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Old 22nd April 2008, 09:21 PM   #501
rossl is offline rossl  United States
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If you know where to get a PMD-200 HDCD chip, I would like to know. I would design it into the Sabre board that I am working on.

I have a PMD-100 chip in a DAC that I am not using. I considered making a board for it, but I estimate it requires a 128-macrocell Altera that would need to be developed.

Since I have the output of the Oppo patched to send the full 20-bit HDCD PCM out, I don't really need it. But it would be nice to be able to decode HDCD that comes from a PC media server.
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Old 22nd April 2008, 10:33 PM   #502
peufeu is online now peufeu  France
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There is a HDCD software decoder which will convert a 16 bit WAV ripped from a HDCD into a 24 bit WAV. The link is on Wikipedia's HDCD page.
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Old 22nd April 2008, 11:00 PM   #503
rossl is offline rossl  United States
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I am aware of that software decoder. I tested it several months ago.

If I were to have several thousand FLAC files on a media server, I would have to uncompress each one, test it for HDCD, and then use the decoder.

Even with the Foobar scripts mentioned in the link, I have never bothered to do all of that.

The decoded HDCD wav files result to be 3 to 6dB quiter than the rest of the wav files because of the decoded headroom.

Much easier to use a hardware decoder. It automatically adjusts the volume to match HDCD and non-HDCD.

The software decoder doesn't upsample to 88.2 either. The author said he would work on it, but seems to have given up and not worked on it since September.

sorry to stray so far off-topic.

I still want some PMD-200 chips if anyone has any.
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Old 23rd April 2008, 02:02 AM   #504
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Quote:
Originally posted by rossl
If you know where to get a PMD-200 HDCD chip, I would like to know. I would design it into the Sabre board that I am working on.

I have a PMD-100 chip in a DAC that I am not using. I considered making a board for it, but I estimate it requires a 128-macrocell Altera that would need to be developed.

Since I have the output of the Oppo patched to send the full 20-bit HDCD PCM out, I don't really need it. But it would be nice to be able to decode HDCD that comes from a PC media server.
Is there any advantage of using PMD200? AFAICS, it has worse
passband ripple than say a DF1706, and is still a half band filter.

I have looked at most commonly available DF's and even the
highly regarded Anagram Q5 still is half band and has 0.004
passband ripple.

Can any one shed some light on why any other std filter should be
superior to the Sabre's existing one?

Dustin, did ESS do any listening tests when implementing Sabre's
digital filter?



Thanks,

Terry
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Old 23rd April 2008, 04:31 AM   #505
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Default PMD-200 with Sabre

This is one of the good things about many eyes and ears involved...any permutation that can be imagined will be tried, and results shared. Hail Darwin!

I wouldn't count on MS releasing the primo implementation to the public, but it sure is worth a listen.

The 100 has a reputation as being one of the best sounding DFs, even when playing non-HDCD data, and the 200, though made largely from unobtanium, refined that sound a bit, when implemented carefully. The 100 reclocks/registers its output data for minimal jitter without external reclocking, whereas the 200 unfortunately does not. This is where the Sabre's jitter insensitivity is going to be quite welcome.

Now, whom is sitting on a secret stash of PMD-200s? Maybe somebody on this list has contact(s) within a manufacturer that has not yet cleaned off their shelves from a few years back?

Cheers,

WMS
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Old 23rd April 2008, 10:15 AM   #506
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Quote:
and even the highly regarded Anagram Q5 still is half band and has 0.004
passband ripple.
Hm. The venerable SM5842 has +-0.00002 passband ripple, and -117dB stop band attenuation... though is half band as all the others.

Ciao, George
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Old 23rd April 2008, 11:05 AM   #507
rossl is offline rossl  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Terry Demol

Is there any advantage of using PMD200? AFAICS, it has worse
passband ripple than say a DF1706, and is still a half band filter.
Hi Terry,

I know you are concerned about the filter, but the primary function of the PMD-200 that I am concerned about is that it decodes the HDCD and gives 20-bit depth output from the 16-bit source.
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Old 23rd April 2008, 11:19 AM   #508
4real is offline 4real  Netherlands
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It is very much the question if such a digital filter should be used at all, or at all times. Since the ASRC in de Sabre is probably superior to the one on other upsamplers the addition of an extra digital filer might not be very advantageous, specially for non HDCD sources ( for most people that would probably mean 99% of their music collection I guess).

For HDCD content, the software decoder doing the 16 -> 24 bit conversion might very well be the best choice. You don't need the upsampling since the Sabre does it better anyway
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Old 23rd April 2008, 12:13 PM   #509
peufeu is online now peufeu  France
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The only way to know that for sure is to compare :

a. 44.1k -> Digital Filter or DAC's embedded filter -> DAC
b. 44.1k -> 4x Oversampling in the PC -> DAC
c. 44.1k -> ESS Sabre
d. 44.1k -> 4x Oversampling in the PC -> ESS sabre

People seem to report option b being massively better than option a (I believe this). People also report PMD100 to be the best in the role of Digital Filter. As for option c and d, this is the unknown, and therefore needs to be tested. I will, as soon as the hardware is ready (FPGA PCBs ordered yesterday from protoexpress) and I can lay my groping fingers on a Sabre DAC.
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Old 23rd April 2008, 12:48 PM   #510
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Previously to using the Eval board, I was using a WM8741 based DAC. The Wolfson part has several (3 in hardware mode) filters with different ripple and roll-off characteristics. I found it hard to pinpoint any significant differences between them and wouldn't fancy my chances of saying which was which in a blind test. Kind of like swapping cables.

The Wolfson is a fine part, but changing to the Sabre made an instant improvement - knackered old cliche, but I really could hear information I'd never heard before, and it was quite obvious I was listening to a higher resolution DAC.
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