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Sound Devices 552 AES to SPDIF??? Thoughts, suggests...
Old 18th August 2011
  #1
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
  #2
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
  #3
Old 19th August 2011
  #4
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
  #5
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
  #6
Quote:
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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