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Ah... so in:


by "DSD" you meant "SACD" and by "plenty" you meant "one"? You should be more precise, those words have different meanings, you know. :)

And I somehow must have missed that we are limiting the discussion to physical formats. When did that happen? (/s, just in case)

:facepalm:

So someone makes the claim there are “no technical reasons for DSD to exist”, I provide one, and now its my argument that’s an issue?

Again, you guys are trying WAY TOO HARD. It’s super weird.
 

Mnyb

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:facepalm:

So someone makes the claim there are “no technical reasons for DSD to exist”, I provide one, and now its my argument that’s an issue?

Again, you guys are trying WAY TOO HARD. It’s super weird.

That's still correct as there where other multichannel disc formats at the time multichannel SACD was released.

But if you have such an SACD then it must exist :D for you right now otherwise you could not play it.

There was just no technical reason for Sony to have their own adventure with yet another redundant format, they could just have joined the DVDA consortium like many others , having a format battle with niche format is really to kill the whole market.
 
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There where also DVDA for MCH PCM content and now BlueRay also with MCH PCM content if we speak of physical formats .

Wonder if SACD's pyrrhic victory over DVDA was mostly Sony pushing hard to get their solution to be market dominant .

Sony has a history of trying to push weird formats on us from mini disc to Video 8 to SACD and BetaMax

Yes there were. I have some those too ;)

But again, not all albums were available in both formats.

Folks keep saying it- there were limited choices that made DSD/SACD a necessity if you wanted a particular album in high res. This is not debatable. It’s still true is certain cases today! People just don’t like the answer (which I continue to find fascinating).
 

Mnyb

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Yes there were. I have some those too ;)

But again, not all albums were available in both formats.

Folks keep saying it- there were limited choices that made DSD/SACD a necessity if you wanted a particular album in high res. This is not debatable. It’s still true is certain cases today! People just don’t like the answer (which I continue to find fascinating).

That's really not the same question that's a commercial market reason not technical .

Just like nowadays you need all streaming services to cover all your TV/Movie needs for some freaking reason .

And also the music streaming services all have music that's not on the competitors catalog , it's maddening .

Technically there was no reason for Sony to dig us the DSD hole in the first place , they could have chosen some higher res PCM but they did not.
That leaves us with the fact that to enjoy some disc not yet available in PCM anywhere (until some rips it) you might still need DSD . But it's due to a commercial decision.
 
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That's really not the same question that's a commercial market reason not technical .

Just like nowadays you need all streaming services to cover all your TV/Movie needs for some freaking reason .

And also the music streaming services all have music that's not on the competitors catalog , it's maddening .

Technically there was no reason for Sony to dig us the DSD hole in the first place , they could have chosen some higher res PCM but they did not.
That leaves us with the fact that to enjoy some disc not yet available in PCM anywhere (until some rips it) you might still need DSD . But it's due to a commercial decision.

I have read that chipset limitations at the time were influential in Sony’s decision for single bit over multi bit. Clearly that wasn’t the “right“ choice in retrospect, but I don’t expect new technologies to be flawless and all engineers to correctly guess at future advancements.

At the end of the day, people can accept or reject the answers to questions they ask. We might just try to “shoot the messenger” a little less...
 

andymok

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A bit of techo-history and context ...

PDM, PWM, Delta-Sigma, 1-Bit DACs (3 pages)
https://www.stereophile.com/content/pdm-pwm-delta-sigma-1-bit-dacs

Editor's Note: One-bit DAC chips in the 21st century, where the analog output signal is reconstructed from a very high-rate stream of pulses, are ubiquitous. But a quarter-century ago, those chips were only just beginning to stream from the chip foundries. In this feature, we aggregate Stereophile's 1989 coverage of the then-new technology, starting with Peter van Willenswaard on the basics.—John Atkinson.


