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DSD is better than PCM!

Galliardist

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Sony developed SACD so that they could own the next generation platform, make copying difficult, eliminate unprotected digital data streams, enable surround sound audio, and for marketing purposes insist that it sounds much better hence refreshing player sales. Notice how #4 seems to disappear in all the other noise. Yet multichannel audio done well does sound much better. That was the core sonic improvement for audiophiles. How many took it up?
Of course, you could as easily have written

The DVD-Forum developed DVD-A so that they could own the next generation platform, make copying difficult, eliminate unprotected digital data streams, enable surround sound audio, and for marketing purposes insist that it sounds much better hence refreshing player sales. Notice how #4 seems to disappear in all the other noise. Yet multichannel audio done well does sound much better. That was the core sonic improvement for audiophiles. How many took it up?
I'm pretty sure my point stands, and I remain convinced in my own mind that multichannel was only included in SACD because DVD-A was going to have it: and that "high resolution" audio was only included in DVD-A because SACD was claiming it.

This particular episode pretty much escaped me, as we moved from the UK to Australia at the time, and it was a couple of years before we were settled anywhere and had income for a new system. When I did get around to buying, one dealer did actually try to sell me a surround system, but the demo was a farce (I had to rewire and set everything up myself - when I arrived at the store, the subwoofer was plugged in as front left! - and the few discs they had were uniformly awful mixes). I stuck to what I knew, which at the time for my sins was LP.

Bluray audio was an even worse farce. I don't know what the industry or anyone else was thinking, there. That was a real opportunity that was both too late and lost in bad marketing.

I'm told by chain store staff now that the main format sold for listening to music is streaming to a single "smart speaker". Mono won, fancy that.
 

Newman

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Well I thought @mhardy6647 and you were actually discussing SACD, in accordance with the thread. Now I feel like you wish to divert the thread to be all about DVD-A.
 

Newman

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PS I think SACD actually came first, and was a joint Sony/Philips project to upgrade the CD for music. So its objectives are not purely about Sony.

DVD-A came afterwards and yes, that is the one that was format-war oriented.
 

ThatM1key

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One thing I don't like about SACDs, is that you need specific hardware to rip a SACD versus DVD-A, that can be ripped with any PC. I know there's going to be people mentioning the CD layer but some people want to create there own versions of there SACD like 44.1khz 24bit to 96khz 24bit.

Although on the internet there many SACD Rips so you could easily find a digital copy of your SACD and don't worry about hunting down the right gear to rip. (I don't condone piracy). I know some people that rip there own SACDs and make SACD-Rs, which I think is weird because you have the digital files, why not play them digitally instead of wearing your drive down.
 

JaccoW

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I believe it is a matter of quality control.
You would firstly please carefully read my post here.

I clearly found and shared that poorly QC-ed DSD contains a lot of UHF noises which maybe harmful to your audio system, to your ears, and/or to your beloved pets; nicely and properly QC-ed DSD, however, contains much less UHF noises.

I hope you would also please carefully read my posts on my thread #362-#386.
You can see the same thing with high sample rate PCM. Below is a 176kHz recording from vinyl.
But you're right. QC is important.



Compared to a properly QC'd file that has no hidden noise above the actual sound.


EDIT: Now that I think of it. I could probably show the comparable DSD file as well. If only as a PCM conversion.

That being said, Sony was experimenting a lot around the turn of the millenium, looking to replace the "aging" CD format for something fresh and offer an alternative to cassette. I watched this documentary about MiniDisc and its evolution and was fascinated by the way they implemented it. The magneto-optical discs had the advantages of both but only the latest iterations were a rival to CD in the quality department and by then Mp3 and it ease of use slowly killed it.

