Dsd compared to redbook

mep

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Apr 21, 2010
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#1
I'm hoping to hear from some other people who have DSD playback capability and DSD files to listen to with regards to their thoughts about how DSD sounds compared to RB digital. One of the things that I have noticed and I don’t know if it’s an anomaly with my Mytek Stereo 192 DAC is that bass on RB digital sounds much ‘punchier’ than DSD. All RB files that have significant bass encoded in them throw much more bass energy into my room through the Mytek than they ever did when played through my E-MU 0404 DAC. DSD files have great bass extension and smoothness, they just don’t call attention to themselves the way the bass does through RB files. Is there any correlation that anyone has seen/heard that with the lower the resolution, the more the bass stands out?

To my ears, DSD files sound more elegant and refined than RB digital files and dare I say it, it reminds me more of listening to 15 ips 2 track tapes than digital. There is a smoothness there that I find missing with RB. The sound is more course via RB. It just sounds like DSD contains more information and brings you closer to the sound that would have been heard in the recording studio. Listening to DSD is a whole new chapter in digital playback quality for me. And all of these comments are prefaced on listening to 1xDSD (64fs). I don’t own any 2xsDSD files (yet).
 

JackD201

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Apr 21, 2010
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#2
Discs only not files. The only way I can describe it is RB is 720 and DSD is 1080p but not quite that far apart. Early DSD players had a fuzzy quality to the top end. A friend actually described it as hirsute. I couldn't stop laughing. I don't hear that in newer generation players.
 

mep

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Apr 21, 2010
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#3
I never cared for SACD. I only bought a few discs and they never excited me which is why I only bought a few discs. They sounded more like RB upsampled than what my DSD files sound like.
 

JackD201

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Apr 21, 2010
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#4
When was this Mark? Older players did sound to me the way you described it. It could also have been the source of the SACDs as well. Some were made from PCM masters 24/48 as has been covered in other threads here and elsewhere. Maybe the reason you like your files better is that they are likely better files to begin with.
 

Bruce B

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Apr 26, 2010
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#7
What about SACDs extracted to hardrive via the PS3 and played back on the Mytek?

Is it superior to the physical disc playback?
That's what we're talking about. DSD files ripped from an SACD by any method. It is better since you're not locked into having a physical disc being decoded and put through filters.
 

dmnc02

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Jul 10, 2012
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#8
This is my experience as well. I have mentioned in another thread a couple of weeks ago that I prefer the sound of ripped DSD files fed into my emm DAC2X by my music server to the sound of the original SACD's fed into the same DAC by the matching emm TSDX transport.
 

mep

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Apr 21, 2010
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#9
When was this Mark? Older players did sound to me the way you described it. It could also have been the source of the SACDs as well. Some were made from PCM masters 24/48 as has been covered in other threads here and elsewhere. Maybe the reason you like your files better is that they are likely better files to begin with.
Jack-One was a Sony that I talked about before-the model number escapes me at the moment, but it was one of the decent ones with the copper lined chassis. The other one was a newer Denon (2809?). I just forgot about listening to SACDs and wrote them off until now. And since I have virtually nothing invested in SACDs, I'm not going to go through the pain of buying a old Sony Playstation and monkey-dicking with it so I can rip what few files I have.
 

dmnc02

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#12
I am talking about downloaded DSD files, not files that I ripped.
Does it matter? Is there any sonic difference between a DSD dowload from, say, Channel Classics and the DSD file ripped from the SACD using a PS3?
 

hvbias

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Jun 22, 2012
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#13
Does it matter? Is there any sonic difference between a DSD dowload from, say, Channel Classics and the DSD file ripped from the SACD using a PS3?
I might be confused here, but I thought the only way to play back SACDs ripped from the PS3 to an outboard DAC is either by

1) converting to PCM
2) playing the ISO with a professional DSD workstation to an outboard DSD DAC

Can a PS3 ripped SACD be played back on a Mytek 192 the same way a downloaded DSD file can?

I'm really interested in the hardrive playback method since two people have already said the hardrive method sounds superior to a physical disc. So apologies about my ignorance on the matter!
 

dmnc02

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#14
I might be confused here, but I thought the only way to play back SACDs ripped from the PS3 to an outboard DAC is either by

1) converting to PCM
2) playing the ISO with a professional DSD workstation to an outboard DSD DAC

Can a PS3 ripped SACD be played back on a Mytek 192 the same way a downloaded DSD file can?
Yes, it can: no PCM conversion needed (assuming of course that we are talking of the Mytech 192 DSD DAC).
 
