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SACD sound quality vs computer audio sound quality


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Reference computer audio music servers have better sound quality than CD players.

 

However, does SACD sound quality equal to computer audio?

 

My Miles Davis SACD sound quality is very good on two channels (not multi-channels).

 

Keep on Upgrading!!!

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It's not that easy to compare SACD with computer audio, both will depend on which SACD player, what equivalent PCM source (on the computer) and what interface/DAC you choose.

 

Since you can't play SACDs on the computer without an expensive Sonoma or Pyramix DAW, you're comparing two different formats.

 

I've left the SACD camp, and in hindsight I wish DVD-A would have survived as there would have been more 24/192 or 24/96 PCM recordings out there to put on our music servers.

 

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Hi Firefly!

 

The most important thing on which one should be focus is the mastering. Often the mastering is different between the CD and SACD layers of the same disc (this could be some more compression/limiting, but also a somewhat different EQ ...).

As I´m on the way to transfer my SACDs to the computer now (digital, see www.audiopraise.com), I have to recognize that A LOT of the SACDs are only recorded with 44,1 or 48 khz samplingrates. At least, as long the transfer/mastering of the SACD layer is done properly, this could still sound better as the 16 Bit transfer to RBCD.

 

At the moment I´m on the way to switch over to a PC-based playback system, and as soon I´ve got this all working, I will do some "listening-tests" with the transfered materiaol vs. original SACD and vs. RBCD.

 

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 Firefly!

 

Maybe it would be a good "option" to look at the Benchmark DAC! Pre/HDR, because of its analog input?

Or to get a SACD-player which has additional digital Inputs (i.e. the new Marantz models).

 

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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I have been drawn to the temptation to go to SACD for some years now! I just couldn't make sense out of it! First of all I have to re buy all my music, then I have to worry about pissing my money away on "SACD" that is really not any better than redbook! Not all SACD is the same. Some is great - some is so-so. I have one SACD in my 600 CD music collection. The Dark Side of The Moon. I have not heard the SACD layer. I'm sure it is quite good!

 

To me it makes more sense to focus on redbook and high res downloads. Screw SACD! Sony blew a huge opportunity with SACD in my opinion. I am now listening to redbook CD on the Transporter and it sounds better than ever. Better than I remember it sounding on LP/tubes back in the 70's. Lets look to the future. Sony had its chance with SACD and waisted it. Much like Apple had its chance in the 70's-80's with the Mackintosh.

 

If a person has a large SACD collection then that is a different story. I wish I did! Then it would be easy. I would probably start with the new Sony SCD-XA5400ES and go from there! But the fact that I dont has actually been a blessing in disguise! Now I have 600 CD's on a hard drive in WAV playing on WiFi on shuffle and sounding fantastic! That beats the hell out of spinning a disk no matter what kind it is!

 

Eric

 

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Hi!

 

Yes, correct.

 

I use a RME HDSP9632 PCI-card to capture the PCM stream (with Wavelab), but I´ve also tested the (cheapo) ESI [email protected] card with success.

Only my EMU 0404USB has failed to recognize the stream (maybe a mismatch - has to be investigated further ...).

 

There are several mods for different kinds of SACD players (or "Multiplayers") out there (DIY-audio forum, Audiopraise, Dvdupgrades.ch, ...) which use an already DSD to PCM converted (I2S) stream off the player or utilize a FPGA (Audiopraise, Dvdupgrades.ch) to do this. The result is - in any way - a PCM stream which could be sent directly to a DAC of your choice (or similar hardware), but also to a S/PDIF input on a comp.

 

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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In my opinion, SACD still sounds significantly better than 16/44 whether it is played back by CD player or computer based unit. Transferring SACD to high rez format such as 24/88 is not neccessarily automatically make things equal either. At least in my experience, Linn SACD sounds better than its 24/88 download version (I don't know if the master was recorded in DSD then transferred to PCM or how they made the 24/88 tracks. However, I don't know if it is the intrinsic sound quality of 24/88 or problem with transferring process or where the limiting factor is.

 

 

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Surely comparing SACD to a file of the same resolution stored on a hard disk is the same as comparing a CD to a 16bit 44khz file stored on a hard disk - which we've done a few times here before.

 

Many people would agree that the hard disk version sounds better as a CD or SACD player has to perform error correction on the fly.

 

Whether error correction is "all that" audible or not I don't know.

 

Just my thoughts.

M.

 

HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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Hi!

 

BEEMB wrote:

"Surely comparing SACD to a file of the same resolution stored on a hard disk is the same as comparing a CD to a 16bit 44khz file stored on a hard disk"

 

One would believe that it is "the same", but in case of talking about SACD (and therefore DSD), it is actually not. At least, it is not on the most dedicated SACD players, because they are converting the DSD stream directly, and not as converted PCM data.

 

But I would not - at least at the moment - talk about "big" differencies here (in "sound").

 

It is MUCH more important how good the engeneering of the recording was/is.

 

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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Transferring SACD to the computer would be great. Please let us know if you are actually able to do this.

 

I also just realized that the Sony PS3 can play SACD and I know an arbitrary version of Linux can be installed on the PS3. I wonder if anything could be done there.

 

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if you're plannig to do digidrops (ie record the analog output of your SACD player) here's a reminder of another capture option: several blu-ray players send SACD audio as DSD or downsampled PCM via HDMI (as well as LPCM up to 24/192 from other types of discs). ie several oppo models incl the new blu-ray player

 

PS3 older versions which are SACD-compatible (see http://www.ps3sacd.com/ps3hardware.html) utilize a downsampling algorithm IIRC developed by member(s) of SONY's SACD technology team; the resulting DSD > 24/176.4 signal is available on the HDMI output and can be accessed thru a variety of means to be sent to a DAC of your choice, or onward to a computer for capture and server storage.

 

see http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Blu-Ray-Hi-Res-Audio-ripping#comment-18859 and search on head-fi and hoffman. here's a recent thread, a few posts starting w nr 24: http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showpost.php?p=4475144&postcount=24

 

various HDMI switchers and HDMI-to-DVI converters provide legal access to the HDMI stream and break out 2-channel LPCM audio stream up to 24/192

 

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In line with Synfreak... I understood DSD to be fundamentally different form PCM in that it samples the change (delta; being 'up' or 'down') in output voltage (of the wave form) at infinitesimal time intervals (read: very high sample rate) instead of the actual voltage (of the wave form) at bigger intervals. It therefore is a mathematical derivative of PCM and can be converted back to a voltage output in much the same way (from pure DSD to analog, without PCM stage). You will however need to move the data to PCM to do any DSP (base management in SACD 5.1 surround for example) in the digital domain, hence many multi purpose players have DSD to PCM conversion built in....

 

What I don't know is if any of the PCM sample rate families (176.4K vs 196K) map best on DSD's 2.87 MHz (synchronous or other qualities)? Also, Reference Recordings stated they did not like what PCM to DSD conversion did to the sound of their PCM masters (176.4)... Any logic to that? (not that there MUST be logic..)

 

Hey, as long as we're clueless we have a hobby....

 

Bits to analog: Server [i9-10850k; Win10Pro, Roon Core + HQPlayer4 >all DSD256x] -> mRendu -> Lampi GG

Analog to sound: ASR Emitter II Exclusive, Battery -> Dynaudio Confidence 20 + 2 REL G2's

Details: Audio System

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It seems my relatively straight forward has led to very informed discussion and conversations.

 

It would seem that SACD files transferred to a hard drive is not significant better than the original SACD.

 

With some people have a PS3, it may just be worth keeping the SACD physical format for a bit longer.

 

And there is blu-ray music... (another debate and thread).

 

Keep on Upgrading!!!

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History has a habit of repeating itself.

 

It doesn’t matter if SACD is superior to high rez (176.4/192) computer audio. The high rez digital audio future belongs to digital downloads, high rez audio data discs such as HRx, and Blu-ray, where audio is just carried along for the video ride.

 

Let’s be honest, the differences narrow as we compare all these high rez formats. And let’s face it, Blu-ray has the capability to provide everything that DVD-A and SACD offers. The future recording format of choice seems to be DXD (24bit/384kHz) which seems to please many in the PCM and DSD camps.

 

http://www.digitalaudio.dk/technical_papers/axion/dxd%20Resolution%20v3.5.pdf

 

Many have said that Sony missed the boat and messed up again with SACD. I’m sure many of us would be interested in DSD DACs if the DACs and the audio files were available and affordable.

 

So for right now, we encourage more and more record houses to offer their DSD files as high rez PCM downloads or data discs. Of course, you could follow the path that vinyl folks use to digitize their LPs. The Korg MR-2000 is really a good unit if you want to record at SACD fidelity or higher.

