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27 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

It's a winner. Available at Qobuz, also.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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57 minutes ago, firedog said:

It's a winner. Available at Qobuz, also.

 

Though Honeck/PSO seem to be recording in DSD256 these days, the audio engineer who produces the downloads on NativeDSD always recommended the DXD versions to me, which I've only seen on NativeDSD.

 

I just saw this simple but very cool webpage from the PSO timpanist.  The principal percussionist Andy Reamer inherited a drum shop from his father, and perhaps those could be considered "period" percussion replicas:

 

New Pittsburgh Symphony Recording of Beethoven 9! — Shawn Galvin

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32 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

Though Honeck/PSO seem to be recording in DSD256 these days, the audio engineer who produces the downloads on NativeDSD always recommended the DXD versions to me, which I've only seen on NativeDSD.

For what is it worth, according to the booklet that RR included with the commercial SACD release:

"This recording was made and post-produced in DSD256 on a Pyramix workstation to give you, the listener, the highest sound quality possible."

 

 

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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23 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

For what is it worth, according to the booklet that RR included with the commercial SACD release:

"This recording was made and post-produced in DSD256 on a Pyramix workstation to give you, the listener, the highest sound quality possible."

 

 

 

And it's Tom Caulfield (seen around these parts before) who does that post-production, and who always recommended the DXD.  At these levels of resolution it may just be a matter of preference, though they seem to up the charge based on the larger file sizes.

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38 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

For what is it worth, according to the booklet that RR included with the commercial SACD release:

"This recording was made and post-produced in DSD256 on a Pyramix workstation to give you, the listener, the highest sound quality possible."

 

 

 

That's right.  On the Beethoven 9th, the post production was done by the team at SoundMirror in Stereo and Multichannel DSD 256. 

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16 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

And it's Tom Caulfield (seen around these parts before) who does that post-production, and who always recommended the DXD.  At these levels of resolution it may just be a matter of preference, though they seem to up the charge based on the larger file sizes.

Certainly. 

"NativeDSD obtains the .dff DSD Edit Master files directly from the labels, converts them to .dsf (no music data conversion, just added data buckets to contain metadata). These .dsf buckets are then custom metadata-tagged with album data like artist name, composer, etc."

 

OTOH, Tom and NativeDSD promote their "Higher Rate Program:"

"NativeDSD sells only recordings that were originally recorded in DSD or DXD (352.8KHz PCM). With the exception described below, the overwhelming majority of these recordings were edited and post processed in DXD, then converted (modulated) into one or more DSD deliverable bit rates by the label. NativeDSD acquires the label’s original DXD edited master, and using Merging Technologies Album Publishing, create first generation DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256, as well as a DXD FLAC deliverables. Additionally, on selected recordings, a 32bit PCM WAV file is extracted (the DXD PCM FLAC is 24 bits by format definition), and uses it to modulate a DSD512 using HQPlayer Pro. "

 

Now, these two statements from their website do seem to be in conflict but the insertion of an DXD intermediary is the issue.  Personally, I have not heard any difference between the ".dff DSD Edit Master" and NativeDSD's .dsf files at the original recording bit/sample rate.

 

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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19 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Personally, I have not heard any difference between the ".dff DSD Edit Master" and NativeDSD's .dsf files at the original recording bit/sample rate.

 

 

Have you had the opportunity to compare the retail DSD256 and DXD of any recent RR?

 

Switching back and forth between recordings has never been my thing.  I have both and both sound marvelous, though the MSB Select 2 DAC favors PCM at lower rates.

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31 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

Switching back and forth between recordings has never been my thing.  I have both and both sound marvelous, though the MSB Select 2 DAC favors PCM at lower rates.

Nor is it mine and I do it only when/if there is some particular issue that I am researching.

31 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

Have you had the opportunity to compare the retail DSD256 and DXD of any recent RR?

Not lately but I can do it for this particular recording.................................if I must. 🙄

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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34 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Certainly. 

"NativeDSD obtains the .dff DSD Edit Master files directly from the labels, converts them to .dsf (no music data conversion, just added data buckets to contain metadata). These .dsf buckets are then custom metadata-tagged with album data like artist name, composer, etc."

