Beolab 5 Powerlink or optical?

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  • #11304
    Vinnie
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    Hi all,

    New to the forum, happy I could join 🙂

    Currently I have a pair of Beolab 5’s. Connected to a Beosound Core with Powerlink and with Optical. When I first connected the Beolab 5’s to the Core with only the Powerlink cable I got distortion from the tweeters.

    The problem was solved when also connecting the Beolab 5’s with spdif/coax cables. I just called a nearby B&O store and they told me that Powerlink should also work fine, without distortion. Maybe I don’t have the right Powerlink splitter and cables.

    Long questions short.. what is the best way to connect my Beolab 5’s to the Core? Will Powerlink, using the right cables, also work fine and with maybe even higher sound quality than over optical?

    #11306
    Mr10Percent
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    Hi,

    There is a specific specification of BL5 Powerlink cable. Im not 100% but I think it is heavily shielded and has a ferrite ring on each termination.

    When using Powerlink only, the Powerlink transmits analogue audio signal for both channels and volume control.

    When using Powerlink and SP/Dif, the BL5’s only use the Powerlink for volume control and SP/Dif for the digital audio signal.

    I am not sure what your problem maybe – whether it is poor quality (for music) Powerlink cable or something else. You can test this by swapping channels on the BL5 and by swapping cables between the source and the BL5 and the cable that daisy-chains the BVL5s together.

    However, I believe the quality of sound using both cable sets will superior all around. A poor quality Powerlink cable (if that is the problem?) for volume control and a good Coax cable should suffice.

    #11309
    Vinnie
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    Hi, There is a specific specification of BL5 Powerlink cable. Im not 100% but I think it is heavily shielded and has a ferrite ring on each termination. When using Powerlink only, the Powerlink transmits analogue audio signal for both channels and volume control. When using Powerlink and SP/Dif, the BL5’s only use the Powerlink for volume control and SP/Dif for the digital audio signal. I am not sure what your problem maybe – whether it is poor quality (for music) Powerlink cable or something else. You can test this by swapping channels on the BL5 and by swapping cables between the source and the BL5 and the cable that daisy-chains the BVL5s together. However, I believe the quality of sound using both cable sets will superior all around. A poor quality Powerlink cable (if that is the problem?) for volume control and a good Coax cable should suffice.

    Hi Mr10Percent, thanks for your quick reply!

    Sorry I didn’t formulate my question properly.

    The problem I am having is that I can’t set the optical output signal to 96KhZ. On 48KhZ it works fine. I do have a lot of cables connected right now and was wondering if a good set of Powerlink cables can compete, in terms of sound quality, to the optical cables. Will Powerlink sound even better than optical?

    #11313
    Mr10Percent
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    Hi,

    As per my original response, Powerlink only BL5s sound rubbish compared to feeding them with Coax. Night and Day in my opinion.

    I assume you are feeding your BSCore with 96kHz feed and it is not responding but responding at 48kHz?

    The BL5s should be good for 96kHz/24bit DSP so either you have a problem with the Core or the BL5. Again, as indicated above, play with the cables (which is fed first), L/R channel (on Powerlink) and coax1/2 input order. i.e. if 1 BL5 has a DSP problem at 96kHz but ok at 48kHz, you can test each separately. If you have this sample rate problem in both, you have a Core problem (or the signal going in the core is above 96/24). You want the Core to have a problem if you must have a problem.

    As I see it now…with the info presented, it sounds like the problem is the Core of the feed to the Core.

    Can you connect the Coax directly to your non-Core source but keep the Powerlink in the core. (This will give you Beo volume control but no source control). However, it will help diagnose where your problem is.

    #11316
    Millemissen
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    I am not aware that the BS Core has an optical/digital out connection.

    It is just for an incoming signal.

    MM

    #11317
    Mr10Percent
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    1 x Toslink digital sound out

    ..which can typically be converted to Coax. Hence the OP refers to optical out?

