In preparation for purchasing a new PW SACD Transport in Canada (not yet at the distributor), I have some questions about connecting it to my DS DAC via I2S.
First, James @jamesh does PS Audio supply an HDMI cable with the transport? If so, what length is it? Were the Beta testers supplied with a cable? If so, what model, length, etc?
Secondly, I wonder if Ted Smith @tedsmith could comment on the ideal length of HDMI cable into the I2S port on the DS DAC from the new SACD transport?
Thank you very much in advance.
My Canadian PS Audio dealer sells the new Wireworld Silver Sphere HDMI cable which comes in lengths of 0.6m, 1m, 2m, 3m and the two shorter lengths will be ideal for my installation.
Great question. I don’t know if we’ve fully decided this. We did ship one with the beta units. We had a number of the old HDMI cables that we used to ship with the DMP. That puppy is 1M. It’s a great cable, but Paul and Darren prefer the AQ Coffee and Carbon over it which are in a (somewhat) similar pricing league.
@MarADyr also queried:
“Secondly, I wonder if Ted Smith @tedsmith could comment on the ideal length of HDMI cable into the I2S port on the DS DAC from the new SACD transport?”
What about “ideal” length? Is there such a thing in theory or practice for the PSA Kit/I2S hook ups?
People talk about ideal lengths in digital interconnect cables because the RCA cables aren’t terminated correctly (it’s impossible to design an RCA connector with the required impedance.) This can cause reflections that can raise or lower the output signal depending on length and add jitter.
HDMI cables have well designed impedances as well as differential signals so these issues aren’t really a problem.
Any audio changes resulting from difference in lengths for HDMI cables will likely be personal preferences.
As opposed to “hearable” differences…?
My assumption is that the shortest HDMI cable that allows you to connect both devices is best in terms of jitter (probably tiny and inaudible), but more importantly, your wallet will thank you as the shortest cable is typically the least expensive.
I have previously, and recently, read of recommendations and opinions suggesting that there is a minimum length that should be employed with HDMI cables to avoid some deleterious impact (jitter?) on the signal.
Hence, my continuing curiosity.
We’re not using anywhere near the bandwidth that HDMI is designed for. It’s deigned to maintain the waveform to a much higher frequency that we care about for audio - it won’t cause much jitter with any reasonable length and anyway the DS is relatively insensitive to jitter. The DS also uses a pretty robust (tho slower) LVDS receiver that won’t care about attenuation levels. The bigger issues is how good the grounding is and how well it’s shielded - these each can affect the rest of your system at least as much as they affect a DAC. Any HDMI cable that’s designed for HDMI 1.3 or above will probably be pretty good on these grounds.
Thank you, Ted.
As always, I appreciate your time and willingness to provide answers that are comprised of a sufficient amount of “bandwidth”.
Ted, I really appreciate your comments.
I understand that both the SACD Transport and the DS DAC are designed to have very low noise in all segments of the digital and analog processes, so the I2S / HDMI connection should not be the weak link. One of the interesting, yet frustrating aspects of high end audio is that we don’t have much data as consumers to make the right (and cost effective) decisions for connections, power, etc. There’s too much guessing, experimentation, mis-information and so on.
Just wondering if you came to a decision on shipping the transport with a cable. I understand my pre ordered transport could arrive next week and would like to know if I need to purchase an HDMI cable to connect to my PSA dac.
Let me check with the team on it. I should have an answer for you tomorrow.
You guys are great, thanks for the quick response.
I was excited to hear my dealer expects the transport any day. I kinda thought it wouldn’t be until Jan or Feb
Thanks Jim! Just heard back from the team and we are not going to include an HDMI cable with the transports. I don’t work much with our international distributors, but I know the ops team is doing their best to get these shipments out before Christmas. Hold your breath though, they’re coming soon.
Appreciate your update thanks so much
Great news my transport arrived today, the ops team did a great job. I did not expect it until the new year.
I have not spent much time with it but did notice the blue ps audio switch/led is significantly brighter than the one on my direct stream dac, is there a way to adjust that? I keep the displays off and it really jumps out at you in my dark listening room compared to the one on the dac.
I did not receive an owners manual just a quick start guide welcoming me as a beta tester…… ???
I second this observation/suggestion.
It may be a nit to some, but this is a significant aesthetics issue in my opinion. Once you start accumulating and stacking up a few PS Audio boxes (and if your set up has them out in the open) it is important that the intensity and hue of the little blue icon lights be consistent. It really throws off the look from my (OCD?) perspective when there is a mismatch.
It probably is not in the cards, but dimming or shutting off these lights would be a great option moving forward, so long as adding the necessary circuitry our hardware does not impact sound quality/noise levels.
FWIW @Paul & Co.
I dislike all the lights on audio and video equipment, kitchen appliances, etc. I am not concerned with whether any match or not, but would appreciate the option of turning them off.
You’re not OCDing alone there. My room is pretty enough to care about aesthetics. My DAC and P12 lights are more dim, while the M1200s, P3, and Phono have bright AF blue PSA lights.
That’s a good question. I’m not certain there is a way to adjust it through the GUI. There have been software updates for other products that allow for adjustment of the logo brightness, so maybe we can make that happen with a future release.
Some of the very first transports that were shipped out didn’t have the manual included but were sent with the quick start guide we sent to the beta users to get folks started. The manual is now available on the website here. https://www.psaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/PST-Manual-single-page.pdf