No sound from via HDMI/I2S from Oppo 203 to Directstream

I’ve got a puzzling HDMI/I2S audio problem to figure out. I had my Oppo 203’s power supply replaced with a modified one by Ric Schultz of EVS ( He’s got a lot of experience with 205’s and some 203’s and is knowledgeable and has a great reputation among audiophiles. Before I sent the 203 to him, I had been using two methods of feeding audio from the 203 to a DirectStream: coax cable, and through an external HDMI/I2S conversion card some of us got off eBay (discussed in “Getting Oppo DSD Output to the Direct Stream Dac” thread). Both worked fine. Before sending the unit, I also tested Oppomod’s internal HDMI/I2S conversion card, which has its own HDMI port, and it worked ok. Today I got the Oppo back and while the coax connection delivers sound, neither of the HDMI/I2S methods does (I disconnected the internal card’s ribbon cable to check the Oppo’s HDMI audio out port via the external box). Occasionally, I get momentary static with the external box method, but that’s it. The HDMI video output (Main) to the TV is good; i.e., there’s a picture). Ric says he didn’t touch the HDMI set up, except to physically mount the Oppomod card and connect a ribbon cable to it. Just to check, I reinstalled the latest firmware (June 2018 version) and reset the factory defaults, but neither of those solved it. I’ve also tried other HDMI cables.

So I have two questions:

  • Any idea what might be going on?

  • How do I test the Oppo’s HDMI Audio out port independent of the dac?

My set up is as follows:

  • cable box to Oppo HDMI In
  • Oppo Audio via Coax and HDMI/I2S to DirectStream
  • Oppo Video out (Main) to HDTV
  • DS to powered speakers


Hey Gene, did you check the settings in the OPPO menus? When you do the factory reset they all go back to factory. I assume you did, but thought I would ask!

Other than the HDMI Audio setting, which I turned on, is there any setting you think would affect this? Yes, I reestablished all the settings.

The three HDMI ports are adjacent to each other on the same board, so it seems incongruous why the one in the middle would stop working. Ric took out the Toslink connector, but said he didn’t touch the rest of the board.

Follow up: I did a test with the TV speakers to determine that the HDMI Audio port is working ok. Then somehow I got the external HDMI to I2S card putting out sound, as it should, but the internal Oppomod card isn’t. Since that card’s settings are correct and the ribbon cable seems well seated, there would seem to be only two possibilities: either the ribbon cable’s source is not providing signal and/or power to the Oppomod card as it should, or the card itself is defective. When I first hooked it up a couple of weeks ago before sending the 203 off for the mod, the card worked, then it didn’t for about 30 minutes, then it did again. I assumed at the time that it was the result of turning various pieces of hardware off and on a few times as I tested, but maybe it’s really the card.

Did you set the HDMI audio format to LPCM?

Yes I did. There’s also a third possibility I need to check for: HDMI cable version. When the 203 came out, I had a lot of inconsistency problems apparently because my cables were version 1.3 or 1.4, while Oppo specs called for 2.0. Or at least that’s what the honchos on the official 203 forum at AVS forums said. Eventually, I think an Oppo firmware update fixed it, or at least cables that wouldn’t work before became ok. I use the PS Audio I2S-12 and I2S, and I think the first is 1.3, so just maybe I’m having the same problem again. TBD.

Did the person who installed it use the original ribbon cable, or did he use a longer replacement cable?

If the original cable was used, it is possible that it was damaged. if a replacement cable was used, it is possible that it could be too long for reliable transmission.

You can test if the ribbon cable is the problem by plugging-in the stock DAC card, and see if it still works properly. If it does, then the cable is fine. If not, then the cable might not be OK, or your Oppo board might have been damaged.

Original cable. I hooked that cable to the main board (left back looking from the front), but the dac doesn’t have RCA inputs. Coax works, but it’s connected to the other board (right back), so I’m not sure that’s the test you’re suggesting (HDMI Audio Out port is empty, as is HDMI Audio off in settings).

