DSD Multichannel content is converted to PCM on machine that can play native DSD

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

ROCK running on Intel NUC8i3BEH1

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

ASUS Mesh network on AC66U routers

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Yamaha RX-A860 receiver connected to ROCK via HDMI

Description Of Issue

I am able to send 2 Channel DSD files to my Oppo 205 via USB with no issue, but Oppo can’t receive multichannel through USB.

So I initially sent multichannel to Oppo over HDMI, but had PCM conversion issues, so I switched the HDMI cable directly to the Yamaha Receiver that would natively play multichannel DSD discs played on the Oppo.

However even connecting the ROCK directly to the Yamaha I cannot send the multichannel DSD content without it being converted to PCM. For DSD Playback Strategy I tried the “DSD over PCM v1.0” but I only get hiss with the music at a very low level. I do not even get the “Native DSD” option. I can only select “Convert to PCM”.

Using this method sounds good, but I would prefer to get my full resolution DSD.

Thank you for any assistance.
Matt Sallman

Hi @Matthew_Sallman,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for reaching out to us here.

I took a look through the Yamaha Manual and I do see that it lists DSD via HDMI as an option, but it does not specify if the DSD stream can be sent as DoP (DSD over PCM).

Outputting Native DSD via ROCK’s HDMI output is not possible and unless the reciever accepts DoP, the DSD content must be converted to PCM on the Core before it is sent to be audible (as it is in your last screenshot).

I would reach out to Yamaha to confirm if DoP is supported on this receiver or if there is a firmware update that can enable this functionality, otherwise the stream will need to be converted to PCM before being sent.

Thanks for your reply noris.

Could you give more detail on your comment “Outputting Native DSD via ROCK’s HDMI output is not possible”? Is this a limitation of the ROCK’s Linux based software or the Intel NUC hardware? Would some other endpoint accept the pure DSD signal and then pass it to the receiver?

I started running Roon during my trial period on older hardware running Win10. I thought my lack of pure DSD transfer was related to the older HDMI circuitry of the motherboard so I built the ROCK - and only solved the issue of the noisy PC in my listening room. If only my Oppo or receiver could accept multichannel DSD over the network I wouldn’t even need the device in the room, but since I can only pass these signals over HDMI it needs to be within earshot.

If the limitation is the ROCK software, could I reload the NUC with windows and would that be able to pass the DSD signal to the receiver? I could than put my core on the noisy computer in another room.


Hi @Matthew_Sallman,

Playing Native DSD over HDMI is not a limitation of Linux or NUC hardware, this is due to limitations of the HDMI specification itself.

It is not possible to play Native DSD over HDMI from any PC regardless if it is running Windows, Mac, or Linux.

I can’t say for sure what kind of DSD content your Yamaha receiver supports via HDMI, but if you are unable to hear anything when sending DoP content, then it does not appear to accept DoP HDMI content.

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