DSD confusion

Any help with my DSD confusion would be much appreciated.

  1. All SACDs are DSD64 also known as single rate?

  2. DS DAC SR. Can play DSD64 and DSD128 (also known as double rate) via the BridgeII and USB?

  3. What does the file extension .dsf stand for?

  4. What is the difference between DSD files and DXD files?

  5. Lastly, I have one DSD512 album (Patricia Barber, Higher) from nativedsd.com that sounds really good on my Auralic hardware. Is DSD512 considered octorate?


  1. Yes. The 64 is a sample rate of 64 times CD sample rate. So 64 x 44.1kHz = 2.8224MHz
  2. DSD64 via both, DSD128 via USB and I2S inputs only. The Bridge only supports DSD using DoP which packs the DSD bits inside a 24-bit 176.4kHz enclosure.
  3. No idea. One of the DSD file formats represents a complete album, the other is an individual track with metadata – or something like that.
  4. DXD is a super high res PCM format. 32-bit 384.8kHz. It’s not DSD but it’s used as an editing format for DSD material in some workflows, I think.
  5. Yep. 512 times the sample rate of CD, 8 times the sample rate of DSD.

DSF = DSD Stream File
DFF = DSD Interchange File Format

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DSF and DFF are merely file formats for DSD. They contain the same musical information and play the same way…

The difference is DSF provides for the inclusion of detailed embedded metadata; the name of the song, composer, performer, etc. DFF only allows limited metadata.

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Thanks dvorak. Great answers.

I want to clarify in question 2 that the DSD can only decode double rate DSD via the USB and I2S input. Bridge is limited to single rate.

Thanks to each of you! I’m glad there won’t be a quiz.

If I could ask about one more often used term.

What exactly does “remastering” mean and consist of?

You bet. In what context? like a remastering of an album?

I actually meant “mastering” and not remastering and yes I in the context of an album.

Could you give me a little more detail? If it’s in reference to Tidal, it will likely be an MQA album. If you see it displayed on the DSD’s screen, then it is definitely an MQA album.

Just mean literally what does mastering consist of. What is done? What steps? I’m asking because as this thread started on DSD (the format, not the DAC), I’ve read many times the mastering is of more importance to sound quality than the format, sample rate, or bit depth.

Oh gotcha!! Goodness, that’s a big one! You could definitely start a new topic on that one because it’s a whole world that you can explore. I promise I’m not being lazy here but these articles will be much more eloquent than I would be.

FWIW, I have a friend that is in a relatively successful band and has been playing music his entire life along with going to school for music. He still describes mastering as “unexplainable magic.” Jokingly of course, but not entirely.

Thanks, James! I should have done what I tell my students to do first - Google it.

I could be wrong, but, I think mastering can take multiple tracks that were recorded and then mix it into a two channel or multi-channel mix. As part of that process there could be changes to frequency response and level of each track and even the addition of effects such as echo. There’s a famous SACD by Patricia Barber called Cafe Blue which sounds excellent. They then released another version called Un-Mastered which sounds very bland in comparison to the original mastered version (the original SACD fetches about £80 on ebay and is getting very rare - the unmastered version sells for about £35). Having said all that, you do get remasters of two channel stuff which takes the original twin track master but uses the latest/best technology to produce the final remaster that aims to sound better than the original release.

Ha, no problem at all. If it weren’t such a big and important topic, I would have given a TL;DR, but I want to give the topic justice.