Multibit and DSD mutually exclusive?

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Scubadude, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    Hi guys,

    Been wondering about this for a while. Some multibit DAC's (like Audio GD NFB 11 R2R ... Don't want to start an AGD bashing session, just one example) claim Native DSD playback.

    From my limited understanding this could at best be native DSD support. Surely the stream has to be converted to PCM before it can pass through the resistor network? Unless it has both DSD and multibit in separate sections.

    Or am I missing something?
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    They might be referring to native DSD transmission via USB instead of using a PCM wrapper, that is DoP / DSD over PCM.

    The statement is not an outright lie. It's more of a half truth. Audiophools are stupid and fall for buzzwords like "native".

    I guess an R2R ladder can process DSD. Just switch one of the resistors on the ladder super fast, hope it doesn't blow up going from kHz to MHz, and offer an alternate route to integrate the output.

    It's not just AGD. Other Chi-Fi DAC manufacturers have also pulled off the "native" half truth thing.
     
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  3. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Same bullshit. Been over that in the Holo thread last year. Maybe the conversion is done through hardware or discrete parts, but an R2R ladder simply only processes multi-bit data.

    See R2R / resistor ladder circuit here:
    R2r-ladder.png

    The input is n bits. You cannot shove 1-bit into it. Well you can with one rung (or more than one for a hybrid), but only if you run the ladder magnitudes faster than the sampling frequency and have an integrator (and other related 1-bit circuitry) after the output to reassmble the waveform. It's possible they take this approach, but details seem super sketchy.

    At the end of the day, does it matter? It's just marketing. I'd just concentrate on the sound quality. And seriously, how much "DSD" do you have that wasn't DSD-> PCM (mixing/mastering) -> DSD?

    I wish DSD would just fricking DIE.

    Oh, we're super weirdo audiophiles who like to collect DSD, like Paul Simon's 25th anniversary Graceland in DSD, which sounds like crap compared to the 80s PCM CD, because we are fricking morons, and have poop for ears, and can't tell the difference, unless the package says DSD, because Sony's technology must be good.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  5. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    To be fair there is some crud on DSD that I think is okay, only it's also available in PCM and is much cheaper in the latter format. Count me as a DSD skeptic as well (all other things being equal I've not found DSD to be sonically superior in any way, but then again I've got crap gear so what do I know).

    Also, just now learning that multibit != resistor ladder. Yikes. Marketing can be frigging scary at times, and I used to work in marketing (research).
     
  6. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I'm pretty sure the chips in Yggdrasil and Gungnir Multibit are hybrid string and ladder.
     
  7. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    And I'm now off to read up on the differences between :))

    Thanks!
     
  8. maverickronin

    maverickronin Friend

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    DSD is a solution in search of a a problem. It's very clever, but has serious drawbacks compared to PCM, and no real advantages.

    I have no clue as to the actual history of its development, but it sounds like something created as a bet between engineers. Like someone put down a bottle of whisky on whether or not their buddy could push noise shaping and sample rate far enough to make one bit per sample sound good.
     
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  9. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    "Solution in search of a problem" sums it up fairly well, come to think of it. Going 1-bit with sampling rates far above PCM, while impressive in theory (and marketing fluff), are kinda hard to justify when you get to the "why" of it. All I really care about is that there isn't anything I like in DSD (native or non-native) that I can't get on Redbook, so no complaints from me whatsoever, other than my risking running into people who swear by DSD's superior technicalities.

    Then again, these are the same people who like high-res audio (does 96k count or is that exclusively for 192k?), so *shrug*
     
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  10. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    This sort of went where I expected. I started the thread in response to a local chat group exchange where members claimed to love DSD and R2R ... When pushed it got difficult to keep all the buzzwords in the air. Which was quite entertaining to witness.

    I couldn't care less about either. My daily driver DAC is a good Sabre implementation and won't do DSD (unless Jriver wraps it up as PCM). I do like the extra care and attention in recording and production that most DSD albums get.

    Which raises another question ... If that DSD recording got fettled in any way it had to be transcoded to PCM, not? Seems like "pure DSD" is not so easy to achieve. If that bottle of wizz rided on anything other than playback it would be safe.
     
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  11. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    My understanding that DSD is native format for DS DACs. For anything else you need to convert it to multibit stream. But, as already mentioned, the recordings are mastered with different audience and gear as targets. So average quality of recordings is higher. But it has nothing to do with the format itself.
    At least this is my current theory.
     
  12. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Most DS DACs today are hybrid architectures, so the DSD is still broken up into something that is not pure 1-bit. Yeah, the DSD marketing spiel does correlate to better engineered recordings, often done by boutique houses.

    DSD is mostly noise from 25kHz to 90kHz with around 4 bits of resolution.
     
  14. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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