TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

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Tau
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TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by Tau » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:22 pm

Hi! Does anyone have any experience with the TC BMC-2 D/A, and how it compares to the XITE's own DACs?

I am thinking of getting a used one to use as a master volume controller for my XITE-1 setup, but, since it has no analogue inputs, I'd need to use the SPDIF. Would this be noticeably different? Would it have any impact on the performance of the XITE? I like the sound of the XITE, but I need a hardware volume knob and VU meters.

The economically sensible alternative is to just use a small analogue mixer, but it seems silly to be carrying the XITE around and having it go through a behringer or so.

The TC isn't small but since it has a big VU meter and Volume knob, it can sit to one side on the table, and looks solid without being too heavy. I wouldn't mind an analogue alternative, but is there any small mixer than can be trusted? I have a mackie 1202 already, it's OK, and would do, but too big and heavy for just this function. Everything I see with 2/4 channels just seems sketchy, or ends up being more expensive than the TC.

I guess I'm wondering if it's better to run the XITE's analogue outs through a small analogue mixer, or use the SPDIF with the TC?

Appreciate your input, thanks!

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by garyb » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:05 pm

there are other possibilities as well.
there are several devices with a knob for this very purpose.

i don't see how the TC unit would be bad, per se. it's certainly not higher quality than the XITE's outputs, but i wouldn't expect it to be significantly worse. you might even prefer it's "sound", it's hard to account for subjective experiences.

the fact that the TC doesn't have balanced i/o(AES/EBU), i wouldn't expect it to be anything but a consumer product. that is not necessarily a bad thing.

obvious alternative:
http://mackie.com/products/big-knob

THIS one i'd seriously consider:
http://www.radialeng.com/mc3.php

if you had a wonderful room and wanted to get stupid about it:
http://www.gracedesign.com/products/m905/m905.htm

not my style, but very nice:
https://spl.info/en/products/monitor-co ... rview.html

another that is not my style, but maybe you'd like it:
https://www.presonus.com/products/Monitor-Station-V2

the TC certainly won't hurt the XITE. it'd probably do the trick. the AES/EBU signal would be very hot, so you might need an AES/EBU to SP/DIF adapter however. even the HOSA adapter would do the trick:
http://hosatech.com/product/cdl-313/

you have a lot of options. the cheapest would be to just make a box with a high quality stereo pot and a few connectors(if you can solder).

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by Tau » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:36 am

Thanks, Gary. I forgot to mention, I only need this for live performances, at home i'm sorted. Not many of those alternatives have a vu meter, though

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by RA » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:26 am

I myself use pulsar and scope connected digitally to a benchmark DAC1. It is not a dedicated monitor controller...but it is a real HQ mastering converter with fixed and variable outputs...and 2 headphone outputs. Great low end. Beautifull non harsch highs. Never a sync problem. Low jitter etc. Its a version without usb which is also on the market. Vu and metering i have in scope. Real top notch device. Never lets me down.

Balanced and nonbalanced outputs. Also optical in.
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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by garyb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:28 am

for live?

not as critical...

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by RA » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:15 am

True Gary...not as critical...but quality pays itself back(noise, expected lifespan, enjoying sound), and since livesets always have harsch highs...just sayin. The headphone outs have a use there also. And its a half 19''unit. Just tipping it as a HQ dac with volume option, which you will use at home the minute you hear it. It is actually not that expensive and will give joy for a long time.
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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by garyb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:41 am

sounds ok to me...

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by Tau » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:48 pm

That benchmark DAC looks nice, but way above my budget.

I could get the TC for about 200 euros, and that's already pushing my budget, but thought it might work better / be more convenient than a similarly priced analogue mixer or monitor controller.

I need a volume control for safety reasons, when I play live :) The master outputs come from the XITE, and I have a midi mixer to control volumes and such. But MIDI can do crazy things sometimes, that's why I wanted a reliable analogue volume control / kill switch at my disposal before the venue's PA. The Vu meter is for making sure the levels are healthy the least I have to look to the PC, the better. The headphones are just for convenience, I usually feed them off the XITE.

