Ask the right question

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Ask the right question

Sorting out recording qualities from the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of choices of high-resolution DSD offerings can be a challenge. We go to a label's offerings and read the blurb, listen to the sampler, and then roll the dice.

More often than not, high-resolution DSD releases were not recorded in DSD. Instead, they were "remastered". If done correctly, these can sound good but, in my experience, never as good as when they were originally recorded in either DSD or analog tape.

Ask the right question before you buy. If the source was from analog tape, transferred to DSD, then you're off to a good start. Your chances of acquiring a great recording are good. If the source was direct from the microphones to DSD, then too you're likely in for a treat.

Unfortunately, most offerings I see in the high-end music market started out life as PCM recordings and later were transcoded to DSD. This makes no sense to me. All the advantages of DSD capture of the original analog are forsaken. The only possible benefit might be if the PCM were first converted to analog, rejiggered and remastered to sound good, then transferred to DSD.

But that too is a compromise.

Asking the right question will get you closer to the right answer when it comes to purchasing your media.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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