- Formats Explained
Available Download Formats
DSD – DSD is the true audiophile digital format, created by Philips and Sony for use in SACDs. The DSD format benefits listeners because the sampling rates go up to an incredible 2.8MHz or 5.6MHz and 11.2Mhz, which is 64 or 128 and 256 times greater than the rate of a standard audio CD, respectively. However, it does so at 1-bit depth, rather than the up-to-24-bit rate you’ll get in some of the other formats listed below. So every time it captures audio data, it captures less, but it does so with astonishing regularity. We offer all formats: single DSD 64, 128, and 256. DSD64: 2.8 MHz sampling rate & DSD128: 5.6MHz sampling rate - Direct Stream Digital (DSD) has been around for a while, but it has been so married to a physical medium, SACD, that it has yet to receive the attention from audiophiles that it deserves. It is only recently with the growing interest in downloading high-resolution audio via the Internet that DSD surged to the surface of news coverage. The compelling reasons that existed over ten years ago to use this encoding scheme for SACD have now become convenient truths for the new era of high-resolution Internet audio. The DSD64 and DSD128 formats are only playable on compatible hardware and software.
Note: Because of the limited editing capability of DSD, to keep it "Pure DSD" with no PCM used, you could here blemishes from the original tape source that would be normally edited out in a PCM release.
DSD256 – The 11.2MHz sampling rate has a resolution up to 256 times better than the resolution of a standard audio CD. Your ears will immediately realize the full potential of your playback system upon listening to the DSD256 format as it is the highest audio resolution format available today. Like the DSD64 and DSD128 formats, the DSD256 format is playable only on compatible hardware and software.
Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) – Pulse Code Modulation is the most popular digital audio format. We use Flac which is a Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. It is used for all of our PCM downloads. Despite being lossless, it will reduce the size of music files dramatically. PCM comes in the following types: 24bit 96khz, 24bit 192khz, and 24bit 352.8khz. The 24bit 352.8khz PCM format is also known as DXD. Flac will play on almost all media players. Just make sure to double check.
24bit 96khz PCM Flac - Our 24/96 downloads are down-sampled versions of our DXD or DSD128 digital masters; consequently, there is a slight loss of audio quality compared to our other formats. However, they still offer much better fidelity than 16/44 resolution, or Redbook CD Quality. 24/96 resolution is compatible with more media players and audio playback hardware.
24bit 192khz PCM Flac - Our 24/192 downloads are down-sampled versions of our DXD or DSD128 digital masters; consequently, there is a slight loss of audio quality compared to our them. Please note also that the 192khz download files are approximately twice the size of our 96khz download files and may consequently take up to twice as long to download.
24bit 352.8kHz PCM Flac (DXD) - A digital recording at 352.8 kHz sounds closer to "real analog," which needs no anti-aliasing filters. The listener can better capture the full ambient information of sonic events with a 352.8 kHz sampling rate. Even though a higher resolution and higher sampling rates sound better than a lower resolution and lower sampling rates, 192 kHz, 96 kHz, and 44.1 kHz/24 bit all sound more "digital" than 352.8 kHz sampling rates because of the pronounced effects of anti-aliasing filters in the lower sampling rate systems. DXD is only playable on compatible hardware and software.
Our DSD releases which are marked "Pure DSD" originate from a DSD mastering with no PCM editing.
Available Physical Disc Formats
Blu-ray Audio Discs - Blu-ray discs can store five times more information on a single disc than a regular DVD. This means Blu-ray Audio can offer absolutely complete, lossless audio. The DTS-MA format is used with all of our releases. Our Blu-ray Audio discs have on-screen navigation options or can be navigated by the Blu-ray remote. Text and other visual material are available on-screen. A Blu-ray player is required to play Blu-ray Audio discs, and they are incompatible with standard CD or DVD players. All of our Blu-ray releases include a Stereo version if offered in Surround.
24bit 192khz DVD-A Disc - Down sampled versions of our DXD or DSD128 digital masters; consequently, there is a slight loss of audio quality compared to our them. DVD-A will only play on players that support DVD-A playback.