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post #16 of 86

Well, all I'll say is that if SACD remains alive, then DSD is alive.  I don't play the plastic, I play the .iso which is stored on my NAS.  I'm sure the recording companies HATE this.  But I see plastic only in terms of archival storage.  Why should I take a chance on scratching a $35 disk?  And why can't I play anything in my collection via my Smartphone while being a couch potato?

 

The real issue is how in future we will get "audiophile content" - I don't care as long as I can buy it (via download), and store it on a NAS and play it.

 

Go back to vinyl and all that grief?  "How quaint" - no thanks.

 

Cheers!

Frank

post #17 of 86

I'd take a bet that HDTracks and Linn Records get far more traffic than ... what was that DSD site again? High-res PCM is where it's at IMO.

post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I'd take a bet that HDTracks and Linn Records get far more traffic than ... what was that DSD site again? High-res PCM is where it's at IMO.

 

 

I not willing to bet, but I think DSD will come through as the standard at some point in the future. Certainly Sony could shoot themselves in the foot but they do have Blu-Ray to help them ponder DSD's future more slowly.

post #19 of 86

In my view, the only reason DSD is making a comeback is because the tools are now out there to rip SACDs (with a specific firmware PS3), and there's an underground network of people sharing these rips. There's never going to a realistic commercial market for DSD files, because there are very few people with hardware to play them, and many of those few are just interested in sharing pirated rips rather than spending the money to buy recordings.

 

There's also never been any sound technical motivation for DSD. It was a "neat hack" when 1-bit sigma delta modulators were considered state of the art, but no one is using 1-bit sigma delta modulators any more for audio applications. It has serious drawbacks over high data rate PCM, e.g.: http://sjeng.org/ftp/SACD.pdf  On the production side, Pro Tools doesn't support DSD, and so most DSD albums are downmixed from high rate PCM.

 

Nothing about DSD makes any sense. I'd prefer that you just produced a very high quality non-sigma-delta statement DAC that supports high bit rate PCM, and leave DSD playback to software applications.

post #20 of 86

I'm with Mike here. Easier to deal with known evils than unnecessarily start anew and discover what you need to fix (besides what you know that you need to fix) on an inquired exercise. PCM 24/192 is just now getting where it should be to actually be beneficial. Not a good time to jump ship and start over on what is still an imperfect and unneeded format. As a general character, DSD, while open and harmonic sounding, lacks a certain tangibility, contrast or pace to it. It doesn't seem to get as black for me but that's just IMO.

 

You can reproduce an analog master tape with 192/24 to the point where analog electronics or DAC quality is more to blame for deviation than anything lacking in a file. Why make files larger, limit yourself to one form of Decode topology and waste time that could be used perfecting what's already here for 2ch use. I've never heard music as emotive in multi channel. DSD is a video offshoot like when folks used their rotating head VCRs for music. Anybody still doing that?

 

Mike knows his stuff. After Theta, he made a video preamp call Angstrom. It was better as a 2ch stand alone DAC than any of the similarly priced dedicated DACs of the day. Perhaps not on paper but in playing tunes. It wasn't about being technically superior due to new tech etc. though it was obviouslt proficient. It was that good because he got stuff that matters right and knows what music sounds like. It matters and he tends to get things voiced correctly. Being technically proficient is not enough to make special kit, there's a bit of moxie and art involved. If Mike isn't into DSD, there's a reason and we may not be hearing all of it since he does need to run his business. Could be that he just hasn't heard any benefit compared to PCM done right as well so why complicate things? I would be in the second camp.

 

This from Wiki which reitterates as why not to change streams:wink_face.gif

There has been much controversy between proponents of DSD and PCM over which encoding system is superior. Professors Stanley Lip****z and John Vanderkooy from the University of Waterloo, in Audio Engineering Society Convention Paper 5395 (2001), stated that 1-bit converters (as employed by DSD) are unsuitable for high-end applications due to their high distortion. Even 8-bit, four-times-oversampled PCM with noise shaping, proper dithering and half data rate of DSD has better noise floor and frequency response. However, in 2002, Philips published a convention paper arguing against this in Convention Paper 5616. Lip****z and Vanderkooy's paper has been criticized in detail by Professor Jamie Angus at an Audio Engineering Society presentation in Convention Paper 5619[dead link]. Lip****z and Vanderkooy responded in Convention Paper 5620.

