Denafrips Native DSD

Just received my Denafrips Ares II DAC and discovered that Volumio is translating DSD to PCM DXD. A quick Internet search indicates that other Denafrips owners are having the same experience. Are there plans to add support for these devices into the Kernel?

In the alternative, if kernel source is available, I’d be willing to take a crack at adding support.

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By all means, go for it. I am also a proud owner of the Ares II using Volumio. A quick reminder to keep the DAC always powered on and to carefully evaluate OS/slow mode. :wink:

Latest review…

Why is it recommend to leave it always on ?

Is Denafrips fully compatible with Volumio (Rpi4)? Kindly clarify.

Sort of. All PCM files play correctly, right up to DXD. But Volumio does not recognize that the Denafrips supports native DSD so it translates any DSD files to PCM DXD. I gather this is because there is no Denafrips device driver in the Linux kernel so it appears to be a “generic” sound device. I have the same issue with the McIntosh D150 in my other system.

It appears that many of these companies are happy to write Windows drivers, but much less sanguine about providing Linux drivers.

Always on recommended by the distributor Alvin Che from Singapore in a the stevehoffman thread for the Ares II.

sanguine? tshafran, my compliments!!! That is exactly how I order my steak and describe a bit of the protesting going on…never thought that word would ever make it into a Volumio thread.

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does this help?

Thanks shomi. It might. It will really depend on how much the kernel has changed since 2017. I’m very hesitant to try rebuilding the kernel on my production RP4, but I’ll see if I have a spare and I’ll try it on that. Worst case, I can hand-edit the kernel source and rebuild but that will leave me with a franken-kernel. :slightly_smiling_face:

And glad you enjoyed “sanguine”. I always order my steak “blue”. Gets a lot of funny looks from waiters.

All the best.

My pleasure indeed. Please keep us posted.

One more question: do you have instructions for downloading the kernel source on volumio? I know how to do it on CentOS and Ubuntu but I’m drawing a blank on the Pi. Thanks again.

try this…

@tshafran in Volumio UI, go in settings, system and down you’ll find credits and sources

Hi everyone and thanks for all the info and encouragement. I was able to make the source code changes and get DSD native working on my McIntosh D150 (I also had to set Volumio to DoP). I’ve also added the code for the Denafrips but I won’t be able to test that for a few days, until I get to my other system. However, there’s no reason to assume that it won’t work based on my experience with the McIntosh.

In order to make it work, however, I had to find and download the Raspbian source code version being used by Volumio, make the source code changes, recompile all of the modules, and replace the entirety of


With the recompiled version.

SO… a couple of questions:

  1. I’m happy to share the changes (source and binaries) with anyone who wants them. How do I do that?
  2. What is the process for making sure these changes get incorporated into future releases?

Thanks in advance! Happy listening!

Bless you Ted. I am very eager to give it a try. I am using RPi4 Volumio via usb to an Aeres II.

Maybe this is a silly question but, this fix is only when using usb input in the Ares 2 DAC?

I’m not 100% sure, because I didn’t test it with anything other than USB (and I’ve only tested it on my McIntosh so far), but there’s nothing specific in the code that refers to the interface. All it does is set a flag, based on the device ID. That would suggest that other interfaces should work.

Sorry - one more thing. This fix (so far) is specifically for the Linux kernel on a Rasperry Pi 4B. If I can figure out how to submit the kernel changes to, it will eventually work on any Linux platform. But if you’re driving the Denafrips from some other device, this fix won’t help.

Message to our leader Michelangelo. A lot of us are using Denafrips Ares II with Volumio via USB from a raspberry. Can you please comment on what we have to do to have Volumio support native DSD for this player? I am also sending a link to this topic to Denafrips. Thanks very much.

Here’s another update. The code changes - unfortunately - don’t appear to work with the Denafrips. HOWEVER: I have discovered that if you configure DSD playback for DoP (instead of DSD Direct) AND you select either the Hardware mixer or NONE, you do get DSD playback. With the Software mixer, however, it does not work, sadly.

But I’m still experimenting.