Is anyone using DSD / DOP in Volumio 3 Successfully?

Good Morning All,

I am trying to figure out what level of DSD does Volumio support? Or does it depend on the HW platform?

I am pretty sure DSD64 is fine, and reading the latest about the Rivo, it supports up to DSD256 via direct or DOP. Does that transfer to the software itself?

I am trying to troubleshoot some DSD issues I am seeing and first want to understand what it can do before saying there is a problem.


Also the Pro-Ject S2 Ultra Stream states the following:

“The file system support goes up to PCM 32bit / 352.8 kHz and DSD256.”

Hey All,

I have been playing around with this some more. I happen to have three dacs and a couple different streamers.

I tried the Pro-ject Ultra Streamer (some kind of Pi based version of Volumio 2) with a Project S2 Dac and my Topping E30 and Project PreBox S2 and both played DSD64 and DSD256 without issue using the native dsd option.

I try on my Raspberry Pi4 running volumio it just locks and freezes up, if I swap to DOP it works. This seems to point to the DACs do not support Linux, per a posting here.

For grins and giggles, I installed Moode on another SD card and booted it up. I confirmed it worked without issue and streamed up to DSD 512 using the same unit and DACS.

This leads me to the question, who is using direct DSD functionality on a Pi4 successfully? I know it worked on a previous version.

So far the following DACs dont work with DSD direct with the current prod version of Volumio, but do for Moode which uses the 5.15 kernel from Rasbian. Not sure if these were merged just recently.

Topping E30
Project Pre Box S2
HoloAudio Sping 3

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DSD native works fine with my Topping D30 PRO, and SMSl Su-8s and also (differing from the above) my Topping E30 worked as well. The one issue I have had is that none of the DACs will play any DSD songs if the DSP plug in is enabled. In fact, if you tried, it would lock up your entire system. Interesting enough is that the ESS Sabre DAC in the PS Audio amp, the SPROUT100, works fine with the DSP turned on.

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Hmm i wonder could that be. I have the plugin installed, but dont actually use it.

Thanks for the tip there…


Took your advice @backenst and uninstalled DSP and DSD direct is working up to DSD256. For some reason when I play a sample DSD512 file, the DAC E30 registers as PCM 384 so it must be falling back to DOP instead of DSD. I know with Moode the DAC can do DSD512. But it is functional now versus locking up and crashing.

Thank you so much, this would be a good tip in the Tips section as there is no warning DSP breaks DSD playback.

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I’m curious
Have you ever test Dsd in moode audio with CamillaDsp enabled? Does it work?
Edit: when the plugin FusionDsp is not enabled, it DOES not interfere with the system. IMHO there is something else… (I’m not saying it will work with it…)

I can try that now and let you know…

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@balbuze Yes, it appears to be working with DSP enabled…
I only applied a basic filter.

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Same here . With Volumio 3 no DSD at all with I2S
DSD direct is converted to PCM
Dop no sound (Dac shows 176,4.)

Coax up to DSD 64 works
USB up to DSD 256 works

DAC is Holoaudio Spring 3 as well

thanks so seems like a DSD256 is a limit for some reason, my Pro-Ject Ultra 2 Streamer can push to 512 so wonder if I have something configured incorrectly.

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I am using DSD256 from an RPi 4B running Volumnio 3 (and also from a mini-PC). I have learned a number of things about this.
First, DOP is DSD. I.e. the DAC receives the DSD encoded as PCM, and uses the DSD. This is NOT PCM.
Second, DSD Direct is translated (by the Volumio OS) into PCM for DACs that do not support DSD. I have several DACs that do not support DSD, so I have to tell Volumio to use DSD Direct for those DACs. I have 2 high end DACs that support DSD, and I have to tell Volumio to use DoP for those DACs.
Third, I found that the RPi 4B was just a little too slow, so I overclocked it to 2 GHz, and that works great. The mini-PC has no trouble handling DSD256.

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Interesting for sure. My experience has been different than yours.

When I configure DSD direct, all three of my DACs show they are in DSD native mode and rates that imply they are DSD. While I DSD Dop the codecs don’t say DSD and reflect PCM refresh rates. I don’t actually know what is happening behind the scenes just what makes sound and not.

