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krabapple

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Bitrate = Sample Rate x Bit Depth

Uh huh. (Though not for lossy, where bit depth is not meaningful in the same way as PCM...also arguably true for DSD)

SACD (DSD) is typically 2,822.4 kHz (sample rate) x 1 bit (bit depth) x 2 channels = 5,644.8 Kbps
Redbook CD is 44.1 kHz x 16 bits x 2 channels = 1,411 Kbps

Surely you see the comparison problem here by just looking at bitrate? They arrive at their Kbps by very different means.

In any case *this is beside the point*. Unless you are talking lossy encoding, or sub-CD-rate PCM, bitrate is not determining audible quality that you encounter in normal listening*.

That is overwhelmingly determined by *mastering* choices (which for these purposes also includes tape sourcing , for analog sources).




*normal listening does not mean, e.g. jacking up the volume to deafening levels so you can hear minute differences in reverb tails
 

ZolaIII

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@luft262 yes you are looking at it wrong. DSD is 44100 Hz x64 one bit stream. Unfold at 16 bit precision it's 44100 x 4 or 176400 Hz. Amount of data is equal to PCM 176400 Hz 16 bit Wave (identical). Flac is Wave with basic data compression so it's 30~40% smaller. Same compression (and additional) can be applied to both Wave and DSD (additional including Flac) with packing formats such as WavPack. Main difference is DSM vs PCM.
 
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luft262

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OK. I see what krabapple is saying, or at least I think I do. Bitrate only matters for lossy formats. Once you get to lossless it is equal to the original recording so birtrate is irrelevant. The lower the bitrate for a lossless format probably the better for storage and transmission reasons. The only reason DSD may be better or worse vs a lossless format like FLAC would be if the the original recording was better or worse. So then the question becomes what is the availability and quality of DSD recordings vs PCM. I guess I would go back and assert that at the time, before streaming, when the options were SACD or CD, SACD had the potential to be better, but yes it was only if/because the master recording was better. Now that Hi-Res, lossless FLAC files are available for streaming from Hi-Res studio PCM masters the usefulness of DSD would be more questionable for the end user? Let me know if I'm still missing something.
 

krabapple

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DSD vs FLAC is an odd comparison. DSD vs PCM (WAV) is more apt. Both are lossless. FLAC is just a lossless compressed version of a PCM (WAV) file. The analogous lossless compressed format for DSD would be DST (used on SACD discs).
 

luft262

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Gotcha. So after recording music using either DSD or PCM methodology the studio then converts is to DST or FLAC for consumption by the end user. Do any of the major streaming platforms offer any files in DST or would one have to download the files/use an SACD disc? I take it at that point one would also need a DST compatible DAC.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Gotcha. So after recording music using either DSD or PCM methodology the studio then converts is to DST or FLAC for consumption by the end user. Do any of the major streaming platforms offer any files in DST or would one have to download the files/use an SACD disc? I take it at that point one would also need a DST compatible DAC.
DST is used on SACDs, especially multichannel ones, to squeeze more onto the disc than it would otherwise accommodate. You can rip SACDs and choose not to convert from DST. I have not tried that because I do not know of any DAC that will decode it although JRiver can do it.
 

dfuller

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Gotcha. So after recording music using either DSD or PCM methodology the studio then converts is to DST or FLAC for consumption by the end user. Do any of the major streaming platforms offer any files in DST or would one have to download the files/use an SACD disc? I take it at that point one would also need a DST compatible DAC.
I'm unaware of any studio recording in any sort of PDM format. Hell, I don't even think any DAWs support it! Maybe if you're transferring from an analog master tape to a dedicated recorder (in which case, why are you bothering?), but if anything is done ITB, the file will have been PCM at some point. This includes doing cuts and fades.
 

Head_Unit

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it doesn't matter what format is used, either can produce excellent sonic fidelity.
Amen, amen. All that technology and bitrate is way way less important than the skill of the people making the recording.
- To spin off @krabapple 's statement, sorry but you cannot compare CD/SACD/DVD/Blu versions of a title and make any conclusions about the technology whatsoever, because they may well NOT be the same mastering. Even Dark Side Of The Moon on SACD had for example clipping on the CD layer but not the SACD layer.
 
