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Thread: Ripping SACDs the right way

  1. #1
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    Ripping SACDs the right way

    Hi Bruce,

    In another thread (http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...ll=1#post48325) you said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    We've been ripping SACD's for about 3 years now for HDtracks.
    My question is, what is the best way to rip an SACD, from the analog out using a quality A-to-D converter like a Metric Halo ULN-8, or from a digital out using Meitner gear or some other means of extracting the hi-rez audio?

    Intuitively, it would seem that converting from the analog signal would not be the purist way to rip an SACD. Because essentially the recording will have gone from analog to digital, then to analog and back to digital again. Lots of conversions.

    Since you've been doing this for quite some time, I'd love to get your comments on the "right way" to rip an SACD and what gear would yield the best results.

    Gary

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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    I guess technically we're not "ripping" the data off. We're doing a direct 1:1 transfer of the digital DSD data stream and capturing it into our workstations.

    We have 2 workstations that we use. The first one is:

    Playback Designs MPS-5 out via ST-optical into a Sonoma workstation.

    The second is;

    EMM Labs CDSD out via ST-optical into an EMM Labs ADC8-IV changing the datastream from ST-optical to SDIF-3 and capturing the digital datastream into our Pyramix rig.

    Both systems are top-notch and both do a bit-perfect copy of the DSD data.

    Right now we are storing all the DSD data on 2 servers. For conversion to PCM we're using custom algorithms and downsampling to 24/176.4 and 24/88.2 for downloads.
    Last edited by Bruce B; 01-12-2013 at 10:36 AM.
    Bruce A. Brown
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    Thanks Bruce. I figured it had to involve an EMM Labs piece. Is optical preferred over AES/EBU?

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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsquared View Post
    Thanks Bruce. I figured it had to involve an EMM Labs piece. Is optical preferred over AES/EBU?
    There are 3 main protocols for DSD signal transfer.

    1. SDIF-2/3
    2. MADI ST/SC optical
    3. MADI coax

    AES/EBU is not an approved DSD protocol
    Last edited by Bruce B; 01-12-2013 at 10:36 AM.
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
    Stereomojo reviewer
    Seattle, WA


    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

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    PS3 SACD ripping is the best..

    The best way would be the PS3 sacd ripping method:
    http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper/

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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_wicked View Post
    The best way would be the PS3 sacd ripping method:
    http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper/
    Unfortunately you will need to acquire a SACD capable PS3 player. I tried reading instructions but it was too confusing. Plus, on longer SACD's, you're up against the FAT32 size limit. After you make the disc, they're only playable on DSD ISO disc players.
    I appreciate other methods, but the above methods I mentioned can be used with modern available equipment that you can plug-n-play.
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
    Stereomojo reviewer
    Seattle, WA


    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

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    Unfortunately you will need to acquire a SACD capable PS3 player. I tried reading instructions but it was too confusing.
    Getting the SACD compatible PS3 is not a big problem (there are millions out there), getting one with the proper firmware is (but definitely not impossible). There is also a big possibility a downgrade for higher firmwares (larger than 3.55) will become available in the near future.

    Plus, on longer SACD's, you're up against the FAT32 size limit.
    The software will allow you to output to DSDIFF or DSF. For those outputs the FAT32 size limit is not a problem at all. Only on ISO exports larger than 4GB SACD Ripper will split the ISO into multiple files which can be merged back together using file splitter for ex. (http://www.filesplitter.org/).

    After you make the disc, they're only playable on DSD ISO disc players.
    Not true. You can convert the DSDIFF, or DSF files to PCM if your DAC doesn't support DSD or you can burn the ripped ISO file to a DVD-R and play it back on one of the following players:
    http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper...patiblePlayers

    In other words; you get a 1-1 rip of your SACD (stereo AND multi channel!) and it's ripped on at least twice the normal reading speed and last but not least, all title and track information, etc.. is retained. This method is far superior than anything out there.

    I've had users ripping their entire 700 disc collection and they reported very little to no problems..

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    I appreciate other methods, but the above methods I mentioned can be used with modern available equipment that you can plug-n-play.
    The equipment you mention is not for people with little money in their pocket. You are talking about $10000 dollar plus equipment against a $200-$300 PS3 SACD player.

  9. #9
    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_wicked View Post
    The equipment you mention is not for people with little money in their pocket. You are talking about $10000 dollar plus equipment against a $200-$300 PS3 SACD player.
    Well.. this IS "What's Best Forum".. not "What's Good Enough"
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
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    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

  10. #10
    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Well reports are in that the PS3 ripping does not work on Classical discs where the track markers are during music being played, such as between movements. Also true for DSOTM and the Earth,Wind&Fire discs where there are no breaks.
    The track markers HAVE to be at a "zero-crossing" point for it to be inaudible. Otherwise, you get a click between tracks.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bruce B; 10-31-2011 at 08:18 PM.
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
    Stereomojo reviewer
    Seattle, WA


    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

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