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DSD Playback
07-03-2015, 15:06
Post: #11
RE: DSD Playback
(07-03-2015 14:51)beckphotonik Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 14:36)AntonD Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 14:03)beckphotonik Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 13:49)AntonD Wrote:  Update!
ok, dsf tracks updated metadata and copied to NAS, check.
MinimStreamer installed, transcode option set to dsf:dopwav, dff:dopwav, check.
rescan library, no errors in logs, check.
launch control point, select album and play, check.

Sounds very good, I see the bit rate coming through @ WAV 24/176
2nd track started and then started to splutter, stop/start Confused
So, started to play an existing 24/192 and monitor Synology stats. LAN data fluctuating around 1.1 Mbps.
Ok, back to DSD album and played another track. LAN data fluctuating around 1.3 Mbps. Sounds very good.
next track starts and the splutter, stop/start begins again, Huh

Everything is wired via a Netgear switch and BT HH5. I have never had an issue with my 24/192 material and all albums play seamlessly. So is something else happening whilst trying to play DSD?

data transfer seems about the same. I was impressed with the Synology stats though, 11% CPU and 22% RAM whilst playing DSD.

I will try again and see what happens. Initial thoughts on sound quality was very good. However, its already very good with my HD and Red Book material.

To be continued...

Sounds like you have the same problems that I have. I have reduced the problems by moving from a synology NAS to Qnap ( I needed to do that anyway and for other reasons than just DSD playback) but the problems still remain. I have found that the streamer is more stable if you play some pcm for about 5 to 10 mins before switching to DSD. I would also contact Chord as they are very aware of this problem. I have a long set of email exchanges with them and they have offered, when they consider it is fully ready, a hardware upgrade to resolve the problem. The more of us who complain, hopefully the sooner there will be a resolution.

Thats very interesting to know. Sounds like you may have done some of the hard work for me already Smile
I will email Chord and explain my situation too. Lets see what comes back.
It would be interesting to know how many DSX1000's are out there.
If its not too long a storey, why did you have to move to Qnap? I have been very impressed with my DS213+
I will say that the streamer does perform unbelievably well with PCM. The sound i get is amazing, it touches the soul.
What amplification are you using?
My setup is DSX, Naim SuperNait2, Spendor A6
All the best, Anton

The reason I moved from Synology (DS212j) to Qnap was that I had the Synology equipped with 2x128GB SSDs and I was out of free space. I trawled the web looking to see if any NAS mentioned DSD compatibility in their marketing text and found only Qnap. I purchased the HS 251 with WD Reds on that basis. The rest of my system is a Chord SPM1200 MkII driving Wilson Benesch Vectors. For me too the sound is pure magic. Btw if you are buying from NativeDSD and are a classical lover, avoid the LSO Live Tchaikovsky Symphonies 1-3. Symphonies 1&2 were recorded at the Barbican and the acoustics suck all life from the recording, not worth spending the extra on a DSD version.

Ah, I now understand. Simialr setup to my NAS, WD Red 2TB disks.Smile
Nice system, never listened to Chord amplification but will try it one day.
Yes, I am a classical lover and have bought much material over the last 2 years (CD & HD). Thanks for the heads up re Native DSD album you mention.
email sent to Chord so I will keep you posted.
Regards, Anton
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08-03-2015, 00:42
Post: #12
RE: DSD Playback
(07-03-2015 10:03)simoncn Wrote:  I think you will get better results by using DoP (dsf:dopwav and dff:dopwav). The new dsf:wav transcoding is intended for people who are using equipment that doesn't support DoP.

If you would like to do a comparison, you should use dsf:wav24;176. You can't do this with dff files. I would be interested to hear how you feel the sound from this compares with using DoP.
Hi,
I own a Moon Mind 180D renderer which supports PCM input up to 24/192. I would like to test the qualities offered by .dsf files (using samples provided on NativeDSD). I am using latest update of minimserver on Win7. I tried setting the "stream.transcode" property to "dsf:dopwav", but this does not work, I suppose because my renderer does not support DoP. I tried setting the property to "dsf:wav24;176", but this setting is declared invalid. From the documentation, I guess the win7 platform does not have the proper ffmpeg version.