 

OTOH, Tom and NativeDSD promote their "Higher Rate Program:"

"NativeDSD sells only recordings that were originally recorded in DSD or DXD (352.8KHz PCM). With the exception described below, the overwhelming majority of these recordings were edited and post processed in DXD, then converted (modulated) into one or more DSD deliverable bit rates by the label. NativeDSD acquires the label’s original DXD edited master, and using Merging Technologies Album Publishing, create first generation DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256, as well as a DXD FLAC deliverables. Additionally, on selected recordings, a 32bit PCM WAV file is extracted (the DXD PCM FLAC is 24 bits by format definition), and uses it to modulate a DSD512 using HQPlayer Pro. "

 

Now, these two statements from their website do seem to be in conflict but the insertion of an DXD intermediary is the issue.  Personally, I have not heard any difference between the ".dff DSD Edit Master" and NativeDSD's .dsf files at the original recording bit/sample rate.

 

Hi Kal,

 

Yes, the deliverables production process is entirely dependent on the labels production process, and format types supplied to NativeDSD. If the file(s) delivered have not been post processed in PCM, the NativeDSD HRP produces the multiple DSD bitrates using HQPlayer Pro, and no DXD file is produced and offered. If the label supplied file(s) have been post produced in PCM (DXD), then Pyramix Album Publishing is employed for all but the DSD512, and a DXD FLAC also offered.

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51 minutes ago, tailspn said:

Hi,

 

Reference Recordings Fresh series are recorded by Soundmirror, and all but a portion of one album are recorded in DSD256. All these recordings are subsequently post processed, including editing, in DXD on a Pyramix DAW. The resulting DXD file is the album's edited master, which is uploaded to NativeDSD's ftp label server. 

 

The two stereo and surround DXD edited masters are in the form of proprietary continuous 32 bit WAV files known as an MTFF (Merging Technologies File Format), which includes the track timing markers. These 32 bit PCM interstage edited masters are then run through Pyramix Album Publishing, producing the individual separate tracks in PCM 352.8KHz/24 FLAC, DSD256, DSD128, DSD64, plus a PCM 352.8KHz/32 WAV copy. I use that DXD/PCM 352.8KHz/32 WAV to produce the DSD512 in HQPlayer Pro.

 

SInce the edited master IS the original generation of the assembled/edited takes and post processed sweetened recording, the Pyramix Album Publishing process of producing the deliverables is the most direct and least invasive process available. Whether the DXD FLAC, or the highest bitrate DSD that a customer's DAC can support is chosen, it is IMO, completely dependent on the customer's DAC type and conversion process. For DAC's who directly convert a PCM sample based stream of digital values, like a ladder DAC, then the DXD FLAC is optimal. For DAC's with Sigma-Delta modulator conversion, by and large, the DSD format is optimal.

 

Regardless of the format chosen, I believe for now, this is the definitive Beethoven 9 reading for both artistic value, and certainly sound quality. I say for now, for while delayed from session recording in November last year, I'm hopeful the Budapest Festival Orchestra recording of this Ninth Symphony will occur yet this year. 

 

Thanks,

Tom   

Hi Tom -

So excuse my ignorance,but please clear this up for me.

The album booklet for the Pittsburgh/Honeck/Beethoven 9th says:

"This recording was made and post-produced in DSD256 on a Pyramix workstation to give you, the listener, the highest sound quality possible."

 

And the album page at nativeDSD says: Original Recording Format: DSD 256

 

I understood this to mean that the DSD files of this recording at nativeDSD have not been converted to PCM (except for edits).

 

Your explanation above seems to say that these DSD recordings are converted to DXD at nativeDSD and then post processed for sweetening, and then converted back to the various DSD rates for sale.

Is that correct, or am I totally misunderstanding?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 minute ago, firedog said:

sorry,double post

 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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30 minutes ago, firedog said:

Hi Tom -

So excuse my ignorance,but please clear this up for me.

The album booklet for the Pittsburgh/Honeck/Beethoven 9th says:

"This recording was made and post-produced in DSD256 on a Pyramix workstation to give you, the listener, the highest sound quality possible."

 

And the album page at nativeDSD says: Original Recording Format: DSD 256

 

I understood this to mean that the DSD files of this recording at nativeDSD have not been converted to PCM (except for edits).

