I found what the Swedes, Hugo Thorsin and Jan Eric Persson at DSDfile.com, write as their intro is in fact a good intro to DSD too! If you want to start learning the story about the super sound format start with their piece of text.
The very first DSD album that I bought was Opus 3 DSD Showcase 1 (128). If you want to experience music in DSD make sure you experience Eric Bibb – Where the green grass grows! I can easily understand DSD fans’ passion for the format when I listen to great DSD tracks like this. For years I listened to this song via CD*, but in DSD the band’s performance is far more realistic.
With that said, is DSD as a format good enough for sound reproduction by an Hi-Reality Machine? No, it is not. The many decades old analogue tape still seems to be the king which is a sad indication of the audio recording industry’s pace of progress (not to mention that DSD itself is a decades old technology).
In the meantime, the old Audiophile society like to debate on things like whether DSD is superior to High-Resolution PCM or not? (a topic for an upcoming post). Perhaps, we should ask more interesting questions such as how will these two formats evolve into the next generation sound recoding and playback methods and formats?
For now, I plan to buy and listen to A Selection of Analogue Eric Bibb, Direct from Master Tape, in DSD 128 (5.6MHz).
* I was introduced to the prime society of Audiophiles through my university friend Mats, a.k.a HiFi Mats.
Will Hi-Res Audio (HRA) be able to deliver full sonic reality? (exceed the Analog tape?) Is 384kHz/32bit sampling rate enough to deliver sonic reality? or maybe much higher sample rates are required? Maybe (and most likely) the entire recording to playback process must evolve?
In any case, one thing is very clear now: HRA, now officially coined by CES as acronym for Hi-Res Audio, is a significant step forward. Why? because:
- It is higher than CD-quality
- It is more convenient and flexible to use than CDs
- and, incremental improvements in audio recording and playback are now possible in much faster rate than ever before which is great news for everyone
When I visited The High-End Show in Newport Beach I clearly saw the paradigm shift: the change of Source and format in audio playback. Majority of exhibitors don’t use CD anymore!! What?! Don’t Audiophiles run CDs anymore? Well, because they now run Hi-Res Audio files from their MacBooks and change the songs on their audiophile-grade source players via their iPhones and iPads. Thus, a paradigm shift from CD to Hi-Res Audio file.
I think the Post-CD paradigm shift is now officially announced when industry heavy-wights like Sony launch Hi-Rez downloads & playback (see Stereophile). Or, when the Consumer Electronics Association, CES, announces ‘Expanded Support of High-Resolution Audio” (see CES press release). I read today via Audio stream and NPR that Analog tape recording still was superior even to DSD and high-resolution digital (better than CD). So the performance benchmark of Hi-Res Audio (HRA) should be to exceed the Analog tape recording in terms of Hi-Res quality and sonic Realism.
The rise of Hi-Res Audio should be great news for everyone: the goal is, ultimately, to experience full sonic reality whenever we want it. With other words: being totally unable to audibly distinguish between perceived sound in reality and its perceived reproduction (whether it is an e.g. offline playback or a live broadcast).