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SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

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SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:36 pm

Just wondering how much I should pay for a good quality SPDIF or Optical lead? I intend to go from an Avid Eleven Rack Guitar FX Processor into my RME Babyface - is one preferable to the other?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby chris... » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:38 pm

Pay - not a lot.

What distance is involved ?
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby ef37a » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:59 pm

http://cpc.farnell.com/_/4opt-103/lead-toslink-metal-plug-3m/dp/CS21239

CPC stuff is usually pretty good. Don't pay a lot since "proper" duplex fibre optic leads are only about a tenner from them.

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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:30 pm

The eleven rack will be sitting next to the RME Babyface so distance is not really an issue - main thing is I don't have to fork out
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby ef37a » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:37 pm

Imran500 wrote:The eleven rack will be sitting next to the RME Babyface so distance is not really an issue - main thing is I don't have to fork out

Some really cheap **** throws in an optical lead with the hardware. You would think RME could stand a 1mtr jobbie!

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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby BobTheDog » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:35 pm

Imran500 wrote:The eleven rack will be sitting next to the RME Babyface so distance is not really an issue - main thing is I don't have to fork out

Don't get an optical lead as the Eleven Rack hasn't got anything to plug it into!
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Red Mastering » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:16 am

Imran500 wrote:Just wondering how much I should pay for a good quality SPDIF or Optical lead? I intend to go from an Avid Eleven Rack Guitar FX Processor into my RME Babyface - is one preferable to the other?

Thanks in advance!
for optical - myself I got cheap toslink cables, few quid off ebay and they work fine with my high grade ad/da,
for spdif - I can recommend you to solder it yourself, grab a belden 1694 per meter and solder it,
it will be high quality cable, and it will cost you few quid,
anyway that's what I did in my studio - all cables except power and midi, are hand soldered by me,
it's cheaper option if you want quality and don't want to spend too much $$$

all the best
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:53 pm

BobTheDog wrote:
Imran500 wrote:The eleven rack will be sitting next to the RME Babyface so distance is not really an issue - main thing is I don't have to fork out

Don't get an optical lead as the Eleven Rack hasn't got anything to plug it into!

Excellent point!
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:49 am

I was looking at this but it says toslink/ spdif - is this the right lead for SPDIF?

http://www.cabling4less.co.uk/products/1474/optical_digital_audio_cable_%28toslinkspdif%29/

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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:10 pm

S/PDIF is a data format which is very similar to the AES3 format. However, it can be passed between devices in two very different forms, one electrical and the other optical. The electrical form employs an unbalanced signal of around 1V pk-pk and is usually connected with RCA-phono plugs and sockets (although BNCs are sometimes used instead). This is often referred to as 'Coaxial S/PDIF'

The optical form -- known as 'Optical S/PDIF' -- is connected via a type of optical plug/socket system made by Toshiba and known as the 'TosLink' connector. It is exactly the same physical connector as the ADAT lightpipe, but the S/PDIF data format is very different from the ADAT data interface and the two are not compatible even though they use the same plugs and light-pipe fibres.

So you need to identify whether your equipment connects with electrical coaxial S/PDIF cables, or optical S/PDIF on Toslink fibres.

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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby BobTheDog » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:57 pm

The Eleven rack needs a coax spdif while the baby face needs an optical spdif.

So if you want to connect them you are going to need some form of convertor, I wouldn't know one to recommend.

Or just use the analog cables to make it simple
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:16 pm

Thanks for that Bob + Hugh that is some blindingly important info - I just ordered a coax lead from Andertons along with the Eleven Rack

Is there going to be a noticeable difference if I go analog - it's just that I'll be going analogue to digital to analogue to digital again from the guitar through the ER and out into the RME Babyface - does all that conversion have a negative knock on effect to the final recorded sound?
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:53 pm

Imran500 wrote:Thanks for that Bob + Hugh that is some blindingly important info - I just ordered a coax lead from Andertons along with the Eleven Rack

The problem is easily solved by buying a simple coax to optical SPDIF converter like this M-audio one -- they aren't expensive or complicated -- but you will need to get an optical fibre too...

Is there going to be a noticeable difference if I go analog - it's just that I'll be going analogue to digital to analogue to digital again from the guitar through the ER and out into the RME Babyface - does all that conversion have a negative knock on effect to the final recorded sound?

It's always good to avoid unnecessary A-D and D-A conversions where you can. But modern converters are very good. I did some tests nearly twenty years ago passing critical test audio between A-D and D-A converters to assess the degradation and got bored at the 50th generation! Some very subtle losses started to be audible after about 10 passes back and forth, and it was obvious after 25, but one or two was completely insignificant in all but the most critical of chains -- and would pale into utter irrelevance in the context of the damage inflicted by a guitar effects system.

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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:07 pm

In that case analogue it is!!!! As per usual with Sound on Sound - killer info

Many thanks
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby ef37a » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:24 pm

http://www.maplin.co.uk/optical-to-coaxial-digital-audio-convertor-29293

They work very well. I have one converting* optical to co-ax into a 2496 from a Sony Mdisc (and it drives 6mtrs of V old RadioSpares 4mm foam dialectric co-ax cable..Perfek!)

*There is no "conversion" going on in the accepted sense, it is just a chip driving a LED or a LED driving a chip!
Question: Could you convert ADAT to co-ax with one then convert back tother end?

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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:02 pm

I need the coax > optical one but that's there as well. Cheers for that
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:26 pm

Another work around I suppose is just to go in via USB and switch between the two interfaces in my DAW and on my amp? I only ever record one thing at a time anyway
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:44 pm

Just an update bought the coax + toslink cables and the convertor, plugged it all in and works a treat!
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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:05 pm

Good news!

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Re: SPDIF/ Optical cables - how much should I pay?

Postby Imran500 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:48 pm

Certainly is - the convertor box looks and feels bloody cheap though, it's like holding a large matchbox but I suppose if it does the job what's the problem

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