Please help with my Bartok upsampling problem

Hi there learned friends,
I have a problem that I’m not sure I know why / what is happening.
I need to understand how the bartok uses the upsampling of signals it receives…
My set up is just as in the ‘basic setup’ in the manual, PC source through ethernet to router and back out of ethernet to Bartok. I use Roon on the server (TheMemoryPlayer64) to control playback and have around 5000 albums stored in various formats on the music server.

I’ve noticed playing a 16/44.1 file will display on the bartok and have the upsampling set to dsdx2 - does the bartok upsample the 16/44.1 file on output? because I recently discovered a monumental shift in sound quality.

at the weekend whilst reading the manual and fiddling with other inputs from the server (USB/OPT) etc. I alos tried a uPNP signal from the server using JRiver where the DSP in the JRiver uPNP was set to output DSD in native DSDx2 format…

The sonic difference was a CHASM, monumental, huge uplift in sound quality. Absolute night and day difference. one that I can’t replicate with ROON. It seems the upsampling from the uPNP JRiver DSP is delivering a universal DSD signal to Bartok (as it displays dsd when a track is played despite it being a 16/44.1 file) but the difference in output is mindblowingly better. How is this.? uPNP is awkward, no gapless playback, I hate jriver interface and prefer to use ROON for many of the reasons we all choose it. but why this massive change?? does Bartok not take a signal from roon and upsample? I notice no difference whatsoever using changing bartok filters and no discernable difference changing dxd, dsd, dsdx2 on upsampling.

I’m confused and a little frustrated having spent hours trying to sort this config out. Am i doing something wrong? why can’t I achieve same sonic resolution through ROoon as happens through jRiver setup?

Hi Dean,

The Bartók will always upsample incoming PCM signals to whatever you have the Upsampling setting set to. It won’t show this on the display, as the display indicates what the incoming signal is, as opposed to what the signal looks like at any point in the Bartók’s DSP chain. So, if you leave JRiver or Roon sending straight PCM (such as 16/44.1) to the Bartók, the display will always show 16/44.1 irrespective of what it is doing Upsampling wise. All expected and normal behaviour.

You don’t mention whether you are using Roon’s Sample Rate Conversion feature - are you doing this, or just having Roon send straight 16/44.1 to the Bartók and only doing DSD conversion in JRiver?

Putting Roon aside for a moment, there will be a difference in how DSD signals from JRiver and PCM upsampled to DSD inside the Bartók are processed inside the unit, so you may notice a difference in sound between them.

Thanks James,
that’s exactly it, no, I wasn’t using ROON DSP upsampling yet was with the JRiver comparison…-I managed to find it in ROON and enable it to DSD128 and inded the sound lifted and became what i was hearing via upsampled uPNP jriver setup- however, there are a few other tweaks there I’m not so sure of … 5th / 7th order etc.

So yes, I was feeding straight feed to the Bartok… This begs the question - surely the upsampling would be done better by the dCS box rather than on the music server? The difference is so huge it was astounding.

it seems the sound quality coming out when upsampling is done at source far outstrips the upsampling done after the signal is received by the Bartok - is this your experience?

thank you for your reply…