Question about how to best output FLAC and DSF via Linux and HDMI - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-28-2020, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Question about how to best output FLAC and DSF via Linux and HDMI

I have the choice of running from two different Linux laptops, via HDMI output, to my Marantz SR8002 receiver. I am not sure what setting is considered to be "the best choice." Please offer your suggestions.

On Laptop A, running MX Linux, I am running DeadBeef to play files, and I have figured out how to get it to output as either using Pulse Audio, or ALSA, and in various ways. I am mostly just interested in running 2-channel files. Which is the highest quality? If I run out of DeadBeef via ALSA, and choose to upscale my audio sources to 192k, for example, I can physically see a report from my Marantz that it's receiving data in 192k (or whatever I set it to). If I run using straight Pulse, I don't get this report, but the sound is still really good. I think I hear a slight difference between the two options, but am not sure if my ears are fooling themselves?

On Laptop B, which is running Ubuntu (no other choice on this machine, due to some kind of bios lock beyond my ability to fix) I can only run Pulse out of DeadBeef, and I get no report of receiving 192k, or anything else. But it works and sounds excellent. ALSA doesn't seem to work. Not sure why. I'd actually prefer to be able to use this laptop, because it's a much slower machine which fits into the system better. Unfortunately, I have found the CPU seems to choke on at least one file so far -- a Knights in White Satin .dsf , if I have it upscaled to 192k. The CPU cannot seem to keep up and play the file well. Sound degrades.

Can anyone explain if it is upscaling in both Pulse and DeadBeef, and/or which would be the better choice for best sound? I have noticed that Laptop A may have better low-midrange and bass, while Laptop B seems to have more detailed highs, yet could be slightly thin on low midrange/upper bass.

I am running the Marantz SR8002 using Source Direct input.

Or maybe my almost 50 year-old ears are fooling me?


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Last edited by Baccusboy; 04-28-2020 at 06:08 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-29-2020, 08:04 AM
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when you are trying to upscale DSD audio, you are first converting to 88.2khz PCM, then you are upscaling to 192khz. it is a multi-step process. It would make more sense to not upscale anything. Just keep all at native sampling rate if your DAC can handle the various rates. Upsampling just to upsample doesn't accomplish anything.

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post #3 of 4 Old 04-30-2020, 10:11 AM
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There are zero benefits to "upscaling" the sample rate of the source. Think about it for a bit.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-30-2020, 10:54 AM
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FLAC should be output via HDMI at its original sampling rate and bit depth. And DSD64 sounds perfectly fine when transcoded to PCM at 88.2kHz 24-bits...

Given that the sample rate of an SACD's DSD audio stream is 64 times that of an CD's PCM audio stream (DSD = 2822.4kHz and PCM = 44.1kHz). It's deemed good practice to use increments of 44.1 kHz.

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Last edited by SeeMoreDigital; 04-30-2020 at 10:59 AM.
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