DSD Remastering Software Experience

My Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC has a feature called DSD Remastering that works with any type of file you send it. The effect is it noticeably smooths out the music making it sound closer to analog. Last night I did a comparison with an actual SACD (Bob James-Feel Like Making Live) with DSD Remastering turned off and a streamed version of the same tracks from Tidal with DSD Remastering turned on. The differences were so minute I had to listen very carefully to tell the difference. The SACD was about 10% closer to sounding like a live performance in that you could notice the acoustics of the studio they used and the decay of piano notes, bass strings, cymbal brushes hung in the air just a tiny bit longer. I was using a Paradigm Link as a streamer in this comparison. With a different streamer the differences might even be closer to the actual SACD.
DSD sounds better than any other digital format I have listened to. Has anyone else used a DSD Remastering/upmixer and care to share their experience? I know both Marantz and Onkyo have their own proprietary products that do something similar.

I was not expecting the comparison to be this close and am a bit surprised that streaming can sound almost as good as an actual SACD (which are limited in availability and expensive).



I would love to buy a used web server with SACD rips already on it. I am looking at buying ipods with CD rips on them more for the files than the hardware. Ripping is such a PIA but I love having the files on my server.

My Lumin T3 has the option to upscale everything to DSD 64, 128 or 256. While I haven’t upscaled hi-res sources (e,g. > 24-96) to DSD I have done so with redbook and 24-48. To be honest, while the effect was a "smoothing" of the sound, it seemed that the highs (especially the rides and cymbal decay) were dulled and rolled off a touch, and I preferred the native bit depth and rate. If one has a bright and/or strident system this might be a good option, but after listening I leave everything native.  On my system it is a pretty subtle difference between native and upscaling to DSD256 though.  Of course YMMV.

For me, the best way to enjoy music; leave the mastering to pro studios and steer clear of any upsampling for obvious reasons.

@lalitk I fail to see ‘obvious reasons’ to avoid upsampling.’ My DAC (Schiit Yggdrasil) upscales automatically, and my Internet Radio AAC, and 320 kps data streams sound better than many of my CDs or albums. I am highly satisfied with the quality of the upscaled audio for most casual listening. I don’t listen to streams quite so critically as I do sources in my possession, and I forgive the occasional long pause as the price of music for free over the Internet. 



@lalitk +1 — I’m now using an R2R DAC that can upsample or I can use in NOS mode and I prefer the latter.  The differences aren’t huge, but they’re there so to my ears less is sometimes more.  I do recognize that in audio there’s almost always more than one way to effectively do things, so if a delta-sigma DAC upsamples and works for you, more power to ya.  Just enjoy the music however it sounds good to you is what I say. 

You can't legally buy copywritten programming bypassing the rights holder.  There is that. At least ripping them yourself involves no other parties.My view on upsampling is whatever sounds better.  I'm going to 376.4 on one player but maybe the big number just LOOKS better on the DAC. 


As for leaving mastering to the pro studios, Sony Music IS a pro studio and they have tons of masters to base their studies and algorithms on. At the end of the day it is still a preference and you can always leave the remastering of if you don't like it. 

One streaming service the DSD Remastering didn't have as much impact was Spotify. Seems to work better with Tidal and ripped files.

+1 @soix ​​​​​@lalitk  My DAC by LessLoss is R2R and will not sample and it is plug and play. No lights, LED's, switches just great sound. 

The most obvious reason we should not re-master is that the higher-end your system the less is the need for oversampling and upsampling.

Interfering with the original recording is injecting algos and reshaping the original.

It's akin to eating a gourmet dinner with tomato ketchup.

However if that floats your boat, so be it.

Native DSD sounds light, natural, airy and pure. Upsampled DSD doesn't.

These are all filters ifyou truly want to Taylor your music exactly to your taste 

Roonhas it built into the back of the program once you download HQ player 

you will need to activate it on roomin settings.

itneeds a fast Linux based computed which any windows current model can convert to youwant a i7-9 processor minimum 16 megs of ram ,

and at minimum 500 gigs dedicated to its DSP power .

check it out ,2 weeks are free ,there is several excellent reviews out there Thst explain this in detail. Once you know it it’s by far the best DSP program for Audiophiles . I am just trying to spend the time to learn it .


I also experienced a "smoothing" of the sound. Interesting how that description of DSD remastering or upsampling is consistent.

The DAC in the Sony is a custom FPGA so the remastering implementation might be different.


IMHO, you have barely scratched the surface of what your Sony TA-ZH1ES player and Tidal streaming is capable of with Paradigm Link as your source. Try and feed your Sony player with a high quality streamer like Aurender N100 or N150, There are all sorts of bargains on N100 on used market. Once you have a replacement, consider comparing a ‘native’ DSD file on your Aurender server with upscaled or remastered file from Tidal. Looking forward to your feedback! 


+1, I agree. I am looking at the Sony Signature DAP's that are designed with a docking station to partner with this amp and am also looking at aurnder, Thnaks!


Also consider Innuos Pulse. The UI (app) that controls and curate your stream / music is just as critical as choosing a right streamer. 

I’m now using an R2R DAC that can upsample or I can use in NOS mode and I prefer the latter

@soix Which Dac are you using that performs in both capacities? It seems I’ve read about this in the past but can’t seem to recall who builds it.

@designsfx Im using a Musician Pegasus that is very similar to the Denafrips Pontus II that I assume would have the same capability.  


I already have a software I like, DTS Play-Fi. It has been upgraded where it is now pretty good. I have whole house audio linked to various brands (Klipsch in my office, Onkyo in the mancave, DefTech in the dining room, paradigm in the kitchen and home theater, etc). What I really like about the software is when you have it installed on a PC or windows tablet it will stream whatever you are playing on your computer to any system (s) you choose. No USB cables, no hassle it just works.

The highest quality streamer in the Play-Fi ecosystem is the McIntosh MB50. Alternatively I can go with the Sony Signature player designed for this amp, the WM1AM2 with a docking station. The McIntosh matches the software ecosystem I already like and use, the Sony  Signature DAP is designed to match my amp. They are both around the same price. Thoughts?

“What I really like about the software is when you have it installed on a PC or windows tablet it will stream whatever you are playing on your computer to any system (s) you choose. No USB cables, no hassle it just works.“

I have a similar setup in my entire house except my ManCave. I have been using SONOS for last 15 years for causal listening + home theater. 

If you like being in DTS Play-Fi ecosystem then it’s perfectly ok to pursue a hardware that offers the best SQ within their ecosystem. I only brought up Aurender cause you were raving about DSD in your post which in my opinion requires a very high quality streamer or transport. When I think of high quality streaming or DSD playback, the Paradigm Link or MB50 is not what I think or consider to be in same realm as Aurender or Innuos and Lumin (no offense). The only way for you to access if it is worth pursuing Aurender or something similar is by comparing them in your system. You may end up liking MB50 more than Aurender cause MB50 simply gels better in your system, cost less and sound close enough to Aurender. 

PS: I didn’t build my system overnight, it took lots of trial and error over the last 5 years. 


I appreciate your help here. The McIntosh does not do DSD, I think I have to consider that too. I will look into this with a dealer that sells both units and see what they have to say. Thanks


I think I will continue to use the Paradigm for play-fi via toslink and get the Sony which has a dedicated port for it on the DAC, I may as well use both right? The DAC has multiple ports. Thanks!