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Foobar SACD Plugin > Mytek Stereo 192-DSD DAC


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So the conclusion at this time of writing is that the SACD plugin, together with the ASIO proxy, is still not functional with the latest take 2 & 3 test files that were uploaded. Only bursts of noise was output through the Mytek as reported by Harald.

 

Harald > was the Mytek reporting DSD on the front panel when the files are being played? Maxim will be interested to know that.

 

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For those which stumble in and only getting ???

 

This is about that plug-in for the (Windows) software Foobar2000:

 

http://sourceforge.net/projects/sacddecoder/

 

for playback of SACD-iso files without the need of first splitting and decoding them.

 

As there are different ways how to send DSD data to the Mytek (and some other DACs), and the use of Foobar2k (and the sacd_input plugin) is some sort of a special task, I thought it would be better to separate the discussion into a dedicated thread.

 

Currently the programmer (Maxim) is on the way incorporating the "dCS method" of packing DSD data inside of 176,4/24 PCM to be sent to the DAC.

 

This method is also used by some player-software on Apple OS, and it is included in Miska/Sygnalist's HQPlayer software.

 

Hopefully we will get real DSD via ASIO support soon (from Mytek and Rigisystems), but in the meantime it would be cool to get the Mytek running out of Foobar2k ...

 

So, lets see what will happen ;-)

 

Cheers

Harald

 

 

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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Hi Ivan!

 

The Mytek shows 176,4 on its display and in Foobar a message pops up saying "channel type: 18" (see screenshot-attachment below)

 

 

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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display during DSD if the flags aren't caught in time (i.e a lot of DSD quick track browsing, etc)....but as long as the signal meters (for those models that have them) don't light up you are getting DSD. Sound? Well, that's another thing. :)

 

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Dear All,

 

I am happy to report... DSD Streaming (via dCS 0xAA marker) through foobar2000 is finally a reality! Now it is just a matter of implementing it elegantly in the main release version.

 

As you are aware, there were test files posted on the SACD developer page and Take 4 ASIO proxies are finally working. I think it creates a ASIO buffer with correct padding of the markers to send it over to the Mytek. As this is still a works-in-progress, there will be a pop-up message everytime a track is skipped because of the ASIO buffer I think but if you let it play continuously/gaplessly, pops/clicks/ASIO pop-up messages are non-existent!

 

Thanks Maxim! Can't wait for the official release of v0.4.8.

 

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Hi guys,

 

For those few fellows who have managed to get the bit-streaming working, did you notice any audible "aura" of hiss when compared to their PCM equivalent? Maxim just wanted to ensure the bit-ordering of the DSD output is correct. I am unable to test it as I am at work as usual. Thanks for your input!

 

Ivan

 

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Hi Ivan!

 

I did have this noise on the first start-up of a playback, but Icouldn't repeat it up until now.

 

But after I've played some DSD material, I switched to PCM tracks, listened to those some time, and on returning to DSD I got a lot of static crackling.

 

Restarting Foobar hasn't helped, so I restarted the Mytek, and I#m back again listening to DSD successfully ...

 

Another quirk I stumbled over: there seems to be some time missing when starting playback.

Maybe it's "Lost in translation" ;-)

 

Seems that Maxim is on the right way to achieve seemless integrateion, but there is still some work to do to get it seamlessly integrated ...

 

Nonetheless, I'm quite happy that we now have an alternative way playing back DSD with Foobar ...

 

Cheers

Harald

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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There is now Version 0.4.8 online for testing:

 

http://sourceforge.net/projects/sacddecoder/

 

It doesn't show up that channel-type thingy anymore ...

 

More to come later ...

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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Hi all, I was crash-testing the program before I came in for the update. I have reported my findings to Max and I am going to replicate my email to him here.

 

>>> " Anyway, I was trying all means to crash the program. When everything is playing in DSD, track skipping and searching was flawless! Stable as a rock! This is the case if all the files resides within the computer itself. If the ISO images of DFF files are streamed over a network, it could induce intermittent stuttering while the server is assessed concurrently while the track is playing. This doesn't deter it from recovering from playback though. It just stutters and pauses for a while before it resumes normally again.

