DSD/SACD

At Eudora Records we release all our recordings on Hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD), using the DSD256 format.

superaudiocd

The conventional PCM conversion used by the CD system samples music signals with a frequency of 44.1 KHz and 16-bit resolution; higher sampling frequency and bit-number can improve quality, but there has always been a sense of loss of analogue dynamic range, resolution and perception (probably due to the decimation and interpolation filters needed for PCM conversion). A solution has arrived in the shape of DSD (Direct Stream Digital), a technology developed by Sony and Philips, and a departure from normal PCM digital audio. DSD is based on a 1-bit sigma-delta modulation, operating with sampling frequencies from 2.8 to 11.2 MHz (i.e., 64 to 256 times the 44.1 KHz used in CD), delivering an unparalleled quality, with a greater dynamic range in the audio band and an extended frequency range.

The SACD is a hybrid disc (a 4.7GB layer plus a conventional CD layer) which contains three programs of music: first, a standard CD stereo version (included in the first layer) that will play on any device that will play a CD, making the hybrid SACD fully compatible with existing CD and DVD players. The second and third versions (included in the second 4.7GB layer) are DSD64 stereo and surround (5.0) versions that can only be played on an SACD player, which has to be instructed as to which program you wish to play. Multichannel programs give you the choice of enjoying a 5-channel version of the recording, enhancing the listening experience by creating a three-dimensional enveloping sound and placing you at the heart of the sound stage.

A note on the surround configuration used in our recordings: we do not use the extra .1 channel, generally used for the subwoofer (ultra-low frequencies). This is widely used in films, but unnecessary in our recordings, where all five channels are recorded using the full frequency range.

Playing DSD files
You can purchase all our recordings in a wide range of resolutions. While playing PCM (FLAC and mp3) files is relatively common and straightforward, playing DSD files (.dff and .dsf) is quite new and requires specific equipment:
  1. You need the right software on your computer to be able to bitstream the DSD files to a
  2. DSD DAC (a digital to analogue converter which can convert DSD to analogue)
If you don’t yet have a DSD DAC, many (if not all) of the programs mentioned below can convert DSD to high-resolution PCM, enabling playback of those files (but of course, not with original DSD sound quality). Fortunately, a good range of DSD DACs have been released recently. We’ll try to keep the following list of software and DACs up to date.