DAC that can convert PCM to DSD without HQPlayer under $3k.

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by Mg248, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Mg248

    Mg248 Rando

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    Hello! Has anybody here tried it? How does it compare to the ifi DSD Pro? Trying to decide between these two.

    Looking for a DAC that can convert PCM to DSD on its own without using HQPlayer under $3k.

    Listening to acoustic/classical music and electronica..
     
  2. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    sorry, just curious, why do you need that?
     
  3. Mg248

    Mg248 Rando

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    Because it makes me happy.
     
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  4. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I don't know whether to like or dislike this ... :drunk:
     
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  5. Mg248

    Mg248 Rando

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    Ok let's delete this thread. I see where this is going...
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    No no. It's a good question. You may want to consider the most recently reviewed DAC here, the Schiit Modius: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...hiit-modius-dac-review-and-measurements.9379/

    It uses the AKM4493. Here is the internal architecture of the AKM4493 from its datasheet. As we see, the sigma-delta modulator just takes native DSD (red path) without translation. PCM data (green) is internally converted in the hardware (orange), "interpolated" to speak the same language as DSD / sigma-delta (red).

    upload_2020-6-8_21-53-44.png

    This DAC meets both your functional and your cost requirements. It costs $200, well under $3k. There will be no need to use HQplayer to convert PCM to DSD since the native language this DAC accepts internally is actually DSD.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  7. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    You might also look for a PSAudio DirectStream used, might come in under your price requirement.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Excellent recommendation. That would be a lot more fancy.
     
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    This thread made my day.
     
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  10. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    @Mg248

    If your budget swings ifi ipro dsd, then why not.

    It's a great dac. Worthy consideration among top D/S dacs. Sounds uniquely best when pcm converted to dsd (I am generally anti-dsd conversion). Its refined and continuous stream (kinda ultimate cohesiveness in all directions) definitely stood out over anything in similar price ranges or similar leagues. I enjoyed the loaner thoroughly enough to miss it even now.
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  12. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    It was an honest thought. One one hand, all our gear choices are made to make ourselves happy. On the other, it was a useless response to @Dzerh's question.
     
  13. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I think this is how the DS architecture functions as intended actually - everything is upsampled to the same bit rate in DSD. I think the idea was less noise or the chip operates most optimally? It's been awhile since I looked closely.

    DS Jr used might be a viable option. I believe these are now discontinued so some dealers may have old stock and happy to unload.
     
  14. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    I believe it's more or less similar with BAL vs UNBAL. Connections/Transmissions per se have (almost) nothing to do with performance. But actual implementations in the real world cannot be completely fair. Different chip, different path, different tuning, etc etc. There are many one chip dsd solutions these days. But only few were convincing.
     
  15. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    If you are concerned about so called "ringing" and/or the various strategeries used by reconstruction filters to avoid it, DSD could be your ticket with its super high sampling rate and simple low pass (often just {always?} an analog implementation) filtering.

    On the subjective/implementation side, I have yet to hear DSD that did not sound overall "soft" and "polite". I have read the various debates about why this is so - some blaming implementation(s), others blaming the tech. These debates often seem heavy on the speculation and lite on the substance to my limited understanding. The fact that most of the popular chip dacs are actually doing "DSD" internally would seem to bely these speculations.
     
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  16. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    @crenca check out idsd pro. It's worth giving a shot. For the first time in my life, I opted for dsd up-sampling mode over pcm.
     
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  17. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
  18. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    And as we don't know "why" you got recommend DACs based on generic D/S chips as they internally doing exactly what you asked for. I'm somehow doubt it is what you were really asking.
     
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  19. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Regardless, this has been very educational. I didn't know that some D/S DACs convert to DSD internally. I guess sometimes, seemingly silly Rando threads have their upsides.
     
  20. Andre Y

    Andre Y Friend

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    DSD was originally done by giving direct access to the modulator of a single-bit delta-sigma converter, so 64x 44.1 kHz. Basically every single-bit DS converter "converts" PCM to DSD. It's a pretty stupid idea as the bitstream is uneditable, it's tied architecturally to a particular implementation of a technology, and it has many issues especially for super-compressed recordings like modern pop music. It was said that the Philips engineers who were working on it were really against it and thought it was a dumb idea.

    I was at the first CES where Sony was demoing it on a bunch of B&W Nautilus and high-end Mark Levinson stuff, except the high RF output of the DSD converter kept driving the MLs to shutdown so at the last minute they got some Pass monoblocks which were more robust to nasty RF inputs.
     
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