DSD playback options

That is a broad and difficult question, it really depends on how well any particular DAC handles PCM playback vs. DSD playback, and your system's ability to flesh out those differences. It should be a very small but perhaps not totally inaudible difference.


Yes it is.
I use an OPPO UDP-203 to play flac files from external usb hard drive. I think I understand that the oppo´s dac does not support sample rates higher than 192 kHz. Then I think that 24 bit/176400 Hz is the best choose possible?
 
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Just found this thread. Going back a page or two I noticed someone speaking of converting FLAC or CD to DSD and was wondering why. I converted some files from CD(WAV) to DSD with Weiss Saracon several years ago and the only benefit I was able to come out with was the ability to fill up hard drives very quick. It did nothing for the sound quality. It definitely will create a true DSD file, but what you hear won't be any better than whatever you converted the file from.
 

MikeyFresh

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I use an OPPO UDP-203 to play flac files from external usb hard drive. I think I understand that the oppo´s dac does not support sample rates higher than 192 kHz. Then I think that 24 bit/176400 Hz is the best choose possible?
I would say yes, especially if you are not fixated on storage space savings. There is a camp who swears that 88.2kHz is perfectly good enough, and there can be no possible audible difference, and they will demand scientific proof of such, and accuse anyone who contradicts them of being delusional and in need of more education. I am not in that group, to me the storage space savings isn't important, so I chose the higher sample rate, and it's as simple as that.

Whether any individual hears any perceptible difference will likely once again come down to the specific DAC in use, and how it handles PCM sample rates (does it have a "sweet spot" or is there a particular sample rate that seems to mate better with the digital filter they've chosen), etc... in other words, there really probably isn't a "what's best" there that is broadly applicable to any/all situations.

So you might just ask yourself if there any storage space considerations to weigh, or even just take a favorite album or two and make two versions, one at 176.4, and the other at 88.2kHz and try to compare them. If you think you hear absolutely little or no difference, and storage space is a concern, then maybe you opt for 88.2kHz as the better choice for you. If storage is of little or no concern as it is for me, or if you think the 176.4kHz sounds the best on your DAC, then by all means stick with it, and don't let anyone tell you that you've made some foolhardy mistake.
 

MikeyFresh

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This article explains why 88.2/24 is ideal for DSD conversion. It has to do with noise inherent above 50kHz in DSD and being a multiple of 44.1.
The takeaway:

The bottom line of course is to use the playback method which sounds best to YOU! But don't feel you HAVE TO keep DSD content as DSD to preserve quality. In a properly engineered and configured playback environment, conversion of DSD to LPCM will work just fine for you!

The above can be true at either 88.2, or 176.4kHz sample rate. In fact, I would never tell someone they were crazy if they thought their DAC and filter selection sounded best at 352.8kHz. To each their own there, even if it is perhaps more likely a case of their eyes/brain on the sample rate indicator, causing them to think a "larger number must be better sounding" scenario than anything else.
 

MikeyFresh

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Hi

Do you use dB correction using DS2FLAC converter? Is always the sacd level lower than blu ray or dvd audio one?
I have always just left it alone for the few albums that I converted to PCM, and yes they were always lower in level than any PCM version I had, but those were never Blu-ray Audio, I don't have any of those, only DVD-Audio or PCM download that I have used to compare and only a few such examples.

There are SACDs that are not low in level, the infamous Michael Jackson Thriller is one such example, it goes into clipping on several tracks, so you have to be careful and not just assume that all SACDs are lower in level. Instead of worry about it, I simply choose not to ever boost any levels at all, to ensure I am not contributing to a potential clipping/overload situation. I don't care if they are lower in level, I just leave them that way.

While I did not own Thriller on SACD, I bought the DSD64 download from the now defunct SuperHiRez.com (Acoustic Sounds) and complained to them about the clipping. They replied by sending me a level corrected version, which of course means they converted it to PCM and back again. I still have both the original download with clipping easily heard on 3 tracks (it's VERY nasty), and the level corrected version which does not clip.

