iFi Zen Stream with NAS setup

Thanks, but I did that as part of my efforts to get the Zen running when I first got it.

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Sorry! I have a similar NAS setup and here is how I point at my NAS with Roon:


Of course George is a subdirectory of Music.

I think my overall set up is correct. Despite some initial hiccups, I’ve had all PCM resolutions and DSD64 running smoothly for a while. All I did yesterday was add a few DSD256 files into an existing directory and have MinimServer do a rescan (as always required when adding music). So the question is what’s different about DSD 256 and the Zen; why won’t these files play when everything else will?

Was going to suggest deleting the port # but I see you got there first. I have a Zen Stream which I am using now to stream via DLNA from my main music server to a DAC upstairs. I haven’t tried it with a NAS yet (I run QNAP) but am thinking of ordering a second one. I only have one DSD 256 recording here - I will try it tomorrow and see if the Zen streams it. it does work fine with 128.

Thank you, Bob. I’ll be very curious about what you find. Someone on another forum suggested changing the Zen set up for DSD. It gives you the choice of native DSD or DoP — I’m not sure which one I have it on now. Either one ought to work with the DS MK2, but it’s at least worth trying and I will do so tomorrow. The Zen has continued to improve with breakin and is sounding quite good now.

Right now mine streams dsd to an SMSL DAC in my office, but it’s been working so well that I am thinking of picking up another one to try in the main system with the DSD MK2. if I have time later today I will move it downstairs and test. I agree that it’s a pretty sweet device - only thing I wish it had is I2S output.

Still no go with DSD 256. Tonight, rather than using DLNA mode as I have previously, I went into the Zen Stream webpage (iFi.local). Under Sources, I added the directories on my NAS where my high-res DSD files are stored. I tried to play a DSD 256 title, using the Zen’s built-in player. A red message appeared in the upper right saying “unsupported sample rate.“

In Settings, under Output Device, I have selected “PS audio extended resolution USB.“ so clearly the Zen is trying to play to the correct DAC. And we know that the DS Mk2 should support DSD 256. I am wondering if there could be an issue with the Mk2’s firmware that prevents it from playing DSD 256 properly in certain situations — why else would the Zen claim that I was using an unsupported sample rate? I can’t think of any other option at this point. I am still on firmware 2.50.

I have not been able to try this yet with my Zen Stream - may be a few weeks at this point. Hopefully someone will chime in…

Thanks, Bob. This morning I even tried a different USB cable just in case that was contributing to the problem, but it made no difference.

I have heard that some other Zen owners have experienced similar problems. So I decided to order a Sonore Ultra Rendu, which is on sale through today at Small Green Computer. Fortunately I am still within the window when I can return the Zen. It’s unfortunate because the Zen has sounded very good when playing PCM, particularly given its price.

That would be a bummer. So far I like the Zen Stream a lot myself, but have only used it in my office system with an SMSL DAC. When I get back though I will try it with the DSD MK2 for sure. In the meantime please keep us informed with whatever you find out.

I opened a support ticket with iFi, but they said that they could not reproduce the problem. I called Crutchfield, where I bought it; the rep tried to help but couldn’t actually do anything to solve the problem. I enjoyed my Bridge II, but it maxed out at DSD64. One compensation for having to get an external replacement is that I will be able to play higher rate DSD. Since the Zen won’t do it in my system, it has to go back. I will have the Zen and the ultraRendu in house this weekend, and it will be interesting to compare the SQ of the two (although the ultraRendu won’t be broken in).

FWIW - I have only used ifi support once (about whether I can safely tie pin 1 of their balanced outs to ground) and while they make many awesome products, the several support people I spoke to didn’t know basic electronics and either didn’t have access to anyone who did or didn’t bother to refer questions they didn’t understand to those who do. So IME the support part of their operation ain’t what it needs to be, which is unfortunate.

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Tonight I did a comparison of the Zen Stream with the ultraRendu. The latter is better, but I had to listen very carefully to hear the differences. I really am impressed with the Zen for its price. It’s very unfortunate that I couldn’t get it to do DSD256, which the ultraRendu handles without complaint. (The ultraRendu has about 25 hours on it, so it may get better with additional breakin.)

Is the Zen not doing 256 at all or just not doing it into the MK 2? Have you ever checked in with the guys on the 400+ page thread at Head-Fi to see if someone there had a suggestion or any luck?

The Mk2 is the only DAC that I have, Even if the problem does come from some weird interaction between the Zen and the MK2, I plan on keeping this DAC so I definitely need a streamer that will work with it. I did look at the Head-Fi forum when the problem first arose but did not find a solution there.

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