Your best DSD256

As much as I like the vintage jazz tapes transferred in Pure DSD256 by HDTT, such as the Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section above, technology has advanced over the past 70 years. The new Pure DSD256 recordings directly off the microphones have a clarity and transparency of sound that improve on the vintage 15ips tapes.

For classical music fans, the recordings by Gonzalo Noqué on his Eudora Records label are paradigmatic examples of great recorded sound - some of the best being done today. Mysterium (above) is an example of full orchestra and piano recorded direct to DSD256 with no PCM processing at all. It is recorded, edited and mixed purely in PDM (multi-bit PDM for mixing, to be clear). The opening 23-minute work by Julián Orbón (1925–91) is a masterpiece for orchestra and piano. And the sound quality is utterly transparent and compelling. Of course, the great Spanish pianist Noelia Rodiles is always a special treat to hear.

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I have been meaning to revisit and post an update on the Stereo Sound DSD 256 files, time flies… even expanding my search worldwide I still cannot find much info so hopefully posting here will do.

Of the four I bought, I feel there is a very clear winner, and it’s the Janos Starker Bach Suites For Unaccompanied Cello. This is the closest I feel I have come to what it would be like to listen to the tape directly played from the Studer A80 in the studio itself. I could go on about the how the cello is being played right in front of me, the warmness of the cello, the decay and separation of each note, or how articulate Starker’s playing is, but the real prize is being able to listen to all six suites in DSD without ever having to get up and change/flip a disc.

I like all four albums, enough that I decided to buy a fifth, Benjamin Britton conducts Mozart: Symphony No. 25 & No. 29. I am still a little puzzled these are so under the radar, maybe it is a combination of target audience, price and necessitating an import from Japan. They are not cheap, even with a weak yen these retail at around ¥13800 ($85 USD) up to ¥17800 ($112 USD) for Zubin Mehta’s Mahler No. 3 release, before any shipping/proxy fees. Perhaps most would-be buyers already have these releases on LP and don’t need yet another? :person_shrugging:

If I were to rank them, I’d put in this order:

  1. Starker - Bach Cello Suites: no SACD to compare to, wanted to save space, no need to change the disc.
  2. Ansermet - Royal Ballet: no SACD, very close second, I no longer need to search for a definitive Swan Lake Op. 20, this one does it for me.
  3. Kertesz - Dvorak No. 9: Modest improvement over the Stereo Sound SACD, this release has cured my desire for the Esoteric SACD
  4. Mehta - Planets: I felt this offered the least improvement over the already excellent SS SACD. Still, very good in its own right.

Only thing left to add, this is obvious to some but these are my only recordings I feel must be played in their native DSD256 resolution, with as little processing as possible, to realize their benefit. Using Roon to do the down-conversion to DSD128 (over USB to my Directstream Jr.) causes the sound to ‘collapse’ a bit, it becomes less spacious feeling. It still sounds great, was just one of those ‘aha’ moments for me. I would love to listen to these recordings on a true 1-bit DAC like the T+A DAC200.

Playback chain: Macbook Pro (Roon Core) - router/generic cat6 ethernet - Holo Red > Dragon 48 I2S > DirectStream Jr. > AQ Water XLR > Holo Bliss KTE h/p amp > HD800S with UPOCC cable.

Bonus screenshot of the studio equipment:

Studer A80 Analog 2 track
A/D Horus Converters (worth keeping in mind these were all released late 2017)
Pyramix Workstation for post production.


Do you have a link for purchase?

It’s on Discogs, but you may be able to find it elsewhere for much less.

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Are you playing downloaded files or a Blu-ray disc?


Sure, here’s the link for the Starker:

All DSD 256 titles from Stereo Sound

@scotte1 the blu ray disc is just for storage, they are equal to downloaded files once transferred. Sometimes they (Stereo Sound) include the files directly on a USB stick with purchase so a external drive is not needed for the transfer.

Would you happen to know if I can rip the Blu-ray content using dBpoweramp or do I need to hack and some kind of Oppo or other player to extract the files?

No need, the contents are fully readable, just drag and drop the files into your music folder/OS and you are all set.

This image shows the process:

Happy cake day

Thank you.

Happy cake day scotte!!!

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Happy cake day from me, too, Scott! :birthday:

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PSA: NativeDSD is currently offering 20% Off on all of their PURE DSD recordings. Over 180 albums.

These are just the first six on the page, but many more are in the catalog…


Just bought this one, and I like it!


That’s great, or not, because the folks at Grimm have that preloaded on their MU2 internal drive.
That, and some DSD 256 recording excepts from the Royal Concertebouw are also there.


:man_facepalming: I better stop buying DSD files until I get Grimm. You are forcing me accelerate my upgrade plan even sooner! I do not think I can wait until Christmas.

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The album you got is the only complete recording pre-loaded on the Grimm. Not to worry.


Nice performances, and the recording itself is a technical masterpiece in Pure DSD256. (Here)


But still in “exclusive early release” for NativeDSD subscription members.
Can’t even play the samples yet.