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PS3 SACD rips vs. DSD downloads?


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I recall reading a couple of posts here and maybe also on another forum(I know one was from Ted_b) about the superiority of DSD downloads over PS3 rips of the same recordings. The explanation was that the downloads were essentially the masters used to make the SACDs without the extra processing needed to actually produce an SACD. It got me to thinking about all of those SACDs that I purchased new or from resellers on ebay or amazon. I don't have any real interest in repurchasing the same recordings as downloads from acousticsounds bit it does give me pause for thought when making future SACD purchases.

 

Case in point, the Creedence Clearwater Revival SACDs were eventually made available for download(I have 2 of the downloads and none of the SACDs) and now the Stevie Ray Vaughn 6 SACD collection has been announced for sale with no mention regarding potential future release as separate DSD downloads.

 

Expensive SACD boxes sound less interesting to me now when I consider that 1)they may later on be released as somewhat better sounding downloads, 2)I can potentially buy individual albums as downloads vs. buying an entire boxed set, and 3)I am more than happy to forego ownership of a physical disc and spring for the download instead.

 

I wonder how other DSD fans are looking at this situation.

 

Esau

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I recall reading a couple of posts here and maybe also on another forum(I know one was from Ted_b) about the superiority of DSD downloads over PS3 rips of the same recordings. The explanation was that the downloads were essentially the masters used to make the SACDs without the extra processing needed to actually produce an SACD. It got me to thinking about all of those SACDs that I purchased new or from resellers on ebay or amazon. I don't have any real interest in repurchasing the same recordings as downloads from acousticsounds bit it does give me pause for thought when making future SACD purchases.

 

Case in point, the Creedence Clearwater Revival SACDs were eventually made available for download(I have 2 of the downloads and none of the SACDs) and now the Stevie Ray Vaughn 6 SACD collection has been announced for sale with no mention regarding potential future release as separate DSD downloads.

 

Expensive SACD boxes sound less interesting to me now when I consider that 1)they may later on be released as somewhat better sounding downloads, 2)I can potentially buy individual albums as downloads vs. buying an entire boxed set, and 3)I am more than happy to forego ownership of a physical disc and spring for the download instead.

 

I wonder how other DSD fans are looking at this situation.

 

Esau

 

I do have a couple of SACD capable players, but no ripping platform. My DACs are DSD capable.

 

Given the increasing availability of DSD downloads, it would make little sense for me to continue buying SACDs (only have a few) - so decision for me is easy :)

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I had made a bunch of SACD rips for a friend of mine who subsequently told me that he had heard downloads of same discs and he believed the downloads sounded better.

 

While I believed him, I didn't understand why that would be. But reading the above explanation certainly makes sense.

 

Joel

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Given the increasing availability of DSD downloads, it would make little sense for me to continue buying SACDs (only have a few) - so decision for me is easy :)

 

The decision is often dependent on the label involved. Sony, Waterlily, Reference Recordings, Fantasy and Analogue Productions, for example, can be expected to become available for download, while it's anyone's guess as to whether music from Mobile Fidelity or Audio Fidelity will ever find their way to a download site.

 

Esau

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I had made a bunch of SACD rips for a friend of mine who subsequently told me that he had heard downloads of same discs and he believed the downloads sounded better.

 

While I believed him, I didn't understand why that would be. But reading the above explanation certainly makes sense.

 

Joel

 

Perhaps PSU shortcomings in a device that was never intended for such an application, and from what I have read, can get quite stressed with all the extra work ?

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Perhaps PSU shortcomings in a device that was never intended for such an application, and from what I have read, can get quite stressed with all the extra work ?

 

You know, Alex. It isn't always about the power. :)

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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You know, Alex. It isn't always about the power. :)

 

Good clean power supplies that also reduce the amount of crap getting back into the mains, never go astray in any AV device, whether a computer, a Play Station 3 being pushed to it's limits, a DAC, an amplifier, or even the ubiquitous Logitech SBT. But of course, if you aren't a DIY person, you wouldn't be likely to have a clue about such things.

