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SPDIF vs AES/EBU

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by recordwoman, May 25, 2005.

  1. recordwoman

    recordwoman Guest

    are there differences in quality...!?
    i wanna buy an apogge Mini ME. is there a difference (or any other pro and cons) if i choose the SPDIF or the AES/EBU to connect it to my DAW?!
    have SPDIF-connections itself differneces? i mean: if i plug the apogee SPDIF-OUT in the IN of a RME-Multiface-SPDIF-IN or in the IN of a cheap onboardsoundcard with digital-SPDIF-IN, is there a difference in quality........!?

    thanx!
     
  2. ilya

    ilya Guest

    Generally you shouldn't have any difference because all transfers are done in digital domain. However the quality of connecting wire does matter (especially over long distances) so you should use 75 Ohm coaxial cable for your SPDIF connection (and 110 Ohm balanced for AES).
    And nobody knows what happens with your signal after it enters that cheap mobo codec, you know :)
     
  3. recordwoman

    recordwoman Guest

    what is the mobo codec...?
     
  4. overlookfran

    overlookfran Guest

    motherboard codec?

    i think he means that once its in the computer, theres no telling how squashed the signal is getting...

    my friend said it best: "Mixing in the box makes the song sound like a plug in."

    it makes me sad how much better, DRASTICALLY better, our songs sounded when mixed on an analog board rather than in Pro Tools.

    now I feel like i need to buy a nice board...but he did still a Tascam Mx-2424 to record to, which is theoretically digital. the converters on the MX are VERY good actually...

    with every pass from AD-DA, a speck of sound is lost...

    I digress.
     
  5. KyroJoe

    KyroJoe Guest

    recordwoman,

    you can learn most of what you'll need to know about the AES/EBU & S/PDIF standards from these sites:

    http://www.aes.org/publications/standards/


    You'll probably want to plug to the RME instead of the
    factory consumer-CD quality soundcard - which will most likely
    be 16 or 20 bit and 44.1 or 48 (you'll need to check the manufacturer's specs for your soundcard).




    KJ
    ---------------
    Kyro Studios
     
  6. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    If it means anything, AES/EBU "should" be better enough to justify its' additional cost - if you want to go the additional cost? If both options are already available, try AES/EBU.


    Like the actual compound of our automobile tires and whether it's "the right stuff", or not, sometimes we have to trust to those who say they know..? "They" say, AES/EBU, is best...

    TG
     
  7. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Possibly. Differences may be present, depending on how the digital i/o circuitry is actually implemented those devices. I have noticed that on some equipment, with both SPDIF & AES, that they can sound very different. But on other equipment they can be almost identical in quality. Therefore I think it is futile to make a generalization that one format is better than the other. You will have to experiment and listen to the specific equipment in question to determine which will perform better for you.
     
  8. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    If your studio is in high electrical and/or RF noise fields, I'd opt for AES/EBU - it's a balanced differential connection, vice SPDIF's coaxial single-ended connection. Therefore, AES/EBU has better immunity from external noise sources. And, IMO, AES/EBU should be less senstive to cable issues. The longer the cable run, the more I'd recommend AES/EBU.
     
  9. itchy

    itchy Guest

    aes is less susceptible to jitter as well as what was stated above.
     
  10. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Absolutely correct.

    This is a generalized statement which will not always prove to be true. A poorly designed or implemented AES circuit can exhibit worse jitter than a well designed S/Pdif circuit. You must evaluate any particular device on an individual basis to determine if it's particular AES or SPdif is better for a given scenario.
     
  11. itchy

    itchy Guest

    "in general", aes is less susceptible to jitter

    :?
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    This names say it all ...
    AES = Audio Engineering Society. A group of professionals who set the standards used in professional audio equipment.
    S/PDIF = Sony / Phillips digital interface. Sony and Phillips produce consumer equipment. The S/PDIF standard is intended for this segment of the market.

    S/PDIF is sent at a lower voltage level that AES so in addition to AES having better noise rejection because the cables are balanced, the higher voltages keep the signal intact over cable runs.

    AES is better but more expensive usually. I use S/PDIF exclusively all the time with no problems.
     

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