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Topic: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry? (Read 1894 times) previous topic - next topic

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How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Hello,

i have a mac and an amplifier which has an aes/ebu entry (labgruppen ind 1200). I would like to connect both without a DAC. If i understand well, there is already a DAC inside the amp. I have not find a cheap (as in cheaper than a full DAC) way to connect both.
This macbook has usb, rj45, thunderbolt and an optical spdif any one of them would work for me. I have a Y cable from mac analog output to amplifier analog input but the 3.5 output of the macbook is faulty and that's not an option anymore.

Any advice?

Thanks.

P.S.: there is plenty of super expensive stuff like weiss.ch int204 converter, i'am looking at a much cheaper version of that.

  • eldarien
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  • Developer
Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #1
I guess something like this will work for you.

Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #2
yes and no. price wise it is perfect but it is a DAC, i would like to use the DAC inside the amp. If i had a coaxial spdif on the mac i could connect directly to aes/ebu with a small adaptor ( just to change impedance).

  • Roseval
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Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #3
Most of the time, the headphone out of a Mac doubles as Toslink output
Look for a Toslink to AES converter.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/391097-REG/Hosa_Technology_ODL_312_ODL_312_Data_Link.html

Likewise there are a lot of USB to SDPIF converters
Some are listed on my website: http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_SPDIF.htm
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #4
Most of the time, the headphone out of a Mac doubles as Toslink output ... ... ...
If it is doing, one should be able to see the red light inside there, right?

(I've never had a Mac, but have had other devices with headphone/toslink combination sockets, and yes: red light.)
The most important audio cables are the ones in the brain

  • kode54
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  • Administrator
Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #5
You'll only see the red light if you plug a TOSLink adapter into the headphone port first. It turns off the digital output and hides it from the device listing, thanks to the wonderful magic of jack sensing.

Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #6
The optical audio output has been dropped from some new Mac models.  You can see if you have it with the System Profiler:
Apple menu > About This Mac > More Info > System Report > Audio (you should see it as SPDIF Optical Output, if you have it.

If you do, then the toslink > coax converter linked above will do the trick. 

  • Pusherman
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Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #7
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Breeze-Audio-XMOS-U8/32499738639.html

There are not many cheap devices with XLR AES/EBU output, this Breeze Audio U8 was cheapest one i found. Don't know if this need specific or generic XMOS driver with Mac.

  • eldarien
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  • Developer
Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #8
You can also try to make or find someone who can make simple adapter from spdif to aes/ebu like described here. Although it requires RCA SPDIF, maybe optical to RCA cables exists... It may not work, but if it will - the cost is barely a few dollars...

Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #9
to @eldarien

rca spdif to aes differ only by impedance i believe. As describe adding a resistance works, and that's what the canary adapter is doing. optical to aes doesn't work without some electronic i think.

what is strange is that most manufactures sell a full dac cheaper than just a part of it...

i have choose another way with a raspberry+digi+ that's cheap, works fine and i can also stream with the raspberry and then i do not need to keep the mac around.

thanks to all.

Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #10
You'll only see the red light if you plug a TOSLink adapter into the headphone port first. It turns off the digital output and hides it from the device listing, thanks to the wonderful magic of jack sensing.
The last time I looked was with one of those cheap HiFiMeDIY DACs. I guess they left out the jack-sensing functionality.
The most important audio cables are the ones in the brain

  • Pusherman
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Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #11
rca spdif to aes differ only by impedance i believe.
No, data is also different.

I have used this Neutrik Impedance Transformer with coaxial RCA cable and RCA-BNC adapter. This works only if target takes S/PDIF signal through XLR input.

http://www.neutrik.com/en/accessories/aes-ebu-impedance-transformers/

Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #12
rca spdif to aes differ only by impedance i believe.
No, data is also different.

I have used this Neutrik Impedance Transformer with coaxial RCA cable and RCA-BNC adapter. This works only if target takes S/PDIF signal through XLR input.

http://www.neutrik.com/en/accessories/aes-ebu-impedance-transformers/

Since these devices are transformers, and don't change the data, how can they work?

The answer is that AES/EBU and SP/SIF may or may not be compatible with each other's data, and they usually are.

But every once in a while, maybe with really old gear, maybe not so much.

  • Pusherman
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Re: How to cheaply connect a Mac to an AES/EBU entry?
Reply #13
Since these devices are transformers, and don't change the data, how can they work?
Those work with devices which take also S/PDIF signal from digital XLR input. I think most professional DSPs do, there is not big difference in AES/EBU and S/PDIF coding. I have used Behringer DCX2496 and DBX Driverack Venu360 with that Neutrik transformer and can confirm those work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES3#Relation_to_S.2FPDIF