 
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ThatM1key

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That being said, Sony was experimenting a lot around the turn of the millenium, looking to replace the "aging" CD format for something fresh and offer an alternative to cassette. I watched this documentary about MiniDisc and its evolution and was fascinated by the way they implemented it. The magneto-optical discs had the advantages of both but only the latest iterations were a rival to CD in the quality department and by then Mp3 and it ease of use slowly killed it.
I initially wanted to jump into MiniDisc but I cared about audio quality. Hi-MD players are expensive and the discs are very overpriced, for the price of 1 Hi-MD, you can get 200 Verbatim CD-R's or 50 Verbatim CD-RW's. Even if I wanted to use standard MiniDisc's for compressed listening, it's still cheaper to make an MP3-CD and as a "novelty" format, it's still cheaper to use Tapes. MiniDisc would still be around if Hi-MD was at launch of the format. Hi-MD did have more storage than a CD-R but there was some drives that can turn "99 Minute" CD-Rs into 1.2GB discs but by the time those drives came on the market, blank DVD's were a better value.

Edit: Sony also dipped there toes into making 1.3GB but for the same reason, DVD's were a better value.
wpef1206.jpg

Source: https://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/20001018/wpe07.htm
 
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JaccoW

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I
I initially wanted to jump into MiniDisc but I cared about audio quality. Hi-MD players are expensive and the discs are very overpriced, for the price of 1 Hi-MD, you can get 200 Verbatim CD-R's or 50 Verbatim CD-RW's. Even if I wanted to use standard MiniDisc's for compressed listening, it's still cheaper to make an MP3-CD and as a "novelty" format, it's still cheaper to use Tapes. MiniDisc would still be around if Hi-MD was at launch of the format. Hi-MD did have more storage than a CD-R but there was some drives that can turn "99 Minute" CD-Rs into 1.2GB discs but by the time those drives came on the market, blank DVD's were a better value.

Edit: Sony also dipped there toes into making 1.3GB but for the same reason, DVD's were a better value.

Source: https://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/20001018/wpe07.htm
True, that's what that mini doc says as well. I believe the early 2000's were filled with (physical) formats that were too little, too late. That would have been great if they were introduced like they were in the end. Now they are just another example of cool retro-futurism.
 

Galliardist

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Well I thought @mhardy6647 and you were actually discussing SACD, in accordance with the thread. Now I feel like you wish to divert the thread to be all about DVD-A.
The thread was about DSD, which of course has taken on a life of its own as a stereo download and conversion format. It's impossible to discuss SACD as a multichannel format (which you brought in) without considering DVD-A and the format war. Each had a hand in formulating the other, and each had a hand in the other's early demise.

PS I think SACD actually came first, and was a joint Sony/Philips project to upgrade the CD for music. So its objectives are not purely about Sony.

DVD-A came afterwards and yes, that is the one that was format-war oriented.
The history isn't that simple. SACD was the first on the market. DVD-A was the the first to be mooted, if I remember, as part of the whole family of DVD formats, but got tied up in red tape and the issue of its incompatibility with CD, so came to the market later.

By the time DVD-A reached the market, there were millions of DVD players that wouldn't read them - but did play the CD layer on hybrid SACDs. That meant a lot of new stereo music players. We're still suffering from the format war that followed. I really shouldn't be reminding you of the low points, like forcing producers into one or other camp, music not becoming available on either, the dreaded DualDisc that never played on anything much... and for the last 20 years Sony seem to have been rudderless when it comes to audio formats and devices. It seems like only now is multichannel for music being taken seriously - and from what I'm seeing, we're either rejecting it like I am for space (can't easily accommodate multichannel) or because it's not lossless.

I can't see the point of a dedicated room that doesn't do multichannel though.
 

ThatM1key

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The thread was about DSD, which of course has taken on a life of its own as a stereo download and conversion format. It's impossible to discuss SACD as a multichannel format (which you brought in) without considering DVD-A and the format war. Each had a hand in formulating the other, and each had a hand in the other's early demise.


The history isn't that simple. SACD was the first on the market. DVD-A was the the first to be mooted, if I remember, as part of the whole family of DVD formats, but got tied up in red tape and the issue of its incompatibility with CD, so came to the market later.

