Should I give up on DSD?

Roon Build 511 64bit
Windows 7, Intel Xeon 2.4Ghz Dual Processor, 32GB, 64-bit

Issues with DSD playback seem to be one of the most frequent support posts.Both of my ‘DSD’ capable devices do not even have native DSD as a menu option in the Device Setup menu.

WiFi->Pro-ject Stream Box S2 Ultra->SMSL SU-8->DROP 789
In the case of the S2 Ultra: Roon identifies the S2 fine, and the SU-8 is identified by the S2 and shows up in Roon. The S2 claims to pass all protocols through to the SU-8. Yet, there is no “DSD Playback Strategy” drop down menu to even select ‘convert to PCM’, much less ‘native DSD’ ?

Roon Server>USB2.0->Parasound HINT
In the case of the HINT, there is at least a DSD Playback Strategy Menu, though no native DSD is available, and conversion seems to yield inferior results (less than CD quality)

I am very pleased with Roon UI, but I don’t understand why the user doesn’t have the flexibility to define there own signal chains when devices are not Roon certified and Roon cannot determine configuration and capability. If I had this to do over again, I guess I would limit my device shopping to Roon certified, but I’m not even sure that is a guarantee when it comes to DSD playback. Fortunately, I am not heavy into DSD tracks, but I might have liked that as an option at least. For now, I’m thinking DSD is a waste of time.

You can’t choose DSD over PCM (DoP) either?

I think this is a bug in V1.7 that others have also posted about.

My Mutec-3 USB also has the native DSD missing from the menu, even tho Mutec automagically converts any DSD signal to PCM. So, in that case, processing power is being wasted when Roon only allows choices other than Native DSD.

Can’t remember if the menu choice was also missing in V1.6.


I’m working with @Jack_Stark in the following thread and it’s currently pending review by the technical team:

@xxx - Can you please open up a support thread outlining this issue?

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Noris, thanks for chiming in. I wanted to see if this issue was more widespread, and make the thread a little more general in terms of DSD playback issues. Especially since yesterday after setting up my Pro-ject Stream Box Utlra 2 and discovering the lack of the DSD menu entirely.

and yes, @rockphotog, there is no DSD method menu at all, zero choices for DSD.

I’m just glad I’m not heavily invested in DSD, because in general I’m loving using Roon.

At the risk of starting a religious war in this thread, there is a school of thought that believes DSD is at best no better than hi-res PCM, the reason being that DSD cannot be digitally edited and must be converted to and from PCM for editing. (DXD, used by high-end digital audio workstations, is actually a PCM format, despite the acronym’s similarity to DSD.)

There are threads here in the Roon Community that discuss the issue.

Edit/addition: My point here is only that if you are wondering whether you should “give up on DSD”, there is an argument that you should.

Fair disclosure: I am a follower of the aforementioned school of thought, but I do strongly believe everyone should decide for themselves by studying the issue and deciding which side of the argument makes more sense to them.


If your hardware can handle it, Roon should facilitate that. It doesn’t need to be reduced to a philosophical debate. Just a process where Roon identifies hardware capability and allows you to then make a choice consistent with taste or philosophy or star sign!


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