I'm hoping Mark Donahue will chime in here. If they were comparing 96/24 PCM to DSD, when the audio
was digitized to 96/24 PCM in the first place, of course they'd hear no differences. I remember this
issue coming up with the Mercury Living Presence SACDs, which were done in Germany with no direct
involvement from any original Mercury team members. The only time DSD came into the picture was
after all the transferring, whatever DSP was deployed, normalizing, etc. The final PCM files were
converted to DSD for SACD disc authoring. A beef in the audiophile press at the time was that "no
advantages of SACD were realized," that they just as soon have put out 96/24 DVD-audio discs (which
actually would have been a better idea since most DVD players until the recent generations of
ultra-cheapos could play DVD-A discs whereas fewer players could play SACD). Anyway, supposedly the
advantages of DSD are only heard when the product is DSD from input to output, which is what Mark
Donahue did with the RCA Living Stereo SACDs.
As far as I know, during most or all of the time that Universal was playing in the SACD world, they
were doing their transferring and production in PCM, then going to DSD for the final SACD authoring.
It may all have been based on that listening test mentioned in this thread, but I'd argue that the
test parameters seem flawed.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting history of DGG-Polydor-Polygram-Berliner Studios-SACD-etc
> There may have been some misinterpretation of this statement.
> Some people are referring to this as DSD vs CD. However, based on Goran's later posting today
> concerning this, it appears that the PCM in question is 24 bit 96 ks/s.
> On 2012-11-23 2:23 PM, Goran Finnberg wrote:
>> During the recording of Mahler´s 2nd Symphony (Vienna Philharmonic
>> Orchestra, Gilbert Kaplan, released on Deutsche Grammophon CD 474 380-2,
>> SACD 477 594-2) in the Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, the whole recording
>> sequence is carried out by using both PCM and DSD technology following the
>> To exclude sound variations by different A/D converters, the team uses
>> special converters capable of dealing with both formats. The result of the
>> subsequent listening comparisons by double-blind test is as straight-forward
>> as sobering: There is no difference whatsoever.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.