Quantcast
RME HDSP 9652 vs. optical cable - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
RME HDSP 9652 vs. optical cable
Old 14th April 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
RME HDSP 9652 vs. optical cable

All HDSP 9652 fans please respond or if you have keen optical toslink experience,

I purchased a HDSP 9652 as well as several Monster Interlink "Light Speed" cables and encountered a serious problem with the RME hardware design based on the intention of utilizing premium optical cables to interface the HDSP 9652 with other optical equipment. The proximity of each female toslink connector mounted on the RME PCI card is very close and does not allow enough room between connectors to properly use as designed. Such that, all premium optical cables manufactured by Monster, Tara Labs, etc use a rugged metal shell connector surrounding the toslink fiber termination and the HDSP 9652 as designed, will not accommodate two or more of these types of cables. Testing different cable connectors I found that only Hosa standard (not their premium connector) could be used. Also some stuff from Black Box but that's another story. This type of Hosa cable does not offer heavy duty strain relief and have other issues. Why would I want to purchase a $600.00 USD PCI card, interface to $30,000+ USD of mixing equipment and use $30.00 USD worth of optical cable? By the way, Monster has been great in trying to solve this issue and is working with me all day while RME did not respond to any of my emails.

THIS DOES NOT MAKE AN INTELLEGENT AUDIO SOLUTION!!!

Q1) What optical cable does other RME HDSP 9652 users use?

Radovic

P.S. This RME HDSP 9652 is the manufacturer of Nuendo's 9652 so I hope there will be some viable solutons to this is problem since thousands of these have been sold I been told.
Old 14th April 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Whats wrong with the $30 ones? They can transmit up to around 30 metres with no problem. What benefit do you percieve that the monster optical cables are going to offer you? If you are convinced that you are going to hear a difference between some fancy named brand and the standard ones RME give you with their kit you are going to be sadly mistaken.

The RME cards, for the money are great solutions. In order to fit the connectors onto a PCI board they have little choice but to pack them in tight. 16 ins/outs on one card isn't bad going and it will easily keep up performance wise with your $30,000 kit. I use the cheap opto cables with well over $150,000 of kit and have never had the slightest bit of trouble or worry.

Regards


Roland
Old 14th April 2003
  #3
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
If you want to feel that you've done all you can to justify your other studio investment, use glass optical cables instead of plastic. Glass is less prone to jitter, though the difference is negligible and probably not audible. I'm using $30 AIR opticals and I seriously doubt that you'd hear a difference between them even the plastic variety in a blind test. They have strain reliefs too, fwiw.
Old 14th April 2003
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Roland,

I decided to use optical cables that offer heavy duty strain relief and provide as accurate a sound tranmission that I can afford. In the past, Hosa standard did not hold up well to continuous re-patching in the field. I record remote on-site live in addition to a standard facility, always re-patching my rigs. Monster or for that matter Hosa (premium) both use a rugged metal shell connector surrounding the toslink fiber termination with a rubber jacket and cloth weave outer jacket. If an engineer only use these cables in a static studio environment I guess it would be acceptable. My experience has taught me to use something heavier, more field grade built.

Questions for Jax: Could you suggest a AIR opticals supplier and are you using them with a RME 9652 PCI card?
Old 15th April 2003
  #5
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Radovic
Questions for Jax: Could you suggest a AIR opticals supplier and are you using them with a RME 9652 PCI card?
Yes, I'm using them with a 9652. Give me a day or two to try and dig up the receipt.
Old 12th February 2004
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
bump. . does anyone have more info about this? I'm using a 96/52 as well. .
Old 13th February 2004
  #7
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
Whats wrong with the $30 ones? They can transmit up to around 30 metres with no problem. What benefit do you percieve that the monster optical cables are going to offer you? If you are convinced that you are going to hear a difference between some fancy named brand and the standard ones RME give you with their kit you are going to be sadly mistaken.
Roland
Actually...I've experienced a sonic difference between optical cables. If you have a decent montoring chain you can hear the difference as wider and deeper soundstage and smoother highs and more defined lows. I upgraded all of my Hosa Premium to Tara Labs after hearing the difference the better cables made.
And they did not cost significantly more to be honest.

