Workaround to achieve SACD playback via I2S form DMP Transport feeding non-PS Audio DAC

Hi guys; I have a DMP Transport which I LOVE; sadly, since I upgraded to a DAC not branded PS Audio I am now unable to enjoy the SACD layer of my SACD’s and must settle for Red Book CD quality via i2S. SQ is superb but I DO miss the even better quality achieved in the DSD domain. I have a Mola Mola Tambaqui and am wondering if anyone out there is aware of a “hack” or workaround since Sony apparently makes it difficult to impossible for dual branded products to communicate in this domain.


I know the answer to your question/questions…

A) The DMP must be set to output SACD-information from a hybrid disc (change the SACD-settings in the menu while having “no disc in the player”. Then load a disc and it will work

B) DoP (DSD over PCM)
You can send out DSD via DoP via your DMP-players AES/EBU to an external non PS Audio DAC. That means that the DSD-signal is divided in many small PCM-packages that at the reciving DAC throws away all PCM-container-information and puts together a RAW-DSD-file to be read by the DACs DSD-moudule/chip/FPGA. Usually you know that it works if an AES/EBU signal is locked at 172 mHz at the reciving end (not 16/44.1, 48, 96 or 192 but 172!).

C) The latest PS Audio transport can send out DSD via DoP all its outputs. The DMP only via AES/EBU.

D) Your Mola Mola Tambaqui can only read DoP via USB and i2S. The i2S in the Mola Mola Tambaqui uses the wiring in the hdmi-cable differently and are not compatible with the DMP´s output. This means that the Tambaqui can not accept the AES/EBU DoP from the DMP.

E) However, the Tambaqui can read DoP via i2S. This means that if you can transform the signal/settings in the i2S from the way the DMP sends it out to the way the Tambaqui needs to recieve it, then it will work.

Holo Audio MAY KTE factory settings are not compatible with the DMP but you can change the i2S settings. I do not think it is possible in the Tambaqui to change the settings of the i2S but it is worth checking out. Usually it is done via small “pins that can be changed” or in a deep menu selection option.

There might be some sort of product out there that can change the way an i2S is used in the hdmi-cable. Such a device should sort out the problem, but would put another unit in the signal path.

The DMP have got a feature that decodes the SACDs DSD layer to pure PCM (not DoP). It will be done to 172. Then the Tamaqui will read the information regardless of input or cable used. You will likely loss a little bit of resolution in the DMPs transformation, but it will still be high rez.

Note that the DMP firmware 3.14 and 3.15 can NOT do decode DSD to PCM. Only earlier firmware verisons can do that. The last two firmware versions focused on solving reliability issues and skipped advanced features.

In my opinion 3.14 sounds better than 3.13 and 3.15 sounds much better than the previous ones. Keeping the best possible PCM sound quality (16-24/44.1-192) might be worth a lot and an upgrade to get the DSD to PCM conversion feathure might not be worth it if you own few SACDs.

I presently use 3.15 and can output DoP via AES/EBU to my dac (that unfortunatly only decodes PCM not DSD).

I hope this helps. I would appreciate feedback if you choose something or try out something. I think the Tambaqui looks like a very interesting player, free from digital glare. Using it with my DMP would be a dream come true, at least that is what I think… you might provide me with facts :slight_smile:

Thanks very much for your detailed reply. I appreciate it.

I do have my DMP transport set as described by you. So no issue there. Previously, I used a very good AES cable to feed my Tambaqui and it worked perfectly - except of course it could not play DSD as encoded in the SACD disc. Subsequently, as about one month ago, I installed a fabulous HDMI cable specifically manufactured to support I2S Protocol, made by Pink Faun. Fabulous! Exponential improvement in SQ.

Also, The good news is that I can download download high resolution files from various website and rip them to a DVD, and the DMP transport plays without issue and fully supports high resolution playback. Typically I choose 96/24 and it sounds glorious.

