Daniel Weiss on DSD

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jhm731


newzooreview

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #1 on: 1 Sep 2013, 12:53 am »
Concise and informative.

Interesting to learn that editing has to be done in PCM, so unless a performance is directly recorded to DSD with no editing or production, it spends some time as PCM before it is encoded to DSD. So why not simply leave it in PCM? That is what Weiss concludes: PCM at 88/24 and above is better than DSD. In his words "definitively better."

richidoo

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #2 on: 1 Sep 2013, 01:18 am »
The Sonoma Workstation can record, edit and master DSD directly. All other editors convert to PCM first. Sonoma has been available since DSD was created, but was even more expensive then, when Sony owned it. When Sony bailed, SuperAudioCenter, (the Sonoma developers) took it over, and are now selling it for 1/3 the original price, but it still starts at 15k for 8 ch system. All true DSD production in the world is done on this gear.
http://www.superaudiocenter.com/

sts9fan

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #3 on: 1 Sep 2013, 01:19 am »
It's funny, it seems that DSD proponents consider the 1 bit to be a good thing.
I have set myself up to see what all the hubub is about. We shall see.

newzooreview

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #4 on: 1 Sep 2013, 03:40 am »
All true DSD production in the world is done on this gear.

So only a small fraction of DSD recording are "true DSD"? Or is the required equipment ubiquitous?

richidoo

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #5 on: 1 Sep 2013, 05:00 am »
The high sample rate is the good thing about DSD. The low bitdepth is the price you pay, but it seems to work well. With fast enough sample rate and good filter, I guess any bitdepth will work. I don't know how 1 bit stream works, nor do I know the nominal height of a step as a percentage of fullscale, but I have often wondered about that. It must be small enough step to give excellent resolution of complex signals, but not so small that it limits slew, because 1 bit can only move one quantum step at a time, whereas PCM moves directly to whatever amplitude the word describes regardless of the amplitude jump. The 24 bits cut up a full scale signal into 16.7 million steps! PCM is like using GPS, each reading provides exact coordinates of the desired amplitude. 1 bit is like dead reckoning, where every new step is only based on where you are coming from. The advantage is the fast sample rate, which is what enables the drawing of a natural, analog-like waveform.

SACDs are always DSD with an optional PCM layer, usually redbook. But any recording made in any format can be reissued as SACD, doesn't mean it was recorded in DSD. There are several self contained DSD recorders available for reasonable prices, like TASCAM and Korg. They provide very simple and limited editing. And there are several companies making DSD A/D converters.  Editing and mastering with full effects is done later, with Sonoma at a rented recording studio, or you can buy it.
More info (2009): http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb09/articles/qa0209_1.htm

Pyramix pro audio software supposedly also edits DSD directly, but their blurb is not totally convincing.
http://www.merging.com/products/show?product=1&page=11

firedog

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #6 on: 1 Sep 2013, 06:47 am »
SA-CD.net lists about 8000 SACDs.
About  1500 are native DSD recordings (mostly classical).
Several thousand others are analog tape to DSD conversions (some older material, some "new" recordings to tape).

Others are conversions from PCM. Sometimes from hi-res, sometimes not.

IME, native DSD and well done conversions from analog sound extremely good.  Some of the best recordings of any type I've heard. In the case of native DSD, clearly better than the same master converted to 88 or 176. I think that is also often true for analog converted directly to DSD. The DSD sounds better than the same item converted from the DSD digital master to PCM. But I will admit the difference is small.

Daniel Weiss is entitled to his opinion, but that's all it is. His statement that 24/88 is definitely superior is very debatable. Even some industry proponents of PCM vs. DSD acknowledge that at least 4X rates are needed to equal or surpass DSD in SQ (for example Charles Hansen. There are other examples).

As noted about the Sonoma Station,  various processing CAN be done in DSD, although the equipment doesn't exist in many places.

But the editing issue is basically a red herring. You can edit a DSD file  in PCM and only small fractions of a second of the file need to be converted to PCM for the edit to occur. I wouldn't say this counts as converting a file to PCM. The resulting product remains 99.9% original DSD.

wisnon

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Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #7 on: 1 Sep 2013, 11:21 am »
Its not really converted to PCM, but to some form of Delta sigma hybrid, i.e. 8 bit DSD, kinda DSD, kinda PCM and then converted back. When PCM is done the same way, I understand it has decimation into this Delta Sigma interim format.

I spoke with Mr Weiss a year ago and advised him to put out a DSD capable Dac and he said it was a marketing flash in the pan. He was wrong.

