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ChrisFromDublin

USB (or Ethernet) to AES/EBU converter?

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The C.A.S.H. list has recommended converters for USB to S/PDIF converters, and for Ethernet to S/PDIF converters.

Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile Suggested Hardware List

 

But my soon-to-own professional studio monitors, Genelec 8351A, only accept analogue input and then the professional digital format AES/EBU. Then what?

 

I’d prefer an Ethernet to AES/EBU converter, but a USB to AES/EBU converter will also be interesting. I’d also prefer a unit with a volume control – and perhaps a source selector and an analogue input.

 

Does anybody have suggestions or tips?

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Just came across this thread, which is packed with information (without mentioning AES/EBU in the header.)

 

Building a 8260A system to support both 16/44 and 24/192 playback

 

Still no mentioning of a product, though, that adds a volume control, and which takes input from Wifi.

 

I suppose some micro version of a professional studio mixer with USB and analogue inputs will be the way to go. But what do they sound like?

How do they work, seen from an audiophile perspective?

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I'd be careful about relying on the CA C.A.S.H. list too heavily for recommendations. That list is woefully out of date and many well regarded products (in all categories) have come out since any maintenance was done on it.

So maybe look around in some of the forums. And you obviously did a good thing by asking the question here.

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I'd be careful about relying on the CA C.A.S.H. list too heavily for recommendations. That list is woefully out of date and many well regarded products (in all categories) have come out since any maintenance was done on it.

So maybe look around in some of the forums. And you obviously did a good thing by asking the question here.

With all do respect, newer doesn't equal better.


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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Hydra Z passes 384 pcm and DSD x2 as well. I think BADA is 192khz only?

 

Chris maybe you should try Hydra Z against your great BADA.

 

Of course I haven't heard BADA and it looks awesome.

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Hydra Z passes 384 pcm and DSD x2 as well. I think BADA is 192khz only?

 

Chris maybe you should try Hydra Z against your great BADA.

 

Of course I haven't heard BADA and it looks awesome.

 

Hi HDgeorge - What advantages do you see with the ability to pass 384 PCM and DSD 2x? I'm honestly curious.


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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The Yellowtec Puc2 Lite with a decent power supply (ifi iUSB Power, Schiit Wyred, or a linear supply) is a very good performer at way less money than the other options. The main thing with it is that it only works with Mac and PC, it doesn't play well with linux based devices/computers/servers. The Bryston Buc-1 would also be worth checking out for a comparable cost (since it includes the power supply already.)


Roon ->allo Sparky-USBridge w/ SBooster 5V LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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Hi HDgeorge - What advantages do you see with the ability to pass 384 PCM and DSD 2x? I'm honestly curious.

 

Hi Chris,

 

You got a point.

 

Still hydra Z performs really good.

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With all do respect, newer doesn't equal better.

 

Sorry Chris, I did not mean to imply that. But also with due respect, there are many worthy products not listed, and a large number of the products on the C.A.S.H. list are discontinued (e.g. 2 of the 4 USB>S/PDIF converters), and/or the links are dead.

 

In addition, the continued omission of two popular--and highly regarded by your membership--software players (Audirvana+ and HQ Player), while still linking to the defunct free version of Audirvana and to OS Lion(!), makes it appear that you have left the C.A.S.H. list to linger in the dust bin. With but two exceptions, all the entires on the list date from 2013 and earlier--most MUCH earlier.

 

I agree that newer is not always batter, and groundbreaking products don't come along very often. But computer audio does not stand still and I think people--especially new folks visiting CA for the first time--would be well served by some refresh and culling of the C.A.S.H. list.

 

You know I've made this place my home and so this is just my friendly $0.02. I try to clean and organize my own closets once in a while even if only a few things get tossed out and a couple of items added. :)

 

Looking forward to seeing you in Berkeley in about 6 weeks!

 

--Alex C.

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The Lampizator USB to SPDIF TranspOrt sounds is an outstanding converter. Sounds wonderful. I don't believe it is listed on the current Lampi website but I'm sure Lukasz can still make one.

Hope this helped!

