Schiit DSD


#1

Anyone interested in DSD?



http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/09/schiit-loki-adds-dsd-to-your-existing-dac-for-us149/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=schiit-loki-adds-dsd-to-your-existing-dac-for-us149


#2

@stereophilus I couldn’t find it listed on their website. I will look them up at RMAF this October.


#3

Yeah, strange. I checked that out too. I figure the reviewer beat them to the announcement.


#4

@stereophilus I will see them at RMAF - they have been there consistently since introduction of their early headphone amps. I am usually in the analogue hall across from Acoustic Sounds & Elusive Disc. I think it was 2 (or 3?) years ago I went into the Can-Jam area where I first discovered many of the exhibitors using the Schiit amps.



We bought 2 models later that year - one was the entry level SS & the other was the (at that time) top of the line tube amp - Lyr. After many $$$$ and time, we got the tube version performing quite well with NOS Bugle Boy 6922 tubes.



I any event, I will find the Schiit boys and see what is going on with their DSD unit and how it would connect with the PWD2.


#5

Great. They seem to be doing some pioneering work, and having some fun along the way…



I suspect the Loki will not provide a great leap forward, as it is processing DSD to PCM for another DAC to then crunch into analogue. The ideal would be native DSD to analogue processing.


#6
The ideal would be native DSD to analogue processing.


Agree! I will get the info and post to the Forum....if it is not already out there by show date.


#7

Clever product.



"he Schiit boys are perplexed as to why so many people are getting their panties in a tangle about DSD decoding."



Me, too.


#8

Me three.



Even if it were the sonic best, the available catalogue is so tiny.


#9

And if the sound was incredible, SACDs would have succeeded.


#10

@elk Following that logic we can infer that CD’s succeeded thus far because of their “incredible sound?”


#11

For the average consumer, CDs did offer better sound. The typical consumer turntable playing gently grubby records clicked, popped, hissed and occasionally skipped. The switch to digital made for quiet playback. The quality of the music sound on the average system was the same for most. Add the convenience and easy random access, and the adoption of the CD was a no-brainer.



For a functional identical format to win out or gain acceptance it must be demonstrably superior. The average viewer can see the improvement of Blu-Ray over DVD. Thus, it was readily adopted.



For SACD or DVD-A to succeed, they had to demonstrate the same clear superiority. They failed to do so, even among audiophiles.



I continue to be amused that audiophiles often assert that ABX testing is unfair and we need a special, magical environment to appreciate the fine differences between formats, cables, etc. - that which are often described as revelatory.



Yet, we can plunk the average 10 year old down in front of a DVD, and then a Blu-Ray, and he will easily point out which is better. He doesn’t need weeks of stress-free watching to easily tell you which is better.


#12
Elk said: Yet, we can plunk the average 10 year old down in front of a DVD, and then a Blu-Ray, and he will easily point out which is better. He doesn't need weeks of stress-free listening to easily tell you which is better.

Very true. VHS vs DVD vs BluRay. Absolutely obvious. In this sense that PCM vs DSD ABX comparison looks ridiculous indeed ;)

#13

Leaving aside high resolution PCM v. DSD, Redbook CD v. SACD is difficult to discern for most people (including audiophiles), even on an excellent system.



It is hard to sell a new format when the majority of people hear no improvement. The purveyors of SACD and DVD-A really blew it when they issued recordings that were merely upsampled Redbook, or made from multiple generation copies of the actual master or were just miserable recordings to begin with.


#14
Elk said: The quality of the music sound on the average system was the same for most.

In the late 80's, I bought my first CD player and was, like most people, taken with the lack of clicks and pops. Took me a while to realize that whenever I listened to CDs for more than 20 minutes or so, I got a headache (very rare for me). That did not happen with vinyl played through the same receiver and speakers. I was not an audiophile at that time but the difference sure was not subtle.

#15

Besides the format wars between SACD and DVDA there were way too many other obstacles hi res audio couldn’t over come to be successful at the time. One of the most frustrating to me were the sales people who didn’t understand the products and didn’t really care to. I shutter to this day as I remember being in a store and one of their sales staff was talking to a potential customer “If you go with SACD you’re going to need to completely rip out your system as nothing is compatable with it. Of course every DVD player from day one plays Audio so that’s the better format. But I would stay away from both as neither of them can be shrunken down to MP3.”


#16
magister said: Took me a while to realize that whenever I listened to CDs for more than 20 minutes or so, I got a headache

A very rare reaction among the general populace.