Brad
Old 14th February 2004
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I'm sorry but it is a falacy. if you can measure it or scientifically document it great! Go and read some of the archives on this from some of the best in the business at Glenn Meadows mastering forum, not only some of the great ears in our business, but those with the real knowledge of how digital circuits work.

In a controlled measured test the data can be show to be bit for bit identical. Jitter is another issue and has nothing to do with the cables only clocking and the digital converter circuits.

Several theories about possible differences in digital interconnects have abounded for years, not one of them I have ever heard has any sound basis in fact or been backed up by credible evidence. The only true listening test would be a true double blind listening test and no one yet has ever been able to document one of these with a statistical deviation.

The same arguments have raged about interconnect cables. No one ever discusses the several inches of pretty ordinary wire from the connecters inside the amplifier to the circuit boards.

I myself do location recording and from time to time I use ADAT interfaces with standard optical cables. I always carry a couple of spares, but as yet have never managed to break one. Save your money, carry a spare. Making sure that your system is correctly clocked.


Regards


Roland
Old 14th February 2004
  #9
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Actually, I've corresponded with Bob Katz and the gang at the Mastering Board about the difference glass optical cable makes compared to plastic. They all told me that glass optical carries a digital signal with less jitter than plastic during an AD conversion. I don't remember the exact details, and often what that bunch gets into goes over my head pretty fast, but it had to do with the refraction of light through glass, which is not handled as efficiently by plastic.

I've also discussed this with Michal of Mytek, who told me that using shorter optical cables is generally preferable to keep jitter at its lowest. He also mentioned that the quality of optical connectors on both the interface and cable is important.

It's also possible for optical cable to carry a clock reference that is as stable as AES black.

You can call Michal yourself and he'll explain this in greater detail and more technically than I can. His phone number is listed on his website.

Meanwhile, I've looked up the threads on the Mastering Board that I'm referencing here. The board admin. (Glenn Meadows) seems to have purged a couple years worth of threads to keep the bandwidth of the site smaller... so the thread no longer exists, but it did happen.

If you need proof, you can start your own thread there and they'll regurgitate the answers I got from them awhile ago.
Old 14th February 2004
  #10
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well nothing my ears hear is fallacy as far as I'm concerned. And I'm sure that the engineers at Tara Labs (or Cardas, or any other high end cable manufacturer) could probably deliver some more scientific answers to why and how.

Have you ever tried a high end cable for yourself?

Brad
Old 15th February 2004
  #11
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Here's a link to some glass optical cables that might not break the bank:

Sound Pros Glass Optical Cables

I will try these within the next few weeks to month and come back with my findings.

My only minor concern is the "core count," (number of optical threads within the cable) which is 65. I've seen other glass optical cables costing twice as much that had a core count of well over double that. I don't know the extent to which core count affects signal quality, but I know who to ask about it. Then again, I'm NOT gonna spend $400 on optical cables, so whatever I find out won't change what I end up using.
Old 15th February 2004
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Actually, I've corresponded with Bob Katz and the gang at the Mastering Board about the difference glass optical cable makes compared to plastic. They all told me that glass optical carries a digital signal with less jitter than plastic during an AD conversion. I don't remember the exact details, and often what that bunch gets into goes over my head pretty fast, but it had to do with the refraction of light through glass, which is not handled as efficiently by plastic.

I've also discussed this with Michal of Mytek, who told me that using shorter optical cables is generally preferable to keep jitter at its lowest. He also mentioned that the quality of optical connectors on both the interface and cable is important.

It's also possible for optical cable to carry a clock reference that is as stable as AES black.

