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Pioneer DJM 900NXS digital output to sonos beam?

  • 17 September 2021
  • 14 replies
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Alright, please bear with me. I know the beam is not designed to be compatible with these kinds of devices. But…. if we can be theoretical at least, what does it take to convert the digital output from the pioneer djm 900nxs mixer to a signal that the sonos beam can play?

I have seen some people converting RCA to digital hdmi audio, but I just bought such a converter, and the beam would not recognize it. I then noticed that the pioneer mixer has a digital output, same physical plug/socket as a single RCA / phono connection, but should be digital, however I don’t know more about it than that. Link to the manual is here: http://docs.pioneerdj.com/Manuals/DJM_900NXS_DRB1542B_manual/?_ga=2.122783947.1149498362.1631907776-1773056362.1629119165
or the website: https://www.pioneerdj.com/en/support/documents/archive/djm-900nxs/
The digital output is sparingly mentioned on page 8.

I don’t understand what the digital audio signal is, or is called, and I haven’t been able to find any converter that takes this plug and turns it into hdmi. furthermore, I don’t know if the beam would recognize it as a TV (I believe, the beam won’t talk with anything else that tvs or tv impostors).

I see a few options here, but can’t make the right connection. The beam can take audio from HDMI (but needs to look like a tv or something?) or it can take a optical signal from the adapter that came with the device.

The djm, has several output sources, RCA and RXL (analogue) or this digital thingy… Any ideas on which converter that should work with either of the output sources of the djm, and which type of input I should use on the beam (hdmi/optical) ?

Thanks in advance!

ps. I have seen few similar questions, which are all shot down very quickly with “No we don’t recommend doing this, it is not designed to do this” …. etc. look, I know… But I would still like to try.

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Best answer by rpuls 21 September 2021, 12:43

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Use the adapter for optical that came with the Beam, then get a coax to optical converter.  Connect the coax to the coax digital out on the Pioneer and connect the optical to the optical adapter on the Beam.

 

 

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Use the adapter for optical that came with the Beam, then get a coax to optical converter.  Connect the coax to the coax digital out on the Pioneer and connect the optical to the optical adapter on the Beam.

 

 

Hey. thanks for engaging!
But is the digital out on the pioneer really coax ? As I remember coax, it is this super thin inner wire, and the other connection is threated. But the digital output source on the pioneer is the same physical plug as a phono (thick inner part, no threating on the outer). Could you maybe link to a converter that would do this, and a cable that would go between the pioneer and the converter? :) 

(if linking is allowed in this comm. )

Yes, Digital Coax looks exactly like standard RCA connectors, for all practical purposes.  But there are several “standards” out there for digital output, too, not just RCA. But digital does remain digital, no matter what the connector. 

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Alright, alright! :) sounds like we are heading in the right direction here. And thanks for the clarification about standards vs. connectors! I really did not know that.

Tomorrow I will try to get one of these converters and see if it works.

Probably I’m in the same boat as jgatie, not owning one, I’m reticent to link to one that you would take as an endorsement, but they are relatively inexpensive devices, of which there should be many on Amazon, if that’s your preference, or a local store might carry some. 

As to the cable, pretty much any digital cable would be fine, too. Don’t spend money on anything like Monster Cable stuff, they’re great with marketing, but work the same as the “cheap” stuff. It’s digital, either the signal is getting through, or it isn’t.  There isn’t a “10% less distortion” kind of nonsense that can be applied. 

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Great. thanks for the advice! I found a local music shop that sells 2nd hand cables, so got a nice thick digital RCA cable for 2,5€. I also found a converter at an electronics shop, it has both digital and optical input, and also both digital and optical output. 

I have plugged the digital cable in the pionner’s “digital master output” then into the digital input on the converter (which is plugged into power and LED lights up). I then plug the sonos beam optical adapter into the digital output on the converter, and finally put the hdmi cable between the beam and the adapter.

I then go to the sonos app → system → beam → tv setup ….. No ARC… use adapter… waiting waiting. It finds the signal, I click “yes TV speakers are disabled” , I click skip setup remote..

The app now says sonos beam is playing TV. the output the the pioneer is running on high volume, and the sonos bea is at mid volume, but I get no sound for some reason. 

