I have several albums from Blue Coast Records - and a couple from Opus3. I have to say, the better the DS sounds, the flatter or “softer” all the Blue Coast Records recordings sound, to the point where I’m just not interested in listening to them anymore. The Opus3 recordings have always been the best sounding DSD I’ve heard yet, (and their Reel to Reel tapes are simply amazing) sound a little flatter but still good. I did a demo at a small audio fest, and everyone noticed how much flatter my DSD tracks sounded on the DirectStream.
Now, Paul and others have said that PCM had a harder leading edge that adds excitement to the music. So I’ve just chalked this up to; the more accurate the DS gets, the more apparent this difference between PCM and DSD is.
I’ve also listened to some true studio master tapes - and I’d have to say that the DS is the closest to Master Tapes I’ve heard digital recordings.
So I’m at a bit of a personal impasse - Is the accuracy of the DS showing what DSD really sounds like…or is the DS softening the DSD playback? I’m leaning towards the former of course, but I need some time to test and mull it over. I don’t have any other DSD players to play with unfortunately, so the only reference I have is the DS old firmware vs new.
Personally, I’d rather the DS be accurate and DSD is what it is, rather then have something changed that adds some distortion or something that makes DSD sound more edgy. I’m thinking this will all shake out for the better in the long run.