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Thread: DCS upsampler

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrech View Post
    Hmm my dealer and I found just the opposite. We both have dCS Scarlatti stacks. we both preferred the transport. To me, it wasn't even close. They we tried the same on Ayre cd player (forget the model..but had a USB in)...again, I preferred the transport.

    I am not disputing your findings...just I found the opposite...
    I find it easy to believe you are both right. Based on my experience...I would find it hard to make general statements about transport vs music server quality. WRT music servers...I have found sound quality to be highly dependent on the entire music server chain (hard drive, software, usb to spdif converter, etc...)so results may vary depending on the combo used in the evaluation. Additionally, the dCS transport will benefit from low jitter as both the DAC and transport will reference the same clock. This will not be the case when using spdif inputs of the DAC for music server. I actually prefer a UPnP server/renderer combo over USB delivery...and I find sound quality differences depending on which server or renderer I use.

    I am now getting some time on my new Vivaldi stack (sans transport) using its network connection...this connection is asynchronous so I can lock both the DAC and Upsampler to the master clock (I use Naim HDX as the UPnP server). I would expect that if I had the transport...it would sound just as good on SACD or 16/44 based on what I have heard but I am unable to confirm..for now....this network connection is the best I have heard in my system.

    I do have a Ayre DX-5 in my system which is likely the unit you used...and in my system..the USB input outperformed the transport on 16/44...but higher rez DVD audio and SACD discs through transport slightly outperformed hi Rez FLAC files of same material via USB. USB system was Mac mini/Ammara. I preferred the Naim NDS/PS555DR across all sample rates over the DX5 except SACD which I feel is best in native form. The best 16/44 playback I have heard prior to the Vivaldi stack was the Naim CD555/PS555DR which I use in my study system

    FWIW...I still listen to vinyl more than 40% of the time and its my favorite source

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jfrech View Post
    Hmm my dealer and I found just the opposite. We both have dCS Scarlatti stacks. we both preferred the transport. To me, it wasn't even close. They we tried the same on Ayre cd player (forget the model..but had a USB in)...again, I preferred the transport.

    I am not disputing your findings...just I found the opposite...
    Did you and your dealer do the comparison with a blinded test?

  3. #13
    Member Sponsor microstrip's Avatar
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    I was looking at the DCS upsampler specifications and the input specifications of the DAC.

    The DAC accepts 2x Dual AES pairs at 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 & 384kS/s or dCS-encrypted DSD. Ignoring the DSD format, is there any PC card, such an the Lynx's or RME's that can output data in a format compatible with the Dual AES pairs at 352.8 & 384kS/s? Or only the DCS upsampler can use these inputs?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    I was looking at the DCS upsampler specifications and the input specifications of the DAC.

    The DAC accepts 2x Dual AES pairs at 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 & 384kS/s or dCS-encrypted DSD. Ignoring the DSD format, is there any PC card, such an the Lynx's or RME's that can output data in a format compatible with the Dual AES pairs at 352.8 & 384kS/s? Or only the DCS upsampler can use these inputs?
    The AES inputs on the Vivaldi DAC can accept dual AES like you mention, typically from the Upsampler or Vivaldi transport...or can operate as single AES inputs for sources that do not send dual signals. As a signal inputs, it accepts rates from 44-192k. So you lose the DSD and DXD There may be some other brands that support dual AES but I am not familiar with them

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Do you know if there is any PC based simple solution to upsample 44/16 files to to 352k with quality?
    I positively don't understand how upsampling 16/44.1 to 352K can make the original file sound better. You can't add more information to a file. The information that was encoded at 16/44.1 is all the information that is available to work with.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    I positively don't understand how upsampling 16/44.1 to 352K can make the original file sound better. You can't add more information to a file. The information that was encoded at 16/44.1 is all the information that is available to work with.
    Ok I am far from the digital expert here. Your statement "I positively don't understand how upsampling 16/44.1 to 352K can make the original file sound better" it doesn't do anything to the original file. Upsampling allows the digital to analog process to work better. You can hear it on my dCS Scarlatti.

