Matrix X-SPDIF 2

A number here have reported improvements in sound by feeding the DAC PCM converted to DSD rather than PCM.

This does not mean that the converter used is better than Ted’s, only that “pre-converting” was beneficial.

Everything sent to the DSD will go through Ted’s work no matter what. It is the input formats which are being compared.

1 Like

Actually it does…because Ted’s converter is running all the time so not doing the conversion in the DAC doesn’t change anything in the DAC. But, if you send DSD to the DAC, it does not go through the PCM to DSD converter in the DAC. So, the the only way preconverting could be beneficial is if the external converter was better than the internal converter…

Hi @speed-racer

I’m reporting what I’m hearing on my system. I’m not buying into a personal argument of who or what is “better than Ted” or the conversion process within the DSD. You’re an advocate for upsampling with HQPlayer, then through the DSD. I don’t have the HQPlayer, so I can’t comment on whether that would make a difference in my system with my ears…

This forum is for sharing observations and ideas. I don’t think it’s congenial to go on the attack when someone puts forward a view that does not fit with yours, particularly when you haven’t road-tested what has been shared.


Attack? I am saying that dBpoweramp’s DSD to PCM conversion is not that sophisticated. That what Ted or HQPlayer do on the fly is better than what dBpoweramp does. If you like what dbpoweramp does better than the what the DirectStream DAC does, then by all means do that.

I would never save my PCM content as DSD nor would I save my DSD content as PCM. But hey, that’s just me…

As an analogy, it’s like someone saying their favorite ice cream is Breyer’s cookies and cream, and you remarking, repeatedly, that Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Daaz cookies and cream is way better because they make it better and Dreyer’s doesn’t make it as good. The person who likes Breyer’s might be curious at first, but repeated attempts to pound that POV in would quickly devolve into resentment and argumentation.

To the point of the matter though, I agree there should be real differences in sound due to the anti-aliasing approach taken in each product’s PCM -> DSD conversion. I don’t know of any studies (and please share if you do) that say a certain bézier spline applied sounds better than another in a given situation – but I hope I can safely say that zerofill is awful.

I don’t know or I should say I don’t think there is actual conversion of the 44.1 16 bit to DSD rather just changing the file type to DSF instead of flac with JRiver but I’m definitely not an expert! My system is a Mac Mini using Roon connected via USB to Matrix Spdif 2 then I2S to PS DirectStream Dac.

Let me know what you think. I don’t know if I am even going to try it.

What I really want is the ability to rip my DSD (SACD) discs to their native format and put them on the hard drive so I can listen to them with JRMC and/or Roon.

I am skeptical that ripping a file to a non-native resolution before sending it to the DS DAC would somehow improve the sound, but :man_shrugging:

1 Like

I found that to be true very much and I know others who found the same clearly.
Also clearly better than uncompressed flac.

Unfortunately…because this means larger files.

I use aif due to the tagging capability and the neglectable differences to wav.

1 Like

It can be done with an OPPO 105 and some free software. I have done several and it works great. PM me and I will dig up the links to the instructions.

1 Like

I rip my SACD’s with a $30 Sony Blu-ray player I bought on eBay. Works great! I believe it’s a Sony BDP-S390

1 Like

I couldn’t find one of the cheap Sony players in the AU market, so bought a Marantz player that I can rip SACDs with.

Here is the long thread on it.
Ripping SACDs

Here is the website with the software:
Ripping software and instructions

I like this thread:

1 Like

For a few laughs I’m testing this with one or two CDs. Like others here, I’ve ripped the library to FLAC and am using HQPlayer to upsample, but it’ll be amusing to see if i can detect a difference. Actually tho, I think only one of my DACs will be able to deal with it. Others are limited to PCM 192.

The files are much larger, as some have said. 7GB for a CD that I think was 300MB as FLAC. And it takes probably five times as long, too.

My guess is I’ll try it for one album in the interest of science, and then let it go. In the interest of sanity.

1 Like

Please let us know what you conclude. There is nothing like a real-world direct comparison to learn what works.

1 Like

Teddy Pardo LPS and Lumin connection kit arrived yesterday. It took 5 days from placing the order to receiving it from Israel. AMAZING! First, I’m going to compare the +9v vs the +7v on the Matrix. Then install the connection kit and listen again. Either way my +9v Teddy Pardo LPS will be going up for sale.


I am repeatedly amazed how we quickly we can receive something from thousands of miles away.

Yet take three weeks to get something delivered less than 100 miles away.

1 Like

Hi @terzinator
Like Elk, I’m keen to hear your feedback. It interests me that converting FLAC to .dsf takes a long time with dBPoweramp but is done “on the fly” by the Directstream. Maybe it is the upsampling effect of conversion to .dsf files that is akin to the HQPlayer upsampling? From what I’ve heard in general, the Directstream gives as good as it gets. Better input = better output.

My guess is just that it’s a massively large file, and just takes longer to process?

I haven’t been able to listen to it yet, as only one of my systems/dacs can accommodate DSD.