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Digital Format Questions

Thanks again for all your help in picking out a $1k mic. I ended up doing a shootout between a Blueberry and a TLM 103, but the Blueberry won out for my purposes.

In any case, now is the time to buy better nearfields. I've been obsessing over whether or not to get the JBL LSR 6in or the Adam A7's. I also considered the BM5A's, but I've used them before and I'm pretty sure that their low-end response is a little bit much for my 'compact' room. For my purposes I'm leaning pretty hard towards the JBL's...

I saw that they had s/pdif and AES/EBU inputs on the back of them, which I think is neat. I've never needed to use digi-audio i/o on anything before, but I'm wondering what kind of advantages this would provide over a short length of standard balanced Mogami quad. I understand that keeping it digital would keep whatever electrical noise there was in my room out of the audio, which is good...

The thing that I don't understand is that it's going to get D/A-ed at some point or another. I understand that my MOTU Traveller's AD/DA isn't anything special, but how good can the D/A be on the LSR's? Worth using AES/EBU or s/pdif?

Furthermore, I know the tactical differences between the two formats, i.e., what cables are used, why there is an impedence invovled, etc... and I'm told that AES/EBU is the preferred format to use if you can... that s/pdif is the more 'consumer' of the two.

But why is there a difference between something that is essentially ones and zero's, which one should I use, and why?


And if anyone has had a good experience with anything other than LSR's in the $1k range, pipe up.


Boswell Sat, 02/03/2007 - 06:50
TVPostSound wrote:
Not quite. You said yourself that S/PDIF and AES/EBU are essentially the same signal. The differences are in the usage of the header bits and the voltage levels at the physical transmission medium. Since they are otherwise essentially the same, they carry the same clock recovery information in timeslots 0 - 3. Is is convention that the clock is recovered from an S/PDIF signal whereas AES/EBU signals are decoded with a clock carried on a separate channel. The rationale is that the AES/EBU signals are mostly used in professional audio and video environments where there is not only likely to be substantially longer cable runs than domestic/semi-pro usage, but that a central master clock source is the norm and the clock is distributed to all the equipment that requires it by dedicated clock distribution amplifiers. This results in minimum jitter and latency, and more reliable transmission of data than would be the case if each receiver recovered a clock from every AES/EBU input.

Nice quote, please credit the source.
No source, I wrote that myself based on 30+ years of designing audio and digital systems, many of which included clock recovery circuits.

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 02/03/2007 - 23:03
Back to the original topic... I own the JBL LSR4328's and love them. Granted, these are the 8" woofers, but I can't imagine the clarity of mine and the LSR4326's to be too much different. I don't have the best monitoring environment as i'm currently between housing and will build something more suitable once I finally dig in somewhere, and I find that the "RMC" really does help in my particular setup. My mixes also transfer well from system to system and i've been really impressed by that. If you've got a great monitoring environment then you may be better off getting the BM5a's but I would want to do a shootout between them and the Adam's monitors. I haven't had a chance to hear them yet and it's killin me haha.