DSD 256 & Audio Fairs Apr 24 by Brian Moura in Brian's Corner, Hardware Updates

It’s time for another look at some of the new developments in Direct Stream Digital (DSD) music and products. Let’s dive in and see what’s been happening since the last edition of Brian’s Corner.

Update: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Comparison in DSD 64 and DSD 256

Last week Native DSD Music partnered with Computer Audiophile to present a 4 minute Scherzo from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” performed by Ivan Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra. What made this performance unique is that the music from the Analog Mixing Board operated by Native DSD’s Jared Sacks was simultaneously sent to two top Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) – the Grimm AD1 (at DSD 64fs) and the Merging Technologies Horus (at DSD 256fs). This provided a series of DSD music downloads for our Just Listen section (https://members.nativedsd.com/albums/just-listen-1-compilation) that music fans could download and compare for Free!  Listener comments were posted to the Computer Audiophile web forum.

So far we’ve received over 60 comments on the DSD Download files created from the two top converters. As you would expect, there are a variety of opinions on which files sound the best and why. And that was the goal of this project. To give you DSD music files to download for Free to try out different DSD bit rates and conversion. If you haven’t tried it yet, we invite you to download the files, have a listen and tell us what you think.

Recording a Midsummer Night’s Dream

AV Watch Looks at Three DSD 256 DACs

One of the trends in high resolution audio in the past year has been the increased availability of DSD 256fs (or “Quad DSD”) playback in new Digital to Analog Converters (DACs). Native DSD Music was an early participant in the DSD 256 market providing music in that format on our Just Listen downloads site as well as both Stereo and even Multichannel titles in DSD 256 from two of our partner labels – Eudora Records and Yarlung Records.

Torii Kazutoyo from AV Watch recently compared three Stereo DSD 256 DACs on the market: the iFi iDSD Nano ($189), the Oppo HA-1 Headphone Amp and DAC ($1,199) and the exaSound e22 ($3,499).  Torii concluded that all three produced impressive results with DSD 256 music files.  If you’re in the market for a Stereo DSD 256 DAC, you will find his review helpful.  One note, the magazine is in Japanese – however you can get it translated to your language using the Chrome web browser, Bing Translator or Google Translator.  Visit AV Watch magazine at http://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/series/torii/20150410_696360.html to check it out.

AV Watch Reviews Three DSD 256 DACs –
Oppo HA-1 on Bottom, exaSound e22 in Middle, iFi iDSD Nano on Top

Native DSD and New Products at AXPONA

The AXPONA Audio show is being held this weekend (April 24-26, 2015) at the Westin O’Hare in the Chicago, Illinois area. If you’re going to the show you will find several events and exhibits worth attending. Among the highlights will be a panel titled “DSD and Beyond” hosted by Native DSD Managing Director Jared Sacks and Native DSD Technical Advisor Ted Brady this afternoon, April 24th from 2:15pm to 3:15pm. They will discuss where we are now and what the future looks like for DSD, from professional recording to music at home.

AXPONA attendees will also be able to see a number of interesting new audio products. We suggest looking out for these DSD products if you are at the show:
•    exaSound will debut their new e12 DAC which offers their high quality sound in a smaller DAC and a lower price along with new “Mark II” editions of their popular e22 Stereo DAC and the e28 Multichannel DAC which can play every music download file in the Native DSD store.
•    Lampizator will have two rooms showing their new Golden Gate top of the line DAC and a new edition of their Big 7 DAC which now includes DSD 256 playback.
•    Auralic will reveal an upgrade to their Aries Streamer that will let music fans stream DSD files up to DSD 256fs in Stereo.

New “Mark II” edition of exaSound’s popular e28 Multichannel DAC

Gold Top of the new Lampizator Golden Gate DAC with DSD 256

For more information on AXPONA, visit their web site at http://www.axpona.com 

Getting Ready for High End Audio in Munich

Native DSD is also getting ready to participate in one of the world’s largest audio shows – High End Audio in Munich, Germany from May 14-17, 2015. We will be partnering with Grimm Audio, Playback Designs and Pentatone Music to provide demonstrations of how good well recorded DSD music in Stereo and Multichannel can be. The event will also feature frequent “jam sessions” where experts from Native DSD, Pentatone and the equipment makers will discuss DSD with attendees.

To get ready for the High End Audio show, we recently held some “DSD Parties” at our Native DSD Music offices in Herwijnen, The Netherlands. Jared Sacks from Native DSD hosted the parties and played some of the music selections planned for the Munich show. We thank our fans who attended the parties and we look forward to seeing more fans at the High End Audio show in May.

Jared Sacks & Visitors at a DSD Listening Session party of Grimm Audio and NattiveDSD

Written by: Brian Moura, April 24th

Brian Moura

Brian Moura

Brian is Associate Editor at Positive Feedback, Senior Advisor – Finance & Executive Management at Regional Government Services Authority and Commissioner at the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA). He graduated with a BA Degree in Political Science from University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) at California State University East Bay (CSUEB). For NativeDSD.com he is a Technical Advisor.

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