Steven


SteVe's V's

 

Speakers- Legacy Audio Vs & 2 Legacy LF Extreme Subwoofers, Amplifiers- 2 Coda 15.5 Amplifiers Biamped, Preamp- TRL Dude, DAC- Lampizator Golden Gate Legacy Audio WaveletPC Software-ROON, HQplayer, jPlay, Fidelizer, AudiophileOptimizer 2.10, jRiver, WSY2K12V2 Roon Server PC- , HqPlayer PC- Turntable- SOTA Sapphire, Sumiko FT3 Arm, Audioquest Cartridge, CODA Phono stage, Accessories- HAL Footers, PS Audio Powerbases, Aurios, HiFi Tuning Supreme Fuses, Power- PurePower+ 2000 & 3000, PS Audio: Powerbases, LAN Rover, Noise Harvester, Quintet, Ultimate Outlets HC, Welborne Labs & HdPlex LPSUs,

Cables- Clarus Crimson USB, Lampizator Silver Ghost USB, Clarus Crimson PC, Western Electric 10 gauge DIY Speaker Cables and Best-Tronics Belden 8402 Balanced Interconnects Equipment Racks- SolidSteel

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Congrats on choosing what may be the best monitors in the whole history of monitors.

 

 

The C.A.S.H. list has recommended converters for USB to S/PDIF converters, and for Ethernet to S/PDIF converters.

Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile Suggested Hardware List

 

But my soon-to-own professional studio monitors, Genelec 8351A, only accept analogue input and then the professional digital format AES/EBU. Then what?

 

 

Any S/PDIF can be tranformed into AES/EBU

(At least for use with Genelec SAM series)

 

Neutrix NANDITBNC-M

S/PDIF -> AES/EBU converter (75 -> 110ohm transformer)

NADITBNC-M - Neutrik

EUR 45

 

 

I’d prefer an Ethernet to AES/EBU converter, but a USB to AES/EBU converter will also be interesting.

I’d also prefer a unit with a volume control – and perhaps a source selector and an analogue input.

 

Does anybody have suggestions or tips?

 

 

Volume on Genelec SAM's should be controlled through the separate GLM controller and network.

 

See S/PDIF to AES/EBU tranformer above.

 

Genelec SAM's both take one balanced analogue and an AES3 (also known as AES/EBU) digital signal.

The signal source is chosen through the GLM interface on a Mac or PC.

(Note we are still waiting for the release for the GLKM 2 Mac software. It's due ultimo Q1 2015)

 

 

Good luck, and please feel free to ask me any question on Genelec SAM series.

Edited by DigiPete

Find my blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

ALAC 16/44 - 24/192 stereo/surround on Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt -> MacBook Pro 2,2Ghz Core i7 120GB SSD 16GB RAM

iTunes / Pure Music / Amarra HiFi / Bit Perfect / Audirvana + / Decibel / VLC

-> Firewire -> Weiss AFI-1 DDC -> AES/EBU -> Genelec 3 x 8260A + 2 x 8250A + 7271A sub

DragonFly / iPhone 6 -> Sennheiser Amperior / Etymotic RE-4PT

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Thank you very much. This is indeed a website with many friendly people! :-)

 

If AES/EBU is a standard in professional music recording there really ought to be a number of cross-over products from the professional world. Digital mixing consoles with 1-4 channels and/or preamplifiers with USB and analogue inputs, a physical volume control and an AES/EBU output for active studio monitors. Much like the Benchmark DAC1 PRE had XLR output and was a preamp from music studios.

 

Anybody know any?

 

I’ve found other threads on this forum discussing the same issue. These have a few years on them, but they are interesting none the less. Here are links:

 

Building a 8260A system to support both 16/44 and 24/192 playback

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/best-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-audio-engineering-society-aes-world-wide-professional-society-devoted-audio-technology-european-broadcasting-union-ebu-professional-society-devoted-audio-technology-it-originated-europe-broadcasting-radio-and-tv-converter-16177/

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/server-dual-audio-engineering-society-aes-world-wide-professional-society-devoted-audio-technology-european-broadcasting-union-ebu-professional-society-devoted-audio-technology-it-originated-europe-broadcasting-radio-and-tv-output-and-volume-control-14067/

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Wow, DigiPete, I did not know that it was THAT easy to convert from S/PDIF output to AES/EBU input. That opens up the field a lot.

 

Here are a few links, elaborating on your information.

How to Convert Between S/PDIF and AES Digital Audio

 

Format Converters | B&H Photo Video

 

I’m aware that the volume on Genelec’s latest monitors can be controlled through the GLM controller, but I’m reaching a shortage of USB outputs on my laptop and would prefer to not have GLM controller connected all the time.

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Thank you very much. This is indeed a website with many friendly people! :-)

 

If AES/EBU is a standard in professional music recording there really ought to be a number of cross-over products from the professional world. Digital mixing consoles with 1-4 channels and/or preamplifiers with USB and analogue inputs, a physical volume control and an AES/EBU output for active studio monitors. Much like the Benchmark DAC1 PRE had XLR output and was a preamp from music studios.

 

Anybody know any?

 

 

Thomann has a great audio interface selection tool (Europe).

 

Vintage King Audio has great selection and prices (US).

