I2S vs Coax

I put back the Audio Art Statement Digital RCA and it’s a better sounding cable regardless coax vs HDMI!


If coax sounds similar to I2S as it does in my case with the Audio Art Statement RCA sounding better than the WWPS7 why all the fuss with the Matrix x ?

As nice as both cables I am using sound I like the sound of the WWPS7 the best after careful listening to both cables. They both sound good but the better is the WWPS7.

The WWPS7 is neither a very bright or very dull cable. It is a very high resolution cable. Whatever is in the signal, the WW will bring it to the forth front. The only other cable I find more revealing is the Revelation Audio HDMI cable. It is slightly more bright than the WW, but still within the natural range, but has even more resolution. The Matrix 2 will bring even more performance to your system, but you will need a good USB source. It converts the USB to I2s to your DAC.
But then, you don’t need a good USB source, just get the upcoming Octave server from PS Audio and go directly to the DS with I2s.

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Plus one on all that.
Sigma USB cable is worth the money, sadly.

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Has anyone directly compared the Wireworld Silver Sphere HDMI against the Silver Starlight 7 HDMI?

Many Years ago Nordost Cables came ahead with their 2. Generation of High End Cables. Over the last Years it has been getting calmer. But the character of version 2 Nordost Cables was always High Resolution, Power and Naturalness. I just tried their Valhalla 2 4k HDMI connection. Realy, realy impressive. During my Checks with DMP and DSD the WWPS7 was more lean, missing a little body and colour, compared with the Nordost Valhalla 2. Has anyone of you in the PS Audio Forum made any experience with Nordost HDMI Cables in an I2S Setup?

A better comparison would be between the Revelation Audio HDMI and the Valhalla 2 HDMI although there is a huge difference in price. The Valhalla is $3000 a meter. Lesser resolution usually mean leaner and duller sound because information is curtailed. The HDMI is just one link, but many find it plenty full and colorful sounding. I have not tried the Valhalla HDMI cables, but I did tried the Valhalla 1 interconnects and speaker cables before in my system. They are highly detailed and very natural sounding. I believe the Valhalla 2 is even better. They are quite costly though. For those that can afford it, try it out. Better yet, try the Odin 2’s if you want the ultimate.


Let’s hope people are still interested in this topic.

I’m using I2S in my network, with a Raspberry Pi3B, running Picoreplayer. The Raspberry inputs the Ethernet cable, for now coming from my PC, and outputs USB to the DAC, which internally converts USB to I2S.

Considering the position of the equipment (computer on one room and Raspberry/DAC on another room) it’s impossible to compare coaxial to I2S interface. But I just read a supposedly “comparison” between coaxial made here:

In his conclusion, the author disregards Paul McGowan, accusing him of spreading misinformation about I²S sounding better.

The problem of the tests from that site is that they are only and exclusively technical, showing numbers and graphics. They NEVER listen to anything, or make listening comparisons. Once again the “objective” versus “subjective” discussion, that never seems to end.

I’m not sure if Stereophile magazines still make those complete tests they did in the past, which used to be free on the web, available complete after some time. The included all kind if measurements and subjective comments on how equipment did sound. Something the people from Audiosciencereview refuse to perform.

I had a long, worthless discussion with them about this, with the good intention to improve what they did.

I wonder if Paul McGowan bothered to answer or comment those tests they did, and particularly talk about listening to coaxial and I2S comparisons.

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Highly doubt he cares. Paul is a good-hearted ol’ fashioned audiophile who hits the mark where it counts “music.” Look at literally everything in their product line, the purpose is to provide an extremely cost-effective and high bang-4-buck ratio on all of their products (including Octave records).

I have never met anyone who gave them a try and was disappointed. People move on to other components or prefer a different sound but I haven’t heard anyone complain otherwise.

Everything Ive read at Audio Science Review is extraordinarily unhelpful. It reminds me of the lunch table in elementary school where all the ‘cool kids’ sat (when really they were just unhappy and neglected at home). They provide tons of measurements and say those are the end all be all of anyones thought processes that ever existed since the big bang, and therefore couldn’t possibly make an audible difference. Dunning-Kruger Effect at its best.

Excuse the small rant :slight_smile:


Which DAC do you have?

Normally we don’t consider the internal USB-to-I2S facility of a given DAC to be “using I2S”. Pretty much every DAC converts the various inputs internally to I2S as the kind of lingua franca that the actual audio processing and conversion circuitry will understand. Interestingly, the DirectStream DAC does not convert its Toslink, coaxial SPDIF or XLR AES-EBU inputs to I2S – those are maintained as bi-phase-mark-encoded signals direct into the FPGA.

It has been discussed quite a few times (possibly even in this thread, I haven’t looked back) that the main benefit of I2S over HDMI as an interconnect between transport and DAC is that the HDMI cable is very good at rejecting electrical noise from the environment. Not having that noise ride along the cable into the DAC is an easy explanation as for why connecting a system that way could sound better than using, say, SPDIF. USB is a particularly challenging alternative because of the way the communication signalling is generated.

As usual, I think ASR is missing the mark by drawing invalid conclusions from the measurements taken. The mindset over there is excessively simplistic, an over-correction from the marketing hype and fluff they seek to counter. Reality is somewhere in between, in most cases.


A year and a half later I put on the Audio Art Statement digital cable while waiting for my new Audioquest Dragon 48 HDMI cable and to my pleasant surprise the Statement digital cable is incredible! I hope my new Audioquest Dragon HDMI sounds at least as good as the Statement digital which by far way out performs the Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 HDMI cable. I am extremely pleased that I kept the Statement digital. Only now is it burning in.

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Possibly a silly question, but does anyone know of a good devise to convert I2S to USB for use of DSMP to a Non PSA Dac?

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Or, lacks sufficient context (as well as adequate reporting of how components/kit sound in a system as compared to other similar components/kit that may measure”better”).

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Even if somebody makes such a thing, you would be unwise to buy it. It’s tricky to explain why though.
In a nutshell, the value of the DSMP is in how close to perfect it can create that I2S signal and any conversion to USB is going to make the transport’s quality irrelevant. You might as well use the cheapest computer DVD-ROM drive you can lay your hands on because you’ll get essentially the same result.

Ok, so would I be better off with the New PSA Perfectwave transport and utilize the DSD (DOP ) coax or BNC connections to DAC?

What’s stopping you from using the SPDIF (coaxial) or AES/EBU (XLR) outputs on the back of the DSMP? Why do you think you need a different transport?

DSMP only outputs DSD from I2S ( No DOP in that unit )

If you’re trying to play SACDs with an external DAC then you’re running into the copyright protection issue. PS Audio would be sued by Sony if they produced a device which could read an SACD and send the DSD bitstream out to a DAC that doesn’t also implement digital copy protection. That’s why the PS Audio solution is for their SACD player with their DAC and they use the I2S/HDMI connection to perform some kind of encryption handshake. You won’t get DSD from SACD out of a PS Audio transport to any non-PS-Audio DAC, over any interface.

I2S 1 I2S output for PCM and DSD (raw)
Coax 1 output for PCM and DoP
BNC 2 outputs for PCM and DoP
Use in tandem for double-rate DoP

XLR Balanced 2 outputs for PCM and DoP
Use in tandem for double-rate DoP

From PSA transport site page.