Meitner on the EMM DV2, DSD, MQA, & Digital Audio
https://www.stereophile.com/content/meitner-emm-dv2-dsd-mqa-digital-audio



The DSD/SACD Revolution, Part II:
PF Interviews Digital Designer Ed Meitner

Mike Pappas
https://positive-feedback.com/pfbackissues/0802/pappas.Meitner.rev.8n2.html
 
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Mnyb

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Ok lets stop going in circles :) the more puzzling question is not historical SACD's was a thing back when. but why the **** DSD was resurrected as a download file format and even improved (2*DSD and 4*DSD as 1*DSD is worse than reedbook at 20kHz) when we all are using devices much more suited for PCM anyway and we now have a multitude of very suitable PCM formats to choose from, eludes me completely ? 24/96 was thing 20 years ago too so DSD should have died then ? As it has been pointed out no kind of post producing is really possible in DSD anyway .DXD is a popular PCM format used by many that produces DSD downloads , note that they don't call it 24/352,8 PCM ;)

Also if you do any kind of EQ or Room correction ( which you should if your actually into sound quality ) your are using PCM why buy DSD then ? you can just forget integrating a sub woofer :D to keep a clean DSD playback chain you need to sacrifice a lot (but it's produced in PCM remember ) ?
In a modern context its makes even less sense
 

dfuller

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I'd just like to mention, DSD as a consumer format is more or less pointless. If your music touched a DAW at all (it did), it ended up in PCM at some point because PDM audio is essentially impossible to further process. There's a whole "DSD-Wide" thing that gets mentioned, but it's just 8 bit PCM at a high sample rate. DXD is conventional long word PCM at a high sample rate. The lower noise floor thing can be done simply by using 88.2 or 96khz 24 bit PCM. As far as SACD vs DVD-A, outside of audiophiles nobody even knows what a SACD is, and DVD-A is a dead format.

Sony mostly introduced it as a deterrent to ripping CDs and as an archival storage format for finished masters.
 

andymok

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Ok lets stop going in circles :) the more puzzling question is not historical SACD's was a thing back when. but why the **** DSD was resurrected as a download file format and even improved (2*DSD and 4*DSD as 1*DSD is worse than reedbook at 20kHz) when we all are using devices much more suited for PCM anyway and we now have a multitude of very suitable PCM formats to choose from, eludes me completely ? 24/96 was thing 20 years ago too so DSD should have died then ? As it has been pointed out no kind of post producing is really possible in DSD anyway .DXD is a popular PCM format used by many that produces DSD downloads , note that they don't call it 24/352,8 PCM ;)

Also if you do any kind of EQ or Room correction ( which you should if your actually into sound quality ) your are using PCM why buy DSD then ? you can just forget integrating a sub woofer :D to keep a clean DSD playback chain you need to sacrifice a lot (but it's produced in PCM remember ) ?
In a modern context its makes even less sense

These articles are even more technical than you might think ... that would explain why DSD was even given birth at the first place, first hand.
 
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mansr

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Sony mostly introduced it as a deterrent to ripping CDs
SACD has a whole stack of features to prevent ripping, and they were quite good at achieving that too. The use of DSD has little to do with that, however. Once retrieved off the disc, converting DSD to PCM is trivial and has always been. I can think of a few possible reasons why they picked DSD:
  • They genuinely believed it to be better.
  • Consumer DAC chips at the time the decision was made (probably no later than 1995) really did perform worse than what DSD allowed. It's plausible, but I don't know.
  • They saw a marketing opportunity in doing something exotic.
  • They thought making ripping 0.0001 dB harder was worth all the downsides of DSD.
Of these, the first three seem more likely than the last, but we can only speculate.
 

PaulD

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No technical reason to exist at all ? I would argue its even worse in a production environment ?
Yes indeed, a DSD stream cannot be modified, not even gain change, so for any processing at all one must use PCM. It's a bit difficult to have a production environment without gain changes, let alone plugins or editing...
 

LanceLewin

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Multiple threads here deal with DSD, but I'm yet to see a bit more depth concentrated in one place. DSD For Beginners is boring and tells very little.