More on that here: Converting The Thriller SACD to Music Files
 

MikeyFresh

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Looks like the HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro doesn't support native DSD, and DoP isn't working between LMS and Moode (had it working briefly with a shit-ton of distortion, but then it stopped).
I use Moode's UPnP Renderer, in which you can set DSD over PCM (DoP) to "No" in the MPD Config, and the result is when ALSA detects any DAC as not supporting DSD, it automatically transcodes DSD to DXD (352.8kHz PCM).

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 10.58.56 PM.png

The DAC+ Pro does not accept DSD of any kind, not even DoP, but it will accept that DXD sample rate, however I'm not familiar with any exact Squeezelite settings necessary for that, but it's probably the same as above, say no to both native DSD and DoP in the MPD config (don't forget to SAVE), and it should automatically transcode it either to 352.8kHz (or possibly 176.4 kHz) PCM with no other Squeezelite settings necessary.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I use Moode's UPnP Renderer, in which you can set DSD over PCM (DoP) to "No" in the MPD Config, and the result is when ALSA detects any DAC as not supporting DSD, it automatically transcodes DSD to DXD (352.8kHz PCM).

View attachment 34287

The DAC+ Pro does not accept DSD of any kind, not even DoP, but it will accept that DXD sample rate, however I'm not familiar with any exact Squeezelite settings necessary for that, but it's probably the same as above, say no to both native DSD and DoP in the MPD config (don't forget to SAVE), and it should automatically transcode it either to 352.8kHz (or possibly 176.4 kHz) PCM with no other Squeezelite settings necessary.
I am not seeing an option to say no to either DSD or DoP.

1615782421800.png

moOde release = 7.0.1
 

MikeyFresh

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I am not seeing an option to say no to either DSD or DoP.

View attachment 34289

moOde release = 7.0.1
Hmm, the instance I am using with the very same Burr-Brown PCM5122 DAC chip is Moode 6.7.1, so there's that variable.

However, there is the additional variable of what the MPD config looks like when using the Squeeze Renderer as opposed to the UPnP Renderer.

But maybe it's as simple as defeating the SoX resampling? Kill that and SAVE, then see if your options change. Also be sure there is no software or hardware volume control enabled. You might also need to flush the browser cache, or simply close and reopen the browser.
 

MikeyFresh

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Or how about this, in Moode 7.0.1 they might have changed the option, if you click the little i does the description indicate setting it for Native will result in transcoding to PCM for DACs that aren't DSD compatible?

If so, rock that setting and you should be good.

This is what it looks like in 6.7.1:

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 12.45.43 AM.png
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Or how about this, in Moode 7.0.1 they might have changed the option, if you click the little i does the description indicate setting it for Native will result in transcoding to PCM for DACs that aren't DSD compatible?

If so, rock that setting and you should be good.

This is what it looks like in 6.7.1:

View attachment 34290
Reset to Native DSD, Volume control disabled, and SoX disabled. No luck.

I'll fiddle about with it in the morning. Thanks for checking, Mike.
 
Perhaps I'm not following this clearly, but is there any need/point to convert DSD native files (such as DSF/DFF/WavPack) to FLAC or other PCM streams if your DAC/playback device can handle the DSD64 files? I guess you would want to compress DSF/DFF to WavPack to save space, but is there any point going further with the associated loss of quality to go to FLAC? (Sorry if this is the wrong thread to ask this!)
 

MikeyFresh

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Perhaps I'm not following this clearly, but is there any need/point to convert DSD native files (such as DSF/DFF/WavPack) to FLAC or other PCM streams if your DAC/playback device can handle the DSD64 files? I guess you would want to compress DSF/DFF to WavPack to save space, but is there any point going further with the associated loss of quality to go to FLAC? (Sorry if this is the wrong thread to ask this!)
He has a very specific use case of a Logitech Media Server (LMS), streaming local files to a Raspberry Pi based Squeezelite Endpoint/Renderer whose DAC (HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro) is not DSD capable.