You can call Michal yourself and he'll explain this in greater detail and more technically than I can. His phone number is listed on his website.

Meanwhile, I've looked up the threads on the Mastering Board that I'm referencing here. The board admin. (Glenn Meadows) seems to have purged a couple years worth of threads to keep the bandwidth of the site smaller... so the thread no longer exists, but it did happen.

If you need proof, you can start your own thread there and they'll regurgitate the answers I got from them awhile ago.

This not what I saw quoted by the same said crowd over there. Sure shorter lengths might help with transmission, but if you want to see how really "robust" the hammerfall adat system is, disconect one of the cables whilst playing a track back. You can more the cable nearly 4" away from the connector before the sound drops! Where everyone goes wrong about digital is there understanding of the "ones and zeros". Digital is purely something or nothing, not possibly a one or maybe a zero. Stable clocking is a serious issue Bob Katz was talking about this last week on the mastering board, but as he said you want to be going with your source as the clock master (unless your source has a particularly poor clock). As for the issue of optical leads clock I agree with you that they are more than capable of carrying a stable clock, for anyone interested read the technical info on the RME site. Glass optical leads only become an issue with long runs or 30m plus. This applies equally to Madi where optical is recommended for runs over 30m. My Madi connections run on coax (I'm using about 5m) and there is no benefit to be hd by changing to optical here. The same goes for esoteric digital leads, good professional quality is all that is needed, not Β£100 metre hype!

Regards


Roland
Old 16th February 2004
  #13
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
The same goes for esoteric digital leads, good professional quality is all that is needed, not Β£100 metre hype!
Whether or not it's hype is what I'm going to find out for myself. I can always return the cables if it's BS. Seems like we're referencing different information from Mastering Board threads, or something. But I know I read a close approximation of what I posted and Michal has no reason to lie.

Like most audio related topics with any room for subjectivity, I'll have to 'boil my own egg' on this one.

But I wonder, like Brad asked above - have you tried high end or glass optical cable?
Old 16th February 2004
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Whether or not it's hype is what I'm going to find out for myself. I can always return the cables if it's BS. Seems like we're referencing different information from Mastering Board threads, or something. But I know I read a close approximation of what I posted and Michal has no reason to lie.

Like most audio related topics with any room for subjectivity, I'll have to 'boil my own egg' on this one.

But I wonder, like Brad asked above - have you tried high end or glass optical cable?

Yes I have heard many high end cables, and for the record, I have never heard any difference. I do have a hammerfall system, and I also own a pyramix system, both with optical via Adat and a Madi board (on the Pyramix) that interfaces with my DMXR-100. Over the last 15 years I have mastered aproximately 2,000 albums some recorded by very well known and respected people in our industry.

Most of the best albums I have worked on have been recorded on fairly standard kit. I have heard and worked on quite a number of albums recorded using extreme high end mic amps and convertors at high bit and sample rates, using esoteric cables. almost all of these sounded quite average, some even quite bad. Most of the best engineers in the business often own and use more stock equipment than that touted by many members in this forum. What they do own are great ears and knowledge of both the music they are working on and how to capture it.

I totally refute that on a short length (less than 30m) there is going to be noticeable enough transmission loss in a "plastic" against glass optical cable, or as was suggested in an earlier post some sort of weird refraction is taking place. Are you suggesting that glass doesn't refract light?

As you quite rightly pointed out some of the archive from the mastering forum seems to have been removed, however I did find an interesting article on jitter on Bob Katz's own website http://www.digido.com/portal/pmodule...r_page_id=28/. It makes interesting reading for any of those who have these questions. In a nutshell he says quite clearly although jitter can be present in digital signals it is more a function of clocking. As pointed out by yourself and a point that I myself agreed with you upon the clocking of an optical link is extremely stable. In conclusion he also says that with decent AD/DA and clock it should not be a problem.

