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Can't get AES/EBU cables locally. Will DMX cables work?

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Hi guys,


I will be installing the StageSource Speakers with M20d in a local live band pub soon and I couldn't find a supplier for the AES/EBU cables. Since one part of the cabling will be concealed, so I have to make sure that the cables installed are right for the job the first time. The concealed cable also happens to be the longest (ard 15m). I've read some cables description that list AES/EBU and DMX together. 


My questions are


1) Are they the same?

2) If not, can I use the DMX cables in lieu of the AES/EBU?


Hope I get a reply soon, cause I will need to decide to import those cables or if I can use those DMX cables.


Kay Shoun

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The DMX protocol specifies 120ohm cable whereas AES/EBU is 110ohm. BUT many DMX cables sold are actually 110Ohm. Certainly, in Europe, almost all DMX cable is 110ohm and so is pretty much interchangeable with AES/EBU


So, my suggestion would be to check the actual spec of the cable you've found. If it's 110ohm, it is actually more likely AES/EBU being sold as DMX rather than the other way round.

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I ordered from Event Horizon and Services ( online. Fairly reasonable prices for custom Mogami cables and you can get whatever lengths you want.  I got and 18 footer to go from the board to the first speaker, then a 40 footer so I could easily get from one side of the stage to the other and three 6 footers for going from the L3s's to the L3t's.  I only needed 2 but I got an extra.

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Even a regular mic cable will work just fine for shorter runs.  And in fact I was using a combination orregular mic cables and 30' DMX in my dreamscape PA system until one day I had to make a longer run and was getting a static sound coming out of one of the speakers.  It was totally attributed to using the wrong cable. So I think in most cases you wouldn't actually need the AES/EBU, it's the time that you do need them and don't have them that are the issue.  So I agree with The Real Zap, get the right cables the first time and have some peace of mind.

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I have used DMX cables for 2 years now. never a problem. the one thing I remember Mr Ron saying about it was to make sure none of the 3 pins are connecting to the shielding or ground. one of mine is 50' also. there  "live wire", GC house brand. If you look at the "Hosa brand" offering the sell there cables as  AES/EBU- DMX. but if you are going to invest in some and have time go with the AES/EBU. But as SiWatts stated the Protocol is different. and less Ohms is less resistance ie: better connection.


Just sayin' what has worked for me.


Look for the thread that Mr Ron did on cables it's very informative.

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There are physical differences between standard mic cable and AES/EBU DMX cable.


Mic cables are a twisted pair shielded by a multi braided copper wrap.

AES/EBU and DMX cables are a twisted sheathed pair with a twisted unsheathed drain wire, all wrapped in a foil shield



AES/EBU can be used for analogue mic signals without issue and is appropriate (even if not perfect) for use for DMX

DMX can be used for analogue mic signals without issue and is appropriate (even if not perfect) for use for AES/EBU

Mic cable should be avoided for use with digital signals (AES/EBU and DMX) if at all possible although it will work along short runs. Where issues do arise, AES/EBU is the most likely affected. DMX is considerably more happy with the use of standard mic cable.




As I said first time round, most "DMX" cable sold in Europe is actually 110ohm, ie AES/EBU anyway. Any cable sold as AES/EBU + DMX will likely be 110ohm


DMX runs should be "terminated" with a 120ohm bridge across pins 2 and 3 (typically by means of an XLRm plug with the resistor solder inside, plugged into the DMX out of the final light fixture in the run.

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  • 4 years later...

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