HDMI i2s Cable


I'm looking for an HDMI i2s cable to go from a Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 to a PS Audio DirectStream DAC. I realize there are a lot of options at various price points.  I'm trying to stay around $500.  Anyone have any experience with the Tubulus HDMI i2s cable?
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I have not tried the tubulus, but am using the phasure hdmi2 cable. I like it a lot, and it definitely sounds better than an AQ Carbon. I've not tried any other jumper config on it, other than the one which it was sent over with. 

I was looking at the tubulus cables as well, but didn't manage to find many reviews online. 


@docroasty.  Thanks for the info.  I'll look into phasure.
Keep an eye out for a 2 meter Wire World Silver Starlight 5-2 HDMI cable on ebay. These do come up from time to time. There are currently 1 meter versions available now, but 2 meter is always better. This is just about the best HDMI cable I have found and is only 2nd to the $4k Nordost Valhalla HDMI cable. Even though it’s a really old cable, it’s made using 24awg heavily silver clad OCC copper conductors for the main i2s signal wires.  It's actually the only HDMI cable made that used OCC copper.

I’ve tested many other current model cables and rejected them. This old cable actually performs better than almost every other modern cable except for the Nordost Valhalla (which is insanely expensive). Cost for this Silver Starlight 5-2 is typically $300-500 used.
@auxinput. Thanks for the advice. When it comes to i2s, I’ve read that shorter is better. The Matrix will be close enough to the DSD for a .5 meter cable. 
I’ll be running a WW Starlight USB from an Innous Zenith to the Matrix and somebody’s HDMI cable from it to the DSD. 
I don't have any experience with i2s, but every other digital interface/cable that I have used still has problems with shorter cables.  This includes HDMI, S/PDIF, USB. 

Since i2s is just about the same as S/PDIF, but without the S/PDIF wrapper, it would be my opinion that shorter cables would still have problems. 

The problems with short cables has to do with the square waveform digital pulses being reflected at the receiver back down the cable to the source.  These reflections alter and distort the new pulses being generated at the source transport.  Since i2s is just another digital square waveform format, I would imagine that it's still affected by short cable problems.
I2S cables need to be as short as possible. I2S was never intended for box to box transmission only chip to chip.
With recomendation of the Wireworld silver starlight 5  would the 7 not be better or even the Platinum version which uses pure silver conductors? 
The Platinum Starlight 7, Silver Starlight 7, Starlight 7 and Silver Starlight 6 HDMI cables (along with Silver Starlight 6) all use the DNA Helix design. These are described as 23awg cables, but they are actually 2 x 26awg wires for each of the main HDMI signal conductors. I have personally tested the Silver Starlight 7 HDMI cable and it just did not perform as well as the other cables.

The $500 2 meter Silver Starlight 7 performed just about the same as my $100 cryo-treated Neotech NEHH-4200 HDMI cable. The Neotech is only a lightly silver plated 26awg conductors, but it performs at the same level. For video, I can see just a little bit of video noise. Audio was okay, but a little bit thin/bright and not as strong in bass.

The "Starlight 5-2" HDMI cable performed so much better than "Silver Starlight 7". The Starlight 5-2 uses silver-clad 24awg OFC solid-core copper conductors. Bass was a lot better as well as overall sound resolution. I also did not see the video noise with this cable as I did with "Silver Starlight 7".

The "Silver Starlight 5-2" uses the exact same design as "Starlight 5-2", but uses a much better OCC copper. It is still heavily silver clad 24awg conductors. This OCC cable just has significantly better color saturation and color sharpness/solidness in the video. Audio is also better. The "Starlight 5-2" was just a very tiny bit harsh in the audio when compared to the OCC "Silver Starlight 5-2".

I don’t know the reason why the new DNA Helix isn’t as good. One theory is that they use 2 x 26awg conductors for sending a digital signal. Those conductors are twisted along in the cable and could end up being unequal lengths. The +/- signal conductors in this cable are also twisted. This will cause distortion in the timing of the digital pulses. This is exactly Nordost’s theory and why they only engineer "parallel conductor" HDMI cables instead of twisted pair wiring. The 5-2 cables use the same parallel conductor design.  Another theory is that 26awg conductors just don't have the oomph as the larger 24awg conductors.

I have taken a look at that Tubulus HDMI cable. It looks like a great design. Uses pure silver solid-core conductors. The Revelation Audio Labs i2s cable on audiogon also uses pure silver solid-core (but they have had a history of bad customer service and massive manufacturing/shipping delays). You can also look at Crystal Cable HDMI from thecableco.com. However, none of these manufacturers actually tell you what awg the conductors are. Audioquest has their Diamond "pure silver", but I know that Audioquest uses very small conductors (like 30awg or 32awg). This is not going to have the impact that large conductor cables provide.

In addition, pure silver can be excellent, or it can come across as somewhat bright and sterile in some systems (even on digital cables). The Silver Starlight 5-2 with a good amount of OCC copper will provide a warmer and less bright/cold sound.
There is a .5 meter Silver Starlight 7 available if one of you was interested in trying it:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/WireWorld-SSH7-0-5m-HDMI-cable-Free-Shipping-Working-Properly-d442/26478710...

But personally, I would pick a 1 meter Silver Starlight 5-2 instead.   The conductivity of the OCC copper is significantly better than other wires and I think it would negate that "minimum .5 meter" cable length for i2s purposes.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wire-World-1M-Ssh5-2-1-0M-Silver-Starlight-Series5-2-Hdmi-Cable-5362/224074...

