DSD Conversion

I’m using a LUMIN streamer with the Directstream DAC. Is there any potential sonic benefit in letting the LUMIN convert PCM to DSD before the DAC? Or just let the DS do all of the converting?

I tested this feature with Roon Nucleus+ feeding DS DAC. It took away some of the air and space. So, I chose up-sampling by double rate only. i.e. 44.1 to 88.2, 48 to 96 etc. and capped it call at 192 though the DS DAC can handle higher rates. To my ears, this sounded better. Native DSD files were left alone.


Isn’t the DSD supposed to upsample it all to double rate DSD anyway?

Somewhere along the line (no longer remember which OS release) I believe it went from 2x to 10x.

I don’t know exactly, Ted S surely will clarify but I believe it takes all up to 10X then back to double rate, right TS?

I own a DSjr as well as a Lumin, and in principle don’t let the streamer or the software upsample anything -I just let the PS Audio dac perform those duties.

Think you’re right.

Originally it upsampled to 10x and then to 2x. Now it goes to 20x and back to 4x.


So would pre-DAC conversion From PCM to DSD be a waste of time, or is there some theoretical benefit?

The only thing that matters is which you like listening to on your system the best. There’s no perfect upsampler and each has to pick it’s tradeoffs. I believe I make good choices, but there are other competent people out there too. With well done upsamplers the differences in sound quality are basically personal preferences. As mentioned above some have chosen to upsample everything to double rate DSD, others upsample PCM to 176.4 or 192k then let the DS go the rest of the way. Those are certainly fine choices. Personally I let the DS upsample everything from it’s initial format.


As do I…

It might be fun to play with the upstream upsampling though, just to confirm the wisdom of my choice. Maybe over the holiday break, I’ll do some experimenting.

I hope others chime in here with some reporting on their comparative experiences and choices for best sound quality in their systems.

Ted, have a great holiday season and stay safe.


I tried upsampling to max PCM and DSD on a powerful Roon core and on a LUMIN U1Mini. For me (in my system and room with my music) it never did something to SQ that was worth keeping. So with the DSD I’m back to no upfront upsampling. This might be different with any other DAC.


hi Ted, is this true for the DSjr also?

Yes, they use almost identical FPGA software, the biggest difference is simply which wires are connected to which hardware devices.

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