1 (edited by gawto 2019-06-12 08:08:06)

Topic: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Dear Friends,

I purchased a RME ADI-2 Pro FS, primarily for listening to music via USB (iPad/PC) and high end headphones.
I have no technical background, just an amateur, who wants to have the best equipment :-)

Now, I am considering to add two Neumann KH 80 DSP, but cable selection confuses me a little bit,
as I do not have any knowledge of the matter.

I would like to connect the RME ADI-2 Pro FS via XLR.

The Neumann KH 80 DSP has a "XLR / 6.3 mm (¼”) Jack: analog electronically balanced".

Which XLR cable would I need ? I tried to find a cable at Thomann (I am located in Germany),
but the dedicated loudspaker cables are said not to be compatible with active speakers.

Could somebody please point out a XLR cabel, that would work (with a link) ?


Thank you!

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Every standard XLR cable will do. This is the most expensive I could find: https://www.thomann.de/de/cordial_crm_25_fm.htm. But, as stated before, every standard cable will do.

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

I agree with Joachim: any "Mikrofonkabel" will be fine. smile
https://www.thomann.de/de/mikrofonkabel.html

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

And you will need two of them wink

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Thank you! I just ordered a a pair of Sommer mic cable.

@N00b: You have the KH 310 A! Do you also know the 120 A ?
I tried to figure out, whether there is a big difference between the KH 80 DSP and the 120 A (besides DSP in the 80), but most reviews I found point out, that they are quite similar.

Thanks!

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Sorry, never have the chance to listen to those speakers! But I've red they have an amazing sound for their size.
And Sommer cables are great! All my XLR cables are Sommer Galileo and they are solid and have Neutrik connectors.

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

7 (edited by joachim.herbert 2019-06-12 12:43:43)

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

120A and 80DSP are completely different beasts. 120A: 5,25 inch bass driver, aluminum housing, 80DSP 4 inch bass driver, plastic housing. The 80 goes down to 57 Hz (with a little help of the dsp), the 120 to 52. The 120 will be able to play higher undistorted levels.

I am looking to buy the 120A to replace my Genelec 1029A.

8 (edited by gawto 2019-06-12 14:21:31)

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Thank you.

Well, I hope I did not make a mistake :-) I was torn between the 120A (which has incredibly positive customer reviews) and the 80 DSP (which has great reviews from websites, but nearly no customer reviews, probably because most people buy the 120A). In the end, my very limited space situation and the believe in advancement of technology let me decide in favour of the 80 DSP. There are some websites claiming the small one is so great, that there is barely any difference even compared to the KH 310 A.

I do not believe in magic, but I think, the small one will be great :-)

9 (edited by jiw 2019-06-13 02:03:39)

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

I have had the KH80 for 16 months. I have found several issues with them during this period that ultimately caused me to return them.
Firstly, the DSP software was unavailable until about 2 years after release and was so far only released for iPad (which you fortunately seem to own).
Secondly, when going into standby, the backplate would occasionally resonate which made a rather unpleasant and quite audible buzzing sound. Of course, turning the standby function off avoids this.
Thirdly, the backplate resonates quite audibly at about 270 Hz even at moderate output levels of about 80 dB SPL at 1m anechoic (eg. - 14 dBu sine with KH80 set to 94 dB SPL at 1m anechoic and input gain at 0 dB).
After discovering the third issue, I went to the store where I bought the KH80 to compare to their exhibition model which had the exact same issue and the store personal also mentioned that another costumer had returned a pair of KH80 for the same reason.

Also, keep in mind that the KH80 needs to convert the incoming analog signal to digital in order to process it and then convert the processed digital signal back to analog. Thus, you have an additional AD/DA cycle in your signal path. The additional conversions are very likely to degrade the quality of the analog signal from the ADI-2 Pro FS. Whether that is audible is a different matter but the reviews seem to suggest that it is not.
The KH120A, on the other hand, has a completely analog signal path.
A third option, since you have the Pro FS, is to use monitors with DSP and digital input (eg. Genelec 83xx except 8320) with the RME's digital output (eg. AES-3). For this, you likely need a different cable than a microphone cable.

Neumann states a minimum listening distance for the KH80 of 0.5m and a recommended listening distance of 0.75-2.0m while for the KH120 Neumann states a minimum listening distance 0.75m and a recommended listening distance of 1.0-2.0m. Given that you mentioned that you have very limited space, this might make you decision easier.

