It appears that audiogon posted this after the show closed. Unfortunate but oh well. What rooms did you guys enjoy?
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Thanks for the roundup. I wanted to but didn't make it as my left knee is acting up and standing all day was not an option (have to look into that some day).
Glad to hear the KEF LS50s sounded so good. The last time there I heard the R900s and thought to myself: I could easily live with these babies. I don't see why they don't get the press and accolades they deserve. That goes for the entire R line.
Your appreciation for the Wavetouch speakers makes me wish I had taken up an offer for review (as a layman).
All the best,
No I didn't although, while I appreciate the engineering and the last drop of the performance that can be wrung out of vinyl, Its just not worth the fuss to me so I simply keep moving. Those Rube Goldberg style turntables are cool as heck though. I also like mechanical wristwatches and manual transmissions.
The comments I heard on using the DSD format were very confusing to me. All 8+ people on the Saturday DSD panel highly recommended we start using DSD immediately. They spent time discussing the recording process and the benefits of DSD but did not answer the operational questions that I had. This includes where to down load the DSD files to (not in iTunes folder, DSD needs separate folder), how to add album art, how to send it to a DAC (cannot use iTunes) and other questions on what DAC to use. They mentioned that some DAC's accept DSD BUT convert the DSD stream to PCM for processing. They mentioned other DSD recording problems that I did not fully understand. DSD format modifications were mentioned for improved sound such as double DSD and quad DSD. These higher sampling rates are, most likely, not available to the general public.
I discuseed DSD with Amarra and they mentioned that a Amarra DSD capability is a work in progress but had no other comment. I was told that other software packages were available that already supported DSD today (MAC to DAC). I discovered the IsoMike disks (Kimber Cable) I purchased included a DSD layer but I cannot load them to my MAC Computer. I have the Oppo 105 in my video system and plan on using these DSD disks in the Oppo 105 to see how they sound.
In summary, my feeling is that DSD is a work in progress and not ready for everyone to start using. Some people I spoke to said listening to DSD recording produced outstanding sound quality but others were not in favor of the DSD format. After hearing the discussions at THE Show, I have no plans to start using DSD format. I am going to continue watch it but no use it at this time. I am keeping what I already own that works fine.
I wish the audio industry could settle on a single high quality format and be done with it. However, I know that technology is always changing and so new formats are a fact of life. I
I would be interesting in hearing what others have to say about DSD to include how it sounds compared to other options.
First of all, buy Pure Music for your Mac. It uses iTunes as a filing medium only and can handle all of your format needs. DSD is not that big of a deal to implement. It sounds great, 24/96 sounds great, they all are capable of tremendous results. Personally, I think you are overcomplicating it. File location is also not a big deal. Pure Music will drop a bookmark into iTunes file system and it will be there just like all of your other music. Relax and try it. You can download a no obligation trial version of Pure Music. Even if your dac is not DSD capable, Pure Music can downconvert on the fly so you can buy DSD music now and buy a capable dac later. Visit the Pure Music (www.channld.com) website and read up. There are plenty of outlets for DSD music right now, acoustic sounds is one. Also, go to www.computeraudiophile.com and read up. Should be helpful for you.
I have an EMM Labs DAC 2x and some DSD files I play back over USB to take advantage of the DSD conversion on the EMM Labs or over a BNC connection that converts back to PCM. I use a Baetis Revolution II music server and can honestly say the DSD files sound better played through the BNC connection on the Baetis and converted back to PCM! I think the real issue with DSD is the poor transfer of bits over the USB connection and the BNC connector I have sounds better in PCM than the USB sounds in DSD. The marketing hype on DSD got me and I wish I had kept my very musical sounding EAR DAcute 192 tubed DAC that could easily handle the DSD files converted back to PCM via JRiver Media Center 19. By the way, I have had audiophile friends over and have played the standard CD, the 24/96 and the DSD version of the discs I have in all three and everyone agrees, the playback sounds best over the BNC in PCM versus the USB in DSD and in some cases the 24/96 version was preferred to the DSD version. This is the dirty secret in audio that few, even the reviewers don't know or won't admit; that PCM done right over a SPDIF or BNC connection sounds better than DSD over USB connection.
Hifimaniac, thank you for sharing your experience and I find your conclusion very interesting. I do have one question though. Did you reach your conclusion only using the EMM Labs DAC, or have you found similar performance with other DSD capable DACs? If you have only used the EMM Labs in this test scenario then the "dirty secret" as you call it may just be due to the implementation of the USB vs. SPDIF receiver circuitry in that specific DAC, and may not therefore be the case with other DACs. Thanks in advance for your further thoughts on this matter.
Hi Bill K, I know the same result occurred in the Berkeley Alpha 2 DAC when this test was tried. Beyond those two I am not familiar with any other DACs this was tried. All I am saying is DSD isn't all it is cracked up to be and you can get excellent sound converting to PCM on the fly that in many case surpasses that of the native DSD. Personally, I believe the reason is the USB connection not being made for audio like the BNC or a SPDIF is. Try it yourself with your own DSD DAC.