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You are drawn to DSD for what and why?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by rodney sherman, Mar 17, 2016.

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  1. ElvisCaprice

    ElvisCaprice Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jaco, Costa Rica
    "You are drawn to DSD for what and why?"

    No more so than PCM. For the best sounding recording/master.
     
  2. rodney sherman

    rodney sherman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    de soto, kansas
    I gave that track on my DAC a listen and could tell that it was the CD resolution file. Quite honestly most of the sound differences might be how my DAC does its job. I own a PS Audio DirectWave DSD DAC. Outputs everything at 10 times DSD.
     
  3. testikoff

    testikoff Seasoned n00b

    But have you compared my 16/44 PCM file to a DSD source at equal loudness level & preferrably blind, too?.. Also, your profile may need to be updated.
     
  4. Topspin70

    Topspin70 Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    I own a XRCD version of Jazz at The Pawnshop and love its exceptional clarity and resolution. But after I compared it with a DSD version which I recently downloaded, it started to sound bright to me. Guess it's that naturalness that many people have mentioned about DSD. Incidentally, my Schiit Yggdrasil DAC doesn't play it native and converts it to PCM. But that naturalness is there and undeniably more pleasant to listen to.
     
  5. testikoff

    testikoff Seasoned n00b

    The differences you hear may be due to mastering, rather than the format... ;)
     
    Robert C likes this.
  6. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Are you able to hear this without knowing? How?
     
    Robert C likes this.
  7. Topspin70

    Topspin70 Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    That is a valid point. Which gets me wondering, how should we go about choosing an album, whichever format it may be, that came from a good master? In the case of Jazz At The Pawnshop, I have only come across an old red book Propius version, the XRCD version, and DSD. Never quite queried if there were more than one master for all these version...
     
  8. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    There can be no doubt that this is likely. However to dismiss format differences entirely simply because mastering plays a more significant overall role in sound quality is going too far IMO.

    IMO There are differences in format sound quality. These are not huge though, and it may take a really good system to hear these differences clearly. But that does not mean that these do not exist.

    The challenge is finding recordings which share the exact same masterings across various digital formats so that you can have true apples against apples comparisons. Unfortunately this means that the best that most of us can often do is to infer the reasons behind the difference that we are hearing, when we find that we tend to hear the similar quality differences consistently across many different titles when comparing unknown masterings of the same recordings. And while this method may not be very scientific, this does not necessarily mean that such inferences should always be dismissed out of hand as being do to the masterings. Certainly some of these difference are due to masterings. But to assume that all of it is due to masterings going a bit too far IMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
    56GoldTop and mihu like this.
  9. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I have found that the best redbook discs in my collection give me as much enjoyment as any of my SACDs. I am thinking of discs like the Hoffman mastered LA Woman and some older Mobile Fidelity discs. I listen on the Marantz SA8005 SACD player.
     
    Tim 2 likes this.
  10. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    When you say " most ' I think not all, which we could suggest has more to do with the process than the format.
     
    bruce2 likes this.
  11. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    No doubt, as there are obviously poorly mastered SACDs. But I find that the sins of commission bother me less with SACD than with CD.

    John K.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  12. testikoff

    testikoff Seasoned n00b

    I quickly ran a null-test between the 24/88 version of a DSD track & its 16/44 variant, upsampled to 24/88 & then listened to the delta. I couldn't hear anything, but a faint hiss-like sound (no pops), consisting of dithered quantization noise (in-band) + harmonics/ds_modulator_noise above 22kHz (out-of-band). Add this delta to the Hi-Rez 24/88 track & you will get the exact replica of its upsampled 16/44 version. Good luck trying to distinguish between HD (24/88) & upsampled SD (1644->24/88) versions blindly (I certainly would not be able to do that reliably, i.e. 9+ successes out of 10 attempts)...

    Some graphs to look at:


    - Delta waveform (zoom factor ~100):

    [​IMG]

    - Delta spectrogram:
    [​IMG]

    - Delta spectrum (the first ~2 minutes):
    [​IMG]
     
    albertop and Robert C like this.
  13. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    I agree, but in some cases I find SACD with it's higher frequency ability to be unforgiving in certain area's, of coarse a given system must be able to reproduce those frequencies.
    I should mention, all RB CD's in my main system are run through an Audio Research DAC which gives the sound a more analog-like presentation.
     
  14. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    Which is why I'm going to keep my Sony XA-5400es until it dies. I have heard better SACD performance in my system (e.g., the Marantz SA8005), but the Sony's treatment of RBCD has not been bettered.

