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AUDIO over IP - REDNET 3 & 16 Review. AES67 Sets A New Standard for Computer Audio

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by rb2013, May 1, 2016.
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  1. rb2013 Contributor
    While the discussions on my thread about the new class of XMOS USB processors rages on along with all kinds of USB gizmos to fix it's follibles.  A new paradigm of computer audio is not here.  This is different then the UpNP/DLNA - it that this new Audio over IP Ethernet std will allow you to use any audio player and will have compatibilty amoung many audio devices - all operating on a LAN!
    So here is what I feel is going to be the new computer audio std:
    AES67 Audio over IP Ethernet!
    Ok what does AES67 and it's current implementations like DANTE and RAVEENA offer:
    1- Near zero latency - even over a LAN and long distances
    2 - ASIO support and Apple support, as well as Linux.  So you can use your current favorite audio player or software.
    3 - Full layer 3 TCP/IP support - no special swtiches needed.
    4 - Current PC Ethernet port works just fine, or add a PCIe card.
    5 - 1 GB massive data throughput
    6 - As with all 1GB or higher LAN - native galvanic isolation
    7 - No USB gremlins like clocking and Async packet noise or loss
    Well you may say great - but this is ll vaporware - I can't get this right now.  Can I?  Oh yes you can, but in a rather expensive fashion, but as this AES67 protocol is only 2 years old the adoption is occring right now.  Mainly amoung the Pro-Audio companies, but I firmly believe high end consumer audio products will see this as the replacement for USB and maybe i2s on the backs of DAC's and DDC's - just a plain old RJ45 jack is all that's needed (and the AES67 compatible Ethernet internal board).
    So here are two products available now for audio using AES67 as their main connection (with SPDIF as the legacy connection)
    Merging Technologies NADAC: http://nadac.merging.com/
    From the positive-feedback review
    1. Connector: gold-plated female XLR
    2. Input impedance: 110 Ohms
    3. Sample rate: 44.1 kHz—192 kHz

    1. Connector: Toslink
    2. Sample rate: 44.1 kHz—96 kHz

    1. Connector: gold-plated RCA jack
    2. Input impedance: 75 Ohms
    3. Sample rate: 44.1 kHz—96 kHz

    1. Connector: Neutrik EtherCon RJ45
    2. Bitrate: 1 Gb/s (Gigabit Ethernet only)
    3. Sample rate: 44.1 kHz—384 kHz, DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256

    1. Connector: BNC
    2. Input impedance: 75 Ohms
    3. Termination: 75 Ohms, software selectable
    4. Sample rate: 44.1 kHz—192 kHz

    1. Enclosure material: Premium machined and anodized aluminum
    2. Dimensions: 435mm (17.125") W x 435mm (17.125") D x 95mm (3.75") H
    3. Weight: 11 kg (24.2 lbs.)
    4. AC voltage: 100V-240V/47-63Hz (IEC socket)
    5. DC voltage: 10V-14V (Hirose HR10A-7R-4S)
    6. Power consumption: < 30W
    7. Front panel display: OLED, 160x128 pixels, 16-bit colors

    General Description and Considerations
    The NADAC MC-8 is a very handsomely sculpted, quite solid audio design. It is designed around Merging Technologies' implementation of digital audio processing derived from their long experience in professional settings, which goes back into the 1990s. Merging has been particularly involved in the development of solutions for DSD processing on the A/D and D/A side of the equation. This include DXD, a 384kHz/32-bit PCM standard that allows for high resolution without the issues that DSD introduces to productions that require a great deal of slice-and-dice in the digital domain. (Analog manipulations are not a problem, since they can occur prior to the final feed to DSD.)
    From http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2015/05/mergings-ethernet-nadac-impresses-at-munich-high-end-2015/
    Now RAVENNA:
    is a open standard implemenation capatible with AES67:
    What is RAVENNA?