All of that said, I would still love to be able to enjoy the sound quality of an SACD in native form, but based on what I understand about the legalese of it all, Sony prevents playback of any SACD n native form, unless played by one brand (one integrated piece or two units licensed by one brand. I of course, had no issue when I owned the DSD DAC.

After eight years of ownership, though, I was ready for a change, and I am beyond thrilled with my Mola Mola DAC - so much so that after a month of ownership, I proceeded to sell my Krell pre-amplifier in exchange for their Makua line stage. This too, was a game changer. It elevated my entire system to the next level. This unit plays well beyond it price point at closer to $40,000 then the selling price of around $12,500. Add to this an entirely new loom of cabling by a small Arizona company by the name of Cerious Technologies. Their Lumniscate cables are stunning beyond belief - especially their power cords and ESPECIALLY when connected to digital gear. Transcendent.

Thanks again for reaching out and good luck!

172 mHz?
That doesn’t sound right, please explain.

Well, perhaps I am unclear, so apologies. Presently as an example I am listening to a Nina Simone album I downloaded in 96/24 and ripped to a DVD. It plays normally (sans covert art since PS Audio dropped server support for covert art with the release of new transport.

The disc plays as supported but because 1) I do t have any 192/24 rips onto CD and 2) because I am connected via I2S from the DMP transport to my Tambaqui I cannot connect via AES as this cable is reserved for the new Antipodes K22 scheduled to arrive any day.

All that said, I will attack pics that may better explain.

When I switch to Stereo SACD my Diana Krall SACD is recognized as DSD but will not output sound. HOWEVER, when I changed to Red Book CD, it plays at 44/16.

As I stayed earlier in this thread this is because Sony wrote the rules on SACD playback , and any attempt to achieve true DSD from a player is blocked by license agreement with all manufacturers who manufacture SACD players And when I DID use an AES cable feeding my DAC, the results were identical. It IS interesting that I can select “Stereo -SACD” mode on certain SACD’s like Peter Gabriel’s GrowingUp disc and it WILL play but only at 44/16 ! Weird. But regardless, while the DMP player will recognize a DSD disc it will simply not play - I less , I presume it’s connected to a PS AUDIO DAC. Those are “the rules.” My Mola Mola dealer confirmed this BTW.

BTW, I apologize. I DO have one disc I downloaded in 192/24 from Mark Knopfler and in “Stereo-SACD” mode it does output in high res of 192/24. Sounds great But no way it will output DSD over AES or I2S.

Hi all,

Interesting thread.

Sorry for any previous spelling errors, including “kHz” :smile:

My DMP and dac really shines with red book cd and raises the bar to very high levels with 24 bit PCM.

Getting 24 bit files and burning them on DVDs makes for a jitter free sound quality of a very high level. My guess is that most people have never heard a source of that kind of quality (even though the whole system, room and power quality counts). 24 bit PCM from discs in the DMP is something extra. The USB drive is good but not up to par with discs.

I use a Nordost Valhalla AES/EBU and having a very fast digital cable really provides a bit of extra high end level.

Thanks for confirming the DMP/Tambaqui combo. Interesting to know that you still miss the DMP/DSD-combo for SACDs.

The DMP responds well to good feets like Isoacouatic Orea. It also benefits from Entreq Vibbeaters. I use a 2,5 kg “rat”.

Does any one know if the DMP benefits from extra high frequency grounding? (CAD/Entreq/Nordost/Synergistics R/Chord GroundAray)

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I’m also a huge fan of IsoAcoustic and deploy OREO for my DMP transport well as my MAKUA preamplifier. and OPPO 205 Blu-ray player. Mola Mola advises against the use of any accessories for use with their DAC.

At the end of the day, I’m not a particularly huge fan of DSD files, so I can certainly live with the way my DMP player performs such as it is. It’s superb and certainly better than streaming even in high resolution files. There is still magic in spinning a disk after all these years. :sunglasses:

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