Please help me understand how Roon uses a DAC on a computer endpoint

Hello all, I hope someone can enlighten me on just how Roon deals with a DAC that isn’t officially supported.

I’m thinking of getting a Parasound P6, which isn’t on the officially supported list. But neither is the Anthem AVM60 I use currently. I use a Mac mini as a Roon endpoint in my theater, with an HDMI connection to the AVM60, and everything works just fine. Roon somehow figured out that the max sample rate was 24/192 (I guess because it is connected by HDMI? Is that correct?) and it just works.

So if I got the Parasound P6 and connected it via USB to the Mac mini, would Roon similarly just figure out the max rate, and also understand the various DSD options available? If not, would I be able to configure those manually?

Thank you for any light you can shed on this.

Yes. Roon queries a connected DAC directly and sets up options depending upon the DAC’s response. The list you refer to is not really an “officially supported” list, just a, we have tested this DAC internally list.

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If you do a search for Parasound P6 on the forum you will see that others users have it and are playing DSD.

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Just keep in mind, DSD is different than PCM and functionality can vary depending on the connecting device’s OS.

For example, you mention connecting it to a Parasound 6 wit a Mac Mini. Mac OS cannot do native DSD and will have to use DOP. This would put the top DSD playback rate at 128 for this combo. (And yes DOP is DSD). Roon will sense this and act accordingly.

However, if you plug that DAC into a Windows PC and load the Parasound drivers, you would be able to play Native DSD at the full rate of DSD 256. Roon would see this and act accordingly.

Linux endpoints can be a bit confusing and you will need to verify the DAC against each and the differnent Linux type and build to verify that it allows native support. Otherwise, you will be using DOP, just like with Mac OS.

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Thanks for the insight. I believe I only have one DSF album, but it’s definitely good to know.