 

However, I did discover a way to recreate a scenario that I encountered when I was using your test files in the morning. When playing a playlist with a mixture of PCM and DSD files, the DSD file would produce excessive noise when it was switched over from a PCM file. The DSD track will be playing, accompanied by an excessive amount of noise. Is this the "aura" of noise you were referring to earlier whereby the bit ordering got mixed up when switching sample rates? However, when switched to a PCM file, everything will be playing fine for the PCM file again, until I switch back to DSD where the noise would return. This noise is persistent and there is no way of getting rid of it even if I restart foobar. The only way to get rid of the noise is to power cycle the DAC. I think that is the only issue we need to address - to ensure bit ordering is correct after switching from a PCM file of a different sample rate. If not, v0.4.8 is perfect for DSD only playback!

 

As for what you had suggested for the implementation of the installation of the ASIO proxy, perhaps I can gather some feedback from the forum to check what would be the most intuitive way of handling the seemingly confusing process of installing the ASIO proxy."

 

This is what Maxim is proposing for the ASIO proxy installation. Do let me know if there is a more elegant of handling it so it can be more accessible to novices of foobar.

 

>>>"I'm thinking of a kind of unattended ASIO proxy install like this: user selects DSD (Autodetect) playback mode and ASIO proxy installs automatically. Yes, playing DSF is a good idea indeed."

 

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I would like to report my findings on the DICE firewire driver. This is consistent with HQPlayer and the SACD Plugin when using the dCS 00xA markers. There will be intermittent pauses while a DSD track is playing and playing around with the DICE buffer settings did not rectify the issue. However I did not encounter these issues with the Firewire drivers in Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3 where Audirvana+ was the software player.

 

Oh as a side note, do you guys think that native DSD playback sounds better in a Windows environment than OS X? I personally find it sounds more robust in Windows than Mac. It could be just me but it seems to me that it is consistent with what I had experienced when I was playing DSD files (converted to PCM) when the SACD plugin hasn't yet have the ability to bitstream.

 

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There will be intermittent pauses while a DSD track is playing and playing around with the DICE buffer settings did not rectify the issue. However I did not encounter these issues with the Firewire drivers in Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3

 

This behavior seems to be related to combination of Windows Firewire driver and recent computer hardware. Same hardware with Linux works OK.

 

For me, the Windows Firewire driver works properly only on an old 3 GHz Pentium4 Prescott machine...

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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For those who have been following the development of the SACD plugin (current v0.4.8 - dCS 0xAA DSD-USB successful implementation on the Mytek), Max, the author of the program, is proposing an unattended, automated process to install the ASIO proxy. i.e. the ASIO Proxy will install itself automatically when the user selects DSD (auto detect) at the SACD tool page. What do you guys think of this? Any other more intuitive ideas that will make the installation process less of an hassle - especially for novices of foobar? i.e. copy foo_dsd_asio.dll/foo_dsd_asio_x64.dll somewhere > followed by manually registering the DLL libraries in Windows > followed by "wrapping" the USB/FW driver in ASIO setup page > then by selecting foo_dsd_asio as ASIO output.

 

By the way, he will be working to DSF files to play in the plugin as well.

 

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The "WinXP-Fix" version was to fix a bug preventing the DSD ASIO DLL from regsvr32-ing in Win XP. Not sure if there were other changes, I don't think so.

 

I've got this plugin installed and working on two computers, but I'm having an issue where I get an audible pop every 1:35 of continuous playback, using DSDIFF recordings I've made on my Korg MR-1000 (or converted in Audiogate...I know it may be outside the scope of the SACD project, but it would be great if this plugin became "universally compatible," whatever that might mean in the realm of DSD). I've opened a bug report with the developer--in the meantime I've uploaded a source file maybe some of you can check out. It's a short recording of silence, straight from the Korg. If I play this file from the beginning, uninterrupted (no skipping ahead), it will pop at the 1:35 mark. This is happening on two machines, running WinXP and Win7-64. The files playback fine on a Mac with Audirvana+. Can anyone else duplicate this? Here's the link:

 

http://sharesend.com/5li9l

 

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To follow up, it appears the pops I've been hearing can be mitigated with larger buffer sizes in the Mytek drivers. On my Windows 7 64-bit machine, with the USB driver Streaming Buffer Size set to Extra Small and the ASIO Buffer Size set to Large (resultant ASIO buffer 1058 samples), files are playing without pops. For Firewire, I have to set the buffer to 3072 to eliminate the pops.