By the time DVD-A reached the market, there were millions of DVD players that wouldn't read them - but did play the CD layer on hybrid SACDs. That meant a lot of new stereo music players. We're still suffering from the format war that followed. I really shouldn't be reminding you of the low points, like forcing producers into one or other camp, music not becoming available on either, the dreaded DualDisc that never played on anything much... and for the last 20 years Sony seem to have been rudderless when it comes to audio formats and devices. It seems like only now is multichannel for music being taken seriously - and from what I'm seeing, we're either rejecting it like I am for space (can't easily accommodate multichannel) or because it's not lossless.

I can't see the point of a dedicated room that doesn't do multichannel though.
There is many factors that consumers are jumping into multichannel audio these days.
1. 3.1/5.1 & Dolby Atmos soundbars are cheap.
2. The ease of an instant Dolby Atmos music catalog via streaming services.
3. Player devices is cheap & can use current equipment (Amazon Firestick, eARC using a smart TV, etc).
4. Ease of setup and very few cables

The reasons why multichannel music didn't take off during the 2000's (DVD-Audio):
1. Poor Mixes that can be surpassed by AVR DSP
2. Limited title selection & consumers didn't always like whole albums.
3. Not 100% consumer friendly equipment & Lots of cables
4. Equipment was fairly expensive.
 

dadregga

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My one wish, aside from world peace, is that Bluray licensing fees get cheap enough for everyone to start making those instead of SACDs (DVD-A and it's self-defeating MLP codec are already wholly obsoleted by BD - I think this is the only reason SACDs are still being manufactured at some scale and DVD-As are not).

A single Bluray can hold as many 192/24 PCM streams as you could possibly want, 2 channel, 4 channel, 6 channel, 8 channel, whatever, and still have plenty of room left over - and every single playback device made in the last 10 years can play back all of it, losslessly. There is literally no need for anything better for music.
 

pinpoint_oxford

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Kill me if you want, but I do firmly believe my 16/24 -44khz Flacs sound better if I upscale them to DSD128 with Roon+HQplayer (polysinc_xtr_short/ASDM7EC).

How is it different? Well, it's not that there is more detail in it, but there appears at least to my ears to be more depth and space in between the cues and symbols ect.. With DSD there is more "dimensionality" to it. That being said, it could very well just be the ASDM7EC modulator in combination with the xtr filter who is doing the trick here. I'm not educated enough to really tell what's going on here, but I love it! Would prefer it over PCM 10/10 times on 10/10 songs.
There could be something to that. Some of the high-end FPGA-based DACs upsample to DSD, I believe Mola Mola and PS Audio do this part of which is in search of better sound, they will claim.
 

Galliardist

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There could be something to that. Some of the high-end FPGA-based DACs upsample to DSD, I believe Mola Mola and PS Audio do this part of which is in search of better sound, they will claim.
The more expensive Marantz products take a similar route.

Interestingly the Mola Mola (excellent) and PS Audio (poorly measuring) DACs measured here are at opposite ends of the scale despite PS Audio claiming "breakthroughs in digital playback every six months or so" and providing new firmware regularly (yes, I'm deliberately avoiding the word "upgrade"!). The Marantz models would probably sit in the middle of the range if they were measured here, with more noise than the Mola Mola: quite good but expensive (the Marantz players are disc spinners as well though).

As usual, implementation turns out to be more important than a specific technology.
 

Galliardist

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My one wish, aside from world peace, is that Bluray licensing fees get cheap enough for everyone to start making those instead of SACDs (DVD-A and it's self-defeating MLP codec are already wholly obsoleted by BD - I think this is the only reason SACDs are still being manufactured at some scale and DVD-As are not).

A single Bluray can hold as many 192/24 PCM streams as you could possibly want, 2 channel, 4 channel, 6 channel, 8 channel, whatever, and still have plenty of room left over - and every single playback device made in the last 10 years can play back all of it, losslessly. There is literally no need for anything better for music.
An expanded version of MLP is still there in Bluray, licensed instead through Dolby IIRC. MLP could hold up to 63 tracks of 192/24 audio, the limitations in DVD-A were despite MLP not because of it.

