The Canare are available second hand for less than 10€ each, I paid 12€ for 4 new ones. Try those: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/154475083511?50 euros * 4 XLR = 200e just for an adapter to a 1200e machine, that sounds very prohibitive.
I understood the meridian have 4 AES on its RJ45 output, so I will try to solder my own cable.
But all of that takes time.
I'm moderately certain that the Meridian uses S/PDIF signal levels.
I think it's 4x S/PDIF on an RJ45 socket. While it doesn't have a DSP to decode Dolby or DTS internally, it does accept 8 channel PCM according to the manual.As for why not a used Meridian; just not something I was familiar with at the time, but they seem to go for quite a bit more than what I was able to buy the PreUSB for. And, I though the Meridian required somekind of options for 8channel full decoding - and that was to AES?