Whats native raw DSD in DSD-dac IRL?

Q: If you send i2s SACD information from a PS transport to a PS DirectStream dac you send native raw DSD. Best of the best.

However, if you use a PS transport and send the same SACD information via AES/EBU to a DirectStream dac you use the DoP format (DSD over PCM-packages)

  1. Is there a sonic advantage to go native via i2s instead of DoP? (I2s and AES/EBU cable format taken out of the equation)

  2. Will the DirectStream up sample native SACD data to 20x DSD before outputting the information to an analogue signal? Or will the native information be handled differently, sent directly to the output stage (without upsampling)?

  3. If using a PS Audio DirectStream transport like the DMP or PST and outputting DoP to a Meitner MA3 dac (that upsamples to 16x DSD)…. Will there be differences in the way a Meitner handles the DoP data than a DirectStream DAC if the PS Audio uses i2s?

The DS DACs convert Native DSD to DoP as the first processing step right at the inputs. That way DSD can go thru the FIFO’s and other signal path without separate implementations. Whether DoP and Native DSD sound different mostly depends on the noise generated (and possibly radiated) in the source and cables on the way to the DAC. Different audio systems react to conducted and radiated noise differently.

Inside the FPGA along that signal path PCM is diverted to be upsampled to 705.6kHz. Then PCM as well as DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 are treated identically and upsampled to the final rate.

I don’t know how the MA3 handles DoP vs. Native DSD.


Thanks Ted. A very thorough answers that helps my analytical brain understand the minor details.

Happy Valborg (a bonfire Holliday to celebrate spring here in Sweden), straight from Uppsala, the capital of Valborg-celebration

1 Like