 

 

Or check this list of pro AD/DA sound cards: High end multi channel sound cards

 

A simple Mutec DDC or equivalent may do the trick for you.

Edited by DigiPete

Find my blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

ALAC 16/44 - 24/192 stereo/surround on Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt -> MacBook Pro 2,2Ghz Core i7 120GB SSD 16GB RAM

iTunes / Pure Music / Amarra HiFi / Bit Perfect / Audirvana + / Decibel / VLC

-> Firewire -> Weiss AFI-1 DDC -> AES/EBU -> Genelec 3 x 8260A + 2 x 8250A + 7271A sub

DragonFly / iPhone 6 -> Sennheiser Amperior / Etymotic RE-4PT

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Don't we normally use a computer? You need quite a few layers of the ISO OSI to pass bytes across Ethernet. Ethernet protocol stack, a MAC address, IP address. I guess you could use a RPi.

 

Is there any kind of synchronisation required? I'm having difficulty visualising how this system all fits together.


Mike zerO Romeo Oscar November

http://wakibaki.com

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@Wakibaki: I don’t understand what you’re saying, either. :-) One thing seems to be clear from the comments above: My question is actually two separate questions.

 

1) How do I get a great USB -> AES/EBU converter, preferably with an all-digital preamp – that is volume control, source selector and at least one analogue input with an ADC?

 

2) How do I get a digital signal wirelessly from my laptop to this digital preamp? If this is at all possible without any audio degradation.

 

I had hoped that there’d be one all-in-one solution, but that seems to be an unobtainable dream.

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@Wakibaki: I don’t understand what you’re saying, either. :-) One thing seems to be clear from the comments above: My question is actually two separate questions.

 

1) How do I get a great USB -> AES/EBU converter, preferably with an all-digital preamp – that is volume control, source selector and at least one analogue input with an ADC?

 

2) How do I get a digital signal wirelessly from my laptop to this digital preamp? If this is at all possible without any audio degradation.

 

I had hoped that there’d be one all-in-one solution, but that seems to be an unobtainable dream.

 

OK, I'll try to deal with this in reverse order.

 

If you want to send audio from your laptop wirelessly, then the way to do this is with a regular Wi-Fi system. It is possible to take analog audio out of the laptop, convert it to some digital form, transmit that by radio, or even output digital audio to a dedicated device and send that to a dedicated receiver, but there is no existing system to do this. You can't send raw digital data out of the Ethernet port. It has to be wrapped in a number of protocols that keep it separate from other data, ensure it gets to the right destination etc., because Ethernet is effectively a multi-drop system, where multiple users can share the same wire. I talk about Ethernet because Wi-Fi just repackages Ethernet and then unpacks it at the other end. You have an Ethernet port on each Wi-Fi device, although, on a laptop, it may be virtual.

 

For this reason any device that wants to pass audio over Ethernet requires most of the Gubbins we normally associate with a full-scale internet connection, IP address, there are a lot of things. Nowadays we would just use a small single-board computer for this section, and this keeps everything compatible with existing tech.

 

So if your laptop has wi-fi then you can make both it and the device members of the same workgroup or domain, then they become visible to each other, and the device can request a file on the laptop, as long as sharing is enabled.

 

A small computer like the Raspberry Pi would often be used, it has USB, but you might have to go to a fanless PC to get something that supports an AES/EBU card. I think you can control headless RPi systems from your phone, I don't know about Windoze.


Mike zerO Romeo Oscar November

http://wakibaki.com

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@Wakibaki: I don’t understand what you’re saying, either. :-) One thing seems to be clear from the comments above: My question is actually two separate questions.

 

1) How do I get a great USB -> AES/EBU converter, preferably with an all-digital preamp – that is volume control, source selector and at least one analogue input with an ADC?

 

2) How do I get a digital signal wirelessly from my laptop to this digital preamp? If this is at all possible without any audio degradation.

 

I had hoped that there’d be one all-in-one solution, but that seems to be an unobtainable dream.

 

One option to solve both is Aries, which does have a digital volume control (not for DSD files though). But I don't know how well that works when connected directly to an amp (ie if the volume control can reliably be set to a starting level rather than max). In this case your laptop works as a wireless server of music files.

 

I presume you insist on files on your laptop because you use them elsewhere, but I would strongly recommend you use a NAS and file replication instead, and use the NAS to serve the Aries. That way you get backup for free.

 

As for true digital preamps the only solution I am aware of is Meridian.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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@Wakibaki: I don’t understand what you’re saying, either. :-) One thing seems to be clear from the comments above: My question is actually two separate questions.

 

1) How do I get a great USB -> AES/EBU converter, preferably with an all-digital preamp – that is volume control, source selector and at least one analogue input with an ADC?

