Warning, abbreviations to follow.
I recently got a DSD capable DAC and was interested to learn more about the fancy sounding DSD playback it offered. I read the right articles. I signed up at nativedsd.com and bought their starter pack, and then a pair of albums on promotion after listening to the samples and liking the recordings. I even went so far as convincing someone that Roon was capable of doing native DSP on DSD tracks without converting to PCM.
In short I was a convert.
And then the penny dropped; its all a load of marketing nonsense and even in pure DSD DAWs eg Sonoma or Pyramix, to do any editing they have to convert to DXD, which is, you guessed it PCM. So converting back to DSD256 is a bit of a conn, or it’s entirely so to be exact.
But let’s be clear, DSD has a place and it’s actually a far more common one than most realize. DSD is intended for recording the source analogue signal, and it makes sense to have that at the highest DSD rate available. And this is how the majority (if not all) ADCs work, start with a DSD stream and store that as DSD or PCM.
So don’t worry so much about DSD.
If you are a musician, hold onto the premix DSD originals just in case something better than PCM comes out and you can remaster to that.
As a listener, don’t bother, they just take up space and cost an unnecessary premium for no benefit over a hires PCM file.
Another day, another life lesson in the pursuit of Hifi, more expensive doesn’t equal better, bigger numbers don’t equal better.