All things considered, I wish I could build one myself, a small device such as this (in fact a dedicated PFL/Headphone amplifier, with a parallel passive attenuator for the mains) would be wonderful for jamming, but there is no such thing that I know of.

edit: ah! Just realized I will need that AES/EBU to SPDIF Converter as well... really didn't want to add yet another box

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by DragonSF » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:17 pm

For AES/EBU to SPDIF a cable is sufficient (as long, as it's coax). https://www.thomann.de/gb/pro_snake_aes ... able_3.htm.
If you want to build yourself a Hi-End DAC: http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/digital/opus.aspx.

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by Tau » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:50 pm

Yes, a cable. Hosa seem to be hard to find in Europe, so I was looking into impedance converters. It does show up every now and then that, for short distances, all you need is a (properly wired) cable. I don't want to burn the equipment, though...

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by garyb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:52 pm

right.
the problem is level, not data.

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by RA » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:41 pm

It is really bad what i'm gonna write now...i've used regular xlr as aes ebu, and simple cinch as spdif....(1,5mtr)
And it worked.

I've made aes ebu with 110ohm with neutrik connectors, and 75 ohm coax....no big issues here. Hosa, sommer, procable...it's a wire ;-)
Just don't put it parallel to your powercables :D

Thomann: aesabu:
https://www.thomann.de/nl/cordial_cpd_2 ... 0wodArUPbA

SpDIf: (edit: checked the xite, indeed no spdif....aes ebu has higher output...check neutrik converter....should be relative simple voltage divider ;-)
https://www.thomann.de/nl/sommer_cable_ ... _107437_13

with this:
https://www.thomann.de/nl/pro_snake_hfa ... p_158069_4


It's in all languages, think they ship all over europe.

I think neutrik also has some converters plugs for digital, would ebay for that.
:wink:

http://www.neutrik.com/en/accessories/a ... nsformers/
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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by garyb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:11 pm

yes, it works. the data is exactly the same format.

it's just that AES/EBU is a +4 signal and SP/DIF is -20.

as long as the system recognizes the data, it's fine, but you really can burn out an SP/DIF connection with an AES/EBU signal. it's not a law that you need a converter, it's just good sense.

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by Tau » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:22 pm

Thanks for the info. Gary is right, I guess it could happen.

I could find the converters on ebay, so if I can score the TC, it seems like a sensible solution to the AES/EBU-SPDIF problem. The only thing I don't like about the TC is that it can't do much else. if it had an analogue input, it would be a lot more useful for the money.

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by Tau » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:35 pm

Just noticed this on the BMC-1 manual:

" BMC-2 allows you to switch between three digital input sources – S/PDIF/AES3, TOS and ADAT "

Is AES3 the same as AES/EBU? Could it somehow recognize the signal leve and adjust its level? The connector is cinch..

EDIT: Reading further: "When you are feeding an AES3 signal to the SPDIF/AES3 input of the BMC-2, or when you are feeding another device’s AES3 input from the SPDIF/AES3 output of the BMC-2, we recommend placing a small circuit between the units to ensure optimal cable length and signal integrity. "

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by garyb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:02 pm

AES3 is just the new name for AES/EBU. it looks like the unit recognizes the AES format, but that they still recommend using a pad and changing impedance.

here's some pretty definitive info:
http://www.rane.com/note149.html

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by RA » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:57 am

Great Gary :D

I wanted to share the same page, great info!
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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by Tau » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:19 am

Alright, thanks for the info!

As an update, I gave up on the TC idea for now, it could be great, but money's too tight. I got me a small Yamaha mixer at a nice price, sound is OK, and much smaller than my mackie. That will have to do until I get gigs that pay better :)

Again, thanks for all your input!

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Re: TC Electronic BMC-1 DAC vs. XITE-1 Analogue Out

Post by garyb » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:46 am

i think that will be great for your purposes!

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