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Line 6 Link Cable

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Hey All, I've been trying to buy the correct cable to link my PD HD500X to my DT50 and so far haven't been able to find a store that carries it. Line 6 recommends using an XLR cable that's AES/EBU rated for transmitting digital signals, not a regular XLR mic cable that's for analog signals. What kind of experience have any of you had with using an XLR cable vs the digital version? Any noticeable difference or issues? What brand would you recommend?

 

Thanks :)

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there can be noticeable differences... or not...  meaning the quality of the cable is what really determines that...

you can use a regular xlr cable without issue in many cases.

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I've used a 5 ft Hosa XLR AES/EBU and a 20 ft XLR Monster cable with no problems although not in a band or gig. You may run into problems with RF infiltration using a cable less than AES/EBU standards.

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I did check the Hosa site and they listed two XLR AES/EBU cables. One was the Hosa brand and the other was the Neutrik brand. Big differences in the prices between these two cables for the same length of cable. I do believe in purchasing good cables as they are the lifeline of your rig. It's hard to find out what exactly the differences are between regular XLR cables and AES/EBU cables but I believe it has something to do with the capacitance values and possibly shielding properties. It's strange that big music stores don't carry the AES/EBU cables but they can order them for me.

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Just my own opinion...

 

I would not worry it much about unless you are looking to use a 100' cable...even then, if you get a high quality mic cable the termination impedance is generally close to 100 ohms (85 ohms is common)...AES/EBU is specific to 110 ohms with a 10-20% tolerance...That means that the wire AWG changes based on the length you need...However, the 1st tier is good up to around 500 ft...Then there's the ferrite core...But that 110 ohms is for running 500' without reflections and reduced high frequency...The high frequency response is the key for this digital stuff...AES/EBU is running from 100 kHz up to 6 Mhz depending on the format....stereo 48 kHz Sample rate is transmitting around 6 Mhz....This is way past 20 kHz....

 

However, using AES/EBU (110 ohm) cables for analog lines is actually better technically than conventional analog cable (85 ohms)...Basically, the highend bandwidth is so high that you never have to worry about it for analog...Most highend studios use AES/EBU for everything analog and digital...Then you just do not have to worry about it and you need only one type of cable for either application...but that might be too "audiophile" for some folks...Some people claim to hear a difference...I can't tell with a 25 footer...

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Thanks spaceatl for the tech explanation. The 110 ohms impedance seems to be the real difference. I'm probably getting to hung up on the specs and since I only need a 10 ft cable am overthinking this. I think I'll still order the AES/EBU version since the signals are digital and it can do double duty. Too bad Line 6 doesn't include the cable with the pod since its their recommendation in the first place. Would just make things a bit teasier for the customer.

 

Cheers! :)

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Just my own opinion...

 

Sounds good to me though, Thanks

 

Personally I think it's not that critical for most people that use a DT amp with the L6 to link a Pod.

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Thanks spaceatl for the tech explanation. The 110 ohms impedance seems to be the real difference. I'm probably getting to hung up on the specs and since I only need a 10 ft cable am overthinking this. I think I'll still order the AES/EBU version since the signals are digital and it can do double duty. Too bad Line 6 doesn't include the cable with the pod since its their recommendation in the first place. Would just make things a bit teasier for the customer.

 

Cheers! :)

 

AES/EBU XLR also has the benefit of better shielding. Basically your paying for a better cable all around, but one doesn't really need it unless issues start to surface due to the environment or venue.

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a good middle ground is DMX cables...

the are slightly lower ohms than AES/EBU but higher than analog....

MUCH cheaper! i got mine on amazon.com for cheap...

they are digital cables commonly used for midi applications like lighting etc...

 

Thanks spaceatl for the tech explanation. The 110 ohms impedance seems to be the real difference. I'm probably getting to hung up on the specs and since I only need a 10 ft cable am overthinking this. I think I'll still order the AES/EBU version since the signals are digital and it can do double duty. Too bad Line 6 doesn't include the cable with the pod since its their recommendation in the first place. Would just make things a bit teasier for the customer.

 

Cheers! :)

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RealZap, you've hit on something. I wasn't sure whether DMX cables could fit the bill but may give them a try. The XLR AES/EBU cable from Hosa isn't all that expensive, around $11.00 for a 5 footer. The Hosa cable with the Neutrik cable ends is the real expensive one. A 5ft one is around $40.00 but it does have better shielding.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks very much spaceatl for the sites! I wonder why the Hosa cable is so expensive compared to these? I was going to get a 5 footer but at those prices I think I'll get the longer one.

 

Thanks Again! :D

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It's digital, it'll work, or it won't. There is no middle ground. I'm happy with my random, bargain bin no-name xlr

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It's digital, it'll work, or it won't. There is no middle ground. I'm happy with my random, bargain bin no-name xlr

 

That's not true. Error Correction exists in ALL digital mediums...digital transmissions can work partially and is NOT an all or nothing proposition at all...The wierd thing about digital video and audio is that the error propagation changes with the content...It can get really strange...

