McIntosh DA2 (DAC Module)

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

PrimeMini ROON Rock

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

Fritzbox / W-Lan

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

PrimeMini / USB - Audioquest Coffee / McIntosh MA7200

I would like to mention in advance that the McIntosh MA7200 is not listed in the device selection. Only the MAC7200 is shown.

Now to the actual situation … I have replaced the DA1 module with the new DA2 module. The DAC module is controlled by a Roon Rock Core via USB (Audioquest Coffee). With the DA1, the settings regarding DSD transmission were set to “Original DCS procedure” and the DSD files were played up to DSD 256. After hardware modification of the module and the associated three firmware updates on the MA7200, these settings now only produce noise from the DA2 module and the frequency 3XX kHz is now shown on the display instead of DSDXXX. In order to play DSD with the DA2, I must now set to DoP, in which case DSDXXX will also be shown on the display.

For various reasons, I would like to use the DA2 module again to transmit via dcS ?!

Best regards and thank you very much.

You need a machine running Windows and McIntosh’s driver to get Native DSD rates.

Hello, I see it differently and have experienced it differently in the past. The advantage with Windows is that it plays up to Windows (ASIO) with the McIntosh driver up to DSD 512, Linux (ALSA) only up to DSD 256. I’m almost sure that I set the settings for the previous DA1 module to dcS and the DSD Played files up to 256. According to McIntosh, the only limitation is Windows / Linux - DSD 512 / 256. The DAC on the DA2 should be able to play “native DSD”.

DA1 would need Native DSD via a windows driver to do DSD256. Linux will only do DOP with McIntosh’s USB chipset.

There are numerous threads on McIntosh with Linux and MacOS on these forums.

Effectively you’ve got the same thing here. I’m surprised the old McIntosh DA1 module grok’d the original dCS format (which was still effectively DSD over PCM encapsulation — just the early prototype version of it that dCS pioneered). I honestly thought only dCS gear supported the prototype protocol.

The audio industry (including dCS) has standardized on the current DoP protocol implementation as the way to encapsulate DSD over PCM, so it makes sense that the DA2 has also adopted it.

If DoP works fine for you and you don’t need to play more than DSD128, then use DoP. No reason to use the old dCS standard. I don’t think you could have got DSD256 from Linux via dCS protocol on DA1.

You can use native DSD if you direct connect the DA2 to Roon on Windows, or if you use our Lumin U1 / U1 MINI streamer, since we have recently added specific native DSD support for McIntosh DA2.

A likely reason between the different USB behavior of DA1 and DA2 is that they use different USB processor chips.

Hello, I would like to take up the above-mentioned concern again because I have not yet received any answer from ROON. According to McIntosh, the board can play DSD natively and with the ROON certification it should also play natively via ROON DSD (not via DoP). I don’t want to have a fundamental discussion about whether it is better or worse about DoP, whether I hear it or not, or whether DoP is even native because the data would not be changed. I swapped a previous fanless Windows ROON Core with external DAC and switched to ROON Rock and McIntosh with internal DAC with new devices. Packing / unpacking the DSD file in a PCM container means work, this work is done in ROON and DAC. Since the DAC has the prerequisites to play the DSD file natively via Linux, I would like to use this. I think that a ROON certification should support the properties of the device in order to make full use of it. I also think that the function of the DA2 board with ROON certification under Linux should be ensured. Basically, Linux can also play DSD natively. in my opinion it has something to do with the acceptance of ROON with different DACs. The list of DACs under ROON is not up to date. I have already received 2 current updates for XMOS and drivers from Mcintosh. It is only due to the acceptance of ROON for the DA2 board / DAC. Many thanks.

So exactly what is the question for Roon to answer? Is it:
Is the McIntosh DA2 board Roon-tested for native DSD? If so, does Roon Tested mean all operating systems including ROCK?

many thanks.
I’ll make it short, below are the two points for ROON.

  • The McIntosh MA 7200 is not listed under ROON, the identical (except for a receiver) MAC 7200 yes. Both originally installed the DA1.
  • The now installed DA2 is certified according to McIntosh ROON and should also be able to play via ROON DSD direct-native (Windows up to DSD 512 / Linux 256). In ROON I can only select dcS, DoP, DSD to PCM. The board plays in the DA2 DSD direct native via other sources.

Many thanks,

This indicates Linux is using DoP, not native. If it was truly native, it would also support DSD512 as it does under the WIndows driver. To support native, the usb sound kernel module needs an appropriate entry in quirks.c to recognize the DA2 as supporting native DSD. Without that, DoP is your only option. Has McIntosh upstreamed a patch for the DA2 to have their device recognized under Linux?

What USB Vendor ID+Product ID is the DA2 advertising to the host OS?

Hello, I have made a request and will contact you as soon as I have a response.

Many thanks.

No, AFAIK Linux / ROCK native DSD not a requirement.

Hi @Thorsten_Heinrich,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, the MC 7200 is Roon Tested as well, I have filed a ticket for our hardware team to look into this further.

Yes, this is correct, the DA2 should be able to play native DSD via the Windows ASIO driver.

What about Roon on ROCK?

@grossmsj - There is no native DSD support on Linux for the DA2.

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thank you for the answers. There is no corresponding drive for Roon (Linux), so far I have no data from McIntosh, updates and firmware are insufficient, etc. …

That pushed too much from “left” to “right” for me, I want to listen to music! I handed in the MA 7200 and the subject is through.


Hi @Thorsten_Heinrich.

Does this mean that you returned the McIntosh for another DAC?
Shall I go ahead and close this thread if this is the case?

Just want to add that in addition to using Windows ASIO, Lumin also supports native DSD256 (or DSD512 with some models) output to McIntosh DA2.

yes, I no longer have the MA 7200. Please close the thread.

Thanks again for the answers and suggestions.

Greetings from Germany.

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