Network Bridge and Roon best practice on DSD

Hi All,
My simplified system:
Roon Nucleus - Network Bridge - Esoteric D05 DAC via double AES EBU (tops at DSD64 DOP)

To get higher rates to play I had to manually change the dCS settings in the Roon app to Maximum DSD64 instead of the default DSD128.

What is better:

  • Let Roon convert to DSD64 all higher rates;
  • Limit myself to buying DSD64 albums.

In other words, is the Roon conversion to from say DSD256 to DSD64 creating a “worse” path than a clean DSD64 file?

Many thanks - and I know that with a modern DAC I would not be asking this, so please answer only on the above :slight_smile:

My first question is how many DSD 256 albums are we talking about? I know of very few , mainly a handful of classical recordings. But even these are probably not “pure” DSD256 as DSD cannot be edited and has to be converted to PCM to do this (hence DXD) and then reconverted back to DSD.

Given the reality of DSD recording I wouldn’t worry. You probably will not be getting “clean” DSD anyway.

Not trying to be a smarty pants here :wink:, because I agree that these are not commonplace, but I just posted over in the What’s Spinning thread a couple of links to a wonderful recording of Noelia Rodiles’ Butterfly Effect. It’s in native 256DSD; here are some notes about the recording.

Ah yes, the exception that proves the rule :grinning:.

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Touché! :rofl:

I’d agree with Pete that right now there aren’t enough DSD256 material to be concerned about it.

However, there are plenty of DSD128 material out there from the like of or that are audibly better than their DSD64 counterparts, at least when played back on dCS platforms.

As such @Promao, I’d say when purchase DSD material, get DSD128 or better and use Roon to down-sample where necessary (assuming your PC has enough grunt), until you’re able upgrade your DAC in the future. :metal:t3:

Thanks guys,

The real question remaining to answer is wether letting Roon downsample 256 to 64 ends up worse than buying the 64…


The question is difficult to answer as it depends upon the provenance of the DSD64, 128 or 256 file. If the original recording was made at DSD64 and the 128 and 256 versions were upsampled from it then buying the DSD64 is preferable. If the original recording was DSD128 or 256 the file being sold as DSD64 has been downsampled. It is then dependent upon a comparison of the D to D conversion algorithms used by Roon v. the unknown product which the record label used and its conversion algorithms to decide which is best - which is an unanswerable question for the most part.

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