Based on listening to the sound quality of DSD native from Cirrus Logic chips like that in Sonata HD Pro I find:
• S/N ratio of DSD at high volume is bad. At high volumes, you can hear noise. Not good at all!
• There is no S/N problem with PCM volume, so it is not a problem with the DAC or analog circuit.
• DSD64/2.8Mhz has a 'dry' sound in the high range, probably because of residual noise. DSD128/5.6Mhz sound is beautiful.
• PCM and DSD have different tonality? It is said that DSD has a feeling of air, but it seems better to say that it uses airy sound as a decoration.
• There is no great difference between DSD and PCM in terms of sound quality such as attenuation length, depth of space, depth, and fineness of depiction.
So none of the results were as expected. Especially when the digital volume is reduced with DSD native, it becomes more apparent, but I think one of the sound quality characteristics of DSD is the effect of residual noise. But I understand that there are many people who like this sound. Especially in Japan, the direction of the sound that has been often heard in domestic audio has long been heard, and many music production engineers are willing to make such sounds. For female vocals, it's better to make audio sound like this. Perhaps?

On the frequency axis, DSD just looks like a disadvantage. DSD has a bad S/N and is disadvantageous compared to PCM.

But there is a DSD advantage. There is a square wave comparison of DSD and PCM in the link http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f...irect-stream-digital-18636-print/index11.html, but the DSD square wave response here shows a very quick response closer to NOS. The biggest advantage of DSD seems to be the fast time base response. This will not happen depending on the data converted from PCM, the intermediate processing, and the way of filtering, and it seems that the response is not much different from PCM like the image at the link destination above. View attachment 73991
DXD is 24bit 352.8kHz. It's a lot like DSD.

Some reasons for the difference in sound between DSD and PCM:

I haven't made a strict comparison, so I can't make a hypothesis.

• Influence of high frequency noise due to noise shaping included in the DSD method itself
• Difference between DSD and PCM due to characteristics of digital filter applied inside DAC
• For DSD native data, the response on the time axis is as fast as NOS
• DSD affects the current/ power consumption and power supply noise due to the amount of computation inside the DAC. Higher sound quality = lighter processing with DSD the calculation load inside the DAC is lighter.
• The effect of deterioration due to jitter does not exist in DSD. Jitter countermeasures aren't necessary for DSD.

I think DSD's greatest advantage is the third point. In the case of properly filtered DSD data that does not go through PCM at all, the time axis response of the area that could not be reproduced by DXD is possible. When converting this to PCM, it is likely that the superiority of the time axis will be lost unless it is considerably high sampling data (ideal is 384 k or more?). Of course, when the data of the CD sound source is originally DSD, the information on the time axis has already been lost, so this advantage does not occur. The high-frequency noise of DSD is only added while the time base information is lost. Pure DSD is the only way.

Therefore, if you're not a time domain sensitive listener, you should not be so concerned about choosing between PCM or DSD. Converting files to DSD just to take advantage of the 'better sound' from the DAC or software is also conceivable. Convert all the sources you have into DSD? I can't recommend it. DSD does not increase the information on the time axis of PCM files.

Depending on the type of DAC, even if DSD is input, it may be converted to PCM internally, so in that case there is no point in sticking to DSD at all.

But http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f...ream-digital-volume-control-19955/index3.html
In short, it seems that it is converting DSD to DSD rated PCM and doing volume processing etc. Since the rate is not reduced by decimation and the original amount of information is maintained, this will not cause any deterioration in the data. It's converted to an ESS proprietary format that is neither PCM nor DSD. ESS may have less S/N deterioration from DSD volume control than Cirrus, perhaps due to better internal processing in the latter stages. Anyway, that doesn't serve as a reason to favor E1DA over Sonata Pro.

So happy to see this detailed review: for the first time last night I finally tried the DSD64 and 128 capabilities on my Marantz & Rogue based system and was not pleased with DSD files at all! First thing was the super low level of the recording! I really had to crank up my amp to hear anything...and then introduced noise...yes, the S/N ratio of DSD is poor. I played several tracks both Samplers and purchased DSD64 files from different vendors and the results were the same. Of course I tried CD's and Albums and there was not issues even after cranking up the volume on the amp to "Stupid levels" to see if I can introduce Noise, but they played perfect...DSD, not so.

Kind regards,
Lance
Atlanta
 

LanceLewin

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Multiple threads here deal with DSD, but I'm yet to see a bit more depth concentrated in one place. DSD For Beginners is boring and tells very little.

Based on listening to the sound quality of DSD native from Cirrus Logic chips like that in Sonata HD Pro I find:
• S/N ratio of DSD at high volume is bad. At high volumes, you can hear noise. Not good at all!
• There is no S/N problem with PCM volume, so it is not a problem with the DAC or analog circuit.
• DSD64/2.8Mhz has a 'dry' sound in the high range, probably because of residual noise. DSD128/5.6Mhz sound is beautiful.
• PCM and DSD have different tonality? It is said that DSD has a feeling of air, but it seems better to say that it uses airy sound as a decoration.
• There is no great difference between DSD and PCM in terms of sound quality such as attenuation length, depth of space, depth, and fineness of depiction.
So none of the results were as expected. Especially when the digital volume is reduced with DSD native, it becomes more apparent, but I think one of the sound quality characteristics of DSD is the effect of residual noise. But I understand that there are many people who like this sound. Especially in Japan, the direction of the sound that has been often heard in domestic audio has long been heard, and many music production engineers are willing to make such sounds. For female vocals, it's better to make audio sound like this. Perhaps?

On the frequency axis, DSD just looks like a disadvantage. DSD has a bad S/N and is disadvantageous compared to PCM.

But there is a DSD advantage. There is a square wave comparison of DSD and PCM in the link http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f...irect-stream-digital-18636-print/index11.html, but the DSD square wave response here shows a very quick response closer to NOS. The biggest advantage of DSD seems to be the fast time base response. This will not happen depending on the data converted from PCM, the intermediate processing, and the way of filtering, and it seems that the response is not much different from PCM like the image at the link destination above. View attachment 73991
DXD is 24bit 352.8kHz. It's a lot like DSD.

Some reasons for the difference in sound between DSD and PCM:

I haven't made a strict comparison, so I can't make a hypothesis.

• Influence of high frequency noise due to noise shaping included in the DSD method itself
• Difference between DSD and PCM due to characteristics of digital filter applied inside DAC
• For DSD native data, the response on the time axis is as fast as NOS
• DSD affects the current/ power consumption and power supply noise due to the amount of computation inside the DAC. Higher sound quality = lighter processing with DSD the calculation load inside the DAC is lighter.
• The effect of deterioration due to jitter does not exist in DSD. Jitter countermeasures aren't necessary for DSD.

I think DSD's greatest advantage is the third point. In the case of properly filtered DSD data that does not go through PCM at all, the time axis response of the area that could not be reproduced by DXD is possible. When converting this to PCM, it is likely that the superiority of the time axis will be lost unless it is considerably high sampling data (ideal is 384 k or more?). Of course, when the data of the CD sound source is originally DSD, the information on the time axis has already been lost, so this advantage does not occur. The high-frequency noise of DSD is only added while the time base information is lost. Pure DSD is the only way.

Therefore, if you're not a time domain sensitive listener, you should not be so concerned about choosing between PCM or DSD. Converting files to DSD just to take advantage of the 'better sound' from the DAC or software is also conceivable. Convert all the sources you have into DSD? I can't recommend it. DSD does not increase the information on the time axis of PCM files.

Depending on the type of DAC, even if DSD is input, it may be converted to PCM internally, so in that case there is no point in sticking to DSD at all.

But http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f...ream-digital-volume-control-19955/index3.html
In short, it seems that it is converting DSD to DSD rated PCM and doing volume processing etc. Since the rate is not reduced by decimation and the original amount of information is maintained, this will not cause any deterioration in the data. It's converted to an ESS proprietary format that is neither PCM nor DSD. ESS may have less S/N deterioration from DSD volume control than Cirrus, perhaps due to better internal processing in the latter stages. Anyway, that doesn't serve as a reason to favor E1DA over Sonata Pro.