 

Your explanation above seems to say that these DSD recordings are converted to DXD at nativeDSD and then post processed for sweetening, and then converted back to the various DSD rates for sale.

Is that correct, or am I totally misunderstanding?

Hi Firefox,

 

Please read again the first paragraph of the referenced post, it is unambiguous and correct. Neither NativeDSD, nor I, write album booklets, so I can not comment on it or its content. The DXD MTFF(WAV) edited master files delivered to NativeDSD, as are all RR Fresh! recordings, were two (stereo and surround) 352.8KHz 32 bit PCM files. They were produced from the multiple concert and patch session takes recorded in DSD256, and post processed in DXD (352.8KHz/32 PCM) by Soundmirror.

 

For the record; except where I'm credited in the label album booklet as Mastering Engineer, I do not alter the music content sent to the NativeDSD label FTP. Under the NativeDSD High Resolution Program, I produce ADDITIONAL deliverable file formats as described in my post, from the label music content.

 

Tom

 

 

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2 hours ago, tailspn said:

Hi,

 

Reference Recordings Fresh series are recorded by Soundmirror, and all but a portion of one album are recorded in DSD256. All these recordings are subsequently post processed, including editing, in DXD on a Pyramix DAW. The resulting DXD file is the album's edited master, which is uploaded to NativeDSD's ftp label server. 

 

The two stereo and surround DXD edited masters are in the form of proprietary continuous 32 bit WAV files known as an MTFF (Merging Technologies File Format), which includes the track timing markers. These 32 bit PCM interstage edited masters are then run through Pyramix Album Publishing, producing the individual separate tracks in PCM 352.8KHz/24 FLAC, DSD256, DSD128, DSD64, plus a PCM 352.8KHz/32 WAV copy. I use that DXD/PCM 352.8KHz/32 WAV to produce the DSD512 in HQPlayer Pro.

 

SInce the edited master IS the original generation of the assembled/edited takes and post processed sweetened recording, the Pyramix Album Publishing process of producing the deliverables is the most direct and least invasive process available. Whether the DXD FLAC, or the highest bitrate DSD that a customer's DAC can support is chosen, it is IMO, completely dependent on the customer's DAC type and conversion process. For DAC's who directly convert a PCM sample based stream of digital values, like a ladder DAC, then the DXD FLAC is optimal. For DAC's with Sigma-Delta modulator conversion, by and large, the DSD format is optimal.

 

Regardless of the format chosen, I believe for now, this is the definitive Beethoven 9 reading for both artistic value, and certainly sound quality. I say for now, for while delayed from session recording in November last year, I'm hopeful the Budapest Festival Orchestra recording of this Ninth Symphony will occur yet this year. 

 

Thanks,

Tom   

 

And who could've said it better?  I think it finally sunk in for me this time Tom. ;)

 

Regarding the Opus 125, the challenge, at least in my several versions, is to have a clean delineation of the chorus with all of the simultaneous orchestral excitement.  My current favorites, Szell, '77 Karajan and Wand, all now in excellent DSD64, still suffer from this to some extent.  The I'd heard most recently that had what I was looking in the choral part was the new Kirill Petrenko/Berliner 24/96.  I'll certainly be getting the Honeck though.

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I just bought this in DXD. Not that I actually think I can hear the difference, but that one seems to be closest to the master, so figured I might as well.

And directly supporting nativeDSD, etc. occasionally is a good thing to do (as opposed to streaming).

It does sound really good. And Honeck/Pittsburg are doing a good job with the Beethoven Symphonies.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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22 minutes ago, firedog said:

I just bought this in DXD. Not that I actually think I hear the difference, but that one seems to be closest to the master.

And directly supporting nativeDSD, etc. occasionally is a good thing to do (as opposed to streaming).

It does sound really good. And Honeck/Pittsburg are doing a good job with the Beethoven Symphonies.

Hi Firedog,

 

That it is. Actually, except for the fact that it is a 24 bit depth (the highest bit depth FLAC supports), it IS the master!

