Dear Support team,
I’ve purchased a Roon Nuclear+ and connected it to my DAC, a Playback Designs MPD-8, by USB. Even if the MPD-8 is capable of Native DSD up to DSD256, I only have some noise when trying to playback DSD files.
I have contacted the DAC manufacturer who told me that under Linux OS there is this issue which is solved by picking the right version Kernel with the right version ALSA driver. However, apparently this is not so easy to do.
Of notes, it looks like I don’t have access to the full range of set up on the device setting. In particular, no “exclusive mode” which as per my reading would be required for proper DSD playback (nothing available under “Advanced settings” either).
Could youplease help me on this? Otherwise, the manufacturer told me to play through DoP which should work.
Thanks for your support.
What is the right Kernel and ALSA version they say will work? Failing that, has the manufacturer actually submitted their DAC for native playback under Linux at the appropriate place on GitHub?
Thank you for the report, we will investigate the cause of the behavior you are seeing.
There is no need to worry about the “Exclusive Mode” setting, on Nucleus and other Linux devices Roon will always interact with the audio hardware in “Exclusive Mode”.
Have you tried playing DSD files with the DoP setting active? Are you able to play back successfully?
I guess the easiest is that I copy here the answer from the manufacturer:
“We were one of the first ones to submit our DAC info to the Linux open source community. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug in the original code that was created by the Linux community and as a result the following patch has to be included:
Antipodes reported that this works well in connection with Fedora kernel version 4.13.16-205.fc25.x86_64 and they can play native DSD up to 4x to our converters. Also, Sonore, Aurender and Melco have all implemented this with success with very little effort.”
I hope this helps. Thank you for your support.
DoP mode should be fine and is DSD, so don’t worry that it is a “lesser” form. You will just be limited to DSD 128.
Imho, the better option is, as mentioned in Darko’s review of the DAC, is to get a Signature Rendu. The Rendu takes an ethernet in and provides a USB out. So, your Nucleus would just be connected to the network, then the network to the Rendu and then via USB to the MPD-8. As he mentioned in his review, you will be able to do native DSD 256 going this route.
Below is the link to the review and the relevant part I’ve extracted.
Initially, I listened with the Asus laptop via USB. To further enhance the quality of USB playback, I employed a Sonore Signature Rendu SE. The Signature Rendu SE is an audio renderer that accepts an Ethernet audio stream from my Roon Core to provide a very low noise USB output to one’s DAC. The Signature Rendu SE is basically a mini network computer running a modified Linux operating system that is optimized for audio and is housed with an elaborate linear power supply for minimum noise to its USB output. Another nice feature of the Signature Rendu SE is that it can handle Native DSD with support for DSD256 playback from the MPD-8.
From Darko Review: https://darko.audio/2018/07/playback-designs-mpd-8-dream-dac-review/
Did you have an opportunity to look at the link I’ve posted yesterday regarding the Linux patch for Native DSD playing on Playback Designs DAC? Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks for your suggestion Rugby. Ideally I would prefer to limit the number of boxes, especially if the patch I’ve shared can help solve the issue.
We sincerely apologize for the delay in response, your report has required some further technical investigation to figure out what is occurring here.
It appears that your DAC is reporting a different USB identifier than other DACs made by Playback Designs. Native DSD detection on Linux uses the USB identifier to match against a database of known devices that support Native DSD on Linux. RoonOS includes all of the latest patches in the repository you linked, including the specific patch for Playback Designs DACs.
From what we can tell, it appears that your Playback Designs DAC is reporting a different USB identifier than other Playback Designs DACs, which is causing your DAC to not be picked up as Native DSD capable. We are unsure of what could be causing this, so we are going to reach out to Playback Designs and hopefully figure out what is going on. Is the email you signed up for your community account with your best contact email? If your cooperation is required we will need a contact email to facilitate communication.
No worries and thanks for your feedback. Yes, the email address I’ve used to sign up for Roon is the best to contact me by email. I’ll report your initial finding to Playback designs as well.
Looking forward for news from you in the future. Thanks again.
Dear Support Team,
Playback Designs have shared one of their streamer with you a few months ago. Like me they have not received any update by email from you for a while despite regular inquries. I appreciate you’re certainly very busy but any update on where you stand regarding this issue would be very much welcome.
If that helps Andreas Koch told me the USB driver (to have the streamer recognized as Native DSD capable) is now incorporated inside the kernel itself. From this perspective only (there might be other considerations on Roon side), it’s about Roon using the latest kernel in the Nucleus to make it work.
Thanks for your feedback on this issue.
While I cannot guarantee anything at this point in time, our current plan is to include the Playback Designs Native DSD support in an update to RoonOS at some point in the near future.
Thanks for your feedback. I hope it will not take to much time.
So I don’t ask you about updates, how will I know when it’s effective?
Announcement that Playback Designs devices are Roon ready as you do with other brands by time to time (I receive email about that)?
Or it will be listed as a new features in the OS change details on the dedicated OS update topic?
Any progress to report? This is close to one year that the issue has been reported. Thank you.
no fix included with the last update (521)? that’s too bad! I understood that you’d like to keep the chain as simple as possible, but I would try a raspberry pi with ropieee(xl). there is a big chance that native DSD is supported on your dac.
The last update was to Roon, not Roon OS as detailed by John above. So we are looking at an operating system update of ROCK for the functionality you want.
I’ll be patient and stick with the current set up. Roon is supportive and this will be fixed at some point as per feedback received. Thanks.
thank you for clarifying that, but if he was using an other os as an endpoint he probably would be able to play native dsd and that was my point
Patience is the greatest virtue!
The issue was fixed with latest Roon OS release. Now I can play native DSD as supported by my DAC!