Furthermore, that new download site claims that they will be soon releasing 150 NEW DSD files converted from archived analog masters. These were NEVER available in DSD in any form before.

sts9fan

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #8 on: 1 Sep 2013, 12:43 pm »
A whole 150 files?!?
I don't think those types of numbers really attract people to the format when hardware needs to be upgraded. 

barrows

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Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #9 on: 1 Sep 2013, 02:55 pm »
As far as I am concerned, good DSD definitely sounds better than the same title in its redbook version.  And, many titles are only available as DSD or redbook.  Therefore, having the capability to playback DSD is worth it to me for those titles, which happen to include a lot of music I really like.  As far as native DSD goes, there is a lot of music out there converted directly to DSD from analog masters, if you like that music, the DSD versions are the best sounding versions which exist (think RCA Living Stereo, and Mercury Living Presence).  Then there are all the classical titles recorded, for the most part, in native DSD, like Channel Classics (yes, I understand they use Pyramix PCM for editing, but the edits are just short punch in and out).  PCM, done really well, at 24/192, sounds fantastic to me-and I do not believe the folks who seem to think that there is some "magic" to DSD that makes it superior to high res PCM, but for the above reasons, it is still worth it to me to be able to play back both high res PCM and DSD in my system.  Heck, Pink Floyd, and Shelby Lynne's Just A Little Lovin' are enough for me to want to be able to play back DSD.
I will say though, that for new recordings which require lots of editing/processing (rock/pop), I think going with 24/176.4 or 24/352.8 is a great way to go, as these rates allow for very gentle filtering.  And I love 2L recordings done in DXD and downloaded at 24/192.

wisnon

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Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #10 on: 1 Sep 2013, 09:15 pm »
A whole 150 files?!?
I don't think those types of numbers really attract people to the format when hardware needs to be upgraded.

NEW albums (not files) and thats for a start!

Hi Res PCM is great, but DSD sounds different and will be more pleasing to some people. Different flavours of really good ice cream!

richidoo

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #11 on: 1 Sep 2013, 09:26 pm »
I'm happy enough with CD, so when I have the chance to hear hi-rez it is a special treat. I do miss the feeling of hearing tape masters in the recording studio. Sounds so alive and real. Maybe DSD2 is like that. My SACDs don't do that, but I figure that is more the fault of my player.

jtwrace

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #12 on: 1 Sep 2013, 10:01 pm »
I'm happy enough with CD, so when I have the chance to hear hi-rez it is a special treat. I do miss the feeling of hearing tape masters in the recording studio. Sounds so alive and real. Maybe DSD2 is like that. My SACDs don't do that, but I figure that is more the fault of my player.
There are good ones and bad ones just like Redbook. 

hifial

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #13 on: 2 Sep 2013, 01:04 am »
richidoo, it is my understanding from people in the know that no matter how good your SACD playback system is the SACD played back through it will not sound as good as the same DSD file of that SACD played back through a quality DSD playback system costing a lot less. The DSD files of the same SACD will always sound better then the SACD. My Nora Jones SACD sounds very good but the DSD file does sound better.

Too all.

FYI to all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj7d7Jnx0xc

It is long but there is some info worth the time, and some not.

Also check this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp5vpqioks0

It is five parts and is chopped up a little.

As much as I respect Daniel Weiss I believe one day he will be a convert. I for one hope the future of DSD is bright. I have some albums that are in  Redbook, HiRez PCM and DSD, all from the same source. When done right they all sound very good but as you go up the chain each sounds better then the one before it. 

If done from the master DSD source or the master source tape to DSD and is done right, I would prefer it over HiRez PCM done right. 

jhm731

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #14 on: 2 Sep 2013, 02:09 am »
it is my understanding from people in the know that no matter how good your SACD playback system is the SACD played back through it will not sound as good as the same DSD file of that SACD played back through a quality DSD playback system costing a lot less. The DSD files of the same SACD will always sound better then the SACD.

