October 9, 2018 § Leave a comment
“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.”
October 1, 2018 § Leave a comment
” Chord has packed the Qutest with a lot of technology and it just plain works right of the gate, being compatible with OSX, Linux, Windows, Android and iOS devices I could run it from pretty much anything. Chord has crammed in one of their custom FPGA DACs with variable output available upon startup – I chose the 3v option (2v and 1v are also available) because the bass depth was far deeper to my ears. The filter selection button is easy as pie to use and gives me four option
September 28, 2018 § Leave a comment
“Using the Streaming input, I called on Roon’s back-end DSP to upsample all files to DSD512. The Nucelus+ was handled the extra processing without issue but to achieve glitch-free performance, I had to select the Parallelize Sigma-Delta Modulator setting in Roon that enables the use of multiple CPU cores on the Nuclues+.
Being somewhat a purist when it comes to digital playback, I don’t often employ this kind of file modification when listening but upsampling everything to DSD512 sounded very nice and I suspect that many users will enjoy this feature. I heard a little more presence to the midrange as well as a slight increase in the prominence of the bass. The soundstage came on as even larger in terms of front to back measurement with the extra depth coming from a slightly more forward presentation. I felt that converting the PCM and (lower-rated) DSD files to DSD512 lent a more pleasing bloom to the overall sound.”
August 25, 2018 § Leave a comment
“To my ears, it was the treble that the DA2 was able to reproduce that stood out during this particular listening session and that too was the finest I’ve ever heard from a digital source. No, this SACD of course didn’t have a 20 kHz ceiling imposed by the Nyquist frequency that prevents the treble of “normal” CDs of having any ultrasonic extension, but I’ve heard this through many other DSD capable DACs in the past. Although, this time it was different, because the treble didn’t sound like it was being reproduced from an SACD file, it sounded like it was simply being reproduced. Period. And of course, the audible frequencies were reproduced with the utmost in realism and extension, and all the other things us audiophiles like to talk about in the high-end when we hear the best components, such as the ultimate soundstage, imaging, transient response, etc., but now all these things hardly mattered, as the DA2 became an invisible component simply doing its job. I’ve dreamed of the day when digital would sound as good as was promised back in the day. It’s here. Finally.