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I've been doing a bit more research and according to pro audio users there's even a difference between a lot of the digital cables out there for true sound reproduction. They didn't realize the difference until they purchased better cables. I'm sure at some point the law of diminishing returns comes into play so buying the most expensive cables may not make economic or sound sense. I kind of like to think of buying better quality in anything as a form of insurance; the product lasts longer, provides trouble free operation, and gives you the best of whatever it was intended for. There are definitely a lot of choices available in the market, the question is getting the best value for the money you're willing to spend.

 

Keep Calm And Keep On Rocking!

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That's not true. Error Correction exists in ALL digital mediums...digital transmissions can work partially and is NOT an all or nothing proposition at all...The wierd thing about digital video and audio is that the error propagation changes with the content...It can get really strange...

I work with digital transmission of mpeg video. Of course there may be retransmission of packets, and so long as that mechanism functions you will not receive any errors in the signal transferred. You just retransmit more packets in a crap connection, and the user is none the wiser. I think you need a damaged cable to get to the point where retransmission can't compensate (if they are even using retransmission).

 

I got a response from l6 support once, saying that no information travels from the amp to the pod, but we were discussing audio signals then, and possibly it was a simplification.

 

Even without retransmission, it's possible to encode redundant bits of information into the packets which help make them more robust. Here you can suffer some degree of noise in the transfer without losing anything of the signal.

In both scenarios, despite damage in the transmission, the received signal is identical.

 

If you DO lose any data in the received signal then it's a total trainwreck and you'll get a 'chirp' or very loud glitch in the audio as you can't decode it properly. Not a mild, general 'loss of tone' or subtle noise floor; an error will be glaringly obvious. This is what I mean by it working or not.

 

Since I've not heard anything chirp artifacts, ever, with my cheapo xlr I take that to mean that the cable works well enough so no errors in the received signal ever reach the amp (although they might occur in the transmission layer, this doesn't affect the result).

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System Link is something like AES/EBU audio that goes one wya and control data that goes both...streaming is different than bulk data transmissions....There are not retries in audio data streams...You are describing bulk data transmission...totally different animal...

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True that!

Aes/ebu is usually carrying PCM encoded audio. Single bit errors in PCM probably disappear in the background if its not a significant bit, but on the other hand you've the same statistical likelyhood of the error flipping a significant bit, producing a massive impulse. My point is that you'll never mistake that for a working cable. Analog transmission might dull your signal, suck tone, cause faint hiss, etc, but digital errors, when they occur, occur in really dramatic ways. If this occurred to me, I'd say the cable doesn't work. So if you aren't experiencing massive bangs and pops and clicks on a cheap cable, then you're going to get the very same with a much more expensive cable. Maybe how often these interruptions occur might go down on a better cable, true!

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Might also be of interest, the pods spdif out stops working when you hook up an l6 link :p

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Hey Guys, those are some interesting bits of information to digest. I just bought some DMX cables on Amazon, $10.00 for a 10 footer. They're AES/EBU and although not perfect they'll hopefully do the job. I am going to buy a good digital XLR cable that's AES/EBU rated however to see if I can notice any difference between the two. The more expensive cables have better shielding and the wires inside are twisted pairs which also helps block interference. As well, the cables ends are of a better quality and they use OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) to eliminate oxidation. Some of the high end cables I've found use Belden Cable Wire and Belden is well known for the quality wire products they produce.

 

:)

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AES/EBU rated for transmitting digital signals, not a regular XLR mic cable that's for analog signals...What brand would you recommend?

 

 

 

Someone here in the forums turned me on to these folks, and I have multiple AES/EBU cables from them; for connecting my HD500-DT25, and also from the M20d mixer to my L2t speakers. Quality cable, really good stuff. You tell them what length(s) you want, and they make 'em! I also bought a 25' VDI cable from them to connect my JTV to HD500; it's excellent quality as well, for what it's worth. 

 

BestTronics, in Tinley Park, IL  http://www.best-tronics.com/

 

AES/EBU:  http://btpa.com/AES-EBU/

 

VDI Variax: http://btpa.com/Line-6-Variax/

 

All AES/EBU series cables are quality made and tested in the U.S.A.with 110 Ohm Impedence AES/EBU Digital Audio Cable.

Male to Female 3 Pin XLR AES/EBU Digital Cable using Belden 1800F Cable

  • Highly Flexible Black PVC Jacket
  • Hand Soldered with Neutrik or Switchcraft Connectors
  • Quality Made & Tested in the U.S.A.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Cord-Lox Cable Tie on Cables 3 Feet and Over
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Thank you ColonelForbin, much appreciated. I visited a high end audio store in my area to see if they had AES/EBU cables and they did. Their entry level cable, 5ft long was $189.00. I just couldn't believe it! Mind you, this store carries audio products that start in the thousands of dollars for just one piece and speakers that go for over $10k alone. Certainly not in my snack bracket.

 

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

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Yeah, a 25' AES/EBU from BestTronics is less than $30.. Definitely worth using the proper cabling instead of standard XLR, but no need to spend nearly $200 for a 5' cable!

 

I mean, the Line6 brand 20' cable is $60 or something, and the 50' length is $90..

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/L6LinkMedium

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/L6LinkLong

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You got that right Colonel. I ordered a 20' from Bestronics, cost me a total of $35 (includes shipping). I also just received the DMX cable I ordered on Amazon from Monoprice for $10 total cost. It's AES/EBU, 20AWG. It's made in China (no surprise) but what do you want for that price. I'm going to try it and see if it works better than the XLR cable I have as I can't seem to get a connection with it. Once I get my true AES/EBU XLR cable I'll compare it to the Monoprice cable and see if I can notice any difference. I did find out that the real expensive cables used gold conductors throughout and gold is the best conductor there is and of course, expensive, but I wonder if most of mere mortals could hear the difference.

 

A Very Happy New Year All! :D

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Gold plating is great from a practical standpoint, but gold is NOT the best conductor there is. Silver is actually the best conductor. Copper is next and Gold is actually number 3...It's just a bit better than aluminum in terms of conductance and has worse thermal conductance (resistance is temperature based). Audiophiles use silver...

 

Technically, the very best signal wires that I know of are litz wires...Most use copper litz tinned with silver. It's very expensive and difficult to work with...But technically the best wire design there is on the planet.

 

I enjoy reading audiophile blogs as those guys tend to go overboard in every technical direction...There are some good basic concepts in what they tout, but mostly it is entertaining to me just how much money they spend on some of the smallest things...One thing I took from them is that I use silver solder on my speaker cables...It's stronger and conducts better...Not all that expensive...higher heat point takes a little practice to work with it...

 

From a purely technical perspective, this might be the best AES/EBU cable I have have ever seen...

 

http://www.thecableco.com/Product/CrystalDigit-Absolute-Dream

 

You can buy a decent car for what that cable costs...$9K for a meter...$15K for 2...That is about the craziest cable I have ever seen...

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Suddenly $200 for a 5ft cable seems like a real bargain! I guess when you have deep pockets price is no object. As the saying goes, "Nothing exceeds like excess."

 

Have a Great New Years All! :D

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Hey All, Just wanted to provide an update on the cable situation. The DMX cable I received worked fine and I had no problems when switching pre-sets. No noise and no degradation in sound. The AES/EBU cable from Bestronics also worked fine and I couldn't tell any difference in function compared to the DMX cable. I compared both cables using the same pre-set and then tried to compare them for sound against the DT in stand-alone mode using the same pre-amp setting as my POD. I couldn't them apart, but, I'll use the correct AES/EBU cable and keep the other one as a back-up. This obviously doesn't cover the different playing scenarios that can occur and other external factors affecting the cables ability to function properly since I'm in a controlled environment at home. 

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I had issues using a short (3 ft) microphone cable between my HD500X and an L2t. A low level random clicking could be heard. This went away when I switched to an AES / EBU cable. 

I expect that the drivers and receivers are terminated for a 110 ohm cable, and the lower impedance of the microphone cable was causing occasional bit errors in the sample stream due to signal reflections. 

This would probably be much more evident if the speaker was just a dumb D/A, but I hypothesize the DSP in the amp filters down the bad samples to some extent.

 

I highly recommend using 110 ohm AES /EUB cables for digital - there really is is a difference. 

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Use the recommended cable and cable length.

Line 6 link cable and mic cable are not the same.

Impedance are different and the uses are different.

 

AES/EBU,... it's the standard issue for this sort of application.

For the uninitiated,... AES being the Audio Engineering Society,

and EBU as in the European Broadcast Union.

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I had issues using a short (3 ft) microphone cable between my HD500X and an L2t. A low level random clicking could be heard. This went away when I switched to an AES / EBU cable. 

 

I expect that the drivers and receivers are terminated for a 110 ohm cable, and the lower impedance of the microphone cable was causing occasional bit errors in the sample stream due to signal reflections. 

This would probably be much more evident if the speaker was just a dumb D/A, but I hypothesize the DSP in the amp filters down the bad samples to some extent.

 

I highly recommend using 110 ohm AES /EUB cables for digital - there really is is a difference. 

 

No doubt the digital cable would be the safest/best, however, I did not have any issues with a standard mic cable.  No doubt environment comes into play.  I am now, however, using an AES/EBU cable.

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