Ideally, I’d like Damien to answer the following question of mine since he is the creator of Audirvana, but others feel free to chime in too.
Damien… I understand, fundamentally at least, that Direct Mode is a custom audiophile driver you wrote to bypass Mac OS’ Core Audio driver. What I’d like really to know and understand is:
Technically/scientifically/mathematically speaking, what data or sound quality ‘loss’ occurs - if at all - when I don’t use Direct Mode? What corruption of the audio signal happens at the Core Audio level - if at all?
Non-technically speaking, what sound quality loss could be perceived - i.e. possibly heard - when I don’t use Direct Mode?
For context, I have a fairly nice 2-channel system, where the MSB Reference DAC itself cost me $34k! I only listen to SACD ISO or DSD files (have multiple terabytes of files). I always listen bit-perfect, with no upsampling whatsoever.
I look forward to your response.