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Playback Designs' Andreas Koch on SACDs : "There's only one production plant in the world now [2014]..."


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Thanks 徐中銳 for the link here. Only one SACD plant now, no wonder lead times for new SACD are months.

 

If ever the three labels, Sony, Warner and Universal provide DSD64 (or multiples thereof) themselves or license the likes of The SACD Center, AP, MFSL as direct downloads, I would be happy. Sony especially is sitting on a goldmine of DSF, I don't understand why they don't release these, maybe they are waiting for the last SACD plant to fold, then obtain exclusivity again...economics. I hate that sh$t.

 

But things move very slowly with the labels with antiquated distribution models and the main concern with getting the most $ for the least expense and screw the artist. Other technologies can usually bypass the slow ship.

 

It's a shame about PD dropping the CD/SACD player versions, but their core product is the A/D and D/A, understandable.

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If ever the three labels, Sony, Warner and Universal provide DSD64 (or multiples thereof) themselves or license the likes of The SACD Center, AP, MFSL as direct downloads, I would be happy. Sony especially is sitting on a goldmine of DSF, I don't understand why they don't release these

 

I'm puzzled by this comment. Analogue Productions has had DSD64 downloads of Sony material, as well as other labels' material for some months now. The Sony albums tout the transfers' provenance as being Gus Skinas' transfers, same as the original SACD releases.

 

Steve Z

VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon3 cartridge; Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum M400 amplifiers, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Wilson Audio Alexx speakers, 2X3 SVS SB16 Ultra subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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It's a shame about PD dropping the CD/SACD player versions, but their core product is the A/D and D/A, understandable.

 

They have no other choice. their source for sacd drives (Esoteric) has dried up. All SACD players manufacturers face this problem.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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I'm puzzled by this comment. Analogue Productions has had DSD64 downloads of Sony material, as well as other labels' material for some months now. The Sony albums tout the transfers' provenance as being Gus Skinas' transfers, same as the original SACD releases.

 

Steve Z

 

Yes, there have been releases as DSF downloads from Sony, alas, it has not being the avalanche of albums as expected, only the top of the mountain, so to speak.

 

Especially the out of print SACD, should be available now as DSF downloads.

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Ah, that would do it, but not all though? Accuphase make their own optical disc transport.

 

AFAIK they have always been using Sony parts. It is the question of the amount of stock thay have.

 

dCS has already run out of stock of Esoteric drives, which is why the Puccini/Paganini replacement - the Rossini - is a CD only player. I have recently read the news that Soulution is launching an ultra expensive SACD player that will be limited to 20 units, so thay are probably also running out of stock.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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AFAIK they have always been using Sony parts. It is the question of the amount of stock thay have.

 

dCS has already run out of stock of Esoteric drives, which is why the Puccini/Paganini replacement - the Rossini - is a CD only player. I have recently read the news that Soulution is launching an ultra expensive SACD player that will be limited to 20 units, so thay are probably also running out of stock.

 

Accuphase used to use Sony OEM drives, still us the SACD decoder boards (ex SCD-XA5400ES) though. The transport photo is from the DP-720, similarly used on the DP-550.

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 04.36.11.png

 

Their was another company that made their own transport, I will try to find them again.

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It's easier to make time in the weekend to write...

 

Quite simply, I too prefer DSD (say, over PCM) :

11613andreas1.jpg

 

And quoting from Michael Lavorgna's Q&A with Andreas Koch :

Some people appear to be reluctant to get involved with DSD because of their experience with SACD, essentially buying into a technology that was more or less abandoned by Sony. Is DSD different and if so, how?

Encoding formats generally don’t disappear, it is usually the physical delivery format that ages and then disappears. DSD is an encoding format and is no longer tied to a physical carrier.

Hooray for « Computer Audiophile » :)

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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Recalling Koch's explanation to the flow chart of my previous Post, extracted from his DSD - the new Addiction :

The term Direct Stream Digital (DSD) was coined by Sony and Philips when they jointly launched the SACD format. It is nothing else than processed Delta-Sigma modulation first developed by Philips in the 1970’s. Its first wide market entry was not until later in the 1980’s when it was used as an intermediate format inside A/D and D/A converter chips.

 

Fig. 1:

11613andreas1.jpg

 

Figure 1 shows how an analog source is converted to digital PCM through the A/D converter and then back again to analog via the D/A converter. The A/D internally contains 2 distinct processes:

 

  1. Delta-Sigma modulation: the analog signal is converted directly to DSD with a very high sampling rate. Various algorithms are in use depending on the application and required fidelity. They can generate 1-bit DSD or multibit DSD oversampled at 64x or 128x compared to regular CD rate.
  2. Decimation filter: the DSD signal from the previous step is downsampled and converted to PCM. Word length is increased (for instance 16 or 24 bits) and sample rate reduced to CD rate or a low multiple of it for high resolution PCM formats.

The D/A process is very similar where:

 

  1. the PCM signal is upconverted to a much higher sample rate.
  2. then converted to DSD via the Delta-Sigma modulator (to reduce word length)
  3. then converted to analog.

This technology was chosen because of its improved linearity and consistent quality behavior across physical components, as most of the heavy duty signal processing was shifted to the digital domain where it was not susceptible to variability of electronic components. It was quickly adopted in most converter systems and we can say that since about the late 1980’s we have been listening to some form of DSD without even knowing it.

 

As science progressed as well as our experience with digital audio, we started to realize that the algorithms for the DSD-to-PCM and PCM-to-DSD conversions can have a profound impact on the sonic performance when they are developed according to classic formulas. These are relatively complicated algorithms and they introduced a new phenomenon that we describe as “digital sound” or ringing effects. Hence the motivation by the engineering teams of Sony and Philips to remove these steps altogether from the conversions between analog and digital. This simplified DSD path that bypasses the PCM path is shown in Fig. 1 above. As is usually the case most simplifications in the signal path lead to sonic improvements and so it didn’t come as a surprise when first listening tests were so astonishing that this format was considered as an archiving format for recording studios. That alone says something about its sonic fidelity. At the time no recording studio was even considering using any PCM format to archive its analog recordings.

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...
Yes, there have been releases as DSF downloads from Sony, alas, it has not being the avalanche of albums as expected, only the top of the mountain, so to speak.

 

Especially the out of print SACD, should be available now as DSF downloads.

 

Was there really anyone who was expecting an avalanche of DSD albums?

[br]

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Was there really anyone who was expecting an avalanche of DSD albums?
Given that Sony introduced new products capable of playing hi res PCM and DSD files, it was not unreasonable to expect far more DSD releases from them. I'm sure that Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds is quite disappointed that Sony has elected to be so stingy in providing access to its DSD catalogue.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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  • 3 months later...

Following up from previous posts, a limited release too has been announced for Asian market (if live in Japan, where SACDs are most popular ?), 100 units production run of Marantz SA-14S1 (and or PM-14S1) Special Edition by way of ordering through participating retailers.

No, I don't know why their American importer hasn't ordered SEs for stateside sales.

Photo of its SACDM-2 mech :

sa14s1se_mechaengine.jpg

And when better braced/mounted for still higher quality sound/price point in SA-11S3 :

c26-marantz-sa-11s3-2-l.jpg

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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Given that Sony introduced new products capable of playing hi res PCM and DSD files, it was not unreasonable to expect far more DSD releases from them. I'm sure that Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds is quite disappointed that Sony has elected to be so stingy in providing access to its DSD catalogue.

 

Agreed. And especially given how strongly Sony supported the Z1ES and the whole DSD concept. In the end, they disappointed everyone involved and especially the buyers. They could have blown the whole lid off things if they had released the flood of great music that they had at their fingertips. I'm at an absolute loss to understand their behavior in this instance. What were they thinking?

 

JC

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They could have blown the whole lid off things if they had released the flood of great music that they had at their fingertips. I'm at an absolute loss to understand their behavior in this instance. What were they thinking?
Therein lies the problem. They weren't. :)

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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