When comparing a DSD and PCM recording of the same origin, the same number of channels and similar bandwidth/SNR, some still think that there are differences. A study conducted at the Erik-Thienhaus Institute in Detmold, Germany, seems to contradict this, concluding that "hardly any of the subjects could make a reproducible distinction between the two encoding systems. Hence it may be concluded that no significant differences are audible."[

post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonUnit View Post

In my view, the only reason DSD is making a comeback is because the tools are now out there to rip SACDs (with a specific firmware PS3), and there's an underground network of people sharing these rips. There's never going to a realistic commercial market for DSD files, because there are very few people with hardware to play them, and many of those few are just interested in sharing pirated rips rather than spending the money to buy recordings.

 

There's also never been any sound technical motivation for DSD. It was a "neat hack" when 1-bit sigma delta modulators were considered state of the art, but no one is using 1-bit sigma delta modulators any more for audio applications. It has serious drawbacks over high data rate PCM, e.g.: http://sjeng.org/ftp/SACD.pdf  On the production side, Pro Tools doesn't support DSD, and so most DSD albums are downmixed from high rate PCM.

 

Nothing about DSD makes any sense. I'd prefer that you just produced a very high quality non-sigma-delta statement DAC that supports high bit rate PCM, and leave DSD playback to software applications.

bigsmile_face.gif

post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post

Hey all,

 

You can blame both Mike Moffat (baldr) and I for this one, since it reflects an ongoing set of conversations we have had about DSD.

 

With DSD furore in full force following CES, you could be excused for thinking this is the Next Big Thing. But, in fact, if you look at online metrics, the dsd-guide.com site has 8x less traffic than our own (tiny) schiit.com site, according to Alexa. And yes, we know these numbers are only approximations--we use alexa, compete.com, and quantcast.com all the time compared to real site metrics, so we know about their variance. But they do provide an interesting comparison.

 

(Now, if we're missing some huge site where all the DSD aficionados hang out, please let me know--this will have bearing on our future products.)

 

Mike has mentioned the problems with adopting new technologies early on. That's one of the problems with DSD. There's both 64x and 128x DSD. Does the USB receiver support both? Some do not. Does the D/A IC convert them both natively? We don't really know what goes on, say, inside a AKM4399. And the reality is, nobody really knows what the "best DSD decoder" is yet.
 
Until now, the solution has been to pick a D/A IC that "does" DSD, and take what comes out. Well, except in some very high-end cases. Fact is, the best DSD decoder is probably nothing more than a very good switch, and a real, adaptive anti-imaging filter with deep notches at the fundamental carrier frequencies. But that "nothing more" is completely different than, well, pretty much every D/A IC out there. And note the adaptive part. If you're doing 2.8MHz or 5.6MHz DSD, you'll need different filters. Or at least want different filters. So you're dynamically reconfiguring the analog stage. Not a huge deal, but again, it's not something you deal with when using PCM. This leads to the idea that the best DSD decoder is probably a standalone box, or at least completely different analog boards in a decoder that would do both PCM and DSD. Which means, $$$. Sorry. Went into engineeringland there for a moment. 

 

Here's how I see it, probably oversimplified:

 

Audiophiles have always had their holy grail of "superior" audio formats, all with limited software:

In the 1970s, it was reel to reel. Dead.
In the 1980s, it was DAT. Dead.
In the 1990s, it was HDCD. Dead.
In the 2000s, it was SACD. Let's say, dead.
In the 2010s, it's now DSD.

Do we think that the result will be any different this time around?

 

Please convince me that I'm wrong. We are open-minded, and willing to change.

 

All the best,

Jason

To be fair, reel to reel was sonically viable until tape became scarce.

post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post

Hey all,

 

You can blame both Mike Moffat (baldr) and I for this one, since it reflects an ongoing set of conversations we have had about DSD.

 

With DSD furore in full force following CES, you could be excused for thinking this is the Next Big Thing. But, in fact, if you look at online metrics, the dsd-guide.com site has 8x less traffic than our own (tiny) schiit.com site, according to Alexa. And yes, we know these numbers are only approximations--we use alexa, compete.com, and quantcast.com all the time compared to real site metrics, so we know about their variance. But they do provide an interesting comparison.

 

(Now, if we're missing some huge site where all the DSD aficionados hang out, please let me know--this will have bearing on our future products.)

 

Mike has mentioned the problems with adopting new technologies early on. That's one of the problems with DSD. There's both 64x and 128x DSD. Does the USB receiver support both? Some do not. Does the D/A IC convert them both natively? We don't really know what goes on, say, inside a AKM4399. And the reality is, nobody really knows what the "best DSD decoder" is yet.
 
