When I normally stream music from iTunes, Spotify or Neflix from my MacBook to the DAC, the sample rate is 44,1 kHz (led turns red). When I use Audirvana it is upsampled to 768 kHz (led turns light purple). Back to Spotify, etc… led turns red again.
I installed Roon and changed the Roon setting to get an upsampling to 768 kHz also. Only, now the led on the DAC remains light purple in all other applications.
I even restarted both MacBook & DAC, sample rate led stays light purple.
I turned off “sample rate conversion” and now the led is red again, also OUTSIDE of Roon. I still think it is very strange that Roon would do a sample rate conversion even if it is not running. Or is it all fake?
As @pl_svn says, DACs by Chord Electronics are best fed source material without upsampling. To see what’s going on in Roon, click on the signal path. If you’re not seeing what you expect post a screenshot.
That is the whole point, Roon did not “release” the DAC, not after closing the app, not even after a complete restart of the MacBook and DAC. Only when I started up Roon again and I switched off the upsampling the DAC was released (now it’s red in Spotify, purple in Audirvana, red in Roon for all iTunes MP3, AAC and ALAC files).
Roon is not really “holding” the DAC. When you start playback, it simply switches the sampling rate to whatever you’ve configured (upsampling, etc). and leaves it there. And you have Audirvana configured to do max upsampling. I’m guessing Spotify doesn’t attempt to change it when starting/stopping playback. This would explain the behavior you are seeing.
You can see the current sampling rate and change it in the Audio MIDI Setup app (comes preloaded on the Mac). I currently don’t have a DAC connected to my MacBook, so I’m showing the settings for the built-in output, but you get the idea.
I’m not a Mac user but I sometimes read about the Mac having an OS function that messes with these things.
Could it be MacOS that holds it?
If so, can you avoid that by telling Roon to use exclusive mode, or whatever is the proper term to bypass the OS function?
not running Roon Core on a Mac anymore (moved to ROCK ) but… definitely “exclusive” or “direct” mode (or something similar I don’t remember what Roon calls it) must be enabled to have Roon properly take/release control of your DAC
oh, and… leave Audio MIDI alone, do not manually tinker with it: that’s your player’s job!
Apologies for my lack of knowledge/understanding here, but I thought the Chord MScaler handled upsampling rather than the Chord DAC itself…
I have a Qutest DAC, which I feed either via a Roon core running on my Audiostore Sonicorbiter streamer/NAS, or via Lightening DS running on my Auralic Aries G1.
I tend to leave any hi-res files I have or stream, and stream them to the DAC in their native format, but generally like to upsample any 16/44 CD rips I stream, in Roon or in Lightening DS.
My understanding is that the Chord Qutest recognises the resolution of the incoming stream and displays the appropriate colour. I didn’t think/realise that the DAC itself did any upsampling, only that it was capable of handling hi-res PCM and DSD files.
As I understand it, all Chord devices do processing that includes upsampling, to the best of their different capabilities.
But it isn’t really about upsampling, there is a deeper processing there. I wrote about it: