Nucleus Plus + Meridian Prime skipping tracks rapidly on USB output

I replaced my MacMini (acting as a core) for a Nucleus Plus. SQ is much better. Roon is responding much faster. But it seems that there is a problem with the Nucleus when I play over USB into my Meridian Prime + PSU: It starts with an electronic short-circuiting scratchy sound and after that Roon starts skipping tracks. No sound. I tried to solve it by changing cables etc. Nothing works. The problem comes back after a while… Never experienced this on my MacMini…

When I use my Nucleus to play Roon via ethernet through my Meridian MC 200 into the Anologue-in of my Prime I have none of these problems… Downside in that case is, that I cannot experience the full MQA experience.

Any suggestions?

When does it do the scratch sound / start skipping tracks? I think it’s related to changing audio formats.

I have a Meridian Prime (with the Prime PSU) which doesn’t do this however, my Meridian Director (Direct DAC) connected to a RoonBridge on RPi does exactly what you describe when the queue switches between FLAC files and anything else (i.e. AAC or MP3).

My work-around was to unplug the DAC from the USB on the RPI and plug it back in whenever that scratch noise occurs and it comes back every time immediately. For the most part, I only play one file-type in my queue for that endpoint now. It’s been doing this for at least a year; I’ve been meaning to bring it to the Roon Team’s attention but haven’t got around to it yet.

My core is running on Windows 10 (so not ROCK) so it may be completely unrelated. For what it’s worth, my Prime amp as well as my Meridian Explorer2 are both connected to their own dedicated Roon Bridges on Raspberry Pi and both work fine switching file types - it’s just the Director.

flagging @support for OP

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There are a lot DACs Roon on Linux is having issues with in regards to format switching . It seems to be the bit depth that’s causing it. Best way around it until they get it the bottom of it is to use upsampling to get all pcm to a fixed sample rate and bit depth. Worked for me and everyone else having this issue. It’s hardly ideal for you though as you you won’t get MQA, but at least as a temporary solution it works.

Thanks Shawn & Simon

Let’s try this. I now use samplefrequency conversion all PCM/DSD files to 192 kHz/24 bit. It appears that MQA is not affected by this. MQA remains untouched. So far so good…
Let’s wait and see what happens in the course of the day

You can set it up to only upsample certain rates too, so you could keep DSD as native DSD and just upsample pcm.

It seems my ‘problem’ is solved.
I even feel that usampling via Roon Nucleus+ is better sounding than the Meridian Prime