The Mapleshade Vivlink 3 Plus is also the only HDMI cable to bring what I consider a noticeable improvement in video quality (even on gaming consoles, not just blu-ray), something that is non-existent or very subtle in other high end HDMI cables. But opening that pandoras box is a troll fest, lets talk about audio performance, and consider gains on the video side, if any, are just a bonus.
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@auxinput Excellent point, and that is what I was referencing when I thought Mapleshade should offer shorter lengths. I’m currently using a cheap 1-foot HDMI cable from Monoprice (using it just to get started with i2S) from my DDC into my DAC and DANG it sounds really good. I’m sure it can get better, but I’ll be damned if I can criticize the sound I’m getting currently. I’ve heard others say they don’t hear big differences between HDMI cables in an i2S application so maybe that has something to do with it. Thinking I’ll try a DH Labs HDMI at some point, but given what I’m hearing now I’m in no rush.
Have you actually compared these cables side by side in your own system? I would not take the word of the manufacturer on statements like this.
Anyways, I'm happy with my cables. HDMI cables is not the only cable I have tested with, so I don't feel any need to go out and chase this Mapleshade invention.
I will have to admit that my statements on i2s are all based on hearsay. I have not done any testing with i2s because of the restriction on cable length (it would not work in my scenario). That being said, based on my experience with S/PDIF, I would guess that larger awg solid core conductors would work better and if you can get solid-core pure silver that would perform even better as well.
I see that Wire World has released a new version of their Platinum 8 HDMI cable. This may be the best result you can get for i2s (but I'm only guessing). At $800 for a 0.6 meter, it is definitely expensive, but not the most expensive cable. I have seen previous versions of the Platinum 7 HDMI cable up for sale, but those are extremely rare.
Using solid core pure silver for S/PDIF (and i2s I would guess) is extremely revealing. This means that a pure silver cable -could- sound worse and make your system too bright because it now reveals flaws in other areas of the system (such as other analog cables, or switching power supplies, or certain capacitors that manufactures use, etc.). But in my audio system, an 18awg solid-core OCC silver AES/EBU digital cable presented the absolute best results (after testing around 6 different wire/connector configurations).
I have owned all these HDMI cables I listed, plus many many others, and all 3 versions of the Vivlink, and compared them all in my system and especially on my ISF calibrated OLED tv’s, in a totally obsessive OCD manner.
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