"Crossing" (both stereo and multichannel mixes) has been remastered for higher res DSD by NativeDSD.com in the Netherlands. It is now available for download from NativeDSD as Double DSD (128), Quad DSD (256) and Octo DSD (512). Everyone who buys the higher rates program (HRP) also can have a copy of the original DSD 64 master.
Since coming online in 2014, one of NativeDSD's all time best selling native DSD download albums has been "Crossing". This Pure DSD recording was created as a live studio project for stereo and 5.1 surround sound in 2005 and released in 2006 on hybrid multichannel SACD disc. Engineered by Charlie Natzke (Slipperworld.net) and mixed and mastered as DSD by Gus Skinas (SuperAudioCenter.com) the provenance of this recording has managed to withstand some of the time ebbing and flowing in the hi-res and HD media world in general.
NativeDSD.com has provided a path for this "extraordinary recording" (Stereophile) to be further improved on playback by remastering the native DSD64 (2.8mHz sample rate) to higher frequencies of 5.6, 11.2 and 22mHz.
Brian Moura, NativeDSD's Technical Advisor writes:
"What is different with higher bitrate DSD releases is the uncorrelated modulation noise content placement in the frequency spectrum. While the spectral shape is the same regardless of the DSD bitrate, its effective start and end points move an octave higher for every doubling of the DSD bitrate. For DSD 64, the uncorrelated modulation noise is about -110dB at 20KHz, rising to about -50dB at 100KHz. For DSD 512, the modulation noise is about -110dB at 160KHz, and -50dB at 800KHz. Higher bitrate DSD releases (including DSD 128, DSD 256, and DSD 512) facilitate the listener’s Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) operation utilizing gentler, less phase distorting reconstruction filters and algorithms in the Digital to Analog process. The result is music with far improved phase response, a sound that is less aggressive, more spacious and airy, and less “digital”. "
Native DSD's Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield
explains the motivations and description of HRP's process:
"The reason we generate these additional delivery formats and DSD bitrates is to provide customers purchasing alternatives tailored to their DAC's design capabilities.
It is correct that there's no additional music content information contained in the higher DSD bitrate deliverables from the original DSD bitrate. What's different is the uncorrelated modulation noise content placement in the frequency spectrum. When a DSD original file is converted to DXD (PCM), the inherent DSD modulation noise is removed through the decimation filtering, and reoccurs when modulated back to DSD. The modulation noise (again, uncorrelated) is the carrier part of the DSD bitstream modulation, and an inherent part of the DSD bit stream."
Tom goes on to say "This allows the customer's DAC to use gentler, more Gaussian shaped reconstruction filter algorithms, with far improved phase response, yielding a more analog sounding, more spacious and detailed playback."
As you can guess over the years, I have heard "Crossing" endless many times in its native DSD64 format through a lot of playback gear and speakers/headphones. Since listening to the DSD128 and 256 remasters Tom at NativeDSD created I wrote these thoughts:
"I am comparing DSD128 and DSD256 using the iFi Nano iDSD BL DAC. Quite a distinction between all 3 bitrates (2.8, 5.6, 11.2). The original DSD64 was a higher gain and not nearly the contours in sound of the higher sample rates. It's as if the room curves improved, even more so with the DSD256.
The direct air between singer and listener as well as what is coming off the acoustic guitar (both center) are that much more personalized and relaxed yet distinct and round in delivery. I think this is phase improvements, back to the timing thing. Location is improved so we hear it closer to how it was intended and originally played in the room. All instruments have something of an atmospheric transformation to their delivery (attack) and decay. Very very pleasing to hear in this high high quality presentation."
Then an audiophile (50+ years listening) friend and professional with high end sound systems listened to the remastered Crossing DSD128 with these words to me. He has been listening to the Crossing SACD and DSD 64 downloads for years in both stereo and multichannel:
"The remaster sports more accurate start/stop, attack/decay. The result is fuller reproduction of the music-excited space. Here the imaging is completely spherical, utterly free of any blur, alive as in real life."
"I consistently prefer the 128 files [over original DSD64], mainly due to your vocals presentation (more defined, less "congested", with better rendering of the studio space around you) but also because the bass lines are clearer and more integrated as elements of the band's performance. Also the overall sound staging is slightly broader and a bit more alive, delicate, 'airy'."
"Gooseflesh! Morning Light/Western Town 128 thru HAP. Freakin' astounding. All testing ceased as I cranked the volume and just reveled in the repro, depth, 3-dimensionality, inspired playing, singing, grooving. John [Havard's Fender Broadcaster solo] is there out front, 3 feet forward of the right speaker. I could reach and touch him. Sheer emotion
About the Multichannel mix he said: "Results are monumental! I am right now enjoying the best reproduction so far on my main system
." Read more...
Look for further NativeDSD HRP remasters of my other native DSD recordings as well as 80 other titles they have today (DSD and DXD upsamples) online at https://nativedsd.com