DAC connected to Nucleus without drivers

A little informative question here:

I have my DAC connected directly to my Nucleus and Roon recogniozes it even though it’s not a Roon tested DAC.
It’s a Marantz NA-11S1 which doesn’t need a driver for Mac OS but does need one for Windows.
How come Roon recognizes it correctly and works fine with it even without drivers?

And would that also be the case with a Marantz SA-10 (USB DAC + CD Player) that does need a driver for both Mac OS and Windows if I connect it directly to my Nucleus?

If it’s using usb audio ver1 then no drivers are required ybut your DAC will be limited to 96/24. If usb audio ver2 then its likely supported nativley in Linux as it’s been added to the the Linux kernel or it’s using genetic usb audio V2 support and you might find it’s does not support native DSD or other features.

It’s USB2, 192/32, native DSD128 all correctly recognized by Roon so it must be supported by Linux, thanks!

How do I find out then if the SA-10 would be supported by Linux as well?

Asynchronous USB Audio Class 2.0 Explained
native DSD playback support on Linux for USB DACs
volumio USB DAC compatibility List

Hmm, doesn’t look like it since the last time a Marantz was added was in 2014.
Although: my DAC isn’t in that list either so it’s confusing.

Is there any way to install a driver into the Nucleus OS?

No, but lInux doesn’t use drivers, its submitted as part of the kernel not a seperate driver, I believe. If its supported in the latest linux kernel then it would eventually be supported in the Nucleus.

If Linux is anything like Mac OS it does use drivers but they’re usually built-in or a generic driver If there’s no support at all built-in then you have to install a driver from the manufacturer in Mac OS.

My only problem is how to find out beforehand if a device will be supported or not by Roon OS or Linux. The NA-11S1 I have has been out for a long time but the SA-10 is a late 2017 model I believe which makes it less likely to be supported. Would be really troublesome buying an expensive DAC only to find out it doesn’t work with your setup.

Anyone from Roon here that can let us know how to find out if a device will be supported or not?

If you dac is expensive then you can probably afford to pair it with a small pc with the needed windoze drivers or even rpi running rooieee or or another networkable device that would support it.

Not having to run it from a PC anymore is why I bought the Nucleus in the first place.

Just took a quick look at its specs, I suspect the standard Linux ALSA/UAC2 (USB audio class 2) drivers won’t support its fancier DSD modes. Roon keeps testing and certifying more DACs, but how easy it is to certify a new DAC depends on how much they “stretch” the envelope of UAC2, deliberately or through unwitting bugs. In your shoes, I’d not upgrade to the new DAC until Roon certifies it, to avoid frustration. Myself, I’m a pure PCM up-to 24/192 guy, which standard Linux setups support very well.

Another thing I was thinking about: since the Nucleus is basically a PC running Linux, it should be possible to connect a USB hub and connect more than 2 DACs as well, no?

FYI: Yes, using a powered hub works. I’m using an industrial grade USB 2.0 hub to be sure of isolation, a Vaunix Lab Brick. I tried the same hub without power supply but that didn’t work.

I also tested my new Sennheiser HDV 820 amp/dac.
Roon doesn’t seem to detect this DAC has native DSD capabilities. It does detect them on my Marantz NA-11S1 though.