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Author Topic: 6 foot ADAT, vrs. AES, vrs Firewire in connecting your converters  (Read 1243 times)

Glenn Bucci

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I was told by some that if you use ADAT for your converters, keep them short as the longer it is the quality can go down. AES is the best to use, however now there is the firewire option. What do you think is the difference between these 3 if any?

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Zach

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Re: 6 foot ADAT, vrs. AES, vrs Firewire in connecting your converters
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 02:53:57 pm »

Revelation wrote on Thu, 27 July 2006 08:23

I was told by some that if you use ADAT for your converters, keep them short as the longer it is the quality can go down. AES is the best to use, however now there is the firewire option. What do you think is the difference between these 3 if any?




Great question!  Before I really get into things let me start off by saying that Firewire is totally different from any of the other formats you mentioned.  I will address how Firewire works after I address the other formats.  

AES, SPDIF, and ADAT should all be able to transmit digital audio without any errors.  So theoretically you should not hear a difference because what you put in is going to be what comes out.  But there are differences and this is not a theoretical world.

These differences are caused by the receiver having difficulty recovering the clock.  This could be caused by the poor design of the receiver, not all receivers are created the same.  In the case of optical formats it could even be caused by cables that create a poor eye-pattern.  

Ultimately, the quality of these formats is largely dependent on the quality of the design.  None of these formats specify a specific design of the hardware that is used.  It is up to the designer to choose the right parts and to implement these parts in the best possible way.  This means that you can't really say one format sounds better than another.  It really should be looked at on a unit by unit basis.  

Now on the issue of Firewire; Firewire does not transmit data in a format similar to any of the other formats mentioned so far.  One of the biggest differences is that Firewire does not have any clock information related to the sample rate; your computer doesn't need it.  Even the stream of data is done differently; Firewire sends all of the data in packets.  These differences, as well as, many others mean that Firewire won't have the same issues as I mentioned above with the other formats.

If you have some time try these different formats for yourself, hopefully your ears will tell you which one sounds the best.  
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Zach Winterfeld
Mercenary Audio

It's going to be like walking off a bicycle

Glenn Bucci

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Re: 6 foot ADAT, vrs. AES, vrs Firewire in connecting your converters
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2006, 05:22:58 pm »

Thank you for your response. I have ordered a Rosetta 800, and since I already have a RME card, I was going to use the ADAT connections.

Now based on what you said, I am trying to look into it a little further. If I go firewire, will that mean the clock in the Rosetta will not be used? This meaning no jitter and possibly getting a better sound?
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Zach

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Re: 6 foot ADAT, vrs. AES, vrs Firewire in connecting your converters
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2006, 11:23:21 am »

Revelation wrote on Thu, 27 July 2006 17:22

Thank you for your response. I have ordered a Rosetta 800, and since I already have a RME card, I was going to use the ADAT connections.

Now based on what you said, I am trying to look into it a little further. If I go firewire, will that mean the clock in the Rosetta will not be used? This meaning no jitter and possibly getting a better sound?


The clock in the Rosetta will be used regardless of you using ADAT or Firewire.  But the clock will only be used for the internal clocking of the Rosetta if you use Firewire.  If you go with ADAT the Rosetta's clock will be used to clock both the Rosetta and RME card (if you choose the Rosetta to be the master clock).  The connection of these two devices could possibly induce of some jitter into your system, although if you follow a manufacturer’s guidelines you should not have any problems.  

If you go with Firewire you eliminate the possibility of there being any jitter caused by the clock connection between two devices; because as I mentioned before your computer has no use for any clocking information.  

If you decide to go with Firewire please be aware of how many units and tracks the specification supports; this is the one current draw back of Firewire.  If you let me know what type of computer you use and the operating system I am happy to give you all of the relevant information.
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Zach Winterfeld
Mercenary Audio

It's going to be like walking off a bicycle
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