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Gapless DSF from ripped ISO - Possible?


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At Digital Audio Review an article on playing gapless rather stunned me, since, there are still applications and hardware that haven't mastered this technique and we are now in the 7th(?) year of computer audio and gapless is still a problem.

 

 

Great for John Darko to keep us being aware of where the problems are and not to let up of this important feature of CA playback.

Quite rightly, if computer audio can't playback the music as the artist intended, we end up with clunks, bumps and clicks that ruin the music. This can be from dedicated network players, or computer applications.

 

 

Some albums are a mixture of gapped and gapless tracks. One of these albums from 1974 is by Queen - Sheer Heart Attack and 1976 - A Day at the Races. Warning, the tracks include electric guitar sounds. Some tracks are listed as separate tracks but play seamlessly together, well that's the idea. Now wouldn't this be a good test to see how three computer applications play the gapped & gapless files and do they work well?

 

 

Please visit Dropbox to download six 96/24 .WAV files. I ummed and ahhed about recording direct to dsf, but the files are larger and not everyone has a DSD DAC, so opted for the universal WAV and at least in 96/24 records the intent 'close enough' to the original, if that's possible of course!

 

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qjtr2afszg35lp0/AACcM8doZW03447bfMkRPp9ga?dl=0

 

 

Common attributes for the files:

 

 

Tracks 001 to 003

Ripped from SHM-SACD using Cambridge Audio CXN Universal player.

2011 mastering Queen - "Sheer Heart Attack" tracks 03 and 04, "Flick of the Wrist" 0:20 & "Lily of the Valley" 0:10

The ISO was converted to DFF and then to DSF with Bogi's Tools. Metadata with MP3Tag for the .DSF.

 

 

Track 004

The music is the same as tracks 001 to 003, however are recorded direct from DP-720 SACD player analog XLR outputs to Tascam DA3000 recorder using Oyaide Terzo XX XLR cables.

 

 

The music for tracks 001 to 004 are intended to be seamless and gapless. I tried to keep the levels the same, the levels are -18 to -16db on the Tascam. As an aside, you could make judgement on the different players, but the music may not be easy to distinguish differences, but keep a note on rapid drummming, some players are better than others to single this out. The files are straight from the recorder, no editing.

 

 

Track 005 & 006

Ripped from SHM-SACD using Cambridge Audio CXN Universal player.

2011 Mastering Queen - "A day at the Races" Track 05 & 06 "You and I" 0:15 & "Somebody to Love" 0:18

The ISO was converted to DFF and then to DSF with Bogi's Tools. Metadata with MP3Tag for the .DSF. These two files have a definite gap.

 

 

The .DSF files were played depending on the player through the same playback chain:

Computer USB Out -> Intona (std 1kV) -> Icron 2214 USB Extender -> Acoustic Revive RUT-1 Parallel USB Fixer -> Grace Design m920 DAC USB input

-> TRS Vovox XLR cables to Tascam DA3000 Recorder. Recording media Sandisk Extreme 16GB CF Card, fully formatted prior to these recordings.

The USB cabling depended on the computer, Audirvana used Nordost Blue Heaven, m93p SAEC. AC power for all apart from the computers are from a blanced Equitech transformer, the computers are supplied from the AC 230V mains through a 120V transformer with very simple T type conditioning on the 230V side.

 

 

No upsampling was used, i.e. the file played native DSD64. No single ended RCA cables were used, so directionality is not an issue.

 

 

20161002-T001

Player: Audirvana + 2.5.4, Mavericks, Mac mini, Files from a USB drive on computer Windows 10 Lenovo m93p, played over the network.

 

 

20161002-T002

Player: Jriver 22.0.21, files from a local USB drive on computer Windows 10 Lenovo m93p.

 

 

20161002-T003

Player: Signalyst HQ Player 3.14b7, files from a local USB drive on computer Windows 10 Lenovo m93p.

 

 

20161002-T004

Recorded direct from DP-720 SACD player XLR outputs to Tascam DA3000 recorder, Oyaide Terzo XX XLR cables.

 

 

20161002-T005

Player: Signalyst HQ Player 3.14b7, files from a local USB drive on computer Windows 10 Lenovo m93p.

 

 

20161002-T006

Player: Jriver 22.0.21, files from a local USB drive on computer Windows 10 Lenovo m93p.

 

 

Outcome:

 

 

Tracks 003 and 005 are capable of better tuning techniques that's for sure. As for top marks on gapless playback of files, Audirvana has a seamless transition between tracks and is so close to the direct SACD playback. Jriver certainly is no slouch, the tuning for track transitions has mutliple settings, which I suppose could improve further, at least the settings are available to tweak. For this test, the settings are all to gapless where possible.

 

 

I found the test very interesting and I hope people have a better understanding of what gapless is all about. This thread discusses ripped audio content and sound comparisons of ripped content, therefore members sandyk and Yashn posts are not welcome and will be deleted.

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