iFi iDAC2 Native DSD support in RoPieee

Hi Harry @spockfish

Do you know if native DSD support is patched in for the iFi iDAC2 (not iDSD which I know is already patched).


Native DSD playback for iFi stuff has been in the kernel for some time, since the mainline 3.19 kernel. The reason iDAC2 doesn’t ping when searching for information on this (other than it not being as well known/popular) is the fact it was not yet released when the patches were introduced. At any rate, they (it and the Micro iDSD) use the same unified firmware.

No problems with native DSD playback here on my iDAC2 / Arch Linux Alarm based NAA. In fact I don’t even have the firmware installed that would allow 256 over DoP.

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So just to reiterate and put your mind at ease: no patch needed. Even the most standard of, whatever, Ubuntu, Debian, even Debian Jessie kernels etc are going to support native DSD with the iDAC2. I’ve sampled them all :slight_smile: It’s a great little DAC.

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Nice, this is the root of my struggles (that nothing comes up in Google Searches).

Only the iDSD comes up in searches for Linux support for native DSD.

Thanks for clarification.

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Cheers! Very frustrating how so much of the good iFi info is buried in hundred-page long threads on headfi and such.

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I thought my Google skills were top notch but I have some work to do :sleepy:

Thanks again. I hope this post comes up for future searches to help others.

I bought one.

However running RoPieee, I hear crackles and pops with both Native DSD256 and 32/384 up-sampling. Less crackles and pops with DSD128 but still present.

BJC Cat 6 connection direct to the main modem.

Sigh. Trying DietPi shortly not that I expect any difference. :sleepy:

I don’t know what firmware the iDAC2 is running and can’t update it anyway because their website has been down the past week and is still down.

Hmmm. That’s a bummer. I’ve checked the kernel and indeed the patch is there.
The crackles and pops are strange though, and my first suggestion would indeed be to make sure you’re running the latest firmware.

What happens if you go for DoP (128)? Are the crackles and pops still there?


Will test Ropieee DSD128 DoP shortly Harry but here’s something interesting.

Just installed DietPi and snaps, crackles and pops are much less with Native DSD256.

Sadly not completely gone but noticeably less.

Soon as I can I check that the iDAC2 firmware. I’ve emailed iFi to send me all the latest files, while their website is still down.

Sigh :cry:

I’ve got a similar pop which occasionally occurs as a new song begins. Running a Hifi Berry DAC+ hat. Are there any suggested settings to avoid this?

Hi Ronald, same DAC? The iDAC2?

My primitive investigating found that the guys that don’t have this issue with a Pi, either use a DAC which isn’t USB powered or use something after the Pi to disconnect the Pi from powering it.

Example of the latter is an iFi iUSB3.0 or Uptone Regen etc. These disconnect the power from the Pi and supply their own clean power.

It seems that the clicks and pops with the iDAC2 are when the Pi has to supply power the DAC with 5V bus power.

The alternative is to get a microRendu or SMS-200 or similar product.

This only apples to really high DSD sample rates and USB powered DACs it seems.

Mine is a USB powered Pi 3 with a Hifi Berry DAC+ hat (common 5v power). There are a number of settings (such as sample rate conversion, processing settings, conversion filter, and resync delay) - would any of these affect the issue?

If I understand correctly, you’re not using an iDAC2? I recommend creating a new topic. Posting at the tail end of this one, which has already run its course, may not get the right eyes on your question :slight_smile:

Resync delay would be where I’d start though. Others can probably give more detailed advice on this, I don’t personally use it.

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At your suggestion I just started a new topic. Thank you for the tip.