DSD vs FLAC?
Apr 30, 2015 at 12:38 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

RockStar2005

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Do albums sound better in DSD vs FLAC? If so, is it because of the higher numbers or b/c they're just mastered/remastered better than Hi-Res FLAC albums are? 
 
Also, if I downsample a DSD file down to lossless 96/24 Hi-Res FLAC using dbPowerAmp, will it sound the same? If so, will it still sound the same if I further downsample it to lossless Redbook? 
 
Thanks, 
 
 
RockStar2005
 
Apr 30, 2015 at 1:28 AM Post #2 of 27

KG Jag

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Both are excellent formats.  It is highly likely that it is far more important how the music is recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered than which of these formats is utilized.
 
These factors are not guaranteed to be excellent just because the music is released in a hi-rez format.  I have heard some real crap in both, as well as stuff that is limited by the technology and state of the studio art at time it was laid down.  On the other had I have also heard some outstanding music from a redbook CD that can compete with many hi-rez offerings.
 
Apr 30, 2015 at 11:49 AM Post #6 of 27

RockStar2005

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Patrice, 
 
I don't know much about DSD, but samples are available all around. Here is one site that has them. 
 
Regarding buying DSD files, the only store I know of that has them for sale is the Acoustic Sounds/Super Hi Rez store. There are 3 different kinds of DSD to choose from as well (see last link). 
 
Hope that helps!
 
 
RockStar2005
 
Feb 6, 2016 at 7:31 PM Post #8 of 27

solidjon

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I was looking online for an answer to this myself when I came across this discussion. I had already downloaded a couple of CD's in AIFF format and was very impressed, especially when remembering how they were in mp3 format. I've now directly ripped some CD's using XLD to both FLAC and DSD (Direct Stream Digital). The equipment used for listening was my macbook pro feeding to an external non oversampling single bit DAC, fed to a heavily modified Creek OBH 11 headphone amp feeding a pair of HD600's (also modified), I alternatively also listened to the mac directly using the HD600's and got the same listening results which were as follows.
If any of you have listened to a top end vinyl player, and a similar priced CD player, there is often a greater sense of air and openness about the vinyl player, that's how I would liken it between the FLAC and DSD files. The DSD being more airy and open, where as the FLAC sounds not closed in as such, but just not the same sense of spaciousness around either the vocals or the instruments.
I listened to both Eva Cassidy and Goldfrapp, so two totally different types of vocals and music. I did notice one thing though, and that was the recording on the DSD file was slightly lower in volume, but I'm sure this could be altered in my import settings on the 'gain' settings.
My personal preference is the DSD file type, but at the end of the day that's just what it is, personal preference and how you like the sound of your music, are you a CD fan or die hard vinyl or even tape like myself (I have tapes recordings I play on my CR7e that sound better than on the CD version), but as I say, it's all personal preference. I hope this clears the water rather than muddying it. For a slightly more open spacious sound around the music, go with DSD, for the more CD sound, go with FLAC.
 
Feb 6, 2016 at 8:19 PM Post #9 of 27

Marine121

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i am a new user- In My personal Opinion
 
I would advise FLAC due to the fact that DSD is Only 64 times the CD Audio sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, but only at 132768 of its 16-bit resolution. where as FLAC is in portable audio devices and dedicated audio systems is somewhat limited compared to uncompressed PCM or common lossy formats such as MP3, but FLAC is generally supported by more hardware devices than competing lossless compressed formats that may have intellectual property constraints.
 
Apr 1, 2018 at 5:27 AM Post #10 of 27

afshin

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photo_2018-03-20_01-25-34.jpg
 
Jul 12, 2018 at 12:47 PM Post #11 of 27

smodtactical

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I started experimenting with DSD today. I looked up guides to run DSD on foobar 2000 and installed all the plugins and then downloaded a 'dsf' file from this website: http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html Specifically I got MAGNIFICAT from there. After some fiddling I got it working. I am using a Burson Conductor SL 9018 -> HD 800S.

I was surprised to find that when I switched back to my normal directstream output the file still played! Does my DAC then support DSD natively? Is that why it plays even over my native output method?

Anyhow it sounded great but I don't have a flac version to compare to. I downloaded the Stereo DSD 256 version and was not thrilled by the fact the file was almost 800 mg (for a 4.5 minute piece of music). I think such massive file sizes make DSD somewhat impractical unless you have some seriously massive harddrive to store everything.
 
Jul 12, 2018 at 1:08 PM Post #12 of 27

Yuri Korzunov

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Jul 12, 2018 at 2:47 PM Post #13 of 27

smodtactical

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Check user manual of your DAC.

To native playback DSD, foobar2000 should be ajusted https://samplerateconverter.com/educational/play-dsf-foobar2000




It is not technically correct comparison. It is hardware and software issue.

Read details https://samplerateconverter.com/educational/dsd-pcm

Yuri I did install all the plugins for SACD and Asio but when running the dsf file I didn't even need to switch to asio in the output section, it ran through directstream. Is this typical?

"
10. DSD vs FLAC sound difference
DSD and FLAC (PCM) sound quality comparison is complex matter. Because there are many variables: record, playback software and hardware. And all these variables are defined by implementation. Thus it is impossibly to say exactly what is sound better DSD or FLAC - it is need to learn each case."

That is from your website. So how would you compare dsd to flac? I used the same hardware and software and presumably would need to get a flac and dsd version of a song. Then play each and listen. How else can I compare?
 
Jul 12, 2018 at 3:12 PM Post #14 of 27

Yuri Korzunov

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but when running the dsf file I didn't even need to switch to asio in the output section

May be I'm wrong, but it looks like foobar convert DSD to PCM and send last one to DAC.
Also may be used DoP packed DSD-stream. ASIO allow to send unchanged audio stream. Without ASIO operation system process audio (PCM only).

So how would you compare dsd to flac? I used the same hardware and software and presumably would need to get a flac and dsd version of a song. Then play each and listen. How else can I compare?

You can't compare DSD and PCM as formats. You can compare DSD-implementation with PCM-implementation. Implementation here is system: recording+software+hardware.
 
Jul 12, 2018 at 4:03 PM Post #15 of 27

smodtactical

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May be I'm wrong, but it looks like foobar convert DSD to PCM and send last one to DAC.
Also may be used DoP packed DSD-stream. ASIO allow to send unchanged audio stream. Without ASIO operation system process audio (PCM only).

You can't compare DSD and PCM as formats. You can compare DSD-implementation with PCM-implementation. Implementation here is system: recording+software+hardware.

Ok so assuming the record/mastering is the same, the software running the file is the same and hardware (headphones) are the same. You are saying in that scenario there should be no audible difference in sound quality between flac and dsd?
 

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