CD vs Computer playback on DirectStream

Would that be the Statement SE Silver ?

One minor warning with the Vanity HD card - they use stereo RCA jacks for each digital output, but only the bottom one is really hooked up. The strange thing is that in some setups the top sort of works so be sure to double check that you are using the bottom (red) connector.

A great bit of information, Ted. How very odd.

Yep, I plugged into the top and the left and right channels sounded just fine (well maybe a rare tick.) The center and sub were noisy but you could clearly hear the music and the left and right rears were complete hash. I guess there was just enough coupling in the 1st jack to be detectable by the comparator in the DS. The documentation mentions that the top connectors shouldn’t be used, but I bet a certain number of people connect wires by feel behind their components and it would be an easy mistake to make.

And it would be reasonable to simply assume they are both legitimate outs. Many do not read documentation, or merely glance at it.

AudioPraise’s installation instructions are very But need to followed meticulously. The setup instructions could be a little better as not clear as to which switches to use for DOP. Can’t now precisely remember but I honk only switch 5 needs to be set to the “on” position. Other problem is you need a 4 year olds eyesight to read the switch numbers and position.

I only have a single DS and costs a bit more in the UK with import duties and 20% VAT (how can you complain about State tax) plus the visit to Tiffany &Co when her indoors found out what had spent the DS plus the Vanity board and in answer to Rogerdn, the Audiosensibility Statement Silver. Had no problem finding where to plug in the coax as followed the instructions. It goes where what was previously the front right channel, the plug on the right with a bit of red paint on it. Haven’t tried the other sockets. Can’t understand how Ted goofed on that bit. What so they say about geniuses!!!

Will also mention that they make a AES version of the board which costs more and it uses the array of sockets previously dedicated to the left channel.

ps. One more bit of interest for listeners of classical music. There’s load of classical SACD for sale, new ones are released regularly and only slightly more expensive than a CD. Try LSO Live for dynamic range.

pss Didn’t go down the AES route on the Vanity as couldn’t find any respected cable manufacturer made a XLR to twin RCA cable of the guaranteed 110 ohm variety.

Equipment: Linn lp12/Ittok/Lyra Delos/Kore/Lingo. PSA NPC. PSA DirectStream. Oppo 103/Vanity HD. SONY XA5400ES (made redundant by the Vanity). Krell KAV400xi. Spendor SA1 plus two B&W PV1 subs.

Cables: list to be updated.

Computer: Late 2014 Mac Mini 16gb RAM 256gb SSD. 1tb Buffalo Thunderbolt HDD. Synology 213 NAS 2x2TB.

Future plans: flog the Sony, flog the concrete box appartment I live in. Buy big house with large lounge relatively detached from other rooms and completely detached from any neighbours. Toss up between the Maggie 3.7 or ML Montis. Maybe a BHK and further forced visits to Tiffanys -,wish they sold boxes on their own.

Some of the LSO Live recordings are very nice indeed. You can get them from NativeDSD.com if you prefer downloads to physical SACDs.

Thanks for the site. Not sure will be able to buy these downloads in the UK. We even get restrictions on HD Tracks. What’s interesting is that much of the material on that site can be bought as downloads in the UK but only available as 96/24 or lower. Funny thing is SACD is cheaper than the downloads.

A while back I bought the LSO Live Beethoven 7th in DSD as an experiment. I have a couple other Beethoven cycles and prefer to spend money on music I don’t already own, much as I love Beethoven and other old friends. I listened to it once after I got it. This thread prompted me to go back and hear it again tonight. When I said that some of the LSO recordings as “very nice indeed,” that is, well, an understatement. This one anyway, in DSD, is demonstration-class. Utterly amazing. I’m out of superlatives. It certainly wasn’t bad the first time I listened to it, but maybe Yale has made its virtues more apparent. Or maybe I was distracted by other issues at the time. Or whatever. But now I will definitely play this for my audio buddies.

John_k’s comment prompted me to look on Amazon (US) for the SACD. It is indeed available, and at an attractive price (~US$50 the set). My first issue is that, while I still own an SACD player, its DAC is definitely not in the same league as the PSA DS. And, of course, Sony doesn’t let us have a digital out. So I wouldn’t get to hear the true quality that’s in the DSD/SACD files. Second, having just gone through a move, I am really trying to avoid bringing additional objects into the house; that’s one of the things I like about digital music.

Bottom line: if you’re interested in a set of Beethoven symphonies, and have a really good SACD player, the SACDs seem like a bargain and should make you very happy. If you don’t have an appropriate machine, and if you like classical music, I suggest buying one of these as a DSD download to hear what DSD can really do. I can’t imagine you will be disappointed.

John_k said Dev

Pity it’s a 105 you have rather than 103 as there is a mod available for the 103 that will let you play the DSD layer from a SACD through coax to the DS. Will also play a BD or DVD in 24bit PCM. It’s a Dutch company called AudioPraise and they manufacture a pc board that replaces the DAC/RCA board at the back of 103 and a piece of cake to swap over. The board is called a Vanity HD and you’ll need to DOP version to pass DSD. It’s available in the US but costs more than the Oppo. I’m in the UK and the Vanity/Oppo cost me just shy of £1200.

