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Bach/Vivaldi: Magnificat Jordi Savall - which version to buy?


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The latest issue of the French magazine Classica has a great review of this album:

 

Bach - Vivaldi : Magnificat & Concerti | Compositeurs divers par Jordi Savall – Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

I love both Magnificats, Savall is usually a safe bet, and on top of everything else there is Pierre Hantai that I admire playing one of the piano concertos. So I already had my credit card out at Qobuz.

 

But then I saw the format: 24/88. Given that this is also available on SACD; I wonder if this may be a native DSD recording:

 

Presto Classical - Vivaldi & Bach: Magnificats and Concerti - Alia Vox: AVSA9909

 

Unfortunately SA-CD.net doesn't have any info.

 

Does anybody have any insight on whether this may be a converted DSD to PCM album?

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The latest issue of the French magazine Classica has a great review of this album:

 

Bach - Vivaldi : Magnificat & Concerti | Compositeurs divers par Jordi Savall*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

I love both Magnificats, Savall is usually a safe bet, and on top of everything else there is Pierre Hantai that I admire playing one of the piano concertos. So I already had my credit card out at Qobuz.

 

But then I saw the format: 24/88. Given that this is also available on SACD; I wonder if this may be a native DSD recording:

 

Presto Classical - Vivaldi & Bach: Magnificats and Concerti - Alia Vox: AVSA9909

 

Unfortunately SA-CD.net doesn't have any info.

 

Does anybody have any insight on whether this may be a converted DSD to PCM album?

 

Yes, it's native DSD. Savall's label issues all of his material in hybrid SACD/CD format, and a limited selection are available as PCM on Qobuz, with one or two available as PCM on HDTracks.

 

I have this recording. The Vivaldi is OK, neither significantly better nor worse than others I've heard. The Bach, for me, is sublime, and the reason I bought it (from Presto Classical at the rather unbelievable price of $15.41). It also includes a DVD video disc.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Yes, it's native DSD. Savall's label issues all of his material in hybrid SACD/CD format, and a limited selection are available as PCM on Qobuz, with one or two available as PCM on HDTracks.

 

I have this recording. The Vivaldi is OK, neither significantly better nor worse than others I've heard. The Bach, for me, is sublime, and the reason I bought it (from Presto Classical at the rather unbelievable price of $15.41). It also includes a DVD video disc.

Thanks Jud.

 

As I don't have an SACD player no a PS3, I'd either need to find the DSD download somewhere or I may end up just going for redbook (don't have a DSD compatible DAC anyhow). I'll probably send an e-mail to Qobuz about their Studio Master "Guarantee" and this particular album given that it seems to be a DSD-PCM conversion. Let's see what they answer.

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Thanks Jud.

 

As I don't have an SACD player no a PS3, I'd either need to find the DSD download somewhere or I may end up just going for redbook (don't have a DSD compatible DAC anyhow). I'll probably send an e-mail to Qobuz about their Studio Master "Guarantee" and this particular album given that it seems to be a DSD-PCM conversion. Let's see what they answer.

 

Depending on the price of the PCM download, with the SACD/CD on sale I could definitely see purchasing it and enjoying the Redbook along with the package (as always, nice booklet, and there's the DVD as well) until such time as you had the facilities to listen to the DSD. ( http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/funding-making-sacd-ripping-available-through-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-22124/ ?)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Depending on the price of the PCM download, with the SACD/CD on sale I could definitely see purchasing it and enjoying the Redbook along with the package (as always, nice booklet, and there's the DVD as well) until such time as you had the facilities to listen to the DSD. ( http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/funding-making-sacd-ripping-available-through-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-22124/ ?)

 

Well I'll never get a PS3 and am highly doubtful Sony will ever provide any alternative means for ripping SACD, I may end up with a disc I'll only be able to rip to red book. It's really not a price issue as the SACD is still very cheap at presto, but I've already put all my physical discs in storage and enjoy the fact the the new Qobuz app shows the booklet electronically.

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Yes, it's native DSD. Savall's label issues all of his material in hybrid SACD/CD format, and a limited selection are available as PCM on Qobuz, with one or two available as PCM on HDTracks.

 

I have this recording. The Vivaldi is OK, neither significantly better nor worse than others I've heard. The Bach, for me, is sublime, and the reason I bought it (from Presto Classical at the rather unbelievable price of $15.41). It also includes a DVD video disc.

 

Jud, what info do you have that Jordi's recording here (or any for that matter) are recorded in DSD? I would guess PCM (best case DXD) given the people he uses and the feedback from other sites. It's somewhat irrelevant, given the fact that you love the music, but to blow off the 24/48 as a (DSD to PCM lossy) format conversion is a bit hasty, unless you have the provenance info (which would be great).

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Jud, what info do you have that Jordi's recording here (or any for that matter) are recorded in DSD? I would guess PCM (best case DXD) given the people he uses and the feedback from other sites. It's somewhat irrelevant, given the fact that you love the music, but to blow off the 24/48 as a (DSD to PCM lossy) format conversion is a bit hasty, unless you have the provenance info (which would be great).

Ted, just FYI, it's 24/88 not 48, which raised my suspicion. In the meantime I've send an message to Qobuz customer service, let's see what we hear back.

