How to play DSD

September 17, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

12 comments on “How to play DSD”

  1. To the original questioner:
    DAC is Digital to Analog Converter.
    There are a number of SACD players available than sound excellent, and also play CDs well.

    As Paul said, streaming DSD (as in Internet), requires just too much bandwidth for the average user, as well as the service that would stream it.

    With any of the listed studios, you purchase, download, unzip the the files to DSD…

    Then you need a streamer or some way to access them across your network, or from some device connected to your system.

    This is where the DAC comes in – digital in (DSD, PCM) and analog out.

    Many loose focus or I reset at this point, and get a combo unit that does streaming and DAC in one unit.

    Many solutions on the market.

    If the original questioner reads here, many are happy to engage in further discussion.

  2. Download files and play those. Easiest way is a DAP (Digital Audio Player) you can just load in the files and play them. No conversion, no DOP. Simple.
    SACD disc standard is DSD64 which means a reduction down from the DSD256 that is now the standard bit rate in many cases (including Octave). Plus most universal players convert to PCM defeating the object.

  3. The DSD CDs you sent me played fine on my vintage Philips CDM630. I bet it would sound great on my Conrad Johnson 1 bit Philips modified player. It does have a lower output and isn’t ideal with my passive Creek integrated amplifier so I’m using my 630 right now in this current set up. I need to find the Creek active preamplifier to insert in my Creek.

  4. I could do better I know, but, I play DSD over PCM using the Audirvana 3.5 application, which has now been replaced by a subscription model Audirvana Studio, which I’ve not migrated to yet. I have various interfaces for my studio work which go up to 192 kHz sampling rate so the DSD sound incredible. Eventually I’ll get a longer DSD signal path, but I’m super pleased with DSD. It’s an incredible standard. I buy the DSD files from various vendors.
    Thanks Paul.

  5. Yes a DAP with the I2s connection like paul has going on in his perfect wave DAC , but the pin order over an HDMI cable isn’t universally accepted yet, i wish someone would make a DAP (digital audio player) that i could just plug in to a I2s input on a excellent DAC.

  6. I have two DSD downloads on my Windows PC which i attempted to burn 80 minute CD’s to play back on my PS Audio SACD Transport and DAC. I used JRiver software and when I played the .DSF encoded cd in my transport it had been transposed to PCM 44.1khz WAV format. It sounded lackluster of course. I don’t know if we can make SACD’s on our Windows based PC’s, or can we?
    So, maybe I should attempt again using DVD audio disc instead?

  7. Good morning everyone in this grate big hifi family!
    I listened to Paul’s video, and I read all the comments.
    But before I make a comment of my own, first I will answer a question that someone on here asked.
    Yes you can make your own SACD’s on a Windows system.
    But only one caveat.
    It’s not as easy as making a standard audio CD.
    But if you have the loads of money to invest in both the hardware and software, you can get a Merging Tech system to put on your computer.
    I told Paul about this once, the software, has a feature that’s refered to as, Disc Write.
    That is one way to make your own SACD’s.
    But that is geared twards recording studios.
    Now that I’ve imparted some INFO, now a comment on my thaughts.
    You can get the WXC-50 music streamer from Yamaha.
    But it will only decode and playback DSD 64 and DSD 128.
    But if you want to get it from your computer, get a Leak ST-130 integrated amplifier.
    And put Foobar2000 on your computer.
    This is how I’m getting DSD from my computer.
    But you’ll need to download the special USB software for it.

  8. “ If you download DSD can it be burned to a CD?”

    A CD is likely too small of a storage media to hold much more than a few tracks, depending on the DSD file.
    Also, what would you play it on anyway?

    Thus SACD (DSD64) was born.

    And further, streaming is the key.

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