John, I came to know about this vanity card later in this forum. Its pretty expensive (and I had to buy a 103) but when I bought the 105 at the time of release, the card didn't exist. I looked around at other options decided to go the computer route and buy high quality downloads (or DSD when available). I have few SACD which I can't seem to rip normally and there is also no DSD downloads available cry I read that you need a PS3 with some specific version of the firmware to rip it. That's a big hassle and imho, a big disadvantage. This is where the vanity card comes in handy, I suppose. Anybody know how to rip SACD without the PS3 ?

There is a very detailed thread about ripping SACDs on the Computer Audiophile forum. Bottom line is you have to have a P3 of a certain vintage and then jump through a lot of other hoops.

@Dev: Sorry I missed your question on Oct 11. No, I currently use minimserver and Fidelizer Pro but am getting ready to move to a two computer system with JPLAY/AO. Yes, word is that with this setup, multi-core is the way to go.

magister said There is a very detailed thread about ripping SACDs on the Computer Audiophile forum. Bottom line is you have to have a P3 of a certain vintage and then jump through a lot of other hoops.
yup, I have seen that but too lazy to go that route. winkSomewhere I read that some folks are offering this as a service. You send them the SACDs and they will rip it for you in a thumb drive for a nominal fee.
wglenn said @Dev: Sorry I missed your question on Oct 11. No, I currently use minimserver and Fidelizer Pro but am getting ready to move to a two computer system with JPLAY/AO. Yes, word is that with this setup, multi-core is the way to go.
Wglenn, yes two PC Jplay setup is a way to go if you are using PC based system for your source. At first I didn't believe this but after trying at Marcin's request I have found tremendous improvements in my system. I also feel that using an external DDC adds much more then using the DS's usb directly (see my other thread on this). It look a while to fiddle and get there but right now my DS setup sounds superb either via I2S or AES.

Magister

Been offline last few days but did read your post. Am very happy for you that so enjoyed the 7th. Isn’t that kind of pleasure what it’s all about. Have just been listening to a double DSD stream of the 6th on a site dsd.st which is free. Mesns you need to download “primeseat” software and is still a Beta version so DOP only available for Mac so far. Think it’s a Korg product. You can also listen to the Chopin international piano competition too. Wonderful acoustic.

Returning to SACD, did notice quite a price difference between a dsd download and a SACD though one will need to buy quite a number of SACDs to beak even after the cost of the Vanity and a decent coax. Just seen Presto Classical selling a Colin Davies anthology consisting of 8 SACDs plus 4 CDs for £30. The MP3 download cost £55!!

Thank you John – the dsd.st site looks very interesting and I had not heard about it before.

If only we could rip SACDs like we can CDs (yeah, I know about the P3 business but that’s too much for me). I’m seen them on sale too at various outlets.

So I still couldn’t figure out whats the deal with SACD. It appears that Sony doesn’t even make any devices (PS3 or similar) to rip the SACD for personal use. Does that mean unlike CD, Sony doesn’t want us to make a private copy legitimately ? I assume this for piracy reasons ? Also if I understand correctly, a DSD download (dsf or dff format) is the same as SACD format or not ? Is Sony also involved in this copyright of DSD downloadable files ?

No, Sony doesn’t make any devices to rip SACDs and they don’t want us to make copies even in ways that would be permitted under US law (backup/personal use). Apparently the law says that companies can’t prevent users from making copies of purchased software (including audio or video media) for use within their own systems, if they are able to do so, but companies are not required to facilitate such copying. Fear of piracy is of course the origin of Sony’s policies.

DSD is a digital recording technique. SACD is a distribution method for DSD recordings, involving putting the DSD data onto a disk in a specialized way such that only decoding units that follow Sony’s system (and for which licensing fees have been paid by manufacturers) can read the disks. Sony has allowed only analog outputs from SACD players, that is, the digital to analog conversion must be done within the player.

Sony was involved in the development of DSD, but I don’t know all the details. It’s quite possible that makers of DSD recording equipment pay licensing fees to Sony. But Sony does not control what recording studios can do with the final product – just like in the old days a company might patent an improved tape recorder mechanism, which manufacturers would pay to license and use in their machines, but the studio still controlled the result.

When SACD was introduced, I don’t imagine anyone envisioned digital downloads of DSD recordings, given the primitive state of the internet at the time and the large file sizes (remember dial-up modems?). Who knows what Sony or other companies would have done, if they had foreseen this.

magister said No, Sony doesn't make any devices to rip SACDs and they don't want us to make copies even in ways that would be permitted under US law (backup/personal use). Apparently the law says that companies can't prevent users from making copies of purchased software (including audio or video media) for use within their own systems, if they are able to do so, but companies are not required to facilitate such copying.
Actually, this is incorrect. There is no exception for duplicating copyright material for your own personal use. However, the industry has stated it has no objection and will not prosecute such infringement. It is also absolutely illegal to rip your CDs and sell or give away the originals to another. You own one copy, not two or more.

Additionally, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act criminalizes the production of technology which defeats DRM.