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firedog

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I'm unaware of any studio recording in any sort of PDM format. Hell, I don't even think any DAWs support it! Maybe if you're transferring from an analog master tape to a dedicated recorder (in which case, why are you bothering?), but if anything is done ITB, the file will have been PCM at some point. This includes doing cuts and fades.
There are some classical labels doing it. NativeDSD even sells some albums that haven't been converted to PCM at all.
You can also produce an album where only the edits are in PCM, so 99.9% of the album remains in DSD.
 

firedog

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No, it's not that.



No.

Differences you hear in normal listening between SACD , hi rez PCM, CD are due to *mastering* differences. (Or trivial differences in analog output level/voltage). You aren't hearing 'bitrate' differences, as you could between low and high bitrate mp3s.

It's that simple.
No, it''s not. . Filtering and modulator differences can alter the sound of the analog result. Jussi of HQP fame has also shown measurable differences, depending nf filtering and modulators. He's also demonstrated, to give one example, that there are DACs that give their best objective measurable output when fed DSD 256 from a file upsampled to that before being sent to the DAC.
 

ZolaIII

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@firedog there are players with DSD conversion front ends that will give 1~2 dB better measurements than outputting to PCM like JRiver but most of them will give diminishing results (considerably worser). There can be a difference with DAC's if PCM line isn't authended good and on the way it picks up distortion (IMD) or if jitter/clocks are bad but in those cases design is considered broken. There's absolutely no need for more than DSD 128. As said before both types of modulation have their pros and cons.
 
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dc655321

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result. Jussi of HQP fame has also shown measurable differences, depending nf filtering and modulators.

"Measurable" sure, but do those differences exceed audibility thresholds?
Could you please provide a link or two to this info? I seem to recall something from computer audiophile, but maybe I'm misremembering...
 

firedog

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"Measurable" sure, but do those differences exceed audibility thresholds?
Could you please provide a link or two to this info? I seem to recall something from computer audiophile, but maybe I'm misremembering...
You can find them as easily as I can.
 

firedog

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@firedog there are players with DSD conversion front ends that will give 1~2 dB better measurements than outputting to PCM like JRiver but most of them will give diminishing results (considerably worser). There can be a difference with DAC's if PCM line isn't authended good and on the way it picks up distortion (IMD) or if jitter/clocks are bad but in those cases design is considered broken. There's absolutely no need for more than DSD 128. As said before both tipes of modulation have their pros and cons.

I'm not arguing for it. I listen mostly in PCM, occasionally dabble in conversion to DSD.
I'm just noting that there can be a difference in how it sounds and also measurements that give a reason for it. AFAIR, some of the differences Jussi has measured are audible.
In any case, it's no different than people here thinking that small changes in SINAD that are below the -110 threshold are significant when they are sitting at home listening.
 

ZolaIII

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I'm not arguing for it. I listen mostly in PCM, occasionally dabble in conversion to DSD.
I'm just noting that there can be a difference in how it sounds and also measurements that give a reason for it. AFAIR, some of the differences Jussi has measured are audible.
In any case, it's no different than people here thinking that small changes in SINAD that are below the -110 threshold are significant when they are sitting at home listening.
Well if it's a DAC with 110 dB SINAD then changes won't be neither significant nor auditable (+2 - 6 dB SINAD range) but if it's one struggling to get 16 bit SINAD than they will (more so if it's even lower).
 

majingotan

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No, it's not that.



No.

Differences you hear in normal listening between SACD , hi rez PCM, CD are due to *mastering* differences. (Or trivial differences in analog output level/voltage). You aren't hearing 'bitrate' differences, as you could between low and high bitrate mp3s.

It's that simple.

Agreed 100% on mastering quality. DSD released albums that are mixed 100% in analog then the final mix is then recorded straight to DSD without any digital editing (that requires DSD->DXD conversion) are some best mastered recordings I've heard, just like the one I'm currently listening below in DSD512. Also, gotta give props to recording studios that spend lots of time setting up proper microphone placement and strictly just record without post production mixing and mastering as they tend to care more about recording quality compared to mainstream studios that just pump music loud and rack up lots of $$$.

AAC full spectrum.jpg
 

Pluto

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gotta give props to recording studios that spend lots of time setting up proper microphone placement and strictly just record without post production mixing and mastering as they tend to care more about recording quality compared to mainstream studios
This has little to do with the studios (or recording companies) themselves.

It all comes back to the demands of the client. Many professionals detest what they are asked to do in the name of "contemporary audio style".
 

firedog

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Lots. Tend to be the older SACDs, or Japanese ones.
 
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