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Beolab 5 with Powerlink MK3?

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Beosince98
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Beosince98 posted on Fri, Nov 8 2019 10:13 PM

Hi Beoworlders,

my pair of Beolab 5 seem to work perfectly with Powerlink MK3 cables. Is this normal? Is there any downside to using the MK3 cables? What is the Data pin in the MK2 cable actually used for?

Thanks for your help.

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Dave Farr
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Powerlink cable suitability for speakers;

Mk1 are for non IcePower speakers (for example the BeoLab 6000, early BeoLab 4000, BeoLab 8000)

Mk2 are for everything and can also carry data signals, so are perfect for BeoLab Penta.

 

Mk3 are for IcePowered (for example BeoLab 8002, BeoLab 6002, BeoLab 3)

Data pin allows for the display to work in Pentas for example.  The list above hasn't been updated but you get the idea.  MKII fully wired are recommended for BL5's.
This is one previous post about cables to BL5's:https://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/25567/204777.aspx
Also from Steve at Sounds Heavenly:http://www.soundsheavenly.com/faq/guide-various-types-powerlink-cable-bang-olufsen-use/
Beosince98
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Dave Farr:

Powerlink cable suitability for speakers;

Mk1 are for non IcePower speakers (for example the BeoLab 6000, early BeoLab 4000, BeoLab 8000)

Mk2 are for everything and can also carry data signals, so are perfect for BeoLab Penta.

 

Mk3 are for IcePowered (for example BeoLab 8002, BeoLab 6002, BeoLab 3)

Data pin allows for the display to work in Pentas for example.  The list above hasn't been updated but you get the idea.  MKII fully wired are recommended for BL5's.
This is one previous post about cables to BL5's:https://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/25567/204777.aspx
Also from Steve at Sounds Heavenly:http://www.soundsheavenly.com/faq/guide-various-types-powerlink-cable-bang-olufsen-use/

I am aware of the different powerlink cables. However, I have always read that you MUST use MK2 with Beolab 5, else they don't work. However, mine work perfectly with MK3. I also tried the MK2 cable and could not make out a difference.

Dave Farr
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Depends on what you use the BL5’s with. If a TV, then they may work fine. If with a music system, they won’t as the extra pin/data wire is used to communicate with the music system. See reply from Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

Hi Dave,

Glad you like my videos! Beolab 5 speakers won't function correctly unless mk.2 (fully wired) cables are used, as these are the only cables that have the data pins wired to ensure that the speakers communicate with the music system. Operation with thinner (mk.1 or mk.3) cables will be sporadic and the speakers may not work at all.

Please use these mk.2 cables for correct Beolab 5 speaker operation with a B&O system: https://soundsheavenly.com/powerlink-8-pin-din-connection/23-314-powerlink-mk-2-compatible-black-8-pin-din-cable-with-fully-wired-8-cores.html#/4-length-3m
Beosince98
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Dave Farr:
Depends on what you use the BL5’s with. If a TV, then they may work fine. If with a music system, they won’t as the extra pin/data wire is used to communicate with the music system. See reply from Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

 

 

 

Hi Dave,

 

 

Glad you like my videos! Beolab 5 speakers won't function correctly unless mk.2 (fully wired) cables are used, as these are the only cables that have the data pins wired to ensure that the speakers communicate with the music system. Operation with thinner (mk.1 or mk.3) cables will be sporadic and the speakers may not work at all.

 

 

Please use these mk.2 cables for correct Beolab 5 speaker operation with a B&O system: https://soundsheavenly.com/powerlink-8-pin-din-connection/23-314-powerlink-mk-2-compatible-black-8-pin-din-cable-with-fully-wired-8-cores.html#/4-length-3m

So what communication is needed with a music system and not with a TV? What data is actually communicated with the data pin? The Beolab 5 don't have a display. I thought it was used to regulate volume, as the Beolab 5 have a volume regulator build in. As of now, I really can't find any disadvantage to using MK3 cables (other than not opening my wall to lay new cables)

Dave Farr
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Why not just contact Steve Marriott and ask him? He is the cable expert.
Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi,

You may be able to get the Beolab 5s working without fully wired cables, but their on-off switching and volume levels won't always be consistent.  Hence, they won't work quite as intended.  The cost of the correct cables is typically less than 1% of the value of these speakers, so is it worth the compromise?

