I2S Digital Output on RJ45

K50 has this output port. While I have previously used I2S over HDMI cable, I am not knowledgable on use of this port and have several questions.

– Is there specific recommended category ethernet cable that should be used for this?

–Is this an option to be used in lieu of the DirectStream RJ45 output to a DAC with ethernet input?

–Are all DAC’s with ethernet input capable of using this type digital transmission to process?

–My understanding is there is not an agreed upon standard for I2S. With HDMI (LVDS) for this, some source manufacturers supply dip switches or software programmable options to adjust compatibility of source device to DAC for I2S. Is this necessary for I2S digital output on RJ45, and if so, how is that accomplished?

–Of the DACs I own, one is a Mola Mola Makua preamp with the DAC module. It is very similar to the Tambaqui, but one of the differences is no I2S input connector like the Tambaqui. The ethernet input for it is Roon Ready and so has a built in streamer. When I use other digital inputs, I am using designated configured player from the K50. RJ45 into the Makua DAC uses the Mola Mola Roon Ready streamer of the Makua. Would the I2S digital output on RJ45 from K50 to Makua then supply output from configured player of the K50 rather than Roon Ready output from Makua on board streamer?


While the cable to connect I2S is an ethernet cable I2S and ethernet are not compatible.
Your DAC will require an I2S input over either HDMI or RJ45 for I2S to work.
While we are hesitant to recommend any cabling we have found anything better than the Audioquest Vodka to be of great quality.
The K50 has a bank of dip switches located underneath the device, these can be configured for most all Dac’s if their pin configuration is known, we ship the devices in PS Audio configuration, the pins designation is only required for DSD.
It is possible to configure your K50 to output over ethernet to your Mola Mola, we would say that architecturally speaking having the “Player” in your DAC isnt the place for it, but the best place is in the server.
To configure the K50 for Direct Stream output, you can set it as Server Only in Functionality, this will render 2/3rds of the K50 redundant as the player and re-clocker boards would not be used.
Hopefully that answers your questions :slight_smile:

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I appreciate the clarification and answers. I had not looked at the bottom of the K50 for the dip switches. I did test using a PS Audio DirectStream DAC from K50 using a WireWorld HDMI cable, setting K50 Roon player for digital output, and that worked without any negative issues.

I had read on the Support Portal Home Antipodes opinion stance that best not to have “Player” included with DAC. I am not arguing against that stance. However, the Mola Mola DAC and the Lumin X1, both incorporating “Player” with their DACS, have been the best sound quality DAC performers I have yet used.

I have also been experimenting using USB and AES/EBU from the K50 to the Mola Mola. For current listening tests, I have set K50 server and player to Roon. I will check out further options when software update is pushed out and Guides flesh out directions on best practice setup directions for additional server and player options.

I do want to clarify your comment on Direct Stream output and possible K50 Server Only Functionality. I now use the Direct Stream output to the Makua without doing that. Roon shows the Audio Zone as Mola-Mola Makua Roon Advanced Audio Transport. I left the Makua preamp configuration at its default as Network for that selection. For the other K50 options, I have configured Makua preamp locations selections to Line and configure K50 player for digital or USB. These show up as Antipodes D2 in Roon for Audio Zone.

Is there some anticipated sound quality improvement to configuring Server Only in Functionality for using K50 Direct Stream to the Makua vs what I am doing now?

Thanks again for your support.

@worknprogress my error, you are spot on in your config, no issue at all running it that way the other boards are completely by-passed sound quality will not be impacted