It would be nice if somewhere exist a community of Pacific users with some kind of knowledge base about different ways to used this processor, but I think this time has gone as the HDCD time has gone… In the world of 16.44 only the HDCD was good. Nowadays it is an anathema…
I do not have knowledge about the nuts and bolt of with process and I use just common sense and admit only what make send to me. If you wish a definitive answer then get in touch with Berkeley Audio guys, watch the agendas through…
Anyhow, Paul Stubblebine and Mark Donahue both right and both wrong. They just used different definition of HDCD. Yes, Paul is right - there is no HDCD at 88K but what is the HDCD? The HDCD is application of pseudo 4-bit peak extension, custom dithering, low level custom compression and use of specific post-conversion filters. Mark was incorrect saying that the “peak extension” and “Low Level Extension“are user selectable. They are NOT. They are to a degree user-optimizeable but the can’t be defeat if the HDCD is implied in 16 bit. However, Mark does not talk about the HDCD but about the LSB code that Pacific write even at 88K. Think about LSB code as 19 kHz pilot signal for FM – it is an identifier that FM signal has also stereo code on side-band apt to 53kHz. What DAC with HDCD chip reads LSB code it engage all HDCD options as it thinks that the source was HDCD pre-processed (peak extension, dithering, low level compression, custom filters…) but it happens with only at 16/44. What happened what DAC runs at 2X or 4X is unknown to me. Mark Donahue feels that nothing happens but the custom filters get engaged. I do not know if it is true and if it is then I would like to have not the 44kHz HDCD filers but the 88kHz as the Nyquist frequency is too high and there is a lot advantages at 88kHz do not use any stiff break-wall filtration.
Do not forget that Pacific was not made to use as you do – it meant to be mastering processor – run DD operation, to do A/D operation and the most important to prepare data for 16/44 HDCD. That is why Pacific has automated LSB code reinsertion in DD operation even if you run 88 to 88 bit conversion and the 16/44 HDCD is presumed to be final product anywhere.
If Mark Donahue in his initial replay do not behave as Napoleon Bonaparte and instead of suggesting that “it will improve audio if your DA converter properly decodes the HDCD (Even at 88.2 kHz /24 bit!)” he would say “because my damn Pacific injected the LSB code during my DD mastering and you DAC thinks that it is HDCD encoded” then all this conversation would not happen.The Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche