Sound Devices 552 AD converter will be superior to the Firepod AD converter. I actually have two Firepods (lucky me!) and I think I will be able to send channels 1 and 2 through one AES output and then channels 3 and 4 through the other AES output ultimately giving me four channels of better quality conversion.
Old 19th August 2011
bump and more info...

I did hear back from Sound Designs and got corroboration that what I plan to do will work and presumably work well.

The A/D converter chip in the 522 mixer is an ADC chip AK4103. I tried to do some searching as to what boxes have that chip in it, but did not come up with much. I am under the impression from the little bit of info I did find that the ADC chip AK4103 is pretty darned good and that I should expect excellent results.

Anyway, I did not expect a lot of responses on this post because the Sound Devices boxes are more of a broadcast and film related product line, but in the event some other slut wants to find info on a Sound Devices 522 in the future, at least SOMETHING will pop up in the search!

BTW--if you ever try to contact the folks at Sound Devices, they respond very quickly. I was surprised. Pleasantly surprised. Expensive, but very solid, well built gear from this company.

I hope to pick up some AES/ XLR to SPDIF/ RCA converter boxes soon and in a few weeks hook up the rig and try it out.
Old 19th August 2011
Old 19th August 2011
Gear Maniac

They essentially the same data with different header as far as I know.
I send audio out of SPDIF RCA on my interface to AES XLR on my DAC on a short 75ohm cable with a rca to xlr adaptor all day everyday seemingly without any problems - and sometimes go the other way to use the ADC, though I haven't for a while , that can be a little touchy from memory, usually have to save session once I've changed input settings and then reopen it.
Old 19th August 2011
Lives for gear
hasbeen's Avatar
For short cable length (under 6 feet), you can use an XLR to RCA adaptor. For DA interface, use a Male XLR to Female RCA (about $7.50 US). For AD interface, use a Female XLR buy Female XLR to Female RCA (about $8.50US) Try Neutrix, Switchcraft and Hosa.

For cable length in excess of 6 feet, Use adaptors with 110Ohm to 75Ohm impedance matching transformers (ADVARK for example). Such digital audio interface devices may cost around $50. Some of transformers provide XLR to BNC connection, requiring an additional inexpensive BNC to RCA adaptor.
Old 19th August 2011
Originally Posted by down_town View Post
Excellent! This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. This is probably as cheap, or cheaper, than I could make myself! Thank you.

And thank you to the other folks who replied as well.
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