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Jud, what info do you have that Jordi's recording here (or any for that matter) are recorded in DSD? I would guess PCM (best case DXD) given the people he uses and the feedback from other sites. It's somewhat irrelevant, given the fact that you love the music, but to blow off the 24/48 as a (DSD to PCM lossy) format conversion is a bit hasty, unless you have the provenance info (which would be great).

 

I've corresponded with one of the Alia Vox people to ask whether they'd consider making more of Savall's recordings available as downloads. Wound up exchanging emails with a very nice guy, an audiophile, who was in fact building speakers for the Maestro's system! :)

 

Edit: BTW, Ted, I also sent an email to Native DSD to ask whether they might talk to Alia Vox about making DSD downloads available, and received a reply (from one of the Sackses?) that they'd asked. Never heard anything further. Can you check on this? Would obviously love to see it on both counts (the music being made available, and from Native DSD).

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Jud, no offense but sometimes the label people are the most clueless as to the provenance, as the recording itself is done by a 3rd party production house. He said he knew they were DSD recordings, or just that they were SACDs (big difference)? I know sa-cd.net is no infallible source but they list NONE of Alia Vox stuff as DSD, and in many cases specifically as PCM. It's one reason we haven't extended a hand yet. Heck, we have to deal with folks who claim direct analog-to-DSD, only to find out the darn analog tapes came from PCM. :)

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Jud, no offense but sometimes the label people are the most clueless as to the provenance, as the recording itself is done by a 3rd party production house. He said he knew they were DSD recordings, or just that they were SACDs (big difference)? I know sa-cd.net is no infallible source but they list NONE of Alia Vox stuff as DSD, and in many cases specifically as PCM. It's one reason we haven't extended a hand yet. Heck, we have to deal with folks who claim direct analog-to-DSD, only to find out the darn analog tapes came from PCM. :)

 

I don't recall, Ted, whether it was SACD or DSD (this was a couple of years ago). And yes, the label guy is my only information. So Musicophile, I could have steered you wrong.

 

Ted, it would be great if (1) you could find out more about this; (2) Alia Vox recorded in DSD, or could be persuaded to; and (3) the result were available on Native DSD.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I don't recall, Ted, whether it was SACD or DSD (this was a couple of years ago). And yes, the label guy is my only information. So Musicophile, I could have steered you wrong.

 

Ted, it would be great if (1) you could find out more about this; (2) Alia Vox recorded in DSD, or could be persuaded to; and (3) the result were available on Native DSD.

I haven't purchased anything yet, so no harm done. Luckily with the expertise on this site I'm sure we'll eventually find out.

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One option would be to buy just one 24/88.2 file on Qobuz and check what the spectrum does between 22 and 44.1kHz.

 

If it shows typical DSD ultrasonic noise, it would be an indication in favour of a native DSD recording (though not a definitive one as some PCM ADCs can also generate ultrasonic noise though this has become rare in modern converters). If the spectrum doesn't show any ultrasonic noise, well then that would be compatible with either a PCM recording or a DSD recording with aggressive noise filtering.

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Boris, I could be wrong but if a non-native DSD (PCM originated) SACD rip were looked at under a decent spectrum analysis it too would show DSD ultrasonic noise shaping, from the DSD transfer...right?

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Boris, I could be wrong but if a non-native DSD (PCM originated) SACD rip were looked at under a decent spectrum analysis it too would show DSD ultrasonic noise shaping, from the DSD transfer...right?

 

Yes, you are absolutely correct (except if the DSD rip has then been converted to PCM with an aggressive filter as in Saracon).

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  • 5 months later...

Finally a discount code from Qobuz came along, and with Qobuz sublime the 24/88 wasn't expensive any more. So I'm done waiting for the DSD version to be released.

 

Out of curiosity, I threw the album at Musiscope, not expecting a lot from a DSD64 to PCM conversion.

 

What is weird though is that the profiles seem to change with the different pieces.

 

The Vivaldi Magnificat (track 1) has a strong cutoff at 22khz, not really surprising for a DSD conversion if I understand the process correctly.

 

01-01-I_Adagio_e_spiccato_Allegro-SMR.m4a_report.png

 

However, the Bach piano concerto with Hantaï has a completely different profile, with a much smoother drop.

 

01-14-I_Allegro-SMR.m4a_report.png

 

And finally, the Bach Magnificat (track 17) has a cutoff at 25khz????

01-17-I_Magnificat-SMR.m4a_report.png

 

I'm really a bit lost here.

 

Can somebody with better understanding of DSD to PCM conversion help me out here?

 

The entire album sounds really nice BTW.

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My guess is that the different pieces were recorded at different times, in different formats, and then converted to uniform format for the download. BIS has some albums where the download has different sample rates for different pieces, and it seems a little strange. The people at Alia Vox or Qobuz probably felt that going that route wouldn't meet customers' expectations.

 

To me it looks most likely that the Vivaldi was recorded at 44.1 kHz, the concerto at 88.2 or 96, and the Bach Magnificat in DSD. 25 kHz is where you start to see the DSD ultrasonic noise on a spectrogram; the engineer who performed the conversion would choose the cutoff you see if he felt the best thing was to remove all the DSD noise.

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