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Author Topic: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?  (Read 14299 times)

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Offline mikycoud

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MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« on: July 12, 2011, 12:50:08 PM »
Hi,

HAs anyone got any expreience going from a Mixpre D (or any other device outputting a AES3 signal) into a PMD661 SPDIF in?
I know some devices accept a AES signal on their SPDIF input without any issue, but I've also heard of fussy ones not locking in to the signal, or misinterpreting the extra 4 bits in the AES signal (clicks and pops)
Any thoughts?

Offline jibooer

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 11:39:57 AM »
No experience but I think an adapter exists if that might help...
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Offline jbell

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 12:52:42 PM »
Microtech Gefell M20's> Nbob KCY> Naiant PFA(60V)> Sound Devices Mixpre-6

Offline twatts (that "Pants" thing is so lame...)

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 01:16:46 PM »
Get in touch with Ted! 

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=133186.0

Yeah, he made me a AES>SPDIF cable in anticipation of my getting a MixPre-D...  It is a work of art...

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 01:19:02 PM »
I'd PM ted, but for slightly different reasons.

He has something that will send AES (his V3) and a 661 so he could actually test it before making you a cable.
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kirk97132

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 01:55:06 PM »
I'd PM ted, but for slightly different reasons.

He has something that will send AES (his V3) and a 661 so he could actually test it before making you a cable.

Agreed, I believe it is not just a matter of getting adapted to the correct style connector but if the deck will actually accept the signal.  Be ashamed to pay for a really nice cable that won't work on your gear. 

Offline mikycoud

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 09:35:58 AM »
Thanx all,
I've PM Ted to enquire about his cables and experience with the PMD661 digital input.
Thanx again, and have a good day.

Offline HVXmania

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2012, 11:31:59 PM »
Get in touch with Ted! 

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=133186.0

Yeah, he made me a AES>SPDIF cable in anticipation of my getting a MixPre-D...  It is a work of art...

Terry

How are you guys going with your Sound Devices Mix Pre-D / Mix Pre to Marantz PMD661 recorder set ups?  What have you found is the best way to preserve the Mix Pre or Mix Pre-D's superior dynamic range and signal to noise ratio? I've bought a mix pre-D and Marantz PMD661 and I'm currently running the mixer from the XLR outs to the XLR ins of the Marantz set to 'Line in'.  My concern is that discussions here suggest even using 'line in' on the Marantz, either through the XLR ports or the 'Line in 2' RCA socket, the signal runs through at least one set of pre-amps (and then another if you have the recorder set to 'Mic in'). The Marantz has lower signal to noise ratio and less dynamic range than the Mix Pre-D. Here's a summary of the pro's and cons of the different routing options as far as I can work out from the limited info in the manuals of the two devices, discussions here and experience with my current set up.  I love these two devices. I'm just trying to get the best out of using them together.  If I can crack it, the combo would be a good low-price alternative to the Sound Devices 702 (as the Mix Pre-D shares the same pre-amps and input circuitry).

Set Up 1) Run 2 x XLR mono cables from the Mix Pre-D's XLR outs to the Marantz's XLR ins, with the mic/line switch set to 'Line' and 'Mic/Line' recording selected in the menu.  This is my current setup and it sounds pretty good. 
Pros: Strong XLR connectors, hot line level signal seems to be preserved well. 
Possible cons: Signal may be running through one set of the Marantz's Pre-amps.  These have inferior SNR and DR. It appears to me that these pre-amps are only used to trim and not for gain when the recorder is set to line level in. It appears that setting the gain to max gives you the un-amplified signal. I called Marantz and the tech said he thought that was right but he didn't sound sure.  Even if the pre-amp is only attenuating if anything and not adding gain, would it's inferior DR affect the signal, ie compress the dynamic range somehow or with the gain set to maximum on the Marantz' line in are you sending an unadulterated signal to the Marantz's A/D converters? A further con (although nothing major) is I suspect the Marantz's A/D converters wouldn't be as good as the Sound Devices'. 

