Jump to content
IGNORED

The Ear - DSD under Fire


Nikhil

Recommended Posts

DSD under fire | The Ear - Q&A with Ayre President Charles Hansen

 

Hansen weighs in on DSD, Audio Steaming and on USB/Ethernet. I can't say I disagree with a lot of the things he says. Of special interest is an excerpt of Bruno Putzkeys, Chief Designer of Philips Digital Systems Labs:

 

"It really isn't at the conversion stage that 1-bit is a problem. It's when people start calling it DSD and try to use it as a production and delivery format that it becomes thoroughly nonsensical."

 

On the USB vs Ethernet question ...

 

"The UK and some of northern Europe have seemed to settle on Ethernet for computer audio. This can go long distances and access many devices. The problem is that the playback software is limited and that a network specialist is required to get everything running properly.

In contrast a USB device is dead simple to set up, has a choice of dozens of great player applications but is limited to a 3 or perhaps 5 meter distance from computer to DAC. Great for a desktop/office system, or even a one-room main system, but not so good for the whole house. "

 

 

Full Article: http://www.the-ear.net/features/dsd-under-fire

Custom Win10 Transport | Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock USB | Lampizator Amber | Acoustic Portrait Thiyaga | ATC SCM20SL

 

 

Link to comment
Of special interest is an excerpt of Bruno Putzkeys, Chief Designer of Philips Digital Systems Labs:

 

"It really isn't at the conversion stage that 1-bit is a problem. It's when people start calling it DSD and try to use it as a production and delivery format that it becomes thoroughly nonsensical."

 

OK, so he admits that 1-bit conversion isn't a problem, after all his Grimm AD1 and Mola Mola DAC operate internally at 1-bit, but still opines that using DSD from the production perspective is nonsensical. I disagree with the latter part of his opinion, for DSD is perfectly suitable for the following production workflows:

 

- acoustic recordings with on-site analog mixing & native DSD editing

- direct transfers from analog tapes

- all projects that use analog mixing consoles

 

In all the above cases DSD eliminates multiple layers of SDM<->PCM + SRC conversions from the AD/DA loop.

Link to comment
direct transfers from analog tapes

 

It seems a waste of time/nonsensical to me, to use high resolution DSD for direct transfers from analogue tapes with their limited bandwidth, "print through" with older tapes, a degree of wow and flutter, and tape bias frequency noise residuals.

 

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

Link to comment
... for DSD is perfectly suitable for the following production workflows:

 

- acoustic recordings with on-site analog mixing & native DSD editing

- direct transfers from analog tapes

- all projects that use analog mixing consoles

 

Have you seen this section of the article?

 

Delivering a DSD file to the consumer is only excusable if this happens to be the format that the ADC physically operates in and if the data it spits out is delivered to the consumer as is, with nothing more than the occasional "Philips" style splice. But: no level change, no EQ, nothing. Under those conditions DSD can sound fabulous. Otherwise it is a phenomenally clumsy format with no sonic benefits. This rather limits the usefulness of DSD to direct transfers of analogue tapes and some fanatically meticulous classical recordings. About half of Channel Classics albums are bit-true copies of the ADC output apart from the splices, and yes, they sound incredible. But it's my honest opinion that this record company is just about the only argument in favour of DSD.

 

In this context I agree that when DSD is done right there is very little to argue on the matter.

 

I would add that Cookie Marenco's Blue Coast Recordings and Bob Attiyeh's Yarlung Records to the list in favor of DSD. Pretty much anything listed on NativeDSD might qualify but I don't know many of the labels on there.

Custom Win10 Transport | Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock USB | Lampizator Amber | Acoustic Portrait Thiyaga | ATC SCM20SL

 

 

Link to comment
It seems a waste of time/nonsensical to me, to use high resolution DSD for direct transfers from analogue tapes with their limited bandwidth, "print through" with older tapes, a degree of wow and flutter, and tape bias frequency noise residuals.

 

Well, to me, and many others (like Neil Young, Michael Fremer, Cookie Marenco, etc) archiving analog masters to CD resolution 16/44.1kHz is nonsensical.

Link to comment
In this context I agree that when DSD is done right there is very little to argue on the matter.

 

I would add that Cookie Marenco's Blue Coast Recordings and Bob Attiyeh's Yarlung Records to the list in favor of DSD. Pretty much anything listed on NativeDSD might qualify but I don't know many of the labels on there.

 

Analog Arts / Horch House offer direct to DSD transfers as well:

 

Analog-Audio

Positive Feedback

 

"Horch House offers a completely extraordinary listening pleasure for the friends of digital music playback. Under the motto, "truth in sound", we convert directly (natively) from the analogue master tape into the respective digital music format."

