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In Reply to: RE: DSD(128) and higher resolution... posted by John Elison on January 27, 2017 at 13:17:47
I have to wonder if the limitations boil down to USB limitations.
DSD audio is not a low-bandwidth ordeal; a DSD64 2-channel presentation will consume somewhere around 5.6 mbps of bandwidth. A DSD128 2-channel presentation will consume 11.2mbps of bandwidth. While I realize that's well within the USB 2.0 speed specs....are these devices using USB 2.0 chips to read drives? If they are...are the devices even capable of actually doing so?
There's a lot of "what-ifs" when dealing with USB transfer from either thumb drives or external hard drives. Kind of like back in the old pre-USB2 days where the highest HD audio we had under USB 1.0 was 24/96 because 24/192 was just too stinking close to the theoretical maximum bandwidth of USB 1. I had an Onkyo AVR that would stream off a USB stick; my success in getting 24/192 to work off a stick depended largely on what stick I had...some could push that much data, some couldn't. Over the network..it worked flawlessly...it also had a gigabit of bandwidth behind it at that point.
I think the other thing is that DSD128 is just far too niche for most mainstream support. Maybe they wanted to save a few bucks and not use the controllers to actually get DSD128 to the thing. Maybe they're doing it all in software and don't have the processing power to push DSD128 down I2S....or however they're streaming it.
I'm willing to bet it's an accounting decision; save a few pennies by using slightly slower components because only a very small percentage of already niche users will be affected.
> I have to wonder if the limitations boil down to USB limitations.
No! The way I currently play DSD(128) if from a USB flash drive plugged into the USB port on my TASCAM DA-3000. It works just fine! The only problem is that the USB port on my TASCAM is limited to 64-GB flash drives, maximum. I would like to simply plug in a large capacity USB hard drive instead of making a bunch of little 64-GB flash drives.
I went on to further explain that it's not a limitation of USB *itself*; but with whatever USB hardware they threw in the other devices.
I know USB2 is capable of doing DSD128 since my DAC does it. But the point I'm getting at is maybe they didn't put robust enough stuff in the other players in order to keep cost down.
Well, the TASCAM DA-3000 sells for $1000 and has one of the best sounding DACs I've heard to date. That's the main reason I'm putting up with its 64-GB limitation. I've listened to a number of much more expensive DACs and none have impressed me as much as the DAC in my TASCAM DA-3000.
What DAC do you own that allows you to connect a USB hard drive and play DSD(128) directly from the hard drive?
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