How to Losslessly Compress DSD without converting to FLAC and why you should do it.


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Mr. Afternoon

Surround Engineer and Artist
May 10, 2021
In Your Speakers
I just tried converting some DSF files to wavepack using the tools and guide outlined in the OP and although that part was successful, I had no luck in getting any of the wv files to play across a number of devices. I tried playing them on my OPPO 103D, my Bluesound Node 2i and my Marantz AVR, all via USB, but nada. None of these devices recognised the audio files. I know the OP only identified a number of programmes that would be compatible but I thought I'd give it a go with these devices just in case. It looks like I'll be converting DSD to FLAC after all.
Aw, thanks for letting us know.


701 Club - QQ All-Star
Nov 15, 2010
I want to do it to reduce the amount of space my ripped music takes on my NAS. That's the biggest practical application in my eyes.

FLAC exists for precisely the same reason.

Space reduction is good for everyone - not just pirates - if that were not the case everyone would be ripping to uncompressed WAV files.
Yes, but for better or worse, flac is an industry playback standard. Pretty much everything handles flac. WV isn’t and many devices don’t handle it.

Space was a big deal in 2010. And as I wrote earlier, if you’re starting from scratch, it’s not a bad idea to covert to wv (assuming all of your current and potential future eqpt will handle it).

But if you’re not (and I would think few are in 2021), storage is incredibly cheap and most people’s time isn’t.
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The Phoolosopher
Nov 9, 2012
Somewhere in your mind as a memory...
I have been using dbPowerAmp for converting SACD rips to FLAC. This software converts to 96/24 by default, but it can be changed if 88.2/24 is preferred.
I have many rips converted to 96/24 because of compatibility reasons. My sound card driver was unable to play multi-channel 88.2/24 until recently, so I am sticking with 96/24 and I am happy with it. Moreover, I don't normalise the volume of the FLAC files, and keep them at -6db.

I am not an expert of the technicalities, but it seems there is disagreement about the advantages of 88.2 vs 96 with modern converters. See this thread:

My ears don't notice a difference, but I haven't done a null test to check how the two sample rates compare.

I could play DSD directly, and send it to the AVR, but FLAC is so much convenient. I just keep the SACD ISO image as a backup, should I ever need it.

I'm currently in the process of extracting DSF from SACD ISO images so that I can convert the resulting DSD files to FLAC (my system isn't fully DSD capable, hence the need for FLAC) and dbPoweramp looks like it does the conversion with ease and with a very friendly user interface - I've used dbPoweramp previously to convert sample rates and what not. Anyway, I'll give it a go with a sample rate of 88.2 and see how it goes. I read threads where normalising and dither are mentiond but it looks like DBPA just gets on with it, at least I think that's the case.

Interestingly, the DBPA guy in that thread you included a link to is indeed incredibly convinced that 24/96 is the way to go when using DBPA to convert DSD to FLAC. I know nothing though so I'll go with the sample rate of 88.2 as that's what most people say is most suitable.


300 Club - QQ All-Star
Nov 23, 2015
I did some dsf to flac conversions using dbpoweramp, but was disappointed in the results. Just didn't sound as good. So I've been keeping them as is. I have lots of playback options - Yamaha receivers, Oppos, one of my Sony blurays, a Marantz headphone amp, and the aforementioned Fiio portable. But I'm really only hurting for storage space on my portable where I'm scraping by with 1 TB. :) I have to be somewhat selective with the dsfs.