PC-transport for multichannel DSD? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-03-2012, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

First off, i've had trouble finding the proper section for this thread. No PC-thread fit the bill, and this came the closest. Sorry for any confusion in advance Also, i have searched high and low for a proper answer to this question...

My question is if anyone out there know of any PC-based transports that can handle multichannel SACD/DSD over HDMI?

I am looking for a way to transport .dff-files from a PC to my native DSD-compatible receiver, preferably encoded. Currently, i use a PCM-downconvert (to 24/176,4) via Foobar2000/JRiver, but when playing those same files on retail SACD's in a Sony DSD-player with HDMI to same reciever, i get a lot more perceived sound quality.
I know that JRiver supports bit-streaming the DSD via ASIO-drivers, but my current transport does not support it.

Currently using:
Windows-based PC
Asus Xonar1.3av deluxe
Integra DTR-9.9

Another way to go would be a PC-based DAC that sends the analog signal via 7.1 to the receiver. However, i would like to find out if products exists that can help me avoid that.
A third way would be a high-end transport, capable of 64-bit PCM and in excess of 768khz sample rates. AFAIK, this amounts to the same perceived sound quality as the lossless DSD64. JRiver supports that same conversion.

So far, i've only found 2-channel transports/DAC's for DSD, like Playback Designs.

I really appreciate any help on the matter
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-03-2012, 05:14 PM
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I convert my dsd/dff files to .flac .wav or .pcm then I stream them over ethernet to a Dune player. The dune forwards the pcm to my pre/pro over hdmi. This preserves the bitperfect sound all of the way to the dac. This works for all files up to 192khz/32 bit 8-channels.
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

I convert my dsd/dff files to .flac .wav or .pcm then I stream them over ethernet to a Dune player. The dune forwards the pcm to my pre/pro over hdmi. This preserves the bitperfect sound all of the way to the dac. This works for all files up to 192khz/32 bit 8-channels.

To each his own, but i would like to preserve the compressed DSD-format all the way to the DAC and avoid any PCM-conversion.
AFAIK DSD is also less susceptible to jitter over HDMI, as it is compressed and any timing, clock or jitter issues is handled at the decompression level - similar to DTS-MA bitstreaming.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermotim View Post

To each his own, but i would like to preserve the compressed DSD-format all the way to the DAC and avoid any PCM-conversion.
AFAIK DSD is also less susceptible to jitter over HDMI, as it is compressed and any timing, clock or jitter issues is handled at the decompression level - similar to DTS-MA bitstreaming.

Compressed or not, DAC clock depends on incoming stream timing. So HDMI clock serves as a reference for internal generator. How much phase noise (jitter) this generator has, depends on synchronization method chosen by designer. If your receiver/processor sounds different when fed with DSD vs PCM, replace it with something else, ss this is sign of faulty design.
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Compressed or not, DAC clock depends on incoming stream timing. So HDMI clock serves as a reference for internal generator. How much phase noise (jitter) this generator has, depends on synchronization method chosen by designer. If your receiver/processor sounds different when fed with DSD vs PCM, replace it with something else, ss this is sign of faulty design.

The question was not HDMI jitter or receiver capabilites.
Converting DSD to PCM (at least at 24/192) loses a lot of data and since my current PC-DAC does not decode DSD multichannel, i am looking for a way to either transport DSD untouched/bitstreamed to that receiver, or via analogue 5.1 from a DAC that does decode it properly.

Lets try to keep it on track with my initial question.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 07:46 AM
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I hope you're aware that an AVR must convert DSD to LPCM in order to apply any bass management or other types DSP, EQ, etc. Most AVRs will do that conversion by default, very few can offer a direct DSD to analog path. I'm not sure about the Integra, as far as a direct path. But it certainly must do the conversion for any processing.

I'd add that any PC DAC that might be able to convert DSD to analog will in all likelihood also be doing a LPCM interim conversion. That is standard for most DACs. That leaves you with finding a PC card that can send DSD over HDMI. This will also require a video signal, since audio on HDMI can only be part of a video signal. For DSD, that will mean a video signal of 720p or better. (bandwidth requirement).
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 07:52 AM
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I'd place money that you won't find a Video Card that is going to do what you want it to do. You will need to use Analog 7.1 to avoid any format conversion.

