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  1. #1

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    Default Advice & Experience re Mytek DSD DACs

    Has anybody had experience with Mytek DACs? If so, what has it been?

    Does this line of DACs provide something in a technical sense that others do not provide?

    I use my Cambridge Audio Azur 840C, which has a variety of inputs, as a DAC. Would a Mytek DSD DAC give me something different in kind with respect to performance, or would it just give me some difference in the quality of sound reproduction? I haven't been able to determine whether a DSD DAC is necessary to play, for example, Blue Coast DSD recordings.

    I do not understand (obviously, I guess) what "DSD" means, and that may be my problem. (I know it means "direct stream digital," but not what that implies with respect to equipment requirements to benefit from it.)

    Pardon my ignorance, and I would appreciate any and all comments.

    Thank you.
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  2. #2
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    "Direct-Stream Digital (DSD) is the trademark name used by Sony and Philips for their system of recreating audible signals which uses pulse-density modulation encoding, a technology to store audio signals on digital storage media that are used for the Super Audio CD (SACD)."

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose68Bash View Post
    I haven't been able to determine whether a DSD DAC is necessary to play, for example, Blue Coast DSD recordings.
    Yes you need a DSD capable DAC to play DSD material. A DAC chip can be DSD capable but the DAC manufacturer may not make it available. About a year ago I built a DIY DAC that is capable of playing I2S (CD) and native DSD (SACD) from a modded SACD player. I can also do I2S and DSD over USB.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Stream_Digital

    http://www.audiostream.com/content/u...es-andres-koch

    Blue Coast was linking to a Mytek DSD DAC and there was a special offer at one time. Korg player was another that BC suggested. Mytek uses the ESS 32 bit Sabre DAC chip which is an excellent outside of the box engineered chip, when properly implemented. That is good power supplies, good analog outputs, etc. The Sabre can and does play standard redbook, hi-res and DSD extremely well.

    More DAC's are being released with DSD capability now. The downside with current DSD offerings is not many titles and very pricey. Maybe if they build and sell enough players, it will become more popular and the price will drop. I'm thinking the recording industry is going to gouge us for any hi-res/DSD material. I know, bad attitude.
    Last edited by SCompRacer; 01-30-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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    I should add that software players can dither down DSD to PCM so in effect you can play DSD on a regular DAC, but then it really isn't DSD. On the other side of that, I will also mention is there is software that will upsample to higher res material. It doesn't add anything to the recording but does make use of different filters in the DAC for higher res material.
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  5. #5

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    SCompRacer and zingo,

    Thanks for your help.

    Do I infer correctly from your explanations that an SACD capable CD player, even if it does not refer to DSD, will decode and play DSD recordings because "DSD" is just another way of saying, "This is SACD material?"

    Or, is DSD a special case of SACD that requires a specific type of DAC?

    I apologize for my ignorance, but it is truly profound!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose68Bash View Post
    SCompRacer and zingo,

    Thanks for your help.

    Do I infer correctly from your explanations that an SACD capable CD player, even if it does not refer to DSD, will decode and play DSD recordings because "DSD" is just another way of saying, "This is SACD material?"
    I'm not following your question...."even if it does not refer to DSD"...but DSD is SACD.

    "Direct-Stream Digital (DSD) is the trademark name used by Sony and Philips for their system of recreating audible signals which uses pulse-density modulation encoding, a technology to store audio signals on digital storage media that are used for the Super Audio CD (SACD)."

    When you put a SACD in an SACD player, it will read the SACD layer and play DSD. If it is a hybrid SACD, it will have a CD and SACD layer. If you put a hybrid SACD in a CD/SACD player, via menu selection you can tell the player to play the CD layer instead of the SACD layer.

    But the DAC must be capable of inputting DSD to play native DSD. I don't know which CD/SACD players have I2S/DSD outputs. DAC specs will tell you what files they can play.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post

    "Direct-Stream Digital (DSD) is the trademark name used by Sony and Philips for their system of recreating audible signals which uses pulse-density modulation encoding, a technology to store audio signals on digital storage media that are used for the Super Audio CD (SACD)."

    When you put a SACD in an SACD player, it will read the SACD layer and play DSD. If it is a hybrid SACD, it will have a CD and SACD layer. If you put a hybrid SACD in a CD/SACD player, via menu selection you can tell the player to play the CD layer instead of the SACD layer.

    But the DAC must be capable of inputting DSD to play native DSD. I don't know which CD/SACD players have I2S/DSD outputs. DAC specs will tell you what files they can play.
    SCompRacer,

    You answered my question. Sorry for my lack of clarity, but I now understand: "DSD" = "SACD." If I have an SACD player or a DAC that is DSD capable, I can play DSD discs.

    I'm trying to understand what I need to have to take full advantage of DSD/SACD discs.

    Thanks for your patience.

  8. #8

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    No problem, glad to help. Read up on the Mytek and do some research on it. It looks good.

    http://mytekdigital.com/hifi

    I'd look at forums more than reviews to get end user opinions. Something else for you to read, DoP, DSD over USB.

    http://dsd-guide.com/dop-open-standard

    Also check out SA-CD.net to see what they are doing/using.

    http://ww.sa-cd.net/forum
    Last edited by SCompRacer; 01-31-2013 at 03:22 AM.
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  9. #9

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    More reading for you if you are so inclined with many resource links...

    http://dsd-guide.com/sites/default/f...n%20-%20v2.pdf



    The folks at exa devices sell a highly regarded hi-res USB to I2S adapter for the diy community and then offered two models of DAC (exasound) based on the ESS Sabre chip. One hi-res (up to 384KHz), one DSD capable. I imagine to keep cost and size down they use a linear wall wart power supply. They advertize a 30 day free trial.

    http://www.exasound.com/
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  10. #10

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    SCompRacer,

    Thank you again! I'm really grateful for your interest and your advice. The more I get involved in this hobby, the more I learn how ignorant I am.

    I've obviously got a lot of reading, research and learning to do, and I will do it!

  11. #11

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    An extensive FAQ about SACD and DSD here:

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

    News specifically about DSD here:

    https://twitter.com/DSD_Audio

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by The 7th Taylor View Post
    An extensive FAQ about SACD and DSD here:

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

    News specifically about DSD here:

    https://twitter.com/DSD_Audio
    Interesting sites with good information.

    Thank you for the references.

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