Is there a TV in this setup, or only a mixer with audio? If there is a TV, how is it connected to the mixer?

The optical cable and Beam require either stereo or Dolby Digital, and not anything ‘higher/different’. If this mixer is trying to send Dolby Digital Plus, or DTS of any type, nothing will play.

I’m not sure I’m understanding what you’re saying about the adapter, either. The optical cable from your converter should be attached to the adapter. The adapter should be plugged in to the Beam’s HDMI port. For some reason, I’m getting the impression you’ve added an extra cable between the Beam and the adapter, which could possibly introduce enough power drain to keep the adapter from being able to do its work. The adapter should be plugged in to the Beam directly. If you need additional distance, increase the length of the optical cable, at least to a point….although for testing / setup purposes, I’d be doing all this as closely as possible, and once it’s working, then change cable lengths and moving things around. Reduce the number of variables in your test setup, then reintroduce them one at a time after completing each phase, so that you’re able to determine which variable is failing. 

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Well, yes there is a HDMI cable between the adapter and the beam, because both are female HDMI, so there is a normal male-male HDMI cable between. I tried using both an unoriginal HDMI cable, but then also the included sonos HDMI cable. but both gives the same result.

Regarding the signal form the mixer, I have no idea what signal it is, I couldn’t find information about that in the manual. There is also no TV involved in this setup, the initial signal comes from a pioneer music player, which plays mp3 files, and sends the audio via phono line-in. the mixer then outputs “digital master” whatever that means…. 

I did try taking the digital master our, and putting it back into the mixers digital channel 1 input, and I could tell from the led dB indicator, that indeed something is being transmitted.

I feel like I am close, but missing one small detail here.

I’d agree, it feels like you’re close….but give how unorthodox this setup is, I’m at somewhat of a loss as to what the potential issue is. I’d think the digital signal from the system should be standard stereo, but I’ve got no way to confirm that. If, for instance, it is actually outputting DTS for some reason, it will fail when it gets to the Sonos, which can’t interpret that. But the manual provided at that web link isn’t clear. 

Not sure I can provide any further assistance, sorry. 
 

 

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Well, thanks anyway! :) I’ll head over to the pioneer community and ask about the digital output and see if I can get some more information.

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What does the Sonos app say the audio format is in? Could be that the Pioneer (or the source device that is generating the audio) is choosing an unsupported codec.

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How can I check this? The beam in the app just shows “TV” but has no sound. But maybe you are referring to a more detailed description ? 

Unfortunately I have still not been able to find out what codes/signal/standard the pioneer outputs. The player is a CDJ 900NXS, it plays mp3 files and outputs a RCA phono (red/white) the the mixers ch 1, 2, 3 or 4 line-in.

While writing, this I realize that the player also has digital output capability. Tomorrow i will try and see if the setup works when only using digital signal all the way.

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Alright, so I tried only using digital output all the way, so the sound is never converted to analogue, but still no sounds. I even tried a different converter, both gives the same result, the beam recognizes it immediately but never plays any sound..

Someone at the pioneer forum responded and told me that the digital signal is “Linear PCM, 16bit/48kHz or 96kHz”, so the question is, does the sonos beam support that signal?

 

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Solved:
After playing around with the digital output settings on the mixer all of a suddenly I got sound!
In, case anyone else ever want to copy this setup, here is what I did:

  1. Power off the mixer
  2. Hold down utility ON/OFF button (top right corner)
  3. Now turn on the mixer, and keep holding down the utility ON/OFF
  4. After few seconds mixer is in “club settings” mode, and you can release the utility button
  5. Use the < & > BEAT buttons to navigate to DOUT FS (Digital output sampling rate)
  6. Press the TAP button to select menu item.
  7. Use the < & > BEAT buttons to select 48kHz

In case this is not enough, I also set DOUT LV to -5dB, but I don’t think that should be necessary.

The converter I ended up using is a small black metal square with the text:


Toslink ←  → Coaxial

Digital audio converter

I bought it on amazon for about 7€

 

I assume that the sonos beam was not compatible with the 96kHz that the mixer outputs by default.

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