Chocolate or vanilla?

Prev Next

I will return to explaining balanced audio tomorrow. Most likely.

Over on the PS Audio forums there's been a bit of controversy. It's the ongoing debate of PCM vs. DSD processing. An industry maven has publicly scolded us for 'forcing' our customers into using DSD processing; failing to give them a choice between PCM or DSD in our DAC. The implication being that we only offer vanilla. If we really cared we'd also offer chocolate, perhaps strawberry too.

The background on this debate centers around our DirectStream DAC. That instrument upsamples all incoming data, whether PCM or DSD, and outputs double rate DSD before converting to analog. Thus, it can be said of DirectStream that we convert everything to DSD before presenting it to your loudspeakers in the form of music. Our designer, Ted Smith, invested seven years of his life writing the programs that perform this very process. He could easily have chosen to spend the same amount of time perfecting PCM conversion, but knowing the superior musicality of DSD, that thought never entered his mind. And I am glad for it.

Neither Ted, nor me, nor anyone at PS Audio would have then, or now, done anything different. We believe in the process down to our cores. It's the right way to convert stored digital audio data into music. It is the future. It is a technology whose time has come.

No machine or process is perfect. There is always room for improvement. DirectStream is no different.

But if you have one of the best tasting vanillas in the world, irrespective of price, does it make sense to also offer chocolate because a few people don't like vanilla?

I think not.

Back to blog
Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

Never miss a post


Related Posts