 

2) How do I get a digital signal wirelessly from my laptop to this digital preamp? If this is at all possible without any audio degradation.

 

I had hoped that there’d be one all-in-one solution, but that seems to be an unobtainable dream.

 

There are some conceptual differences here, USB shows up as a "soundcard" on your computer, music playing programs (such as JRiver), know how to send their output to the "USB soundcard".

 

There is no such commonly available equivalent for Ethernet. You can't buy an "Ethernet DAC" that just shows up as a soundcard on your computer. The Ethernet enabled audio solutions are much more complicated "server client" systems such as upnp/dlna, squeezebox, sonos etc. In these systems you have a computer that runs a server, which reads files, sends the audio data out over the Ethernet system to a "player/renderer" which reads the audio data and converts it to the output format (analog audio, S/PDIF/ AES/EBU) whatever. These are full blown "systems" that send pictures of cover art, track, composer.artist names etc, give you tons of ways to search your library etc. All of these systems let you partition up the system in various different ways using either dedicated or general purpose hardware. You can have music stored on one piece of hardware, controlled from another piece of hardware, and final output on another piece of hardware. Or combine them in various ways.

 

With these systems you can have hardwired interfaces from the server to player and a WiFi connection to a laptop or tablet (or phone) running the control software so you can move it around where ever you want to be, but still send the actual audio data over the more reliable hard wired connection.

 

Looking at the speaker manual I see there is a AES/EBU in and output jack. Each monitor has a set of switches to select which channel it plays from (if both are on it sums the two channels). So you can run one AES/EBU wire to one speaker then daisy chain a cable to the other. This is probably easier than having to split the AES/EBU signal to go to both.

 

So to the OP, can you give us some more info on how you want to arrange and use this system, some important questions are:

 

1) Where will the music files be stored? On your laptop, a NAS, some other computer etc

 

2) How do you want to select what music to play? On your laptop, a tablet, phone, box in a "component rack"

 

3) How do you want to adjust the volume? Standard control on laptop, tablet, phone, actual knob on some box somewhere

 

4) You mention an analog input, what is this and where is it? Is it near where you will be sitting, is it near the speakers, somewhere else

 

5) What do you want to spend on this

 

Those are the ones I can come up with off the top of my head. I hope helps you think about what you are after so we can do a better job of coming up with a solution for you.

 

John S.

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Does anybody have suggestions or tips?

 

 

Chris, it sounds like you are trying to fix the wrong thing for the right reasons.

 

So your setup is already a mess of USB and other wires?

Why not get rid of all those in one swift swoop?

 

I replaced my wire mess with a single Thunderbolt cable to a breakout box.

 

You have a few to choose from:

 

 

CalDigit Thunderbolt Station

 

3x USB3

2x Thunderbolt

1x HDMI

1x Ethernet

1x Audio In

1x Audio Out

 

USD200

 

 

Belkin 2 Express Dock

 

2x Thunderbolt

1x Gigabit Ethernet port

1x FireWire 800 port

1x 3.5mm Headphone Output Jack

1x 3.5mm Audio Input Jack

3x USB 3.0 ports (data transfer at 2.5Gbps max)

Powered USB 3.0 Ports support USB Charging (500mA)

 

USD 300

 

 

Sonnet ECHO 15 Pro Thunderdock

 

2x eSATA

1x FireWire 800

1x RJ-45 (Gigabit Ethernet)

2x Thunderbolt

4x USB 3.0

2x audio input

2x audio output

2x SATA power (Internal Connectors)

2x 6 Gb/s SATA data (Internal Connectors)

1x 3 Gb/s SATA power/data (reserved for Blu-ray burner)

 

USD 450

 

 

AKITIO ThunderDock

 

2x Thunderbolt

2x USB 3.0 (HASP support)

2x SATA III / 6G eSATA

1x Bus Powered FW800

 

USD 269

 

 

I run everything off my Belkin Express Doc including a Weiss AFI-1 DDC, GLM adapter and my 12TB Promise Pegasus2.

One USB is reserved for my GLM volume button, a Griffin PowerMate:

 

 

imgres.jpg


Find my blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

ALAC 16/44 - 24/192 stereo/surround on Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt -> MacBook Pro 2,2Ghz Core i7 120GB SSD 16GB RAM

iTunes / Pure Music / Amarra HiFi / Bit Perfect / Audirvana + / Decibel / VLC

-> Firewire -> Weiss AFI-1 DDC -> AES/EBU -> Genelec 3 x 8260A + 2 x 8250A + 7271A sub

DragonFly / iPhone 6 -> Sennheiser Amperior / Etymotic RE-4PT

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