 

As do Analogue Productions, MoFi, Audio Fidelity...

 

BTW, Analogue Productions have recently started offering 5.6MHz DSD transfers:

 

http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/107564/Cat_Stevens-Tea_For_The_Tillerman-DSD_Double_Rate_56MHz128fs_Download

Link to comment
DSD is perfectly suitable for the following production workflows:

 

- acoustic recordings with on-site analog mixing & native DSD editing

- direct transfers from analog tapes

- all projects that use analog mixing consoles

 

In all the above cases DSD eliminates multiple layers of SDM<->PCM + SRC conversions from the AD/DA loop.

 

Yep.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment
It seems a waste of time/nonsensical to me, to use high resolution DSD for direct transfers from analogue tapes with their limited bandwidth, "print through" with older tapes, a degree of wow and flutter, and tape bias frequency noise residuals.

 

The other thing with analogue tapes which you haven't mentioned and which DSD was actually developed for originally is that the tapes wear out with time and use.

 

So, DSD is a good way to digitally archive this material if they are the only master.

 

On the other hand, if you are recording new material, and unless you want to add to the production chain the specific coloration that tape adds, you can bypass the tape recording and do straight to the highest rate DSD possible.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment
Analog Arts / Horch House offer direct to DSD transfers as well:

 

Analog-Audio

Positive Feedback

 

"Horch House offers a completely extraordinary listening pleasure for the friends of digital music playback. Under the motto, "truth in sound", we convert directly (natively) from the analogue master tape into the respective digital music format."

 

As do Analogue Productions, MoFi, Audio Fidelity...

 

BTW, Analogue Productions have recently started offering 5.6MHz DSD transfers:

 

Cat Stevens-Tea For The Tillerman-DSD Double Rate 56MHz128fs Download|Acoustic Sounds

 

As are the 2xHD DSD Downloads from Native DSD. 2xHD also has a number of DSD Downloads from PCM sources that appear on Acoustic Sounds/Super Hi Rez and other music download sites.

 

https://2xhd.nativedsd.com/

https://naxos.nativedsd.com/

 

As for the Horch House DSD Downloads, they are very good. Definitely worth picking up! :)

Link to comment
OK, so he admits that 1-bit conversion isn't a problem, after all his Grimm AD1 and Mola Mola DAC operate internally at 1-bit, but still opines that using DSD from the production perspective is nonsensical. I disagree with the latter part of his opinion, for DSD is perfectly suitable for the following production workflows:

 

- acoustic recordings with on-site analog mixing & native DSD editing

- direct transfers from analog tapes

- all projects that use analog mixing consoles

 

In all the above cases DSD eliminates multiple layers of SDM<->PCM + SRC conversions from the AD/DA loop.

Using 1-bit as a conversion method can be a valid choice when the analog circuit does not have performance higher than the 1-bit signal.

Sauce: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=it#!msg/rec.audio.high-end/CvYykLvLV9U/nbuOb0LHf04J

Emphasis in bold = mine.

If you had the memory of a goldfish, maybe it would work.
Link to comment

If you end up going to NativeDSD, not only will you have the entire Channel Classics catalog (that Bruno speaks of) but if you go to the search page there is a checkbox for "analog-sourced DSD". Makes it easier to find those gems.

Link to comment
As are the 2xHD DSD Downloads from Native DSD. 2xHD also has a number of DSD Downloads from PCM sources that appear on Acoustic Sounds/Super Hi Rez and other music download sites.

 

https://2xhd.nativedsd.com/

https://naxos.nativedsd.com/

 

As for the Horch House DSD Downloads, they are very good. Definitely worth picking up! :)

 

Vision DSD is another new entrant on the hi-res download scene:

 

Vision DSD

 

I've heard that Jan Eric Persson at Opus 3 is also working on some new stuff, recorded to DSD of course...

Link to comment

Hi Nikhil. Charles Hansen and DSD is old news. There's a huge couple year old thread on the forums here that's about 50% comprised of his often very heated criticisms of it.

 

So is Putzeys' specific criticism, which has often been quoted in various forums as this argument lumbers onward; and then someone will point out his quote about where it's a good thing, plus the fact he designs A/D converters that use SDM.

 

But I'm sure this will be good for additional discussion. :)

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 -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Link to comment
Hi Nikhil. Charles Hansen and DSD is old news. There's a huge couple year old thread on the forums here that's about 50% comprised of his often very heated criticisms of it.

 

So is Putzeys' specific criticism, which has often been quoted in various forums as this argument lumbers onward; and then someone will point out his quote about where it's a good thing, plus the fact he designs A/D converters that use SDM.

 

But I'm sure this will be good for additional discussion. :)

 

Speaking of Bruno, what ever happened to that DAC he is designing for the High End market? It's been discussed for years now and it never seems to get to the finish line.

Link to comment
Have a look at Bruno's most recent opinion quoted by the OP in this thread (not some decade+ old conversations).
Had you read more carefully, you would have noticed his opinion on that still hasn't changed one bit since. :big grin:
If you had the memory of a goldfish, maybe it would work.
Link to comment

And then we have this comment from Lampizator on their new Euforia DAC. PCM under fire?:

 

"Why bother with PCM at all, if for the price of 50 dollars you can buy JRiver software (cost of 3 CDs) and play everything like DSD to the Euforia DAC. And OF COURSE you can also play natively the DSD files and enjoy a full spectacle of sound in your room. This DAC will change the way you listen to the music forever."

 

NEW! DSD-Euforia DAC

 

 

Link to comment
Had you read more carefully, you would have noticed his opinion on that still hasn't changed one bit since. :big grin:

 

Well, he said that "It really isn't at the conversion stage that 1-bit is a problem."

 

Where he sees the problem is in production, but from what I know, he isn't producing records himself. He's no Jan Eric Persson.

Link to comment
they say PCM is better but there is no more true PCM a/d and d/a chips anymore in today production.

Conclusion: no more true PCM and DSD is history

 

While it's true that PCM ADCs are no longer in production, and thus the conclusion: "no more true PCM" is justified. The same can't be said about DSD. Delta Sigma Direct recording is our only chance of getting native recordings in the post-PCM world.

Link to comment
Well, he said that "It really isn't at the conversion stage that 1-bit is a problem."

 

Where he sees the problem is in production, but from what I know, he isn't producing records himself. He's no Jan Eric Persson.

From that same article that was linked by the OP:

I consider DSD a lossy format.

The fact that it's a lossy format isn't necessarily a problem in the practical sense. Just like the fact it doesn't rain enough in the desert isn't a problem if you can water your plants.

 

That said, I don't see how the fact he isn't producing records has anything to do with whether the problem exists, and should be acknowledged. I don't produce records myself, either... but nevertheless I am familiar with DSD shortcomings, and, obviously so is B. Putzeys.

If you had the memory of a goldfish, maybe it would work.
Link to comment
From that same article that was linked by the OP:

 

I consider DSD a lossy format.

 

The fact that it's a lossy format isn't necessarily a problem in the practical sense. Just like the fact it doesn't rain enough in the desert isn't a problem if you can water your plants.

 

That said, I don't see how the fact he isn't producing records has anything to do with whether the problem exists, and should be acknowledged. I don't produce records myself, either... but nevertheless I am familiar with DSD shortcomings, and, obviously so is B. Putzeys.

 

I think you are slightly taking that sentence out of the context its meant in...

I consider DSD a lossy format. Anyone would if they were familiar with the steps audio is taken through in order to maintain the illusion that it stays 1-bit throughout. Delivering a DSD file to the consumer is only excusable if this happens to be the format that the ADC physically operates in and if the data it spits out is delivered to the consumer as is, with nothing more than the occasional "Philips" style splice.

 

Its not just that he "considers" DSD a lossy format, it is by definition lossy if any conversion takes place as there is no mathematical function which is the exact reverse. As soon as you convert DSD to something which can be manipulated in editing - any mixing, eq or level adjustment (e.g. anything more than just splicing) - you cannot convert it back to DSD exactly.

 

Thats why its ideal as an archival format for analogue sources; but for original "full digital" recordings PCM is a better choice.

 

Ironically I think (and I may be wrong here) Barry Diamante's Soundkeeper recordings would be an ideal test of PCM vs DSD as (iirc) he records simply with a pair of microphones and does no post recording production.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
Do you realize that Miska achieves better than 24bit performance with DSD 256 modulators?

Please define '24bit performance'. Do you realize that the noise floor of 24-bit audio is inaudible, even if it's been truncated rather than having been dithered, and do you also realize that there exists no such thing as a 'DSD modulator'?

If you had the memory of a goldfish, maybe it would work.
Link to comment
Well, to me, and many others (like Neil Young, Michael Fremer, Cookie Marenco, etc) archiving analog masters to CD resolution 16/44.1kHz is nonsensical.

 

+1. Analog tape can easily include higher frequency content than 22kHz, so archiving at 16bit/44.1kHz unnecessarily throws away some of the signal.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...