Is there a way to solve this issue, or is my understanding of DSD transcoding a bit oversimplistic given my current hardware ? Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I can declare myself to be a rather DSD newbie.
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08-03-2015, 00:52
Post: #13
RE: DSD Playback
(08-03-2015 00:42)Andre Gosselin Wrote:  Hi,
I own a Moon Mind 180D renderer which supports PCM input up to 24/192. I would like to test the qualities offered by .dsf files (using samples provided on NativeDSD). I am using latest update of minimserver on Win7. I tried setting the "stream.transcode" property to "dsf:dopwav", but this does not work, I suppose because my renderer does not support DoP. I tried setting the property to "dsf:wav24;176", but this setting is declared invalid. From the documentation, I guess the win7 platform does not have the proper ffmpeg version.

Is there a way to solve this issue, or is my understanding of DSD transcoding a bit oversimplistic given my current hardware ? Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I can declare myself to be a rather DSD newbie.

The Windows platform doesn't contain any ffmpeg version by default, so you must have installed one somewhere along the way.

You can download a recent ffmpeg Windows binary from this page. Put the full path to the location of the ffmpeg.exe file in the stream.converter property and you should be able add dsf:wav24;176 to the stream.transcode property.
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08-03-2015, 05:36
Post: #14
RE: DSD Playback
(08-03-2015 00:52)simoncn Wrote:  
(08-03-2015 00:42)Andre Gosselin Wrote:  Hi,
I own a Moon Mind 180D renderer which supports PCM input up to 24/192. I would like to test the qualities offered by .dsf files (using samples provided on NativeDSD). I am using latest update of minimserver on Win7. I tried setting the "stream.transcode" property to "dsf:dopwav", but this does not work, I suppose because my renderer does not support DoP. I tried setting the property to "dsf:wav24;176", but this setting is declared invalid. From the documentation, I guess the win7 platform does not have the proper ffmpeg version.

Is there a way to solve this issue, or is my understanding of DSD transcoding a bit oversimplistic given my current hardware ? Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I can declare myself to be a rather DSD newbie.

The Windows platform doesn't contain any ffmpeg version by default, so you must have installed one somewhere along the way.

You can download a recent ffmpeg Windows binary from this page. Put the full path to the location of the ffmpeg.exe file in the stream.converter property and you should be able add dsf:wav24;176 to the stream.transcode property.
Thanks Simon for your prompt reply. I followed your instructions and was able to correctly transcode the dsf track. I however had to lower the frequency to "dsf:wav24;96", as transcoding to 176kHz resulted in streaming interruptions every 15secs or so. I suspect my wifi bandwidth is the culprit here, since transcoding a standard flac file using "flac:wav24;176" results in the same problem.

I have a flac 24/192 version of the same track, which plays without problem on my setup without transcoding. I did numerous and carefull listenings of this 24/192 non transcoded track, compared to the dsf version transcoded with a "wav24;96" setting. Quite honestly, I did not hear any significant gain with the dsf version, and I even admit that quite a few times I favored the flac 24/192 non transcoded version of the the dsf transcoded one.

Maybe this is normal, if transcoding dsf to "wav24;96" severely downgrades the quality of a DSD file, and if this quality requires transcoding to DoP in order to be preserved. I am not knowledgeable enough about the DSD world to tell.

I would be very much interested in comments from more experienced users.

As an aside, I once mistakingly set during my tests the transcoding property to "dsf:wav24;96k" (notice the trailing "k"), and this setting was accepted. The transcoded stream was seen in BubbleUPnP as "WAV | 352.8 kHz | 24bits", as if minimserver ignored the "96k" altogether and set the frequency to the default setting.