When it comes to other types of cables, I once calculated that I owned somewhere around Β£12,000 - 15,000 of audio cables that I use in my location recording and studio. Translate this to "audiophile" cables my expenditure would be in excess of Β£100,000. I do use high quality mic cable (around Β£1.00 metre) this is pretty much what everyone else working in this industry uses. I have a good engineering friend (quite well known in the industry with many accolades for his recording work) who uses 15-25p metre RS components balanced audio cable. This is less than I or many others would be happy to use, however on hearing his work it appears not to be detrimental. With digital cables, again I use proper digital cables of the correct impedance.

I can understand peoples worry about robustness of an optical cable, however I have used standard ADAT optical leads since they first were available and still have and use some that I bought all those years ago. As stated above I carry spares "just in case" but have never had to use them.

Regards




Roland

P.S. I looked at a one of the sites of the "high end" cable manufacturers mentioned above and I have never read so much truly missleading "bull****" in all my life.
Old 16th February 2004
  #15
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Roland

I totally refute that on a short length (less than 30m) there is going to be noticeable enough transmission loss in a "plastic" against glass optical cable, or as was suggested in an earlier post some sort of weird refraction is taking place. Are you suggesting that glass doesn't refract light?
Huh? No. That's not even close to what I said. Quite the opposite, actually.

Regarding the rest of your post, I'm still going to find out for myself.
Old 16th February 2004
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Sorry, that was actually meant to be in reply to Brad! heh

Regards


Roland
Old 20th February 2004
  #17
Lives for gear
 
laser's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Actually, the main component of jitter is in the fiber optic receiver. Thermal noise from the photodiode is a large contributor to Random jitter.

The fiber optic cable doesn't add or reduce jitter, but the modal dispersion of the cable can have a similar effect which will create a greater penalty in systems that are suspectible to jitter.

Glass fiber has much better dispersion characteristics, especially today's graded index fiber (plastic is step index). But, Roland is right--thirty meters at audio data rates should not make enough difference to create bit errors. But, it can contribute with other factors to create bit errors.

I would recommend that the quality of the glass fiber and the quality of the plastic fiber be considered. Glass fiber has a variance of qualities, especially at the connector interface where polishing techniques can be anywhere from excellent to just okay.

In plastic fiber cables, I've found (in my limited experience) they have an even greater variance of quality, especially at the connector interface. A poor interface can create high return loss, leading to a noisy laser--which can create bit errors even on short runs.

My humble recommendation is to buy good cables, whether plastic or glass. Even more important, make sure the optical reciever is of top quality, it will have more effect on the sound than the cables.

Hope this helps.

Laser
Old 20th February 2004
  #18
Lives for gear
 
laser's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry guys, but I win the major 'tard award for the evening.

Although my previous post is in concept correct, the TOSLINK uses an LED (not a laser), which is much less susceptible to return loss vs. a laser.

The information about jitter, dispersion and choosing good cables still stands, but the return loss is much less of a factor.

Got to get out of this Gigabit world for a while...it's starting to mess with the 'ol brain.

My apologies.

Laser
Old 20th February 2004
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
It's also possible for optical cable to carry a clock reference that is as stable as AES black
How would this be possible on a multi-device system? Example: digital mixer, RME 9652 cards, external converters...
Old 20th February 2004
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Midlandmorgan
How would this be possible on a multi-device system? Example: digital mixer, RME 9652 cards, external converters...
Simple! Clock the Hammerfall to incomming Adat signal, and the DA convertor to the incomming Adat olutput of the Hammerfall.

Regards


Roland
Old 22nd February 2004
  #21
SC
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Roland,

All of your arguments are based on one basic flaw. The Glen Meadows test was to see if the audio at the end of the chain was the same as the source.

What is being discussed here is what I typically call "playback jitter." It does not affect the final product, only what you hear in your monitors.

There are lots of things that can contribute to playback jitter, most definitely including the quality of the optical cable. Bob katz and Glen meadows have both shown this with independant tests, as have several other reliable sources.
Real glass is far superior to plastic. I have no idea if there are audible differences with different brands of plastic cable. that's a pretty good queston.

