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Jerry_rig,

 

I appreciate the ripping. I do have a PS3 that can serve this task. However, the Denon DVD-5900 serves beautifully to play the SACD's in their native environment. So I have not taken advantage of the opportunity to rip the collection. However, with the cost or availability of new SACD's being spotty at best, I have moved forward with sourcing the files. My timing seems prescient since there are DL options appearing almost weekly. The challenge will be determining if they deserve our attention or are best ignored due to lax quality. I am hopeful we as a community can do some policing for the benefit of our membership.

 

All the best!

 

Eric

Upgradeus Interruptus.....

 

PS Audio Directstream DSD DAC, PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player, PS Audio BHK Signature Pre, PS Audio BHK 300 Monos, Aurender A10, MacMini, Roon, Vandersteen Treo CT's, AudioQuest Diamond USB, AudioQuest CastleRock Speaker cables, AudioQuest MacKenzie interconnects.

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  • 2 years later...
Pardon me for opening an old thread, but how does the music playback software affect sound quality? If the software is doing its job properly, isn't it just passing the bits perfectly to the DAC?

 

I have found subtle differences between Amarra and Audirvana. I certainly cannot explain it. It is not so much that it makes or breaks my software of choice. JRiver does a nice job too and it is an iTunes replacement as well. I know there are more out there but unless something comes along that is offering a significantly improved experience I will use one of these. They all have specific functional benefits that make them useful to me.

Upgradeus Interruptus.....

 

PS Audio Directstream DSD DAC, PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player, PS Audio BHK Signature Pre, PS Audio BHK 300 Monos, Aurender A10, MacMini, Roon, Vandersteen Treo CT's, AudioQuest Diamond USB, AudioQuest CastleRock Speaker cables, AudioQuest MacKenzie interconnects.

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The factors that have a large effect on sound quality of playback through USB DACs are sample rate, electrical and RF noise, and timing

 

Higher sample rates allow the use of higher frequency low pass filters with shallower slopes which are less damaging to the sound. Well implemented up sampling in software is better sounding than the upsampling done in most DAC's as a PC has far more processing power than a high end DAC

 

There are a lot of noise sources in a PC, some of which is generated by PC processes. Well implemented playback software and OS optimization reduces this PC process noise. John Westlake has recently been able to observe PC process noise over USB, which John calls "runt events", using a eye pattern display on a digital scope.

 

Despite asynchronous USB buffering the music data stream, the timing of the USB stream has has been found to have an effect on how cleanly (low noise) the USB receiver is working. Most playback software does not address this issue, it more something that the tweaking of the OS can assist in improving. USB reclocking devices such as the Uptone Regen can be heard, and now seen :-) to be making a positive difference

 

the bits are the same, but noise and timing variations come along for the ride too

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The factors that have a large effect on sound quality of playback through USB DACs are sample rate, electrical and RF noise, and timing

 

Higher sample rates allow the use of higher frequency low pass filters with shallower slopes which are less damaging to the sound. Well implemented up sampling in software is better sounding than the upsampling done in most DAC's as a PC has far more processing power than a high end DAC

 

Ahh, ok. So discussion of software, beyond bugs and usability feature set, is about upsampling and not bitperfect transfer to the DAC. Possibly also about clock issues, but that is more in the OS, USB hardware implementation, USB cable, and DAC. Thanks.

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The factors that have a large effect on sound quality of playback through USB DACs are sample rate, electrical and RF noise, and timing

 

Higher sample rates allow the use of higher frequency low pass filters with shallower slopes which are less damaging to the sound. Well implemented up sampling in software is better sounding than the upsampling done in most DAC's as a PC has far more processing power than a high end DAC

 

There are a lot of noise sources in a PC, some of which is generated by PC processes. Well implemented playback software and OS optimization reduces this PC process noise. John Westlake has recently been able to observe PC process noise over USB, which John calls "runt events", using a eye pattern display on a digital scope.

 

Despite asynchronous USB buffering the music data stream, the timing of the USB stream has has been found to have an effect on how cleanly (low noise) the USB receiver is working. Most playback software does not address this issue, it more something that the tweaking of the OS can assist in improving. USB reclocking devices such as the Uptone Regen can be heard, and now seen :-) to be making a positive difference

 

the bits are the same, but noise and timing variations come along for the ride too

 

Very informative! Thanks for that. I am researching non-PC sources like Aurender and Auralic to get the PC out of the chain.

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PS Audio Directstream DSD DAC, PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player, PS Audio BHK Signature Pre, PS Audio BHK 300 Monos, Aurender A10, MacMini, Roon, Vandersteen Treo CT's, AudioQuest Diamond USB, AudioQuest CastleRock Speaker cables, AudioQuest MacKenzie interconnects.

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Pardon me for opening an old thread, but how does the music playback software affect sound quality? If the software is doing its job properly, isn't it just passing the bits perfectly to the DAC?

 

Possibly used DSD DAC have different decoding quality on different sample rates. Quality DSD decoding defined used filters low frequencies.

 

Unfortunatelly, at home it possibly check on hearing only.