Sure, you could drink champagne from a paper cup, or thread pearls onto garden twine for a necklace, but you won't get the full benefit from these luxury items that you could have by properly considering the best way to enjoy them.

You don't need to spend a fortune on cables to get these speakers sounding great, all that is needed are the correct version of Powerlink cables (and ideally some 75 Ohm digital cables if your music source has an S/PDIF output) - Beolab 5s will really sing when fed from a digital source.

Hope this helps, please ask if you have any questions.

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

Beosince98
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

Hi,

You may be able to get the Beolab 5s working without fully wired cables, but their on-off switching and volume levels won't always be consistent.  Hence, they won't work quite as intended.  The cost of the correct cables is typically less than 1% of the value of these speakers, so is it worth the compromise?

Sure, you could drink champagne from a paper cup, or thread pearls onto garden twine for a necklace, but you won't get the full benefit from these luxury items that you could have by properly considering the best way to enjoy them.

You don't need to spend a fortune on cables to get these speakers sounding great, all that is needed are the correct version of Powerlink cables (and ideally some 75 Ohm digital cables if your music source has an S/PDIF output) - Beolab 5s will really sing when fed from a digital source.

Hope this helps, please ask if you have any questions.

Kind regards, Steve.

Hi Steve,

I was just surprised that the MK3 cables work at all, as I have heard multiple times that they simply don't work. I totally agree with your argumentation, but MK3's are in the wall, and I don't want to rip it open. Strangely the Beolab 5 also work perfectly when I tell the TV that Beolab 9 are connected. I do have proper Cat6a S/FTP PIMF cables which I can run, but I am not sure if I can hear a difference. I build a short adapter from Powerlink to a Keystone Cat6a RJ45 which plugs into the Beolab 5 so I can use a Network-cable for most of the run. How do you actually test your cables? I used a normal tester for Network cables. Do you think this is way of testing my soldering and termination is proficient? I will do some more active listening to see if I can hear a difference. Sadly, the Avant does not have a digital out. Thank you for your help!

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi,

Powerlink mk.3 cables won't normally work with Beolab 5 speakers, so it is possible that you either have a speaker fault, or that the speakers are in the wrong option setting.  Either way, I would not recommend trying to use the mk.3 cables (or any other type of cable other than the correct mk.2 Powerlink cables).  Considering the value and quality of your Beolab 5 speakers, I suggest asking a local decorator or electrician to assist in hiding the correct cables inside the walls.  This is normally a cost effective way to get the right cables neatly into place to give you the best sound and operation of the speakers.

Proper cable testing goes way beyond just doing continuity tests.  It should include EMI immunity checks (against internal noise such as Datalink signals) and also typical external noise, plus flash tests, loop resistance, insulation between cores, shielding, capacitance, impedance, signal attenuation over distance, plus temperature stability and compliance with legislation.

Please click on my sponsor link below if you need the correctly tested and specified cables to get your speakers working to their best performance, without compromise.

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

Beosince98
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183 Posts
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

Hi,

Powerlink mk.3 cables won't normally work with Beolab 5 speakers, so it is possible that you either have a speaker fault, or that the speakers are in the wrong option setting.  Either way, I would not recommend trying to use the mk.3 cables (or any other type of cable other than the correct mk.2 Powerlink cables).  Considering the value and quality of your Beolab 5 speakers, I suggest asking a local decorator or electrician to assist in hiding the correct cables inside the walls.  This is normally a cost effective way to get the right cables neatly into place to give you the best sound and operation of the speakers.

Proper cable testing goes way beyond just doing continuity tests.  It should include EMI immunity checks (against internal noise such as Datalink signals) and also typical external noise, plus flash tests, loop resistance, insulation between cores, shielding, capacitance, impedance, signal attenuation over distance, plus temperature stability and compliance with legislation.

Please click on my sponsor link below if you need the correctly tested and specified cables to get your speakers working to their best performance, without compromise.

Kind regards, Steve.

The cables were tested with a proper Cat 6a cable tester, which tests them for more than continuity. I figured if the cables are good for the Cat 6a requirements, they are also good enough for audio. In the mean time I will probably build adaptors to make the MK3 cable work perfectly by using the un-used left/right channel in each cable as the data pin. If I decide after some active listening that I can hear a difference between MK2 and MK3 cables, I will get the electrician to lay new wires. However, this will be definitely more than 15% of the speaker cost. 

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