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NTK

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I have a question. I understand Nyquist and how given two sample points there is only one solution to "draw" a sine wave through them, but how does the DAC actually fit the sine wave to these two points? How do they correctly interpolate?
It is usually done (theoretically) using the sinc interpolation. Please see this thread for details.
 

Aerius-Aye

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I experminted with SACD and found that in some informal blind tests, I could not hear any difference between PCM and SACD. It is my feeling that people think SACD sounds better because so much attention is lavished on the mastering of the content, along with careful selection of well-recorded and mixed music. I own quite a few MFSL hybrid SACD discs, and I have found the PCM and SACD layers equally satisfying. I also have the ability to rip SACD to PCM, and again, I have heard no difference.
 

tmtomh

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I experminted with SACD and found that in some informal blind tests, I could not hear any difference between PCM and SACD. It is my feeling that people think SACD sounds better because so much attention is lavished on the mastering of the content, along with careful selection of well-recorded and mixed music. I own quite a few MFSL hybrid SACD discs, and I have found the PCM and SACD layers equally satisfying. I also have the ability to rip SACD to PCM, and again, I have heard no difference.

Same here.

The only tiny qualification I'd make is that there are some hybrid SACDs out there where the CD-PCM layer has the same mastering but the levels are such that there is digital clipping. (It is possible to create PCM clipping during SACD-PCM conversion if you don't set the makeup gain properly.) I don't know how many releases this issue applies to, and I don't know how pervasive or audible the clipping is, but it is a potential source of a perceived sonic difference in some cases.

To be clear, my experience is the same as yours, and I agree with what you say here - the same mastering, played at the same volume, will sound indistinguishable in DSD vs PCM in my view.
 
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AudioJester

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I experminted with SACD and found that in some informal blind tests, I could not hear any difference between PCM and SACD. It is my feeling that people think SACD sounds better because so much attention is lavished on the mastering of the content, along with careful selection of well-recorded and mixed music. I own quite a few MFSL hybrid SACD discs, and I have found the PCM and SACD layers equally satisfying. I also have the ability to rip SACD to PCM, and again, I have heard no difference.

As has been pointed out to me, apparently you need a dac that can do native dsd, without internal resampling/filtering/converting to pcm.

I see dacs that claim to handle dsd, but convert to pcm first.

If the source goes through the same processing in the dac, unlikely to sound different?
 

tmtomh

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As has been pointed out to me, apparently you need a dac that can do native dsd, without internal resampling/filtering/converting to pcm.

I see dacs that claim to handle dsd, but convert to pcm first.

If the source goes through the same processing in the dac, unlikely to sound different?

In my view and experience, the corollary to @Aerius-Aye 's experience of SACD vs PCM also applies: take a device that does pass through pure DSD and compare its DSD output with its DSD-converted-to-PCM output, and if you are using the same SACD and the volume levels are matched, you're not going to hear a difference (at least not in controlled testing).
 

Aerius-Aye

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As has been pointed out to me, apparently you need a dac that can do native dsd, without internal resampling/filtering/converting to pcm.

I see dacs that claim to handle dsd, but convert to pcm first.

If the source goes through the same processing in the dac, unlikely to sound different?
Before I got my Benchmark DAC2 (which does not convert DSD to PCM) I had a Sony DVP-S9000ES, which was a great player, with excellent sounding DACs. I could play either layer of a hybrid disc. If it was a well mastered, good recording, my hybrid disc experience mirrored what I get with the DAC2: parity. If the layers were mastered well, and volume-matched, they sounded the same. After that, I tried DSD rips from SACD fed directly to the DAC2 right before or after those same rips which had been losslessly converted to 16/44 PCM via XLD. The tracks sounded the same, which is to say, in many cases, absolutely gorgeous. One reference disc I often used was Willie Nelson's SACD, Stardust, which was all jazz standards, beautifully rendered by an excellent band. That was not a hybrid disc. Still a fave. I listen to the PCM files, as I have standardized on PCM for convenience.

So, I was (am) a guy who adores the sound of SACD, owned about 30 titles, and had a great Sony player to boot. I really wanted to hear DSD sounding better. But it just sounded wonderfully the same. In the end there was nothing lost anyway; a great performance recorded and mastered well sounds killer in ye old 16/44 Red Book standard.
 
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