Vanity203HD I2S link
October 19, 2017 03:06PM
Hi all,
There have been some questions how to connect the I2S output from the Vanity203HD board to a DAC with I2S input via HDMI or RJ45. Let's recap the I2S port description from the user manual:

For added flexibility the Vanity203HD features an on-board 14 pin IDC header with 8 channel I2S output, master-clock signal, ground and 3V3 power signals.

The master-clock signal is either 22.5792MHz or 24.576MHz depending on the base sample rate. The audio channel assignment across the SDATA signals is the same as the channels order at the main S/PDIF outputs. SDATA1 contains both front channels, SDATA2 carries the surround channels, SDATA3 carries the center and subwoofer channels and finally the SDATA4 contains the surround-back channels. The I2S output has standard 3V3 LVCMOS signaling levels. If the downstream DAC accepts different signaling type or levels (e.g. I2S over HDMI or I2S over UTP/STP Ethernet) the user has to provide a suitable conversion circuit.


There are two reasons why we didn't include a HDMI (or RJ45) connector with I2S signals directly. First, there is no unified pinout standard for I2S over HDMI. Different DACs have different pins assigned to different signals which makes it impossible to come up with something that would work for everyone. Second, there is no room or cutout for the HDMI connector in the back panel and we really wanted to keep the board as a drop-in replacement for the analogue board without any mechanical modifications.

But, if you want to use the I2S output, you can! smiling smiley

Electrically as well as mechanically the I2S requires just a bit of DIY. In order to feed your DAC with I2S you need a level converter module to convert standard 3V3 LVCMOS to HDMI signals (LVDS). The Vanity203HD has been tested with Audio-GD I2S module and this module is used as an example in the connection diagram below.




The user has to make a custom connection between the on-board IDC connector and the HDMI output module. Please note that the signal assignment must match with the one on the receiver side and there is no universal guide for that. Always refer to the manual of your DAC.

Please feel free to discuss the I2S output topic in this thread and ask any questions.

Regards,
Pavel



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2017 04:52PM by AP.
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
October 26, 2017 09:23PM
Are there any step-by-step instructions for doing this? I'm not ignorant of electronics, but need to decide if I can do this particular job myself or need to get some help. Where does the HDMI-style port come into play? The output would go to a PS Audio Directstream dac I2S port. Thanks,



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2017 09:39PM by highstream.
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
October 26, 2017 09:27PM
Are there any step-by-step instructions for doing this? I'm not ignorant of electronics, but need to decide if I can do this particular job myself or need to get some help. Where does the HDMI-style port come into play? The output would go to a PS Audio Directstream dac I2S port. Thanks,
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
November 12, 2017 09:39PM
Hi highstream,
Please bear with us, hopefully we should have some step-by-step guide with photos ready soon. I assume the tricky part for most users will be deciding how to fit the HDMI output module to the player. You can either make a hole in the back panel for the HDMI connector and fixing screws or leave the HDMI module outside the player and use a flat ribbon cable (connected to the on-board IDC connector with I2S signals) going through one of the elongated vents. What would be your preference ?
Regards,
Pavel
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
December 04, 2017 12:33AM
For anyone in the U.S. or perhaps Canada interested in adding I2S/HDMI output, I can save you shipping cost and time on a new, unused Audio-gd I2S-HDMI output board. PM me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2017 12:56AM by highstream.
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
July 07, 2018 06:08PM
Hi Pavel,

I just purchased a 203 with your Vanity card installed. Will you please give me information about the connector needed to mate with the on-board IDC (e.g., at least one brand and part number) for adding the external I2S so that I can source the proper component?

