Friday The 13th! Feb 13 by Brian Moura in Brian's Corner

Welcome to the Friday the 13th (!) edition of Brian’s Corner. For those of you brave enough to read on, I have more news and events to share from the world of DSD.

My Jaw Dropped…
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a contest held by one of our newest hardware partners – iFi Audio. It was held to celebrate the arrival of their new Retro system which features the Stereo 50 Tube Based Amp + DSD 256 DAC + Phono Stage + Headphone Amp and a pair of LS 3.5 desktop speakers.

iFi Retro

For this contest, Native DSD provided free downloads to each of the five prize levels. Well, the results are in and the free Native DSD music has been downloaded and played. What do some of our newest members think of Native DSD?

Mach3 says “My jaw dropped when I heard this through the Sennheiser HD800 headphones.” He was referring to his Free Native DSD downloads of Serena’s “Dances of the Dolls” on Channel of China and Josep Colom’s “Dialogue: Piano Music of Mozart and Chopin” on Eudora Records. Mach3 also checked out some David Elias music in Native DSD and told us “Wow. David Elias vocals are incredible.”

Brooko won 4 Free Native DSD downloads – selecting “Acoustic DSD Sessions” and “Crossing” by David Elias on Sketti Sandwich Productions, “Who Cares” by Scott Hamilton and Andrea Pozza on Fone Jazz and “Haydn: String Quartets” by the Amsterdam String Quartet on Channel Classics. He tells us “I’m enjoying the heck out of them.”  🙂

Congratulations to all of the iFi Contest winners. We thank you for your enthusiastic comments about Native DSD music downloads and look forward to seeing you again soon at our web store.

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Free DSD Downloads – at the Native DSD Hardware Store
Last week Native DSD launched a DSD Hardware Store to bring quality DSD DACs and Players to our fans in the EU market. Native DSD has been offering a package deal on the excellent Astell & Kern AS 240 portable DSD player that included the AS 240 and 10 Free DSD Downloads from the Native DSD web store. It plays Single Rate (DSD 64fs) and Double Rate (DSD 128fs) Stereo DSD files.

Astell & Kern

With the launch of the Hardware Store, Native DSD is offering two more products for sale: theTEAC HA-P90sd Portable DSD DAC + Player and the exaSound e28 8-Channel DSD DAC. The TEAC HA-P90sd plays Single Rate (DSD 64fs) and Double Rate (DSD 128fs) Stereo DSD files and comes with 3 Free Native DSD Downloads.

           HA-P90

The exaSound e28 plays Stereo and Multichannel DSD files up to Quad Rate DSD (DSD 256fs) along with DXD music files. In short, every music file in the Native DSD store is supported by the e28.  It’s offered in several configurations including Mini XLR or RCA outputs and with a special high accuracy Femto Clock. Best of all, you get 10 Free Native DSD Downloads.

ExaSound e28

So check out the products in the Native DSD Hardware Store. Some Free Native DSD Downloads may be in your future.

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Oppo Says: Add Quad DSD to Your New Sony Walkman for $299

One of the more interesting – and clever – posts on the Internet in recent weeks came from our friends at Oppo Digital. Oppo recently released a new mobile DSD 256 DAC + Headphone Amp named the HA-2. The HA-2 looks like a thin smartphone with a cool leather case and it’s designed to bring DSD music to you while on the road for only $299.

Oppo HA-2         Sony             Sony Walkman plus Oppo HA-2

But there’s more.  Oppo has come up with a way to use their new HA-2 DSD DAC + Amp with the hot new Sony Walkman music players.  This is very interesting since the entry level Sony Walkman NW- ZA17 ($299) does not come with DSD playback and its bigger brother, the Sony Walkman NW-ZX2 ($1,199) accepts DSD music but unfortunately converts it to PCM before playback.  By using two cables – a standard USB A male to Micro-USB male cable or adapter and the Sony WMC-NWH10 adapter cable (see below), you can connect the Walkman to the HA-2 and bring Single, Double and Quad Rate DSD – without any PCM conversions – to the Walkman.  Now that is really cool. (Check Oppo’s Tech Note on the Walkman + HA-2 setup for full details). http://www.oppodigital.com/KnowledgeBase.aspx?KBID=108

Sony Adapter Cable

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Who is 2xHD?
Ever since Native DSD added the famed live recording “Jazz at the Pawnshop” to our web store, it has dominated our Top Downloads sales chart at the #1 position for Top DSD Jazz downloads and Top DSD Downloads over all.  This week, Native DSD is adding 4 more albums from 2xHD.  As with Jazz at the Pawnshop, these albums are transferred from Analog Master Tapes to Single Rate DSD (DSD 64fs) and in most cases Double Rate DSD (DSD 128fs).

2xHD Remastering System

But you may be asking who is behind these releases. The key players at this new record label are André Perry (of Andre Perry Studios) and René Laflamme (famed microphone designer and chief engineer at Fidelio Records). They brought together their experience and knowledge of DSD and the best audio equipment to remaster a number of really excellent recordings.  At Native DSD, we are proud to carry their Analog Master Tape to DSD releases. I think you will like the five new 2xHD titles coming out today – including a new 2xHD Jazz DSD title “Take One” by Piltch, Davis & Friends (best known as members of the Holly Cole Trio). It’s very good. (For more on 2xHD and their state of the art Analog to DSD transfer system, visit their web site at http://www.2xhd.com/technology.html ).

Take One

Written by: Brian Moura, Feb 13th 2015

Brian Moura

Brian Moura

Brian is Associate Editor at Positive Feedback, Senior Advisor – Finance & Executive Management at Regional Government Services Authority and Commissioner (Alternate Member) at CSCDA. He graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) at California State University East Bay (CSUEB). For NativeDSD.com he is a Technical Advisor.