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
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
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
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.