Issue with up-sampling and McIntosh DA2 DAC

Roon Core Machine

Intel NUC 10/i7/32GB - Roon ROCK

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Gigabit Ethernet - Unifi Switching

Connected Audio Devices

McIntosh MA5300 Integrated Amplifier with DA2 DAC. USB Connection to RPi 4b running latest version of Ropieee

Number of Tracks in Library

I mainly stream from Tidal

Description of Issue

I recently upgraded my McIntosh MA5300 DAC from the DA1 that comes with it to the DA2 DAC. I upsample whatever is streaming to 384kHz using Roon then feed it into my DAC over USB. This has worked perfectly for a year on the DA1, but since I got the DA2 on the first listen after power up, the audio is all garbled and contains static. If I adjust the upsample to another rate, say 192kHz, it corrects the issue. I can then set the upsample back to 384kHz where it plays perfectly for as long as I listen. It does not do it every time on the first listen of the day, but I would say most times it does.

I have changed the USB cable to a brand new cable to eliminate that as a possibility.

I’m reaching out to McIntosh as well, but wanted to see what Roon had to say as well. Luckily I have an easy workaround.

Is this happening on all tracks? Or just mqa Master Tier tracks? I don’t believe McIntosh bother with providing mqa support, so this may be cattling things in some way. It doesn’t answer why it wasn’t happening on the DA1, but depending on the DA2, it may be doing something deleterious to your source material. Maybe see if you get the same behaviour from non-mqa material when used on first power-up.

I’m hypothesising, so just throwing out some immediate thoughts rather than knee-jerk throwing shade on mqa.

Try a direct USB connection from ROCK to DA2, skipping the Pi. See if the same problem occurs.

You should also check switching among different DSD and PCM sampling rates.

I don’t think this is it. Information that I didn’t put in my post - I’m not upsampling 88.2KHz, so after Roon completes the first unfold of an MQA track, its at 88.2 and is passed directly to the DA2 without up-sample. I haven’t noticed it occur on any of these.

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Hi @Andrew_Embury,

Given that Roon and Ropieee use the standard Linux UAC2 audio drivers to communicate to all USB DACs, I’d guess that everything is fine in your Roon/Ropieee setup and that the McIntosh is not handling the UAC2 commands and audio stream correctly for some reason in this scenario.

McIntosh is going to be best positioned to help here. If they’re unable to get to the bottom of it let us know and we can reach out to their tech team.


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Thanks for the input. I’m having my McIntosh Dealer confirm the latest firmware versions for my MA5300 and DA2 (these don’t seem to be user-accessible anywhere). We will make sure they are at the latest versions, update if not, then confirm issue and open a request with McIntosh. I’ll report back here if I need help and the ultimate resolution.

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