Almost ALL affordable consumer AV devices are capable of further improvement with further attention to the power supply area. That's why so many people pay silly amounts of money for upmarket mains leads too. Well designed equipment shouldn't need expensive after market doodads. Even the type of transformer used in a power supply can make an audible difference, with R-Core transformers favoured over toroidal transformers for low level audio equipment. They do however need further spacing from sensitive areas due to a much higher radiated field..

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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The PlayStation is just reading digital data, things like the power supply don't even factor into it.

 

I don't see any reason why a DSD download should sound better than a SACD rip, unless they are somehow mastered differently.

And if it's pure DSD throughout, there shouldn't be any differences, as you can't edit native DSD.

If it has been edited as DXD or some other format, it should be distributed in the editing format, rather than being converted back to DSD.

 

One potential issue is if you're using the SACD Extract tool to split up the ISO files to individual tracks, as that can cause some errors at the start or end of them, but if you simply rip to ISO and use a compatible player (e.g. JRiver) that doesn't factor into it.

And it won't affect playback quality, just gapless playback.

 

Something else to consider is that these DSD downloads often cost as much as the SACD itself - but I haven't seen any multichannel DSD downloads for sale, when many SACDs include stereo and multichannel audio on them.

 

I don't even have a multichannel setup yet, but that's one of the reasons I continue to buy SACD in preference to DSD downloads or other high-res sources.

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The PlayStation is just reading digital data, things like the power supply don't even factor into it.

 

John Swenson's new external linear PSU for the Mac Mini, especially when the external Kelvin Sensor is also used, should according to currently accepted theory , not make any difference either , but according to reports from Alex C and John Swenson it does, even though exporting the same binary data. Even additional parallel capacitors in the primary side of a CD/DVD player such as the Oppo 981 which uses an SMPS makes a marked improvement to Video via HDMI , as well as audio via coax SPDIF. Even replacing generic rectifier diodes in the HV bridge rectifier with fast, soft recovery types such as the BYV26C results in an improvement there.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Good clean power supplies that also reduce the amount of crap getting back into the mains, never go astray in any AV device, whether a computer, a Play Station 3 being pushed to it's limits, a DAC, an amplifier, or even the ubiquitous Logitech SBT. But of course, if you aren't a DIY person, you wouldn't be likely to have a clue about such things.

Almost ALL affordable consumer AV devices are capable of further improvement with further attention to the power supply area. That's why so many people pay silly amounts of money for upmarket mains leads too. Well designed equipment shouldn't need expensive after market doodads. Even the type of transformer used in a power supply can make an audible difference, with R-Core transformers favoured over toroidal transformers for low level audio equipment. They do however need further spacing from sensitive areas due to a much higher radiated field..

 

Alex, I'm just taking the p*ss out of you. Sometimes you remind me of the carpenter who sees a hammer as the solution to every problem. In your case, better power fixes everything... as you often remind us.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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In your case, better power fixes everything... as you often remind us.

 

I am far from the only member pushing this. Many members even go to great lengths to improve the quality of the incoming mains supply.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I am far from the only member pushing this. Many members even go to great lengths to improve the quality of the incoming mains supply.

 

This is true but you somehow find a way of talking about power supplies in almost every post you make. Not that there's anything wrong with this of course. I'm just saying that perhaps there are other things you could share with us. For example, what albums do you listen to?

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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John Swenson's new external linear PSU for the Mac Mini, especially when the external Kelvin Sensor is also used, should according to currently accepted theory , not make any difference either , but according to reports from Alex C and John Swenson it does, even though exporting the same binary data.
Sending audio data over connections which don't have electrical isolation, where noise on the ground can potentially reach an amplifier and affect playback (which does not affect the digital audio, but adds additional analog noise) is a completely different situation than data transfer off a disc.

 

Unless you want to argue that all physical media storage of digital data is fundamentally flawed and impossible to recover the original data, that is, but then we might have some bigger problems to deal with than digital audio...

 

Even additional parallel capacitors in the primary side of a CD/DVD player such as the Oppo 981 which uses an SMPS makes a marked improvement to Video via HDMI...
Sorry, but video is my thing more so than audio, and this is factually incorrect.

