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In Reply to: RE: Just a thought ... posted by Charles Hansen on June 12, 2017 at 00:48:59
Ok, I have no problem admitting that some of the dac signal processing you lay out here is over my head!
But to answer your question, on the BDA-3 DAC, the difference in sound when the upsampling is engaged is pretty stark. It is almost like the signal is being passed through a lush tube buffer. Better? Definitely different.
I also wonder how hardware upsampling like the Bryston scheme differs from upsampling at the server stage, like with Roon, or even HQplayer. Upsampling to DSD was in HQPlayer was a big fad recently.
Now with Roon providing that capability along with the previously discussed powerful DSP tools they provided with the last update, to me it looks like MQA is more obsolete with every week that goes by.
EDIT: I am also reminded of the SONY HAP players, which have a user engagable "Remastering" process. Digital filtering of course.
> > Upsampling to DSD was in HQPlayer was a big fad recently. < <
There is a potential for this to improve the performance of some particular implementations of delta-sigma DAC chips. Depending on the internal architecture, it is possible to run the modulator on the output stage at higher rates, which will definitely change the sound - possibly for the better.
As always, strictly my personal opinion and not necessarily those of my employer or baby-sitter.
My master 7 dac can be run nos up to 8 times oversampling. I prefer nos as it sounds more natural than oversampling
> > I prefer nos as it sounds more natural than oversampling < <
I would suggest that it all boils down to the particular oversampling (interpolation) filter used. A decade ago there were many DACs introduced with NOS (filterless) designs. I was curious and when Ayre developed the ability to create custom digital filters, the first test we tried was NOS. This replaced a combination of an external 4x "upsampling" filter feeding the 8x "oversampling" filter built into the DAC chip.
There were significant improvements in many areas - the midrange in particular was very pure and natural, but the frequency extremes seemed to be not quite up to the performance level of the broad midrange band (~200Hz to ~5kHz). I then went down a rabbit hole of various interpolation rates (4x, 8x, and 16x), window functions (Kaiser, Taylor, Gaussian, etc.), multiple parameters affecting the shape of the rolloff curve, and finally various dithering algorithms.
In the end I felt that we had improved upon all of the sonic advantages of NOS without losing anything. But I would agree that in general NOS (filterless) is an overall improvement over the typical filters built into DAC chips. YMMV.
As always, strictly my personal opinions and not necessarily those of my employer or Pee-Wee Herman.
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