Optimum settings for signal path


There are a number of settings that I would like to configure in a way so that there is minimum modification to the signal path, in other words as least messing with the sound signal as possible.

I own an Sonore OpticalRendu streamer which I use as a Roon endpoint connected via USB to my Chord Dave DAC, all my music is locally stored on a USB drive which is attached to the Roon ROCK NUC (music server). My library contains a lot of DSD files. There are a number of options available in the chain that I am not clear about:

At the streamer end (OpticalRendu settings)
Roon Ready settings, Volume control options:

  • Volume control: None (volume 100%)
  • Software
  • Hardware

DSD Support:

  • None
  • DoP
  • Native DSD
  • dCS

At the Chord Dave DAC:

  • Set to PCM mode
  • Set to DSD mode (I have it set to DSD mode)
  • Set as Digital Preamplifier, or DAC mode (disables the Chord Dave volume control) and lets my preamp handle volume settings

At the Roon control side (Audio settings):

  • Volume Control: Device Volume
  • Volume Control: Fixed Volume

Any suggestions on what I should do?


If you signal path shows a purple light in the app then you’re fully lossless nothing more needs to be done. I don’t believe Roon can control volume on Chord DACs so set volume to Fixed.

As Chord DACs only support DoP for DSD material from connected Linux hosts (optical rendu being one) not native DSD, Roon will convert these to DoP
If you have DSD strategy set correctly to DoP and it set up on the Rendu and DAC, this stage will show up in your signal path.

Thanks for the note… It is interesting thought that when I setup the OpticalRendu in Native DSD mode, the playback on the Chord Dave worked fine… Perhaps Roon was already converting it. I will check with the signal path diagram during playback…

DoP is only a different form of encapsulating the DSD data it’s not converted to PCM it’s limited however to DSD256 as you can’t send any higher without having a higher PCM rate. It would only convert DSD to PCM if the dac isn’t communicating properly it supports DoP or things are setup incorrectly. It’s the only DAC in Chords range that handles DSD without converting to PCM first but as said native DSD and up to DSD512 is only supported via Windows and the Chord supplied ASIO driver, Mac and Linux are capped at DSD 256 and via DoP only.


I’ve setup the OpticalRendu in DoP mode… still not sure how was it playing Native DSD to Chord Dave… The one thing that is different is the reported playback resolution on the Chord Dave screen during playback… When I had the OpticalRendu setup in Native DSD the Chord Dave was showing DSD playback as 352.8 khz regardless if I was playing DSD64, DSD128 or DSD256…

When I changed it back to DoP the Chord Dave screen was then showing the correct DSD playback resolution.

It would have been converting it to PCM if it was showing 352.8 as it doesn’t support Native DSD.