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Old 28th March 2016, 01:14 AM   #1
mirekti is offline mirekti  United States
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Default DSD and PCM - your experience

I've read a lot of articles on DSD vs PCM and ended up being kind of confused.

What is your preference and why, please?

I, for example, have downloaded two samples from https://www.oppodigital.com/hra/dsd-by-davidelias.aspx and tried to compare HD track with DSD track. For some reason DSD track sounded somewhat more "natural".
Am I imagining this?
I am aware both were eventually PCM as I used Foobar and my external DAC, however, I am still rather confused with the end results.
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Old 28th March 2016, 02:13 AM   #2
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My experience hasn't been with DSD DACs directly, rather with DSD recorded material played back on a multibit PCM DAC from CD. It seems a fairly consistent signature that DSD sounds 'soft' - I take it its adding noise modulation at higher frequencies.

If you're using an S-D DAC (rather than multibit) chances are DSD sounds better than PCM. A reason could be in using DSD you're bypassing the under-engineered digital filtering on the DAC chip itself by going in with DSD.
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Old 28th March 2016, 02:33 AM   #3
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I have made comparisons about a dozen times, some very controlled, and I have never found DSD to sound better than PCM 24/96, for the same material recorded simultaneously on 2 machines. The best I have found is that DSD can sometimes sound as good as high res 24/96 PCM.

Of course, conversion between the two formats may be fraught with potential errors.

Lipshitz wrote an excellent article on it for the AES titled "Why 1-Bit Sigma-Delta Conversion is Unsuitable for High-Quality Applications" I just found it here - http://sjeng.org/ftp/SACD.pdf
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Old 28th March 2016, 02:39 AM   #4
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+1 for the Lipshitz paper - which tends to scare the DSD koolaid drinkers. Lipshitz highlights that its impossible to correctly dither a 1bit converter - the result of incorrect dither being noise modulation.
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