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T+a pdp 3000 hv


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Today I was reading through latest HiFi-News and noticed review of T+A's new PDP 3000 HV CD/SACD player + DAC.

 

What is particularly interesting in this device is that it has two separate DACs, one for PCM and one for DSD. And it seems to use same type of D/A section for DSD as my DSC1. It also uses same Amanero USB input board and also supports up to DSD512. While PCM section seems to be quad TI's PCM1795 and T+A's own set of digital filters (four options). PCM input is supported up to 384 kHz.

 

What is worth noting is that SACD inputs always go through 88.2 kHz PCM conversion and the true DSD converter is only used for USB DSD inputs.

 

So if someone is interested on commercial product with DSC1-style DSD DAC, this one may be an option.

 

 

For more info check their PDF catalogue download on above link.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I've been looking for a while for a high end SACD player with a DAC capable of external DSD input, as I have a large collection of SACDs and I don't want to duplicate an expensive player and an expensive DAC. The T+A seems great on paper.

 

German magazines have been raving about it's "perfect" sound, although one mag (Audiophile, a pdf of the review is available on the T+A website) placed it in their sound characteristics graph on the more cold and sterile side, which is also my experience with other T+A products (TA1530 amp).

 

What is worth noting is that SACD inputs always go through 88.2 kHz PCM conversion and the true DSD converter is only used for USB DSD inputs.

 

What do you mean by "SACD inputs"?

Claude

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Are you sure DSD from SACD gets converted to PCM first? With a $15.000 player that's not acceptable, and T+A must know that.

 

That's what was explicitly said in the HiFi-News review. Probably their measurements also reveal this. I don't have that player, so I cannot measure and check. I know this issue is present in many disc players based on Mediatek chipset. This is one of the reasons why many SACD listening tests may end up with strange results.

 

The manual seems to confirm this in many places. By default DSD64 doesn't go to the "True DSD" converter (only >= DSD128, they also seem to have less conversion elements / filtering than DSC1), but there's a specific configuration option to enable it:

"The True-DSD technique is available for DSD sampling rates from DSD128 upwards. In the System Configuration menu it is also possible to select it for external 64fs digital signals."

"For reasons of operational security the True DSD technique is normally blocked for DSD64 signals, but this menu point can be used to determine whether you also want the True DSD technique to be available for DSD64 signals fed via the USB input."

 

Bolds are mine. At least SACD output seems to always go to the TI DAC chips.

 

They have also different filter settings for "SACD DAC Mode" and "DSD DAC Mode".

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Thanks. I still hope this is some kind of misinformation or misunderstanding.

 

To design a SACD player/DAC with seperate PCM and DSD sections, and then not support pure DSD from SACD, that's a huge failure.

 

The biggest source of DSD music is and will probably remain SACD, not downloads.

Claude

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They have also different filter settings for "SACD DAC Mode" and "DSD DAC Mode".

 

Couldn't they simply use a standard 50kHz low pass filter for "SACD DAC Mode" and another set of filters for 128x and higher DSD rates extending their frequency response?

 

If the SACD player converts DSD to PCM, and only handles DSD natively via USB input, I'll wait for a stand-alone T+A DSD USB DAC.

 

It may even be DSD-only, provided it supports native DSD conversion up to 512fs like the one here.

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I read the T+A brochure, and the manual and did not get the impression that the PDP 3000 converted SACD to PCM. Not to doubt Miska I downloaded the Feb 2015 edition of Stereoplay (German) and to my surprise they said something similar. Here is an edited Google translation

 

As a rule, the higher the oversampling rate, the farther away from hearing range takes the Quantization noise to. To protect tweeter or amplifier in DSD mode safe from high-frequency overload, the PDP 3000 considers a variety of different filter modes available: This allows for example the critical DSD play 64 to use the PCM converter module which, although not quite as compromise-free following the 1-bit-Maxim, with its efficient digital filter frequency remains, however, noise suppression effective. Of course, are also in PCM mode several digital filter options to choose from - including the sonically optimized well known good Bezier function.

