Native DSD Parasound HINT (1)

Roon Build 511 64bit
Windows 7, Intel Xeon 2.4Ghz Dual Processor, 32GB, 64-bit

Direct connection, Server is connected Gig E to internet.

Parasound HINT (1)

I have connected my Parasound HINT to my Roon Server via USB2.0. Roon does not identify the device, although it does have the label ‘PARASOUND-Digital Audio’. The HINT supports native DSD, but that option does not appear on the drop down menu. DoP is working, but provides inferior results. This issue was posted prior on the Roon support forum, but does not appear to have been resolved. I have notified Parasound of he details and requested update to the driver (the one I’m using is from 2014 and came from VIA Verson

Are you using the drivers?

Parasound HINT:

Driver Provider: VIA Technologies Inc.

Driver Date: 10/17/2014

Driver Version:

Hi @Jack_Stark,

Can you check to see if the behavior is the same with the newest driver installed? I am looking over the driver downloads page and I noticed that the driver was updated in 2018 which suggests that there could be a newer driver version.

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The newer driver is for the HINT 6, and I believe the issue exists with that product also. I own the original HINT, and the driver from 2014 is the only released driver version for that product as far as I can tell. I have contacted Parasound directly ( and they are looking into it. I have heard that the native DSD function does work with JRiver, so this appears to be an issue with Roon integration.

Thanks for clearing that up @Jack_Stark. I would also try a complete reboot of the Core, Networking Gear and HINT to see if that helps.

If you have multiple zone options available in Roon Settings -> Audio, it would be useful to check if the same behavior occurs on all of the driver options.

Failing that it would be best to see what Tony at Parasound says regarding the driver versions.

Sometimes ASIO drivers will be locked onto a specific bit depth, like 16. Check to make sure your driver is set to 24 or 32 bit. If Parasound doesn’t provide an ASIO interface, you can use the generic one in Jriver to look at/change the ASIO setup.

If it works in Jriver, it will most likely work in Roon as Roon would be using Parasound’s own ASIO driver, just like Jriver would use.

Thanks. The driver is supplied by Parasound, and the HINT is not Roon certified. The only driver setting is to set the SPDIF emulation, and it is not clear what exactly that setting accomplishes. The driver is identified in Roon as a WASAPI type, not ASIO.
I am an electronics engineer and have worked HW/SW integration for decades, in my opinion resolution to this problem will require engagement of Roon Labs SW expertise collaborating with Parasound (or VIA who supplied the driver). I have tried all options available to me as the end user. I would appreciate this being looked into by Roon as the primary owner of the issue.

Hi @Jack_Stark,

The net steps here for us would be to enable diagnostics mode to see if logs contain any more clues towards this issue. Can I please request that you perform the following steps?

  1. Open Roon Settings -> Audio

  2. Disable the HINT zone

  3. Re-enable the HINT zone

  4. Note the exact local time + date when you re-enable the zone and let me know this info here (E.g. 8:24PM on 1/6/20)

  5. I will then enable diagnostics and what this action does is automatically upload a set of logs to our servers for analysis and discuss these logs with the technical team

Hi Noris,

Just re-enabled the HINT Zone (PARASOUND-Digital Audio) at 6:21PM on 1/6/2020

Let me know if there’s anything else you need…

Hi @Jack_Stark,

Thanks for letting me know that timestamp, I have activated diagnostics and next time your Core is active a log set will be generated and uploaded to our servers for review by the technical team. Once the review has been completed, I will share the team’s finding with you, thanks!

Hi @Jack_Stark,

I spoke to the technical team regarding logs and they have noted that we’re not seeing any ASIO zones for this DAC. Native DSD is only supported on an ASIO driver, it wouldn’t work for a WASAPI zone.

Hi @noris,
Thanks for info. I may try reinstalling the driver from Parasound. If that does not instantiate the ASIO driver, then I will be satisfied with DoP.

I reinstalled the driver, no change. I will just get along with conversion to PCM, I’m not sure it’s worth further effort to achieve native DSD. On the other thread though (SU-8), I would like an explanation for why no ‘DSD Strategy’ menu is presented by Roon.

DoP and Native DSD is the same, in the end. With DoP, the DSD stream is encapsulated in PCM; this is not the same as a PCM audio stream. That is why DoP has an overhead and is limited to one resolution step lower than native DSD.

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Hi @Jack_Stark,

As Rugby mentioned DoP is DSD, just in a PCM wrapper. I will respond to your other thread there, but since we are not able to find the ASIO zone for this DAC on your system, unfortunately Native DSD won’t work properly.

Thanks Noris.
For some reason now DoP is not working. I also don’t understand why the driver is not ASIO as Parasound has indicated. In any case, the current conversion to PCM at the Server is resulting in a PCM rate of 352.8kHz to the HINT. I am quite certain I could not detect any difference between that PCM rate and native DSD. I consider this issue closed, and greatly appreciate the Roon team looking into it…
Have a great day,

The issue with DoP is probaby the volume leveling since that requires conversion to PCM. Turn off volume leveling and you’ll get your DoP back.

ASIO is a driver that should come from Parasound. The notes from the current Hint indicate that they do in fact provide an ASIO driver. If they did with the Hint 1 is something you’d have to ask their tech.

What might help would be a screen shot of your Audio settings screen that shows all the various devices.
Like this

As you can see most company drivers like realtek or evga load both a wasapi and asio device, each have to be enabled and labeled independently.

Thanks. I used that screen to enable the HINT after reinstalling the driver. There was no ASIO version for some reason. Honestly, with the PCM rate of 352.8kHz, there really is not much of a reason to work further on the issue (except I just enjoy trouble shooting). I am finding that the Volume leveling feature is something I place a high value on, and I don’t think I would want to give that up just to have Native/DoP when I probably can’t hear the difference.
Appreciate the pointers though…


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