Question re DSD upsampling with Roon Nucleus and DAC8

Hello all, I am running Roon on a Nucleus and have set my DAC8 to run CPLD_for_1081 and firmware_2006be11 using combo384 as the audio device setting in the Amanero maintenance tool oem117.
Upsampling tot DSD256 works fine with the occasional hiss sound from opt source and the very occasional loss of the right channel.
I have the following questions:

  • Anybody having experence with this setup and the hiss sound from the opt source and loss of the right channel? (power cycling the DAC8 solves the loss of channel and cycling a source solves the hiss sound)
  • My Roon Nucleus recognizes the DAC8 to a max of 256M for upsampling. Why do I not see 512?
  • In the OEM 117 tool I can use “develop” instead of "combo384"as the audio device in which I get other (better??) cpld and firmware choices.

Any experience and/or advice is greatly appreciated.

if i have understood everything correctly…

the amanero firmware only affects the USB receiver. updating this firmware will have no effect on the optical s/pdif input.

for the optical input, t+a states the max file resolution is 96khz / 24bit – not sure what that translates into as a dsd rate but i am pretty sure dsd256 is well above that.

you might try a USB connection direct from the nucleus to the dac and see if that solves the problem. the USB connection can pass much more data and is good to dsd512 on the dac8 dsd.


in terms of updating the amanero USB receiver firmware, here is my experience:

just updated the USB receiver firmware from what the dac8 dsd came with out-of-the-box to CPLD_for_1081 and 2006be11 using combo384 in the ConfigTool. this is the firmware version tested by t+a. dsd512 works perfectly with a direct USB connection from my server/streamer running ROCK – absolutely no issues.

aKnyght, thanks for your response.

I wonder if you know how Roon Nucleus detects the capability of the DAC8? Does the DAC8 advertise its capability to Roon (through USB firmware) or does (should) Nucleus know through its internals?

If the former I hope changing tot cpld 1080 and firmware 2006be10 I hope Nucleus enables dsd512 upsampling to the DAC8!

See the screenshot for max dsd upsampling rate.

not sure the technical details of how roon communicates with connected devices. however, the dac8 dsd is a roon tested device. according to roon:

Roon Tested devices from our partners have been profiled and tested by both Roon Labs and the device manufacturer for maximum compatibility.

Roon will recognize these devices and send them audio optimized for their capabilities.

before doing the amanero USB receiver firmware update, the max dsd sample rate shown by roon was dsd128 via DoP – this is 100% consistent with the info in the dac8 dsd user manual.

after updating the amanero USB receiver firmware to CPLD_for_1081 and 2006be11, native dsd playback is enabled and dsd512 is shown.

so, this leads me to believe that roon is dynamically detecting the USB capabilities from the dac (based upon the installed firmware).

here is a screenshot of how i configured sample rate conversion:

how are you currently connecting the dac8 dsd?

My DAC8 is connected to the Nucleus using a USB connection. And, you are not going to believe this, but setting DSD playback strategy in device setup from “DSD over PCM (DoP)” to “Native” and after having installed the latest Roon server Update (Build 571) I now have DSD512 capability visible, and working.

I wonder though… I seem to recall that setting to Native earlier did not have the desired effect and the Nucleus update occurred automatically after reporting this issue in this post. Have the Roon folks looked over my shoulder and fixed this problem?

Anyway DSD512 now works fine with CPLD_for_1081 and firmware_2006be11.

Thanks for your insights so far.

i believe setting the dsd playback strategy to native is what enabled dsd512.

out-of-the-box, the dac8 dsd will only play dsd128 / DoP from a linux based OS. for some reason, the amanero usb receiver firmware update must have some how caused dsd256 / DoP to be shown as an option.

because DoP “encapsulates” the data as PCM it is then subject to the dac’s PCM max data rate. DoP dsd256 exceeds this max PCM data rate and was probably why it was generating the hissing noise and loss of a channel performance issues.

i don’t think the roon server update had anything to do with this. there is a new update available and you must have automatic update enabled.

good to hear dsd playback is working as expected now !!!

Thanks again for your help.

no problem !

one note: the amanero USB receiver firmware version i installed was CPLD_for_1081 and 2006be11. this is the same as you have installed. i had referenced the previous version. my posts have been edited to reflect this correction.

Dear Pieter!

Can you please explain me how did you implement Anamero within the configuration? Din you bypassed the initial T+A dac8DSD usb, or linked the Amanero externally using a cable? If that was the point, please explain me what to do at the I2S end.

Thank you!
Horatiu

@Horatiu_Marcu

Dear Horatio,
please find below some basic information about DSD playback with the DAC8DSD:

The DAC8DSD as delivered by T+A accepts native DSD streams with a maximum rate of DSD512 from a Windows PC with the T+A USB drivers (available from the T+A website) installed. From computers running MacOS or Linux the DAC8DSD accepts DSD streams in DoP format up to DSD128.