 

Enjoy,

 

Tom

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I received an email response today from my undergrad classmate and friend, principal percussionist Andy Reamer:

 

Hi Darryl, ... I loved playing Beethoven 9 with Honeck.  I think he gets the passion and emotion.  I had the BD [bass drum] played on a 28” drum I made because that would have been similar in size to what the Turks carried and what Beethoven heard.  Tighter head too.  Cymbals 15” approx old K zildjians pretty thick - also quite “ Turkish “ 

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Reference Recordings inquired of Soundmirror about the recording and post production processes listed in the booklet, and found the Pittsburgh Symphony (who owns the recordings copyright) wrote the booklet. It appears they worked from notes from Soundmirror, who only specified the recording format. Reference said they would correct the booklet in conjunction with the PSO to show the recording was post processed in DXD, and reissue.

 

NativeDSD has decided to also offer the 32 bit BroadcastWAV version of the DXD, which I produced from the Soundmirror supplied 32 bit source, and have uploaded it to native's AWS delivery server. It will take a few days to appear on the site for selection, as the site is not currently programmed to offer multiple DXD deliverables.

 

Tom

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13 hours ago, tailspn said:

Reference Recordings inquired of Soundmirror about the recording and post production processes listed in the booklet, and found the Pittsburgh Symphony (who owns the recordings copyright) wrote the booklet. It appears they worked from notes from Soundmirror, who only specified the recording format. Reference said they would correct the booklet in conjunction with the PSO to show the recording was post processed in DXD, and reissue.

 

NativeDSD has decided to also offer the 32 bit BroadcastWAV version of the DXD, which I produced from the Soundmirror supplied 32 bit source, and have uploaded it to native's AWS delivery server. It will take a few days to appear on the site for selection, as the site is not currently programmed to offer multiple DXD deliverables.

 

Tom

 

Thanks Tom.  I think the booklet correction will be very helpful, as that question comes up from time to time with RR.

 

On the wav files, I seem to recall one of the reasons I went with all flacs on my server is because of those large tracks on the Honeck Strauss Elektra album.  Even though in reading now I see wav can be up to 4GB, something kept me from saving large wav files (>2GB) on Linux or Windows (I can't test it now because we're having these wonderfully "green" blackouts in Texas).

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16 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

Disregard the above post.  I need to find out more about this new version, which seem like proprietary extensions anyway.

Hi Darryl, hope you got your power back!

 

BWF (Broadcast WAV) is simply a WAV file with the ability to support metadata:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_Wave_Format

 

It's not proprietary, but it is produced from a Merging Technologies packaging format transporting PCM (in this instance WAV) files. The MTFF file I receive is one continuous WAV file, like a DSD ISO file on a SACD, where the track timing information is a separate data block that runs the players display. The Merging Album Publishing application I use simply slices the continuous WAV file into Tracks, and adds the data buckets in each track that will contain the metadata. Metadata is added later from a file made by Ted Brady.

 

In this instance, the only reason for offering these BWF tracks in addition to the FLAC tracks (created through the same Album Publishing application) is to offer the full 32 bit PCM file depth of the edited master.   

 

Tom

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Tom, this is awesome!  Getting access to the 32 bit masters is a huge value add.  Appreciate all the extra work to put an extra version out there for us.

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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47 minutes ago, tailspn said:

Hi Darryl, hope you got your power back!

 

BWF (Broadcast WAV) is simply a WAV file with the ability to support metadata:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_Wave_Format

 

It's not proprietary, but it is produced from a Merging Technologies packaging format transporting PCM (in this instance WAV) files. The MTFF file I receive is one continuous WAV file, like a DSD ISO file on a SACD, where the track timing information is a separate data block that runs the players display. The Merging Album Publishing application I use simply slices the continuous WAV file into Tracks, and adds the data buckets in each track that will contain the metadata. Metadata is added later from a file made by Ted Brady.

 

In this instance, the only reason for offering these BWF tracks in addition to the FLAC tracks (created through the same Album Publishing application) is to offer the full 32 bit PCM file depth of the edited master.   

 

Tom

 

It's been a "managed" off-on in my area for the last 3 days.  Many, esp. in the Houston area, have it much worse.  The power infrastructure management in Texas does not plan for severe winter events like this week.

 

So this is interesting.  Once I'm confident power is stable again, I'd like to compare the 24-bit and 32-bit on the MSB and report back my impressions.  It does then bring up that earlier question of why I wasn't able to work with wav files larger than 2GB, but that shouldn't be an issue with Beethoven.

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