Is the MoFi scandal good for DSD?

It seems like I’m seeing a lot more interest in DSD production, mastering and release these days. Do you think it’s because MoFi has made people rethink the merits of DSD?

Or am I just mistaken?

Please let’s not get tangled up in the issues related to the controversy—that’s not my intent. My question is purely whether the fact that mofi used DSD as their first step is good for making people aware of the merits of DSD.

PS Audio got me thinking about it first, and then some DSD recommendations here

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What leads you to think there is a lot more interest in DSD production, mastering and release? Any data you can point to? The only thing the institutionalized deception MoFi engaged in had me rethinking is my continued patronage of their music products, regardless of format.

I don’t have quantitative evidence I must say. Just that when I B look at other forums and this there doesn’t seem to be the same level of DSD pooh pooh-ness as there seemed to be. And some have even tried DSD in their listening.

You know what they say… no such thing as bad publicity.


the audio analyst did a great video on this.

In the end MOFI decided to master DSD 256 ONCE from the master tape. You only get once chance to do this so they are doing it with DSD 256 so new stamps each identical to the other can make super nice Vinyl products.

The issue is they lied about it. That pissed many off. Even though in the end its probably the 100% best way to tackle the task.


I’m not interested (anymore) about whether MoFi lied, deceived, is culpable, how customers feel etc.

My main point is only whether the revelation that they reproduce the original analog in DSD for the start of their mastering process is good for DSD awareness.


Whatever happened with this MoFi suit anyways? Don’t seem to hear much about it anymore.

Oh no! Please, not mofi-related suits and stuff.

Interesting thought, @shankha. Perhaps. So hard to tell. Some have been beating the DSD drum for a very long time, for good reason. And it is possible this bruhaha prompted some rethinking. I suspect that it certainly brought DSD256 into greater visibility.

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Good way to find out is if they are available to buy in 256 on third party sites. You would think they have them, sell the DSD version. Or are they pushing the 64 DSD Disc?

Yeah, you’d think; but they’re not doing that. Just selling SACDs.

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I think the Mofi thing didn’t help DSD at all as a recording format for vinyl releases, it also didn’t help DSD to be seen as being a “technically less digital” format than PCM, but it helped DSD to be more recognized as a seemingly somehow better digital format than PCM.

DSD will continue to be enjoyed by the few thousands of people who do, that may go up or down by a handful from time to time, they will all be happy in the knowledge that they have the best format, and the other 5 billion people on the planet who listen to music on a stereo, through headphones, earbuds, on the radio, on YouTube or however won’t really give a damn.


I do recall many in the VC (on YouTube at least) pushing for more explicit labeling as a result of the MoFi reveal. I’m now increasingly hearing people discuss the mastering as it pertains to either format, as equally as I might have previously heard where and by whom the mastering was executed. I’ve heard some of the people I respect the most from the community sing the praises of DSD. When it’s all there is left of an aging, degraded and/or mishandled master tape, what other choice is there? Does one not listen to the music? Nonsense.

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I think one problem of the missing breakthrough of DSD is that its superiority is so secondary.

Just an example:

I think this might be my best sounding (native) string sound DSD in terms of an airy, breathing, lively, realistic sound:

But this one is even a bit better sounding and it’s recorded in 24/88,2. Not better because PCM sounds better than DSD, but because the recording technique produced an even more fascinating character.of the kind mentioned above.

By the way…want to hear one of the best sounding piano recordings in terms of room sound?


In my opinion it’s DAC availability with good to great DSD implementations. The marketplace is now full of DAC’s that are quite good at rendering DSD.


Yes I think the more HW options there are, the less people want to pass on DSD but try and play it where an available as format.

But when it comes to music choices (for music, sound or both), format is as important as the brand of tires on a car.

The marketplace was full of good DSD DACs 8 years ago. I bought one, it was even recommended by NativeDSD, in early 2016. I had it about 2 months.

The system I bought later that year, and still have, does DSD64, but upscales to PCM (40/352 or 40/384).

A lot of systems have a PCM or DXD stage and if you want to use any DSP, as I do, you have to do it on PCM data.

DSD just makes life difficult or impossible in the recording and playback because “pure DSD” just stops you doing anything else.

The manual for the Pyramix system recommends the .PMF format (up to 32/384) for multi-channel audio recording. DSD is an optional add-on, so even Pyramix users are unlikely to use DSD.

All of which is subsidiary to two factors:

  • Not many people are going to pay $20 or $30 for a file that they can listen at HD PCM on Qobuz for $0.
  • How often do you decide on finding a piece of music in a magazine or on the radio and find it recorded in pure DSD? Put another way, how many DSD files do you buy only because they are listed by specialist DSD websites?

I don’t necessarily buy only pure DSD, but for digital, I do buy only those that are pure DSD or those that were recorded in DSD 256, then mixed with DXD and then resampled to DSD 256 or 128.

So my answer is: often.