 

http://www.korg.co.uk/products/digital_recording/mr/Future_Proof_Recording_Explained.pdf

 

 

 

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@ggking7:

 

I´m currently "only" testing, as I don`t have a dedicated "Music only" PC at my hands.

But the DSD to PCM transfers look and sound good (at least with headphones, as I ... see above ...).

 

Maybe I will grab one of the older PS3 models and test this (as stated by "emmodad") too.

 

My goal isn´t to get "better" sound, at least this is not my first intention to transfer the SACDs.

I simply would like to be able to play all my music of one "place/system". Be it RBCD, DVD-Video based audio (i.e. from concert DVDs), transferred DSD (from my collection or downloaded) and HighRez PCM (native, from DVD-A or downloads).

 

I have some SACDs where the DSD layer is (sometimes only slightly) better sounding as the RBCD layer, so I want to keep that for the future.

 

The "downside" of transfering the discs is, that I "see" whats on the discs - most of the times, there is no frequency-content over 22khz ;)

But thats another story ...

 

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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Its impossible to do directly - that was one of the anti-copy restrictions apple implemented that the discs couldn't be just read by any CD/DVD drive even at a data level. Interestingly the HDMI to SPDIF converter discussed here http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/BluRay-Optical-Out-Coax-DAC might allow a digital PCM signal to be read by a computer and therefor recorded in the digital domain.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi!

 

Quote:

"Has anyone here personally backed up an SACD disc to a computer hard drive losslessly in the digital domain? I thought it wasn't possible but it sounds like there are actually a few different possibilities."

 

It isn`t possible to copy the DSD content to a computer/recorder with "standard home equipment". AFAIK, there is a possibility to transfer it to a (dedicated) audio-workstation (Pyramix, Soundstream XYZ ...) with the right equipment.

 

But it is possible to convert the DSD to PCM and copy that to harddisc (as I do it right now).

This process may loose some bits here and there - in terms of "audio-quality" -, but it seems to be way better as to use the analog outputs of a high quality SACD player and record this with an "even better" A-D converter (and it may be way more expensive 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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I think a really interesting comparison would be a track actually recorded in the studio with both DSD and 24/88.2 PCM at once. Since many available 24/88.2 tracks are simply the DSD version intended for SACD sample rate converted to 88.2, this is hardly a fair comparison. DSD_Mastering could enlighten us on this experience.

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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I thought it useful to remind folks of other reasons why some of us prefer digital audio downloads or digital audio data discs as opposed to optical audio discs, whether RBCD, SACD or Blu-ray. This is from the First Impression Music’s Ultimate Disc thread posted here last October:

 

What is the problem with discs in general?

Not all discs are created equal. To name a few of the differences:

- Some are thinner than normal, which may cause excessive vibration and resonance.

- Some are eccentric and not perfectly flat, causing excessive fluttering and wobbling.

- Some are not even in thickness causing irregular rotational speed changes.

- Some are not perfectly circular, hence dynamically unbalanced.

- Some with multiple, heavy, and colorful designs printed on the label side, cause possible distraction and non-linear reading of the laser head.

- Some are made of poor quality dyes, foils, and polycarbonate material or the reflectivity of the foil is poor, causing the laser to misread.

- The glass stamper is made with excessive jitter rate during the conversion.

- Some have excessive block error rates.

- Some have excessive numbers of pin-holes in the foil, or the foil is too thin.

- Some have micro- or glaring defects, overlooked in the computer or the visual checking process.

- Some are produced with sub-standard quality control.

 

So assured of the FIM quality control, I went to the FIM website today. Unfortunately I feel I would have a headache if I had to choose between DXD, HDCD, K2HD, SACD, Vinyl CD, XRCD, XRCD2 or XRCD24 (no Blu-ray yet?) optical audio discs.

 

Actually all I want is the same digital audio files that the recording studios have on their computers. If the recording studios can’t give me their DSD or DXD files, I will take any digital audio files downgraded to 24 bit/88.2 kHz or higher PCM. IMO not as good, but good enough for now.

 

 

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"Actually all I want is the same digital audio files that the recording studios have on their computers. If the recording studios can’t give me their DSD or DXD files, I will take any digital audio files downgraded to 24 bit/88.2 kHz or higher PCM. IMO not as good, but good enough for now."

 

That's a great goal to shoot for and it may be closer than we think for some labels.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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