Nuwave DSD's HDMI I2S input and new Oppo universal Transport BDT-101CI

Dear folks at PS Audio and fellow forumers,

I have been enjoying my Nuwave DSD for a while, mainly with old but good CD players (notably a Musical Fidelity X-Ray, first issue, and a Copland CDA-288 with Teac VRDS transport) playing Red Book CDs. The sheer musicality is addictive, as Positive Feedback noticed. I didn’t really miss HD audio, but then I saw this new universal transport by Oppo:

So, I started wondering how could it sound connected via its second HDMI output (apparently you need the two-HDMI output version, the first HDMI output is for video) to my Nuwave DSD. My aim would be to assemble a low-cost universal transport+dac system, as opposite to “sky’s the limit priced” MSB systems (they are precise but also a little cold, so I wouldn’t really buy one, even if I had the money).

I have a lot of CDs, then a few SACD and a Blu Ray by 2L (the marvelous La Voie Triomphale), besides some DSD image files. I understand that I could play them all on the Oppo (the media files could be retrieved using my home network or played on a USB memory). I still like playing real discs on a real player, though. As far as I know, an alternative could be using the main Oppo competitor, Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD or even the new CXU. I have downloaded the user manual for the Oppo transport and the two Cambridge Audio players, and still am not sure if they can stream DSD audio over their second HDMI output, and if their S/PDIF output can work with CD Audio PCM only, or if it can work with Blu Ray Audio discs. Have someone already tried to connect an universal transport to a Nuwave DSD?

Thanks, Stefano from Italy

Welcome, Stefano!

Unfortunately, while the cable is the same (HDMI) the format sent by the Oppo is completely different and the NuWave will not play it.

Also, the Oppo does not send unencrypted DSD; no player can legally do so without violating its license from Sony.

La Voie Triomphale is great fun!

Thanks, Elk. The Cambrige Audio Azur 752BD user manual says that you can choose DSD as audio format for the second HDMI output, so I thought that could be enough…

So, how could I use that HDMI input? I guess I could still connect a PWT through it. There is also a very interesting HDMI PC card for audio by Pink Faun. Could that be used with the Nuwave DSD?

Thanks, Stefano

According to the Sound and Vision review, “Because of the Azur’s internal upconversion to 192 kilohertz for all audio signals, SACD is available in PCM form only, with no option for direct DSD playback regardless of which output you use.”

Others here know a good amount about the Pink Faun card. They will chime in, but it may take a bit as today is a national holiday in the States.

Plan B: could it still be possibile to use the I2S over HDMI input of the Nuwave DSD with an I2S output equipped CD transport, like North Star Model 192? Provided that I can find or build an I2S cable that has an RJ45 connector on one side and HDMI connector on the other, that is.

Thanks, Stefano