Nucleus+ Multichannel DSD with Denon or Marantz AVR

Now, the Denon and Marantz AVRs are roon testet.
Is it now possible to play DSD Multichannel without converting to PCM, if I connect my Nucleus+ via HDMI to the AVR?

No. Nothing has really changed.

I don’t know of any MCH AVRs including very expensive ones like Trinnov that can handle DSD. I think this is primarily due to the fact that they all have some kind of DSP/room correction which can’t be done in DSD. It needs to be done in PCM, so the DSD always ends up getting converted to PCM at some point before it gets turned into analog. Also, since a MCH AVR is designed primarily for movies, Atmos and others are all PCM based audio. Very little is above 24/48K so they have no need to DSD MCH DACs in an AVR.

Simply not true. Proof: I can send multichannel DSD from my Oppo to my Marantz.
The nub of the issue is that computers with HDMI output cannot handshake with the AVR.

Is it possible to play 2-channel DSD from the Nucleus to the Denon AVR? The Oppo Blueray does so

Hello @Erhard_Zipp,

Please see @john’s comment from here:

No, it would not be possible to play DSD via HDMI unless it supports DoP.

What about two channel DSD?

Two channel would have the same limitation, the AVR must support DoP.

DoP has nothing to do with HDMI, afaik. DoP is applicable to S/PDIF coax, TOSlink and some other connection types.

Playing via roon DSD or FLAC multichannel with my Oppo 205 it is downmixed to only 2 channels. And DSD (multichannel and stereo) ist converting to PCM.
When I play without roon all files are okay, but the playback-software from oppo is not really good.
What happen, when I connect the Oppo 205 with analog multichannel-output to an AVR and use roon? Therfore the ESS9038pro ist a very good DAC.

How are these connected? If by USB, that’s what you get. HDMI will permit multichannel and/or DSD.


Depending on the AVR, you should be able to get multichannel just fine.

This question will asked again an again.
The answer will not changed, but always NO!
The problem is not the AVR, but the HDMI implementation in the PCs. There isn’t any driver, that can support for HDMI (stereo or multichannel) DSD.
The only solution (if you want to use DoP or native DSD) is to use USB.
There are also some multichannel dacs, which are working with Windows or Linux, but then you must have an analouge multichannel input for use this output.
My opinion is: Use PCM (if you’re using a DSP on your AVR all DSD will transcoded to PCM) or a SACD Player…

Using the Oppo as Roon endpoint will support only two channels.
You must use the Oppo as DLNA client or read files from s local HDD, then you can get really multichannel, but not with Roon.

Read my statement in context. It followed the one where I said:

So, if the OP sends MCH/DSD to the Oppo via HDMI, there will be analog multichannel output from it to the AVR. As for DLNA and local USB drive, yes, they too will work but, as you say, not with Roon.

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Short answer: no
Longer answer: Please see my post from last year: Multichannel DSD over Nucleus HDMI, especially the first paragraph.

The only update is that per @mitr’s review in Stereophile, the Trinnov does not support DSD.

I don’t know if Bryston put any special hardware to support DSD over HDMI in the BDP-3 or not. I tend to think not is the more likely answer. It would be wonderful (but admittedly niche, and hard to make a priority) if Roon Labs would step up and either make a deal with Bryston and add multichannel support, or write their own HDMI DSD-capable Linux audio driver from scratch.

Good luck!

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OK but in answer to what?

The OP’s question about multichannel DSD over HDMI…

Right. Done.

My AVR died two hours ago and am now looking to get another one (likely Marantz) soonest, but I want it to play nice with Roon and/or my Oppo UDP-205 endpoint. Let me see if I got this correct, as it is rather confusing:

Mch DSD/DSF files via HDMI (no PCM conversion):
Nucleus+ to AVR = NO
Nucleus+ to UDP-205 to AVR = NO

Mch DSD/DSF files via HDMI (PCM DoP):
Nucleus+ to AVR = YES
Nucleus+ to UDP-205 to AVR = YES

If this isn’t correct, please tell me what I got wrong.

If this is correct, how do I get my DSD/DSF files to a Marantz AVR? Is just a physical SACD via HDMI (or 7.1 analog in if the AVR has it) the only option?

Thanks, everyone!

The NUC/Nucleus HDMI to AVR or to the OPPO would be PCM or DSD Converted to PCM only. I could not get the DoP to work. The receiving components has to understand DoP and my Denon receiver and OPPO 205 did not work. Maybe newer AVRs would.

DSD to PCM conversion takes a lot of processing power.

I gave up on all that and got a MC DSD capable DAC. Roon plays DSD to the Roon Ready DAC without any issues. Not an inexpensive alternative but it works great. Rip the SACD’s or purchase DSD MC downloads.

The MC DAC connects to the AVR with the 7.1 analog connections same as the OPPO does.