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Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
2013-05-22, 13:53
Post: #1
Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
DSD was invented to solve problems that no longer exist today.

A good idea in 1999, DSD was conceived to improve the quality of music at home over the prevailing 16-bit CD format. By bypassing the down-sampling and up-sampling filters in the CD audio chain, DSD sought to improve performance by shortening the audio signal path:

[Image: DSD_vs_PCM2.jpg]


However, DSD has been overtaken by modern technology; A-D and D-A converters have moved away from 1-bit, to far superior multi-bit processes, and the down-sampling and up-sampling filters that DSD sought to bypass have been rendered transparent by the use of higher sample rates and modern algorithms. In fact, DSD is now the quality bottleneck in the modern recording and playback chain.

The arrival of 192kHz 24-bit capable Linn DS players in 2007 signalled the end of DSD. There is no longer the need to convert the original Studio Master recording, which is usually in PCM format, to a DSD stream, because the Studio Master can now be decoded natively on the Linn DS player. Hence, a needless and lossy conversion from PCM to DSD has been eliminated.

DSD has, like so many audio formats, come to the end of it's natural life. It's time to move on.
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2013-05-22, 14:07
Post: #2
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
Thank you Murrays for this clear explaination. I think most on this forum, myself included, understand it and do not disagree with you.

However since it is now being hyped by other manufacturers, possible as a spin D-tour because Linn's sound quality is untouchable, we can expect more DSD titles to become available and also some potential Linn customers will fall for the marketing story of DSD. At the same time it will probably very cheap for Linn to release DSD as an optional format on next generation DS devices or maybe even offer it as a software upgrade on ADS/1 and KDS/1.

Why would you do that if you don't believe in it? Simply because you want to give your customers the possiblilty to play available DSD titles and to avoid losing customers for the wrong reason.

And maybe even to prove your right that PCM 24/192 streaming sounds better ;-)
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2013-05-22, 17:03 (This post was last modified: 2013-05-22 17:06 by Bbill.)
Post: #3
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
do you see any real DSD competition today ?
another network player with DSD on the top of PCM ?
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2013-05-22, 17:49
Post: #4
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
(2013-05-22 17:03)Bbill Wrote:  do you see any real DSD competition today ?
another network player with DSD on the top of PCM ?
dcs, Resonessence Invicta and Meitner XDS1v2 (if via USB); network players are nice, but not necessarily the Holy Grail of digital audio reproduction.

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2013-05-22, 18:05
Post: #5
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
If Linn could do on the fly transcoding of DSD to PCM perhaps licensing "Saracon" or release their own filter then Linn owners would get access to DSD and ripped SACD content on the best possible sounding network player.

There are many good SACD titles out there and while Linn/HDtracks license a few Saracon conversions, its not universally available like SACD software/hardware. Being able to convert a few SACD titles to PCM has really opened up the DSM to new heights for me. I used to like the CD layer better played through the ADSM than the SACD layer played through Unidisk 1.1. Playing the DSD content though the KDSM is better still!

So Linn does not have to develop a DSD player, but it would help if they could enable playback of DSD material through the DSM. Despite DSM deficiencies the available software makes it interesting. I understand that commercially available DSD content might not warrant it but SACD is more widely available, and I don't really see difference from playing back ripped SACD compared to CD:s. I know that HDMI playback is available of DSD.
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2013-05-22, 18:16
Post: #6
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
(2013-05-22 17:03)Bbill Wrote:  do you see any real DSD competition today ?
another network player with DSD on the top of PCM ?
As I wrote in my initial reply I don't think that this is the issue. If only the marketing story of having DSD is keeping the custumors away from Linn it would be worth while building it in. I don't think the costs are that high.

By the way yes I do see competition coming. Both the Marantz NA-11S1 and the Lumin are being tested better than MDS. By the way probably not because of DSD. Wink
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2013-05-22, 18:47
Post: #7
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
I take it the KDS/2 update won't support DSD then Wink

Rega RP6/Exact, Simaudio Moon 180D MiND, Devialet 170, Raidho C-1.1 speakers, Audiovector Zero speaker cable, Hutter Racktime.
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2013-05-22, 19:09 (This post was last modified: 2013-05-22 19:10 by bbrip.)
Post: #8
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
(2013-05-22 13:53)murrays Wrote:  DSD was invented to solve problems that no longer exist today.

A good idea in 1999, DSD was conceived to improve the quality of music at home over the prevailing 16-bit CD format. By bypassing the down-sampling and up-sampling filters in the CD audio chain, DSD sought to improve performance by shortening the audio signal path:

However, DSD has been overtaken by modern technology; A-D and D-A converters have moved away from 1-bit, to far superior multi-bit processes, and the down-sampling and up-sampling filters that DSD sought to bypass have been rendered transparent by the use of higher sample rates and modern algorithms. In fact, DSD is now the quality bottleneck in the modern recording and playback chain.

The arrival of 192kHz 24-bit capable Linn DS players in 2007 signalled the end of DSD. There is no longer the need to convert the original Studio Master recording, which is usually in PCM format, to a DSD stream, because the Studio Master can now be decoded natively on the Linn DS player. Hence, a needless and lossy conversion from PCM to DSD has been eliminated.

DSD has, like so many audio formats, come to the end of it's natural life. It's time to move on.

Finally someone who puts the record straight on this DSD "hype" - which I always thought is nonsense (or as you more appropriately put it, has been made redundant by better technology)

Many thanks for that Wink

bbrip
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2013-05-22, 19:24
Post: #9
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
(2013-05-22 14:07)Glareskin Wrote:  it will probably very cheap for Linn to release DSD as an optional format on next generation DS devices

No, it won't be cheap. It will be difficult:

Quote:... the architecture of the DS is heavily tied to PCM, so some fairly major architectural changes would need to be made ...

http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.p...4#pid46694
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2013-05-22, 19:25
Post: #10
RE: Why DSD is a terrible idea in 2013
(2013-05-22 19:09)bbrip Wrote:  this DSD "hype" - which I always thought is nonsense
have a look at this list with so many companies, it's only marketing ?
http://www.audiostream.com/content/dsd-r...short-list
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