I2S cable advice

What cable do you use for the Direct Stream DAC I2S input?

I am connecting my CD transport (Jay’s Audio).

I understand that most HDMI high-end (=expensive) cables are optimized for video, so not sure what to look for …

Lots of us here use the Revelation Audio Labs I2S/HDMI cable. I run one between my Jay’s Audio CDT2 Mk2 * PS DS Dac and then a second one between the aftermarket I2S output card installed in my Oppomods UDP203 & the same DS Dac. The RAL cable sounds great but dealing with the manufacturer of the cable can be painful…

I use the same cable I have always used since I got a PWT years ago, the PS Audio AC-12. I have compared it to many other not crazily expensive cables and it always wins out. I can’t afford Platinums and Dragons etc. It’s been the link between PWT, DMP and now PST and PS Audio DACs.

My advice is whatever you can afford in the AudioQuest 48 HDMI line. This new line are all designed for audio first.

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Length is a big cost factor. I paid just under $600 for my 1m RAL. $150 for Audioquest Vodka and a lot more for the Dragon 48 .75m sometimes the best option is to find one used otherwise @waymanchen11 advice is very good! Let me know if you are leaning toward AQ I can send you a contact from an Authorized dealer and he will get you the best price!

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I run a Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 HDMI between my Auralic streamer and DAC with great results. The WWPS7 is discontinued but sometimes can be found on the used market. Wireworld’s current HDMI lineup looks interesting, as well.

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I’m using the WWPS 8 USB and it is a great cable!

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AQ Firebird48 HDMI is a killer, it has the same sonic signature as their top dog, Dragon. But it is quite a bit cheaper than Dragon (still not cheap!). But for the performance/$ it is one of the best, I think.

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I still have an eye out for the Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 HDMI to partner with my ucoming PST and DSD DAC. Currently using WW PS7 USB with my Innuos set-up and happy with it. Would like to stay in the family. I’m sure there is better, and there always will be but at the moment WWPS7 makes sense. Kicked around RAL for a nanosecond, and realized I don’t need the drama so WW it a logical move.

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That is logical but maybe there will be a used RAL around as the cognoscenti moves up to the Dragon. I found the RAL a step up from the WWPL7.

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Ah, good thought. My first thought is the WWPS7, but you make a strong case for alternative path to an RAL. In your opinion how is the construction of the RAL? The reason I ask as from forum comments I got the impression it was a mixed bag and the connection fit was slightly loose in the PS Audio HDMI receptacles. Either way thanks for the thought.

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The RAL is not a small step up, it’s a big step up in SQ to the WWPS7 just like the Dragon is a big step up from the RAL. The connector on the RAL is pretty much home made, but if you dress the cable correctly since the cable is very stiff and not pull it in and out too much, it should be an adequate connection. If you don’t listen to the Dragon, you would feel the RAL is as good as it comes and be very happy with it. More and more are moving to the Dragon, so there should be a few used RAL’s showing up soon.

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Pretty much my concern, home made, not completely ruled out by any means, but not likely for a direct purchase from RAL. Some one moving up, and off loading theirs certainly, same with the WWPS7. It will get me by until the HDMI that beats the AQ Dragon is released. :wink:

Don’t expect something that comes along better than the Dragon will be anywhere near what the Dragon cost now. I suspect it will cost 2 or 3 times more. New top end cables prices always gets more and more outrageous. The RAL is the best bargain I know of.

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We shall see, I deal with market realities. Speculation not so much. My point was in a competitive market there will always be an enhanced or improved product. In terms of value, I believe Iconoclast offers absolute value in many of their cables. It comes down to system synergy, and price/performance ratio. Glad so many here found AQ cables they enjoy and fit their system performance objectives. Even discounted at 35% off they are still pricey.

I ordered a DH Labs HDMI at JamesH’s suggestion. Fit my budget very well.

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I had the DH Labs and liked it a lot and it was certainly best in its price class. There is always better stuff up the food chain. Just sit back and enjoy what it does.

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I agree with @lonson about the old PS Audio AC12 or AC10 hdmi cables. They sound great, are well built and if you can find either one, are great value for money.

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I have the AQ Firebird48 HDMI on order for my incoming PST and Holo Spring 3 KTE DAC.

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I think there is a fair amount of system dependency and personal experience (e.g., different components and individual hearing frequencies) when it comes to comparing HDMI cables at the TOTL of brands such as AQ, RAL and WW. Blanket statements such as “the AQ beats the RAL” and the “RAL beats the WWPS7” should be qualified along the lines of “in my system” and/or “in my experience.”

I do not know, obviously, but I suspect that if we could get 30 forum members together and do a double-blind test of the AQ, RAL and WW HDMI cables using, say, a PST and a DSD Sr., there would be first-, second- and third-place votes for each of the three cables.

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