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Downsample from DSD or use redbook file?


joelha

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Chris Connaker recently explained on another thread that for the new Berkeley Alpha RS DAC, he's downsampling DSD files to 24/176 off-line using JRiver because that DAC won't play DSD files.

 

I get the idea of changing sample rates off-line but what I'm wondering is if the sonic price (assuming there is any) for the change in sample rate is worth the resulting higher-than-redbook resolution file.

 

Yes, I know, I can try it for myself to see what I think, which I might do. But then again, I simply don't have time to experiment to answer every question I have.

 

So what do people think and if your belief is that downsampling is the better option, which program do you recommend: JRiver, Audiogate, something else?

 

And please, I don't want to turn this into a "is DSD better than something else discussion". There are already plenty of threads on that topic to be found.

 

I'm just wondering what my best option would be if I'm using a DAC which won't do DSD.

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

Joel

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Chris Connaker recently explained on another thread that for the new Berkeley Alpha RS DAC, he's downsampling DSD files to 24/176 off-line using JRiver because that DAC won't play DSD files.

 

I get the idea of changing sample rates off-line but what I'm wondering is if the sonic price (assuming there is any) for the change in sample rate is worth the resulting higher-than-redbook resolution file.

 

Yes, I know, I can try it for myself to see what I think, which I might do. But then again, I simply don't have time to experiment to answer every question I have.

 

So what do people think and if your belief is that downsampling is the better option, which program do you recommend: JRiver, Audiogate, something else?

 

And please, I don't want to turn this into a "is DSD better than something else discussion". There are already plenty of threads on that topic to be found.

 

I'm just wondering what my best option would be if I'm using a DAC which won't do DSD.

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

Joel

 

Just my $0.02 - if you already have the file in redbook, it might sound better in redbook than downsampling the DSD or up-sampling the redbook to 24/.176.4.

 

On the other hand, if the master is in DSD, then the 24/176.4 is liable to sound better. Kind of a crap shoot really, as it depends on so many variables there is no reliable way to give a good answer.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Just my $0.02 - if you already have the file in redbook, it might sound better in redbook than downsampling the DSD or up-sampling the redbook to 24/.176.4.

 

On the other hand, if the master is in DSD, then the 24/176.4 is liable to sound better. Kind of a crap shoot really, as it depends on so many variables there is no reliable way to give a good answer.

 

-Paul

 

 

+1

George

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Is that a consistent 6db up or down?

 

No, that depends from the (DSD-)mastering / authoring and can differ wildly ...

So a check of absolute peak levels AND RMS *) values is crucial if you want to do comparisons of DSD vs. PCM.

 

*) = there might be different masterings used for the layers (CD/DSD) of a SACD. This will show up most of the time in different RMS (or Dynamic Range) values.

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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Thanks Alfe.

 

Is that a consistent 6db up or down?

 

Joel

 

the gain difference is deliberate and is required in DSD to prevent overload in the sigma-delta modulator. Applying 6dB of gain will restore the converted file to it's original volume.

 


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the gain difference is deliberate and is required in DSD to prevent overload in the sigma-delta modulator. Applying 6dB of gain will restore the converted file to it's original volume.

 

You just need to be careful. SACD by the spec allows temporary +3 dBFS DSD levels, so applying +6 dB gain on DSD-to-PCM conversion may lead to severe clipping depending on material. I've even heard of material reaching +6 dBFS DSD levels, so be careful...

 

On HQPlayer if you have +6 dB conversion gain enabled, you can monitor "Limited" counter to make sure your output doesn't overload. Internal processing pipeline has enough headroom to not clip regardless of level.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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You just need to be careful. SACD by the spec allows temporary +3 dBFS DSD levels, so applying +6 dB gain on DSD-to-PCM conversion may lead to severe clipping depending on material. I've even heard of material reaching +6 dBFS DSD levels, so be careful...

 

On HQPlayer if you have +6 dB conversion gain enabled, you can monitor "Limited" counter to make sure your output doesn't overload. Internal processing pipeline has enough headroom to not clip regardless of level.

 

Miska,

 

In this case 0db and volume control to compensate ¨-)

 

In my time working on SACD if a materiel of +6 dBFS levels was delivered to me the mastering guy would have been immediately shot ¨-)

 


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