I am not an expert in this area, so I can't say for sure.
HDMI is not the same as I2S. You can't use any of those cables ^^^ 
Uhmm, my understanding is i2s with an HDMI port can still use a standard HDMI cable. The i2s interface will not use all the conductors, but it’s just a standard HDMI cable.

An "i2s" specific HDMI cable will have missing conductors for several of the pins, but it still carries the same pin alignment for the remaining.
There is no I2S cable just cables utilized to carry I2S. It can be HDMI cable, ethernet cables even 4 digital coax cables. As long as the pins on the components are set the same a HDMI cable can be used. I’m not sure about the two devices he’s trying to connect if the pins are the same. If they are both set to LVDS then probably any HDMI would work.
I'm so confused 
TUBULUS Argentus website: 
The TUBULUS Argentus i2s cable hdmi is specifically designed for i2s LVDS signal transport and therefor is not suitable as a standard HDMI TV cable.
The TUBULUS Libentus i2s cable V2 is specifically designed for i2s LVDS signal transport and therefor is not suitable as a standard HDMI TV cable.

Phasure Audio Website:

The HDMI^2 is a most robust HDMI cable meant for audio and i2s connections.

Please notice: Although the technical specifications of the cable imply a possible length that exceeds 10m most easily for even 4K video, the possible length for i2s fully depends on the sending device. To this regard it is to be noticed that i2s officially is a chip-to-chip (wire) protocol, meant to be used at very short lengths (think 10cm).

I'm moving to the Matrix because I have a number of DSD128 tracks and can only play them using USB.  When I listen to MQA and everything else using Ethernet via Bridge II, I generally like the Ethernet SQ better. Using a i2s HDMI cable, I'll be able to listen to all of my music through one cable; hopefully, with better SQ.

Once I get the Matrix, I'm going to try one of my existing "quality" HDMI cables just to hear what it sounds like, and go from there.  I only want to buy a i2s cable once, so I'm going to do some more homework, try to audition cables in my system, and then make a buying decision.
I'm not sure of your confusion.  Obviously, you cannot connect an i2s transport to a AV processor.  And you cannot connect a standard AV bluray player to an i2s DAC input.  However, all these devices use the same HDMI cable.  A standard AV HDMI cable can be used on any i2s device, as long as it's connecting an i2s transport to an i2s DAC.

I think you are thinking about the other way.  An HDMI cable that is built specifically and only for i2s DAC cannot be used on a normal bluray / AV receiver because it's missing several of the internal wires.  About 6 of the 19 wires are missing on these special "i2s only" HDMI cables.  (pins 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19).

I have spoken to people that have successfully used a normal Wire World Platinum 7 HDMI cable to connect the PS Audio transport and DirectStream DAC.  It works perfectly fine.
Sorry, I was being facetious. 

I understand a regular cable will work, and the cables I mentioned are only designed for i2s use.  I am leaning towards one of the TUBULUS or Phasure HDMI cables because they are purpose built.  My dealer lets me audition cables, so I plan to start there.
To the op.

If u get the phasure, keep in mind they're quite stiff and inflexible and don't bend too well, so plan out your cable route and buy the appropriate length. 

I have heard similar for the tubulus cable, and read a post on headfi that if bent too much or too often, the core can break.
Thanks for the advice. 

I got the Matrix today.  It's powered by a Small Green Computer linear power supply.  It's hooked up and working.  I had to change Roon from "Low" to "Normal" latency, and I was using Roon with LMS Lite - I had to set it back to just Roon. 

I'm going to play with those settings a bit more tomorrow.  We're in the middle of a lightning storm so I powered my system down and unplugged my power conditioner from the wall. 
I’ve been listening to my favorite jazz and old school R&B songs for most of the afternoon. I can honestly say the SQ with the Matrix is clearly better than USB from the Zenith or Ethernet from my switch.

I hear more details in the music with subtleties I faintly heard and tones I never heard before. The sound is also clearer. Now I’m going to look for a much better and warmer HDMI cable.
I'm in the same boat, need a good HDMI cable between my DCC and PS Audio DSD.
There are RAL, Phasure & Tubulus, any suggestion and experience please?
I am using a Wireworld Starlight Platinum 7 HDMI between my Perfectwave transport and Directstream dac with success. Pricey cable but nice. 
I have the phasure hdmi2 and recently acquired the tubulus argentus. Long story short, Phasure has a bit of emphasis on the highs and a more forward presentation. Tubulus has more low end weight and nice mids and midbass, with quite a neutral upper registry. Both cables are good. Need to consider how the rest of your system sounds like. 
@docroasty.  The Tubulus sounds like it will work best with my speakers my Tannoy speakers.  How flexible is the cable?  I only need about .5 meter, if that's an option.
I found it quite flexible. Not as stiff as some people say. Can take short bends quite well. The connector is good quality but is quite big and need to take into account that portion can't bend. So I suppose just plan the route well and order an appropriate length. Also consider the orientation of the i2s ports eg if one is horizontal and the other vertically aligned, may need to allow a short length to twist the cable a bit. 
I'm going from an Audio Matrix X-SPDIF 2 to a PS Audio DSD.  I will certainly look into the orientation before I buy.  Thanks.