Can I use normal balanced analogue microphone cable to interconnect my SAM™ Systems and their AES/EBU digital audio input?
Analogue and digital AES/EBU cables both have the same XLR connectors. However, the cable constructions differ:
Cable specified for AES/EBU has the characteristic impedance of 110 ohms and wide frequency range needed for carrying the AES/EBU digital waveforms. The AES/EBU frequency range typically starts from about 0.5 MHz and extends to about 30 MHz for the standard rate AES/EBU. This is very different from the standard analogue signal frequency range. The analogue audio frequency range is typically less than 100 kHz. Different cable materials and construction are needed for the two cable types even if both, in principle, contain a twisted pair of wires.
If you use a standard microphone cable to carry AES/EBU digital signal, you may experience unexpected problems, such as quality problems in the received audio, or devices not receiving the signal properly. Problems typically gets worse with longer cable runs. It is recommended to avoid using a microphone cable and instead to use a high quality cable specified for the AES/EBU digital audio signal.