DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

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Fretless
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DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by Fretless » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:10 pm

I had some fun yesterday, Channel Classics had an open day at their HQ here in the village. Owner Jared Sachs has been making top notch recordings for about 30 years and the albums on his label have won just about every international prize there is.

He spent the afternoon giving demonstrations in his mastering suite of how he assembles the 'perfect' recording from various takes and also spoke about his recording and playback equipment. He has a special sponsorship deal with Van Den Hul cables and currently uses a bizarrely expensive carbon-fibre speaker wire that they make.

He also had a sale of CD's and SACD's and I picked up a stack of titles by Rachel Podger (violinist) and The Gents (rather similar to The King's Singers), amongst others.

On the Channel Classics website there is a Download webshop where titles are available in various formats including MP3, FLAC (16 and 24 bit) and DSD (the original recording files at extremely high sample rates). Here is a free sample download available of a track in different formats (including DSD) to play with. http://www.channelclassics.com/try-it-now

Now I have to try and work out how I can get to listen to the DSD files - anybody any suggestions?
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terrybooth
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Re: DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by terrybooth » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:34 pm

You are moving in very esoteric circles here.

So far as I know, there is no 'physical system' around DSD (like Bluray or CD). So you are looking at computer audio with some sort of chip to do the grunt work.

What I say next, I must preface by saying that it is something that I've looked at briefly but having done anything with.

At the core of any solution will be a D to A chip which is capable of coping with the conversion of the DSD files.

A quick play with the sample download from the side and using the stuff I have as it is configured at the moment:

jriver 19 on my pc (no special soundcard) offers to downsample it.
My Rapberry Pi B/HiFiberry DAC set up doesn't play it back although the format is supported by Volumio (which means it isn't supported by the DAC).
My Raspberry Pi B+/IQAudio attempts to play it - but it plays a second with a second silence

It appears to be possible, but you need to be confendent in doing some fiddling with computer configurations.
A couple of links which might point you in some direction.

http://www.audiostream.com/content/dsd- ... d-128x-dsd
http://www.psaudio.com/ps_how/how-to-se ... -playback/
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Fretless
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Re: DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by Fretless » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:26 pm

Thanks, I'll take a look at this - there also appears to be a complicated fix which allows Foobar to play the files.
I did ask Jared Sacks about this yesterday, he said that a special DSD-compatible DAC was needed, any other solution downgrades the signal into a PCM stream and that for us mere mortals a 24-bit FLAC (at 96 or 192 KkHz) would probably be good enough.

Still, it's fun to try it out.
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Fretless
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Re: DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by Fretless » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:00 am

Popped into Channel Classics HQ this morning for a copy of Rachel Podger's 'Rosary Sonatas' from Biber, which has just won the Gramophone Baroque Instrumental of the Year award. Jared was there, mastering a new Mahler symphony recording and invited me in for a chat. He is worried about the effect that the Brexit will have on the Classical music world - making it more difficult for musicians to travel and work in the UK and Europe, and that he might be forced to stop making recordings in the UK due to the reintroduction of red tape and customs hassles.

He also is very conscious of the decline in CD sales and the (slow) rise in HQ downloads, so he has invested in his own large-scale (40TB) servers and is pushing further with his online market. Their website https://www.nativedsd.com/ is undergoing a rebuild and the new site should be unveiled later in the autumn. Here you can acquire master-quality downloads on DSD and FLAC of award-winning recordings and performances from many talents in the classical world.

Apart from blowing me away with a huge blast of Mahler on his mastering-suite installation, Jared also played me his recording of Terry Riley's 'In C' by the Ragazze Quartet. He placed the microphones in the middle of the group (plus several percussionists) and recorded the whole performance live. I have the CD of this and it is wonderful on headphones - but to hear it on multi-channel DSD in the studio was an absolute revelation; bells and cymbals hanging in empty space, a cello creeping out of the floor, spectral violins like sheets of glass. Wow! This is the first time I have been truly impressed by a surround-sound experience.

This is the CD - recommended for those who like Philip Glass & Steve Reich, etc. Great video clip - buy the album :grin:

Youtube: Ragazze Quartet - Four Four Three : Behind the Scenes

Image
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Lurcher300b
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Re: DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by Lurcher300b » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:10 pm

he said that a special DSD-compatible DAC was needed
Yep, to do it without converting to PCM and then using a PCM dac on the result (which IMHO, sort of defeats the point). You need a DAC that is connected using USB, and the dac and application feeding the dac needs to play the game of DSD over USB, which works by encoding a marker set of bits in the PCM stream that would never occur in normal use to signal that the remaining bits of the PCM packet contains DSD, that triggers the receiver to switch the DAC into DSD mode and instead of sending a PCM stream over i2s to the DAC, its sends a DSD stream. I know this as the LDA DAC I designed a few years ago does all this and allows you to play native DSD.

I can imagine its also possible with some coding to get the Pi to drive its GPIO lines in a DSD stream manner. In theory a low pass filter is all that is needed to decode a DSD bit stream into audio.

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Fretless
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Re: DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by Fretless » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:25 am

Have given this CD a couple of listens and it is absolutely stunning !

Image

The Rosary sonata is a cycle which depicts the life and death of Jesus. For each section the violin is differently tuned and 'suffers' in a similar manner to christ on the cross. Rachel Podger is an exceptional master of her instrument and sometimes you would swear there were 2 or even 3 violins playing. Backing is from harpsichord/organ, lutes and cello.

Recording quality is (of course) heavenly.

Beautiful music, beautifully made.

Here a clip of Rachel Podger playing live ( Jared Sachs is sat next to her).

Rachel Podger - Rosary Sonata nr. 16 ‘The Guardian Angel’
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Fretless
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Re: DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by Fretless » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:26 pm

Lovers of fine Classical music might be interested in a special offer from Channel Classics;
This weekend only - 2 for 1 on downloads from their catalogue.

Info here: http://mailchi.mp/channel.nl/new-beetho ... 2e3c296649

Personally I'm an enormous fan of Rachel Podger, Lavinia Meijer and the Ragazze Quartet but there are many fine artists here.
They do DSD as well ... :grin: :guiness;
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube3
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George Hincapie
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Re: DSD and FLAC from Channel Classics

Unread post by George Hincapie » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:42 pm

Nice! I recently bought this and find it to be wonderful. Incredibly relaxing:

Image
Main System: Allo DigiOne • Tomanek LPSU • Metrum Acoustics Onyx • NVA P90SA • NVA A80 MKII • NVA Cube 2 MKII • NVA TSCS • NVA TIS MKII • Custom Design SQ404

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