Playback Designs MPD-8 Dream DAC Review

October 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Andreas Koch believes that DSD is a first-class file format capable of providing excellent sonics. While most of the DSD (dsf) files available for download are DSD64, superior sound can be obtained from Double DSD (DSD128) or Quad DSD (DSD256) files. The MPD-8 has the capability to play Direct or Native DSD as opposed to DoP. Playing DSD files under the DoP (DSD over PCM), results in a 30 to 50 percent increase in CPU processing overhead. This might affect the sound when the DAC is driven directly by a computer. Also, the DoP implementation for DSD256 requires support for PCM at 705.6 kHz and 768 kHz. These high sampling rates pose a significant challenge for both the computer CPU and USB audio interface. Most DACs, including the MPD-8, support DoP with a top limitation of DSD128. Playback Designs provides an ASIO driver for Windows that allows one to play DSD files directly without DoP allowing DSD256 capability. There is also support for Linux playback of DSD256 in products like the Sonore Signature Rendu SE. OSX users will be limited to DSD128 using DoP with the MPD-8. DoP sounds quite good when heard with the MPD-8, but Native playback sounds a little better to me.”


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