S/PDIF on Monitors, important?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by marioman38, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    If I purchase the E-Mu 0404 and run the S/PDIF out to my monitors, will that carry all the inputs and outs from the laptop, or only the two channels sent through S/PDIF in?

    I've been looking at:

    The Edirol MA-15D's which have S/PDIF.

    And the
    KRK RP5G2's which don't have S/PDIF.
    Mackie MR5's which don't have S/PDIF.
    M-Audio Studiophile AV30's which don't have S/PDIF.
    M-Audio BX5a's which don't have S/PDIF.

    I was eyeing the KRK's, but would the MA-15D's be a good second choice. I like the S/PDIF inputs, and the dedicated Subwoofer out, which I can run to my Bose sub.

    Quality. Yes, I know this won't even come close to a pair of ADAM A7's or similar, but if I currently have nothing but my skullcandy earbuds to mix on, surely even these cheapies will be better.

    Use. Monitoring from Logic 8. Think college student here guy's, not looking for Abbey Road quality here, I am looking for something that will be acceptable, which is why I am here. Asides from some mixing, I suppose just iTunes. Basically Rock, and Alternative (Rise Against, CKY, RATM).

    The Edirol's can be had for half the KRK's and have S/PDIF inputs.

    Input please :confused:
  2. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Besides the fact that you would have to be running a Mac Pro to use the PCI (sell it, get an iMac/mini and better monitoring for the money), the question on my mind is why the S/PDIF is so important to you.

    The signal will have to be converted to analog at some point in the chain, and the converters are one of the most important parts. The converters in the PCI-card are actually built for the purpose, but having a pair of speakers with S/PDIF in means that besides the speaker elements and amplifiers, the makers also have to budget in converters. And with cheap monitors already cutting costs pretty tight as it is, one can wonder how well those are made...

    For my money, I would keep the digital-analog converters separately and run TRS cables to the monitors.
  3. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Sorry I wasn't clear. I was referring to th E-Mu 0404 USB model connected to a macbook.

    Ok, so the 0404 USB would have a better D/A than those built into <$300 monitors?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You are not going to be able to hear the difference between two D/A converters on a $150 speaker. It's like those audiophile nuts asking if the twist in the copper wire stands should be right or left handed or if braided is not better. You just can't hear it. Yhe weak link is the speakers not the cable or D/A chip.

    If you are on a budget. Large or small budget does not matter. any time you have a fixed budget and want the best sound you have to think not "what's the best" but "how do I best allocate funds?"

    In this case you want to spend your monitorring budget on driver and cabinet quality and size but not on interface components and cables. You will get the best sound for your money if you buy whichever speaker has the best drivers and physical construction and then accept whatever kind of connection it comes with

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