Which quality do you choose at NativeDSD?

Let’s say a classical/jazz album recorded in DSD256 is available at DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 or DXD, which one will you buy?

For a zone that requires DSPs like room correction, DSD streams will have to be converted into PCM anyway. DSD64 needs the least amount of storage. DXD needs the least processing power. DSD256 is the most “original” in case you change your mind about DSPs in the future.


I’ve only purchased a few albums but always go with what it was recorded in. Storage is cheap and only getting cheaper, ditto with processing power. Is there an audible difference between dsd 64/256, couldn’t tell you just yet, but the difference in cost is a small percentage so just in case again, go with original.


I have multiple high res music files in DSD64, 128, 256 and 512. And I have several music files in multiple formats so I’ve been able to compare the sound of different formats. Generalizations are dangerous, but the higher the resolution the more detailed and resolving the music.

I originally thought that sticking with the original recording resolution was the wise choice. (By the way figuring out the recording steps and if there was a pure original resolution is a black hole unto itself). But that’s not what I’m hearing. In fact my DAC will only accept up to DSD256, yet a DSD512 file downsampled by Roon to DSD256 sounds better than the DSD256 version of the same music. Go figure!

If you’re using DSP, that’s a limiting factor in how much you will hear using different locally stored file formats.

Thank goodness for NativeDSD and the techniques for ripping SACD’s made popular on AudiophileStyle. Locally stored high res files sound terrific, way better than streaming.

For reference my system consists of:
An external SSD => Nucleus Plus => Auralic Aries G2.1 => Mola Mola Tambiqui DAC => preamp → amps => speakers.
I’m certain that YMWV.

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I will do some experiments. DSD256 → PCM might be the first thing that trips up my Synology Roon Core. :slight_smile:

Roon does DSP on DSD without converting to PCM.

Edit. Though it does need a fair bit of power to do it.

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I doubt my Synology box can handle that.

What machine are you running your core on?

An m1 Mac mini, and to be fair it was struggling a bit too, though it was running fine before, I think I need to take another look at my filters as that’s a ridiculous number of taps. I recently redid them and hadn’t tried dsd256 since. From memory it was doing 3x conversion speed previously.

My DAC is limited to DSD128, so I never bought anything higher.
The audible difference between DSD64 and 128 - for me - is very very subtle.
On the other hand I definitely prefer DSD64 over PCM 24/192 (both +/- the same file size and streaming bandwith).
But what about DXD? Isn’t it the format used for mixing and mastering of music recorded in DSD? I never listened to a DXD file so far.