Also, I tried hard during the last month to differentiate in hearing sessions between non transcoded flac files (16/48, 24/96), and the same files transcoded using "flac:wav24". On my setup, wav transcoding does not seem to produce significant improvements in sound quality. This is not to criticize in any way the transcoding done by minimstreamer. I just want to mention that, maybe, the advantages of transcoding to wav are dependent on the type of hardware used.

Regards
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08-03-2015, 08:48 (This post was last modified: 08-03-2015 10:10 by simoncn.)
Post: #15
RE: DSD Playback
(08-03-2015 05:36)Andre Gosselin Wrote:  Thanks Simon for your prompt reply. I followed your instructions and was able to correctly transcode the dsf track. I however had to lower the frequency to "dsf:wav24;96", as transcoding to 176kHz resulted in streaming interruptions every 15secs or so. I suspect my wifi bandwidth is the culprit here, since transcoding a standard flac file using "flac:wav24;176" results in the same problem.

I have a flac 24/192 version of the same track, which plays without problem on my setup without transcoding. I did numerous and carefull listenings of this 24/192 non transcoded track, compared to the dsf version transcoded with a "wav24;96" setting. Quite honestly, I did not hear any significant gain with the dsf version, and I even admit that quite a few times I favored the flac 24/192 non transcoded version of the the dsf transcoded one.

Maybe this is normal, if transcoding dsf to "wav24;96" severely downgrades the quality of a DSD file, and if this quality requires transcoding to DoP in order to be preserved. I am not knowledgeable enough about the DSD world to tell.

Transcoding a DSD file to PCM will remove any quality advantage of the original DSD file. Also, transcoding to 24/96 isn't ideal. A bettter choice would be wav24;88 because the original DSD sampling rate is an exact multiple of 88200 Hz. Even so, I would expect 24/192 to be audibly superior to 24/88.

To get the quality benefits claimed for DSD, you would need to use DoP with a DSD-capable DAC. I don't have a DSD DAC, so I can't comment on whether this does produce better quality than PCM. Alternatively, the DSD benefits might be evident if you transcode to PCM at 24/176 or (preferably) higher.

Quote:I would be very much interested in comments from more experienced users.

I would as well. Smile

Quote:As an aside, I once mistakingly set during my tests the transcoding property to "dsf:wav24;96k" (notice the trailing "k"), and this setting was accepted. The transcoded stream was seen in BubbleUPnP as "WAV | 352.8 kHz | 24bits", as if minimserver ignored the "96k" altogether and set the frequency to the default setting.

Thanks for letting me know about this. I will fix it in the next update.

Quote:Also, I tried hard during the last month to differentiate in hearing sessions between non transcoded flac files (16/48, 24/96), and the same files transcoded using "flac:wav24". On my setup, wav transcoding does not seem to produce significant improvements in sound quality. This is not to criticize in any way the transcoding done by minimstreamer. I just want to mention that, maybe, the advantages of transcoding to wav are dependent on the type of hardware used.

Regards

I've heard similar comments from some other users. The primary purpose of transcoding is to make the file playable on a renderer that can't handle the original format. Some users have found that transcoding also improves sound quality and others have found no difference.
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08-03-2015, 09:40
Post: #16
RE: DSD Playback
Update.
I tried again just now with the following:

setting [dopwav] - starts to splutter, stop/start?
setting [wav24;176] - trouble free playback and sounds rather good.

Its great Simon that your software provides us with the flexibility to try out these different configuration. Again, well done!

So, I cannot make a true comparison on the above regarding playback as I cannot compare properly due to the issues.

Simon, all the artwork, metadata, etc... is behaving as expected so I am really pleased with this aspect.

@Simon, do you have any thoughts as to why there are no issues with the setting [wav24;176] and then the above problem with dopwav?

I will now listen to the tracks again to see how good I think they are.

All the best, Anton
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08-03-2015, 10:11
Post: #17
RE: DSD Playback
(08-03-2015 09:40)AntonD Wrote:  @Simon, do you have any thoughts as to why there are no issues with the setting [wav24;176] and then the above problem with dopwav?

