DSD Playback Problem

Roon Core Machine

Roon Nucleus Rev. ‘B’ (S/N 54B2038BF409) running OS Version 1.0 (build 227), Server software version 1.8 (build 943) and Roon Labs software version 1.0 (build 12). The music is internally stored on a 8TB SSD.

Networking Gear & Setup Details

I have a house fiber optic modem, an eero Model # J010011 WiFi router, and an EtherREGEN switch in the network chain that hosts the Nucleus and the DAC. All connections are ethernet.

Connected Audio Devices

MOON 680D Streaming DAC connected with ethernet directly to the EtherREGEN switch.

Number of Tracks in Library

Roughly 64,000 tracks

Description of Issue

I’m not sure when the problem started, but it seems like it may have been a month or slightly more ago. The problem I am experiencing is when I am playing DSD, it will sound great for a while – perhaps up to an hour or two – but will always eventually suddenly sound like one channel is out of phase. The bass goes away and the center image is gone. When this happens, the display on my 680D – which I have muted – wakes up and shows “D8 N/A” on it. If I power cycle the 680D it temporarily corrects the problem. If I choose another DSD track in the queue and select “Play from here” it temporarily corrects the problem. Skipping ahead or back does not seem correct the problem.

I have put some of the albums that I have noticed this problem with on my laptop and played them via MOON’s MiND app using Minim as my music server. I have played them for about 8 hours continuously now without the out-of-phase sound happening. I have also run Roon on my MacBook Pro, via ethernet and WiFi, for 4 - 6 hours each way without the out-of-phase sound happening. This is probably not a conclusive experiment, but I don’t think I can play the music from my Nucleus without the problem happening well before I reach 4 hours of play time. In fact, when I switched back to my Nucleus after experimenting it took about 10 minutes for the problem to occur.

Can you take a screen capture of signalpath in Roon while playing the DSD ?

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Looking at the manual, it seems D8 is the streamer input, so I assume the message means the stream is not available anymore. This may be a problem with the DAC, or simply a problem with the Ethernet connection.

Can you check logs from Roon Core when this happens?
\nucleus.local\Data\RoonServer\Logs\RoonServer_log.txt (scroll to end of log, open in typically notepad).

If the Moon device states streamer not available - this is an indication of trouble with the streamer. If no indication of issue can be found in the Roon logs; I suspect it is a problem with connection between the DAC and streamer (internally in the Moon 680D) - can be bad connection (cable not attached 100%) or firmware issue. Reach out to SimAudio support.

You can of course try a new ethernet cable (ensure it clicks in place and check the lights on the ethernet connection of the MIND streamer); if you by accident jerk the ethernet cable - this can kill the connection against the streamer board). Alternatively try the wifi connection to see if problem goes away.

I just wanted to check if you did any processing - this might lead to issues. Here you are streaming native DSF which is supported by your streamer. Hence all good here.

I see something that has absolutely nothing to do with your problem. Roon still uses the old MOON logo. The square drawing at the top is no longer used.

The problem just happened while the song “One for Daddy-O” was playing. I have copied the last few entries in the log file. Here they are:

05/23 19:36:35 Trace: [The Stereo] [Lossless, DSD64 DFF => DSD64] [100% buf] [PLAYING @ 4:49/8:22] One for Daddy-O - Cannonball Adderley / Miles Davis / Nat Adderley
05/23 19:36:40 Trace: [The Stereo] [Lossless, DSD64 DFF => DSD64] [100% buf] [PLAYING @ 4:54/8:22] One for Daddy-O - Cannonball Adderley / Miles Davis / Nat Adderley
05/23 19:36:45 Trace: [The Stereo] [Lossless, DSD64 DFF => DSD64] [100% buf] [PLAYING @ 4:59/8:22] One for Daddy-O - Cannonball Adderley / Miles Davis / Nat Adderley
05/23 19:36:50 Info: [stats] 25741mb Virtual, 2911mb Physical, 1453mb Managed, 329 Handles, 79 Threads
05/23 19:36:50 Trace: [The Stereo] [Lossless, DSD64 DFF => DSD64] [100% buf] [PLAYING @ 5:04/8:22] One for Daddy-O - Cannonball Adderley / Miles Davis / Nat Adderley
05/23 19:36:51 Trace: [The Stereo] [zoneplayer/raat] sync Simaudio MOON 680D: realtime=85984876314211 rtt=1000us offset=-168090276685us delta=-129us drift=4169us in 514.2335s (8.109ppm, 29.192ms/hr)
05/23 19:36:55 Trace: [The Stereo] [Lossless, DSD64 DFF => DSD64] [100% buf] [PLAYING @ 5:09/8:22] One for Daddy-O - Cannonball Adderley / Miles Davis / Nat Adderley
05/23 19:37:00 Trace: [The Stereo] [Lossless, DSD64 DFF => DSD64] [100% buf] [PLAYING @ 5:14/8:22] One for Daddy-O - Cannonball Adderley / Miles Davis / Nat Adderley

I don’t see anything that would indicate a change in playback, but I’m not an expert. When I look at the signal path information it is unchanged. Please let me know what you think.

Everything looks OK there. Have you check network cable for streamer ? Try another ethernet cable. If this does not resolve it; reach out to SimAudio support.

Alternatively try wifi - just to see if this solves the problem.

Since there were no problems with playback using my laptop as the Core hardwired to the same switch, I believe the ethernet cable to try replacing would be the one from the Nucleus to the switch. The one from the switch to 680D worked fine with other streaming sources. It’s only with the Nucleus that I have problems. I will also try WiFi connecting the 680D. Thank you for the support!

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There could be and issue with ethernet-port on the Nucleus, you could try an USB to ethernet adapter.

I tried a different ethernet cable on my Nucleus and the problem persists. What I don’t understand is how an ethernet cable or port would be problematic ONLY with DSD playback. I have never had this problem with FLAC, WAV or other PCM files. I plan to do a more extensive test of my laptop being the Roon Core for my system and see if the problem persists. I’ll let you know the outcome.

I’ve run my MacBook Pro as the Roon Core for many hours without a problem. When I run my Nucleus as the core I get the out-of-phase sound whether I’m feeding the DAC via ethernet or WiFi. Do you agree that this outcome seems to indicate that it is the Nucleus that is the culprit here? I had difficulties doing the experiment of playing from the Nucleus to the 680D via WiFi because playback would stop now and then. Are there any other experiments you would like me to do? What’s next?

Everything points to the Nucleus, I can however not understand how this can be.

I think you need further investigation from @support

I started with support (I am a salesperson for a Roon dealer) and the pointed me your direction. I will take up the subject with them again. Thank you for your help with this. It’s quite a bizarre problem.

Hello @Gary_Bruestle ,

I recently brought up your case with our hardware team and they informed me that we will need Moon’s assistance in debugging this issue, so we have reached out to Moon Audio with your report. We suggest that you also reach out to Moon Audio from your end to inform them of this behavior. Thanks!

Hello Noris - have you heard anything back from the MOON folks regarding the DSD playback issue I reported?

I recently made a discovery that may help you track down the source of my DSD playback suddenly inverting phase in one channel (or at least that’s what it sounds like). I have noticed that fairly often when I close my laptop (which is usually serving as a Roon remote a
mong other tasks) the out of phase sound happens and I get “D8 N/A” in the display of my MOON 680D streaming DAC. The problem happens at other times, too, but I can’t find a trigger for it. This is the first way I have found to be able to directly cause the problem. Please let me know if you want me to do any new experiments based on this information.

Did you upgrade the Mind 2 firmware to the last Version 2.02?
Some issues with DSD have been solved in this Version.

Yes. The MiND software is on the latest version but that didn’t fix the problem.