    Here is a snipet from dCS's website (http://www.dcsltd.co.uk/page/myths)::

    "Upsampling
    An Upsampler is a digital-to-digital converter (DDC) capable of converting digital audio data at one sample rate to a higher sample rate. The term "Upsampler" was first used by dCS in 1998 during development of the dCS Purcell. Some other manufacturers appear to have confused the term "upsampling" with "oversampling", which is a similar process used in good audio DACs for many years. They have missed the point that upsampling is an intermediate step intended to provide enhanced data to drive an oversampling DAC.

    Some positive observations that help to characterise the effects of upsampling in a dCS system

    Upsampling to progressively higher sample rates makes progressive improvements to fine detail, sound stage depth and image separation. So, the sound quality increases as you upsample CD data first to 24/88.2, then 24/176.4, then 24/352.8 kS/s.
    Converting 16/44.1 to 24/44.1 kS/s makes a worthwhile improvement to the fine detail, so the resolution is important also.
    If data with a higher information capacity is presented to the Ring DAC, sonic improvements are reported.
    One present view is that upsampling works by breaking the DAC's oversampling function down into 2 steps, presenting the DAC with finer, smoother data, making the DAC's job much easier and more accurate."

  7. #17
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    I read it, but it only makes sense from a marketing point of view. If you change a single dollar bill into 4 quarters, you have 4 times as much currency in your hand, but you still only have a dollar. Likewise, upsampling 16/44.1 into any higher rate can't increase the actual number of bits of resolution or the sampling frequency-that has already been fixed in stone at the time of the recording. You don't get to go back later and add more information than was originally recorded by using a conversion process. I'm sure you can change the sound because all conversion processes will leave some type of fingerprints on the original file.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    I read it, but it only makes sense from a marketing point of view. If you change a single dollar bill into 4 quarters, you have 4 times as much currency in your hand, but you still only have a dollar. Likewise, upsampling 16/44.1 into any higher rate can't increase the actual number of bits of resolution or the sampling frequency-that has already been fixed in stone at the time of the recording. You don't get to go back later and add more information than was originally recorded by using a conversion process. I'm sure you can change the sound because all conversion processes will leave some type of fingerprints on the original file.
    I am not an engineer but my layman's understanding is something like this. Think of it like video displays today. Each video display has a native rate and while a display with a native rate of 720p can display a DVD signal....somewhere along the line-from DVD player to display- that signal has to be converted to the displays native rate. In many cases, a standalone video processor will do a better job converting the 480i DVD picture to 720p...rather than having the TV display do it. The same thing applies to many of the DACs today. For example, many DAC chips today process a signal at 704/768k...so when given a 44k CD stream, the DAC performs 16 times upsampling. If it is given a 176k signal it performs 4 times upsampling and so on.

    So while there can be separate debate on the benefit of recording music at higher sample rates....the uPsampler debate is really about does the standalone upsampler do a better job getting the signal closer to the DACs native rate....because it will be up-sampled to a higher rate somewhere along the line. Does the DAC benefit from not having to work as hard? ...does the dual AES connection generate less jitter? Does using a stand alone Upsampler sound better? That will be an individual decision...but not based on belief that the original signal is somehow getting more info...just that the info is being processed better.
    Last edited by Enatai252; 03-26-2013 at 07:11 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enatai252 View Post
    (...) So while there can be separate debate on the benefit of recording music at higher sample rates....the uPsampler debate is really about does the standalone upsampler do a better job getting the signal closer to the DACs native rate....because it will be up-sampled to a higher rate somewhere along the line. Does the DAC benefit from not having to work as hard? ...does the dual AES connection generate less jitter? Does using a stand alone Upsampler sound better? That will be an individual decision...but not based on belief that the original signal is somehow getting more info...just that the info is being processed better.
    Enatai252,
    Did you have the opportunity to compare the Scarlatti DAC with the Vivaldi DAC in the same system?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Enatai252,
    Did you have the opportunity to compare the Scarlatti DAC with the Vivaldi DAC in the same system?
    +1

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