Playing DSD files

Hi. I’ve searched but not really looking for intense audiophile discussion. Simply, I found a site where I can download DSD files which of course are very large and take a lot of time. Wondering if it’s worth it? I have a Nucleus and wired KEF LS50 speakers on one system, and a BluSound Node via preamp into an old Kenwood receiver(so i can play vinyl as well) I’m obviously going to try an album and see how it sounds but also wondering what settings would be best? Thanks. Hope this made sense…

I recently started downloading DSD files myself and the MC 256 versions are huge. The download does take time, storage can quickly become an issue and then there are backups to consider.

I had to purchase an external streaming dac to play DSD. My receiver and OPPO SACD player both play DSD files but not with the HDMI connection from NUC/ROCK.

In my opinion, if you already have the playback capability, and can find the right music for your tastes then Yes it is worth it.

Ok thanks. What Roon settings are best if going thru KEF speakers, then out in living room the Blusound Node?

Blusound does not support dsd files.

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Mike, some models of Oppo can also be Roon endpoints. I believe it is the 20x versions only. If you have that Oppo model, you can stream DSD to the Oppo and it will decode the DSD to analog and put it out the 7.1 analog out jacks, which most receivers can accommodate. The enables streaming of up to 5.1 DSD files from Roon. If you have a surround setup for theater, this can be fun.

That’s not true.
The Oppo Players are with Roon only able to stream in stereo.
Without Roon (using for example as DLNA client or directly from HDD) you’re able to play multichannel.

Back to the topic (multichannel seems not to be the theme):
IMHO there isn’t a need to use DSD in your system, but the best way to find this out, is testing itself.
For this you need a DAC which can decode DSD. As endpoint you can first use your Nucleus and later a dedicated endpoint (for example a RPi with Ropieee).

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I’m not familiar with your equipment, playback capability, or the settings.

Do you currently play Native DSD files from Roon with your setup?

I could only play DSD via NUC to OPPO 205 with USB and that was 2 channel only. With the Roon Ready Ethernet connection to the OPPO it would not stream DSD or MC.


I’m playing a DSD now and this is what Roon shows:

I’m debating a big splurge on the NAIM ND 555. Thoughts? Thanks everybody!

See the second line there, DSD to PCM conversion. You are not playing Native DSD, it is being converted to PCM.

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Yeah I saw that. Why is it doing that?

Have you checked to make sure your KEF actually supports DSD playback? I’m no expert on KEF but except for the Wireless II LS50, I didn’t see any models that support DSD.

Yep your dsd files are being converted to PCM. Why? Volume leveling, EQ, and your speaker can’t handle native dsd. In this case, there is not really much point in getting dsd files.

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Ahhh that must be the reason. They do not.

Darn. Yep you are right. Well at any rate, these DSD files sound fantastic to my ears anyways

This is my understanding of the situation, could be right or wrong.

The endpoint component has to be capable of playing DSD and Roon needs to be aware of the endpoints capabilities. If the component is unable, via the interface, to communicate its handling of DSD then Native DSD is not an option in the settings and the files get converted to PCM.

My Roon Tested Denon 8500X and Roon Ready OPPO 205 both handle DSD but Roon didn’t recognize that except for the USB connection to the OPPO. For whatever reason that was how it worked.

Oh ok I see what you are saying. Makes sense. Oh well I love these KEF speakers soooo much it is not a big deal I guess. Thanks so much

I never really understood this limitation of the Oppo 205. You can stream DSD stereo and MCH files to it using DLNA players like JRiver but not Roon. Not sure what the technical reason was for this, since clearly the DAC and Ethernet connection are DSD capable.

You also used to be able to send/play native dsd 512 with the Oppo, however, it lost that ability with the addition of MQA in firmware 0118.

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IMO, whether it’s worth it depends on whether/not you can obtain the same recordings in PCM. In my case, I much prefer multichannel recordings, and much of the time (and for classical music, almost all of the time) those are only available in DSD.

If the recordings you want to listen to are available in non-DSD format, then probably not worth going for DSD, IMO.

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