I can't get DSD to work on my Direct Stream DAC via Audirvana 3.2


I have a direct stream and am trying to send DSD to it via Audirvana 3.2. When I select auto detect DSD the DSD grays out as an option to send to the DS. If I select send packed as USB 1.0 or USB 1.1 you get the option, but it doesn’t work - instead the DAC says PCM 176 and nothing comes out.

Any ideas?



I don’t know anything about Audirvana but DSD files are transmitted as DOP (DSD Over PCM) and single rate DSD is packaged as 176/24 files. If Audirvana is doing any kind of signal processing (including volume adjustment) the DOP files might not be recognized by the DS as DSD files.


I will look into any volume control that it may be doing. I will be going down to my dearler today ad we can see what the go is there.

Either way something needs to be done about this - you will find many threads where they are using DSD, Audirvana ans the DS so obviously their is some way of doing it.



Maybe you need to direct your Audirvana software questions to their forum.



I use the previous version Audirvana 3.0 on my Mac, and works great with my DS. But have not tried 3.2. You may need to go into the preferences menu and adjust some things. It shows as DoP on the DS panel.


I do not have that option in my preference menu you get - I get - Automatic Detection, None - convert to PCM, Initial DCS Method, DSD over PCM standard 1.0 and DSD over PCM standard 1.1. None work - the best I can do is get a very distorted low level sound at 100% volume - it displays PCM 176.

I will give the Audirvana Forum a go.



I have turned the volume up to 100% and get a distorted very quite rendition. I have been told this is exactly what happens when it plays the DSD back as PCM - which is exactly what the format says on the front - PCM 176. For some reason the DS is not detecting DSD over PCM as DSD. Others have got the combination working.

I haven’t upgraded to Redcloud yet - that may be it - but I thought the older versions all did DSD anyway.



If there is any processing of the data (Volume not at unity, Replay gain, EQ, sample rate conversion, etc.) then the DoP signal is corrupted and the flags that say it’s DSD are corrupted so the DS can’t tell that it’s DoP. This is not related to anything in the DS (i.e. any release works the same for detecting DoP) It has to be processing upstream. You can also play the Bit Perfect test file to verify if bits are getting to the DAC uncorrupted. https://www.psaudio.com/ps_how/how-to-run-a-bit-perfect-test-with-directstream/


Hi Ted - thanks for the reply.

I am using Audirvana to convert from PCM to DSD and it does tons of stuff - just about everything you mentioned including a final 6 db gain. So from what you said it should not work. But others have got it working - raving about how much better it sounds. I have my doubts - but wanted to try it. As Dux-servit says he got it working with 3.0. I think this is one for Audiravna to sort out - its doing something different between 3.0 and 3.2. My suspicion is 3.2 is not setting the flags properly AFTER it has done all this mucking around, but 3.0 did - just a guess - anyway I think its up to Audirvana to sort out.

The reason I have my doubts with the DS is you are using very sophisticated algorithms to already do that conversion - that Audirvana would do it better simply does not make sense - still something interesting to try. If it cant be figured out I suspect no great loss, although I muck about with and do posts on a number of DAC’s and for some reason some just go gaga saying please, please test converting it to DSD.



I was presuming you were starting with DSD, i.e. don’t do any processing after the signal is DSD.

Yep if they are converting to DSD, they shouldn’t be doing any processing after that, but (and I know nothing about Audirvana and very little about the Mac environment) there may be a chance that the OS is doing some volume adjustment between Audirvana and the output. Perhaps Audirvana guards against that.

Don’t do a final 6dB gain unless 6dB has been lost somewhere else. At most (if it’s an option) use a 3dB gain at the end. With no final gain you should have the same level of output as input when converting to DSD. DSD has some head room that PCM doesn’t but since you’re coming from PCM you won’t be worse off to not scale the output. Using extra gain at the end would make it really hard to judge the sound between using DSD and not, since then they wouldn’t be at the same levels and louder almost always sounds better.

Yep, it’s always worth a try - no matter which may be the best technically, there are always some that prefer one and others that prefer another. The only way to know where you are is to try it.


Have tried that and just about anything you can imagine including that of course. I think its up to Damion, the maker of Audirvana now - will see what happens. Can try it on other DAC’s and also have a DSJ I had planned to use in a second system and see what happens when I try that - that’s still at my dealer right now - it broke and haven’t picked it up yet. But things change and I may not go a second system route. Not sure which to sell - the DS or DSJ - decisions decisions.