Roon Core Machine
MAC Mini (2018):
macOS Monterey V12.6
Processor 3.2 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, turbo boost up to 4.6 GHz 12 MB shared L3 cache
Memory 64 GB 2667 MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM (32+32 GB)
Startup Disk Macintosh HD 512 GB PCIe-based SSD
(4) Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports (up to 40 Gb/s)
(2) External 4 TB Solid State PCI-Express Drives, WD_Black SN850 NVMe SSD Gen4 in 40GB/s Orico enclosure, tested for more than 2400 Mb/s write/read using USB C (USB4)/ Thunderbolt 3.
Networking Gear & Setup Details
wifi 802.11ac networking/ethernet cat 6
Cable internet 1 Gigabit/s
No issue with streaming.
Connected Audio Devices
DAC/AMP/PRE Burson Conductor 3X GT, USB C connection using Burson stock cable or apple cable, same results.
Number of Tracks in Library
DSD files are on the external SSD drives, about 6 TB of files.
Description of Issue
Playing DSD 256 or 512 (512 is not an option in ROON setting even though Burson is capable of DSD512). ROON plays up to DSD 128, and when playing DSD 256, it plays about 10 sec then it shows an error message:
“An audio file is loading slowly. This may indicate a performance or hardware problem.”
After that it jumps to the next track and same thing happens without being able to complete one track of DSD256.
I tried to run same track DSD256 in JRiver V29, it played without interruption, and Burson was showing DSD11, but I would rather use Roon for music.
With DoP, you can only play up to DSD128 without conversion.
You should be able to get DSD256 over DoP if the DAC is connected via USB and has a max PCM rate of 768. My RME can handle this no issues. You can’t go higher than 256 via DoP as your DAC doesn’t have a high enough pcm rate to encapsulate it, so it wont show 512 as Macs only support DoP not native DSD playback. Something it’s not liking if it’s struggling to play it and gives an error message.
what does the signal path look like and is there any processing speed shown?
It could also be that to get the full Burson spec you might be needing to use a windows driver and this a windows endpoint too.
DAC is connected via USB-C, actually Burson Conductor 3X GT only allows USB-C for USB connection. I’ve been using DoP with my PS Audio DS DAC for many years which is limited to DSD128. DSD256 getting choked after a few seconds of playing a track. I’m interested in finding what is causing the issue, since JRiver can play the DSD256 using DoP off the same file so it is not an issue with the DAC or storage.
Not sure what you mean about signal path, do you mean the read speed off my drives? If so, it’s about 2400 mb/s, fastest external ssd card available without the noise of fans. I don’t do Windows except for work, it saved me 100’s of hours of being on the phone with tech support and reinstalling OS numerous times, time saved for music listening.
It does allow the selection of DSD256 as DoP in Roon setting, and it did work with JRiver using DoP.
Thank you very much for this information. Burson conductor is tested by Roon.
You mac core is under powered it’s got a processing speed of under 1 that’s why your getting drop outs. Need 1.2 at least to maintain glitch free playback. Roon is a lot more cpu heavy app than Jriver and your mac seems to be the choke point
Your machine is to slow …
… to handle the Audeze preset (convolution filter, PCM) and the DSD256 re-conversion together.
Hi, thanks for the information. Do you know if there’s a way to control that processing speed? I don’t think there are that many dedicated computers to audio with 64 GB Ram and Processor 3.2 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, turbo boost up to 4.6 GHz 12 MB shared L3 cache. Pretty much nothing is done on this mac except Roon. Is there a way to allocate more ram/processing speed to Roon? I cleared all caches and other files, rebooted and still the speed is limited to 0.7.
Try to disable native DSD processing and see if it makes a difference.
Processing speed is determined from a number of factors. Single core processing power, ram, speed of disks, if it’s over the network etc. bYou could try using parrelize sigma delta modulator in the dsp settings which will utilise two cores for DSP but it might not make a significant change. Applying DSP to DSD is the most taxing process. Roon only uses max two cores for DSP. Turn of the DSP and see what your speed becomes it may well become more in the range needed.
As Marian has said you may get a performance increase by not doing DSP in native DSD .
Roon will always try to use a single core unless you permit it to share the load. In the advanced setup you have the option to parallelise the Sigma Delta function (essentiallly load share). If it is already set then you need to cut down on DSP.
I believe it’s always one core per channel at most, so only two cores for stereo. If native DSD processing is not enabled, DSP will run at 352.8kHz, which requires roughly 32 times less processing power than DSD256. The overhead of down- and up-conversions should not be an issue, and sound quality should not be affected.
You’re right, I turned off the Audeze preset and DSD256 worked, the combination was limiting processing speed to 0.7x, which didn’t show anymore after turning off Audeze preset. Thanks
I’m pretty sure you can keep the preset if you disable native DSD processing, as I said before.
True, but disabling native DSD shifted DAC to PCM 352kHz, I guess we cannot have it all. I’ll play around and compare the sound of both options. I’m leaning towards keeping DSD native with DSD256. Very interesting learning lessons. Thanks
I tried both options and you were right, it didn’t make a noticeable difference.