Until now, the solution has been to pick a D/A IC that "does" DSD, and take what comes out. Well, except in some very high-end cases. Fact is, the best DSD decoder is probably nothing more than a very good switch, and a real, adaptive anti-imaging filter with deep notches at the fundamental carrier frequencies. But that "nothing more" is completely different than, well, pretty much every D/A IC out there. And note the adaptive part. If you're doing 2.8MHz or 5.6MHz DSD, you'll need different filters. Or at least want different filters. So you're dynamically reconfiguring the analog stage. Not a huge deal, but again, it's not something you deal with when using PCM. This leads to the idea that the best DSD decoder is probably a standalone box, or at least completely different analog boards in a decoder that would do both PCM and DSD. Which means, $$$. Sorry. Went into engineeringland there for a moment. 

 

Here's how I see it, probably oversimplified:

 

Audiophiles have always had their holy grail of "superior" audio formats, all with limited software:

In the 1970s, it was reel to reel. Dead.
In the 1980s, it was DAT. Dead.
In the 1990s, it was HDCD. Dead.
In the 2000s, it was SACD. Let's say, dead.
In the 2010s, it's now DSD.

Do we think that the result will be any different this time around?

 

Please convince me that I'm wrong. We are open-minded, and willing to change.

 

All the best,

Jason

To be fair, reel to reel was sonically viable until tape became scarce but not so much for home use. The others never offered anything for me in the first place. DAT, yuk.  

post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I'd take a bet that HDTracks and Linn Records get far more traffic than ... what was that DSD site again? High-res PCM is where it's at IMO.

 

HDtracks gets about 40x the traffic of dsd-guide.com, Linn Records is 27x. Of course, these are rough approximations.

post #25 of 86

DSD is not new. DSD64 (1bit @ 2.8 MHz ) is known basically as SACD. This resolution is most widespread, and all downloads I am aware of are 2.8 MHz. 

 

I am a free lance recording engineer. I always strive to make recording as close to the impression the listener in the audience in the best seat of any given venue would perceive live.

 

I have recorded, always pure 2 channel,  analog casette without noise reduction, analog casette with noise reduction, S-VHS video casette, CD-R and recently DSD.  

 

Korg DSD recorders I now  work with besides DSD at 2.8 and 5.6 MHz ( DSD128) also support any PCM between 192/24 down to 44.1/16. I find DSD at 5.6 MHz better than anything else. It simply sounds closer to the mike feed than PCM even at 192/24.

 

Previous posters have presented pros and contras in almost every possible way. I am the first to admit DS is not perfect - but it most closely resembles what we can hear. It may have problems with noise above audio range, it may not be totally distortion free - but it is fast enough, it will record a pulse better than any PCM in existance, even DXD which is PCM at 384 kHz sampling frequency/32 bit depth.. Although I respect Mr. Lip****z very much, I feel that total mathematical perfection is less important than simply registering something has happened. An analogy:   if you were some minority and your representative in  Congress would have two options: because your last name/tribe/whatever is very hard to pronounce ( high frequency in audio, above 20 kHz ), in PCM not recorded at all ( but everything below that correctly, which does exclude you ) or in DSD slightly distorted ( mispelling your name ) - what would you prefer, not being mentioned at all or at least having a chance to clarify matters later?

 

SACD failed because vast majority of recordings, done conventinally, much the same as for CD, simply do not contain recorded information that could take advantage of DSD/SACD. Very few recordings actually originated as DSD recordings - "upsampled" PCM is not or only marginally better than in native enviroment - and majority of DSD recordings have been mastered in PCM environment and only at last stage converted back to DSD/SACD. 

This was/is because hardware and software for mastering DSD in its native enviroment was/still is very expensive and only recently really pure DSD recordings start to become available.

 

DSD128 or DSD at 5.6 MHz is the first digital format I consider to digitize my vinyl library - it is also the first good enough to make recordings of actual phono cartriges tracking high frequency information from various test records. The best phono cartridges exceed capabilities of any present digital format - there were carts capable of 120 kHz bandwidth, and only DSD will record (attenuated ) so high frequency - any PCM ( with the possible exception of DXD ) will be long gone at this frequency. If you observe the 1 kHz square wave recorded on test LP on an oscilloscope, DSD at 5.6 MHz looks to naked eye as the best approximation of the output from cart/pream directly connected to scope - 192/24 can no longer capture fine detail in high frequency range ( due to for PCM characteristic ringing, which is MUCH better with DSD ).

 

Goodvibes has correctly indicated that analog stages may well be the limitting factor - digital, be it PCM or DSD, is perfectly capable of outstripping analog stages, which, if done right, are $$$ and are therefore prone to be the first victim of cost cutting measures when going from prototype to actual commercially available product.