Looking at this a different way, as I understand it if the Oppomod board is connected, then the Oppo’s HDMI Audio Out port shouldn’t work (and vice versa). True? I pose this because when the Oppomod board is connected, I’m still getting Oppo’s HDMI audio out.

I switched ribbon and HDMI cables and still no sound out of the board.

Update: With the new longer Oppomod supplied ribbon cable and board sitting loose, I finally got it to work one time. Then I mounted the board in the case and got no sound. Took it out again and still no sound. Not sure what to do except ask for another tested board to establish the problem. What do you think?

Jaehong is sending a replacement or two

The HDMI outputs are unaffected by this board. The test which I asked you to try is to remove that board, and plug-back-in the stock DAC card (since I’m assuming that you did not use the pass-through option on the Oppomod board).

The test is whether you get analog out of that card. If you do get audio, then the Oppomod board is probably at fault. If you don’t, then your Oppo requires repairs, and a new Oppomod board will not fix anything.

The power supply board Ric created took the analog board out of the circuit (with my approval, of course). Short of reinstalling the stock ps board, the test you propose is impossible. Now, if the replacement I2S boards coming from Oppomod don’t work, then I think we’ll take a look at inserting the old ps board and do that test.

Something else that’s come up in all this is that the previous mod that I paid good bucks for late last year in fact wasn’t done. I mean, to use Ric’s words, NADA; the boards were 100% stock, not a thing touched. He was hoping to see and hear the mod, maybe even steal a few ideas, but no luck. I verified it with Oppo. For the moment, I’m not going to name names until I get a chance to confront them and demand my money back.

Replied Re: previous mods done (or not as the case may be)

My Oppomod board has run flawlessly, well…since I got the internal jumper setting correct :slight_smile:

Hi gazjam,
I could use your help / advise, I am in the process of purchasing a directstream and an oppomod I2S card, in the other thread you mentioned you never tried it with a SACD but with a DSD file, channels did not seem to be inverted, while another user said they were indeed inverted while listening to SACD. Could confirm the channels are indeed ok while listening to an SACD? Moreover I saw you upgraded the oppo power supply, is that a requirement for the card?
Last but not least, were you able to stream music using uPNP / DLNA via the oppo into the directstream?
Thank you in advance

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The channels are indeed reversed with DSD (only) on the Oppomod card. But I really wouldn’t worry about that too much. You’ll never even notice this unless you A/B against a non-reversed version of a given recording. And rumor has it that Ted might have added a fix in for this inside of the next release of the DS firmware which could come out any day now.

Also the Oppomod card is the best sounding interface (by a small margin) that I have heard in-between my Oppo 103 and my DS to date.

And no special power supply is required for this board to function. And FWIW: I just spent the last 4 hours listening to a few different Audio-only BluRay disks with this exact combination in 24/96 and 24/192 and the sound has never been better on my system.

If one listens to classical music you will know instantly the channels are reversed.

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Strange that both the eBay and Oppomod cards do it – or is it the dac?

For pure DSD over I2S (i.e. not using DoP) we picked the same pins as the ESS chip used for DSD left and DSD right in the hope that everyone would be compatible. Still not all kits use the same pins for DSD left and DSD right - a few have a configurable option.

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Hello Ted, I Am not sure to what point the DS is software configurable, is it to the point to be able to implement a “reverse channels” function, to be associated with a macro command to a button on the remote?
PS. maybe it is not under your domain / control, but your usability guy (or girl, I believe there is a “she” in charge of it) ever thought of developing android / iphone app to be used as a remote for your products?

A phone app is probably impractical both due to the fact that a bridgeless DS has no networking capabilities, as well as due to the cost, and the lack of any significant upsides to going to all of that additional effort. If PS audio is going to do a phone app, I would think that it would probably be for their forthcoming streamer appliance.

Not just classical, but anything you’re familiar with.