DSD playback options

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I think at one time you had to install a DSD plugin in order for it to work on LMS, do you see any plugin called DSDPlay, or maybe DSDPlayer, or something like that?
There is a plugin called DSDPlay, but it is primarily to create a DoP stream from your LMS to an endpoint that doesn't do on-the-fly conversion like Moode.
 
Hello again,
I managed to come up with a question I wasn't able to find answers for.
Since I am using Roon I'm able to play back DSD files.
I'm guessing converting to FLAC saves space.
Is there any sonic loss converting to flac and playing the flac file, without getting into the possible debate of there being some loss when you convert anything to FLAC?
Maybe it would be better to take FLAC out of the equation?
So, if I were to convert the DSD to WAV would there be any difference in sound either humanly noticeable or not?

I have a feeling this may kind of a crazy question, I'm new, learning and don't have a great audio vocabulary.

Thanks for the help,
Mike
 
My experience with Roon and DSD may not mirror yours, but I can only share what I've done.

I've converted all of my stereo DSD files to Apple Lossless at 88.2/24 and on occasion I have ticks between tracks. When I play the DSD files I don't have the ticks between the tracks.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Hello again,
I managed to come up with a question I wasn't able to find answers for.
Since I am using Roon I'm able to play back DSD files.
I'm guessing converting to FLAC saves space.
Is there any sonic loss converting to flac and playing the flac file, without getting into the possible debate of there being some loss when you convert anything to FLAC?
Maybe it would be better to take FLAC out of the equation?
So, if I were to convert the DSD to WAV would there be any difference in sound either humanly noticeable or not?

I have a feeling this may kind of a crazy question, I'm new, learning and don't have a great audio vocabulary.

Thanks for the help,
Mike
I don't see why you'd go to the time and trouble of converting anything unless your DAC did not support DSD playback. Even then you could just let Roon transcode it on-the-fly, and leave the files as DSD.

Storage is so cheap these days I don't care about that savings, but other's opinion may differ. Whether you hear any difference between DSD playback or files converted to PCM (whether FLAC or WAV) is really something you should decide for yourself, go ahead and take an SACD rip and convert it to PCM, if you hear very little or no difference, then you are only asking yourself if the time and trouble and storage savings are worth it.

If on the other hand you do hear a difference for the worse in converting to PCM (some DACs seemingly sound better with either DSD or PCM), then you have your answer right there. But there isn't some kind of "what's best" answer that is one size fits all, you'd have to personally weigh all of the circumstances surrounding the time, trouble, and effort to convert to PCM, the storage cost savings, and lastly any perceived sonic penalty, and then do what's best for you.
 
I don't see why you'd go to the time and trouble of converting anything unless your DAC did not support DSD playback. Even then you could just let Roon transcode it on-the-fly, and leave the files as DSD.

Storage is so cheap these days I don't care about that savings, but other's opinion may differ. Whether you hear any difference between DSD playback or files converted to PCM (whether FLAC or WAV) is really something you should decide for yourself, go ahead and take an SACD rip and convert it to PCM, if you hear very little or no difference, then you are only asking yourself if the time and trouble and storage savings are worth it.

If on the other hand you do hear a difference for the worse in converting to PCM (some DACs seemingly sound better with either DSD or PCM), then you have your answer right there. But there isn't some kind of "what's best" answer that is one size fits all, you'd have to personally weigh all of the circumstances surrounding the time, trouble, and effort to convert to PCM, the storage cost savings, and lastly any perceived sonic penalty, and then do what's best for you.
Thanks Mikey, that was my thinking, I just wanted to me sure there wasn't some aspect I was ignorant about.
I can't tell the difference in the sound, but I am from the school of thought that says, "if given options I may as well get the most accurate", even if I can't tell the difference.

Thanks again!
 
Checking to see if somebody can help me. I have ripped dsf files from multichannel SACDs. When I convert to FLAC with Foobar I have to go 48/24 per my car’s USB requirement. When I start the conversion, I get a Transcode Warning - “Foobar2000 does not support DSD pass through, the conversion will not be lossless. Are you sure?” I select Yes. The conversions begin. Each file converted also produces a DSD2PCM window - No installed FIR, continue with the default (no action needs to be taken, I just close each window).
The files play fine but I was wondering if I’ve done something wrong or if there is something that can be done to keep these from popping up with each conversion.
Thank you for any help.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Checking to see if somebody can help me. I have ripped dsf files from multichannel SACDs. When I convert to FLAC with Foobar I have to go 48/24 per my car’s USB requirement. When I start the conversion, I get a Transcode Warning - “Foobar2000 does not support DSD pass through, the conversion will not be lossless. Are you sure?” I select Yes. The conversions begin. Each file converted also produces a DSD2PCM window - No installed FIR, continue with the default (no action needs to be taken, I just close each window).
The files play fine but I was wondering if I’ve done something wrong or if there is something that can be done to keep these from popping up with each conversion.
Thank you for any help.
I think there is no issue and thats simply a (cryptic) warning that the conversion from DSD to 24/48 PCM is not lossless, thats all. Since the files play back OK I don't think anything is wrong per se, but maybe someone who is actually a Foobar user and/or converts multichannel files to PCM can comment further.
 