    #11319
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
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    Oh sorry – you’re right!

    My mistake 😲

    MM

    #11321
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
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    Maybe this helps…

    7BF1D56D-2C7F-4041-A3D8-2A404F6C3F2C

    MM

    #11327
    Mr10Percent
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    Oh sorry – you’re right! My mistake 😲 MM

    Had me sweating for a few moments. Thought I’d just walked into a bear trap without thinking.

    #11363
    Vinnie
    BRONZE Member
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    Hi all,

    The Core is being fed by AirPlay. Using Apple Music on my iPhone.

    In the Core I have a setting for optical output, which is now on 48Khz. When I set it to 96KhZ, my tweeters start to show weird distortion sound.
    So I have no other hardware source connected to the Core, only AirPlay.
    The image above represents how I have connected everything.

    From your answer Mr10Percent, I understand that using optical (digital output) to the BL5’s, I will get better quality than using good quality PowerLink cables?

    #11366
    Mr10Percent
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    From your answer Mr10Percent, I understand that using optical (digital output) to the BL5’s, I will get better quality than using good quality PowerLink cables?

    My experience of pumping Beosound 5 output to the BL5’s is that Coax to BL5 will give a superior sound over Powerlink alone. I would state with this setup ,the music output stayed in the digital domain right up to the BL5 DAC stage.

    Looking at your setup, I would look at the capabilities of iphone and airplay in terms of digital output. A lot of phones downgrade their outputs depending on the codec being used.

    If you were pumping sound from a purpose-built music server via the LAN, Im sure this would be as good as you can get from this equipment. However, I am uncertain what the Core does in terms of the “Line-in (analogue & digital combo)” and airplay or what Airplay and your phone is doing?  From your last post, it sounds like the BL5s are playing unfiltered noise with the music signal  from the 96 to 192kHz band. By selecting 48kHz, you are filtering the signal above 96kHz (aka 0.5 Nyquist).

    Now, thinking on my feet,  if you have a home network and a PC (better still, a NAS), I think you can make the PC (network search on) into a Music server and in the Beoapp select it as DNLA.

    It will then collect all the relevant music files (Core does not support WMA if you are still there??). This should allow you to play files up to 96kHz to the Core and you can decide if the Core DAC is OK with Powerlink alone or if you should keep it in the digital domain a little longer to export it via Toslink/coax direct to the BL5.

    This should give you a good indication if it is the Phone codecs, the core DAC or the BL5 internal fault.

    Im sure there are plenty of people on this site who can review what i have said and see if the logic is good?

    Rgds

     

     

    #11445
    DanteM
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    I had the same problem with my BL5 some years ago. First I thought that the problem was the 96kHz spdif signal, as the BL5 has a 88.2kHz limit written in the manual.

    One speaker was fine but the other sounded weird in the tweeter. I found out that when daising chaining the spdif signal, the output from one speaker to the second one is limited to 44.1kHz, even when the original signal in the first speaker is higher.

    However, looks like someone updated the eletronics to allow 96kHz input, but forgot to mention that in the manual.

     

    In the end, i found out that the distortion was from bad cable. I was using ordinary analog audio cable, which has good shielding up to 50 kHz signal. As I was feeding 96 kHz signal, lots of distortion came up. The second speaker didn’t show any distortion because the signal was reduced to 48kHz.

    So I changed my spdif cable to a digital one and then everything was great.

     

    Steve from Sounds Heavenly can help you with that.

    #11466
    Redmax
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    My BL5s are only connected to my Harmony using Powerlink – the Harmony doesn’t have a digital out does it?

    I mainly listen to music though my Moment, but as far as I know that doesn’t have a digital out.  I do have a BS9000 which I know does, but I rarely listen to it these days…

    Would I get a materially better sound quality using a Core and a digital connection rather than a Moment using Powerlink?

    Thanks, Jason

    #11470
    Mr10Percent
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    Delete

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Mr10Percent.
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