I have though about swapping to an intel Nuc, is that what you are using?


I have a Chord Qutest DAC and an RME ADI-2 Pro. Both of these support DSD Direct only via an ASIO driver that is not available in the Linux used by Volumio: I asked Volumio support. Both of these converters are happy with DSD encoded in PCM: DoP. Both of them recognize the DSD when they are fed DoP.
I have a Music Fidelity V90 DAC that does not understand DSD, but as I said, the Volumio (Linux) OS converts the DSD to PCM. However, the V90 is limited to frequencies 20 Hz - 20 KHz, so feeding DSD256 into the V90, the music sounds like any other DAC playing a CD.
The only DAC I have that is capable of producing frequencies above 20 KHz is the ADI-2 Pro. The other DACs are intentionally limited to 20 KHz. In general, that means they can’t benefit from sample rates above CD quality: 44.1 KHz/16-bit. If your DACs don’t produce frequencies above 20 KHz, anything above DSD64 is probably wasted accuracy. If you have a DAC that will accurately produce frequencies upwards of 90 KHz, you might find as I have that DSD256 or higher, sounds better.
Which of your DACs understand DSD, and what frequency limits do they have?

I forgot to respond about the Nuc. No. I am using an RPi 4B overclocked to 2 GHz in one system and an AWOW mini-PC (NV41) in my main system. I really prefer the PC version of Volumio, and I keep thinking about replacing the RPi 4B with a decent mini-PC. Mini-PCs are available for a little over $200 with stronger processors (>1.5 GHz) and an M.2 slot. I’m still having some issues with the RPi 4B being slow getting started on DSD256 files, although it no longer has any drop-outs. I suspect the micro-SD card might be slowing it, but maybe not. Anyway, I know an M.2 NVME gen3 card is tremendously faster, and the AWOW has no slowness issues.

For all three of my dacs:

Project S2
HoloAudio Spring 3
Topping E30

all are using USB connections and the DSD direct setting. depending the codec they either identify as DSD64,DSD128, etc or the freq 2.82mhz 5.6mhz etc etc.

DOP shows the standard PCM freqs (i.e 88.2khz, but it now works both ways as soon as I disabled the DSP…

I will check what the specs my system has about freq as i cant seem to find it published for the Holoaudio. Will look at it later.

I will need to look at that Nuc as it may seem better. However, in the meantime i hardwired the RPi4 to my SAN and it seems to be doing better with load times. For some reason Moode does better here, i dont know why but it does. I like Volumio much more, so no shade here.

The Project S2 is limited to 20 Hz to 20 KHz. The HoloAudio Spring 3 appears to have a similar limit, although I could not find any explicit specs for it. It looks like the Topping E30 can produce slightly higher frequencies, but I did not find specs for it.
For average or worse hearing, the 20 Hz to 20 KHz limit is fine. And average speaker systems/headphones can’t do much better, either. What I have found is that electrostatic drivers are needed in order to hear the balanced frequencies of analog recordings. (I use Koss electrostatic headphones, and I used to have Magnepan MG3 speakers.) RME claims that the higher frequencies their ADI-2 Pro produces can’t be heard by humans, but it has been known by audiophiles for at least 40 years that the high frequency harmonics make a big difference, if you can hear them . . . as I can. That’s why I value the ADI-2 Pro as much as I do.

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A SAN would be nice, but DSD256 uses less than 3 MB/s, which is less than 3% of a gigbit Ethernet connection. The startup is slightly more, at about 4%. I have a NAS. I can have both systems playing with typical total network load less than 6 MB/s. I’ve thought about upgrading to 2.5 Gb/s on the Volumio computers, but the music never can utilize gigbit Ethernet, so I have not been able to justify it.
I definitely recommend overclocking the RPi 4B to 2 GHz. I used this tutorial: How to Overclock Raspberry Pi 4 (The Safest Method).

Honestly, it is a Synology NAS, but I have up’ed the RAM and have the flash in it for cache’ing to speed it up. I can’t overwhelm it in terms of bandwidth, but ethernet does seem to smooth out the response of the unit. I am gonna read your guide, do you use active cooling on your unit? I use a passive cooling case.

I was thinking of getting one of these for my new volumio:

Fanless PC