DSD at the Super Audio Center

After RMAF on Friday night, David Robinson of Positive Feedback Online and Andreas Koch of Playback Designs organized a field trip to Boulder's Super Audio Center. Run by recording engineer extraordinaire Gus Skinas, we were treated to a live, through the booth, performance by jazz pianist Don Grusin, some lovely multi-channel DSD recordings, some with associated video, food and drink. I have to say that if you've never heard DSD, you've never heard DSD. There's an uncanny sense of dimensionality and naturalness to dynamic swings that seems to me to be handled extremely well by the format.

And I say the DSD format because I've heard these traits travel between DACs and recordings. I'd like to thank David, Andreas, and Gus for a very educational and fun event that only served to reinforce DSD as an important option for our listening pleasure.

that's Gus Skinas center

Reed's picture

It was the highlight of the show for me.

newby11's picture

It seems to this audiophile that we are at a digital crossroads re DSD/PCM, and ST can help us navigate it. Specifically, while many offer both DSD+PCM capability, some perfectionist companies are proclaiming boldly that it's best to focus on one or the other. [No, it's not a simple matter to just "audition for yourself" multiple boxes at home.]

Berkeley (et al) has made a definitive statement: that all music--including DSD--sounds best when converted to PCM. Yet PS Audio (et al) has bet it all on converting everything to DSD. My plea to ST: Have 1 (or 2 or 3) writer(s) spend time with both Berkeley Reference (or whatever is representative of all-PCM SOTA) and PS Audio (or whatever is representative of the all-DSD SOTA). Then convene and share impressions and conclusions in a roundtable format in future issues/online. I'm not whining about the usual nonsense re blind tests, shoot-outs over which is "the best", etc. But from my perspective--one who has kept his powder dry waiting for digital source advancements to at least stabilize at some brief plateau--this seems like a clear fork in the proverbial road and demands some in-depth exploration of the SOTA in the (seemingly) competing camps. I, for one, could use some more guidance on how to navigate the possibilities.