I presume the Chord renderer issue applies only to native DSD playaback, not PCM playback. You could confirm this with Chord.
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08-03-2015, 10:24
Post: #18
RE: DSD Playback
(08-03-2015 10:11)simoncn Wrote:  
(08-03-2015 09:40)AntonD Wrote:  @Simon, do you have any thoughts as to why there are no issues with the setting [wav24;176] and then the above problem with dopwav?

I presume the Chord renderer issue applies only to native DSD playaback, not PCM playback. You could confirm this with Chord.

Chord pcm playback is rock solid, it is just the DSD/dopwav that is an issue. I get the impression from lengthy conversations with them that it was added to the dsx1000 some time after the unit was put to market but the practical in field environment testing was a little lacking. I can certainly play DSD on my unit now with a fair degree of reliability but under certain conditions. The network traffic must be minimised, using the unit remote rather than a control point helps. If you must use a control point, android chord HD app is best for me followed by the iPad version but BubbleUpnp is a disaster. For the record I too transcode flac:wav24 as standard, there is a slight improvement is sq over native flac.
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08-03-2015, 10:30
Post: #19
RE: DSD Playback
(08-03-2015 10:11)simoncn Wrote:  
(08-03-2015 09:40)AntonD Wrote:  @Simon, do you have any thoughts as to why there are no issues with the setting [wav24;176] and then the above problem with dopwav?

I presume the Chord renderer issue applies only to native DSD playaback, not PCM playback. You could confirm this with Chord.

Hi Simon, yes your presumption is correct.
I have emailed Chord so will await their reply. You can see in this thread that another user with the same streamer has the same issues and apparently Chord are aware. Lets see what happens.

Incidentally, I switched back to dopwav and tried again. I managed to get the 1st 3 tracks to play correctly. (5 tracks total in this album)
There is definitely a sound quality difference. In native DSD, there is a more natural flow to the music, more colour, the quiter passages are more so. Its more relaxing to listen to. (Im not the best at explaining these things in hi-fi terms)

So, I am now definitely intrigued with DSD and want to get more material. These test tracks are an excellent example of whats possible. Its of course my opinion though. I would like the DSD followers to chip in if there are any on this forum?

All the best to everyone. Isn't this hobby great! Big Grin
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08-03-2015, 10:38
Post: #20
RE: DSD Playback
(08-03-2015 10:30)AntonD Wrote:  
(08-03-2015 10:11)simoncn Wrote:  
(08-03-2015 09:40)AntonD Wrote:  @Simon, do you have any thoughts as to why there are no issues with the setting [wav24;176] and then the above problem with dopwav?

I presume the Chord renderer issue applies only to native DSD playaback, not PCM playback. You could confirm this with Chord.

Hi Simon, yes your presumption is correct.
I have emailed Chord so will await their reply. You can see in this thread that another user with the same streamer has the same issues and apparently Chord are aware. Lets see what happens.

Incidentally, I switched back to dopwav and tried again. I managed to get the 1st 3 tracks to play correctly. (5 tracks total in this album)
There is definitely a sound quality difference. In native DSD, there is a more natural flow to the music, more colour, the quiter passages are more so. Its more relaxing to listen to. (Im not the best at explaining these things in hi-fi terms)

So, I am now definitely intrigued with DSD and want to get more material. These test tracks are an excellent example of whats possible. Its of course my opinion though. I would like the DSD followers to chip in if there are any on this forum?

All the best to everyone. Isn't this hobby great! Big Grin
I agree with Anton, there seems to be more freedom to the music with DSD. Personally I suspect it is the hard filtering needed to maintain the audio bandwidth but reject the Nyquist frequency and beyond in pcm formats that make listening to pcm less pleasurable than DSD. DSD filtering is more noise shaping so in band phase and group delay distortions are less obtrusive.
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