 

Still seems odd to me that I can play the files perfectly, even with the smallest buffer settings, except for the popping every 1:35 of continuous play time (it's predictable and repeatable, regardless of the source file). I also got a hold of some other DSD material (not from a Korg) and the files behave the same way, so I don't think it's anything particular to the origin of the files. Anyone else finding the same behavior?

 

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Yup, upon closer listening, I do notice the minute "pop" sound at the 1 min 35 sec interval regardless of which file I play. I will attempt your suggestions to see what results I get. Thanks for the head-up.

 

*update - using your recommended settings but tracks won't even play properly in my case.

 

By the way, did a thorough listening session today and compared Audirvana+ and Foobar. It seems like Audirvana+ has a thin "cloud" veiling the music and this veil is lifted when I switch over to foobar with better clarity and space. What do you guys think? It is pretty discernible actually, in my instance. Is it going to be another Windows vs Mac debate again?

 

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I have downloaded the above mentioned testfile, and I can't heear anything ...

 

But I have set my buffers (in the USBPal control panel) to "save" for the streaming buffer, and to "maximum" for the ASIO buffer anyway.

 

I will try to repeat the test tomorrow with different buffer settings ...

But if I remember it correctly, there was somewhere mentioned to use larger buffers when transferring DSD data via the dCS streaming method - I will have to search for that too.

 

Cheers

Harald

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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Developer has released a patch that fixes the recurring pops. I'm happy to report I'm successfully playing DSD64 files via ASIO @ lowest buffer settings in foobar and Mytek drivers, with no issues at all.

 

https://sourceforge.net/projects/sacddecoder/files/interim/

 

When I play DSD128, it streams all the way to the DAC as DSD (and reads DSD on the Mytek), but the files play at half pitch. Guess we're still waiting on a firmware update for that....

 

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Yup, Max seem to have nailed the "popping/cliicking" problem with this test built. However, v0.4.9 did introduce a new problem - a loud "pop/click" whenever a DSD track is started from the very beginning. but it is fine between track skips. He did mention that he is aware of the issue and it is going to rectified in the v.0.4.10 built that is to be released soon.

 

v0.4.9 did not solve the DSD-PCM-DSD switching issue with an aura of static noise encompassing the DSD playback after the switch from PCM. That is something that he is still working on as apparantly, he does not have this issue with his eXD DSD kit.

 

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Max sure is a tireless worker, before I even have time to figure out how to import my 500+ SACD iso images into foobar (crashed and burned by the way, think the program can't handle large iso libraries yet), he released v0.5.0 with support for DSF files! Finally! The entire gamut of DSD files are supported, which is going to make this program a complete all-rounder for native DSD playback! No more forking out silly money for a software player just to play DSD! So here it is, the list of DSD formats that the SACD plugin is supporting (of course for DSD bit-streaming, it is still pretty much limited to stereo only at the moment, DSD-PCM multi-channel transcoding is available though):-

 

1. SACD ISO images;

2. DST files (losslessly compressed DFF files);

3. DFF files;

4. DSF files.

 

 

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Ivan,thanks for the heads-up!

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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A correspondent of Max's reported to him that Native DSD streaming is indeed possible with the latest v.0.5.0 plugin and v1.38b firmware. I did manage to get it to play! but... it's accompanied by soft static noises... Why don't you guys try it out and see whether it works on your Myteks?!

 

1. Go to the USBPAL control panel and set sampling frequency at 44.1khz

2. Go to foo_dsd_asio settings in foobar and set DSD Playback Method to ASIO Native.

3. Play your DSD files!

 

Do report back here to see whether you can get DSD to stream natively successfully!

 

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