#17

@elk I think Michael Fremer coined the phrase “Cd Fatigue.” It never occurred to me that audiophiles were members of the “general populace.”

All this may soon become academic if we are to believe the predictions of the press (NYT among others) that the CD is now in its swan song. For the "general populace," they have iTunes and McDonalds. Audiophiles have HDTracks, et al. 

Someone sent me this list of High-Rez sites (probably out of date by now): http://www.audiostream.com/how-is-ted-coding-the-fpgaent/hd-music-download-sites [got to add the Acoustic Sounds site to list].

Notwithstanding, the success of a product is often not based upon superiority - how refreshing that would be if commercial viability was solely based upon a better product. Going back to the middle ages, Beta was widely considered a far superior format than VHS. Which became the industry standard?  

Are we really defending the SQ of CD's? http://www.analogplanet.com/how-is-ted-coding-the-fpgaent/analog-corner-analog-planet-1
Attached files

#18
birddogthecat said: It never occurred to me that audiophiles were members of the "general populace."

Not at all.

The average consumer recognized the merits of CD. Some critical listeners at the time were not impressed, but most were. Only with hindsight do the majority now declare they did not like CD sound from the beginning. It is akin to the millions who now claim they attended the original Woodstock. :)

Turning to SACD/high resolution PCM, the average listener cannot hear an improvement. They did not buy what they can not hear. Unlike Blu-Ray that all can see.

birddogthecat said: . . . .the success of a product is often not based upon superiority

True. But often the consumer must at least think there is a benefit (such as a better television picture) or a secondary benefit (CDs are easy to store).

birddogthecat said: Beta was widely considered a far superior format than VHS.

Not for the consumer, the resolution was so close the home TV did not display a difference (Beta had 5% more resolution - whoo!) Sony's marketing was indeed better; people still believe in Beta's superiority - just like some still believe front wheel drive cars handle better from the marketing when FWD was first introduced.

VHS had longer recording time (two hours v. one hour - you could put an entire movie on a VHS tape). Beta has a more complicated tape path, became tangled more often and had lesser reliability. Sony failed to readily license is invention (and then they did it again with SACD!), but JVC let everyone in on VHS. VHS players were cheaper.

So for the consumer, which was "better?" Easy. VHS.

birddogthecat said:
Are we really defending the SQ of CD's?

Not directly, but for the average person CDs sound great. They find no reason to spend more or switch formats. Without a mass migration and interest in DSD, the format will remain only of niche interest.



#19
Elk said: Without a mass migration and interest in DSD, the format will remain only of niche interest.
That is a given.



Elk said: So for the consumer, which was "better?" Easy. VHS.
Different definition of "better." Better VQ or better convenience.




Elk said: True. But often the consumer must at least think there is a benefit (such as a better television picture) or a secondary benefit (CDs are easy to store).
A given. Buy an expensive piece of equipment and cognitive dissonance supports your choice.

You know @Elk, I have only heard DSD/SCAD at audio shows around the country. Although I help staff an exhibitor and attended 6-7 shows in the last 14 months, we all know what you hear at audio shows is a separate reality (great single malt Scotch though - just ask some of the Forum crew that were in Chicago & Newport). Who knows what I am listing to? Is it the transport, DAC, speakers, amps, pre-amps? I have no idea & I get to go before and after hours. Certainly it is the complete system in a room that I am completely unfamiliar with. The only thing you "know" for sure is if the equipment looks cool (models in the hallways always help).

I have admitted in several prior posts that I am superficial and like pretty things which is probably why I own McIntosh equipment (most recently 4 x MC501 amps for Bi-amp). I live on the beaches of North Carolina and get to see the co-eds from UNCW parade in front of my deck 9 months out of 12. No wonder I own Nikon binoculars. As I wrote, I like pretty things.

So, how does all this all apply to DSD/SACD? I have no idea. Then again with temperatures in the mid-upper 80's, clear skies, warm sea breeze, and UNCW back in session...life is good.

Now, where did I put that lost bottle of rum?






#20
birddogthecat said: Different definition of "better." Better VQ or better convenience.

Ah, but there was no improvement in picture quality. This was Sony's marketing only. There was arguably a 5% increase in horizontal resolution but the consumer TV's of the time could not display it anyway. VHS easily won on features, convenience and price.


birddogthecat said: . . . we all know what you hear at audio shows is a separate reality . . .

Very true.

Shows are not about sound, but are mere audio porn.