DSD Option in MDP Configuration Menu

I own a iFi DSD Nano connected to Cubox i4Pro, and playing some DSD file I found something “strange” in the MPD Configuration Menu section “General music daemon options”. My DAC has a LED which can inform you about some different status, when a native DSD file is playing the light is blue, when the file is a PCM one at very high resolution (352,8 and 384 khz) the light is white.
The option in the menu section “DSD over PCM” states:
“Enable DSD over PCM, disabling direct DSD playback. Enable this only if DSD Playback doesn’t work for you.” well my setting is YES so DSD over PCM should be enebled but my DAC says blue light so a native DSD is playing. If I switch from YES to NO the light turns from blue to white so a PCM file is sent to the DAC.
Changing DAC from iFi Nano to M2Tech HiFace DAC that can’t play native DSD but “only” PCM up to 384 khz I have to set the “DSD over PCM” option to “NO” for hearing music coming from a DSD file.
At the end does the option work the other way round? YES means NO and viceversa?



Well, both DSD direct and DoP (DSD over PCM) send DSD, the only difference is the wrapper. I’d have expected the blue light to be on in both cases, unless the DAC only supports DSD with DoP, in which case I’d expect music with DoP and silence or noise without it?

The options only apply to DSD files of course.


I found the same symptom from my teac 501, when I enable “DSD over PCM”, my teac show DSD direct is received but when I disable “DSD over PCM”, it show it receives PCM

Does a DSD file actually play when it is showing as PCM? I don’t see how the same file can be playable both as PCM and DSD.

I have a Teac 301 and a DSD file (eg .dsf) plays when DSD over PCM is enabled, DSD light, and does not play (silence) when it is disabled.


I can play DSD file (dff file) by both setting. When set DoP as Yes, U501 shows “DSD 2.8” whereas it shows “PCM 176KMHZ” or “PCM 384kMHZ” (I forget wich one) when set DoP as No.

In that case it seems to me you must have an on-the-fly dsf to pcm converter installed. In which case what you are seeing is correct: enable the DoP setting to have DSD sent to your DAC.


Maybe this is exactly what Volumio does with this setting.


This is how MPD handles DIrect Stream Digital.
MPD understands the file formats dff and dsf. There are three ways to play back DSD:

Native DSD playback. Requires ALSA or later, a sound driver/chip that supports DSD and of course a DAC that supports DSD.

DoP (DSD over PCM) playback. This wraps DSD inside fake 24 bit PCM according to the DoP standard. Requires a DAC that supports DSD. No support from ALSA and the sound chip required (except for bit-perfect 24 bit PCM support).

Convert DSD to PCM on-the-fly.

Native DSD playback is used automatically if available. DoP is only used if enabled explicitly using the dop option, because there is no way for MPD to find out whether the DAC supports it. DSD to PCM conversion is the fallback if DSD cannot be used directly.

I love DSD!!
DSD support in MPD is evolving. I hope to see Volumio incorporate newer versions of MPD as they are released.

For now Volumio version 1.5 or greater uses Music Player Daemon 0.19.1

You can check your version of MPD and learn much more:

mpd --version

The most current version of MPD is 0.19.9. Here are some excerpts from the MPD changelog.

Music Player Daemon 0.19.9 has been released.
It allows the dsdiff and dsf decoders to read larger ID3 tags and fixes loading duplicate tag types from the state file.

Music Player Daemon 0.19.8 has been released.
It fixes a bug in the curl input plugin, improves mms startup, supports larger ID3 tags in dsdiff and dsf files and adds support for floating point samples in the ffmpeg decoder.

Music Player Daemon 0.19.5 has been released.
It fixes crash and deadlock bugs in the plugins nfs, zzip, dsdiff, dsf and opus.

Music Player Daemon 0.19.2 has been released.
It fixes various bugs: a crash in the faad plugin, playback of redirected streams and streams with query string, negative replay gain values in the mad plugin, problems with native DSD playback.

Just to ask, is there anybody using Mytek DSD 192 DAC?
I can’t make volumio playing DSD as when I connect it using usb2.0 Volumio will not detect the DAC, only usb1.0. :frowning:

Not sure how many others are using the Mytek DAC. It is a very high end ESS Saber DAC. Please open a support request with Mytek as they may be helpful. This is a USB 2.0 driver issue. There is a Linux ALSA driver for the Mytek Digital Stereo192-DSD DAC. We need kernel headers to install the usb driver. Possibly someone will come to your aid. Consider starting your own thread to request more visible help.

Hi tracer5,

Thanks for the reply.
I’ll try to contact Mytek support then.


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