Roon Stopped Playing DSD 64 & 128 Files [Solved - Set device to Fixed Volume]

Maybe three or four days ago Roon began having trouble playing back my DSD files. In short, it won’t.

Although the software seems to be playing them, I get no audio. And instead of my Bricasti M1 DAC showing DSD on the panel as it used to, it now shows 176 for DSD64 files and 352 for DSD128 files. All other digital files still play correctly from the Roon, 96/24, 192/24, 88/24, 44/16, etc. But for some reason DSD files no longer play, I just get dead silence. I contacted Bricasti and they told me the problem was with Roon.

I have Roon 1.8 build 831 installed on a Mac Mini (2020) with the Apple M1 chip running macOS Monterey 12.0.1. I export to my DAC via USB.

Is there a setting I need to check or set to get my DSD files to play again?

I’m a giant fan in solar flares. It explains a lot of the issues I’ve faced . . .
that said, I would recommend resetting the Bricasti M1 setting in roon.
Settings →
Audio →
Find your Bricasti M1 then click on the gear →
device setup →
load defaults.

Then I would reboot that system and see if anything has changed.
If nothing else it confirms a steady known state for support to follow up.

Hopefully that won’t be necessary.

I ended up powering down the Mac mini and the Bricasti M1 DAC. I powered back up and set the Bricasti to the defaults in Roon, but that mirrored what had been set originally (though I did also turn on “Use maximum buffer size,” which didn’t seem to help). I want to use “DSD over PCM v1.0 (DoP)” which is the default and what I’ve always had it set at. This used to show on my DAC as “DSD” but now shows as either 176 or 352 and is dead silent. If I switch the setting to “Convert to PCM” I get hi-res audio and that does work, but now it’s no longer DSD but DSD converted to PCM. Any ideas how to get true DSD to play again?

I heard back from Bricasti, the makers of my M1 DAC, and it seems something about the volume setting changed in my Mac mini and/or Roon software, maybe as a result of an OS upgrade or Roon update.

The volume setting seems to be tied to the XMOS and will then change the volume level in the USB signal sent to my DAC. The M1 expects a “bypass” or 0db volume setting from the Mac mini (basically the volume at max?) to properly pass DSD signals via USB. Likewise for this DAC, the Roon Volume Control setting should be set to Fixed Volume, which I noticed it wasn’t any longer, so I reset that. (It had been changed to variable volume. After finally getting DSD files to play again, I realized if the volume wasn’t at 100, the DSD audio went silent. Leaving the Roon at Fixed Volume makes sure it stays at 100.)

On the Mac mini I also went into “Applications → Utilities → Audio MIDI Setup” and selected “XMOS USB 2.0 Audio Out.” On the right pane, I clicked Output and then Mute for all Master Streams and closed the program, wondering if this was the same as the 0db setting Bricasti suggested. I think not though, because when I go back in, the mute settings are removed and the stream levels are all at max again, which I now think makes sense. If the Bricasti expects a maximum volume level, maybe these streams should be at max too.

After all this, DSD files began to play again through my DAC.

The problem is fixed, but I’m not sure which one thing fixed it. At any rate, something in this combination worked, I’m able to play DSD files again!

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Hey @Cameron_Hughes

Thank you for getting back to us with the solution to your issue. This information could be helpful to other Rooners using the Bricasti M1. We appreciate your help.