 

Bit-perfect HDMI video is perfect. Either the cable works correctly or it shows obvious errors.

Differences with the cable quality cannot affect analog parameters for image quality such as contrast, sharpness etc. It can only introduce errors, and those errors are obvious.

Adding capacitors or otherwise modifying the output of a device won't make a bit of difference either.

 

I take issue with a lot of the arguments for digital cables sounding different and so on for digital audio, but because I don't work with audio day in and out I am hesitant to make statements like these, but you cannot make that argument for HDMI video. It just doesn't work that way.

 

Where video is concerned, the quality of a cable only affects the maximum resolution/framerate signal that can be sent over it, or the distance it will travel, without displaying errors.

A really bad cheap HDMI cable might handle 720p60 just fine, but not 1080p.

Just about anything will handle 1080p60 just fine today though - even cables that cost less than $5.

 

You either end up with obvious artifacts, or no signal at all.

With HDMI, a cable right on the edge of failing will show those obvious artifacts, and simply stops working for the handshaking process if it gets any worse than that, so you will either receive an error or simply not get a picture at all.

 

The only reason to spend any amount of money on HDMI gear is if you need a long cable run - and unless it's being run through the walls, I would still recommend trying the cheapest cable you can get first.

Otherwise, buy a nice certified cable (which still costs considerably less than audiophile cables) and it will do the job it's supposed to.

 

 

If anyone is trying to tell you that these changes improve the picture they are 100% wrong.

If you believe that it can make a difference to the picture, then this is a perfect example of placebo at work, because it cannot make a difference. That's just not how digital video works.

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Sorry, but video is my thing more so than audio, and this is factually incorrect.

anyone is trying to tell you that these changes improve the picture they are 100% wrong.

If you believe that it can make a difference to the picture, then this is a perfect example of placebo at work, because it cannot make a difference. That's just not how digital video works.

 

Absolute twaddle.

We were able to compare 2 identical Oppo 981s , before and after modifications via HDMI to a Panasonic 1280 Projector. The video clips from ABC TV "Rage" were considerably glossier looking after the front end modifications in both machines.

After seeing improvements with my Oppo 981 , my friend did similar changes to his Oppo with a similar improvement.

You can have 2 different CD/DVD players spitting out the same data via Coax SPDIF, as shown after saving the digital streams to a HDD, yet they can sound quite different into the same external DAC, especially if one of them uses a linear PSU.

What makes you think that HDMI, coax SPDIF etc. is any more impervious to system noise than USB, where it is well documented about USB cables with improved separation between D+ and D-, and the +5V and 0 volt lines sounding better ?

Even placing a CD/DVD player on a carpeted floor, can usually cause it to sound different via coax SPDIF, yet the 0s and 1s don't change.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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The decision is often dependent on the label involved. Sony, Waterlily, Reference Recordings, Fantasy and Analogue Productions, for example, can be expected to become available for download, while it's anyone's guess as to whether music from Mobile Fidelity or Audio Fidelity will ever find their way to a download site.

 

Esau

 

Yes, the decision is VERY dependent on the label. Some of these downloads are simply rips from the SACD (not necessarily done on PS3's, but done on Sonoma workstations, etc). These rips have gone through the SACD authoring stages, which theoretically may not be exactly lossy, but may be full of outside noise influences, etc. Others, like the NativeDSD Channel Classic stuff (note: I voluntarily work for them, so let it be known) are from the DFF edit masters and not necessarily the SACD cutting master. I have acccess to both (the Channel stuff I owned and ripped, and the downloads I have access to...the downloads win 100% of the time). Another example: MA Recordings MAonSA, Todd's only authored SACD disc, a sampler that is 2 hours long (19 discrete DSD tracks, 19 different ones on redbook) is one ISO in my library of thousands of SACD rips. It sounds wonderful (even though the sources are mostly hirez PCM). But Todd, now a good friend, sent me the "masters", a direct copy of what came off the SADie wokstation in dff format...it sounds slightly but markedly more transparent, lower noise floor, slightly more dynamic. It just does.

 

These examples require a/b'ing; they are not night and day.

