Understanding DSD to PCM conversions

I’m faced with a music purchase decision, and I need to better understand DSD to PCM conversion to make a rational choice.

I was looking for a particular classical composition at ProStudioMasters, and found what I wanted within an album from PentaTone Classics. The album is available as PCM 24/96 and DSD 2.8224 MHz. I’m trying to decide which of the two to buy for better SQ.

My endpoint is an Oppo 203 feeding digital signal to an Anthem pre-pro over HDMI. This setup does not handle DSD over Roon, so someone is going to need to convert to PCM somewhere along the path. The question is, who?

Here’s what the album’s engineering notes state, in part:

Microphone preamps: custom built by Polyhymnia International BV and outputs directly connected to DCS DSD AD converter

I understand this to mean that the “original” digital signal is DSD. Am I correct?

So, whom should I trust to do the better DSD-PCM conversion: the Roon Core, or the album publisher (again, that is PentaTone)?

Thank you for any advice you can give me.

Just another faith war?


When converting up or down with dsd the platform you are using matters…a better spec’d core cpu will be fine, but say a lesser spec NAS cpu might not cope at all…so consider your platform in the process too.

Yes, but was it mixed in DSD or PCM?

I would buy the PCM version then. But that’s only me. :man_shrugging:

Thank you. It’s a 3.7 GHz 4-core Xeon v6 server running Ubuntu Linux. 16 GB RAM.

Thanks. So the recording studio’s conversion of DSD to PCM would be preferable to Roon’s then?

Do you believe that the original DSD recording was never converted during mixing and mastering?

I think you should be fine which ever way you go resource wise. Why not buy both and see which works best for you as a benchmark for to use for future purchases…and not it here for others draw some insight :sunglasses:

That would be my thought.
Since they are not converting in real time, they can fine-tune it.

The second answer is, who cares, they are both going to sound awesome.

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I honestly don’t know.

I go with AndersVinberg then.

Makes sense. Thanks for the links, I found them very informative.