good classical DSD recordings

I just purchased my first good sounding DSD recording:

Do you guys have some other good DSD recordings in the Classical genre?

FYI: I did not like

This is a fun and popular list.

You might check to see which ones are available on DSD and with any reviews.

adriaan said I just purchased my first good sounding DSD recording:

FYI: I did not like

I have never heard a bad-sounding DSD recording; all that I’ve bought have that analog-like smoothness. Of course there are some differences in SQ, but I am a little surprised by your remark. I should add that I buy only from reliable sources like Channel Classics, Blue Coast, and Pentatone. Some labels sell converted PCM files which are not the same as native DSD recordings. The three labels I mention have been working with DSD for a long time and anything from them should be good. Also L2 from Norway.

Recently I’ve been enjoying two albums from Pentatone, one with Bizet’s L’Arlésienne suite and some other stuff, and one with Mendelssohn’s Symphonies 1 and 3. Note that Pentatone sells their DSD as iso files, so if your player won’t play these directly (foobar will), you have to manually convert to separate tracks.

I have all the San Francisco Mahler recordings. I have listened mostly to the earlier ones and thought they were excellent; now I’ll have to compare #7. I assume you are referring to SQ, not Maestro Thomas’s interpretation, when you say you didn’t care for #7.

Opus 3 has a nice DSD sampler–more jazz than classical, but cheap and superb sound.

Find the works you like on Pentatone as performed by Julia Fischer. I think her interpretation in most cases is very nice, and as magister said Pentatone does good DSD.

Octavia Records (Japan) have decided to offer their native DSD classical recordings for worldwide download. The first albums are currently only available online from

An excellent recording of the 7th symphony of Shostakovich can be found on nativedsd:

I’m extremely fond of all of the Reiner (and others) recordings that were done for the Living Stereo / RCA series that are available in SACD. Case in point i often have people listen to the recording of the Emperor Waltz from the “Vienna” album that was recorded by the CSO in 1958 and most of the listeners I have demonstrated this to swear that the recording sounds like it was made in the last couple of years. I personally rip the ISO / DSD files to my NAS, but if you don’t want to go to the trouble of doing that and have a good transport, they are excellent recordings in any case.

From a recording quality perspective my favourite labels are channel classics and 2L Nordic sound.

Why do some of the albums on the Pentatone site have the PS logo on them?

pichi said Why do some of the albums on the Pentatone site have the PS logo on them?
Any chance it is these?

We sponsored some of the recordings.

This thread has been dormant, even though people keep adding to the ‘Redbook CD’ thread regularly. So I’ll add a few of my new DSD favorites.

For those who haven’t noticed, the recordings made by David Wilson (of loudspeaker fame) decades ago are now being reissued as DSD downloads available from NativeDSD. These are all very good, but one that really struck me was John Fenstermaker playing the organ at Grace Cathedral. My speakers disappear and I seem to be in a great big reverberant space. That’s a neat trick, given that my speakers and room are smaller than what many of the folks on this forum have. The dynamic range and tonality of the organ are demonstration-class. I also like pianist Hyperion Knight playing the original (piano solo) version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, with excellent piano sound.

NativeDSD is also distributing recordings by the Russian label Caro Mitis, which specializes in Baroque and early Classical music. They are all worth checking out if you like this era of music, and the sound is excellent. In particular, I enjoyed the keyboard sonatas of J. C. Bach played by Olga Martynova.

I studied harpsichord for many years. Harpsichords are tricky to record, since close miking can emphasize the pluck on the string rather than the tone that follows; the result can be overly bright, even fatiguing. Martynova plays an instrument by William Dowd. My teacher owned a Dowd of about the same vintage as the one Martynova uses. The minute I started this album playing I was strongly reminded of what it was like to play her instrument – quite resonant with a complex but not too bright tone. While I haven’t personally heard this particular instrument, it sure sounds like the Dowd I played often.

Harpsichord is very tricky. One that amuses me is Elizabeth Farr’s recordings of Byrd’s “My Ladye Nevells Booke.” The instrument comes across as very powerful. Power is not normally associated with a harpsichord, unless compared to a clavichord.


does anybody of you know

Dear also selling DSD256 from Eudora. I’m actually really new to the DSD-community so I would love to get some other recommendations.

Start with You can be confident that everything they sell is a native DSD recording or transferred directly from an analog master. They also have a very enlightened policy: if you buy a higher-rate album, you can download lower-rate versions at no extra charge. I’m buying 2x recordings when they exist, even though the Bridge in my DS dac can’t play them, and archiving them for the future, then downloading and playing the 1x versions.

Otherwise, pay attention to what you are getting. I don’t buy DSD (which I like very much) unless the vendor makes clear the provenance. Some labels sell recordings that were made in PCM and converted to DSD, or that were made in DSD but had to be converted to PCM for editing then back to DSD. There is great debate about how such conversion affects the sound. Such recordings can sound very good, but my own philosophy is that it’s usually best to play something as originally recorded. And I have no interest in paying extra for a DSD recording that began life as PCM. YMMV.

Most of us classical listeners don’t really need any more Beethoven. But I will recommend the new Reference Recordings Pittsburgh Symphony playing symphonies 5 & 7, available from NativeDSD. It will blow you away. (Anything else from Reference Recordings is pretty much guaranteed to be good, BTW.)

i agree about the Beethoven suggestion above regarding the 5th and 7th. very well done. Sadly I tried their Tchaikovsky 6th and it was not all that great.

I also heard differences between the FRESH releases of Reference Recordings, but most differences between their own and their “outsourced” FRESH releases (not done by Keith Johnson).

I think the recent San Francisco Symphony recordings are amazing.

Specifically, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 and the Mason Bates.

I am still a bit disappointed in the available web stores with DSD downloads…

I am currently only using and to a much lesser extend

Any suggestions on DSD downloads in the classical genre?


I can recommend this DSD Tchaikovsky from Reference Recording: