I recently downloaded some multi-channel DSD files and have added them to the internal drive on my Roon Nucleus, which is connected via HDMI to my NAD receiver. I have successfully played multi-channel FLAC files through the HDMI output on the Nucleus, but when I play the DSD files, I get weird pauses with static every few seconds. I think there might be a sample rate issue in the DSD to PCM conversion, but I can’t find any settings that I can change to fix the problem.
Try to use the DSP sample rate conversion in Roon to set so that output is converted to either 96 kHz or 192 kHz. Does this work/help resolve your issue? Is the latest firmware installed on the NAD device?
Since 176.4 is exactly half of 352.8, if is unlikely that conversion to 96 or 192 would be more efficient. My suspicion is that, depending on the particular Nucleus in use, its CPU may not be up to the task of multichannel hi-rez conversions and playback. He might try using a 2-channel DSD64 file to see it is just a matter of system bandwidth.
It didn’t mean it as ways to make something more efficient but as a way to avoid the 176.4 kHz frequency because of reasons unknown to me there seem to exist couple of audio devices that can’t cope (well) with that frequency. I, Google actually, even found reports that seem to point in that direction for the NAD T778 (issues with MCH 176.4 kHz playback). IMO this is more likely an issue with the NAD then with the Nucleus.
Regarding this signal path, I have a question for Roon staff: why convert DSD64 to 352.8k first, then to 176.4, instead of directly to 176.4? Or is this just a display quirk? (Not trying to hijack this thread, ok to move to another topic).
Thanks for the advice. I changed the max to 96khz and that did the trick. It had been set at 192 kHz, as I know the NAD is capable of handling 192 kHz FLAC files, but I guess it didn’t like this DSD being converted to that sample rate for some reason. I’m sure I’m not getting the most of the music at 96 kHz, but, at this point, I’m happy just to be able to play the album, as it wasn’t cheap.
Thanks again for the advice and thanks for responding so quickly!
Get yourself the free software called music scope.
Analyze this music while reading the explanation of the graphs you’re getting.
I’m pretty sure you’re changing your mind after that experience and probably won’t buy the extra expensive hirez stuff anymore.
Just relax and enjoy the music without being drawn into Audio Nervosa…
Some DACs handling 176,4 not in a correct way.
In your case I don’t think, that your network or the nucleus is the problem, but the NAD DAC.
I would prefer here not to set the max to 96 kHz, but use the Roon resampling matrix and set it for DSD to 88,2 and also for PCM 176,4 to 88,2.