Checking to see if somebody can help me. I have ripped dsf files from multichannel SACDs. When I convert to FLAC with Foobar I have to go 48/24 per my car’s USB requirement. When I start the conversion, I get a Transcode Warning - “Foobar2000 does not support DSD pass through, the conversion will not be lossless. Are you sure?” I select Yes. The conversions begin. Each file converted also produces a DSD2PCM window - No installed FIR, continue with the default (no action needs to be taken, I just close each window).
The files play fine but I was wondering if I’ve done something wrong or if there is something that can be done to keep these from popping up with each conversion.
Thank you for any help.
You might go over to www.quadrophonicquad.com and ask there. Look up "HomerJAU" who is like the "MikeyFresh" of that forum. He or someone else may be able to help.
 

JP

Junior Member
DSD to PCM is not technically lossless. The "pass-through" message is likely due to wavpack DSD in order to make sure the user knows that's not what they're doing. Benign.

The filter can be a bit of a can of worms. The default certainly works but there is plenty of opportunity for audiophile nervosa between audibly transparent and technical maximization. Some light (slightly dated) reading: ANALYSIS: DSD-to-PCM 2015 - foobar SACD Plug-In, AuI ConverteR, noise & impulse response...
 
DSD to PCM is not technically lossless. The "pass-through" message is likely due to wavpack DSD in order to make sure the user knows that's not what they're doing. Benign.

The filter can be a bit of a can of worms. The default certainly works but there is plenty of opportunity for audiophile nervosa between audibly transparent and technical maximization. Some light (slightly dated) reading: ANALYSIS: DSD-to-PCM 2015 - foobar SACD Plug-In, AuI ConverteR, noise & impulse response...
Having converted hundreds of my SACD rips to 24/88.2 flac I can say that it is not lossless, but probably good enough if one really must forego the delights of a proper DSD DAC. The solution to the knotty problem of scarlet book's -6dB for SACD is to know for sure that -6dB is actually NOT the norm in real life! Foobar2000 has a plugin for the DR meter and if one loads the SACD iso in foobar and gets a DR meter readout, then one knows exactly what the highest peak is for that album and one can then convert it to PCM with accurate gain added.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
@MikeyFresh - just as a follow-up, got DSD playback to work via a DSD-capable DAC connected via USB. My brother-in-law passed this along to me (his brother gave it to him and he had no use for it):

20210615_185303285_iOS.jpg

So now the Raspberry Pi 4 that was in the garage is in the basement and the Pi 3B+ with the Isolator + DAC+ Pro is in the garage. :)

To quote old Tom Peterson's commercials: "Free is a very good price!"
 
Last edited:

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
@MikeyFresh - just as a follow-up, got DSD playback to work via a DSD-capable DAC connected via USB. My brother-in-law passed this along to me (his brother gave it to him and he had no use for it):

View attachment 37242

So now the Raspberry Pi 4 that was in the garage is in the basement and the Pi 3B+ with the Isolator + DAC+ Pro is in the garage. :)

To quote old Tom Peterson's commercials: "Free is a very good price!"
Wow, thats one helluva nice pass along! Congrats on that one.

So the mystery remains why LMS and Squeezelite would not transcode to PCM on-the-fly like it's supposed to, however in your case thats now moot with a nice DSD capable DAC in play.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Wow, thats one helluva nice pass along! Congrats on that one.

So the mystery remains why LMS and Squeezelite would not transcode to PCM on-the-fly like it's supposed to, however in your case thats now moot with a nice DSD capable DAC in play.
Only one minor fly in the ointment - the output on the DAC is 4.4v, so I have to run the digital volume control at 70% to keep from overdriving the preamp. Minor quibble, and beggars can't be choosers / gift horse / etc. but still a bit annoying.
 
Last edited:

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Only one minor fly in the ointment - the output on the DAC is 4.4v, so I have to run the digital volume control at 70% to keep from overdriving the preamp. Minor quibble, and beggars can't be choosers / gift horse / etc. but still a bit annoying.
That is wicked high output for single ended.

You could always try the Rothwell inline source attenuators to see if they are perhaps better than the digital volume control, if it annoys you too much. I doubt they would be an improvement.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
That is wicked high output for single ended.

You could always try the Rothwell inline source attenuators to see if they are perhaps better than the digital volume control, if it annoys you too much. I doubt they would be an improvement.
Well, given I've got balanced cables arriving for it on Friday (since my preamp has a 2-channel balanced input), not really an option.

However, balanced! It's a brave new world here!
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Well, given I've got balanced cables arriving for it on Friday (since my preamp has a 2-channel balanced input), not really an option.

However, balanced! It's a brave new world here!
Follow-up: I found a setting on my Anthem AVM30 that I hadn't noticed before which allowed me to adjust the volume on each input, so I dropped the 2-ch Balanced input (since my cables arrived 2 days early) to -7.5dB and that seems to have done the trick. I can run the Auralic digital volume control at 100% but not over-saturate the preamp/processor, and I can use balanced cables which supposedly provide the best output signal from the Auralic.

Win/win. :)
 
Top