May 30, 2010
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#15
How does the Mytek 192 compare with the Korg MR2000s playing DSD files?
 
Feb 11, 2012
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#17
One of the things that I have noticed and I don’t know if it’s an anomaly with my Mytek Stereo 192 DAC is that bass on RB digital sounds much ‘punchier’ than DSD. All RB files that have significant bass encoded in them throw much more bass energy into my room through the Mytek than they ever did when played through my E-MU 0404 DAC.
I very much doubt its an anomaly with your Mytek - I assume its an anomaly with DSD. Stanley Lipshitz has done the difficult math and shown that technically its flawed. More specifically, it can't be adequately dithered - the main audible upshot of this is noise modulation. With strong bass impulses the noise spectrum will change and we perceive this as softened bass - the impact is diminished. All S-D type converters have this effect to some degree, the S-D converter with the least by far is the Sabre (as found in the Mytek) because they did a lot of work to fix this up. Your EMU uses an AKM converter, also S-D type.

I conjecture that if you listened to RB using a multibit DAC you'd hear even more bass punch than on your Mytek. But then you'd likely lose the refinement at the top which you love about DSD.
 

dmnc02

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#18
I very much doubt its an anomaly with your Mytek - I assume its an anomaly with DSD. Stanley Lipshitz has done the difficult math and shown that technically its flawed. More specifically, it can't be adequately dithered - the main audible upshot of this is noise modulation. With strong bass impulses the noise spectrum will change and we perceive this as softened bass - the impact is diminished. All S-D type converters have this effect to some degree, the S-D converter with the least by far is the Sabre (as found in the Mytek) because they did a lot of work to fix this up. Your EMU uses an AKM converter, also S-D type.

I conjecture that if you listened to RB using a multibit DAC you'd hear even more bass punch than on your Mytek. But then you'd likely lose the refinement at the top which you love about DSD.
I don't have the technical qualifications to have an independent opinion on this, but the conclusion of the paper you refer to appears to be controversial, at least according to the authors of the Wikipedia article on Direct Stream Digital:

"There has been much controversy between proponents of DSD and PCM over which encoding system is superior. Professors Stanley Lipshitz 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. Lipshitz and Vanderkooy's paper has been criticized in detail by Professor Jamie Angus at an Audio Engineering Society presentation in Convention Paper 5619. Lipshitz and Vanderkooy responded in Convention Paper 5620."

This was also discussed in another thread (http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?5491-Nice-Review-of-DSD-by-Andreas-Koch). Are you saying that your experience supports the conclusion of Lipschitz and Vanderkooy?
 
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Feb 11, 2012
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#19
I don't have the technical qualifications to have an independent opinion on this, but the conclusion of the paper you refer to appears to be controversial, at least according to the authors of the Wikipedia article on Direct Stream Digital:
Relying on Wikipedia isn't recommended in such arcane matters as this. its not a matter of opinion, Lipshitz did the math and that's never been something decided by opinion. The Wiki quote you've cited makes several very basic errors - if you want me to deconstruct it, then I'm happy to do so.

Of course its controversial because there are commercial vested interests behind DSD, that in no way changes the math though. For similarities, consider the controversy behind Climate Change or Genetically Modified Foods. Philips and Sony are the two companies behind DSD/SACD so any paper connected with either of them deserves extra-special scrutiny in weeding out FUD.

Are you saying that your experience supports the conclusion of Lipschitz and Vanderkooy?
Yes my relatively limited listening experience correlates well with Lipshitz and Vanderkooy's mathematical treatment. As far as I'm aware (and please give cites if I'm wrong here) their math has never been shown to contain errors.

<edit> Thanks for adding the link to the other thread - I find I'm totally in accord with Amir. Here's a good summary snippet from there -

I was at the AES conference where a panel consisting of the authors in the AES paper (professors Lipshitz and Vanderkooy) and Sony/Philips were present. The content of the paper was shown using proper technical/mathematical analysis. Then everyone turned to the Sony/Philips folks and I was surprised that they provided no defense other than it sounds good anyway! Philips did present a counterpoint in the next conference but I have to say, despite preferring the sound of DSD, it was a let down. It was clear that smart signal processing people were not in the design loop of DSD.
 
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dmnc02

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#20
Relying on Wikipedia isn't recommended in such arcane matters as this.
That is understood: that is why asked you for your experience on the matter.

Do you believe that upsampling to DSD128 before the DA conversion (as done in the emm DAC's, and possibly in the ones by PD and Mytech) addresses, at least partially, the issues raised by Lipshitz and Vanderkooy?