 

Rule: if you own the darn SACD already then rip it and use it. If you don't then find out how the download was created. If it's a session file or direct from the edit master then make your decision; downloading in that case usually makes sense. Another aspect of this is that some of these downloads are of SACDs long OOP, so buying them now is a cost you may not want to deal with anyway. Of course, the final ingredient is multichannel (which the SACD gives you, if available, for "free"). But again, the direct mch copy is slightly better in some cases.

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Another example: MA Recordings MAonSA, Todd's only authored SACD disc, a sampler that is 2 hours long (19 discrete DSD tracks, 19 different ones on redbook) is one ISO in my library of thousands of SACD rips. It sounds wonderful (even though the sources are mostly hirez PCM). But Todd, now a good friend, sent me the "masters", a direct copy of what came off the SADie wokstation in dff format...it sounds slightly but markedly more transparent, lower noise floor, slightly more dynamic. It just does.

 

Ted, how do the masters in PCM format sourced from original hirez PCM compare to the same masters in dff?

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Absolute twaddle.

We were able to compare 2 identical Oppo 981s , before and after modifications via HDMI to a Panasonic 1280 Projector. The video clips from ABC TV "Rage" were considerably glossier looking after the front end modifications in both machines.

After seeing improvements with my Oppo 981 , my friend did similar changes to his Oppo with a similar improvement.

You can have 2 different CD/DVD players spitting out the same data via Coax SPDIF, as shown after saving the digital streams to a HDD, yet they can sound quite different into the same external DAC, especially if one of them uses a linear PSU.

What makes you think that HDMI, coax SPDIF etc. is any more impervious to system noise than USB, where it is well documented about USB cables with improved separation between D+ and D-, and the +5V and 0 volt lines sounding better ?

Even placing a CD/DVD player on a carpeted floor, can usually cause it to sound different via coax SPDIF, yet the 0s and 1s don't change.

As I said before, I don't work audio on a daily basis, so I don't want to make any claims about that. Most of the issues with digital audio via asynchronous connections like USB seem related to analog noise transferring over the ground, and problems with synchronous connections like S/PDIF mainly seem to be caused by jitter.

 

With HDMI video, you either get a bit-perfect image or a broken image.

It is literally impossible for those changes to affect the digital output of a Blu-ray player in such a way that it makes analog changes such as contrast or sharpness improvements to the image going out over HDMI.

 

I have a lot of experience working with video hardware (both players and displays) and have close friends that do commercial Blu-ray mastering work.

 

The final video encode matches exactly what gets pressed onto the discs, and that matches what comes out of the player.

Unless the player is doing additional DSP, it should be a perfect match to the master as far as color, contrast, and sharpness are concerned.

 

The only difference in the final output between players - assuming they are "bit-perfect" players - should be how they handle chroma upsampling, as data is encoded to 4:2:0 on a Blu-ray disc and must be upsampled to a minimum of 4:2:2 to be transmitted over HDMI.

That may change soon though, as HDMI 2.0 allows the transmission of the native 4:2:0 data. (though that still has to be upsampled at some point)

 

Even so, chroma upsampling is not going to be affected by those changes you suggested, and most people can't spot the difference between the most basic bilinear chroma upsampling and the most advanced edge-adaptive chroma upsampling when viewing actual film content.

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It is literally impossible for those changes to affect the digital output of a Blu-ray player in such a way that it makes analog changes such as contrast or sharpness improvements to the image going out over HDMI.

 

You are deluding yourself if you think that wideband RF/EMI can't also go along for the ride with video via HDMI just as it does via Coax SPDIF and USB.

The glossier colour is due to less noise, not other enhancements.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Ted, how do the masters in PCM format sourced from original hirez PCM compare to the same masters in dff?

 

Todd has only released less than a dozen of his recordings in their original hirez PCM master versions (for those recordings done at that level), so although I have them all, that only constitutes about 4 samples on this SACD and diff master. In all cases the original PCM slightly outshines the diff, but unlike other examples...the PCM-to-DSD on Todd's MAonSA sampler are extraordinarily good. He's also as done a few Korg DSD128 recordings and we'll have them on NativeDSD asap (two of the free samples on the Just Listen section are from those).

