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Hi. Recently I've connected Helix into a L2T through Line 6 Link with a XLR cable. It seems that it worked, but I have a question: what is the problem using inadequate xlr cables, total lost of the connection or less sound quality? 

 

If there is a lost of the link, it's easily identifiable, but if the problem is degradation of the quality of the sound, then you may be think wrongly that it works well

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Most will tell you that *most* of the time, you will not have a problem using a standard mic xlr cable for AES/EBU digital signals.

 

Where the problems start to creep in is over longer runs where the impedance of the cable comes into play.

 

Ultimately, a digital signal is binary. Either the signal is there or it isn't and as such it tends to not "degrade" well.

 

 

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 typically foil shield

In the full specs, AES/EBU is a 110 Ohm impedance cable. DMX is a 120 Ohm impedance cable. However in Europe, most DMX cable is just AES/ABU because DMX runs perfectly happily in 110 Ohm cable.

 

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 digital signals are the most likely to be affected. DMX is considerably more happy with the use of standard mic cable.

 

BUT, the BEST COURSE OF ACTION is to ALWAYS TRY TO SOURCE THE CORRECT CABLE TYPE FOR THE APPLICATION. Anything else is simply adding to your risk.

 

On the whole, AES/EBU cable is little more than 10-20% more expensive than a decent quality mic cable.

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Thanks, SiWatts69, great explanation

 

Ultimately, a digital signal is binary. Either the signal is there or it isn't and as such it tends to not "degrade" well.

 

So, if there is sound, then the cable works. If the cable has impedance problems, then it doesn't sound at all, doesn't it?

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So, if there is sound, then the cable works. If the cable has impedance problems, then it doesn't sound at all, doesn't it?

Not necessarily...

 

If only part of the transmission is lost, you can end up with all kinds of weird goings off, from crackles, pops and buzzes though to complete lack of sound.

 

In an analogue system, the signal is the sound. If parts of it go missing, the rest is still there.

In a digital system, the signal is the instructions for how to build the sound, so if parts of it are missing, how can you be sure that what the instructions say will build the sound that was intended.

 

OK, so I've oversimplified it, but the rough gist of it is there.

 

To be fair, this kind of thing only really impacts with longer cable runs where the impedance mismatch can create the instability in the signal transmission. BUT I'd be a fool to say "go ahead use a standard mic cable, you'll be fine". I'm from the school of thought that says use the right tool for the job. At worst, you need to buy an AES/EBU cable.

Consider how much you've spent on your Helix and the L2T and then ask yourself if the compromise over a £15 cable is worth the aggro *if* it plays up.

 

I have three different cable types in my arsenal:

• Standard mic; Variety of colours (except grey and black) of VanDamme and Cordial mic cable, Green or Yellow coding rings

• AES/EBU Digital for Mixer to Speaker daisy chain; GREY Sommer AES/EBU cable, BLACK Neutrik gold plated connectors (1x 15m, 2x 10m, 6x 5m, 4x 2.5m)

• DMX Digital for lighting daisy chain; Van Damme BLACK DMX cable, BLACK Neutrik gold plated connectors, ORANGE boots & coding rings (1x 15m, 1x 10m, 1x 5m, 1x 4m, 2x 0.5m)

 

Might sound a little OTT (and members of my band reckon I have OCD!) but I keep it all bagged separately too. Then again, I'm rigging up a L6Link chain of M20d > L3S > L3M > L3M > L3S > L2M > L2M > L2T > L2T

 

I've only had 2 issues with the L6Link "chain" being disrupted:

Once, when I'd used a right angled connector into one of my L2's in floor monitor mode

A second time when a performer in a band I was doing sound for yanked a monitor to move it, partially dislodging one of the L6Link xlr's

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In a nutshell,... it's less about the cost and more about the impedance.

Impedance matching is everything, when it comes to signal path between devices.

 

Regular XLR mic cable is 50-Ohms,... not to be used as Line 6 Link cable.

 

Line 6 Link, AES/EBU (Audio Engineering Society/European Brocast Union)

cable is 110-Ohms,... is used as Line 6 Link cable.

 

There are standards set by the AES/EBU that manufacturers follow for impedances,

for running these kinds of signals, for these kinds of cable lengths.

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Hi. Recently I've connected Helix into a L2T through Line 6 Link with a XLR cable. It seems that it worked, but I have a question: what is the problem using inadequate xlr cables, total lost of the connection or less sound quality? 

 

If there is a lost of the link, it's easily identifiable, but if the problem is degradation of the quality of the sound, then you may be think wrongly that it works well

Short answer those guys are 100% right...

 

BUT if your at home noodling and don't feel like going to another room to get the right cable (been there done that) the others work if there short (I used a 3' one) and none of the pins are grounded. I've used "live wire" DMX cables for years now with no issues one is 30'

 

As far as quality of sound

Digital either works or not, when it works quality is 100% when it don't.. it don't...

 

So don't spend 80 bucks on an AES/EBU cable and expect it to be better quality sound than that one you spent 30 bucks on.

 

And there is a limit to the length that an AES/EBU cable can be (according to line 6 specs) I think it's 50' ( I know either of the other fellows knows for sure)

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So don't spend 80 bucks on an AES/EBU cable and expect it to be better quality sound than that one you spent 30 bucks on.

It won't "sound" better, but it might have better construction that makes it last longer. I'm not (incidentally) pushing for you to spend $80 on an AES/EBU cable... make your own up if you're any good with a soldering iron.

 

And there is a limit to the length that an AES/EBU cable can be (according to line 6 specs) I think it's 50' ( I know either of the other fellows knows for sure)

For true AES/EBU the length can be quite significant

However Line6, for L6Link recommend a cable no longer than 50 feet (approx. 15 metres)

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"... L6Link recommend a cable no longer than 50 feet (approx. 15 metres)"----

And that has to do with impedance,... impedance is crucial. Use the wrong impedance

version of the cable and it won't work right.

 

When it comes to an AES/EBU signal application like this, for whatever product, by whatever

company, the 110-Ohm cable that is specified, has to be used. There are no substitutes, it's

one of the AES/EBU inter-connectivity standards for this application. Impedance matching

between devices is everything here.

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Exactly what I meant but you are way better at explaining, plus I knew you would know about the length 

 

It won't "sound" better, but it might have better construction that makes it last longer. I'm not (incidentally) pushing for you to spend $80 on an AES/EBU cable... make your own up if you're any good with a soldering iron.


For true AES/EBU the length can be quite significant
However Line6, for L6Link recommend a cable no longer than 50 feet (approx. 15 metres)

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