AES/EBU connections


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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi all,

I recently purchased a DAC (Bel Canto DAC2.5) and I am looking for a 2nd hand transport as a disc spinner.

Firstly, I know nothing of this type of connection, will it offer improvements over optical or coaxial?

Secondly, can anyone recommend transports with an AES/EBU output?

If there are no clear benefits, I may pick up a cheap Arcam CD92T from a local dealer where the analogue outs have failed leaving only digital outs working!



AES / EBU is S/PDIF using balanced connections. It isn't very good for home use. It was designed to allow recording studios to use their existing analogue balanced patch panels and studio wiring with digital audio. Worth remembering that most studios will use a master clock, so a slightly flaky data channel was OK as long as it got reclocked. I seem to recall its main virtue was its ability to drive long lengths of balanced cable.

One to be avoided.


Thanks for the reply. I dont particularly need a longer run of interconnect so no benefit there. Odd that it should be such a no-no in home audio use - the manufacturer suggests to use it where possible!


It was fashionable for a while to say your equipment used AES/EBU - fancy XLR connectors and all that. Balanced audio cables are not best suited at getting sharp edged digital pulses around, and inevitable pulse edge degradation takes place. No problem if you reclock, but if you don't, then using this interface could introduce jitter. Much better to use coax which at least has a reasonable chance of getting the signal edges to your DAC intact. On the other hand, the AES/EBU standard contemplates interconnects up to 150M in length (I looked it up), so you could have the Spinner in your house, and the DAC at the bottom of the garden if you wished.

You could call Bel Canto about their inclusion of AES/EBU and see what they say. If you do, perhaps you could post their response.


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