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FAQ: Hoontech / general topics

general questions about Hoontech

1. I want to buy a Hoontech product but I could not find a place to buy it. Does Hoontech also sell directly?

Hoontech is not selling any products directly to end-users. Most audio products with Hoontech brand are no longer offered since 2003 outside of Asia.

2. There is no distributor in my country. What can I do to buy one of your products?

Please try to contact a distributor in a country that is near the place you live. Note that officially most Hoontech branded products are not sold since 2003 outside of Asia. You can order some products via our partner HiTeC directly from Korea.

3. I am a dealer and want to resell your products? What should I do?

Hoontech branded products are no longer sold.

4. I am searching for ST Audio products like the DSP2000 C-Port but I don't find them on this website!?

All our professional products are now available with the new ST Audio brand & logo. Please visit the www.staudio.de or www.staudio.com websites that features all informations about the products for music production and editing. Hoontech no longer offers support for ST Audio products.

5. I have a defective product that should be repaired or replaced. What should I do?

Please contact the local distributor in the country where you bought the product to discuss the situation if needed. Otherwise contact the place where you bought the product directly. Do not send a product to Hoontech or any of the local distributors before you could discuss the issue with us or the distributor!

basic questions related to all products

1. What is S/PDIF?

S/PDIF stands for 'Sony/Philips Digital Interface'. It's a protocol that is used to transfer digital signals without quality loss between two digital devices such as DAT-, MD- or DCC-recorders and also soundcards. Originally it was invented to support 20bit resolution at fixed samplerates like 32, 44.1 or 48kHz. Most consumer soundcards are transfering only 16bit data while pro audio cards now often support 24bit resolution. To transfer the signal, either an electrical/coaxial cable with one RCA connector for stereo or an optical cable (usually Toslink) is used.

2. I heard that there are different connectors for optical connections (Toslink & Miniplug). What connectors are you using?

All our soundcards with optical S/PDIF interface use Toslink connectors. These connectors (invented by Toshiba ... that explains the name) are also called 'square connectors' in some situations. Miniplug connectors (sometimes called 'round') are usually used on portable devices. They look exactly like analog 1/8" connectors. Hoontech also offers adapters for Toslink & Miniplug connectors.

3. What are the maximum cable lengths for digital connections?

Optical Toslink connections with high quality cables can be relativly long - up to about 30m there are no real problems. It is not easy to get cables with that length however. For coaxial connections, it is important to use high quality 75ohm cables. They can be relativly long then as well. If you want to use normal audiocables for digital connections, you should be careful with the length - depending on the quality, cables with more than 1m could already cause trouble.

4. Can different type of cables change the signal quality (digital transfers)?

No. If the connection works (and you get a fine audible signal), the quality is always the same. If you use a cable that can't be used for digital signals, you will get loud noise or no signal at all.

5. I have problems with noise, clicks and pops with an optical digitial connection. What can I do?

Usually this can be caused by a cable that is not properly plugged into the Toslink connector. Please check the connection and make sure the tip of the optical cable is clean. If this does not help, please exchange the cable to a different type / brand.

6. What is AES/EBU?

AES/EBU is the professional version of the S/PDIF format and defined by the Audio Engineering Society / European Broadcast Union. While S/PDIF uses optical or two-wire coaxial cables, AES/EBU uses 3-wire balanced cables with XLR-connectors (like a studio microphone). This allows you to use very long cables if needed. AES/EBU cables should have 110ohm.

7. Why do some Hoontech products with AES/EBU interface use 1/8" connectors instead of XLR?

The main reason is the lack of space on the brackets of the soundcards. There is simply not enough room for XLR connectors on the backside of a PC. As many users do usually not use AES/EBU (instead of S/PDIF), we decided to offer the adapter cables optionally (CA1). Also: the used adapters are standard in my studio envrionments.

8. What is the pin-layout of XLR connectors?

XLR, 1/8" or 1/4", Signal
1, Sliver, GND
2, Tip, BAL+ (hot)
3, Ring , BAL- (cold)

9. What about AC-3? I heard that AC-3 is transfered via S/PDIF but how can multiple audio channels be transfered when S/PDIF only supports two?

AC-3 is an encoded signal (it is also called 'Dolby Digital' or '5.1') that is created with special ultra high end equipment (usually in professional audio/video/tv studios) and then saved in digital data files - for example on a DVD. The encoded signal can be transfered via S/PDIF but it is not a normal audio signal. This means that a special AC-3 decoder (often built-in in HiFi amplifiers) is needed to playback the separate channels. Software DVD players can also decode AC-3 streams on a PC.