DSD Battle Royale!

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,028
563
1,740
Snohomish, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
With the newfound push for more DSD downloads, the consumer is demanding more and more of their systems. Tape is still the all mighty king with high-end vinyl rigs right behind. So where does that leave digital? For years audiophiles have been less enamored with digital and slowly building up their tape and vinyl libraries. With the advancement of new digital technology, DSD has never been more affordable and easier to listen to.
I have for years, strived to attain the best digital transfers possible of tape and direct-cut vinyl. With the advancement of new digital formats and better converters, the gap has slowly gotten narrower. For the first time anywhere, I have assembled the best of the best. For the Wilson Audiophile downloads, we did tape transfers though 5 different converters and let the Wilsons listen blindly to the files. Like Daryl said, the differences are not subtle. Now you, the consumer, can decide for yourself.
In the next coming weeks, I will be uploading DSD files from 5 different converters. You get the pick the best sounding one. There are no losers. All of these converters will best the converters of just a few years ago. The below converters need no introduction. You may have heard about their merits here or over at SA-CD. Now, you get to make the definitive call.
I will be doing master tape transfers of 3 different genres of music from a modified Studer A80RC MkII through a Doshi tape pre. To make the playing field level (because of the Grimm), all recordings will be done at DSD64fs. Later I may put 1 or 2 files up of 128fs and 256fs.

From top to bottom:

Modified Korg MR2000s BLK
Modified EMM Labs ADC8 IV
Ayre QA-9 and Mytek Stereo 192/DSD DAC
Merging Technologies Horus
Grimm AD1

I'll also include the Tascam DA-3000 when I receive it.

What say ye??



DSD2.jpg
 
Last edited:
Do you recommend native DSD or DoP. All I've got now is DoP.
 
Do you recommend native DSD or DoP. All I've got now is DoP.

DoP is a way to transfer the data, it doesn't affect the function of the DAC, so you could say that DoP is just as "native" as any other format on the wire. The content of the bits is not changed in any way.
 
Thanks. I was under the impression that conversion was going on.
 
I'm in.
 
Thanks. I was under the impression that conversion was going on.

Well, considering how much DSD-PCM conversion (and vice versa) is going on elsewhere, that impression is pretty understandable. DoP is a way to pack the DSD bits into a PCM "envelope" without changing the contents of the DSD data, making the DSD data look like 24/176.4 kHz PCM (of which only 16 bits are used for the DSD data) to the USB interface and device drivers that aren't DSD-aware. When a DoP-capable DAC receives the data stream, it throws away the extra "wrapping" and uses the actual DSD data, but were you to send the DoP data stream to a non-DoP DAC, you would only get HF noise out.
 
Count Me In...cannot wait to test on my Meitner MA-1, Emmlabs DCC2 SE, Mytek DSD
 
With the newfound push for more DSD downloads, the consumer is demanding more and more of their systems. Tape is still the all mighty king with high-end vinyl rigs right behind. So where does that leave digital? For years audiophiles have been less enamored with digital and slowly building up their tape and vinyl libraries. With the advancement of new digital technology, DSD has never been more affordable and easier to listen to.
I have for years, strived to attain the best digital transfers possible of tape and direct-cut vinyl. With the advancement of new digital formats and better converters, the gap has slowly gotten narrower. For the first time anywhere, I have assembled the best of the best. For the Wilson Audiophile downloads, we did tape transfers though 5 different converters and let the Wilsons listen blindly to the files. Like Daryl said, the differences are not subtle. Now you, the consumer, can decide for yourself.
In the next coming weeks, I will be uploading DSD files from 5 different converters. You get the pick the best sounding one. There are no losers. All of these converters will best the converters of just a few years ago. The below converters need no introduction. You may have heard about their merits here or over at SA-CD. Now, you get to make the definitive call.
I will be doing master tape transfers of 3 different genres of music from a modified Studer A80RC MkII through a Doshi tape pre. To make the playing field level (because of the Grimm), all recordings will be done at DSD64fs. Later I may put 1 or 2 files up of 128fs and 256fs.

From top to bottom:

Modified Korg MR2000s BLK
Modified EMM Labs ADC8 IV
Ayre QA-9 and Mytek Stereo 192/DSD DAC
Merging Technologies Horus
Grimm AD1

What say ye??

I'll try. What happened to your MSB A/D converter? Come to think of it - it probably does not convert to DSD...
 
Can I play too?
 
(...) Modified Korg MR2000s BLK (...)

Bruce, at what level are the modifications of your MR2000s?

I will compare the files with a non-modified MR2000s :eek: , unless some kind member can point me to a site describing nice DIY modifications.
 
Bruce, at what level are the modifications of your MR2000s?

I will compare the files with a non-modified MR2000s :eek: , unless some kind member can point me to a site describing nice DIY modifications.

Mine has just about everything in the analog chain upgraded and outboard PS.

I believe there are several companies that do upgrades.

Audio Upgrades

B-P-T may do them as well.
 
Sounds great!:D Thank you Bruce
 

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