Thanks,

Dave



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2018 05:22PM by supersax.
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
August 12, 2018 01:00AM
Hi Dave,
It is a standard IDC/IDT wire to board receptacle (female) 2.54mm pitch 14pin connector:



Available from virtually all suppliers, Amphenol part from Farnell

Regards,
Pavel
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
November 29, 2018 12:07PM
Hi All,

I have successfully paired my Vanity 203 HD with an Okto Research DAC8 via the I2S header. They made me a custom enclosure with a galvanically isolated 14 pin I2S input. A 14 pin ribbon cable fits nicely through the vents on the back of the Oppo player, so connecting the 2 units together was straightforward - images attached.

Initially I was experiencing audio dropouts as discussed in this thread but this was easily solved by placing an extra jumper on the DAC8 mainboard which set a wider DPLL bandwith.

I have now been able to remove the AV processor from my system and overall, I am extremely happy with this solution.

Further information on the DAC8 can be found here:

Okto Research website: [www.oktoresearch.com]

Discussion topic on DIY Audio Forums (photos of my unit in post 29): [www.diyaudio.com]

Thanks,

David
Attachments:
open | download - small1.JPG (435.1 KB)
open | download - small2.JPG (376.8 KB)
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
December 03, 2018 01:03PM
Hi David,
Thank you for your report. I am glad to see another instance of the I2S interface working. The DPPL bandwidth on Sabre chips is a known thing, hope you didn't spend too much time trying to figure out where the dropouts are coming from smiling smiley

Regards,
Pavel
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
January 15, 2019 09:30PM
Hi, Pavel. What are the resolution limits over I2S with the Oppo203/Vanity combo for PCM and DSD?

Thanks!
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
January 18, 2019 09:16PM
HI Mjay71,
Not sure which resolution you mean, but I2S is natively 32 bit, audio going though is usually 24 bits padded to 32 bit frame.
Regards,
Pavel
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
January 19, 2019 10:55AM
Thanks, Pavel. I use the Vanity103 board and was curious what advantages are gained with the 203 plus vanity board. Regarding the I2S, I thought I had read the Oppo 203 can handle audio samples greater than 24/192 through maybe usb or hdmi inputs, and was wondering if those higher rates, possibly even DSD 128, can be passsd on as is through the I2S link.

If that is not the case, are the advantages gained via I2S primarily jitter related, as the clock data and audio data are sent separately?

Thanks,
Michael
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
January 20, 2019 06:26PM
Hi Michael,
Now I see what you mean. Although the preliminary specs of the UDP203 mentioned support for up to 384kHz and DSD256 the production version can reliably playback only sampling rates up to 192kHz. Just like the BDP-103. The only extra thing in UDP-203 is DSD128 playback which is rubbish anyway, because DSD128 is internally converted to PCM. Therefore the main advantage of the I2S output on the Vanity203HD is better clock transmission, no sampling rate advantage over SPDIF/AES output I am afraid.
Regards,
Pavel
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
January 26, 2019 03:56PM
Thank you, Pavel, that makes sense.

Does the I2S draw its clock data straight from the oppo master clock, or does the board clean up the clock signal somehow beforehand?

Considering the reclocking of the signal for spdif output of the vanity board, it would be interesting to see/hear what improvements timing/jitter control are achieved via I2S.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2019 04:18PM by Mjay71.
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
January 28, 2019 06:15PM
Since the audio data is reclocked to the Vanity's clock domain the output clock comes from the local oscillators. Otherwise it would be out of sync. The differences between I2S and SPDIF as transportation methods will greatly depend on concrete implementations, so it is difficult to give any general advices which one is better. I have seen a company selling an "isolated I2S output module" based on digital isolators, which just by the technical specs should sound absolutely rubbish (or very "musical" ironically said) due to variable propagation delay of such isolators. If you are going to try something, please let us know the results!
Thanks.

Pavel
Re: Vanity203HD I2S link
January 28, 2019 09:39PM
Oh, so the audio data is reclocked by the Vanity board for I2S output, as well as for the spdif output. That was what I was inelegantly trying to ask. Thanks.

The implementation of I2S on the vanity203 board should be substantially better than if I installed one of these into the 103 I currently use with a Vanity103 board:

[www.ebay.com]

Michael
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