Indeed, Dolby Atmos is built on MLP technology. Does that make it self-defeating as well?
 

dualazmak

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As for the QC issues in DSD (and DXD, FLAC, PCM WAV) formats, I assume many of you are already aware of this important and interesting thread;
SOUND LIAISON, PCM DXD DSD free compare formats sampler. A new 2.0 version.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pare-formats-sampler-a-new-2-0-version.23274/

Since I am just interested in "quality control, QC" of these "SOUND LIAISON free compare formats sampler 2.0 version", I quickly analyzed them by using MusicScope 2.1.0;
WS003465.JPG


WS003464.JPG


WS003463.JPG


We may clearly see that these "version 2.0 compare formats sampler" tracks contain much less UHF (ultra high frequency) "noises" in comparison with their original version 1.0 tracks.

Since I (we) can hear up to ca. 22 kHz, however, the "value" (and "meaning") of the sound over 30 kHz would be the subject of our further discussion in this thread or other places.

At least in my latest audio system setup and configuration, PCM 88.2 kHz WAV or FLAC 88.2 kHz (up to 44.1 kHz in each of the L & R stereo channels) would be "sufficient" enough, since the digital XO/EQ "EKIO" can work up to 192 kHz 24 bit and also having protective -48 dB/Oct high-cut (low-pass) LR filters at 25 kHz to eliminate any UHF sound/noises over 30 kHz.

Consequently, now I usually set JRiver's DSP studio to output all of the music tracks in 88.2 kHz stereo 2-channel (on-the-fly conversion) as well as I set EKIO in 88.2 kHz sampling rate, even though my digital music library (ca. 25,000 tracks) consists of so many formats in DSD (8x, 4x,2x,1x), FLAC (44.1 - 352.8 kHz), WAV and AIFF (44.1 - 196 kHz).

The simple reason for my current choice of 88.2 kHz, instead of 96 kHz, is that majority of the tracks in my music library is CD ripped non-compressed 44.1 kHz 16 bit AIFF format. As for my music library organization strategy and policy, you would please refer to my post here in a remote thread.

And, I should not forget about sharing the important subjective impression that all of the 15 tracks in "SOUND LIAISON, PCM DXD DSD free compare formats sampler. A new 2.0 version" sound really amazingly nice!
 
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dadregga

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An expanded version of MLP is still there in Bluray, licensed instead through Dolby IIRC. MLP could hold up to 63 tracks of 192/24 audio, the limitations in DVD-A were despite MLP not because of it.

Indeed, Dolby Atmos is built on MLP technology. Does that make it self-defeating as well?

"Self-defeating" because it was

1. A proprietary codec
2. That was not part of the base spec, and so was not present in 90% of consumer devices

TrueHD (if that's what you mean) has solved for the latter, at the very least, which almost entirely avoids the problem that killed MLP and DVD-A.
 

Belker

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There could be something to that. Some of the high-end FPGA-based DACs upsample to DSD, I believe Mola Mola and PS Audio do this part of which is in search of better sound, they will claim.
Isn’t this what HQPlayer is doing? Since delta sigma dac chips always creates a DSD stream from PCM internally, a high performance PC can do the job with better precision. Feeding this 256 or more DSD stream to a DAC that lets you bypass the asic dsp will give benefits. This feature is available with some AKM chips, but not with ESS afaik. RME ADI-fs gen 2 is popular here.
 

boXem

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There could be something to that. Some of the high-end FPGA-based DACs upsample to DSD, I believe Mola Mola and PS Audio do this part of which is in search of better sound, they will claim.
DSD is PDM. Mola Mola is PWM, 8 bits if memory serves. So it has enough headroom for dithering. So it is not intrinsecly flawed, in opposition to DSD/PDM.
 
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