DSD

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Overview

DSD is the format used for Super Audio CD's. Please see the article on DSD at Wikpedia more information. DSD support was added in JRiver Media Center 17.0.

Playback

By default, DSD will be converted to PCM for playback.

The DSD to PCM conversion process converts from 1-bit DSD to 64-bit PCM at 1/8th of the sample rate. The total amount of data from this conversion grows by 8x, so the process is effectively lossless / perfect.

Once you have PCM, it will be 64bit @ 352.8 kHz for DSD, and 64bit @ 705.6 kHz for DSD 2x.

It is rare for hardware to support these high sample rates, so downsampling is required. The option 'Greater than 192kHz' in DSP Studio > Output Format is what is used. There is no way to configure DSD 1x and DSD 2x independently.

A low pass filter at 30 kHz with a 24 dB/octave slope is used to remove the (basically) pink noise present in the upper frequency with DSD.

Bitstreaming

It is possible to bitstream DSD to certain DACs. This bypasses the DSD to PCM conversion.

There are multiple DSD bitstreaming technologies.

ASIO 2.2

This uses the native DSD bitstreaming support built into ASIO 2.2. The ASIO driver for your DAC must support it.

DAC's that support DSD over ASIO include: Playback Designs

ASIO 2.2 requires Media Center 17.0.4 or newer.

To bitstream using this method:

  • Select 'ASIO' in Options > Audio > Output mode (and configure 'Output mode settings...' as necessary)
  • Select Options > Audio > Bitstreaming > Custom... and check _only_ 'DSD' (in MC17 and earlier, Bitstreaming is under Options > Video)

DSD over PCM (DoP)

DSD over PCM packs DSD into a PCM-like signal for bitstreaming. This works in a similar way to how AC3 is packed into a PCM-like signal for S/PDIF surround sound output.

JRiver was part of formation of the DoP standard.

DSD over PCM requires Media Center 17.0.106 or newer.

To bitstream using this method:

  • Select 'WASAPI - Event Style' in Options > Audio > Output mode (and configure 'Output mode settings...' as necessary)
  • Select Options > Audio > Bitstreaming > Custom... and check _only_ 'DSD over PCM (DoP)' (in MC17 and earlier, Bitstreaming is under Options > Video)
  • Customize the 'DoP Format' if you have an older device that does not support the DoP standard

Notes

The option to configure bitstreaming is under 'Video' with MC17 and earlier because bitstreaming was traditionally a video option. This was changed for MC18, and bitstreaming is configured in Options > Audio.

With DoP, you can pick the marker format. New hardware will use DoP 1.0 (0xFA/0x05). Older hardware may use the 0xAA marker format.

You can learn more about Audio Output Modes here: Audio Output Modes

DSD Sources

Blue Coast Records

Channel Classics Records

http://www.ps3sacd.com/dsd_downloads.html

Manufacturers

Thanks to Andreas Koch for this list, current as of February, 2013.

  • Playback Designs MPS-5 w/USB-X interface
  • Playback Designs MPD-3 DAC
  • Mytek Stereo 192-DSD DAC
  • Lynx Studio
  • dCS Debussy USB DAC with DSD streaming support
  • Benchmark DAC2 HGC
  • EMM Labs DAC2x
  • Meitner Audio MA-1 and MA-2 DACs
  • Simple Design Sonore exD DAC
  • Chord Electronics Chordette QuteHD DAC and QBD76 HDSD
  • exaSound Audio Design e20 DAC
  • Fostex HP-A8C DAC
  • MSB Technology DAC IV
  • McAUDI DSD DAC (first production set debuted at RMAF 2012)
  • Korg DS-DAC-10 (to be released in the near future)
  • Resonessence Invicta DAC
  • Teac UD-501 DSD/Double DSD DAC
  • Luxman DA-06 DSD DAC
  • Wadia Intuition 01 integrated with DSD-capable DAC
  • S.o.T.M. sDP-1000 DSD-capable DAC/preamp
  • Light Harmonic Davinci Dual DAC (DSD-capable)
  • Auralic Vega DSD-capable DAC
  • Oppo Digital will be updating their BDP-105 for DSD from USB devices, and their next universal player will support DSD via USB (DoP)
  • RATOC Systems -- RAL-DSDHA1 and RAL-DSDHA2.
  • Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2 DSD versions

Ripping from SACD

This can't be done with a normal PC. It is possible using an original Sony PS3. Here's a thread at ComputerAudiophile.

Converting DSD to and from PCM

JRiver Media Center can convert DSD files to and from PCM.

To convert PCM to DSD:

  1. Pick PCM files
  2. Right-click > Library Tools > Convert Format
  3. Pick 'DSD' as the encoder
  4. Click '...' to set 1x or 2x DSD
  5. Click 'Convert'

To convert DSD to PCM:

  1. Pick files
  2. Right-click > Library Tools > Convert Format
  3. Pick a PCM encoder (WAV, APE, FLAC, AIFF, MP3, etc.)
  4. Click 'Options'
  5. Check 'Apply DSP (volume levelling, equalization, etc.)'
  6. Click 'DSP settings...' and use Output Format to pick the target sample rate (or else you'll get 352.8kHz)
  7. Click 'Convert'

More Information

SACD and ISO

Mytek instructions