1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

SACD Renaissance?

Discussion in 'audio' started by DimitryZ, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    You may well know this already... but I understand that it is best to convert DSD to 88.2/24 rather than 96/24, since that is an integer conversion.

    Whether any difference would be audible is another matter.
    ToTo Man likes this.
  2. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    My TEAC UD-503 DAC/preamp can resample a PCM signal to DSD on the fly, and that is the way I use it for playing CD, PCM stream and radio sources. It sounds pretty good to me... but the TEAC sounds fine in all of its many modes, and I might be kidding myself that resample-to-DSD sounds best.

    My 50 or so SACDs are decoded by a Marantz player and fed through the TEAC's line input. That sounds good too, which is the main reason why the faff associated with ripping them doesn't appeal.

    SACD was launched as a premium medium (initially aimed mainly at classical and jazz listeners, I think). Extra effort went into recording/remastering for it. I suspect that this is the real reason that I have yet to hear a bad recording on SACD.
    onlyconnect likes this.
  3. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    DSD cannot be edited, it’s only good for archiving (f.e. analogue master tapes). Most DSD recordings have been converted to PCM and back.

    DVD-A was the PCM alternative but didn’t take off, and now there is Bluray
  4. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Jussi Laako of HQPlayer made a case against upconversion to multiple FS if I’m not mistaken. Benchmark DAC up or downconvert everything PCM to 211KHz. I think that integer conversion is just an audiophile myth, like "bit perfect".
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    Nagraboy likes this.
  5. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Yep, that’s what I do - just because it feels neater! Not that a DAC has any trouble doing the calculations into 24/96 compared with 24/88.2, though.
  6. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Don’t forget (well, I’m sure you know) that almost all DACs convert the 1 bit DSD stream form the SACD to some form of multi-bit PCM data inside the DAC or disc player. Very early Sony players and a few others were true 1 bit converters. I’m not quite sure about the newer AKM and ESS chips nowadays which claim to be just that. Marantz now claim to use a 1 bit DAC in their top players, although the DSD64 from an SACD is still resampled to DSD256, iirc.

    In the SACD days before streaming and DoP I used to keep up with the DAC architecture and processing inside the top disc players (and cheaper ones too), and the usual case was to read the DSD off the disc, then convert to 24/88.2 internally, then send that to the DAC chip for conversion after yet another decimation - in other words most SACD players had PCM DACs. Some would do things differently like dCS or Meitner but even that wasn’t straight DSD64 to analogue.

    So many back then would talk about the sound quality benefits of DSD but unbeknownst to them they were actually listening to a PCM conversion all along. Much anger would ensure when they learnt of this.

    Of course, the recording studio side is almost certain to have introduced a DSD to PCM stage - or several - on the way to the finished file, losing any unique benefit of DSD (if there is any). There have been some labels who’ve made live pure DSD recordings, and some classical labels like Channel make an effort to set all the mic levels with pots before recording starts to avoid processing as much as possible.
  7. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I bought my wife a Sony UBPX700 4K HD Blu Ray player for Christmas and that plays SACD's, though I've not tried it tbh.
  8. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Wet afternoon, was it?
  9. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    I think it was, actually! :D
    stevec67 likes this.
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    The only few SACDs I have are hybrids, because that's what my CDP was able to play. No question, they are a cut above (Rebecca Pidgeon), thogh some ordinary CDs are equally superb (but generally in the minority, incl. classical).
  11. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    As far as I know, all Chord DACs convert the DSD input to PCM and most D/A chips nowadays are sigma-delta and convert/modulate the PCM input to DSD (I think that this started in the late '80s with Philips' Bitstream). It is for this reason that I and others upconvert Redbook to PCM using HQPlayer, and thus by bypassing the on-board ASRC and modulator and filter we have more control over the output.

    If I'm not mistaken some resistor-ladder DACs (f.e. Holo, Denafrips, Aqua) will play both formats natively.

    I think that Channel Classics converts to DXD which is as far as I know means High-Res PCM.

    Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Records records and mixes/processes in analogue and then digitises the tape to DSD.
  12. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    Is this true? Will you explane this a little bit further?
  13. PBB

    PBB pfm Member

    Not really judging by the fact I see fewer and fewer players with SACD capability on sale.
  14. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    Until recently, all decent Sony Blue Ray players had SACD capability. Has it changed now?

    Here is a hundred dollar player that plays SACD:
  15. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    I think part of the problem is that cheaper Blu-ray players don’t have audio out these days which makes them less useful in a traditional hi-fi context.
  16. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    I see what you mean. I think you have to step up to UBP-X1100ES to get RCA outs ($500, still modest in audiophile terms). For lower priced players you can simply use the existing digital out into your existing hires DAC.
  17. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    OK, so Bluray players exist which will output DSD over HDMI (and that is the only way you will get a DSD signal out of them).

    So... are there any decent DSD-capable DACs with HDMI input? I somehow doubt it...

    Or HDMI splitter boxes which will give DSD (not DOP) output from a port other than HDMI? I doubt that even more.
  18. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    In most DACs the Redbook PCM signal is upconverted by an off-the-shelf SRC chip and then gets modulated into the D/A stage.
    DSD signal goes straight into the D/A stage.

    HQPlayer uses more refined upconverting, noise-shapping and filtering algorithms and is most effective with DACs which allow the bypassing of both SRC and filters and with NOS DACs.

    darrenyeats likes this.
  19. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    As you say though, some great classical recordings in DSD
  20. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice