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DSD v Flac 24/192


bohemian
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I have been listening to some dsd files, utilising the usb output from my Raspberry pi into my Wyred4Sound dac2v2, which handles dsd up to 256.

I have found the sound to be very good, but have problems sometimes with playback. Delays due to buffering, playing from track 2 instead of from the beginning, some stuttering, etc.  

I have just converted a couple of albums from dsf to flac 24/192 using JRiver's inbuilt format converter, and they play perfectly through the pi and hifiberry digi+pro SPDIF coax into the same dac.  No repley problems at all. They sound very very good too.

In fact, I cannot detect any difference in sound from the dsd original files.  This may be due to deterioration of my inbuilt auditory apparatus (my hearing).  Has anyone else done a comparison of such files?  What is your opinion?

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Having similar auditory deterioration I have listened to files in lower rate DSD and 256 and they sound fine very smooth and natural. However having converted them to Flac at both 24/192 and 24/96  I could not honestly tell which is which all of them sound excellent but I have never heard any advantage with DSD files.

Strong advocates of DSD say that to get the very best sound you need music that was recorded in DSD and then it should be played as a native DSD file right through to conversion to analogue. This does make sense in that the original file is maintained right up to conversion but I have yet to hear any real difference between the DSD and converted file.

As you say this may be just that my hearing is not as acute as it was but it may also be that there is not that much difference as they should all be bit perfect files .

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I struggle with any hi-def formats. SACD included, as long as the DAC is good CD quality is everything I need. Even though I have some super recordings on SACD's when I've burn them to FLAC and even high bit rate mp3s they sound just as good. I'd take a good CD player over a cheaper decent SACD player any day, its just not clear enough of an improvement (if any) to me.

Not like the improvements that could be seen from DVD to Bluray to 4k.   

Edited by eddie-baby
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Different DAC's can portray formats differently. So my DAC gives DSD rips a very relaxed and airy presentation compared to PCM counterparts. It is possible to listen to the same data resampled from PCM to DSD and tell the difference. It is a lot less obvious resampling PCM so I can only conclude my DAC plays the primary part in this. And of course the results are very subtle and I listen near field which is far from conventional so the results may not be repeatable elsewhere.

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Had several SACD Players and some of them don't do the format justice, making the music over smooth and lacking in dynamism.  Not for the Heavy Metal Lovers, but not too bad on tinkly Jazz.  Some SACD Players convert from DSD to PCM soon after the the disc has been read. This from my experience this is the root cause of the problem.  If the processing stays single bit up to the DAC, then the sound is noticeably better than straight PCM.  If you are looking for an enhanced format that always seems to work, then HDCD is hard to beat.  Unfortunately Pacific Microsonics went bust, mainly due to the limited number of HDCD discs on the market.  Same problem with DVDA, , another great format.  With little chance of finding enough DVDA  discs to make buying a player worthwhile.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm quite content that I notice a difference between 320 MP3 and Flac. I think that I can tell the difference between 44.1kHz Flac CD rips and higher quality Flac files. I'm yet to be convinced that I can tell the difference between high quality Flac and DSD. However, I've not heard that many DSDs. I'm sure that blind tests would make a mug of me, even with a few well chosen MP3s in the mix. I've settled on Flac CD rips as being quite good enough for me, my cloth ears and my fairly modest set up.

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