Set Up 2) Run from the Mix Pre-Ds XLR outs to the Marantz's 'Line In 2' via a twin XLR mono to RCA stereo cable. 
Pros: I read on this forum that this RCA input may be 14DB more sensitive than the XLR. I can't test it without the cable but I'm guessing this might mean better SNR because of the hotter line level? Does it matter at line level? The signal coming out of the Mix Pre D is so hot anyway.  I'm a bit confused about this part.  The Sound Devices' levels have massive headroom and are marked from -30 to +20. They start going orange at -4DB. The Marantz's levels go from -60db to 0db. I sync the two recorders by flicking the Tone switch on the Mix Pre-D, sending a 0db, 20Khz tone to the Marantz.  I then set that tone to 0DB on the Marantz (at about 8/10 on the Marantz).  This means though that a signal at 0DB would be using only half the maximum levels of the Mix Pre-D but would peak out the Marantz..  To allow for any more gain on the Mix Pre-D, I have to trim the Marantz.  Seems like a shame to unecessarily add gain (and therefore noise) at the mixer end that is going to be trimmed at the recorder end.  Seems to me that the Marantz MUST be adding gain to the line in signal when at 8/10.  I just don't know at what point gain kicks in. Does anyone?
Cons: It's been suggested in discussion here that the Line in 2 port routes the same as the mic/line in, ie via the first set of pre-amps in 'line in' mode, so no DR/SNR advantage there.  Also, the RCA connection obviously isn't as secure as XLR.

Set Up 3) This one looks really promising. Run a digital out from the Mix Pre-D to the Marantz's digital in. Problem is that the Mix Pre-D uses AES format and the Marantz uses the consumer grade S/PDIF and they're not mutually compatible.  There are converter boxes (http://www.hosatech.com/product/0/CDL-313/_/Digital_Audio_Interface%2C_SPDIF_Coax_to_AESEBU), although these look heavy and don't seem to be battery powerable. Alternatively, conversion cables are available, one of Ted's AES to S/PDIF cables (http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=133186.0), or alternatives, including adapters to correct for the different impedence, here:  http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/12214-aes-spdif-adapter.html.
Pros: this should completely bypass all of the Marant'z pre-amps and so should give superior SNR and DR at least at this stage? It would also use the Mix Pre's probably superior A/D converters.
Possible cons:My concern here is that S/PDIF is generally 20 bit with 4 bits preserved for metadata. Some manufacturers use the full 24 bits but the Marantz manual's don't say what the bit rate is.  Does anyone know? 4 bits may just be dropped! Also, obviously the RCA connection is not as solid as XLR.

I'd be very interested in your thoughts on the above or what solutions you have found for preserving the superior SNR, DR and A/D converters of the Mix Pre-D when connecting to a Marantz PMD661.




Offline DATBRAD

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 11:23:16 AM »
I won't comment on your many scenarios but I can confirm that the switchable line input on the XLR bypasses the mic preamps, but there is still a gain stage set at the +4 db balanced line standard. I have not heard a recording using the Mixpre-D A/D, but I like the Marantz 661 and 671 A/Ds better than most, and yet if I had a Mixpre-D or a V3, I would probably use it's A/D over the one in the 661, not for sound but for ease only having to adjust gain on one unit. 
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Offline dlh

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012, 07:12:29 PM »
Hi,

HAs anyone got any expreience going from a Mixpre D (or any other device outputting a AES3 signal) into a PMD661 SPDIF in?
I know some devices accept a AES signal on their SPDIF input without any issue, but I've also heard of fussy ones not locking in to the signal, or misinterpreting the extra 4 bits in the AES signal (clicks and pops)
Any thoughts?
My $.02
My Apogee Mini-Me has AES and SPDIF outs. I ran the SPDIF RCA to a Marantz PMD671 and MTII at sample rates (24 bit) up to 96K no problems.
I got a DR-680; it would accept the MME SPDIF signal at 24 bit up to 48K but not 96K.
So now I run the MiniMe AES (stubbie connector) to an AES-SPDIF transformer, from the transformer SPDIF RCA to the DR-680 and it locks 100% 24bit 96K.
I use the other (SPDIF) out from the MME to a backup recorder.
I made my cables, using 110 ohm for the AES and 75 ohm for the SPDIF.
I'm just guessing that the Marantz may be more tolerant and accept AES without a transformer, but I didn't try it.

FWIW
Dave
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Offline sk-1

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 04:38:56 AM »
HVXmania - here's my standard spiel on how to levels on the mixpre-d and 661:

(Also the mixpre-d doesn't use the same circuits as the 7-series. Mixpre uses transformers, 7-series don't.)

The dB scales on each machine represent different and non-equivalent things. On the Marantz the scale shows dB Full Scale Digital, where 0dB = clipping/max level. The Mixpre meters however show dBu, where +22dB = clipping. Therefore you need to adjust the input sensitivity of your 661 so that the tone (1kHz btw, not 20kHz) registers at -22dB on the Marantz. This is the proper gain structure for the two devices.

