DSD 256 on GCD?

Is there any benefit to streaming DSD 256 vs. DSD 128 on the GCD? I ask because the GCD accepts up to DSD 128, but I have the ability to stream DSD 256 and I think it might actually sound better though that wouldn’t make sense to me given the limitations of the GCD (maxing out at 128). Am I missing something?

I’m a bit confused as well. How are you streaming 256 through it?

Sorry for the lack of clarity. So, I’m using Audirvana and streaming through Qobuz and am upsampling to DSD. My streamer is an SMS-200, and I’m also using the Matrix. I can upsample to DSD 256 which is sent to the GCD, but the GCD only accepts 128. So, it receives the 256 as 128 and it shows this on the GCD screen, but it’s still being sent a 256 signal. Does that make sense?

Seems a bit bizarre as the GDAC doesn’t have any ability to down sample (or up sample for that matter) what it receives. If it truly is receiving 256, I don’t have an explanation for how it would be playing it.

I’m confused too. I just confirmed Audirvana is indeed streaming/sending 256 to the GCD (through Matrix):

GCD still showing received and playing back successfully at 128. Strange…

Audirvana will only send what the DAC maxes out at or less if settings are set lower, even if gets incoming above the max. So it shows the SGCD as max 128 which it auto detects.

When I had SGCD I experimented with same thing and DSD 256 worked.

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Agreed – my experience as well and I’m listening to DSD 256 right now through Audirvana to the GCD. It’s playing successfully at 256 and is showing up at the GCD as 128.

And how about the DirectStream DAC? I just looked at its specs and noticed it handle handle a max (if I’m reading things correctly) of 128 as well? Can it be fed 256 and play it successfully? If so, does it also read 128 on it? Just curious. Again, might be missing something.

No, as far as the USB input goes, the DirectStream DAC is limited to 128. I’ve never tried to feed it 256, but my guess is that it would just be silent.

Yes, the DSD is just silent when fed with DSD256. AFAIK Ted is planning to update the firmware to accept DSD256 in the future.

Regarding Audirvana my guess would also be that it just upsamples to the maximal DAC input, which is DSD128.


My stellar is stuck at 44.1 sample rate!
Was told it was an ESS chip problem that cannot be remedied

Also had problems with S300 12 v trigger and two output boards!

Great Stuff!!!

What’s going on?

No it’s just not working
Was told it is the ESS chip that is problematic
And can’t be fixed!

Mine only shows 44.1 and nothing higher

Not happy with the preamp nor S300

Lots of repairs

Possible software
Was told it is the ESS chip???

My Stellar will only show 44.1 irrespective of input

I’m not sure what it is doing!

Am upset that there is no resolve from
Ps Audio!

And you are certain your source is sending some other bit rate? If so I am not the one to help, PS Audio should have a solution or if possible I’d return it. I have never had a problem with my PS Audio stuff they didn’t immediately fix although they were simple remote isn’t working kind of things.
Good luck

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The Stellar is likely showing you what you are playing. What’s your source?

Have you reached out to us? TJ in customer service is pretty good at helping.

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Thanks for the note
I spoke with Paul just a week ago and he said the problem is with an ESS chip in the Stellar that cannot be resolved . He said he spoke with ESS and that is what generated his note to me.

In short I’m am not sure what I’m listening to. Am I hearing44.1 or something else?

As a “hobbyist “ I guess it matters; as a listener I’m not convinced it does.

However I would like to know what is going on.

Your thoughts


Dr. Laurence Rosenblatt

I’d also prefer to know what’s coming into the unit. If only because it’s supposed to work and if you ever want to upgrade and sell it you won’t get a good price if you have to explain it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.

I doubt it’s anything wrong with the chip. What’s the source you’re using?