Another major factor in playback jitter is the quality of the optical connector and supporting circuitry. I have no idea how good the RME optical connection is, though I do trust RME in general. I think they make a great product for the money.
Old 22nd February 2004
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by speerchucker
Roland,

All of your arguments are based on one basic flaw. The Glen Meadows test was to see if the audio at the end of the chain was the same as the source.

What is being discussed here is what I typically call "playback jitter." It does not affect the final product, only what you hear in your monitors.

There are lots of things that can contribute to playback jitter, most definitely including the quality of the optical cable. Bob katz and Glen meadows have both shown this with independant tests, as have several other reliable sources.
Real glass is far superior to plastic. I have no idea if there are audible differences with different brands of plastic cable. that's a pretty good queston.

Another major factor in playback jitter is the quality of the optical connector and supporting circuitry. I have no idea how good the RME optical connection is, though I do trust RME in general. I think they make a great product for the money.
No flaw at all, we are talking about "data" transmission. ie. bit for bit transfers! Jitter is a problem with timebase and best compared with the train in the station (the station in this case is the AD or DA convertor). Correctly "clocked" convertors send the trains (the digital bits) out of the station at regular intervals no matter at what intervals they are recieved because they "buffer". That is the esscence of the article on jitter from Bob Katz I posted a link too earlier.

The only other possible claim that you can be making is that (and I have heard this claim too) some data is "overtaking" other bits of data within the optical link, unless Einstein, argueably the greatest scientific mind of the last 100 years was totally wrong, it is safe to say that this isn't happening. The other often mentioned possibility is the "weakening" of the signal due to transmission loss. Glass maybe transmits more translucently but you would have to loose far more signal than that to corrupt the data, back to the first point, data or no data as simple as that, the plug pulling test shows just how robust the optical link is.

I am sure both Bob and Glenn whilst advocating the use of good equipment (I do too) would agree generally with what I stated.


Regards



Roland
Old 22nd February 2004
  #23
SC
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Roland, I apprecaite your tenacity, but you need to think about this more. Trust me, you're not seeing the whole picture.

I don't have time for a lengthy, difficult expanation, but this has been explained ad nauseum on many forums.

That is all. respond however you'd like, but it won't change the facts.
Old 22nd February 2004
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by speerchucker
Roland, I apprecaite your tenacity, but you need to think about this more. Trust me, you're not seeing the whole picture.

I don't have time for a lengthy, difficult expanation, but this has been explained ad nauseum on many forums.

That is all. respond however you'd like, but it won't change the facts.
I find both the content and the tone of your response insulting. Why should I trust you? What so eminently qualifies you as an expert in this matter? For the record I see plenty of misinformed "bull****" posted on sound web forums proporting to be fact.

For the record I have been using digital systems of all types since the humble PCM/F1 Sony, the original Sony DAT machines through early digidesign systems (on Atari's) right up to the present day Sadie and Pyramix systems and pretty much everything in between. After 24 years in the business and having successfully mastered around 2,000 CD albums for clients and numerous recording projects I do feel qualified to offer a professional opinion.

As stated before, ADAT optical provides a stable transmission sytem, (according to the RME guy) more stable than wordclock. 3m of plastic optical connection is not going to damage your data integrity. As Bob was quick to point out in his article, any half decent piece of modern audio kit should be perfectly capable of being stable and jitter free.


Regards to all


Roland
Old 3rd December 2012
  #25
Gear Addict
 
mynaemisjonas's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you Roland, I'm going to save some money now.. =p
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 0 views: 3693
Avatar for exgt
exgt 5th January 2010
replies: 14314 views: 1605752
Avatar for daskeladden
daskeladden 42 minutes ago
replies: 113 views: 16759
Avatar for haberdasher
haberdasher 4 weeks ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump