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DSD in the The Voice That Is Room

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  • #46
    As mentioned in my previous post the quality of the CC recordings made by Jared Sacks and the Challenge Classics recordings made by Bert van der Wolf is generally speaking from a sonic point of view already very good, although some recordings shine even more than others.

    From the Challenge Classics catalogue I list by way of example the following impressive sounding files that can all be downloaded from the website :

    - Bach, Matthaus Passion, La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken.
    - Prokofiev, Symphonies nos. 3 and 4, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/James Gaffigan.
    - Ockeghem - De La Rue, Requiem, Cappella Pratensis.
    - Bach, Weihnachtsoratorium, La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken.
    - Prokofiev, Symphonies nos. 6 and 7, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/James Gaffican.
    - Stylems, Italian music from the Trecento, Ensemble Syntagma.
    - Britten, War Requiem, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/Jaap van Zweden.
    - Beethoven, Piano concertos nos. 1 and 2, Hannes Minnaar, The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra/Jan Willem de Vriend.


    • #47
      From the CC catelogue I list just by way of example the following recordings that can be downloaded from the and the websites :
      - Bach, St. John Passion, The Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Veldhoven.
      - The Argentinian Album, Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Candida Thompson.
      - Bach, St. Matthew Passion, The Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Veldhoven.
      - Guardian Angel, Biber/Bach/Tartini/Pisendel, Rachel Podger (gorgeous solo violin recording).
      - Bach, Mass in B minor, The Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Veldhoven.
      - Stravinsky, Rite of the spring, Firebird suite, Scherzo, Tango, Budapest Festival Ochestra/Ivan Fischer.
      - Mahler symphony no. 4, Budapest Festival Orchestra/Ivan Fischer.
      - Bach, Christmas Oratorio, The Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Veldhoven.
      - Bach, Magnificat, The Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Veldhoven.
      - Von Biber, Rosary Sonatas, Rachel Podger.

      In addition, I listed quite a few beautiful sounding CC recordings on the Whatsbestforum. I believe I started on that site a thread called stunning sounding files or something. I stopped adding recordings to that site because the response was rather dissappointing.

      Lastly, I brought home yesterday from my visit to Jared Sacks a few new CC files that are not yet officially available to the public, such as inter alia Bach's The art of fugue by Rachel Podger. Have only listened very shortly to it but my first impression is: gorgeous.


      • #48
        Originally posted by Audiocrack
        Hello Al,

        Sorry for the late reply to your request to list a few very good sounding files of companies like Channel Classics and Challenge Classics. I am just back from holidays and had only now and then access to internet.

        First of all, so far Channel Classics ("CC") has only released dsd 64 recordings. On my way back from France to my home I visited Jared Sacks of CC at his home yesterday and listened to a few of his recordings. He now and then records in higher dsd formats such as dsd 256, but these recordings are only available through

        On the CC website - - you can find a pretty large and impressive collection of classical CC recordings that can be downloaded in various formats, such as dsd 64 and pcm 24/192. It will come as no surprise that Jared very clearly prefers dsd to pcm (he was very outspoken about this when I talked to him yesterday).

        Another (Dutch) label that I cherish is Challenge Classics. The downloads of this label can be found on Bert van der Wolf is the driving force behind the Challenge Classics recordings that can be downloaded in various formats from the afore mentioned side. Please keep in mind that Challenge Classics releases all kind of (classical and non classical) music that has not been recorded by Northstar, the company led by Bert van der Wolf. So while Bert's recordings are in my view most of the time top notch, some other Challenge Classics recordings are not because the recording quality varies due to the fact that different recording engineers are being used. So if you buy a Challenge Classics recording or file, make sure it was actually recorded by Bert van der Wolf.

        Secondly, please keep in mind that the (more recent) classical files that can be downloaded from the spiritofturtle website are all original dxd recordings (some of the older recordings such as from the former Turtle label are original dsd 64 recordings), although they are not only made available in dxd but also eg in dsd 256, dsd 64 or 24/192.

        I buy my Challenge Classics files in three formats: dxd, dsd 256 and 24/192 (the latter for my Trinity combo in my Genesis/Kondo set up).

        In my Tidal La Assoluta/Kondo system using the Lampi GG dac as digital source (with Elrog 300b valves and Emission Labs recti), I prefer the Challenge Classics files in dxd format to the dsd 256 format: to me the former sound more open en dynamic, while the latter sound somewhat smoother/laid back.

        I am not really good with links but I will later list some CC and Challenge Classics files that I love from a sonic point of view. Right now I already mention that from the Challenge Classics catalogue I admire inter alia the two Prokofiev recordings. The third album with Prokofiev symphonies will be recorded next August in Hilversum, the Netherlands, and if everything goes well I will have the chance to attend the recording sessions. Really looking forward to that as it gives me the opportunity to compare the (live) sound in the hall to the sound in my home set up.
        Jared gave out 2 years ago (?) a sampler stick with his recordings in different formats. Anyone who thinks that DSD or even high rez PCM is snake oil should hear the recordings at different resolutions. At that time he did IIRC three PCM and DSD. The 24/192 PCM made the RBCD file sound like a joke. All skeletons, no clothes. And of the group, the 1X DSD was clearly the best. Just more meat on the bones, more harmonic information, more sense of space. And we know DACs have improved in the last two years (we played it back with the Aurender server through Tidal speakers).
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor,

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 440 and 1000 Nextgen mono amps
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, vdh Colibri Master Signature, Mutech Hayabusa,
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Skogrand, Kubala-Sosna, Audience FrontRow; Audience FrontRow, Genesis Advanced Technologies , Goldmund and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.3+ platforms.


        • #49
          Unlike some of your collegues at Positive Feedback, Myles, like eg David I am still not sure if dsd is (indeed) superior to pcm. For me tonality is one of the most important aspects of music reproduction and that is why I like dsd so much. However, the pcm (dxd) recordings of Challenge Classics belong in my view to the best high res files available today (notwithstanding the fact that the dsd 256 versions of the same recordings sound in my Tidal LA set up even more gorgeous, but also less open and less dynamic than the dxd versions while the tonality of these dxd recordings is beautiful as well).


          • #50
            To my list of this morning of fine Challenge Classics files I should add the various Bruckner symphonies, conducted by Jaap van Zweden. Listening right now to Bruckner's eight symphony and this is really a great recording in dxd.

            Only four of the Bruckner symphonies are available trough Bert van der Wolf's beautiful recordings. The other Bruckner symphonies were done by Jaap van Zweden with another orchestra and were recorded by another company.😤