DSD to Bryston BDA 3

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


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

Ethernet; Apple Airport Extreme; Synology NAS

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

Bryston BDA 3

Description Of Issue

When I try to play DSD files, Roon converts to PCM. If I select Native I get no output; if DoP (which I’d prefer), I still get conversion to PCM. Do I have a configuration that somehow is not allowing DoP?

Hi @Robert_Gross,

Welcome to the forum! Can you please share a screenshot of your Signal Path when you have DSD playing to your BDA zone and a screenshot of your Device Setup tab for this zone? Device Setup can be accessed in Roon Settings -> Audio -> Cogwheel icon next to zone -> Device Setup.

Hi Noris. Requested files attached.

I hope I’m uploading what you want and in a form you can see.

There is some documentation about Roon and DSD in the Knowledge Base.

From Conversion To PCM:


DSD, as a representation of an audio signal, is not very friendly to digital signal processing. While it is technically possible to process audio at DSD rates, it is very processing-intensive and brings with it a set of tradeoffs and complexities. For a technical primer on some of what’s involved, this paper is a good starting point.

As such, Roon currently does not support processing DSD signals directly–if processing is requested, Roon begins by converting DSD into an extremely high resolution form of PCM called DXD. In Roon’s processing engine, the 64-bit DXD stream has the same data rate as a DSD512 stream–so there is plenty of resolution to ensure impeccable quality.

Roon is not alone in this choice–DSD content is very often mixed/mastered in a DXD environment for the same reasons, and most other software players do not process DSD directly.

If you are interested in processing DSD content from Roon without converting the DSD to DXD first, it is possible to use Roon with HQPlayer–an external piece of software that specializes in this sort of processing.

DSP Features often require DSD to PCM conversion

Assuming that your device supports DSD, the most common reason for DSD to PCM conversion is because some processing is taking place. In all cases, it should be possible to see what is going on using Roon’s signal path feature.

The features that most frequently cause DSD to PCM conversion are:

For example, in this case, DSD to PCM conversion is happening because Volume Leveling was enabled:


If desired, Roon can process DSD content and output it as DSD

In this signal path, a DSD64 track is being processed with the parametric equalizer, before performing final output in DSD256 format.

This was accomplished by choosing “DSD” output in the “Sample Rate Conversion” section of “DSP Engine”. Signal paths like this one require a powerful CPU.

So either don’t use any DSP operations, like Volume Leveling or Headroom Adjustment, or set Enable Native DSD Processing to on in the DSP Sample Rate Conversion module.


Thanks a million BlackJack. I knew there had to be a solution, but I simply couldn’t figure it out. At least, I can now try different solutions and see if I can detect any audible difference (I suspect not). Really appreciate the full explanation and screen shots!

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