I don't think owners of dCS, EMM Labs,MSB or Playback Designs gear would agree with these statements.

ted_b

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Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #15 on: 2 Sep 2013, 03:04 am »
As far as I am concerned, good DSD definitely sounds better than the same title in its redbook version.  And, many titles are only available as DSD or redbook.  Therefore, having the capability to playback DSD is worth it to me for those titles, which happen to include a lot of music I really like.  As far as native DSD goes, there is a lot of music out there converted directly to DSD from analog masters, if you like that music, the DSD versions are the best sounding versions which exist (think RCA Living Stereo, and Mercury Living Presence).  Then there are all the classical titles recorded, for the most part, in native DSD, like Channel Classics (yes, I understand they use Pyramix PCM for editing, but the edits are just short punch in and out).  PCM, done really well, at 24/192, sounds fantastic to me-and I do not believe the folks who seem to think that there is some "magic" to DSD that makes it superior to high res PCM, but for the above reasons, it is still worth it to me to be able to play back both high res PCM and DSD in my system.  Heck, Pink Floyd, and Shelby Lynne's Just A Little Lovin' are enough for me to want to be able to play back DSD.
I will say though, that for new recordings which require lots of editing/processing (rock/pop), I think going with 24/176.4 or 24/352.8 is a great way to go, as these rates allow for very gentle filtering.  And I love 2L recordings done in DXD and downloaded at 24/192.

+1  Could not have said these tradeoffs and comparisons better myself.  DSD is just another great format that allows us access to thousands of well-recorded native DSD or analog-to-DSD recordings.  Even some PCM "upsamples" to DSD are as good as we are gonna get, unless you find the PCM originals.  Always search for the closest generation to the master.  In most cases that has been PCM, but more and more we are finding available DSD that fits that same holy grail.

I realize that every new DSD thread has some misinformation.....but I am very surprised someone as knowledgeable as Daniel Weiss would present such misinformation about DSD in his own white paper.  With Pyramix 8.1 (and as pointed out, Sonoma since day one) DSD editing can be done in DSD.  It's how great labels like Jared Sacks' Channel Classics is doing his edits and track cuts....Even prior to 8.1 the miniscule drops into PCM are not what I would present as "recording was converted to PCM" .  These are nanoseconds of edit in a 74 minute album.  It's like anything political (which is unfortunate that this has become so)..take a statistic or fact and shine your own colored light on it.

Great PCM is great.  Great DSD is great.  And poor to average PCM and DSD still clutter the hirez market.  When sellers are asking for $25-40 a pop, especially for stuff you already own in another format, it make sense to be cautious.  But c'mon, touting all of hirez as snake oil gets to be a bit much.

I just finished the exaSound multichannel review and now onto the Chord.  It has given me a renewed respect for PCM done right (not that it's DSD playback is bad, but the PCM playback is amazing).  The unfortunate thing is that it also supports the notion that there are "horses for courses" and that unless you want multiple DACs or spend x multiple thousands, each DAC playback system has its own sweetspot.  Oh well.  It's fun to find those wider high-value sweetspots.


wisnon

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Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #16 on: 2 Sep 2013, 05:02 am »
I don't think owners of dCS, EMM Labs,MSB or Playback Designs gear would agree with these statements.
EMM Labs and PBD upsample everything DSD and PCM) to DSD2x in any case. They are true DSD only Dacs.

hifial

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #17 on: 2 Sep 2013, 05:07 am »
Well jhm731 yes as a matter of fact. Andreas Koch, one of the principles and designers at Playback Designs agrees with that statement and has even stated such. Keep in mind we are just talking about the CD/SACD part of the chain. The companies you mention make great dacs and some DSD capable. Play the DSD file vs the SACD in the same (Playback Designs, EMM Labs,etc) and the DSD file will sound better. And what cost $8,000-$10,000 a few years ago you can get for less then half that for the same performance. That is how far and how quick things have come. That does not mean that those companies are not building better, newer DACs but the difference in performance vs price is getting very narrow in some instances.

jhm731

Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #18 on: 2 Sep 2013, 06:27 am »
Well jhm731 yes as a matter of fact. Andreas Koch, one of the principles and designers at Playback Designs agrees with that statement and has even stated such. Keep in mind we are just talking about the CD/SACD part of the chain. The companies you mention make great dacs and some DSD capable. Play the DSD file vs the SACD in the same (Playback Designs, EMM Labs,etc) and the DSD file will sound better. And what cost $8,000-$10,000 a few years ago you can get for less then half that for the same performance. That is how far and how quick things have come. That does not mean that those companies are not building better, newer DACs but the difference in performance vs price is getting very narrow in some instances.

And how do you know?

Which of these dCS, EMM Labs,MSB or Playback Designs DSD DACs or CD/SACD players have you tried in your system?



wisnon

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Re: Daniel Weiss on DSD
« Reply #19 on: 2 Sep 2013, 07:42 am »
By definition EMM Labs and PDB would agree as their Dacs ONLY operate in DSD. They upsample all PCM to DSD2x!

I have only heard the PBD MP3 and MP5 and they are superb.