DSD playback options

Thanks. I ended up going with ASIO for both devices (OPPO and Rega) although both seemed to work with either WASAPI or ASIO, based on what I read there on the JRiver wiki: "If your soundcard has a native ASIO driver, this is the most direct (and normally best) way to communicate with it."
 
I'm interested in how to playback 5.1 dsf files from a hard drive or media server to my receiver. I have an Onkyo TX-NR626 that supports dsd through HDMI, though I'm not sure it can understand it over network / DLNA, as I haven't had success playing a test file over that connection. I'm guessing I may need the right type of media center program on my pc to cast it to the device so it can read the file properly? Any suggestions?
Thanks for any help.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I'm interested in how to playback 5.1 dsf files from a hard drive or media server to my receiver. I have an Onkyo TX-NR626 that supports dsd through HDMI, though I'm not sure it can understand it over network / DLNA, as I haven't had success playing a test file over that connection. I'm guessing I may need the right type of media center program on my pc to cast it to the device so it can read the file properly? Any suggestions?
Thanks for any help.
I'm pretty sure your AVR only accepts DSD over HDMI, but you'd have to consult the Instruction Manual to confirm that, and also view the changelog for any firmware updates Onkyo subsequently provided that might have added capabilities not detailed in the original manual.

If it turns out it can only accept DSD over HDMI, that too is a potential problem with using a computer as a source, as many computers have HDMI outputs that are not HDCP (copy protection encryption) compliant, they are only intending for that HDMI port to be used to connect a computer monitor.

So any source you use, Windows, Mac, Linux, must have hardware (the audio or video card) that is HDCP compliant or it won't actually matter what media center software you are using, the HDMI port will simply get a handshake refusal from the AVR unless the HDCP protocol is detected.

If your PC's audio or video card is HDCP compliant, then you can look for media center software that is DSD compatible. I'd bet JRiver will do the job, except my personal experience with it is with stereo only and not multichannel.
 
I'm interested in how to playback 5.1 dsf files from a hard drive or media server to my receiver. I have an Onkyo TX-NR626 that supports dsd through HDMI, though I'm not sure it can understand it over network / DLNA, as I haven't had success playing a test file over that connection. I'm guessing I may need the right type of media center program on my pc to cast it to the device so it can read the file properly? Any suggestions?
Thanks for any help.
Greg, I have played 5.1 DSD files from a NAS using Roon ROCK on an Intel NUC via HDMI on a Marantz AV receiver.

To do this a subscription to Roon is required. For details of using ROCK on a NUC see Roon’s website.

My Marantz won’t accept DSD so Roon converts it to PCM. I am not sure if it’s possible to output unconverted DSD from a NUC by HDMI.
 
Hi Greg. I am able to do this and will explain how: I have a Pioneer SC-LX502 that also accepts DSD over HDM (the receiver itself can stream DSD from my NAS, but only in stereo). I have a Sony UBP-X800 connected to the receiver via HDMI. The Sony is able to stream both stereo and multichannel DSD from my NAS and pass this to the Pioneer. When in Pure Direct mode, the Pioneer will play DSD files natively. I cannot confirm that this method will work with other players, and it is not always clear when reading specs. Hope that helps!
 
"dsf to flac"

My Akurate DS/1 Streamer (manufactured by Linn) does not accept .dsf files and that is why I'm looking for a coverter (freeware for Windows would be nice). Linn recommends to go for flac files. So I'm google for "dsf to flac" but the result confuses me.
I'm simply looking for a converter which "does all the work" under audiophile aspects! I don't want to loose any Bit or Resolution on the way.
And I also would not intervene in the converting process by adjust the volume (gain, db) if that is not necessary, for audiophile reasons.

Any suggestions?

Kind regards,
Andy
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
"dsf to flac"

My Akurate DS/1 Streamer (manufactured by Linn) does not accept .dsf files and that is why I'm looking for a coverter (freeware for Windows would be nice). Linn recommends to go for flac files. So I'm google for "dsf to flac" but the result confuses me.
I'm simply looking for a converter which "does all the work" under audiophile aspects! I don't want to loose any Bit or Resolution on the way.
And I also would not intervene in the converting process by adjust the volume (gain, db) I that is not necessary, for audiophile reasons.

