Using normal balanced analogue microphone cable to interconnect AES/EBU digital audio signal i.e. in Genelec DSP systems

Analog and digital AES/EBU cables both have the same XLR connectors. However the cable constructions differ:

Cable specified for AES/EBU has the characteristic impedance of 110 ohms within the frequency range needed for carrying the AES/EBU digital waveforms - frequency range typically starts from about 0.5 MHz and extends to about 30 Mhz. These are not absolute figures but to give you an idea of the frequency range where the AES/EBU digital audio signal exists. This is very different from the standard analog signal frequency range. The analog audio frequency range is typically less than 100 kHz. Different materials and different construction are needed for the two cable types even if both in principle contain a twisted pair of wires.

If you use a standard microphone cable to carry AES/EBU digital signal, you may experience unexpected problems such as quality problems in the received audio, or devices not receiving the signal properly. Problems typically gets worse with longer cable runs. Therefore it is recommended to avoid using a microphone cable and instead to use a high quality cable specified for the AES/EBU digital audio signal.