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How best to connect Genelec 8341A to PC

Cloudreader

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#1
I finally decided to buy a pair of Genelec 8341As to use as my desktop speakers. My PC has a Optical S/PDIF-Out as well as the usual audio jacks from the sound card. Genelec spec has XLR Analog and XLR AES/EBU inputs. I am somewhat a newbie w.r.t these different interconnects. I haven't used anything other than HDMI cables (interconnecting receiver/blu-ray player etc.) and audio (RCA red, white jacks) before.

So how do I connect them to my PC, in order to have the best possible quality audio.
Is sound from motherboard usually compromised in some way even if one uses a digital out from the PC?

Thanks in advance!
 
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M00ndancer

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Can you control volume on the S/PDIF out? In that case the S/PDIF to AES will work fine. If not, your option is either to use GLM (if you plan to get it) to control volume or use a USB port out. USB to AES converters are a bit more expensive, I haven't seen anything under $400 so far. Matrix make a nice one.

Personally, I use a RME ADI-2 Pro with my 8341's but it does a lot more than just converting USB to AES.
 
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Cloudreader

Cloudreader

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Thread Starter #7
Can you control volume on the S/PDIF out? In that case the S/PDIF to AES will work fine. If not, your option is either to use GLM (if you plan to get it) to control volume or use a USB port out. USB to AES converters are a bit more expensive, I haven't seen anything under $400 so far. Matrix make a nice one.

Personally, I use a RME ADI-2 Pro with my 8341's but it does a lot more than just converting USB to AES.
Wouldn't windows able to control the volume of S/PDIF?
Anyway I have ordered the GLM kit as well.

Thank you all for the great suggestions.
@samysound Great thread filled with suggestions.

I guess decision time again! Here I was thinking the hard part is over choosing Genelec 8341s.
 
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Cloudreader

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Thread Starter #8
Do you send balanced analog to the Genelecs?
https://www.rme-usa.com/adi-2-pro-fs.html says that it comes with a BO968 Digital breakout cable which seems to be a DSUB to XLR AES/EBU. i.e. One can directly use the digital out XLR AES/EBU to connect the Genelecs.

This brings me to this questions: Is connecting the Genelecs through the AES/EBU digital input the preferred way instead of connecting through the balanced analog XLR inputs?
Using the AES/EBU input of the Genenec (say by using Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 USB Interface or the Hosa CDL-313) the pair of Genelecs have to be daisy chained as in
1) Computer sound card(via S/PDIF)=>Hosa CDL-313(Via AES/EBU)=>8341A Left(Via another AES/EBU)=>8341A Right.
OR
2) Computer motherboard(via USB)=>RME ADI-2 Pro(Via AES/EBU)=>8341A Left(Via another AES/EBU)=>8341A Right.
OR
3) Computer motherboard(via USB)=>Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 USB Interface(Via AES/EBU)=>8341A Left(Via another AES/EBU)=>8341A Right.

Will this kind of daisy chaining introduce a delay/jitter to the right channel compared the the left?
This delay seems to be not there if one uses 2x balanced XLR output from say RME ADI-2 Pro or a Topping DX7 Pro DAC and connect each of the Left and right channels of the Genelecs.

Sorry if these questions are dumb or has been asked before, just trying to understand audio interfaces better and to have best possible sound. Thank you.
 

andreasmaaan

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#9
https://www.rme-usa.com/adi-2-pro-fs.html says that it comes with a BO968 Digital breakout cable which seems to be a DSUB to XLR AES/EBU. i.e. One can directly use the digital out XLR AES/EBU to connect the Genelecs.

This brings me to this questions: Is connecting the Genelecs through the AES/EBU digital input the preferred way instead of connecting through the balanced analog XLR inputs?
Using the AES/EBU input of the Genenec (say by using Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 USB Interface or the Hosa CDL-313) the pair of Genelecs have to be daisy chained as in
1) Computer sound card(via S/PDIF)=>Hosa CDL-313(Via AES/EBU)=>8341A Left(Via another AES/EBU)=>8341A Right.
OR
2) Computer motherboard(via USB)=>RME ADI-2 Pro(Via AES/EBU)=>8341A Left(Via another AES/EBU)=>8341A Right.
OR
3) Computer motherboard(via USB)=>Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 USB Interface(Via AES/EBU)=>8341A Left(Via another AES/EBU)=>8341A Right.

Will this kind of daisy chaining introduce a delay/jitter to the right channel compared the the left?
This delay seems to be not there if one uses 2x balanced XLR output from say RME ADI-2 Pro or a Topping DX7 Pro DAC and connect each of the Left and right channels of the Genelecs.

