Transferring SACD audio from HDMI to Stellar Gain Cell Dac. Could I? Should I?

I have a Cambridge Audio CXUHD player and a PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell Dac. The CXUHD is capable of playing SACDs but can only output the SACD audio through the “audio only” hdmi output.

I would love to be able to take advantage of this feature but the Stellar Gain Cell Dac doesn’t have an HDMI input, besides the I2S input. I am looking for a work around. My best amateur guess would be to use a hdmi to USB adapter but I’m not sure if that would be the best audio option or if it would preserve the SACD signal.

Do you have an recommends on how I could do this?

And secondly, should I even do this?

I may be wrong, but I don’t think you will be able to transmit the DSD information in DSD format to the Stellar via HDMI or by converting it to another format. There would need to be a “handshake” between the Cambridge Audio and the Stellar that is not present.

The Cambridge Audio may be able to send a down sampled PCM version of the SACD playback to the Stellar, I am not sure, but you may get the best sound just using the audio out of the Cambridge Audio for SACD playback. . . .

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It’s a near impossible task because the HDMI signal is encrypted and only a Sony chip with built in DAC can decode it.


I just spent a bunch of time downloading and reading the manual.
The only way you will be able to play SACDs with the Stellar is to get a HDMI audio extractor. On the setup menus, you will want to set it to PCM. You might get lucky and it will extract at 24/176. Or it may be at some lower bitrate.
Extractors can be found for around $30 and up.
Or you can just play the CD layer, which will output through the Coax connection.
Read and use your manual, lots of options.
Be sure to use Pure Audio, it will shut off video processing.

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I have read two support articles on the cambridge audio website, which still leave me with one open question:

Is the CXUHD able to deliver / outbut a raw DSD Stream from an SACD?

From this support articles I have the impression, that the answer should be yes:
“The CXUHD will pass through Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS:X, Dolby Tru HD, DTS Master Audio HD, PCM and DSD audio (2.8MHz, 64FS) via HDMI.”


From this answer, I would suppose the answer is no:

Audio Format Setup > SACD Priority > Here you can choose either Stereo or Multi-channel depending on your preference
Audio Format setup > SACD Output > PCM"


However, the full support article is a bit ambiguous.

To cut to the chase: has anyone played around with the CXUD and a PS Audio DAC with i2s and coul post his or her experiences?

I didn’t have the budget to buy the PSA transport so I just rip the DSD files from SACDs and play them from a music server.

Yes, I know it doesn’t offer the sonic quality of the very elegant PS Audio solution but it sounds darn good.

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@kerosene, how do you manage to extract the DSD layer?