Look in the pro-audio circles for a device that will do that.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #8 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

I hope you're aware that an AVR must convert DSD to LPCM in order to apply any bass management or other types DSP, EQ, etc. Most AVRs will do that conversion by default, very few can offer a direct DSD to analog path. I'm not sure about the Integra, as far as a direct path. But it certainly must do the conversion for any processing.

I'd add that any PC DAC that might be able to convert DSD to analog will in all likelihood also be doing a LPCM interim conversion. That is standard for most DACs. That leaves you with finding a PC card that can send DSD over HDMI. This will also require a video signal, since audio on HDMI can only be part of a video signal. For DSD, that will mean a video signal of 720p or better. (bandwidth requirement).

I do know that, and the Integra does not support any DSP on DSD decoding. I accept that fully, as i want to keep the signal as close to the source as possible.
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermotim View Post


I do know that, and the Integra does not support any DSP on DSD decoding. I accept that fully, as i want to keep the signal as close to the source as possible.

I had an oppo and I can not hear a single difference between bitstreaming sacd from oppo to my pre/pro vs bitstreaming a dsd ripped pcm file through my Dune. Both via hdmi. Please explain data loss via conversion to pcm.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

I had an oppo and I can not hear a single difference between bitstreaming sacd from oppo to my pre/pro vs bitstreaming a dsd ripped pcm file through my Dune. Both via hdmi. Please explain data loss via conversion to pcm.

Once again, that is not the question. I can hear the difference and all i want help with, is to find a DAC that fulfills the needs listed above.
Any other discussions about pros/cons in DSD/PCM, can be had elsewhere.
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

I had an oppo and I can not hear a single difference between bitstreaming sacd from oppo to my pre/pro vs bitstreaming a dsd ripped pcm file through my Dune. Both via hdmi. Please explain data loss via conversion to pcm.

It's a theoretical loss that has never been shown to be audible. That said, many AVRs and processors handle PCM input very differently than bitstream such as DSD. Reports of people hearing differences are almost always attributable to the different processing (or lack of it) downstream from the player. As often as not the difference is just a matter of levels.

DSD is not the holy grail of audio quality, it's simply a lossless codec for archiving audio. The vast majority of commercially released recordings in SACD format were actually created in LPCM. A slim minority are recorded in DSD.
Correctly transcoded from DSD to LPCM, there is no loss of audible audio quality. Theoretical differences do exist but are so minute as to be dwarfed by the differences in recording quality and processing at playback. It's also true that probably 99.9% of home audio systems are incapable of resolving the differences between DSD and DSD converted to PCM. They both should sound fantastic.
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermotim View Post

Once again, that is not the question. I can hear the difference and all i want help with, is to find a DAC that fulfills the needs listed above.
Any other discussions about pros/cons in DSD/PCM, can be had elsewhere.

Or maybe you're just barking up the wrong tree? The answer to your question is that no, you cannot output DSD bitstream from a PC. And whether you wish to hear it or not, there's nothing to be gained by doing so.
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-04-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermotim View Post

Once again, that is not the question. I can hear the difference and all i want help with, is to find a DAC that fulfills the needs listed above.
Any other discussions about pros/cons in DSD/PCM, can be had elsewhere.

What were you comparing to hear the difference?
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post #14 of 18 Old 02-05-2012, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

What were you comparing to hear the difference?

I fail to see the relevance? This thread is about a product request, not quality or conversion issues.
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post #15 of 18 Old 02-05-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermotim View Post

Once again, that is not the question. I can hear the difference and all i want help with, is to find a DAC that fulfills the needs listed above.
Any other discussions about pros/cons in DSD/PCM, can be had elsewhere.

You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Just saying...
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post #16 of 18 Old 02-05-2012, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermotim View Post

I fail to see the relevance? This thread is about a product request, not quality or conversion issues.

I am just trying to learn.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-02-2013, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Venomous View Post


You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Just saying...

It seems to me that thermotim has actually been very polite in his/her requests for product guidance. I'm actually interested in the same thing so I was excited when I saw the thread. It would appear, though, that there is no product capable of achieving the stated goal.

-D
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-02-2013, 01:18 PM
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You want a solution for your PC so what I am going to say may not be any good for you. Pure Music software for Mac features Native DSD streaming to DoP capable DACs but that's for Apple computers and it may be only 2 channel.
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