Any suggestions?

Kind regards,
Andy
Hi Andy,

Do you have any access to a Mac or Linux machine? Sonore DSD2FLAC will do the job nicely, but there is no Windows version unfortunately.

JRiver will do this on Windows, but it isn't freeware.

Alternatively, you could leave the files as .DSF and then transcode them on the server side, eg. MinimServer, or AssetUPnP have such settings.
 
Hi Mike,
I have got a Win10 Laptop. I've installed Linux Ubuntu as a subsystem, but without a graphic interface it takes too much time to learn the codec.
May foobar2000 is the one to look for?
Kind regards,
Andy
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I have got a Win10 Laptop. I've installed Linux Ubuntu as a subsystem, but without a graphic interface it takes too much time to learn the codec.
May foobar2000 is the one to look for?
Well that's really two separate issues, one is just Windows vs. Linux, and the other is Foobar2000 as an application that will act as a server for your Linn streamer to either convert DSD to PCM, or transcode DSD to PCM on-the-fly.

On the first subject, I hate Windows for most things audio and much prefer Linux, but if I read your statement right you aren't loving the Ubuntu interface (or lack thereof)? I chose Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon for a full on desktop graphics package, and it wasn't a steep learning curve at all.

Maybe you just selected a bad distro for your needs, Ubuntu also comes in several flavors, if yours lacks a graphical interface then you've got the wrong one. Check out Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon, or one of the various flavors of the Ubuntu Desktop version.

Back to Windows, and while Foobar2000 is very impressive in terms of it's overall capability, I found it to be a giant pain in the neck to get configured, far too many plug-ins, and too little documentation. I spent an entire morning getting it to play DSD as a local file. Thats just too long, and based on that I never even bothered with trying to set up any DLNA/UPnP server with it, instead I paid the price and put JRiver on my Windows machine and have been very happy with it. Freeware is great until it drives you crazy, and Foobar2000 drove me crazy.

My JRiver license is a Master License good for all 3 platforms, so I have it on Windows, Mac, and also the Linux Mint 19 machine (a converted Windows 7 laptop). It runs super well on all 3 and never drives me the least bit crazy.

But stepping back from Windows/Linux/Foobar, what is your current server arrangement for the Linn Akurate DS/1? How do you currently stream to it, from a NAS? What is your control point app, Kinsky, or Kazoo?

In my previous post I mentioned 2 software servers that can transcode DSD to PCM on-the-fly: AssetUPnP, and MinimServer. You can also consider those as options, I have AssetUPnP running on both my Mac, and Linux (that one actually on a Raspberry Pi), it is also available for Windows. Same for MinimServer. These will do what you need, you'd use a UPnP control point app to access your server based library.

MinimServer is freeware, while AssetUPnP is not. Both are recommended by Linn in their 3rd party software web page information.
 
Well that's really two separate issues, one is just Windows vs. Linux, and the other is Foobar2000 as an application that will act as a server for your Linn streamer to either convert DSD to PCM, or transcode DSD to PCM on-the-fly.

On the first subject, I hate Windows for most things audio and much prefer Linux, but if I read your statement right you aren't loving the Ubuntu interface (or lack thereof)? I chose Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon for a full on desktop graphics package, and it wasn't a steep learning curve at all.

Maybe you just selected a bad distro for your needs, Ubuntu also comes in several flavors, if yours lacks a graphical interface then you've got the wrong one. Check out Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon, or one of the various flavors of the Ubuntu Desktop version.

Back to Windows, and while Foobar2000 is very impressive in terms of it's overall capability, I found it to be a giant pain in the neck to get configured, far too many plug-ins, and too little documentation. I spent an entire morning getting it to play DSD as a local file. Thats just too long, and based on that I never even bothered with trying to set up any DLNA/UPnP server with it, instead I paid the price and put JRiver on my Windows machine and have been very happy with it. Freeware is great until it drives you crazy, and Foobar2000 drove me crazy.

My JRiver license is a Master License good for all 3 platforms, so I have it on Windows, Mac, and also the Linux Mint 19 machine (a converted Windows 7 laptop). It runs super well on all 3 and never drives me the least bit crazy.