 

so it looks like in order to protect their customers' tweeters from the high frequency noise, they would rather convert SACD to PCM and use the PCM filters instead of utilizing a suitably protective filter for DSD64 which they think, or have found would sound worse than the conversion to PCM

 

Or may be the bright sparks at T+A know that SACD's can be ripped, and that HQ Player can then upsample the ripped files to DSD 256 and DSD512 without needing permission from SONY ;-)

 

A DSD 256 & 512 only DAC with the DSD optimized analog output section would indeed be a hard to resist ultimate DAC ! If T+A built this with a NAA with WiFi input, it would be irresistible !

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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A DSD 256 & 512 only DAC with the DSD optimized analog output section would indeed be a hard to resist ultimate DAC ! If T+A built this with a NAA with WiFi input, it would be irresistible !

 

I would much rather rely on an ethernet connection than capricious Wi-Fi signal for the ultimate audio experience. YMMV.

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In the Stereoplay review, the use of the PCM module for DSD playback is indicated as being an option:

 

"So lässt sich beispielsweise das kritische DSD 64 auch über das PCM-Wandler-Abteil abspielen, das zwar nicht ganz so kompromisslos der 1-Bit-Maxime folgt, mit seinem efizienten Digitalfilter hochfrequente Reste jedoch effektiver unterdrückt."

 

(Human) translation: "For example, the critical DSD64 signal can also be played through the PCM converter module, which does not follow the 1bit-maxime in such a compromise-free way, but whose digital filters suppress high frequency noise more effectively"

 

So they don't write about a limitation with SACD playback, not even between the lines.

Claude

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Or may be the bright sparks at T+A know that SACD's can be ripped, and that HQ Player can then upsample the ripped files to DSD 256 and DSD512 without needing permission from SONY ;-)

 

I don't think you need to ask Sony for any permission if you want your SACD player to upsample DSD to 8X DSD because the player happens to be using an 8X DSD DAC. I would certainly prefer that option to converting SACD to PCM.

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In the Stereoplay review, the use of the PCM module for DSD playback is indicated as being an option:

 

"So lässt sich beispielsweise das kritische DSD 64 auch über das PCM-Wandler-Abteil abspielen, das zwar nicht ganz so kompromisslos der 1-Bit-Maxime folgt, mit seinem efizienten Digitalfilter hochfrequente Reste jedoch effektiver unterdrückt."

 

(Human) translation: "For example, the critical DSD64 signal can also be played through the PCM converter module, which does not follow the 1bit-maxime in such a compromise-free way, but whose digital filters suppress high frequency noise more effectively"

 

So they don't write about a limitation with SACD playback, not even between the lines.

 

I read the manual again, and it sure seems like SACD's are processed as DSD64, and I could not find any mention in the manual of playing DSD 64 via the PCM module. Smells like changing firmware, specs and documentaion not keeping up !

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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So they don't write about a limitation with SACD playback, not even between the lines.

 

I think one of the main indications is that there are different set of filters for SACD and DSD.

 

One possibility is that the SACD filter 2 is DSD pass-through to the TI DAC chips. But there certainly is some difference since they have different set of filters for SACD and USB DSD inputs...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Couldn't they simply use a standard 50kHz low pass filter for "SACD DAC Mode" and another set of filters for 128x and higher DSD rates extending their frequency response?

 

I think the design decision was similar to what I made with DSC1. I optimized DSC1 for DSD128 and higher, while it is not all that bad at DSD64 either. You could optimize the analog filters for DSD64 (SACD), but then it would be a trade-off for higher rates.

 

But, IMO, the options are that either you have two sets of analog filters for DSD64 and DSD128+, or you optimize for either of these two. The step from DSD64 is quite similar to step from 44.1k PCM to 88.2k PCM, the first step up being quite drastic change and then the change getting smaller every time you double the output rate.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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But, IMO, the options are that either you have two sets of analog filters for DSD64 and DSD128+, or you optimize for either of these two.

 

I was thinking about the first option, given that they apparently went with different filters for the SACD and DSD128+ sources handled over USB input. Another option would be to upsample the SACD data to 8X DSD before sending it to the same part of the DAC that handles DSD on the USB input.

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