Playing double-rate DSD on the DS


#1

I would like to play double-rate DSD over my DS. I’m aware of the following options:
a) Foobar2000 (USB connection)
b) Sonore Rendu (i2s connection)
c) Auralic Aries (USB connection)
d) the forthcoming PSA external Bridge II – whenever it becomes available (i2s connection?)

Are there any I’ve missed?

For some time now I’ve used a Synology NAS with MinimServer, and I like that setup very much. IIUC the Rendu or the Aries would let me keep that arrangement, adding an additional box to the chain. The Aries would let me use some streaming services like QoBuz and Tidal, which might be interesting. The Rendu seems like the most straightforward/simple/elegant solution for what I want.

I have experimented with Foobar, using the small headless computer that I bought to record vinyl with my NPC. The SQ is decent but the Bridge seems better with PCM and single-rate DSD. I dislike having to use a computer for playback, which makes either the Rendu or the Aries appealing; but are they worth the $1500 or so? Has anybody done SQ comparisons with these units and the Bridge?

Any other thoughts about the best way to play DSD128 on the DS?


#2

There are other streamers as well, such as the Bryston offerings. My guess is most (all?) will do so.


#3

Thanks, Elk. I’ve heard good things about the sound quality and build quality of Bryston stuff. The BDP-2 is twice the price of the Aries or the Rendu, and it’s not clear that it supports DSD128. According to the review on AudioStream, posted in mid-September, it’s limited to single rate. I just downloaded the manual from the Bryston website and it describes how to set up DSD over DOP, but does not mention whether double-rate is supported. I also don’t need all those USB inputs, so something simpler (but with good SQ) would be good.


#4

The BDP-2 is pricey. The BDP-1USB is a bit more rational at $1,795, but it supports only USB DACs (which includes the DS of course). It has four USB inputs/outputs. Only USB support is not an issue if one’s interest is DSD; USB is the only way to send DoP in any event. (I believe this is a licensing issue.)

I do not know about DSD128 as I have not tried it. I need to either record something in DSD128 or find something to download and try it out.

There has got to be other streamers/players that handle DoP other than these very few.


#5

The Sonore Rendu can (if you buy the version with the i2s output, an extra $100) send native DSD (64 or 128) from my ethernet-connected NAS into the DS; no DoP/USB needed. That info is from the Sonore website. This seems like such a straightforward way to go that I am leaning towards ordering one. I would much appreciate hearing from anyone who has heard the Rendu/DS combo, esp. with the i2s interface.


#6

I can confirm that double rate DSD is not supported by the Bryston BDPs at this time.

My BDP1 with Manic Moose firmware will not list the double rate files that I have tried to play.

The single rate DSD files do have an extremely smooth or fluid “ease” to how they sound.

I suspect that when Bryston has a DAC that will support playing single and double rate DSD files, they will update the BDPs further.

In the mean time, I am quite happy rediscovering my RedBook source material.

I have seen BDP1s sell for less than $1200.

If you do not have a huge music library, a BDP1 may be a good choice, just be certain that a copy of the sales slip is included!


#7
MrDerrick said

My BDP1 with Manic Moose firmware will not list the double rate files that I have tried to play.


I found this to be the case as well, whether dsf or dff.

#8

The Bridge II will not do double rate DSD. The external Bridge that PSA is working on should but that appears to be a long way off.

Elk, not sure what you mean by “USB is the only way to send DoP in any event.” DoP looks like PCM so I thought it could be sent over SPDIF. I know it works using the Bridge (single rate only).


#9

My understanding is that while there is a proposed open standard for DoP, DoP over USB is used for licensing reasons.

It is more than possible I just have not seen DoP over S/PDIF and it is also used. I miss many things. :)


#10

“DoP” is just a way to move DSD data through any system which can accommodate 24-bit stereo PCM at high enough sample rates. It works by filling the first 8 bits of every 24 bit “sample” with a repeating pattern of data which (a) would never be seen in real audio, (b) would produce a harmless low-level tone when played back on PCM DACs, and © signals to a DoP-aware device that the remaining 16 bits of each “sample” are DSD data.

You can send DoP through I2S, USB (where 24 “PCM audio” bits are often packed in a 32-bit floating-point data format), SPDIF… anywhere that 24-bit PCM can go. For single-rate DSD the DoP stream is the same data rate as 176.4kHz PCM. For double-rate DSD128 the PCM system needs to support 352.8kHz.

There’s very little downside to DoP and I would expect there’s zero impact on sound quality in a well-designed DAC. But it works beautifully: thanks to DoP I can send DSD64 through components which don’t know anything at all about DSD – such as an Audiophilleo USB-to-SPDIF converter or a SqueezeBox Touch. The SBT just spits the bits out of the USB, coax or optical ports as required. But if I hooked up its analogue outputs the best I could hope for is a boring tone with low level HF background noise.


#11

DoP is a great kludge. I even use it inside the DS to get raw DSD from the I2S input processors thru the 24 bit paths and FIFOs to the final DSD destination.

DoP works almost seamlessly in JRiver, it’s slightly harder to set up in Foobar2000 but there are a lot of tutorials around. There seems to be a push for raw DSD over USB, but I don’t see any particular need for it. (USB 2.0 has plenty of bandwidth for higher rates of DSD even with the factor of 1.5 - 2 inefficiency of DoP.)