 

It is expected that designers who have attained pinnacle in PCM will not be pleased of having to do it all over again - besides pure commercial considerations, which would of course tend to prolong present PCM as long as possible.

 

One of advantages of DSD is that it can be converted to any current PCM required - and you still have full resolution DSD master. If master is in PCM, that is it - resolution is as what it is and "upsampling" after the fact will do little if any good. 

 

It is my firm belief that efforts the musicians have put into their performance should be recorded with the best possible "technicalities" - capturing as much of actual sound as possible - not limitting that due to current belief what is considered as audible or what hardware/software has reached general

acceptance.

 

Information missed at the recording can not be retrieved later on.

post #26 of 86

great post, thanks analogsurviver

post #27 of 86

I get on well with analogsurvivor but don't agree about DSD. I think some of this has to do with what we make our evaluations with. DSD may be easier to impliment but with the kit I use, I get better dups with PCM and have never not lost a little bit of the soul with DSD. Frankly, I'm just happy that we've moved beyond CDs.bigsmile_face.gif


Edited by goodvibes - 1/27/13 at 1:57pm
post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I get on well with analogsurvivor but don't agree about DSD. I think some of this has to do with what we make our evaluations with. DSD may be easier to impliment but with the kit I use, I get better dups with PCM and have never not lost a little bit of the soul with DSD. Frankly, I'm just happy that we've moved beyond CDs.bigsmile_face.gif

 

I don't think we have. CD 44.1kHz/16bit remains the dominant format for publishers. I'm fine with that, the equipment that deals with it is always getting better and that is where I want the focus. I don't think vinyl and digital media playback can be reasonably compared, they are two different worlds. 

post #29 of 86

I don't understand. Music is music. I'm not into 'sounds'. I didn't say that we've replaced CDs but we have moved beyond them. By your perpective, we've moved from Cassette tape to CD to 192 lossy as they have been the most used in succession. Most aren't aware that prerecorded casettes and 8-tracks actually out sold vinyl and that is what CD replaced as the popular medium. Lossy downloads have replaced CD as same. You can't look at the market for advancement of quality. Been to any record/CD stores lately? Lossy has become the dominant format for publishers.


Edited by goodvibes - 1/27/13 at 6:29pm
post #30 of 86

First of all, I am into audio because I like music. I worked in CD/LP retail for 10 years ( in my retail days, CD outsell LP by ?????? % )., but have worked in exact time CD has reached its peak and witnessed start of its decline as a product desirable for retail.

 

I also think that analog and digital if and when done right, would sound the same.  What we have now is both coming towards the same goal from two entirely different directions - but hopefully will meet "in our lifetime".

 

I do not think general public or market has moved appreciable from the CD when QUALITY audio is concerned. Of course, there are high rez PCM download sites and also DSD download sites are starting to appear - but when faced with the desire of any musician that does not have money to burn most you can do for his/her  issued recording is still common CD - regardless of in which format is the master.

 

I believe we will see return of vinyl en masse - not so much because of preference for the SQ but for very trivial and above all pragmatic reasons. Why? You CAN copy anything digital - and for that reason, NO downloads of real DSD masters at 5.6 MHz are available - the ones at 2.8 MHz are still very good, but they are comparable to second generation copy of an analog master tape.

Simple question - If you made a recording - would you be willing to sell EXACTLY maximum you have, that is to say master, for the download fee of say 100 $ - knowing it can be duplicated without any loss ad nuseaum ? Forget anti copy measures, they are usually defeated BEFORE they appear.

 

Fact - you can make a copy of an analog record. Fact - it will be worse than original. Fact - it will cost you more to make that copy than it did to produce original.- if that is not a detterant and insurance against piracy than I do not know what it is. By issuing only vinyl for appreciable time before any digital version is released, there is a chance of music makers actually making some money.

 

Music has not stopped being made/produced when the CD hit the scene.But digital, or to be exact, the abuse of the digital, is perfectly capable of putting a stop to it. If you were musician, working hard say 10-20 years to arrive at the position to form a band or become a member or soloist in an orchestra - selling say couple hundreds official CDs ( with unknown numbers of copies made from those originals sold ) will hardly cover your costs for making the recording - let alone making an income necessary for you to be able to pursue your career. 

 

That is the true state of affairs at the moment - musicians, producers, recording engineers etc have to eat and live somewhere, free downloads or pirated copies of their work can not sustain their existance in the long run.

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