    RAVENNA supports WINDOWS ASIO, MAC and Linux:

    Audinate Announces Support for AES67 Standard



    Studio quality sound meets digital audio networking…

    RedNet is Focusrite’s flagship range of modular Ethernet-networked audio interfaces that harnesses the power of Audinate’s tried and tested Dante digital audio networking system to bring studio quality sound to any modern audio application.
    Designed with multiple audio applications in mind – from Live Sound rigs to Multi-room Recording Studios, Houses of Worship, Audio Distribution Installations, Post Production environments and anything in-between – fundamentally RedNet is an extremely scalable, near zero latency audio distribution system that can be used to expand I/O channel count, interface digital components, and/or bridge between Pro Tools|HD or MADI and the Dante audio network.
    Incorporating Focusrite’s most advanced AD/DA conversion to date, rock-stable JetPLL clocking and premium multi-layered board circuitry, RedNet is no exception to the company’s philosophy that ‘Sound is Everything’. With every design detail meticulously engineered, RedNet is a step above its I/O competition, providing some of the most transparent and pristine audio quality available – with the added benefit of the systems’ revolutionary networking capabilities.
    DANTE can be run from your PC or MAC using a $29 Digital Virtual Soundcard and your PC/MAC's RJ45 Ethernet port.  That is obviously low cost.
    It can be downloaded here:

    Advantages over UnNP:
    1) Use your current audio player - Foobar, JRiver, iTunes, whatever and they are compatible.  Dante and Ravenna provide ASIO Windows drivers.
    2) Multi-Cast or Uni-Cast both available
    3)Interface with Thunderbolt 2&3 and USB 3.1 - http://www.audiomediainternational.com/recording/feature-investigating-interface-protocols/04655
      4) Easier to set-up and more reliable? UnNP has it's well documented issues...
    earfonia and dabotsonline like this.
  2. rb2013 Contributor
  3. Luckbad
    I have an RJ45 to XLR adapter on the way to see if I can get this working on my PC before diving deeper.

    Thanks for the thread!

    I'm actually more interested in how this develops than most other things in computer audio.
  4. mhamel
    From the pro side of the audio world, and very well-regarded:  http://burlaudio.com/products/b2-bomber-dac 
    Supports direct input via Ethernet/Dante.
  5. ginetto61
  6. rb2013 Contributor
    Me too [​IMG]
    This is just the start - these units like the Merging HAPI and Focusrite REDLAN stuff - is designed for many functions we don't need for home audio.  Once a Chinese developer designs a simple DANTEor RAVENNEAor maybe XMOS/AES67 Ethernet to SPDIF and/or AES DDC - it should be no more expensive then the $180 F-1, or Pro3a.
    The nice thing is the std is open and a true std - so I expect someone like XMOS to develop a FPGA chip like solution - just like for USB.
    Remember the first Empirical Off Ramp?  It was like $800 for 96k
    I had one of these after going through about a half dozen Fireface devices (Your Apogee Rosetta is one) and settled on the RME Fireface 800.
    It was $1600 ten yrs ago.  They still sell it!  DidN'T I need all these channel and mic inputs - no - but it was the best way to play hi res (192k) audio at the time.  This was before Async USB audio.  USB 2.0 iso was limited to 96k and even that was buggy back then.
    So the bottomline is we will see many devices for our needs and much cheaper. Can't wait!
  7. rb2013 Contributor

    Sweet DAC!  $2300 not bad.
    When you get a chance take a look at this discussion on CA I posted (#2) between Miska (developer of the UpNP HQPlayer) and a fellow named 'Dallas Justice'.
    It's good discussion of the clocking issues with AES67 ethernet vs Async USB.
    PS Great review on the B2 Bomber ADC/DAC - Wow! 
    As I'm a tube DAC guy, very, very tempting...
  8. ginetto61
    Then you give me hope !  [​IMG]  so i have to wait a little.
    because your comments on the sound of these interfaces make me want to jump on one ...
    I have to wait.   Actually looking at the pcie card it looks very well built but nothing out of this world.
    I have to wait.  I hope that maybe next year ... i want a rj45 to AES really badly.
    Thanks a lot again
  9. rb2013 Contributor
    Interesting discussion on CA:
  10. rb2013 Contributor
    DANTE AES67 Ethernet compatible BURL B2 Bomber DAC (courtesy of @mhamel):
  11. rb2013 Contributor
    Well it's here...$29 Audinate DANTE DVS (Digital Virtual Soundcard) and a DAC like the BURL, NADAC, HAPI or REDNET.
    Say hello to the Unicorn!
    I added the Bolding:
  12. rb2013 Contributor
    More interesting quotes from that CA thread:
  13. rb2013 Contributor
    More interesting quotes from that CA thread (I added the bolding):
  14. rb2013 Contributor
    More interesting quotes from that CA thread (I added the bolding):
  15. rb2013 Contributor
    More interesting quotes from that CA thread (I added the bolding):
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