Clipping in DSD (clicks pops, noise)

Good Afternoon All,

I am having a very unusual problem and would appreciate any incites that anyone may have.

First off, my system:
NuPrime DAC-10H Pre-amp, DAC ESS 9018 to DSD256, balanced headphone amp
SST Son of Ampzilla II
Heavily customized for music PC as Roon Headless Server (dedicated as music server only)
Surface Pro 3 as Roon Controller
MC RL21 speakers / REL Sub
Sennhesier HD800S
Decent cabling through out

On very few DSD downloads which I have about 100 I am getting clipping. Static noise, etc. The affected albums are originally recorded in DSD64. I have tried every setting I can think of, Native DSD, DSD -> PCM (DoP), filtering to 24 gain to 0… The only way I have eliminated the clipping entirely is when I set the Volume to DSD Volume, but that changes the DAC to 352.8 instead of DSD, which sort of defeats the purpose of DSD. Volume leveling, which I prefer to not use also seems to change it to 352.8.

Most of the my DSD albums play without any clipping, and sound fantastic. I have many DSD64, about a dozen or so DSD128 and two DSD256. Only these few albums have the issue. The artist went as far as sending me his master files to make sure my files were not corrupt.

Anyway, I would very much appreciate if anyone had any other ideas of what to try.

Thank you very much in advance.


Hi @Randy_Myers ---- Thank you for the very thorough report and my apologies for the troubles here.

I wanted to see if you could provide some sample media that you are noticing this issue with. Jus ta few files that we may test in house with. Are you able provide me with a DropBox link? No worries if you are not a DropBox user, I can provide another upload method if need be.


Hey Eric, I replied to your e-mail. Please let me know if you did not receive it. I prefer to not list the artist in an open forum for a couple reasons. I very much appreciate you trying to help me resolve this!

First; he has been amazing and has literally sent me the original master files he has for one of the albums to verify that my files are not corrupt.

Second; his works are renowned as some of the absolute best sounding DSD recordings available for download. Also I am very confident it is not his files that are causing my issue. This has been verified by a few people with different setups using Roon also.

I am simply hoping that we can stumble on the right combination of Roon settings, or DAC drivers, etc. to determine and resolve where these issues arise from.

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With additional testing I am fairly sure it is not Roon that is effecting this issue. I believe it is the drivers for my DAC. As a test I reloaded JRiver and it exhibited the same clipping, maybe even worse.

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Hi @Randy_Myers ---- Thank you for the follow up and the insight :thumbsup:

Nevertheless, I completely respect your wanting to keep this content private :sunglasses: very commendable. Please keep me updated on your testing and any further observation you make, and if you would like some assistance just drop me a line (@Eric) and I will be glad to offer some feedback.


Hey Eric, thank you! I have narrowed down the source of the issue is the NuPrime DAC. My Marantz SA8005 can also be used as a DAC through USB. I installed the Marantz drivers on my music server computer and setup a Marantz “zone”. These files play fine through the Marantz. One thing to be aware of is these are unusual recording because they are direct to DSD and Gus at the Boulder studios push certain levels right up to the 0db max. These point are where the NuPrime clips, but the Marantz does not.