DSD with Roon, DSP convolution and exasound s88

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
i7-8700 @3.2 GHz (Windows Server 2019, latest Roon 1.8 (build 970))

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)
Realtek GbE familiy controller for Ethernet; Intel 82574 Gigabit dedicated network adapter connecting to audio network (extra switch, fixed IPs)

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
exasound s88 MKII over RAAT (Ethernet), separate network card to connect to audio only network with fixed IP. Using 7.1 output and DSP engine to convolute all channels individually (with 524k tabs each).

Number of Tracks in Library

92.000 tracks

Description of Issue

There are many threads about DSD with Roon. However, the resulting recommendations are confusing. Is this a processor/ memory/ other hardware restriction issue or can it be set-up to work properly. Okay, the configuration with the convolution is a bit extreme…

Te ISSUE: Roon plays DSD64, but after about 30 seconds starts stuttering and jumps to the next track. DSD 128 and DSD512 are not played at all. Looking at processor load, all are well below 50%. LatMon doesn’t indicate any overload or excess driver response time.

Any idea what to try next?

Check the processing speed in Roons signal path. Roon DSP will use only a single core for processing unless you enable parallel processing where it’s split across two. DSD processing is very intensive for two channels but across 5.1 channels it might be struggling, don’t go by the pc activity as Roon won’t use all available cores it’s single core power thats important. You might find using Hq player for DSP will work better for such heavy duty DSP.

Hi, thanks for the reply. How does one enable parallel processing in Roon?

It’s in the DSP section for the zone

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I’m not using the s88 but the e68 from exaSound also primarly for multichannel converted to DSD256.
With an older i7 it has worked until DSD128 (with parallel processing, which is IMHO the default setting) but not for DSD256.
Now with a current i9, the problem disappears.
What you alsk can do: Using 5.1 instead of 7.1, which reduces the needed power.

Well, this isn’t visible in my set-up with the s88

I thought about upgrading. Well, but it would be easier to make Roon using more cores…

It can be, that you’ve to change both…

A new server is scheduled to be set-up anyway, but I would also prefer Roon using more cores. Let’s see what the support says.

They won’t do this many posts on this one from the other day, especially with DSD. If you want to use Roon your never going to get more than two cores for DSP and you need the highest single core desktop CPU you can get.

See this post and Answers from Roon.


Suggest HQPlayer as the audio engine instead. 6ch DSD64 → DRC & XO / bass management in native form (1M taps per pipeline) → upsampling to 6ch DSD256 just like cookie cutter.

On my system the HQPlayer can handle 6ch DSD256 DRC & XO / bass management natively (I had 11 pipelines for 6ch DSD and it has 4M taps each).

Disable Native DSD Processing.


That won’t work when connected to the s88 with RAAT. The option is then not available. Only when using ASIO driver, which is an inferior way of connecting the device.

No. I meant in DSP Engine → Sample Rate Conversion → below Parallelize Sigma Delta Modulator you’ll find “Enable native DSD Processing”. You must disable it.

Also post a screenshot of your signal path when it stutters.

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Thanks for the feedback. Didn’t know that the setting does change anything even though SRC is deactivated. However, when deactivating the native DSD processing it converts (as expected) to PCM, but then struggles completely.

This is how it looks, when the native processing is activated and it works with stutters:

Hey @Ralf_Hoellmann,

Thanks for taking the time to write in! Are you still experiencing this issue on the newest roon build (988)? If yes, please share a few timestamps (date and time) of when this issue occurs. That way, our team can enable diagnostics on your account and pinpoint the cause at the time of the issue.

We’ll be monitoring this thread for your reply :+1:

Yes, it still stutters when playing “only” DSD64. Just played a file @07:22 on July 7th.

Hey @Ralf_Hoellmann,

After enabling diagnostics and reviewing your account, we’re seeing an issue with your systems processing speed falling under 1.0x when keeping up with both convolution and DSD playback.

[Enhanced 0,9x, DSD64 DSF => DSD64]

While DSD playback is the primary reason for this issue, please try streaming without convolution, or removing a fair amount of taps towards DSD, and let me know if your issue persists.

We’ll be monitoring this thread for your reply :+1:

Noted. But in my active speaker system, the convolution files are actually necessary. Will try another hardware,

Or software.