This way, a signal coming out of the mixpre at max level (+22dBu) will line up with the Marantz's max level (0dB FS).

To find out which has the higher dynamic range (mixpre > digital > 661 or mixpre > analog > 661 line in), connect the least sensitive mic you own or a 150 ohm terminator to the mixpre, wind it's gain control to min, record 15 secs of this on the Marantz in 24bit mode via both connection methods. Open the file in an editor with a good amplitude analysis tool and see which has the lower RMS noise floor.

Then do some blind tests to see what difference there is in the A/D. If they sound the same, as many converters do, go with the one with the lower noise floor. Voila!

Ben

Offline DigiGal

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 09:18:23 PM »
Here is a much better solution I ran across for this application and made up one of these cables myself using parts on hand.  It works clean from MixPre-D AES to Marantz PMD661 S/PDIF at 24/96.  I can confirm this cable also works going the AES out of a Apogee MiniMe to S/PDIF in on a PMD 661.

A passive impedance conversion AES to S/PDIF cable can be made using a quality 75 ohm coax video cable (i.e. Belden 1505A, Canare LV-61S or equivalent), and to turn the 110 ohm AES source into a 75 ohm impedance install 237 ohms of resistance across pins 2 and 3 within the cables AES's XLR-F connector with the center conductor of coax to pin 2 and shield to pin 1.  Then terminate the other end of the coax with either a 75 ohm BNC or 75 ohm RCA connector to meet your needs.   

The 237 ohm resistance in parallel with the 110 ohm AES source converts it to 75 ohm internally in the XLR-F connector and is then 75 ohm impedance matched all the way to the SPDIF termination.  I've since purchased a large stock of 237 ohm resistors and hand tested/sorted each using my HP3478A Bench Meter to find the ones that meet the tightest tolerance.  My cable utilizes a Neutrik XCC connector which maintains the coaxial shield something that ordinary XLR connectors don't.

I've many requests from TS members to sell these cables from another post I made.  If you'd like one please feel free to send me a PM, I'd be glad to make one for you if you're not capable or don't want to make one yourself.  There are now several people out there using my DigiGal AES > S/PDIF passive impedance conversion cable.  I keep stock on hand for a quick build time and am considering posting in the Retail thread since demand has been fairly steady.

 
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 12:33:36 PM by DigiGal »
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Offline shiny

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 03:22:33 PM »
hi,
i'm new on this forum.
can i know the final word about this story?
1.wich cable is best to use for connecting mixpred to marantz 661?
2.does it records in 24bit 96 khz?
3.there are others portable recorders that can work with aes output of mixpred?
thanks

Offline pdxdanmusic

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 04:58:45 PM »
Old thread but I here's DIY solution I ran accross for this and made up one of these cables myself for grins using parts on hand.  Works clean from MixPre-D AES to Marantz PMD661 S/PDIF at 24/96.  I can confirm this cable also works going the AES out of a Apogee MiniMe to S/PDIF in on a PMD 661.

A simple AES to SPDIF cable can be made using a quality 75 ohm coax video cable (i.e. Belden 1505A, Canare LV-61S or equivalent), and to turn the 110 ohm AES source into a 75 ohm impedance install 237 ohms of resistance across pins 2 and 3 within the cables AES's XLR-F connector with the center conductor of coax to pin 2 and shield to pin 1.  Then terminate the other end of the coax with either a 75 ohm BNC or 75 ohm RCA connector to meet your needs.   

The 237 ohm resistance in parallel with the 110 ohm AES source converts it to 75 ohm internally in the XLR-F connector and is then 75 ohm impedance matched all the way to the SPDIF termination.  I've since purchased a large stock of 237 ohm resistors and hand tested/sorted each using my HP3478A Bench Meter to find the ones that meet the tightest tolerance.

I used a Neutrik XCC connector for this build but you could use a standard XLR-F connector too, but the XCC connector maintains the coaxial shield.

I've had a few requests from TS members to sell these cables from another post I made.  If you'd like one please feel free to send me a PM, I'd be glad to make one for you if you're not capable or don't want to make one yourself. 

 

I got mine from Digigal today and it is a piece of art and can hardly wait to give it a try. Even though I have an OCM PMD661 I still want to use the digital out on my MixPre-D.

Thanks again
Digigal

Offline andromedanwarmachine

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Re: MixPre D to MArantz PMD661 via AES3>SPDIF cable?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 08:46:53 AM »
Hey- hats off to you, DigiGal!

you don't see alot of Neutrik EMC connector stuff going around: well done...
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