But stepping back from Windows/Linux/Foobar, what is your current server arrangement for the Linn Akurate DS/1? How do you currently stream to it, from a NAS? What is your control point app, Kinsky, or Kazoo?

In my previous post I mentioned 2 software servers that can transcode DSD to PCM on-the-fly: AssetUPnP, and MinimServer. You can also consider those as options, I have AssetUPnP running on both my Mac, and Linux (that one actually on a Raspberry Pi), it is also available for Windows. Same for MinimServer. These will do what you need, you'd use a UPnP control point app to access your server based library.

MinimServer is freeware, while AssetUPnP is not. Both are recommended by Linn in their 3rd party software web page information.
Hi Mike,

1. Ubuntu
As far as I know, it isn't possible to install a Linux Ubuntu GUI on a Win 10 Laptop (with Ubuntu as a Subsystem -> App).
I have got the Ubuntu App and it looks like this (right hand side).

2. Server
I've stored my music files on a Synology NAS and use both, Linn Kazoo and Kinsky to control.
The DAC in Linn Akurate Streamer is not able to convert .dsf files. On-the-fly conversion is not the way I want to go. And also wouldn't Change the original Linn Software. But thank you for the proposal!
Have you heard anything good from dBpoweramp?

If I haven't got grey hair already, I would become such.....

Kind regards
Andy
 

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MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
1. Ubuntu
As far as I know, it isn't possible to install a Linux Ubuntu GUI on a Win 10 Laptop (with Ubuntu as a Subsystem -> App).
I have got the Ubuntu App and it looks like this (right hand side).
Unfortunately we'd be very off-topic very fast here if we were to go in-depth about Windows-Linux dual boot scenarios, however it can be done and in that case there is no reason why the Linux partition can't have a proper desktop GUI, to the best of my knowledge.

2. Server
I've stored my music files on a Synology NAS and use both, Linn Kazoo and Kinsky to control.
The DAC in Linn Akurate Streamer is not able to convert .dsf files. On-the-fly conversion is not the way I want to go. And also wouldn't Change the original Linn Software. But thank you for the proposal!
So there is actual Linn server software running on the Synology, which you don't want to change due to OpenHome capability?

Have you heard anything good from dBpoweramp?
Only good things, it is and always has been superb software, though not cheap. I haven't used it in a number of years now, my only experience with it was on Windows XP, however that doesn't mean I stopped liking it, it just means when I migrated to the Mac platform there was no Mac version of dBpoweramp available, and there were other good alternative choices available for Mac.

Korg AudioGate4 also no doubt does what you need in terms of DSD-PCM conversion, however they don't sell it as a standalone product, it will only authenticate when you connect with certain Korg DACs.

I'd suggest getting a proper Linux partition with desktop GUI running, so that you can just use Sonore's DSD2FLAC, that's your best no-cost option in my opinion.
 
Dear Mike,

after some research, I have found Tascam High Resolution editor. It's Freeware. Under audiophile aspects, Tascam is well known and has (for me) a very good reputation. So I've installed the Software on my Windows Laptop for
"dsf to flac"
(in fact only wav) converting. After that, I converted two traks from The Police - SACD, "Every breath you take" in 192khz, 24Bit wav and it sounds better than CD. The volume is obviously a litte louder, so you have to adjust the volume for proper comparison.

If anyone has experience with this software, comments are welcome.

Kind regards,
Andy, Germany
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Dear Mike,

after some research, I have found Tascam High Resolution editor. It's Freeware. Under audiophile aspects, Tascam is well known and has (for me) a very good reputation. So I've installed the Software on my Windows Laptop for
"dsf to flac"
(in fact only wav) converting. After that, I converted two traks from The Police - SACD, "Every breath you take" in 192khz, 24Bit wav and it sounds better than CD. The volume is obviously a litte louder, so you have to adjust the volume for proper comparison.

If anyone has experience with this software, comments are welcome.

Kind regards,
Andy, Germany
Huh, I actually have a copy of it on my Mac from 2017, but for some reason had never used it. Glad there is a Windows version too!

I just converted a .dsf track to a 24/176.4 .wav file.

15994

Plays back just fine on the Mac:

15995

Thanks for sharing this here Andy, this is a good freeware solution for those looking to convert .dsf to PCM. Ideally it would do the .flac compression too, but you can use something else for that part.
 
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