    John K.
     
  15. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    I owned the 5400 for several years, it's cost vs sonic valve was above average.
     
  16. Oystein Holter

    Oystein Holter Active Member

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I have recorded from vinyl records for many years, first analog (Tandberg, Revox), then digital (Sony DATs, Korg Mr-1, Tascam DA-3000). I know what my ears like. Number 1 is vinyl direct, nothing beats it (in a good rig). Number 2 is DSD128, 3 is DSD64, 4 is PCM 24-192, 5 is 24-96 and so on downwards. Does the recording, mixing and evt mastering mean a lot? Of course. You have to have a very bad system to get - for example - Shelby Lynne: Give me some loving, to sound bad. But the format difference is very clear also. Vinyl sounds better on 45 than 33 rpm, analog tape sounds better with higher speed, and digital better with more information. No, I don't always clearly hear the format difference in the short run, especially not if stressing the "test the sound" aspect. It is a bit strange, a kind of body reaction, not just the ears. Like a habit. I half-consciously "know" that to get the most kick out of, say, a 1960s hit like Animals: House of the rising sun, I should play the single version, not the LP version. Why? 45 rpm, not 33, and mono not stereo. Now I no longer just "hear" Alan Price's busy organ; the whole band comes in and grabs me. This great punchy sound was a main reason why the music business rose to power in the first place but later it was forgotten. Money was the thing - it was too costly to use 45 rpm for LP recording even if that was what the engineers wanted I have read. My point is that the same thing goes on in the digital domain. If it sounds good on my vinyl rig, I know it will sound fairly good in a digital format, and I know that with DSD128 I can get pretty close. This is why I bother with big file sizes and long copy times. I cannot remember ever hearing a vinyl drop where I prefered a lower digital format.
     
    56GoldTop and Artdob like this.
  17. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Emotiva has their Little Ego USB DAC on clearance sale of $99.

    Just in case you do get the urge, this is an inexpensive way to find out.

    Has an analogue output that can also be used to drive most headphones directly,

    [​IMG]

    It can resolve up to 32 bits and 384k.
     
  18. To date the best digital audio I've ever heard was DSD. Noticeably better that DVD-A PCM, and near enough to the 30ips 4 track that I wasn't sure I could hear a difference, though I wanted to give the tape master the nod.
     
  19. Ellsworth

    Ellsworth Forum Resident

    The newest craze over at Computer Audiophile is using a high powered PC to run HQPlayer software to upsample PCM files to DSD. Supposedly it is great. It takes a lot of effort to set up but I would li,e to try it some day.
     
  20. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    Since there aren't many "all DSD" SACDs this becomes a difficult comparison to make with PCM unless you are in a recording studio. All I can say is that I prefer playing CDs on a player with a DSD output circuit to a PCM output circuit.

    I also hear more realistic transient onsets and decays with the best DSD/SACD which is what helps individualize instruments and voices. The treble extension is an issue and I would have to hope that 128 or 256 DSD would solve the problem. As it stands now I find CDs have a more stable and realistic soundstage although it is truncated compared to analog tape or vinyl. The problem with CD is that everything sounds like a synthesizer rather than the actual instruments.
     
  21. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Sure seems to me that the OP has a DAC that is designed from go to be DSD optimized. I can't help but wonder how a blind comp between the PS Audio running DSD and a multibit like the Yggy with PCM. Also keeping in mind that the PS is 2x the cost if I'm seeing it correctly.

    I don't have much a large collection of sacd or DSD and only have my Oppo105 and a little DACMagic but I have heard some RBCDs sound absolutely amazing played on top notch gear (ARC CD9).
     
  22. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Location:
    Winchester, UK
    Well, I was drawn to the idea of DSD in the hope that it might have some sonic advantages. After extensive testing I can't find any evidence for this. If anything, PCM seems the better technology. DSD is also quite annoying in that it is harder to process digitally, files are larger. So I'm hoping DSD is on the wane now.

    Tim
     
  23. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I was never "drawn" to DSD. I guess PCM is just good enough for me.
     
  24. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I agree. The newer flavor with a fancy new name is where I get irritated. People invest thousands in DACs and players just to find out the format is no longer supported.

    I like SACDs, but I do not have any DSD downloads. IMO, PCM hi-res is just as good as any of the SACDs that I have.
     
    Rolltide and SandAndGlass like this.
  25. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Oh what complete BS. Total BS.
     
    Shel, Brother_Rael, tootull and 2 others like this.
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