So happy to see this detailed review: for the first time last night I finally tried the DSD64 and 128 capabilities on my Marantz & Rogue based system and was not pleased with DSD files at all! First thing was the super low level of the recording! I really had to crank up my amp to hear anything...and then introduced noise...yes, the S/N ratio of DSD is poor. I played several tracks both Samplers and purchased DSD64 files from different vendors and the results were the same. Of course I tried CD's and Albums and there was not issues even after cranking up the volume on the amp to "Stupid levels" to see if I can introduce Noise, but they played perfect...DSD, not so.

Kind regards,
Lance
Atlanta
 

andymok

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So happy to see this detailed review: for the first time last night I finally tried the DSD64 and 128 capabilities on my Marantz & Rogue based system and was not pleased with DSD files at all! First thing was the super low level of the recording! I really had to crank up my amp to hear anything...and then introduced noise...yes, the S/N ratio of DSD is poor. I played several tracks both Samplers and purchased DSD64 files from different vendors and the results were the same. Of course I tried CD's and Albums and there was not issues even after cranking up the volume on the amp to "Stupid levels" to see if I can introduce Noise, but they played perfect...DSD, not so.

Kind regards,
Lance
Atlanta

Is the noise generated the music's noise floor, or is it actually the amplifier after gain?
 

Aerith Gainsborough

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So happy to see this detailed review: for the first time last night I finally tried the DSD64 and 128 capabilities on my Marantz & Rogue based system and was not pleased with DSD files at all! First thing was the super low level of the recording! I really had to crank up my amp to hear anything...and then introduced noise...yes, the S/N ratio of DSD is poor. I played several tracks both Samplers and purchased DSD64 files from different vendors and the results were the same. Of course I tried CD's and Albums and there was not issues even after cranking up the volume on the amp to "Stupid levels" to see if I can introduce Noise, but they played perfect...DSD, not so.
How odd. I did not encounter any noise at all.
Yup, levels were quite low but so far all multichannel music I encountered (not that much, yet since I just started :S ) had much lower level than the usual *passionate lovemaking to the 0dB FS mark* 2 channel music. No clue why that is.
 

JohnYang1997

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Too much misinformation. I'm speechless now.... To really tell the whole thing it will take a long long writing just to cover the surface. And I don't even know the whole thing.
Instead in all these pages, no one asked someone to do a measurement of the SAID equipment under the SAID condition to try to reproduce it?
 

krabapple

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So happy to see this detailed review: for the first time last night I finally tried the DSD64 and 128 capabilities on my Marantz & Rogue based system and was not pleased with DSD files at all! First thing was the super low level of the recording! I really had to crank up my amp to hear anything...and then introduced noise...yes, the S/N ratio of DSD is poor. I played several tracks both Samplers and purchased DSD64 files from different vendors and the results were the same. Of course I tried CD's and Albums and there was not issues even after cranking up the volume on the amp to "Stupid levels" to see if I can introduce Noise, but they played perfect...DSD, not so.

Kind regards,
Lance
Atlanta


The 'detailed review' was the usual report of astounding hearing abilities unsupported by solid evidence .

Your experience -- DSD files being lower level compared to normal (PCM) -- is a feature of SACD, not a bug. For a given recording, the SACD/DSD equivalent can be as much as 6dB lower in peak level (some sources say as much as 12db! but I haven't seen that). Put another way '0 dB" in DSD world typically translates to -6dBFS in PCM world. The technical reason is that sigma-delta modulators used for coding audio to DSD are unstable if the level is too high. A level that translates to -6dB PCM is the common safety factor used as a result.

SACD hardware players typically prevent users from hearing this, by lowering *CD* output by 6dB. That way the listeners won't feel 'cheated' when their precious SACDs seem to sound 'less good' than their CDs (a perception due to simple psychoacoustics, not anything 'real')

Just turn up the volume when you play DSD, if it bothers you. Or convert the file to PCM and adjust the level so it peaks near 0dBFS, and you'll never need to fuss about it again. (Which is what I do).

You should not have to turn it up so loud that you hear 'noise' in an irritating way. Any noise you are hearing then is tape/production/system noise -- there is no way you will hear the ultrasonic DSD 'noise' in a normally working system.
 
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