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With HDMI video, you either get a bit-perfect image or a broken image.

It is literally impossible for those changes to affect the digital output of a Blu-ray player in such a way that it makes analog changes such as contrast or sharpness improvements to the image going out over HDMI.

 

I have a lot of experience working with video hardware (both players and displays) and have close friends that do commercial Blu-ray mastering work.

 

 

With that experience you would realise that to transfer bit perfect video data (if that could exist anyway) from one machine to the other requires the use of wires. These wires are electrically conductive, for a specific purpose to transfer electricity, of which voltage is a component of that.

A voltage is sent from the transmitting device to the receiver via a voltage that yes moves up from a zero plane to a certain level then drops again at a great rate of knots.

 

This voltage is analog in nature usually +5V something, and is subject to the same noise conditions as any other voltage transmitted on this planet, whether 0.1uV or 400kV. Digital data, even in HDMI, is analog voltage waveform, and analog CURRENTS which flow back to the source with our friend noise. HDMI has the dubious honour of no data correction protocols at all, it's our 1/25 fs brain that makes things look peachy as they are, but our hearing detects variations in microseconds.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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You are deluding yourself if you think that wideband RF/EMI can't also go along for the ride with video via HDMI just as it does via Coax SPDIF and USB.

The glossier colour is due to less noise, not other enhancements.

Nope, sorry, can't happen.

 

If there are errors, there are extremely obvious errors in the image.

 

Subtle changes to the image or anything that can be equated to analog picture terms simply doesn't happen.

 

Digital transmission errors with HDMI does not result in analog-style noise being added or removed from the picture.

 

With that experience you would realise that to transfer bit perfect video data (if that could exist anyway) from one machine to the other requires the use of wires. These wires are electrically conductive, for a specific purpose to transfer electricity, of which voltage is a component of that.

A voltage is sent from the transmitting device to the receiver via a voltage that yes moves up from a zero plane to a certain level then drops again at a great rate of knots.

 

This voltage is analog in nature usually +5V something, and is subject to the same noise conditions as any other voltage transmitted on this planet, whether 0.1uV or 400kV. Digital data, even in HDMI, is analog voltage waveform, and analog CURRENTS which flow back to the source with our friend noise. HDMI has the dubious honour of no data correction protocols at all, it's our 1/25 fs brain that makes things look peachy as they are, but our hearing detects variations in microseconds.

And yet it's possible to capture the output from a device and verify that the image is 100% identical whether using the cheapest cables you can find, or very expensive cables.

 

This is an indisputable fact. No-one with any amount of experience in the video world will believe you if you try to sell them on a better HDMI cable or an "upgraded" blu-ray player. You would be laughed out of the room.

 

Either there is so much noise that the image ends up being corrupted, doesn't show up at all, or it is perfect. You really don't get anything else with HDMI.

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Nope, sorry, can't happen.

 

If there are errors, there are extremely obvious errors in the image.

 

Subtle changes to the image or anything that can be equated to analog picture terms simply doesn't happen.

 

Digital transmission errors with HDMI does not result in analog-style noise being added or removed from the picture.

 

And yet it's possible to capture the output from a device and verify that the image is 100% identical whether using the cheapest cables you can find, or very expensive cables.

 

This is an indisputable fact. No-one with any amount of experience in the video world will believe you if you try to sell them on a better HDMI cable or an "upgraded" blu-ray player. You would be laughed out of the room.

 

Either there is so much noise that the image ends up being corrupted, doesn't show up at all, or it is perfect. You really don't get anything else with HDMI.

 

I guess you know best then, we'll leave you to your opinions.

 

Just look this up : Error correction HDMI

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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I guess you know best then, we'll leave you to your opinions.

 

Just look this up : Error correction HDMI

 

I looked up following your post.

 

My understanding is that

  • there is no error correction for the video stream, where errors can happen in principle happen and would show up as wrong lines or pixels on the TV
  • there is correction for everything else including audio

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I guess you know best then, we'll leave you to your opinions.

 

Just look this up : Error correction HDMI

 

I found this in my search: http://www.cnet.com/news/why-all-hdmi-cables-are-the-same/

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Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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