In terms of size, the KH80 has an external volume of 7.0L whereas the KH120 has an external volume of 9.7L, ie. only about 40% more than the KH80.

If you have not already done it, I recommend you measure the spaces where you consider putting the monitors and see whether either will fit and what the resulting listening distance would be.

If it is possible for you, I recommend you go to a (pro) audio store to compare the monitors that will fit in the possible monitor positions with some music/audio that you know very well. However, keep in mind that the acoustics in the store might be very different from those in your own listening space. Since reflections make up a significant share of perceived sound quality, monitors with controlled directivity (even dispersion) will likely sound the most similar between the store and your own listening space. If you are in the store, try moving around (left to right, front and back, up and down) a good bit and see how the sound balance changes compared to the sweet spot (main listening position). This is most easily done using pink noise.
The Neumann have well controlled directivity as do Genelecs.
Also, try moderate to high level (eg. 80-90 dB SPL at 1m anechoic) slow (eg. 10s 20Hz - 20kHz) sine sweeps to determine resonances and rattling/buzzing that would be much more difficult to hear with music or pink noise.

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Just pulled the trigger on the 120A. Call me a happy man :-).

Will make implement room correction with sonarworks reference 4 tomorrow.

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

I love Sonarworks in the studio. Less guessing, less 'mistakes' during mixing. I only have baffles installed on my ceiling, but it's a small room with lots of instruments, so with SW I created my little sweet spot for mixing. Absolutely no surprises when I listen mixes back on other systems. In the mastering studio I usually hear more details (much better speakers), more microscopic resonances, but not the huge differences I usually heard before I used SW. I like some colour in my living room though. I bought the speakers because of a certain colour, got used to them in that room, and a flat response just doesn't sound right.

12 (edited by Curt962 2019-06-14 00:14:05)

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Trojka..

Investigate the Volumes of Research conducted by BK.   Nobody seems to enjoy Ruler Flat "Sound" 

BKs research suggested that most prefer a Warmer, FULLER sound as opposed to Analytical.

Eliminating Room intrusions is a worthy effort, but after those are dealt with...a bit of House Curve seems entirely legitimate!

Curt

13 (edited by gawto 2019-06-14 07:44:27)

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

Thank you all for the input, especially jiw for the details! My KH 80 DSP arrived yesterday and they are outstanding. Coming from a "Hifi" background, they are quite different than anything I had before, but very similar to the kind of headphones I usually prefer.

I checked for backplate resonation and standby buzzing - luckily no problems. Still, I agree concerning the DSP (KH 80) vs analog path (KH 120). Although I might not be able to hear it, I am sure the idea, that the DSP could "influence" the quality coming from the ADI-2 Pro FS will finally make me order the KH 120 for comparison anyway :-)

14

Re: RME ADI-2 Pro FS and Neumann KH 80 DSP - Cable

gawto wrote:

I checked for backplate resonation and standby buzzing - luckily no problems.

Maybe Neumann/Sennheiser have fixed it.

gawto wrote:

Still, I agree concerning the DSP (KH 80) vs analog path (KH 120). Although I might not be able to hear it, I am sure the idea, that the DSP could "influence" the quality coming from the ADI-2 Pro FS will finally make me order the KH 120 for comparison anyway :-)

If you use the KH80's DSP to ameliorate some of negative effects caused by your room and don't use anything similar for the KH120, as long as you keep volumes moderate, there will most likely be no contest unless your room has good acoustic properties. The distortions introduced by the room will most likely dwarf the degradation of the signal through the additional AD/DA conversions. You can, however, do some basic 'room correction' with the PEQ and B/T of the RME.

If you don't have one already, I recommend you get a calibrated measurement microphone. This will help you optimise your listening environment and also optimise the performance of your speakers in the listening environment. Keep in mind, however, that the ADI-2 Pro FS does not have built in microphone preamplifiers.

Neumann have said that they will release an auto calibration package for their DSP monitors but I haven't seen anything about it being available as of yet. As you already have access to the filters through the software, all you need to know is the properties/parameters of the filters that optimise the performance of the monitors.

You can also use all-in-one solutions such as Sonarworks, as mentioned Trojka, but unless you can integrate that into the KH80's DSP, you would have to change it (or turn it off) if you use headphones (which Sonarworks also has 'correction' software for). In that case, there would be no benefit to the internal DSP of the KH80.