PS Audio professional DSD AD converter?


#1

Finding the provenance of the music one buys is often challenging, but I prefer to source pure DSD because, to my ears, it is superior to PCM, even high-rate DXD.

Generally, analog tape masters to DSD produces some of the best material I’ve heard, with DSD128 providing a little extra detail and ambiance over DSD64 from the same source material. I have heard a couple extraordinary DSD-direct recordings (eg. David Elias: Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions from HD Tape Transfers … quite amazing even if the music isn’t to taste) but they are rare because of the limited mastering capabilities of DSD and the ones I’ve seen are limited to DSD64. (Some like Blue Coast are recording in DSD256 but mastering in analog before going back to DSD256, which to my way of thinking requires an extra DA conversion over just recording directly to analog.)

Then I got to thinking: the Directstream provides bit-perfect volume, so couldn’t Ted and the other talented people at PS audio produce a pro AD converter that could record in DSD128 or even DSD256 directly, and provide fade-in and fade-out and maybe even equalization?

Just curious.


#2

To be blunt I don’t know how to support my family writing DSD editing software and there are a heck of a lot fewer ADCs sold than DACs.

Re DSD editing:

Much (Most?) of the best mastered music out there was mastered by playing from tape thru an editing/mixing console (perhaps with effects) and recording the result back to tape, often repeatedly. Note that doing tape recording/playing is also a conversion and recording requires adding noise/dither (i.e. tape bias) and has a non-trivial noise floor so even in the best case there is inevitable generation loss.

Perhaps the best DSD mastering treats DSD recording and playing just like tape recording and playing: DSD -> analog mixer/effects, etc. -> DSD, repeat. Tho one can argue that DSD64 has too much generational loss for many passes, DSD128 (and higher) supports many passes without increasing the noise in the audio band significantly.

Don’t get me wrong I am looking at opportunities to both write editing software and to build DSD ADCs as I believe that DSD is one of our best tools for great audio reproduction.


#3

Ted, you’re right about the small number of ADCs sold today because most of them probably go to the pro market. How about a DSD ADC for consumers looking to archive their LPs? Balanced or single ended in from a phone preamp and USB or i2S out to a recorder like a Mac mini or similar. There are very few of these on the market and even those few are difficult to use in my experience (Tascam, Ayre).


#4
ksalno said How about a DSD ADC for consumers looking to archive their LPs? Balanced or single ended in from a phone preamp and USB or i2S out to a recorder like a Mac mini or similar.
This sounds just like the NuWave Phono Converter (NPC) that PSA is discontinuing, although the NPC includes a regular phono stage for playback as well as the ADC. It's a great tool for archiving vinyl; grab one for half price while they are still available.

#5

PS Audio discontinued their NPC, presumably because they saturated the market at that price point. Usually as the price goes up the market gets smaller, but in the case of people archiving their vinyl, it seems to me that the market might be bigger for an ADC that performs at a higher price point, but I’m not sure.

[edit: magister beat me :slight_smile: ]


#6

I wil never understand the effort why people digitize their Vinyl, even if pro equipment is used.

Probably only little of the playback on a vinyl rig get’s lost, but nothing of the advantages of digital over vinyl is inherited (except searchability). For that result it’s so much effort!

I think this would only be a very temporary and limited market.


#7
jazznut said I wil never understand the effort why people digitize their Vinyl, even if pro equipment is used.

Probably only little of the playback on a vinyl rig get’s lost, but nothing of the advantages of digital over vinyl is inherited (except searchability). For that result it’s so much effort!

I think this would only be a very temporary and limited market.


Yes would like to have in library but decided it would be a ton of work with lots of interruptions.

#8

One of the benefits of ripping one’s vinyl is of portability when taking your music on the road when traveling. Another is that the act of playing vinyl takes a little off of the surface of the recording each time. Aside from the obvious archival benefits and finding items in a large collection and the ability to have curated play lists of one’s favorite tracks, many older recordings in one’s collections will never be made available digitally for commercial use. So DIY ripping is where many of us will end up one way or another. I for one have the NPC and while I have yet to venture down the ripping path, it’s likely to happen sooner rather than later.


#9

Funny I was just outlining to a friend what I thought would be an incredible recording environment (since we are planning some recordings soon through my Neve portico II channel strip into a RME ufx interface)

The ultimate would be mult track DSD recording played back out to an all analog board and outboard gear, mixed with flying fader automated and back to DSD. While not allowing edits, punch Ins could be done to alternate tracks and the automation would switch from the bad part of the take to the punch in track and then back to original track.

DSD essentially being like a Multi track analog 30ips machine with out all the maintenance, huge cost of tape and high frequency loss and the tapes are played back many times.

However this requires actual musicianship, something that seems to be lacking in theses days of Protools, quantization and pitch correction.