Sorry if these questions are dumb or has been asked before, just trying to understand audio interfaces better and to have best possible sound. Thank you.
Not dumb at all :) But the answer is absolutely not. In fact the daisy chain ensures both monitors are synced to the same clock.
 

mSpot

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#12
Wouldn't windows able to control the volume of S/PDIF?
Anyway I have ordered the GLM kit as well.
For highest quality, send the digital stream from your computer full volume so you don't lose resolution.
Control the volume using DSP in the speaker. The GLM desktop app can do this but would be more convenient with a GLM volume control (wired or remote).
https://www.genelec.com/9310a-wired-volume-controller
https://www.genelec.com/9101a-wireless-volume-controller
 
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#13
Not dumb at all :) But the answer is absolutely not. In fact the daisy chain ensures both monitors are synced to the same clock.
Agree (with both answers ;) )

If you choose option 2), the same as I use, make sure to read the RME manual carefully... I was fiddling with some cables when the CD player autostarted while the RME was set to "digital trough" by mistake. Quite an experience, the 8341's sure can play loud! :oops:
 
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Cloudreader

Cloudreader

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Thread Starter #15
For highest quality, send the digital stream from your computer full volume so you don't lose resolution.
Control the volume using DSP in the speaker. The GLM desktop app can do this but would be more convenient with a GLM volume control (wired or remote).
https://www.genelec.com/9310a-wired-volume-controller
https://www.genelec.com/9101a-wireless-volume-controller
Wow I would have never guessed audio quality would even depend on where you control the volume! thanks for this tip.
I ordered the Volume control as well. Decided to go with Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2.
Thanks again everyone for the help.
 

jvican

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#16
Hi folks. I'm actually building a similar setup, I intend to buy the RME ADI-2 FS (not pro) and a pair of Genelec 8330. One question that has gone a bit unanswered in this thread is this one made by @Cloudreader:
This brings me to this question: Is connecting the Genelecs through the AES/EBU digital input the preferred way instead of connecting through the balanced analog XLR inputs?
It's not clear to me why folks using Genelec monitors have mostly sided with the AES/EBU digital input solution. Is it significantly better than using the analog inputs? Does this have to do with reducing jitter?

Another thing that isn't clear in my mind is where does the GLM kit fit in. From the diagram in the website, I would expect it to be connected all the time, especially because it also serves as a volume control with the latest GLM 4, but seems this isn't the case in your setup.

I'm willing to entertain the idea of buying the RME ADI-2 FS Pro or adding the Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 if there are good advantages over connecting the ADI to the Genelec through analog inputs. So far, the only advantage I've seen to using RME ADI-2 FS Pro is that you can control the volume from the DAC itself?

I'm still learning so feel free to point any misunderstandings I might have. Thanks for your help.
 
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#17
It's not clear to me why folks using Genelec monitors have mostly sided with the AES/EBU digital input solution. Is it significantly better than using the analog inputs? Does this have to do with reducing jitter?
The speakers will put any analog input through a A/D stage so any GLM room correction etc can be applied to the sound - I imagine the crossovers are digital as well.
 

jvican

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@tehidiot Thanks! That makes sense. I missed the fact that the speakers have their own internal DAC and the GLM correction happens at the digital level. Now it clicks why people are not necessarily using a DAC between the computer and the speakers.

Then it looks like it only pays off to have something like the ADI RME-2 Pro if you're using different inputs for the speakers (as in the case of @Colonel Bogey that has a CD Audio and computer USB input IIRC). I guess there's no point in using the ADI RME for this setup otherwise.
 
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#19
@tehidiot

Then it looks like it only pays off to have something like the ADI RME-2 Pro if you're using different inputs for the speakers (as in the case of @Colonel Bogey that has a CD Audio and computer USB input IIRC). I guess there's no point in using the ADI RME for this setup otherwise.
Actually, there is a couple of other smallish benefits - e.g. the tone controls and loudness, all implemented in the RME's DSP. Very useful when listening at low volumes. I also use the RME with earphones occasionally so I have set the EQ for the earphone out to the Oratory1990 settings for my HD650´s.
 

jvican

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#20
Right, thanks for the notes! I thought about doing the same re headphones, but realized that I would probably do the EQ in Roon itself and would like to be able to move the speakers around in my room or house, without being tied to the same spot where my headphones are. This would be easy with Roon and Matrix X-SPDIF 2, I would only need to have a Raspberry PI that is Roon ready and can stream content from my Roon master.
 
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