 

Software can manage sample rate (inline/offline), suppress clicks, adjust volume, etc.

 

Bit-perfect DAC's feed (from audio player software) need for avoiding any processing in computer operation system. In case of DSD (DoP) or DTS digital streams same processing always destructive.

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Very informative! Thanks for that. I am researching non-PC sources like Aurender and Auralic to get the PC out of the chain.

 

Understand, though, that Aurender and Auralic (Aries) are indeed computers, just specialized custom Linux implementations. This often allows for better sq (but is not a guarantee, as Windows and OSX OS's can indeed be tweeked to their level or maybe even beyond..it often takes a lot more care and feeding though). However, Linux as an OS generally requires your DAC to be USB Audio Class 2 compliant (UAC2) which means, among other things, that your DAC doesn't require a driver for Linux. This compatibility is hit or miss in the DAC world. Make sure it is "hit" with your DAC (Wyred shows proprietary drivers for OSX so this is a symptom that makes it very likely NOT UAC2 compliant).

 

I may discuss the UAC2 thing with Jesus and see if we want to take the time to put a new column in our DSD database that shows UAC2 compliance checkmark.

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Understand, though, that Aurender and Auralic (Aries) are indeed computers, just specialized custom Linux implementations. This often allows for better sq (but is not a guarantee, as Windows and OSX OS's can indeed be tweeked to their level or maybe even beyond..it often takes a lot more care and feeding though). However, Linux as an OS generally requires your DAC to be USB Audio Class 2 compliant (UAC2) which means, among other things, that your DAC doesn't require a driver for Linux. This compatibility is hit or miss in the DAC world. Make sure it is "hit" with your DAC (Wyred shows proprietary drivers for OSX so this is a symptom that makes it very likely NOT UAC2 compliant).

 

I may discuss the UAC2 thing with Jesus and see if we want to take the time to put a new column in our DSD database that shows UAC2 compliance checkmark.

 

Interesting. I do not have any special drivers loaded for My Mac with the W4S...It has been plug and play via USB since I got it a couple of years ago. Same for every upgrade. (It started out as the DAC2 then I sent it in for the DSDse then Femto clock upgrades)

 

I am currently pairing it with a MBPro and the ALO Audio Studio Six SET headphone amp. Spectacular with the HD800's.

Upgradeus Interruptus.....

 

PS Audio Directstream DSD DAC, PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player, PS Audio BHK Signature Pre, PS Audio BHK 300 Monos, Aurender A10, MacMini, Roon, Vandersteen Treo CT's, AudioQuest Diamond USB, AudioQuest CastleRock Speaker cables, AudioQuest MacKenzie interconnects.

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Interesting. I do not have any special drivers loaded for My Mac with the W4S...It has been plug and play via USB since I got it a couple of years ago. Same for every upgrade. (It started out as the DAC2 then I sent it in for the DSDse then Femto clock upgrades)

 

I am currently pairing it with a MBPro and the ALO Audio Studio Six SET headphone amp. Spectacular with the HD800's.

 

Great! My bad, I didn't look down the features list far enough to see UAC2 compliancy for the DSD and DSDse versions. You are good to go; you might want to try the Sonore Rendu too; it has I2S output that I've written about (like in the Directsream dac review) and could run without a general computer too (assuming you use a NAS for music server, like you might with Auralic Aries).

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Great! My bad, I didn't look down the features list far enough to see UAC2 compliancy for the DSD and DSDse versions. You are good to go; you might want to try the Sonore Rendu too; it has I2S output that I've written about (like in the Directsream dac review) and could run without a general computer too (assuming you use a NAS for music server, like you might with Auralic Aries).

 

I will spend some time with the Aries at RMAF in a couple of weeks. I do have everything backed up on a NAS so it would be no big deal to switch over. Auralic is supposed to have a good App for the Aires too.

Upgradeus Interruptus.....

 

PS Audio Directstream DSD DAC, PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player, PS Audio BHK Signature Pre, PS Audio BHK 300 Monos, Aurender A10, MacMini, Roon, Vandersteen Treo CT's, AudioQuest Diamond USB, AudioQuest CastleRock Speaker cables, AudioQuest MacKenzie interconnects.

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Yes, I have all 3 (Aries, Aurender, Rendu) and can help distinguish once you get comfortable with any one. With the Aries, Auralic's Lightning server is a nice option versus using Minimserver (although Simon at Minimserver supports his product very well too).

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  • 3 weeks later...
John Westlake has recently been able to observe PC process noise over USB

 

Before him: John Swenson and PeterSt.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

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The A+ and PM posters on this thread should give HQ Player a whirl. The Mac version of HQ Player works very well and does an extremely good job of upsampling DSD64 to DSD 128 and DSD256.

 

Totally agree, and while Mac users are at it doing comparisons, try one more thing: use WINE to install BugHead Green, ensure that your DAC is connected and recognised by going in the WINE settings for Audio and listen to a WAV through it.

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Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

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Audirvana Plus is a breeze playing PCM & DSD until DSD128, if your DAC is capable.

 

A+ plays DSD256 fine too. Listening here with native DSD256 on a v1.5.x.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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