DirecStream DSD sound quality


#1

Any opinions on the sound quality of DSD recordings with the DirectStream? The DSD recordings I listened to did not have the same spaciousness as high resolution PCM recordings.

Maybe the DS firmware is not optimally programmed for DSD or is it something else?


#2

@Adriaan how do you get DSD into the DS?

Are you using USB or UPnP streaming? I’m thinking if your player is sending DSD via DoP to DS, or it converts DSD into the PCM prior sending to the DS? And what is DS showing on it’s display while playing DSD?

adriaan said

Any opinions on the sound quality of DSD recordings with the DirectStream? The DSD recordings I listened to did not have the same spaciousness as high resolution PCM recordings.

Maybe the DS firmware is not optimally programmed for DSD or is it something else


#3

I am sending a DSD stream (DoP) from my NAS (using MinimSever) to the PS Audio Bridge. DoP is not converting DSD to PCM.

See also:

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue60/dsd_usb.htm


#4

mm, I just found out that some DSD recordings sound great including https://channelclassics.nativedsd.com/albums/symphony-no-2-in-cminor-resurrection.

It could do with a little more warmth and power though.


#5

It’s extremely hard to directly compare DSD to PCM because you are very unlikely to know the complete providence of the recordings in question. Any conversions between DSD and PCM add their own character since they all involve filtering choices (and when going from PCM to DSD multiple choices when implementing the sigma delta modulator.)

Anyway at the technical side the DS treats hires PCM and DSD identically and can’t really affect spaciousness differently between PCM and DSD inputs.

I’m not disputing that you hear differences I am just suggesting the differences are probably not in the DS.


#6

okay thanks Ted. But I thought keeping jitter within (low) limits was much more difficult with DSD? And the more jitter the less spaciousness is it?


#7

The jitter only affects the output: but for the DS the output of the FPGA is double rate DSD for any input, DSD or PCM. I.e. Jitter can’t affect DSD differently than it does PCM.


#8

In my system, DSD from NAS via Bridge sounds excellent. I, like others, have noticed an occasional lightness or leanness in the bass, but this can happen with either PCM or DSD (and it does not happen with most recordings).

The comment above refers to files that I can reasonably believe were never converted to PCM. They come from sources like Blue Coast and Channel Classics, or else the seller has given specific information about the provenance. I’m not saying that albums that were PCM at some point and later sold as DSD can’t sound good. But I don’t think it’s fair to use such albums to evaluate in general how well the DS plays DSD files.


#9

I would like to join in and tell my opinion now that I have listened some “orginal” DSD recordings. I must say that I don’t hear anything special about them. They sound nice, but because I know some lot better recordings recorded at PCM, I don’t understand what so great about DSD? I guess I like the transient snap of PCM that some think is harsness. I think a good example of PCM recordings is http://www.soundliaison.com. I think that the final format (except mp3) has a small meaning to the final sound quality if the recording, mixing and mastering is done well.

But somehow I like what DS does to PCM recordings (especially 44.1/16). It adds 3-dimensionality in a “holographic” way. I would call it “best of both worlds”.


#10

@harbapapa: It´s funny, you wrote your comment as if you were at my place yesterday. I tried both jRiver MC20 via USB and NAS->Minimserver->Bridge with several DSD-files. While listening to these files I asked myself if I would be able to tell without knowing, if it´s DSD or redbook. The same happens when I´m listening to PCM-HighRes-files. With my PWD I absolutely preferred Highres-files; now with the DS redbook really catched up. Since I did the DS-upgrade I´m a subscriber to the wimp-HiFi-streaming service and I´m really happy with the sound quality.

BTW: Yesterday I burned two DVDs for my PWT. One with Highres-, the other one with redbook files. To my ears that was the best sound quality I ever got from the DS; this time with slight advantages for the Highres-files. Now I´m curious what will happen if I get the chance to try a streamer, like the Pink Faun, which connects to the I²S-input of the DS. But that topic is covered by another thread here at the forum.


#11

The quality of the recording itself easily trumps any perceivable difference between the formats.

I second Harbapapa’s observation http://www.soundliaison.com produces excellent recordings. Their Thousand Shades of Blue is getting raves (Carmen Gomes has a great voice). You can download free samples here.