So if the DAC8DSD is connected to a Roon Server running on Windows or if DAC8DSD is connected to a roonbridge on a PC with Windows OS then DSD512 is possible without any change. Just install the T+A driver on the Server or bridge PC and everything should be up and working.

If the DAC8DSD is connected to a sever or bridge running Linux, then things are a bit different. As said above in this case DSD playback is limited to DSD128 via DoP. But again this should work out of the box. Just connect the DAC8DSD to your server/roonbridge and select DoP mode for DSD.

DAC8DSD, Linux and DSD512
Inside the DAC8DSD a USB receiver based on a development of the Amanero company is used. Amanero recently has released some firmware for this USB receiver which supports not only DoP but also native DSD from Linux based PCs. This firmware is still experimental and currently not officially released by T+A. Nevertheless the experimental Amanero firmware can be installed on a DAC8DSD. The problem with this is that once installed, there is no way back to the original T+A firmware which means that with a DAC8DSD changed to Amanero USB firmware the original Windows driver will not work anymore. If such an altered DAC8DSD shall be used with a Windows PC in future, then the Amanero driver (from the Amanero website) has to be used instead of the T+A driver.

Ok, so if you decide to change your DAC8DSD to Amanero USB firmware then the folowing two cases need to be differentiated:

1.) Your DACDSD has Firmware 2.6 or newer (firmware version can be found on the Quality Control Certificate which came with the DAC) then The Amanero firmware can be installed as described here: https://github.com/OE333/DAC8-Service-Tool/blob/master/related_docs/S0143_DAC8DSD_Service_Mode.pdf.

2.) If the DAC8DSD has an older firmware installed, then first an upgrade of the DAC8DSD firmware has to be performed. How to do that is described here: https://github.com/OE333/DAC8-Service-Tool

After flashing the latest Amanero firmware on to the USB receiver of the DAC8DSD it will support native DSD up to DSD512 from Linux computers (including Roon Nucleus).

WARNING
Before upgrading the Amanero firmware or the DAC8DSD firmware please be aware that doing so could possibly brick your DAC. Such upgrades should only be executed by experienced users who really know what they are doing. A bricked DAC8DSD can only be brought back to life by sending it to the T+A service dept.

Please also consider that flashing any Amanero firmware on to a DAC8DSD is a one-way.
There is no easy way back to the original T+A USB firmware. The only way back is sending the DAC8DSD to the T+A service dept.

I hope that this shed some light on DAC8DSD and playing DSD512 from Linux computers with it…

Best,
-L-

Hi Larry
Could you please shine your light what is the latest Amanero firmware tested and appreciated
by yourself.
Thanks in advance
Dirk

Hi Dirk,

for Linux based servers and bridges Amanero version CPLD1081 and be200611 works well.

Currently I’m testing with CPLD 1082 and 2006be15r7 (supposed to work with Linux and Windows).
Tests are not finished, yet but results are positive so far…

Best,
-L-

Hi Larry

Thanks for your reply.

Could you give a brief idea what is new/corrected in the newer versions?

Thanks, Dirk

To me it seems that big efforts went into creating a version that works with Windows and Linux.
Before there were versions working without any faults with Windows - like DSD512x48x44 and others working well with Linux like 2006be11.

If you have a version on your DAC8DSD that works with your server I would not recommend to change it.

-L-

My version works perfect upto DSD256. DSD512 still gives hickups.
But you are absolutely right, although very tempting, I better should leave things alone and just keep enjoying my music :smile:
Dirk

@Dirk_De_Taey: which version are you currently using ?

-L-

cpld1081- 2006be (I do not know the actual revision)

Dirk

What kind of hickups do you observe ?

-L-

Hi Larry

I did some extensive tests, but that was almost 1 year ago.

As I did not want to go through that process again, I ignored your (and mine) advice, and I installed
Amanero version CPLD1081 and be200611 .

After 3 hours of testing, I do confirm this firmware works perfect with my 5Audio-) linux based Pink Faun 2.16x streamer.

As I am not bothering about Windows, I will definitely leave the DAC alone from now on.
I am convinced that the combination of the T+A 8 DSD & HQPlayer - DSD upsampling - is impossible to beat.
(Of course, I have not listened to your SD 3100 HV refrence DAC with DSD1024 but that is way out of my league :grinning:)

Kind Regards
Dirk

Hi Larry, do you have any updates or news on the performance of firmware combination CPLD 1082 + 2006be15r7? Or if you’ve moved on to another revision?

I am using my T+A DAC 8 DSD in both a Windows and Linux home, so I’d appreciate your feedback on both fronts. Or anything else you might share :slight_smile: