I2S Cable from NPC to PWD/DD


What I2S cable are members using from their PWT or NPC into their PWD or the upcoming DSD?

I need to buy an I2S cable and have no clue - PS Audio? Other? Looking for recommendations.

I was lucky enough to get a PSA AC12 to go between my NPC and PWD. It sounds great, and I haven’t had anytime to spend comparing others.


For the DirectStream any reasonable quality cable is fine. I use a RadioShack cable for my development.

I use Paul’s best HDMI cable. As I am not a believer in cables I still bought a really good one. And his cables do get great reviews .


Are an HDMI and I2S cable the same thing?!

Yes in this case. The cable just is the method of data transport ps audio has picked. It does need to have to meet certain specifications though. Another method used is data wire cat 6 or 7.


PS Audio products use the standard commonly available HDMI cable to connect the entirely unrelated I2S signal into the DAC. Ut is just an alternate use of commonly available cables and connectors.


And Al beat me to an answer by a few seconds. Both are correct, just stated a bit differently.


So I can just get an HDMI cable to connect the NPC to the new Direct Stream or my current PWD MKII?

Exactly. However, with the PWD, as with almost every other DAC available cable quality counts. I will leave it to others to make specific recommendations.

Mind you, if you are planning on getting a DirectStream DAC it is reported to be very insensitive to cables, or even which input is used. You might save the money from a high end cable purchase and put it toward the DAC purchase. A number of us hope to verify this starting some time late April.


In order to feed the DirectStream DSD data from a SACD player, I wonder if some custom cable builder could construct a HDMI cable that conforms to the standard HDMI pin out pattern on one end, and the proprietary PS Audio I2S pin pattern on the other end. If the wires can cross over to the correct pin out to make the signals compatible, theoretically, could a DSD output from the HDMI DSD output be fed into the DirectStream? I understand that both the Sony SCD-5400ES SACD player and various Oppo universal players have HDMI outputs which pass DSD. Any thoughts? Or should we all be quiet about this before Sony’s lawyers get involved?

Unfortunately, this will not work. It is not a crossover cable issue.

DSD is not sent in the clear from SACD players and is encrypted. The DirectStream does not have the capability to decode the encryption (this requires expensive licensing from Sony).

Additionally, PS Audio’s I2S over HDMI is a different protocol.

It is my understanding the Sony SCD XA-5400 utilizes a Sony technology called HATS, which is turned on, on the 5400 HDMI output at all times. The receiver must also be equipped with HATS technology and on the receiver the HATS switch must be toggled to the on position, unlike the SACD player. The last HATS equipped receiver is now long discontinued and at this point in time, like Sony always does, they have abandoned HATS, so the ultra nice multi-channel HDMI output on the 5400 can’t be used, it’s completely useless, all that player can be used for is stereo, no multi-channel as there were no analog outputs on that model, as there were on the older Sony XA900ES, and I know this because I have both models, and I really jabbed at Sony for abandoning another technology (HATS) rendering that HDMI output worthless, just as they abandoned SACD (DSD). The Sony engineer that I took a jab at had the nerve to refer me to an old, out of date “expensive” receiver that had the HATS technology to use with my SCD XA-5400 SACD player, and obviously, I’m not interested in any Sony receivers, period!