Is there a right setting?

Hi everyone. Is there a better option in the settings, when looking at up sampling? is it best practice to leave it at the default setting of “deactivated” or “X2, or Power of 2, or Highest Device Setting”? I use a decent Dac/Pre, in the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell Dac/Pre

There is no ‘best’ answer to that. It all depends on your own preference.
In general (simplified explanation):

  • Deactivated means Audirvana outputs the music stream untouched without changing anything. This is also called ‘bit perfect’. This is exactly how the source file is. The ‘puristic’ Audiophiles prefer this, because it does not change the original.
  • Upsampling changes the source stream to a higher sample rate and passes this higher sample rate to the dac. If you upsample with power of 2 it means that the CPU has to do less work (because it only has to multiply the sample frequency times two. 44.1 becomes 88.2 etc.). You can also do ‘custom’ upsampling and define per sample rate what you want to do (for instance upsample 44.1Khz to 192 Khz etc.). Also you can choose to upsample everything to DSD (=SACD) format.

If you want to play ‘bit-perfect’ (leave the source stream unchanged) set it to ‘deactivated’. All the upsampling options are a matter of your own subjective taste. Just experiment with them and just choose what you like the most. For some upsampling options (for instance to DSD or none powers of 2) you need a computer with a CPU which can handle it.

I like to upsample to DSD 256 (it sounds nice in my ears). Other people may have a completely other opinion :grinning:
On my NUC computer (Windows 11, with 16Gb of RAM and an i5 processor) this works fine, but on weaker cpu’s this can be a struggle and you may have to lower the value.

Hope this helps, but as you can see, there is no ‘best’ option here, it all boils down to taste. Just experiment.


Thank you

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