In that scenario, the Renderer software (Moode) should have a setting that will transcode DSD to hi-rez PCM on-the-fly. So to answer your question, there is a need to convert the DSD64 files to PCM, because the DAC in use does not support DSD.

In this case it's not a question of wanting to save storage space, and you'd probably be surprised at just how little loss of quality there is when using something good to do the transcoding, in this case Moode uses SoX for that and it is fairly transparent, there is no great loss of sound quality at all, which is different from saying it sounds exactly the same, but you need a very high resolution system and critical ear to pick out the difference.

Most people don't even hear much difference when transcoding DSD64 to 24/88.2kHz PCM, but thats a debate we're not having here, simply he wants to find a way to stream SACD rips to a PCM-only DAC.
 

MikeyFresh

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Reset to Native DSD, Volume control disabled, and SoX disabled. No luck.

I'll fiddle about with it in the morning. Thanks for checking, Mike.
I can also pull out my instance of Moode 7.0.1 to see what it looks like for UPnP, perhaps a change was made there that I didn't notice because that instance of Moode is connected to a USB DAC that is native DSD capable, so I would have had no reason to fiddle with that setting.
 

MikeyFresh

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Reset to Native DSD, Volume control disabled, and SoX disabled. No luck.
That is the correct setting in the MPD config, I just launched my instance of Moode 7.0.1 and the setting choice/description did change just a bit from what I posted above using 6.7.1, but what you have listed there is correct assuming SAVE was accepted:

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 1.14.07 PM.png

I would suggest those exact settings, and also confirm that in the Audio config the Device is still HFB DAC+ Pro, then you should be able to play the DSD64 tracks with PCM conversion on-the-fly, unless there are additional DSD playback settings to tackle on the LMS itself, which is quite possible.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I guess at the end of the day, the obvious solution is to find a DAC hat that will output DSD Native. AFAIK, the only one out there at the moment is the IanCanada board (which is actually two boards, the DAC and the IO board). Was hoping not to spend add'l money on this. :(
 

MikeyFresh

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I guess at the end of the day, the obvious solution is to find a DAC hat that will output DSD Native. AFAIK, the only one out there at the moment is the IanCanada board (which is actually two boards, the DAC and the IO board). Was hoping not to spend add'l money on this. :(
True but again, this should be no problem to transcode to hi-rez PCM, and contrary to some dogma, that doesn't categorically suck, it actually sounds great with Moode on either the HFB DAC+ Pro, or Allo BossDAC.

Speaking of which, the Boss2 is now out and does do native DSD, however it has currently not yet hit these shores, and Allo has so far not indicated it will be sold as a bare board, right now it will come as a plug n'play player only, complete with aluminum case, just add power supply.

If Allo ever do offer it as a bare board, that might be the ticket should you actually go about buying more SACDs, or discover that you actually have a fair amount of them already in your collection masquerading as CDs, some standard record company releases up to about 2005 or so were actually SACD hybrids, Peter Gabriel, Dylan, the Stones on ABKCO, Moody Blues, etc... so you could have some titles already on hand that are hybrids that you've always just played the CD layer.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
That is the correct setting in the MPD config, I just launched my instance of Moode 7.0.1 and the setting choice/description did change just a bit from what I posted above using 6.7.1, but what you have listed there is correct assuming SAVE was accepted:

View attachment 34320

I would suggest those exact settings, and also confirm that in the Audio config the Device is still HFB DAC+ Pro, then you should be able to play the DSD64 tracks with PCM conversion on-the-fly, unless there are additional DSD playback settings to tackle on the LMS itself, which is quite possible.
The only choice in LMS appears to be enabling / disabling DSD playback (e.g. no conversion to PCM).
 

MikeyFresh

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The only choice in LMS appears to be enabling / disabling DSD playback (e.g. no conversion to PCM).
OK, it likely needs to be enabled before Moode can actually receive it from the server and transcode it to PCM. Try enabling that and see what happens.
 
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