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).
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…